Musical instrument manufacturers and vintage audio specialists, Analog Outfitters, have released a new product line of ORGANic MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) controllers this summer. They will be manufactured by salvaging parts from unwanted original Hammond organs and creating MIDI interfaces using a patented circuit board design. Unlike original organs, these units will be lightweight and portable while recreating the feel and control that other MIDI controllers lack by using recycled original Hammond parts. Analog Outfitters exclusively uses organs which, in their current state, have limited market value and will not be using any of the coveted B3 models.
The original Hammond Organ Company, which ceased organ production in the mid 1970’s, had over 40 models of organs, all of which were built with the same craftsmanship and skill as the extremely coveted B3 organ. Today, many of these original models have virtually no commercial value and are likely to end up in landfills or bonfires. Because these instruments used endangered wood species such as Redwood and Mahogany and use the same keys, drawbars, and switches as the original B3 organ, Analog Outfitters has made it their mission to find a new use for these beautiful instruments.
They will be hosting a release event at Pieholden Suite Sound in Chicago on July 12th to unveil the new product line.
Transporting organs has never been an easy or simplistic task. Their delicate nature and extreme mass makes them difficult to move on and off stage, let alone cross country or internationally on concert tours. In response to these issues, many musicians have switched to new production models of Hammond “clone” organs. These keyboards, made by a variety of manufacturers, are designed to offer the user some of the unique aesthetics and tonal capabilities of Hammond organ in a lightweight and convenient configuration. The issue musicians face with these “clone” organs is that they do not “feel” like a real Hammond, and thus players are never totally satisfied or comfortable playing them. Analog Outfitters is striving to solve this problem by using vintage Hammond keyboard manuals and parts, providing organists with an instrument which feels and plays like a real Hammond organ. Using the new Analog Outfitters controllers and a computerized MIDI interface, players will have the ability to manipulate their tone using actual drawbars, knobs, and programmable switches. The manual (keyboard) controller also features inputs for volume, expression and sustain pedals as well as an input for Leslie speaker speed switches.
The Analog Outfitters ORGANic MIDI Controller product line will be available worldwide this fall via their website, and through their American dealer network in 2014. The line will initially include single and dual manual keyboard controllers with plans to release a line of drawbar and pedal accessory controllers in the near future. Together, the manual units and accessories will encapsulate the vintage organ experience.
Analog Outfitters is based out of Champaign, Illinois. Over the last decade, they have repaired thousands of organs, guitar amplifiers, and other musical equipment. They’ve also introduced a unique line of world class guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets made from electronic parts and wood from old organs. Their mission is to create unique and exceptional instruments which keep literal tons of usable materials out of landfills.