Here’s some pictures I took of my Leslie 122 RV. From reading up on this model I understand that these usually come with a Leslie-designed reverb amp which is not deemed all that desirable, but this one actually has a Hammond AO-44-1 reverb amp in it, the very same as is found in the A-100 series. I think it sounds great, even through the small speaker that is mounted on the side of the cabinet.
Here’s a bit of the heavier stuff, with excellent guitar added by PECA based on a cool template from Udo.
A post on the organ forum provides for the download location of a newly restored version of the Hammond Organ Service Manual for free download, painstakingly put together by Organ Forum member Joey B3.
The new version has been completely re-typeset, some pictures have been replaced with better versions, and some sections and some diagrams / schematics have been reintroduced from earlier manuals that were not included in version 495 from sources such as the original 1936-1944, as well as some manuals from the “pre B3” 50s.
The diagrams/schematics/charts have been scanned in at 600dpi for maximum clarity when zooming in. The scans were taken directly from original manuals of the 50s and 60s, with the exception of the diagrams for the Model E and C2-G. It is available as PDF, bookmarked per chapter. It is a more accessible, cleaner version than the one all over the Internet now and should be very useful to anyone who does not have access to an original.
Covers the following Hammond organs: A, A100, AB, BC, BCV, BV, B2, B3, C, CV, C2, C2-G, C3, D, DV, D100, E, G, GV, RT, RT2, and RT3
tonewheel.com has the schematics for building a universal Leslie adapter. It allows the use of pretty much any Leslie cabinet with a Hammond organ equipped with an 122 type (8000 series) control kit. The schematics have been designed in a modular form so you can select the building blocks necessary for your specific application.
The Hammond expression pedal seems to be a mystery to many players, especially those that are more used to playing on clone wheels, even though at least some of these model the original Hammond expression pedal behavior very closely. Many people seem to think that the expression pedal on a Hammond is only used to control the volume of the organ, but this is only part of its function, it also acts as a (passive, non-linear) equalizer (EQ). When the volume is low, higher frequencies are much more attenuated (reduced) than lower ones, leading to a much bass-heavy sound and less pronounced highs. The reverse is true when the expression pedal is put to full throttle (loudest volume), which results in a much brighter sound with relatively reduced bass content.
Thus, you can influence the character setting of the tone by opening or closing the expression pedal. This may lead to an undesired low volume when aiming for a more bass-heavy tone with les emphasized highs, but this can be counteracted by increasing the amplification. This may be accomplished by turning up the Leslie or other amplifier you may be using to amplify the Hammond. This may also make drive your amp into overdrive more easily, so you may need to find the right balance in the settings of the amp and the expression pedal to give you the desired tonal balance as well as a usable travel to adjust dynamics using the pedal.
Personally I like overdriving the Leslie to get a bit of growl, and this gets much easier with the Leslie on very loud, and playing the expression pedal at the low volume end, pushing the Leslie into a nice drive when increasing the volume on the expression pedal.
In a previous post I explained how to use the Rotor plugin and the Overdrive to add a bit of drive and Leslie emulation to a real Hammond while recording on Logic Pro X. Further along experimentation with this setup, I’ve ditched the Overdrive plugin, and have switched to using the Distortion II / Growl Distortion Light as a favourite driver for the Rotor Leslie emulation. This gives a very convincing bit of dirt to the sound. Here’s an example:
Something else I’ve been experimenting with, with better and better results, is using the Rotor in Logic, based on suggestions from Jim at the Organ Forum. If you combine this with the overdrive, or one of the amp simulators (‘Moving Air’ is a good one) you can get very good results, and this works very well for recording, taking the signal directly from the line-out on my A-102; I’ve been struggling with how the Vent is sitting in the mix, and the levels I get from it. This may just be related to my own setup, but I’m pretty much using Overdrive / Amp modeller / Rotor now, sometimes using Spreader and Exciter for an even bigger sound, and either the standard bus 2 platinum reverb (add other buses with reflections to taste) or a modelled reverb room.
Don’t forget to set the record mode to Latch or Write to capture Leslie-switch events (I send my CU-1 through a foot switch input on my interface for slow / fast switching).
For an example how this sounds:
This is what happens when you add a Saturn synth driven by a guitar through midi to a Hammond tonewheel organ: Bliss!
A very satisfying heavily driven sound by using the vent drive at about 3 o’clock and using pedals to thicken the drive and the sound significantly when compared to just using the manuals.