First manufactured in 1935 by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert, the Hammond Organ is one of most iconic instruments of the twentieth century. The first generation of Hammond organs used a metal tone wheel and an electromagnetic cabinet to create their iconic sound, commonly amplified by a Leslie Speaker, inspiring a generation of Rock, R&B, Reggae and Jazz musicians.
READ BELOW FEW HAMMOND SK PRO REVIEWS FROM MIXDOWN MAGAZINE
Now fully digital, the Hammond SK PRO, now made by Hammond-Suzuki, has been built to create that great historic Hammond sound, and is armed with a slew of impressive features that makes it a very heavy hitter in its category of organ cum stage piano.
The Hammond SK Pro features a highly sophisticated organ engine taken from the top-of-the-line flagship XK-5 organ and emulates the sound and feel of a traditional Hammond organ to a very impressive degree of authenticity.
The SK Pro’s organ engine is capable of producing a wide range of organ sounds, including tone wheel, transistor, and pipe organ, allowing musicians to accurately tailor the tone of the SK Pro. This high degree of customisation is extended to the drawbars, percussion, vibrato, and other parameters, enabling one to create a sound that is uniquely their own. This level of control is not possible on an analogue Hammond organ, which has fixed drawbar settings.
The main characteristic of the Hammond SK Pro that immediately stood out when I took it for a road test, was how incredible the keys felt. Featuring a 73-key waterfall keyboard which is designed to emulate the feel of a traditional Hammond organ, it is an absolute dream to play. The keys are fully weighted and offer a very tactile response, and the level of control over the dynamics from the velocity sensitivity felt natural and comfortable.
Touching on the guts of the Hammond SK Pro, it revolves around four sound engines (Organ, Piano & Ensemble, and Mono Synth) which can be used in any combination or separately.
The Drawbars feel wonderful, which is no surprise, as they are derived from the flagship model, the Hammond XK-5.
The Piano section contains a reasonably wide variety of grand and Electric Piano sounds, that are hi resolution, and the majority sound very nice.
The ensemble section contains the essentials, Brass, Reed, String, Choir and Percussion Instruments, which sound great for the most part, but are never going to be the star of the show when compared to the quality of the organ engine.
The same can be said for the Mono Synth section, which is modelled on a classic Minimoog synth. While it is a nice addition that catapults the SK Pro into the modern day, it is not intended to be the focus of the instrument.