About This File
I'm just getting into the Hammond B-3 sound and I was really impressed with the 9 Layer Organ that Jimmyjames posted back in July. I started looking into the way the drawbars worked and found some pretty good pages on the net that have some of the more popular registrations. Unfortunately, you need 9 drawbars to do that and the way they were tied together in the 9 Layer Organ didn't allow you to adjust all of them independently. So, I wanted to build something that would allow me to experiment. This really won't be a performance Stage Setting as much as a "play around with" Stage Setting that you can then solidify into different presets as you find them.
I really think that the key to pulling off a B-3 sound will be in presets because there aren't 30-some-odd drawbars on the PX-5S, for good reason! Here are some of the key notes you'll need to be aware of for this stage setting:
Drawbars: There are nine "drawbars". On the Hammond, they are organized this way: 16' 5 1/3' 8' 4' 2 2/3' 2' 1 3/5' 1 1/3' and 1'. They are on the PX-5S as follows, respectively: ModWheel, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, K1, K2.
Rotary effect: I like being able to experiment with these effects, so I moved them to K3.
K4: This controls the volume of the percussion. More on that below.
Pedal 1: This switches between 2nd percussion/slow decay and 3rd percussion/fast decay. I didn't think the 3rd harmonic sounded very nice when it suspended for too long, but you can adjust that as you like by editing the Stage Setting parameters.
Pedal 2: This turns the percussion on and off.
Percussion: I don't have a Hammond B-3 to sit next to, but I do have the internet! I found a good YouTube video in which some of the different sounds and registrations were isolated:
The way the original organs were built, percussion only happened for the first note struck in a legato passage, i.e. as long as any keys were held down, no more percussion sounded. To duplicate this effect, I created a phrase that plays one single note, and then dummy-fill (with expression controller values) to extend the phrase for awhile. Percussion will repeat if you hold down a note long enough, but at a tempo of 20, it hadn't repeated after 2 minutes of sounding a note. I think that'll do. If you want to bypass this effect and have percussion strike every note, regardless of other keys held down, simply turn off the arpeggio button. You will also need the OrganPercuss phrase file in slot 910 for this feature to work.
What's New in Version B1
- Something wasn't quite sounding right when I listened to recordings. Further research showed that the percussion isn't truly monophonic. Rather, the first keypress from all-keys-up results in an envelope being generated for the entire manual. In other words, you should be able to play chords with the percussion, after which the envelope dies off. I emulated this behavior with the Arpeggio function sending a CC:11-Expression envelope (put it in slot 150). I also realized I had to turn off key release so the actual note envelope didn't exceed the Arpeggio envelope. This is only an approximation, so if you hold down a note and let the envelope fade out, you will hear the envelope re-peak after about 7 or 8 seconds. It does the trick for my purposes. *UPDATE* It turns out that when you send just controller info, the note played is given priority, so the note sounds at full expression before being modified. I changed the envelope to be all expression=zero, and it works, without the 7-8 second recycling! Play on!
- Also, I decided the GM Thumb Piano, of all things, sounded a little more authentic than the marimba for the percussion.
- (02 May 2014: Trying to remove the other files from earlier versions. I will repost this stage setting if I can't manage to figure out how to do that.)