“I need a roadie!” When I first started playing music gigs, most keyboard players like me had to lug a ton of equipment to gigs.
Will You Be (3) Mine?
Just before the pandemic hit, I could take one keyboard and get all the sounds I needed for live arrangements. But at home on the computer, I can make sounds beyond the imagination. Still, the sounds of yesteryear are often far more intriguing and comforting.
The Hammond B3 (and its many cousins) is one of those sounds. It was the mainstay of bands and acts ranging from Fats Waller to Billy Preston to Jon Lord. Of course, there are millions more who helped to make the B3 famous.
Making Organ Music
These days, you only have to maintain and schlep a big organ console and huge speaker setup if you want to. Much easier on the body is to use one of the fantastic B3 virtual instruments like the B5 Organ by AcousticSamples. In fact, this company put on a competition to raise awareness about their impressive instrument.
Here's the first video that I submitted to their B5 video challenge: “Be (5) Yourself”. (It received the 2nd highest vote count!)
Yes, I couldn't resist the play on words for creating these titles. This one adds intrigue by being in seven (7/4 to be precise). At the beginning, you get to see the fun animations of the Leslie speaker that are part of the B5 instrument.
Next, as is my nature, I improvised a piece for another B5 video. This was a lot more fun than I expected. I could bump up the rotary speaker effect on the fly as I created the improvisation on the keyboard. If you watched the first video, you know where the inspiration for the “On Rotation” title came from.
(Notable in this video are my snidey comments about my mediocre video skills. I figured I might as well get it out of the way so you wouldn't have to.)
B5 Video Fun
Finally, I wanted to get a little more funky, so I created this “Get Phat” B5 video. This instrument is really is a fun, effective, and easy instrument to use.
I hope you've enjoyed listening and thanks to everyone who voted for my video(s) in the competition.