Those of us that remember programming synthesizers in the ‘80s will recall that many times we had to layer (usually through MIDI) different sounds to achieve the result we we after. Different approaches to sound synthesis led to different results. Combinations of FM, additive, subtractive, PCM, physical modeling, and other methods each had their own strengths. The end result was nearly always bigger than the individual parts. Then synth manufacturers began to incorporate different methods into one machine. Imagine now the delight of having the glorious sound of the Hammond organ, complete with a pallet of different sounds, and the ability to layer any of these textures in a single performance – all in one keyboard. Take a standard blues organ and add the thud of a marimba instead of percussion. Select sweet strings and layer on a tingly bell for authentic Motown hooks. Split the keyboard with upright bass and vibes. In real time start with a solo acoustic piano patch and, with the push of a button, add a soft pad on the second chorus to subtly let your tune build. Although this is a powerhouse in the studio, let me speak about where I use this new find of mine almost daily. When not touring I have a successful solo act that does about 250 dates a year. A tight package and efficient stage setup are a must. The SKX-Pro-Dual allows me to bring one keyboard and cover all the sounds I need to do my gig. I can still have the luxury of a keyboard for each hand or a proper two manual Hammond that allows for the bass to be mapped onto the bottom keyboard. Layers, splits, and great pianos, electric pianos, strings, brass, pitched percussion, sound effects, guitars, and other non-organ sounds (including a monophonic synthesizer with real time controls) perfectly complement the wonderful Hammond sound. Virtually everything can be tweaked, down to a mic placement on your choice of a number of Leslie rotating cabinets. 2 effect plugins, a separate amp plugin, and distortion make this Hammond a sound designer’s dream. MIDI ins and outs still make this compatible with any of your old favorites as well. And thank you, Hammond team; the pitch and mod wheels are back.
Don’t settle for stock sounds – make them YOUR sounds. Have them available on the fly. Separate outs and realtime controls make this a performer’s keyboard. I could have any keyboard I want. This is what I choose – The Hammond SKX-Pro.