Hammond B3 sound

I hope I’m in the right section.
What I’m looking for is what I believe to be, is the Hammond B3 sound for a recording I am working on. I’m using Cubase 9 and Sonic 2. So far I haven’t found anything to fit. The keyboard sound I am looking for is the same that plays in many CS&N recordings - Long time gone, the Allies live concert Dark Star, For What It’s Worth. Would anyone have an idea for me?


The sound in the intro is a B3 swell with the rotor engaged on slow. That’s all it is. Any B3 plugin will do this.

Take a look at the picture. The drawbar config will be the same for any B3 or any plugin. We communicate drawbar settings using a series of digits that correspond to the position of the numbers on the drawbars. For the sound at the beginning of the reference track, pull the first 3 drawbars fully out, and push the other 6 completely in. In B3 terms we would say 8-8-8-0-0-0-0-0 as the drawer setting. If you need that sound a little brighter for what you’re doing, reach for your 4’ and 2’ and blend them in subtle to give it a little more sheen. But start pulling your other white drawbars before adding the black ones.

The percussive jabs coming on 2 and 4 on the right hand were overdubbed. That’s not the same take. You can tell because the rotor speeds on the Leslie do not match, and a B3, C3 and A100 organ can only be hooked to one Leslie at a time. If I was attempting to play this, I would set the first set of drawbars, which controls the lower manual of the organ to 8-8-8, then play the jabs with my right hand on the upper manual, set to 8-8-8-8-8-8-0-0-0.

For the lower manual mellow drone like sound, you want your percussion settings off. For the upper manual, you want your percussion on, normal, slow, and second. You switch to fast and third if you’re playing fast busy lead riffs.

For chorus and vibrato, when I play live I park my chorus/vibrato on C2 and just leave it there for the entire show unless I have a compelling reason to change it. Thing opposite of a guitar pedal (that you normally leave off unless you want it on). Keep that C2 on at all times unless its in the way or you need vibrato.


Ugh…That’s confusing. I would shoot some pictures and demonstrate, but I just repainted the studio, and we’re mounting the sound treatment today so everything is torn down and unhooked, and my B3’s are in storage at the moment.

If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to ask.

Check out Organized Trio. It’s a freebie that works great. Good presets, and you can adjust the sliders how you want them.


@Jonathan Thanks for the detailed information. I had no trouble understanding your instructions, you quite clearly described what procedure to follow. You saved me a lot of time trying to figure out what to do and why. Again thanks.
What I didn’t hear were the sounds you were relating too, did I miss something?
@StylesBitchley, Hi Bob. I checked out the Organised Trio you mentionned, I must admit I don’t know much at all about organ sounds except for what I hear on my records - yes records, I still use a turntable, I’ll download the plugin and see what I can get out of it using Jonathan’s examples.
Thanks for helping me out. :smiley:

Yeah Organized Trio is great - you could also try Dirtbag

You should be able to find many examples on the net. I found this real quick, and he’s played with CS&N:


I listened to a few seconds of For What It’s Worth, live, via youtube, and it sounded like all drawbars out (or at least start there, you can roll some of the high bars off a bit if it’s too bright), Leslie on fast on the solo part I listened to. Bear in mind that it’s miked, and that will be part of the tone.

Wow! that was interesting, there’s more to the B3 sound than meets the eye. Thanks Nigel I’ll start with using some of these settings but obviously I’ll need the plugin to make that work, cubase gives me sounds but no B3 equivellant.OK I’m more informed today than I was Yesterday.

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I’m anxious to hear what you end up doing with the B3 plugin you find!

I have two weeks off at Christmas, that will be the only time I’ll have to get something down. But count on it @holster , It’ll be a pleasure for me to do so

Awesome! Looking forward to it!