Hammond Sessions – Recording a legendary instrument
Manufacturers like Korg, Roland, Clavia and Native Instruments have managed to produce impressive emulations of this iconic instrument, but nothing beats the real deal. We are talking about the legendary Hammond Organ.
On Saturday the 5th of August at 16h00, Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam hosted a Facebook Live event around this iconic versatile instrument. With the one and only Rob Mostert on the Hammond B3 and C3, playing his unique style, Erik Kooger on drums and Anthony Maes for the audio engineering part, we showed what makes this instrument so diverse, why people like Steve Winwood and Keith Emerson used the Hammond to power up their rock songs and how to record it properly.
The Hammond originally started as an electric organ for churches (as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ), but soon became a popular instrument for jazz musicians. It has found its way in all genres of music, from rhythm and blues, rock and reggae to hip hop, as well as being an important instrument in progressive rock (i.e. Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead). And there actually is a complete revival going on! A perfect reason to put this instrument in the spotlight.
“Many musicians found that the Hammond could power their rock songs up with a blaring, almost vocal organ tone that – thanks to the instrument’s ever-grinding motor – could be incessant and surging, as well as soulful.”
– reference: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/nov/02/hammond-organ
Many of you (producers, musicians, audio engineers) have heard a Hammond before. But do you know how it really works and what to do when you’re in recording session and somebody brings in a Hammond? Or you want to use the extensive Vintage Organs library from Native Instruments in your production. Well let us bring you up to speed!
To give you the best experience, Rob Mostert and Erik Kooger performed live for this event, playing different styles and techniques. We are truly excited to have these two great musicians being part of it. Rob Mostert is one of The Netherlands’ top Hammond players, a true purist, and one of the few to play the footbass with his (bare) feet.
Good news! You can still watch our Facebook (live) video about this legendary instrument by following this link: Hammond video. Make sure to listen in stereo and use good quality headphones or speakers.
About Rob Mostert
Rob Mostert (1965) was introduced to the soul jazz of Jimmy Smith at an early age, and fell in love with the sound of the Hammond. A music career was inevitable and after graduating Hammond organ at the Conservatory, Rob played in different bands, meanwhile continuing to develop himself as a passionate Hammond performer. Rob Mostert is music lecturer and music coach at Abbey Road Institute.
Anthony Maes is part of the audio lecturers team at Abbey Road Institute and the main engineer for Rob Mostert at INovation studio.
About Erik Kooger
Erik Kooger is a Dutch jazz-drummer. Kooger started playing drums at age 11. He played his first professional gig when he was 15. From 1990 till 1996 he studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in Holland.