Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine Brings Classic Keyboard Sounds To Your Guitar

Electro-Harmonix has introduced the C9 Organ Machine, a guitar effects pedal that synthesizes classic organ and keyboard sounds.

The EHX C9 pays homage to tones made famous by Keith Emerson, Ray Manzarek, Jon Lord, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and more.

In the video above, ‘effectology’ guru Bill Ruppert demonstrates how to use the C9 to turn a guitar to create vintage organ and electronic keyboard sounds. 

Here’s what EHX has to say about it:

The C9 will transform your instrument into a convincing full body, electric organ or vintage electronic keyboard. For each preset chosen, it also provides precise control over important elements of that sound’s sonic fingerprint like percussive click, modulation, attack/sustain, drawbar setting or high frequency content. Blend your dry signal to create beautiful layers. Lovers of classic organ and keyboard rejoice!

The Electro-Harmonix C9 will be available in 2015 for about $300. See the EXH site for details.

17 thoughts on “Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine Brings Classic Keyboard Sounds To Your Guitar

  1. Very cool.

    Unfortunately, though, playing ‘keyboards’ on electric guitar is way more convincing than playing ‘electric guitar’ on keyboards. 🙁

  2. So, poly tracking has arrived? Last guitar-synth I used could only track mono, and had a sour warble as the notes decayed. This thing runs rings around the old stuff! Guitarists are lucky.

    A compact MIDI module for us key-players that covered these sounds with lots of poly (tone wheel, transistor, mellotron, nova chord, clavioline, clarinets, EPs, mellotron and oddball electromechnical stuff) would be most welcome. The last big one I can think of is the EMU Vintage Pro – it was rack and it was old technology. Love to see a desktop module-format update with modern DSP effects.

    1. Take care. This has nothing to do with midi or polyphonic notes recognition. It’s an effect, it uses rhe sound of the string and transform it. But it’s impressive, I agree and I hope in the future we’ll see a version where we can create our sound with drawbars or something like this.

      1. There’s no way this pedal is merely applying “an effect” to the natural sound to get those tones. The thing is tracking note input and then delivering organ tones.

        Where does the “key click” sound come from then? Mellotron flute sound? This is either DSP poly synthesis or ROM samples.

        If was just “a sound of the string” effect, then running something like vocals into it would have a totally non-organ result.

        1. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct14/articles/ehx_b9.htm

          Of course it’s tracking the input. I guess the basic process is like in the freeze do a FFT on the string sound, apply some filtering, add some harmonics and do an iFFT. There may well be a click sample but a square wave or quick envelope could be enough. I’m not too familiar with the mellotron flute sound but vocal/organ/string sounds can be achieved with a formant/filterbank. This is indeed DSP synthesis.

  3. Great demo! Other presenters, take note. Its an oddball tool, but you can clearly do some powerhouse work with it. The fact that it functions well in a polyphonic arena is impressive. Its on a par with Roland’s guitar synths. I can hear the FEEL of playing it. Someone who really embraces it as more than just an effect can be skeery. I’d love to hear a good synthesist and guitarist employing it as a duo, with some greeze.
    I’m with AstroSpy. I love tabletop synths, but its time for something besides VAs to come in that form. Korg’s M3 module would be a good starter shape, minus sequencer. If its gotta be such a laptop world, let’s have a hardware toy box that takes over most of the sound-producing duties. It’d need *some* assignable knobbage, but have it focus on a high-end sound. Gimme 20-30 gb of shiny ROM.

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  5. I do really like this, but thinking about it all the sounds are too distinctive. What will happen is you will buy it then like 3-4 sounds, use them sounds in 3-4 songs, and put it on a shelf.

  6. Was going to buy a B9 this week but was wishing for sounds other than just tone wheel. Saw the C9 demo yesterday, exactly what I felt the B9 was missing! Bought it last night for $220 w/free priority ship. Can’t wait but to be honest, I’m a little worried about becoming the new “keyboard player”.

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