Learn how to call up sounds and make simple tweaks with DB-33.
- [Instructor] Okay, now we're going to jump into some of our more harmonic instruments, and this is the DB-33 Tonewheel organ. If you feel like this looks a little bit familiar, you're going to feel like it sounds even more familiar. (cheerful organ music) Let me turn it up a little bit for us. Now, it's cool sounding. It's supposed to be like a nice, thick, rich church organ type sound. This is based in large part, I believe, on the Hammond B3, which is a sort of mainstay of gospel and various other soulful musical styles.
We've got a few controls here. Let's go ahead and look at some of the presets first, though, to start out with. Let's jump into, and I'm going to use this pop-out menu here, because those are fun. So let's go over to gospel, because that's fun. (gospel organ chords) A little more texture there. A little more space. That's kind of fun. And then slow. Oh, that's nice. That's a little more forward for us. Let's look at something that's rock-oriented that's going to have a little bit more drive to it.
(distorted organ chords) Oh, wow. See, the cool thing about the organ is that it can often be processed a lot like a guitar. Now, a guitar and organ have a little bit of crossover in terms of the fact that they both rely on an amplifier, a speaker array of some sort, that are usually pretty unique to the instrument, and organs use what are called a Leslie speaker, which is actually a rotating speaker, and it gives us that nice vibrato here.
So let's talk about some of our different parameters that we have to play with, here. So first of all, we're starting with the tone wheel, and this is really the core of the sound. This is where it's coming from initially. So let's jump back to a jazz perk, how about that. (jazzy organ chords) All right, very simple. We'll turn the master up a little bit. Don't worry, that crunchiness is supposed to be there. We'll talk about it in a moment. Let's start out with the tone wheels, okay? So what we're essentially doing is we are deciding the initial character of our sound.
So as tone wheels get older, they have sort of a different vibe. This is the dirty sound. Okay, and I'm going to turn the percussion off for now and the key click down. Now if we switch to used, not quite as many artifacts. How about new. Much cleaner. And the synth ones. Maybe even a little too much for you, depending on the vibe you're going for.
Got to watch out for those, because if you're holding down a key and you move the tone wheel knob, you won't actually hear a change in the sound until you do, in fact, strike a new key. Now, let's jump over here to our draw bars. These draw bars are going to allow us to bring in some different harmonics, and get a different harmonic texture. Now, every instrument that you hear has a set of harmonics on top of it. It's sort of a little chord that plays with each note. A guitar has it, a clarinet has it, a human voice certainly has it.
With instruments that are electronic or electromechanical like this one, we have a lot of possibility for customizing that, which is kind of a fun thing. So let me kind of pull these up a little bit. When I push them all the way up, that means we're not really hearing much of them at all. Okay, so you can hear we're not getting much on the top, but now if I add, that's the very top, sounds a little weird with just the two of them, but let's add a little bit of that back in.
A little of that, how about that. Okay, maybe it's too heavy on the top. We'll push that a little bit. Maybe I want some more creamy low mids You can carve out some nice space for some different types of accompanying instruments there, and really work with the texture. Now, the movement that we're hearing has to do with the scanner vibrato, which is also capable of some chorus. And this is a knob that you're going to find on a real B3.
We can turn it on and off here. Let's listen to it without first, of course. Okay. We're still hearing a little bit of movement, but now let's push that back on. Ooh, that's nice. So now, V3 is a fast vibrato, so let's listen to a slow vibrato. Okay, now here's a slow chorus. And what chorus is going to do is it's going to play with the pitch a little bit more. So you get more of a lush sound, much like a chorus in guitar. The idea is that it sounds like we're sort of doubling, much like a string sections where we're doubling things, but it's like, not perfectly in tune.
So you get this nice richness, and this sort of phasey sound. Okay, a little more vibrato. All right, it's a little heavy. Let's go with C2, that's fun. A good middle-of-the-road sound for now, since we don't actually have a piece we're playing on at this moment, for the purposes of this demonstration. Now, the other way that we can impart movement is by using this speed lever.
Okay, and this is what's referring to the Leslie rotating speaker. So we can have it be very, very slow, and I'm going to take off the vibrato. And if you're listening with headphones, or you're listening on a nice set of stereo speakers, you can hear this much better. There's a nice, slow movement. And I can speed it up. Then you can also hit the brakes, which is not really much movement at all.
So what you'll often hear organ players do, organists, I guess, is play something, and then build the tension by speeding it on up. It's a really, really cool, very interesting sound. The last thing that we have here in the DB33, like front area, is the key click. So I can go ahead and I can turn up key click and add percussion, and percussion's not like a drum machine, it's actually just like, when I hit a key, you can hear that I'm actually punching the sound, and it gives a little pop.
Now, the key click and the percussion are separate. The percussion is more of like that sort of tubular organ sound. Okay, let's put that back on. Let's bring it to soft and do, second, that's the harmonic we're talking about. Oooh, but that might be kind of nice with a little bit more chorus and a little bit more of the rotating speaker.
Now we're getting into baseball game territory, but you get the idea. Anyway, those are the basic parameters in the DB33 Tonewheel organ. Deceptively simple, but a really cool, very lush sound that you can get a lot of vibe out of with just some simple tweaks.
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