2.1. Background

The Hammond B3 is an electronic drawbar organ. This means that you push or pull several bars that control which harmonics are played when you hit the keys, so you can make different sounds by changing the configuration of the bars. Each key on the B3 can have a maximum of 9 harmonics, each with a different volume. These 9 are found on the S80 between elements #079-087, starting with the name “D16” going all the way up to “D1”.

When people talk about Hammond drawbar registrations, or configurations of how far the drawbars are pulled out, they may use something like this: 88 8000 000. These indicate how far the drawbars are to be pulled; in that configuration, one pulls out the first three drawbars (16, 5 1/3, 8) all the way, as the maximum volume on a Hammond is 8, and the other six are left alone or fully pushed in.

2.1.1. Strategy

Our strategy for creating the sound will be as follows. The S80 comes with pre-sampled waveforms of the Hammond's different harmonics, the 16, 5 1/3, 8, and others mentioned above. We can make an element of a voice be one of these waveforms. A voice has a maximum of four elements, so we cannot fit all of the nine drawbars' harmonics in a single voice. However, we can layer two voices together in a performance to get more available elements — two voices for eight elements, three voices for 12 elements, and so on.

The particular drawbar registration that we will create in this chapter uses 6 harmonics plus one extra waveform to round out the sound, so we need 7 elements. This means we can fit everything in two voices, one with four elements and another one with three. We will finally layer the two voices together in a performance so that they sound simultaneously when we play.