Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Hammond M-102

Thanks to Dan Kerl


The M-102 is a styling variant of the M-100 series organs produced during the 60s. They are a direct descendant of the M-3 spinet.

Hammond organs generate their tones electromechanically, using 'tonewheels' (alternators) to produce a series of (almost) equally-tempered sine-wave tones.  When a playing key is depressed, nine harmonically-related pitches are available from the depressed key. The drawbar controls allow the player to mix these harmonics in desired proportions.

The primary differences between the M-100 and the console organs (B-2, C-2, A-100, etc.) is the shorter manuals and pedal section. The manuals lack a console feature called 'foldback', which is how Hammond handled the situation where pitches at the keyboard extremes were unavailable (8th harmonic on the upper octave of the upper keyboard, etc.). Spinet organs source no tones in this situation, while consoles 'fold back' to the tone that is an octave below what it would normally be.

On the jazz settings (upper drawbars on '0') that Matthew Fisher used on AWSoP, a lack of foldback would have no effect on the sound. All other factors being equal, a spinet or a console should be able to produce the same sound.  An important factor in the sound would be the tone cabinet a Leslie speaker would be needed on either organ to produce The Sound.  The 'stone church' reverb is also an important part of AWSoP.


A page of Hammond organ links


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