This emulates the original mark-1 Continental, popular in its time with the
Animals on 'House of the Rising Sun', Doors on 'Light my Fire' and most of
their other tracks. Manzarek did use Gibson later, and even played with the
Hammond on their final album, 'LA Woman' but this organ in part defined
the 60's sound and is still used by retro bands for that fact. The Damned
used it in an early revival where Captain Sensible punched the keyboard
wearing gloves to quite good effect. After that The Specials began the Mod/Ska
revival using one. The sharp and strong harmonic content has the ability to
cut into a mix and make its presence known.
The organ was a british design, eventually sold (to Crumar?) and made into a
number of plastic alternatives. Compared to the Hammond this was a fully
electronic instrument, no moving parts, and much simpler. It had a very
characteristic sound though, sharper and perhaps thinner but was far cheaper
than its larger cousin. It used a master oscillator that was divided down to
each harmonic for each key (as did the later Hammonds for price reasons). This
oscillator division design was used in the first of the polyphonic synthesisers
where the divided note was fead through individual envelope generators and
a shared or individual filter (Polymoog et al).
The Vox is also a drawbar instrument, but far simplified compared to the
Hammond. It has 4 harmonic mixes, 16', 8' and 4' drawbars each with eight
positions. The fourth gave a mix of 2 2/3, 2, 1 1/3 and 1 foot pipes.
An additional two drawbars controlled the overall volume and waveforms, one
for the flute or sine waves and another for the reed or ramp waves. The
resulting sound could be soft and warm (flute) or sharp and rich (reed).
There are two switches on the modulator panel, one for vibrato effect and one
for memories and options. Options give access to an chorus effect rather
than the simple vibrato, but this actually detracts from the qualities of the
sound which are otherwise very true to the original.
Vox is a trade name owned by Korg Inc. of Japan, and Continental is one of
their registered trademarks. Bristol does not intend to infringe upon these
registered names and Korg have their own remarkable range of vintage emulations
available. You are directed to their website for further information of true