Since its introduction in 1955, the Hammond B3 has become the essential performance tool for the worlds great keyboard players. The instantly recognizable B3 sound is synonymous with the world of popular music, while no concert stage would seem complete without a B3´s imposing wooden cabinet.
B3 design specifications
Now, for the first time Hammond have exactly replicated the original B3 design specifications with the introduction of the New B3.
Sound generator system
The unique B3 sound is reproduced by a revolutionary newly designed sound generator system (96DigitalToneWheels™), which recreates all of those wonderful idiosyncrasies of the Tone wheel generator which have eluded all previous digital systems.
Waterfall keys & harmonic drawbars
Two, 61 note, B3 style, waterfall key, keyboards allow for the essential performance characteristics of the Hammond masters, especially effortless palm glissandos. While four complete sets of nine traditional harmonic drawbars and twenty four reverse colour key presets achieve total ease of set up.
Mechanical multi-contact system
It is by utilising several tone varying features that the B3 performs so uniquely. Upper and lower pitch foldback subtly effects the overall sound, while, probably, the most important and interesting feature is the nine key contact system operating on each key. These contacts connect from each of the nine drawbar pitches and by pressing a key slowly each pitch level can be determined, high to low. This system created the earliest form of touch response for tone variance as well as expression. This mechanical contact system is also responsible for Hammond´s famous key click noise, an unintended feature that became an essential component of the B3 character. The new B3 incorporates a complete mechanical contact system, totally unique in a modern instrument.
B3 expression curve
Sound dynamics are controlled by an exact copy of the original B3 expression curve incorporated in the new instruments foot volume controller.
The challenge for many years has been to recreate the look, sound and feel of this legendary keyboard instrument. Only Hammond has the qualifications and knowledge to accurately achieve this
Now the B3 is re- born…
Almost all comtemporary electronic musical instruments generate their sound “on the fly” : this means that wheneven a note is pressed, the computer figures out which key and sound-characteristics are needed and fetches this information out of a sample-table from the computers memory-banks.
This information is then processed to produce the actual sound. All of this happens within milli-seconds after any key is pressed.
In contrast to the above the New B-3 has an “all-note continuous” sound-generator: Inspired by the original Hammond tone-wheel generator in which 92 wheels are spinning continuously, the new generation Hammond is producing every single one of 92 sine-waves all the time…
Each of these 92 signals is mapped to the multi-contact system, which is again inspired on the original B-3 : whenever a key is pressed each of the 9 corresponding drawbar sine-waves is “un-blocked” by its individual contact…
The implications of this are staggering…
just think about it for a while…
think about the dynamics involved… instead of any note needing to be retrieved any generated after the key is pressed, the sound is actually already there, but is being detained by the key-contact, ready to spring out…
This explains the incredible dynamic sound experience that only Hammond creates… you will be impressed by the sheer massive pressure-wave that this instrument can release…
It all has to do with “continuous tone-generation ”
Another aspect is the polyphony : over are the days of 16, 32, 64, 128-note polyphonie… over are the days of “note out-phasing”… every single drawbar-note is there… all the time… that’s what we call “all-note generation“.
Only Hammond, inspired on the longest tradition of drawbar-generation, can offer you the experience and emotion of such truely “virtual tone-wheel generation”…
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