Vibrato and Chorus – One of the most distinctive parts of the Hammond sound is the shimmering “Chorus Vibrato”. It adds a silken quality to the sound by adding a second, slightly detuned pitch to the original in the Chorus Mode, and repeat-modulating the pitch slightly in Vibrato mode. Few musicians realize the Chorus effect pedal widely used for Guitars and Electric Pianos had its genesis as a component of the Hammond Organ. Mr. Hammond’s original design used an electromechanical apparatus that looked much like the distributors you would find in the automobiles of the day, and ran off the same synchronous motor that powered the Tonewheel Generator. The Sk’s Chorus-Vibrato is executed in the Digital Realm, without moving parts, and works under the same model. The classic V1/V2/V3/C1/C2/C3 controls are familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond. As with the Tonewheel Generator, Digital control allows a wide range of adjustment that was simply not possible on the original. As the Antique organs aged, the components acquired their own unique qualities. Digital control allows the user to shape the Chorus/Vibrato’s various facets, with the added ability to “age” the effect-with the resulting treble emphasis and subtle distortion that marks the organs that develop this patina as “sweeter” than others.
Touch-Response Percussion – 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.
Key Click – 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.