Hammond SK1-73 Portable Organ
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The 61-note keyboard became the de facto standard for electric keyboards through its use on the first widely available electric keyboard instrument, the HAMMOND ORGAN, but the demands on today’s players require a greater scope. A keyboardist today may jump from B-3 to Electric Piano to Clav in the same song, and if based in the Piano tradition, may find a 61 note keyboard limiting.
The Sk1-73′s 73 note Fatar keyboard provides the proper “breathing room” for a modern keyboardist, while retaining the superior feel, light weight and small footprint of the 61-note model. It is also the perfect ax for singer-songwriters and accompanists of all genres, due to its ability in shifting the keyboard response automatically between piano and organ-type “feels”.
Mr. Hammond used the Pipe Organ Design concept of "Unification" in creating the iconic Drawbars of his Electronic Organ. This concept allowed one or more keyboards to control the pitches of many pipes within one set or "rank" of pipes. Adopting the harmonic standards and nomenclature of the Pipe Organ, Mr. Hammond's design assured that any organist would be able to play his instrument without a steep learning curve. Unlike the Pipe Organ, Mr Hammond's design allowed variable volumes of each Harmonic represented by each drawbar.
This variation gave the musician millions of combinations of harmonics, and assured that every Hammond player would be able to summon a unique voice. An extra level to the expression a Hammond Organist had at their fingertips was added because the Drawbars could be manipulated in real time. The Sk Series features real drawbars in the size, shape and configuration of Vintage Hammonds. The Drawbars also serve the Combo and Pipe Organ divisions, but with a slightly different function.
The chief feature of the Hammond B-3 upon its release in 1955 was the inclusion of Touch-Response Percussion™ (Perc). This effect added a high "attack" to the Organ tone at either the octave or the twelfth, with a fast note decay. This sound was reminiscent of an xylophone or clave, and became immensely popular, immediately. Perc gave the Organ a bright highlight, and every generation of music has embraced this sound. Controls for the Perc have the classic nomenclature, familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond.
On the Sk series, Perc is executed in the Digital realm, allowing a wide range of controls the organists back in the day did not possess. The 1' drawbar muting, characteristic of the Vintage Organs can be defeated, as can the drop in Drawbar volume level that accompanied the engaging of the Percussion voice. You can control the volumes and decay times as well.
In order that every key (and pedal) of the Laurens Hammond's Organ could access every Tonewheel as predicated by the Drawbar settings, an electro-mechanical apparatus lurked behind the keyboards, with 9 contacts corresponding to each drawbar for that keyboard and a series of contacts attached to each key. As a key was depressed, the contacts sequentially touched, and the circuits were completed to produce the Organ tone that was registered by the Drawbars. The very nature of Electric circuitry dictated a click could be heard at the top of each note played when the current-carrying key contacts touched.
Laurens Hammond considered that click to be a nuisance, and worked to no avail in order to rid his organ of that imperfection. The jazz players who embraced the Hammond Organ, however, found the click to be a percussive highlight, and wanted nothing to do with its eradication. To make matters worse, as the Vintage Hammonds aged, the click became more pronounced, and by the Rock and Roll era, the Key Click assumed a role of importance that Laurens Hammond could never imagine. The Sk series allows you to adjust the intensity of the key ON click, and the key OFF click. The timbre of the click may also be adjusted. Mr. Hammond would have greatly approved of the Sk, as you can turn the click all the way off if you desire, creating a Vintage Hammond Organ that could not exist in the physical world.
The Sk series has 100 Factory ROM Presets and 100 User-adjustable Presets. A Manual button on the control panel renders the entire control panel current. The ten buttons in the center of the control panel are assignable to any of the 200 presets for instant recall of your favorites. The same panel may be switched to a numeric input pad for direct selection of presets. The entire Sk setup may be saved to a common USB "Thumb Drive" for backup or restoration.
Up to three external MIDI zones may be controlled by the Sk, with all settings saved as a preset. You can play these external zones with or without the Sk voices sounding.
The Sk has an onboard Music Player that reads Mp3 or .WAV files stored on an attached USB "Thumb Drive", and plays the audio signal along with the SK's output through the Stereo ¼" outputs. A discrete volume control for the player and start/pause controls are located next to the Master Volume control. There is a system-wide reverb available, also a system-wide Equalizer. The Reverb parameters are saved within each preset, but the system-wide EQ is independent of the Presets, its settings remain unchanged regardless of Preset choice. System Upgrades are issued through this Website, and are installed via a USB "Thumb Drive".
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SK1-73 Portable Organ