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Barrie's Blog July 2009

Barrie’s Blog
July 2009

2009 marks the 5th year of the new Hammond UK and of course it also celebrates the 75th year of the Hammond Organ.
Having been personally involved with the Hammond business for over 40 years it continues to amaze me how this fundamental ‘pipe organ substitute’ invention, has stood the test of time and continues, almost in it’s original style, to form the basis of most of the musical genres we hear today.
The’ New Generation’ Hammond instruments are a tribute to the dedication of the Suzuki Development team in Japan, who have worked tirelessly and with a focused dedication for over 20 years to ‘get it right’ and without doubt they have certainly achieved that.
We are now seeing the introduction of a second wave of these instruments, due mainly to the changes in EU design regulations especially in the lead content ‘RoHS’ Regulations. This has meant the need to virtually re design the complete range with the discontinuation of some lines and the improvement of others. Fortunately this procedure is now finished and our product range is again complete, from the iconic ‘new B3’ through the amazing XK3c and associated system, to the Xk1 and XM2 module. Also on the Leslie Speaker front we now have the full line available from the compact 2101 the incredible 3300 to the vintage 122.
The success of the range has been underwritten by the increasing endorsement of the highest profile of professional performers. We have been privileged to work with some of the UK’s leading artists and bands eager to include new generation Hammond instruments in their line up.

My greatest pleasure has come from the increasing amount of home players who are returning to their 60s roots and enjoying Hammond performance as a major hobby.
Also from our extensive promotional activities of regional workshops and master classes we see a major increase of interest in Hammond Playing from a much younger customer age group.

It has been obvious, and coincidentally one of my personal interests, that a sharing of knowledge through some form of education program has become an essential part of our marketing program. Malc has worked tirelessly on this front and not only helping with product development and producing and managing all our i.t activity, he has been instrumental in our education program by fronting the Hammond Player activity. The Hammond Player DVD is now up for its first reprint having been distributed all over the world and has become the major resource for budding Hammond performers.

Hammond Lab

We now are embarking on a totally new program of education, product demonstration, and personal performance development, with the launch of the very first Hammond Laboratory. Or ‘Ham Lab’
This project is being pioneered buy Malc at Hammond Centre UK and opens later this month. I am confident this operation will develop with a number of Ham Labs opening up across the country to provide a specialist centre to help novice keyboardists become complete Hammond Players.

Our recent new retail strategy has resulted in an updated countrywide family of UK Hammond stockists who have been personally selected to offer the highest level of support to regional Hammond customers. You can find your nearest outlet and their current stock availability on the web site under UK Stockists. We will endeavour to profile each of these companies in more detail on the site.

Despite the current economic climate Hammond is currently doing very well, with sales across Europe developing nicely, unlike many other keyboard brands.
I am convinced we are only just touching on the true potential of Hammond sales in the UK and even in these difficult times we will enjoy a successful year


BBC Radio 2's 'The Organist Entertains' celebrates its 40th Aniversary with the New Hammond B-3 Ultimo

BBC Radio 2 The Organist Entertains
As part of the Hammond 75th anniversary and BBC Radio 2's 40th anniversary of the Organist Entertains Hammond Organ UK were proud to supply a Hammond B3 Ultimo and Leslie cabinets 122 and 3300 for the live celebration concert recorded in Blackpool at the Tower Ballroom May 2009.

In a special hour long programme on Tuesday 23rd June 2200-2300, The Organist Entertains celebrates four decades of organ music from around the world with a special concert recorded last month at the legendary Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The concert features performances from presenter, Nigel Ogden, and Phil Kelsall, currently resident Blackpool Tower organist, as well as the contrasting sounds of the Howard Beaumont Trio with Howard at the keys of the Hammond B3 Ultimo organ in its first major public appearance in the UK.

click here for the Radio 2 Web Site featuring the Recording

Hammond B-3 Ultimo with matching Leslie 122 and Leslie 3300 ready for the live recording in the Tower Ballroom Blackpool.
Pictured left to right: Hammond Organ UK's Barrie Freeman with Jazz Organist Howard Beaumont and BBC Radio 2 Presenter and Organist Nigel Ogden

Ultimo on stage ready for the afternoon sound check and rehearsal

You can see, hear and try the incredible Hammond B-3 Ultimo at Promenade Music in Morecombe Lancs
Just call 01524 410202 and ask for David or Steve

Malc's XK-1 and XK-3c demo tweaks

From recent questions asked at the shows about how I set up the XK-3 and XK-1 for the demo, here are a few basic tweaks I perform ....

Percussion: Press and hold the percussion switch which will take you to the main edit screen for the percussion. Leave the normal value at 12 but reduce the soft to 1. This will give a very soft but still prominent percussion on the drawbar setting used. Remember that the percussion only triggers on a full note on / note off keystroke i.e. holding a note down and pressing any other keys will not sound the percussion. This is one of the most useful features of hammond Organs that allows you to add expression and accents into your chops and licks.

Vibrato: This is very personal choice but I like to use C3 vib on quite a slow cycle. Press and hold the vibrato button, now take the setting down to 6.10. The result is a slower 'pulse' which I like particularly on slower bluesy numbers on slow Leslie.

Key click: go to Menu then Drawbar then I usually set to B type 1 - Key Click 8 or 9 but try turning the LPF down to around 95 - 100. This takes the edge off the click without reducing its effect in the mix. Also while we are in this menu DO NOT DISMISS the 'mellow' tonewheel setting ! Many think this is the 'cheesy' setting but in actual fact it is a very fact wholesome, fat sound that is great for ballads and blues.

Overdrive: Press and hold the Tube button. Now try various settings for the valve pre amp. I use S UX quite allot which is only utilising one of the valves the 'AU-7' (I think it is a little smoother then the AX-7) Now page up and change the X over to 800 and hear the difference across the keyboard range.

Deeper Left Hand Bass: In the menu, go to Drawbar and page across until you get to the fold-back parameter. It will most likely be set to 'C2' Wind it down to 'C1' and now the 16' drawbar will sound a full octave below note 'C2' instead of playing or folding back to the octave above pitch whilst playing the first octave. Great for deep grooving bass lines ! For a lot of my pre-sets. I set it to 'F1' which still gives the octave up flick effect when playing bottom C to E. Play around with it and you will see what I mean

Internal Leslie: Well I could spend ages here but a basic tweak is to set the fast speed on the horn a little faster than the bass rotor say 383 for the horn and 375 for the bass and the same for slow speeds, say 33 on the bass and a little faster on the horn. This will increase the doppler / spacial effect of the Leslie effect.

I will get a camera on the XK-3c / XK-1 screen ASAP and produce a video podcast taking you through these tweaks and much more.

Don't forget all these settings are remembered in your programs so you can have a mixture of various textures and feels to suit all styles from Theater to Heavy Rock at the touch of a button. !!

PS >>> it would be good to know how many of you rely on and use the RSS feed to keep up to date with our news and how many still prefer the mail-shot newsletter ?
Drop us a line with the subject Mail or RSS if you get a few spare moments:

More soon ..... Malc

May 2009 Shows in East Kilbride 5th - Wakefield 7th - Runcorn 9th

Many thanks to all that attended the Southampton Roadshow on the 25th April. Great to see everyone as usual and hope you enjoyed.

The new B-3 style Wooden Stand and bench was very well received as was the new 2101 mk2 Leslie.

Try and get along to one of the shows in your area over the next couple of weeks to see and try for yourself. It would be great to see you.

We are now preparing for the Isle of Bute Jazz and R&B festival on the 2nd and 3rd May and very much looking forward to this event.

We will try and get some media (video / pics etc) up each evening from the show so watch the news blog for new articles over the bank holiday weekend.

After the Isle of Bute jazz Festival we will be moving on to East Kilbride, Wakefield and Runcorn with the Spring Roadshow

See the NEW 2101 mk2 Leslie and the much awaited B-3 Style wooden stand and bench for the Pro XK System

There will be opportunities to hear and try for yourself the
XK-3C, Pro XK System with the new B-3 style wooden stand and bench, XK1 and the new 2101 mk2 + Leslie 3300 cabinet. + live 'Be a Hammond Player Sessions' with Malc - Hammond Player DVD and some basic technique workshops.

Please come along and have a chat with Barrie and Malc and find out just how good the New Hammond Organ Range Really is for yourself

Please note that the East Kilbride and Wakefield events will finish at 8pm and not 9pm as previously published.

We will as normal have the large screen video system for all the clinics and workshops with cameras on the organs so you can see exactly what is happening

Hope to see you at one of the venues soon.
Hammond Organ UK Team

PS >>> it would be good to know how many of you rely on and use the RSS feed to keep up to date with our news and how many still prefer / use the email-shot newsletter ?Drop us a line with the subject Mail or RSS if you get a few spare moments:

Details of the venues below
Click the hotel links for directions

East Kilbride
Scotland Tuesday 5th May 09 10am - 8pm

Holiday Inn
Hotel Front Desk:01355-236300

Wakefield Yorks Thursday 7th May 09 10am - 8pm
Holiday Inn
Hotel Front Desk:0870-4009082

Runcorn Cheshire Saturday 9th May 10am - 4pm
Holiday Inn
Hotel Front Desk: 0870-4009070

Spring news - Roadshows: New Dates Added other news..


Hello and welcome to the email bulletin and our quarterly PDF news sheet.
The Spring 09 edition you can download here:

The main headlines are listed below

The long awaited New 2101- mk 2 Leslie Speakers plus the B-3 styled wooden stands and benches for the Pro XK system are now available in the UK See and try them at the shows listed below. + see the Hammond 44 electric / acoustic Melodion

3 new dates added to the Spring Roadshow tour - East Kilbride 5th May 09 10am - 9pm - Wakefield 7th May 09 10am - 9pm - Runcorn 9th May 10am - 4pm we will publish the full details on the news blog UK Road Shows, section after the Southampton show

The web site is now available from its regular home instead of the 2009preview BETA site address

This weekend Sat 25th April 09 we are at the Holiday Inn Eastiegh , Southampton, Hants. Full venue details, maps etc for Southampton are here

Be the first to see the new 2101 mk2 Leslie and B-3 style wooden Pro XK system stand and bench.
You can also see and try the Hammond XK-3c - XK-1 Leslie 3300 and various bass pedal options.

As always, Barrie and Malc will be around to answer any questions and give advice on anything to do with Hammond and Leslie products.
Take this opportunity to also attend a free Hammond Player Clinics with Malc and also there will be opportunities for short 1 to 1 sessions if you have any specific Hammond style or technique questions.

We aim to start around 10am and finish around 4pm so try and get down for an hour or two.
It is always good fun, intuitive and best of all its 100% free.

Isle of Bute Jazz and R&B Festival Bank Holiday Weekend 2nd - 3rd May 09
Full venue details, maps etc for The Isle of Bute are here

We are heading north for Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd May 09 to take part in the Isle of Bute Jazz and R&B Festival
Our sessions will be held in the Rothesay Pavilion Lesser Hall - 45 Argyle Street - Rothesay - Isle of Bute - Tel:01700 504250

We have got two formal Hammond Player Clinics / Workshops planed for Sat and Sunday and for the rest of the time you are invited to come along and try all the Hammond and Leslie range for yourself -lots of informal Jams, etc.
Barrie and Malc will be around to answer any questions and give advice on anything to do with Hammond and Leslie products.

Take this opportunity to also attend a free Hammond Player Clinics with Malc and also there will be opportunities for short 1 to 1 sessions if you have any specific Hammond style or technique questions.

Be A Hammond Player Clinics Free Entrance
12.30 - 2.30pm - Pavilion Lesser Hall - HAMMOND Organ Clinic - free entry

SUNDAY 3 2009
12.30 - 2.30pm - Pavilion Lesser Hall - HAMMOND Organ Clinic - free entry

New web site and using RSS feeds

I have been asked several times about RSS feeds and how to use them to be automatically kept up to date with the latest News from Hammond Organ UK.

So rather than write lengthy emails I have put together a 'screencast' which covers RSS and the new web site on both Mac and Windows platforms.

The video screen size is a little small on the news blog but it should help with the basics.
If anyone wants a much larger viewable screen size of the video of the 'screencast' just email me and I will send you a link to download it to your computer.

Cheers for now