Hammond Novachord Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhx0C-zK4wU

Hollow Sun’s Steve Howell meets with Dan Wilson and takes a look at Wilson’s amazing Hammond Navacord, a polyphonic synthesizer from 70 years ago.

Of the Novachord, Howell says:

It was amazing to be in the same room as this magnificent instrument in all its glory … and to play it and mess with it and touch and feel it and see it and hear it working in the flesh (so to speak) … and to peer inside her and see the massive valves and the capacitors and miles of hand soldered wiring and hand sewn cable looms and the components’ hand painted colour coding … the (now slightly yellowed but intact) ‘instructions’ stapled to the inside of the lid, the hand written note names on the tuning chokes (who’s handwriting – Mr Hammond’s himself? … we’ll never know!), the slightly aged but otherwise perfect ‘plasticon’ white keys and bakelite black keys, the bakelite controls, etc..

It is an absolutely incredible feat of human engineering and ingenuity with few compromises. And the elegance and beauty of the design (both mechanical and electronic) is something that has to be seen to be believed.

Howell and Wilson are working together to sample the instrument and create a new Novachord virtual instrument.

via nuswolloh

6 thoughts on “Hammond Novachord Video

  1. I am utterly captivated by this instrument. I could never reconstruct the mechanical components, but I'd love to build a 'functional clone' in hardware. It'll lack much of its charm as a virtual instrument (but will still sound good, I'm sure).

  2. I am utterly captivated by this instrument. I could never reconstruct the mechanical components, but I'd love to build a 'functional clone' in hardware. It'll lack much of its charm as a virtual instrument (but will still sound good, I'm sure).

  3. well I thot I knew everything about hammond organs…. but this is outstanding. I wish I had one to go with My hammond B-3. What a sound.. How did I miss this one over the years….The sound is like nothing I have ever heard, It's great.
    Thanks
    Mike

  4. Mike: Actually, somewhere I've seen rumours that the generator of the Novachord was planned as an extra rank for the Hammond organs. The rumour sais that the generator part is pretty perfectly sized to fit standing on its side behind the organ. Imgaine… =) I haven't been able to verify this, but anyone having a Novachord handy within reach could probably do it…

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