... Based upon the Sound Canvas SC-55
note: this page is only interesting if you have a SC-55 connected to you Computer

Is it possible?

About the acoustic of an Hammond Organ
As you may read in the presentation of the Hammond
XB-2, it was already very difficult for the Hammond Suzuki engenieers to obtain a good digital translation to the famous Hammond B-3 groovy sound
After having discovered the power of the Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 thanks to the SCPOP and the moral support of
Raffaele , I tried to make the same job to obtain a Hammond sound.
Basically , a Hammond sound is an electronic sound , and it would have been achieved without many problems. The famous drawbars are representing the registrations as shown on the image. Those indications have been coming from the well known dimensions of the pipe in the original church organ. I play
one single note like a C4 and pull all the drowbars

C2 G3 C3 C4 G4 C5 E5 G5 C6
16" 5"1/3 8" 4" 2"2/3 2" 1"3/5 1"1/3 1"

Every drawbar does have16 different volume position , between 0 and 8 . The drawbars give the possibility to create an incredible range of sounds (253.000.000 ) , wich are most commonly raked into 4 main Family:

The Flute family

Flute is only using square notes , like 8" and 4" . It gives a peaceful .

Flute sample(in this sample I used first 8" and 4" then 2" 1" and 16")

The String family

A full sound with the most middle tones

String sample

The Diapason family


A sound based upon the lower sound.

Diapason Sample

The Reed family

A bit like the String sounds , but more middle and less extreme sounds

Reed Sample

But !!!

The sound of a Hammond like my XB-2 is not only characterised by a oscillation like the one obtained in the Sound Canvas Library by an Ocarina but also by some noises and clicks so that I had to use some less used sounds of the Sound Canvas like the F1 Key CLick and the Bottle Blow (wich already was used by Raffaelle and Filippo)


The organ has also a pescussive sound wich is similate to a very high marimba . With a played C3 , the Hammond may add a very short Marimba at C5 or G5. Together with a Ocarina , a F1 and a Bottle Blow , it gives a strange sound , wich after filtering thru CanvasMan gives a jazzy sound like in the very known tune of Jimmy Smith called The Cat . I recorded this tune in 1993 but it was then only possible to play it with the Hammond XB-2 wich is a Midi Hammond . The original sound of the Sound Canvas was too poor to give a satisfying result. Now , with the SysEx , it gives some better results for jazzy purposes.

How to build a Hammond Sound?

The major problem of the SC-55 is te voice limitation to 28 (happy users of SC-88 does not have such a limitation indeed!). If you listen to this Impossible Sample you'll clearly ear the mess when the 9 drawbars are open and you play together more than 3 sounds. You get frequent note off limitation and the result is not very nice. Due to voice limitations, I had to look for some different sounds as shown in the sound family table below.

The results are not 100 % satisfying

Honestly , I didn't really reach the perfection as Raffaelle and Filippo for the Pipe organ , or with the Harpsichord sounds. I just now have some interesting sounds wich are giving a slight impression of Hammond , specially when mixed with other instruments like Rythm or Brass section.
You'll find in the different SysEx into the Hammond Template file for Cakewalk some of the drawbars indications , but feel free to give other names like jazzy , psychedelic , fuzzy ...

The Hammond template file

After having created the sounds , I gave them to Raffaelle who made a template file to use in Cakewalk, wich contain sysex producing the following sounds:

Sound Family
Name Bank Patch Sound Explanations
16_2_1 000 080 Ocarina Dominent tones , belong clearly to the Flute family , with a Percussion. It's more for jazzy solo performances.
  127 111 Bottelblow
  016 017 60's Organ 1
  001 122 F1 Keyclick
16_5_4 000 080 Ocarina Most known sound of Child in time from Deep Purple
  127 111 Bottelblow
  000 080 Ocarina
  001 122 F1 Keyclick
165842 127 111 Bottelblow 60's sound like a light organ ("Farfisa") There is a vibrato option (second part of the sample)
  127 012 Electric Organ 4
  001 122 F1 Keyclick
  000 013 Marimba
8421_3 127 111 Bottelblow Plain sound for Rythm'n blues tunes like the Animal's
  127 009 Electric Organ 1
  000 075 Recorder
set Hammond sends the needed initialization to the Sound Canvas, like SC-55 map, voice reserve, Reverb settings etc.
v means vibrato . I added a slight vibrato wich is very common in jazz.
r means reverb. I added a slight reverb
f means flat , without Reverb or Vibrato'
TREMOLO To add a tremolo insert a controller 1 (the usual modulation wheel you have on your keyboard) full range to value 127.


click here to download

The Hammond template


The Hammond Midi Files Archive

Here you can download some midi files using the Hammond sounds. Feel free to contribute with yours compositions or performances, sending them to me or Raffaele.

Walking performed by S. Rigot
Piece for Hammond performed by F. Borsari
Round Midnight performed by S. Rigot
Georgia performed by R. Diodati
Borgan Lues performed by B. Lewis

This page has been written by Simon Rigot

Simon Rigot and his son Louis

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