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by Alberto Marsico

Let's talk about something really very important to me: the presets.

Every Hammond organ player must know a certain amount of "classic" presets made famous by the most important stylists of this instrument.
But after you learn these presets made famous by people like Jimmy Smith, Brian Auger, Jack Mc Duff, Larry Goldings and so on you shouldn't stop your "timbric research".

It is important to continuously experiment new solutions: the same preset may sound different depending on the kind of stage the organ and the Leslie are set on (if it is a wooden stage the bass frequencies can be too loud), on the walls of the hall (if there are tints or carpets you should add some high frequencies to reach the right brilliance to be heard by the audience)...

ll these things cannot be done neither with your Leslie, because it doesn't have tone controls, nor with PA systems (you can't usually rely on club PA systems...) .
The only thing you can do is to use what you have under your hands: a Hammond organ with 9 drawbars , vibrato and percussion controls.

Here are some examples...

If you want to have less bass frequencies you can turn down the level of your first drawbar (for example, instead of using 888000000 try to use 778000000).

f you need to be heard with a more definite sound you can add a little "whistle" pulling out the last drawbar (for example, 888000002). But if your percussion control is ON the last drawbar doesn't work, so you should turn the percussion OFF and pull out the 5th drawbar to reach almost the same effect (88803002)...

Always remember that vibrato C3 adds sharpness to all your presets...

These are only little hints to adjust your Hammond's sound without any technological trick or EQing.
A lot of musicians don't know all the possibilities this instrument offers: laziness makes them use a lot of digital tricks to adjust their sound without inspecting the multi-faceted aspects of this incredible instruments.

Anyway, here are some "presets"...

You can understand how each preset sounds like listening to the MP3 I recorded with my A-100 and my Leslie 122.

I disconnected two of the four electrical sockets (except for the first two presets) to have the two rotors in STOP position when the Leslie selector is set on SLOW. This is something Jim Pugh (Robert Cray's keyboard player) told me in a recording studio.

As you'll notice (preset #3 and #4), there is a bigger difference in power passing from STOP to FAST than from SLOW to FAST.

888000000 percussion 3rd - vibrato C3 - Leslie SLOW
The typical preset for jazz and blues...

888800000 percussion 3rd - vibrato C3 - Leslie FAST/SLOW
The same kind of preset but useful when you need more "loudness"

888888888 no percussion - vibrato C3 - Leslie STOP/FAST
Full organ. You can use it to play solos in "block chords" style or more simply to be heard playing with loud guitarists...

808808008 no percussion - vibrato off - Leslie STOP/FAST
Classic "gospel" preset. Very treblish - be careful with the last drawbar

800008880 percussion 3rd - vibrato V3 - Leslie FAST
"Erroll Garner" preset, used by Jimmy Smith to play "block chords" solos with the typical rubato style made famous by the great pianist

888805000 percussion 2nd volume normal - vibrato C3 - Leslie STOP
I personally saw this drawbar setting on a Hammond organ Brian Auger used. He didn't use a Leslie,because he'd rather use guitar or bass amplifier to have a more "direct" sound, but this preset also sounds great if you use a Leslie which is set on the STOP position.

808000000 no percussion - vibrato off - Leslie STOP
Melvin Rhyne used this preset when he recorded with Wes Montgomery adapting the sound of his Hammond to the mellow style of the great guitar player

006876400 no percussion - vibrato off - Leslie STOP
Ray Charles used this preset in the late fifties. This is the same preset you can obtain if you press the G# key at the right of the upper keyboard on your 5 octaves organ. This is a very treblish preset, you should play on the lower part of the keyboard

008000000 no percussion - vibrato C3 - Leslie FAST
This is a fast "glissato" effect. Billy Preston docet.

PRESET 10 ()
000000000 percussion 2nd /volume normal decay long - vibrato C3 - Leslie STOP
One of Jack Mc Duff's favorites.

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Inserited on 14/1/2009 at 18.02.00 by "pedromilman"
Alberto you rock! Thanks for sharing!!!

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Last Modified Date: 14/02/2002

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