All About VIBRATO

North Suburban HAMMOND ORGAN Society

Here are a few more sound clips. Each demonstrates one or more types of vibrato or vibrato-related effects. The first sound clip is the song Dream. this is played on an X66 Hammond and demonstrates the X66 two-phase vibrato. If you are familiar with the tremolo effect of a typical Leslie speaker, you will note that the X66 vibrato is very similar, proving that Laurens Hammond really did not need to use a real Leslie speaker to get that effect on his top-of-the-line instrument.

The next selection, Anniversary Song illustrates an imitation vibraharp using a stereo tremolo to do an accurate imitation of the unique tremolo/vibrato combination that occurs in a real vibraharp. On the second part, the background uses a slightly less intense X66 two phase vibrato.

My Best to You illustrates several things. This is played on a Wurlitzer Electrostatic Organ, a model 4602. The main melody shows what Wurlitzer's constant pitch-shift vibrato sounds like. The background harmonization melody demonstrates Leslie tremolo, and part of the background also has a subtle heterodyne chorus effect created by superimposing a slightly increased and slightly decreased frequency replica of the original signal. It also includes a slight degree of natural celesting due to the very minor tuning discrepancies in the reed-capacitors used for tone generation in that instrument.

These sound clips will play on an average cellphone but all bets are off as to what they will sound like. I think cell phones usually play in mono, so right there the effectiveness of both the X66 vibrato and the stereo tremolo on the imitation vibraharp will be lost. But then no serious audiophile ever makes a practice of listening to music on a cell phone other than maybe just to get a general idea of what particular music might be like. This is especially true with instruments such as modern keyboards and electronic organs, both of which put out signals in stereo and that span the entire useful audio frequency range from 20 to 20k Hz. Compress this to mono and send it out through the dime sized piece of crap that passes for a speaker in a cell phone and, well, all it will do is give you a slight suggestion. The best results are obtained by playing these through a computer with a good sound card that has a pair of good speakers and at least one sub woofer to handle the lower frequencies. Then you'll actually hear these to good advantage and will be able to pick out the chracteristics which I listed above. Cellphone audio is definitely not Hi-Fi by any means. Perhaps "Lo-Fo" might be more accurate, where the Lo represents the word Low, and the Fo represents F------ obnoxious.

 

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