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Jan 10, 2021 - 11:54:59 AM
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218 posts since 6/3/2016

Here is a topic that I guarantee is new! My first instrument was piano, which I played between around 1969 or 1970 and 1981. So as a kid in the 70's, I was drawn to electric piano, electric organs and synthesizers. I didn't have any, though I did have some access to instruments in a very cool piano teacher's studio. Around that time, my grandmother gave me a banjo which led to melodic clawhammer banjo, which led to fiddle.

Also, I like traditional church organ music, and used to belong to a church with a magnificent Aeolian Skinner pipe organ. Our current church has no organ and the music is non-traditional.

This introduction explains why I was intrigued by the possibility getting electric organ sounds of the fiddle! Plus I had Christmas money that needed to be spent stimulating the economy.

Another important motivator was the fact that I have a large repertoire of sheet music that will potentially work with this including (1) a large collection of old, baroque peasant songs and contra dances, (2) a collection of French fiddle tunes, and (3) large-print organ editions of hymnals.

The Electro-Harmonix (EHX) B9 is an effects pedal designed for guitars and keyboards to "emulate some of the most popular and classic electric organ tones".

I'm attaching a picture and three recordings. All three recordings are of tunes learned in the last few days after I got the organ machine, so they are imperfect.

Tune "De Botermarkt" (Dutch for The Butter Market) is a really sweet tune from The Old and New Dutch Peasant Songs and Contra Dances (Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlietjes en Contradansen). It is played with the "Bell Organ" setting, which apparently is a combination of piano and organ sounds.

The untitled Menuet in G (Minuet in G) is from the same collection. I hesitated to include that one because I thought a "minuet" might put off people. But minuets are dance tunes and very fiddle-able. That was was recorded on the "Jazz" setting.

The Mazurka de Lanternaire is from Chris Haigh's French Fiddle Tunes book. It was recorded on the "Fat & Full" setting. My intonation is consistent but at times strange on that one, which is partly the tune and partly the fact that I've just learned it.

All of these tunes are great on normal fiddle, of course. It was just fun for me to experiment with getting a different sound. All of these were recorded with my Yamaha YEV-104. One of the reasons I got it was so I could experiment a bit. Surprisingly to me, there was a bit of a feedback issue via the G string every now and then that I had to damp with my finger.


Jan 10, 2021 - 12:27:48 PM

309 posts since 6/11/2019

That's awesome! I don't know anything about electric instruments, but it sure looks like a fun hobby. The unexpected sound would freak me out at first, though. Thanks for sharing.

I bet you have already played "Phantom of the Opera" on it...

Edited to add:  I bet you could also have fun playing some of those 50s surfer songs that used keyboard on solos, like Del Shannon's "Runaway"

Edited by - Flat_the_3rd_n7th on 01/10/2021 12:30:08

Jan 10, 2021 - 4:32:22 PM

5008 posts since 9/26/2008

That is a pretty good sounding pedal!
I have a love affair with the Hammond B3. I've owned an M1 which is a small version, and a few Leslie speakers, and have a buddy who collected several B and C3s.
I'm now going to look at the pedal at my favorite online music purveyor. smiley

Jan 10, 2021 - 8:28:05 PM

218 posts since 6/3/2016

Thanks for the positive feedback, Scott and Billy!

By the way, EHX makes another organ machine called the C9, which emphasizes more rock organ sounds. I was more interested in the Hammond B3 sound, which is why I opted for the B9.

Technically I will say that some of the effects like an initial key click and the bell on the bell organ setting depend on detecting the initial attack of each note. For a picked guitar or keyboard this is easy and repeatable. But for violin it depends on bowing notes distinctly. I think this is why the bell sound comes and goes in the De Botermarkt recording I made. What I like about it is it makes it sound like a second person is playing periodically. What I don't like about it is that the volume is a little low when the bell is missing. For the other tunes with just the keyboard click effect, sometimes you hear clicking and sometimes you don't, but the overall volume is the same.

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