North Suburban HAMMOND ORGAN Society

In order to get an idea of what things sound like, here is the first of several sound clips that demonstrate some type of vibrato. First is the song I'm Confessin" on an electrostatic Wurlitzer. This is a great example of constant pitch shift vibrato with some extra tremolo which was characteristic of the vibrato effect in Wurlitzer electrostatic instruments. For best results, this should be played through a decent speaker system. The typical small speakers used with some desktop computers and built into laptops sound like, well....shit through a tinhorn!

Here are a few of these vibrato effects in actual operation.

Next we will soon add several sound clips of an X66 as well as more of the Wurlitzer electrostatic instrument. This will give you an idea of what Hammond two-phase scanner vibrato sounds like, which, if you have heard a Leslie speaker, I think you will agree is quite similar.

Note: All of these sound clips use Flash for their rendition. If you do not for some reason already have Flash on your computer, it is a free download from Click on "downloads" when you are on their main page, and then over to the right where it has readers and players, you will find Flash player. Click on it and follow the instructions. Not having Flash on a computer is like having a car without windshield wipers. You can still drive, but you will not see everything that is necessary to see when driving. There is so much on the web that requires Flash that there really is no reason not to have it. Most computers shipped today include Flash anyhow, so most likely you'll get the sound clips without any problems. Unfortunately Flash is not available on all cellphones if you're using a phone to view this site. But as I've said before, you'll really need to listen to these on a computer with a good speaker system to experience these sound clips to best advantage.

To hear the vibrato of an X66 Hammond, play the following clips here.

Although these clips primarily demonstrate variations of the tape echo effect, you can get an idea of what the two-phase vibrato of the X66 is like.

We hope you have found this exploration of the various types of vibrato interesting and helpful. For the really creative musician, if the equipment is available for his use, then he can obtain even more expressive and individual control over the final musical result if he understands about the different types of vibrato for then he can choose the one that best suits his artistic creativity.

For example, if he wants a big, lush-sounding background, a Leslie speaker or a polyphase vibrato will probably be best. Next best is traditional Hammond vibrato on the #3 setting. For the simulation of a vibraharp or other typical melodic percussion instrument, then either a heterodyne vibrato or a stereo tremolo will probably be most appropriate. Now that you know all this stuff, go and enjoy your music!


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