MIDI for a Hammond

Eric Barbour ebarbour at svetlana.com
Mon Jul 20 20:25:15 CEST 1998

>Is there any info on converting a Hammond tone generator organ to MIDI
>control? My main questions are: How could the fact that each key
>progressively controls up to nine voices be supported, including at least
>some aspect of the key pressure control of these voices (perhaps midi
>initial key pressure messages could control the depth to which the virtual
>'key' is pressed)? Could the 'drawbars' be supported in software somehow,
>to allow multiple user presets? 

That's a tough order. There are many MIDI-organ adapters on
the market right now, but to control a Hammond will probably require
driving the keys with solenoids. The drawbars are a BIG job
to control externally--lots of wiring to do. This is why there are
at least 3 Hammond simulators on the market (that I know of), complete with
little drawbar cabinets. They use ROM samples or DSPs to generate
the tones.

You could maybe get a PianoDisc unit and use its solenoids to
drive the keyboard from above or below. The PianoDisc was
designed to drive the far end of each key thru a slot cut in the bottom
of the piano base. (I know this because I helped design the original
PianoDisc back in 1989.) PianoDisc is at www.pianodisc.com.
It is expensive--I believe a system starts at about $5k.

This is a very long file packed with info about Hammonds:

Eric Barbour
Svetlana Electron Devices

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