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Which keyboards typified the Sixties?
Old 7th September 2006
  #1
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Which keyboards typified the Sixties?

Can anyone shed any light on the classic keyboards of the Sixties? I'm particularly interested in classic Sixties organ sounds; as an example, can anyone tell me which organs were used on "I'm a Believer" (Monkees), "Twentieth Century Fox" & "Light My Fire" from the Doors first album, etc.

The organ sound I'm after may have also featured in an early single (1990s) by Smashmouth, song title unknown.

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Old 7th September 2006
  #2
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Hammond B3?
Old 7th September 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubthumper View Post
Can anyone shed any light on the classic keyboards of the Sixties? I'm particularly interested in classic Sixties organ sounds; as an example, can anyone tell me which organs were used on "I'm a Believer" (Monkees), "Twentieth Century Fox" & "Light My Fire" from the Doors first album, etc.

The organ sound I'm after may have also featured in an early single (1990s) by Smashmouth, song title unknown.

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VOX or Farfisa I believe.
Old 7th September 2006
  #4
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Jamz's Avatar
Vox Continental
Fender piano bass
Farfisa
Wurlitzer
Mellotron
Hohner Pianet
Hammond B3, C3, M100
RMI rock-si-chord
Old 7th September 2006
  #5
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The Vox Continental was one of the key sounds that the doors used and it also has a Monkees-touch as well, tough I don't know right now if that's what was used on "I'm a Believer".
Old 7th September 2006
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An organ sold under the Gibson name is often mentioned in conjunction with the Doors. There were a bunch of Italian made electronic organs that played in the Vox/Farfisa arena.
Old 7th September 2006
  #7
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I think some keyboardist played a piano.....

BP
Old 7th September 2006
  #8
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i've also seen some video's with 60's liveshows where they used Elka organs (maybe the italian organs someone mentioned, cause they're italian), and wurlitzer electric piano's
Old 7th September 2006
  #9
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those wurlitzer electric pianos pretty much define the 60's for me. what a great sound.
Old 7th September 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vixapphire View Post
those wurlitzer electric pianos pretty much define the 60's for me. what a great sound.
Wurlitzer=60s
Rhodes = 70s
DX7 = 80s

Can you say "devolution"?
Old 7th September 2006
  #11
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B3, Farfisa, and um....
THE FENDER RHODES!!!!
Old 8th September 2006
  #12
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Vox. . I think Ray Manzarek used the Rhodes piano bass. . . but that's probably unique to the Doors. . . and I guess this is not really a keyboard sound. But vox was one of them used then. . .
Old 8th September 2006
  #13
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The Gibson organ referred to earlier is the Gibson G-201...there was also a G-101. I believe Ray (the Doors) switched to the G-201 (from the Vox Continental) sometime after the first few albums...maybe only for live performances? I'm pretty sure Light My Fire was the Vox.

For me, combo organs (vox, farfisa, g201, many many italian brands, acetone, etc) are the definitive 60's organ sound, but of course Hammonds were happening too (B3, C3). The website Combo-Organ Heaven has loads of great info and pics.

Wurly, Rock-si-chord, Mellotron....also key elements.

And yes, lots of piano....sometimes 'tacked' for that wonky western saloon sound.

What about Harpsichord?
Old 8th September 2006
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
VOX or Farfisa I believe.
Yes, they have that sound.
Old 8th September 2006
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I've read that the I'm A Believer riff was a played by an organ and electric piano at the same time - probably a Vox Continental and Hohner Pianet
Old 8th September 2006
  #16
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philips philicorda ;-)
Old 8th September 2006
  #17
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In the 60's I played a Vox Continental. Most of my friends in garage bands had the Farfisa Compact. But I think the Vox saw more play in the big leagues, with people like the Animals, Paul Revere and the Raiders (still love those records), the Doors, etc.

Of course, soul music featured the Wurly and B-3.

-R
Old 9th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
In the 60's I played a Vox Continental. Most of my friends in garage bands had the Farfisa Compact. But I think the Vox saw more play in the big leagues, with people like the Animals, Paul Revere and the Raiders (still love those records), the Doors, etc.

Of course, soul music featured the Wurly and B-3.
Much of the Animals stuff may also have been a Hammond M-100. That's credited as the sound on the original House Of The Rising Sun recording.
Old 7th June 2013
  #19
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Not the only Vox

Yes, Manzerek used a Vox Continental, and The Beatles before them. Many 60s groups used the Vox Jaguar, as well as the Hammond B-3. But also The Band made use of a Clavinet through a wah wah. Though that's more of a 70s sound.
Old 7th June 2013
  #20
Registered User
The sounds the OP are referencing are definately NOT Hammond. They are very much transistor organs, which were the new cool thing in the 60's. I love Hammonds, but tonewheel organs cover a much wider range of decades and don't scream "60s" as loudly as a transistor organ. Vox Continental was the classic transistor organ.

The total sound can't really be replicated with samplers or synths, because they depend on 12 free running square wave oscillators, and the lower octaves are generated with flip/flop transistor switches. These circuits give you one square wave pulse for every two incoming pulses. So they divid the square wave frequencies in half, giving the octaves.

This ensures that all octaves are perfectly in phase with each other. If you just sample the waves and trigger them with notes, there is a random chance that the octaves will sum or cancel, or comb filter in between. Yucky, random, unsatisfying to play full chords on. But for simple parts you can get away with samples.

These transistor organs had the same cutting laser-like purity of a tone-wheel organ, but with a much raspy-er tone, which was filtered down to make the flute tones etc.

There are some hardware clone-wheel type organs (Nord Elecro etc) that can model some of these organs very well. They model the free-running synchronised oscillator feature that really makes them work.

The real things have problems with drifting oscillator pitch and bad switches etc. Not sure I would ever buy one again. I love the sound, but I think decent modelling is the answer. Hope more developers nail these types of instrument.
Old 7th June 2013
  #21
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Speaking of The Band, Music from Big Pink would not have been the revelation it was if not for Garth Hudson's wizardry on the Lowrey organ, which under his hands sounds like about a half-dozen different instruments. And there's a classic Wurly sound on "Long Black Veil," as well.
Old 7th June 2013
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Yeah Vox Continental or Farfisa. I have a Farfisa Compact Mini just now and my last band had a Continental. I'm told by my tech that the Vox's are way easier to fix if that's worth anything. The Farfisas are cheaper to buy though you may need to get em serviced sooner.
Old 7th June 2013
  #23
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There were many Farfisas. The Farfisa Compact is the 60s sound.

And to be specific, the Mellotron II is the sound of the 60s, not the Mellotron 400 or other derivatives.
Old 7th June 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC View Post
There were many Farfisas. The Farfisa Compact is the 60s sound.
Yeah the Compact and Compact Mini I'd say. Compact mini was and is far more common. You can get one for about $300 - $500.
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