I have a Hammond organ and really want to play invisibly shaken by Rodney Atkins and can't seem to find the right tone. In the song the music sounds like it is coming from a keyboard or piano. How can I adjust the tablet to make it sound like a keyboard or piano? Please help!

3 Answers 3


The Hammond organ is a truely great instrument with a haunting, sweet and very distinctive sound, precisely because it has a really unusual approach to tone generation. Consider yourself happy to have one!

But this unusual tone generation means, obviously, that you can hardly create sounds that "work" physically completely different. In the Hammond organ, very little sound comes from each tonewheel, the final sound is a result of the way the various partials blend together through the drawbars and the further signal-forming through tube amplification, possibly Leslie speaker etc.

Quite a contrast, in "piano-like" instruments pretty much all the sound comes from the strings / initial oscillators. There is still quite some shaping through the instrument's body etc., but that's in principle just passive linear filtering, works almost independently for each string. As a result, you can reasonably well simulate a piano by recording each string separately and playing it back on demand. Old cheap keyboards used to do this very poorly, but newer models have so many dynamically staged samples, clever selection etc. that you get pretty close to a real acoustic piano. These wavetable-based keyboards OTOH are very bad at Hammond organ sounds – it just doesn't work this way, but requires a dedicated simulation of the organ's inner workings. Not a concern for you since you have a real Hammond, but it shows how important it is to have a suitable setup to simulate an instrument with another one.

To get a piano sound, get a piano! Best is an acoustic grand, but that may well be too expensive / space-consuming... There are plenty of digital home piano models available, ranging from cheap and bad to play (but still not necessarily bad sounding, nowadays) to high-end, which will approximate an acoustic one very well (but still not perfectly).


I don't believe you will be able to. The sound is indeed a piano and it's virtually impossible to get a piano sound from an organ.Even with a keyboard the piano sound isn't too realistic, as the way the sound is produced is artificial. A really good up to date keyboard will go to something close.


You can't. The unique sound that comes from a Hammond is in the speaker, and how it throws the sound around the room. If you were to take off the speaker panel from a Leslie cabinet, you would see a big wheel with slots cut out of it. When the organ is on, this wheel spins, and throws the sound around, which makes that pulsing sound. There is a setting on the organ where you can change the speed of the pulse, which just speeds or slows the spin of the wheel. In contrast, the sound texture of a piano is from the vibrations of the strings after being struck by the hammers, and is a completely different texture.

EDIT: Disregard my answer and read the replies to it. I was mistaken.

  • 2
    While the Leslie cabinet makes up quite a big part of the "classic" Hammond sound, it's still just one part of it. You will still recognize a Hammond without a rotary cab (e.g. Brian Auger doesn't use one). In fact, "Laurens Hammond in particular was not impressed with Leslie's attempt to better his own organ design"! Similarly, you can microphone a grand piano and send the signal through a Leslie cabinet, it will still be a piano sound. — I think you might be confusing it with the tonewheels. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 21:12
  • The Leslie effect is not permanently turned on, it's switchable. So the rotary sound from a Hammond is not necessarily happening.As it is, the effect is used on some piano sounds (particularly Rhodes electric), but this in itself is not the reason a piano sound cannot be made by a Hammond.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 10:58

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