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Recording Organ (not church)
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simonv
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#1
19th August 2005
Old 19th August 2005
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Recording Organ (not church)

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for tips on recording organs. I haven't found much on that subject.

Most of the time i just slam a 57 in front of the cone like a guitar amp, but it always ends up sounding like a toy organ. I've recorded with synth organs before, but I've never been satisfied with the sound.

**The player and instruments are good. I'm really looking for recording tips.

I'd like to achieve a pumpy, windy, 'Medesky Martin and Wood' type sound.

Any ideas?

cheers
#2
19th August 2005
Old 19th August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simvez
I'd like to achieve a pumpy, windy, 'Medesky Martin and Wood' type sound.
I don't know what kind of organ you have, but John Medeski plays a Hammond B3 with a Leslie 122. There's nothing quite like it and I still haven't heard a great simulation, though one of the Korg digitals through a real Leslie isn't too bad. Either way, without a B3, C3 or similar piece connected to a Leslie you'll never get that close.

I'll stick three mics on a Leslie cab, a pair on the top rotor and one on the bottom. Move to taste, sum to stereo, add a pinch of compression and call the rest is up to the player. Well, I do put high & low pass filters on each set of rotors to keep the extra noise to a minimum and gain some headroom. But then it's all up to the player!
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#3
20th August 2005
Old 20th August 2005
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If you don't need it 100 per cent and just want a really good organ sound, use the Dynacord CLS-22 leslie simulator.
Even my shabby Orla DE-49 flute expander sounds quite good through it.
But that is maybe too "home recording" for your purposes...

BTW, after just having read this forum for some time, this is my first post.
Hi there!
#4
21st August 2005
Old 21st August 2005
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Jay is right. Assuming you want a Hammond sound, you need a Hammond and a Leslie. There aren't any emulators that do that sound well. There's so much going on with that sound that no one can do it justice. You don't have to have a B3 or C3 though. An A100 is the exact same guts as the B3 and C3, it just has internal speakers as well. Hook an A100 up to a Leslie and turn off the internal speakers in the organ and you literally have the exact sound for a couple thousand less. A lot of great organ players have used the M3 (Booker T & MGs - Green Onions) or an M100 (Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Jon Lord of Deep Purple - Hush). If you can't drop the money for a B3, C3, or A100, the M3 or M100 are good alternatives that do their own thing and have created their own little place in the Hammond sound. No matter which one you use, you have to get a Leslie with it too. It's just as much a part of the sound as the organ itself.

As far as micing them, what jay suggested is cool. I also like a spaced pair in omni. You need to be in a good sounding room for that though.
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21st August 2005
Old 21st August 2005
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Hammonds are like guitars, they don't sound the same. The A100 is in basic the same organ as the B3/C3, but it sounds different.

The H100 also has the same tonewheel generator and it can sound very good. The L100(P) can sound very good too, but this is a small organ.

All Hammonds have their own sound. But there's nothing better than a really good B3 with a Leslie 122.

As for recording the beast: in a band at once situation use the placement which Jay describes, in an overdub situation an ORTF pair will even sound better.
#6
21st August 2005
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simvez, we don't know anything about the level of perfection you want to achieve, and we don't know how prominent the organ will be in your recording. I wouldn't record Barbara Dennerlein with a CLS-22, but for an organ player in a rock band a Hammond or a Hammond clone through that thing can be a very good solution imho. A good Hammond is a good Hammond, of course. But it's not the only great-sounding organ.

There is a way of hot-rodding the Hammond T-series organs, which you can buy for small money.

http://www.keyboardpartner.de/hammon...ifications.htm

It is a guy named Carsten Meyer in Germany. You can buy the needed parts from him and have them installed by a technician of your choice. Mr. Meyer himself did that to my T-200, and it sounds like, well, not like a C-3, but like a rock organ!

I hope my tips are not too "Low End Theory"...
#7
22nd August 2005
Old 22nd August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han
Hammonds are like guitars, they don't sound the same. The A100 is in basic the same organ as the B3/C3, but it sounds different.
There is absolutely zero difference in components between an A100, B3, and C3 other than the added internal speakers in an A100. If you had all 3 organs produced in the same year, each with tubes that were the same age and power ratings, in the same room, with the same drawbar settings, hooked up to the same Leslie, there would be no difference. Obviously that's in an ideal world. The bottom line is...the guts of those 3 are the exact same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Han
But there's nothing better than a really good B3 with a Leslie 122.
That's just a myth that people seling their B3s want you to believe.
#8
22nd August 2005
Old 22nd August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han
there's nothing better than a really good B3 with a Leslie 122.
A good B3 with TWO 122s is pretty freaking ridiculous.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
#9
22nd August 2005
Old 22nd August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecastr


That's just a myth that people seling their B3s want you to believe.
B-3s themselves all can sound significantly different from each other. I own a late model B-3 that was sounding really honkey and brash so i had the local Los Angeles wizard redo it. It came back sounding clean and sterile and totally lacking in soul, albeit the "honk" was gone. Mike Fuller laid some cool vintage tubes on me for the Leslie and the all the soul came back.

-R
#10
22nd August 2005
Old 22nd August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
B-3s themselves all can sound significantly different from each other. I own a late model B-3 that was sounding really honkey and brash so i had the local Los Angeles wizard redo it. It came back sounding clean and sterile and totally lacking in soul, albeit the "honk" was gone. Mike Fuller laid some cool vintage tubes on me for the Leslie and the all the soul came back.

-R
Of course, they will sound different from year to year. Everything does. My point was that people who think you've got to have a B3 are just uneducated. If they actually did some research, they would know that component-wise there are 2 other identical organs that sell for much less than a "B3".
#11
23rd August 2005
Old 23rd August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgarges
A good B3 with TWO 122s is pretty freaking ridiculous.
No doubt.

Ridiculous volume, weight, tone and overall coolness.

Reminds me of a Meters gig from long ago...
#12
25th August 2005
Old 25th August 2005
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So lets assume we have a hammond and leslie.

What do you guys grab for when micing?

For the top, condensor vs dynamic? (km184 vs 421's)

Bottom, LDC or SDC (U87) ?

I've done the 184's and been happy and of course 57's for a live show. I've been itching to try 421's but don't always have access to the organ rigs. Any experiences? Other choices?

Any bottom mic placement tips? Everyones micing the open end or does anyone actually use those vents?
#13
25th August 2005
Old 25th August 2005
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Try this out...

Pair of 421s on the top rotor, M88 on the bottom rotor, LDC in omni mode right on top of the Leslie. Mix to taste.

Jim
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25th August 2005
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I want an M88 but don't have one now. Do they still make those or what? Anyone got on to part with?

When you say right one top with LDC, any other way to state placement? I'm not sure what you mean. In front balenced height a few feet back?
#15
25th August 2005
Old 25th August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleantone
I want an M88 but don't have one now. Do they still make those or what? Anyone got on to part with?

When you say right one top with LDC, any other way to state placement? I'm not sure what you mean. In front balenced height a few feet back?
Sorry if I was unclear. Imagine a desk mic stand sitting right on top of the Leslie. Obviously you'll want to isolate the mic, so I usually use a boom with a shock mount and position the mic on top of the Leslie as if it was sitting on a stand smack in the middle of the top of the Leslie.

This is a technique a good friend of mine showed me several years ago and I've used it for every session since.

Jim
#16
26th August 2005
Old 26th August 2005
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Jim,

I'm intrigued. Right in the center of the top of the cabinet. Where are you aiming the diaphram? I guess I'll have to stick my head there and see what it sounds like.
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26th August 2005
Old 26th August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleantone
Jim,

I'm intrigued. Right in the center of the top of the cabinet. Where are you aiming the diaphram? I guess I'll have to stick my head there and see what it sounds like.
Cleantone - Yes, right on top of the cabinet. The LDC will be in omni mode, so it should be picking up sound equally regardless of which way the diaphragm is positioned.

J
#18
26th August 2005
Old 26th August 2005
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Oh yeah, you said omni. Crazy. I'll have to try it. Thanks.
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