Sweetwater synth guru Daniel Fisher shared this in-depth tour of the Hammond Novachord, one of the first polyphonic synthesizers.
The Novachord debuted at the 1939 World’ Fair and featured 72-note polyphony, oscillators, filters, envelopes, and frequency modulation, which can be used to craft organic and otherworldly sounds.
After a close look at all of the Novachord’s parameters and internal components, Daniel gives an impromptu performance while sweeping through all of the parameters’ values.
As an example of what it can sound like in a current context, Fisher plays the Novachord through an Eventide H9 Multi-Effects Processor.
Joseph Fill and his son, Justin, poured more than 2,000 hours of work restoring this 1941 Hammond Novachord. They replaced countless components, rewired all the connections, and then cleaned and polished the internal and external surfaces by hand.
Only five fully restored Novachords are known to exist today.