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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rickenbacker and Hammond/Leslie sounds

I love Rickenbacker guitars.  They were part of the 60's rock sound (along with Hammond Organs), and that jangle and chime sound is unique to the guitar.  It's an electric semi-hollow body with single coil pickups, and it really shreds in the treble range.

I have been pretty sure for a LONG time that the opening guitar riff to this song was performed on a Rick, just by the sound.  However I only found the video today and verified it :)

The Byrds - a classic Rick band. Roger McGuinn is playing the Rickenbacker at the right. This was the first successful band to fuse folk music with rock music.

Another 1960's band.  What's that John has in his hands?  A Rickenbacker!

And now for the sound of a Hammond B3 or C3 organ, coupled with a Leslie phase shifting speaker.  Think Deep Purple, Booker T. and Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer)

First of all, the guts of the Leslie speaker:  Below is a video of someone playing an organ into a Leslie 122.  The top part of the cabinet contains a tweeter/midrange speaker and a rotating horn.  Only one side of the horn is hollow and allows sound from the tweeter to escape.  The other is a dummy and just there for rotational balance.  You get the vibrato sound as the opening moves toward you and away from you. 

The same is true of the bottom woofer, but in this case, a rotating cylinder is used, with a port cut in it.  Again, the vibrato sound is created as the opening rotates toward and away from the listener. 

The speaker has a small vacuum tube amplifier inside, and a two speed motor.  The sound is awesome!!

Next up, the Hammond B3/C3 Organ coupled to a Leslie, in the hands of a skilled musician.

These organs have a characteristic growl that is unmistakeable.  Here is Jon Lord doing "Smoke On The Water".  You can easily tell when the Hammond joins the chorus with the guitar :)  Awesome sound!  Solo starts at about 3:00.

Here is Three Dog Night performing a Hammond-y "Out in the Country"  The organ solo starts at about the 2:15 mark.

Here is another classic 60's/70s band that used a Hammond/Leslie rig.  The Greg Allman organ solo starts at 3:45, but the entire song is pretty cool, and has a lovely Hammond-filled sound, as well as that awesome dual-guitar sound that the Allman Brothers pioneered. 

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