Corky’s VST Organ Tips and Tweaks Page 🎹


Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood gave them praise and honor in Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues - Piano Blues. At 1:15 Clint has Pinetop play a bit of his signature boogie.


I’ve been working on FLAE. I never noticed what great Hammond playing is on it (Joachim Young). Maybe I was paying too much attention to the synth stuff back in the day. I found this on YouTube, it may well be the isolated keys track from the original recording (there’s no sound for the first 15 seconds).

One sound I’m not quite getting is the burble in the staccato parts on the upper keyboard (using VB3 II / IK Leslie). There’s lots of drawbar adjustments going on and I think he’s also doing something with the pedal. Any comments would be much appreciated.

BTW, this uploader, Jo Ph, has tons of interesting isolated tracks.


That’s easily one of the best rock Hammond tracks of all time imo. Yeah, he was doing a lot of drawbar work. Key clock is a big part of it too. I can not wait to hear this, great find!!

And one thing that gets overlooked by most people playing organ hat haven’t played a real one much, or listened to the great jazz players is how integral expression pedal is to the sound (although guys like Keith Emerson didn’t work it at much). Hitting a chord or note soft, stabbing it up loud and then backing off is a big part of the vibe.


Ha, check out the clam at 3:40, never even heard that. I love that kind of stuff.


I heard that too. Then I decided that Joachim, being a real jazz pianist, was playing some alteration :sunglasses:


Yeah, let’s go with that :stuck_out_tongue:


All the blues and most “church” players are all over the drawbars and expression pedal. I hung around many of these guys in my youth, and learned how the Hammonds are so expressive and constantly changes tones. I spent many weekends in BB Kings Club when many big blues artists were coming through, and I always tried to sit near the Hammond player. They were always the busiest musician in the band.

I’ve played FLAE for many years, and it is a very busy song, especially since I am singing it. Three main things in the organ part is drawbar changes, expression pedal, and physical percussion. I always link my volume pedal to the expression pedal in an organ VST. Never to the volume slider in C3. I usually bind the slider to a rotary knob on controller. My drawbars are always bound to drawbar controller. So, in this song, you’ve got to play the keys like playing a conga to get the feel.

Check this out Billy Preston using expression at beginning, then changing drawbars for a huge amount of differing tones:

A Master of the Hammond. So is Cory Henry, with his percussive style and many drawbar moves:


Corey Henry Blazin!! is an understatement!


Jon Lord on Hush is another good one…


Speaking of Jon Lord I like the classic Highway Star, one of my favorite workout songs. My forearms are screaming by the last chord! :sweat_smile:


Hi All,

I have been meaning to spark a thread regarding tasteful use of the Leslie rotary speed switch. Also when the brake is employed would be good to know more about in common practice. I learned a great deal from just listening to other artists but was wondering if anyone could offer wisdom and advice on how and when to use the Chorus/Vibtrato switch in practice.




I think most of it is just personal taste. All the Hammondites I’ve watched, and played with, normally do not change Chorus/Vibrato much. What they use defines their style. Many rock and gospel players use C3 regularly. The Jon Lord sound usually has neither. I personally use C3 a lot, because it seems to enhance the Leslie sound. The Vibrato, to me, is ok in some settings, but I find it’s use with a Leslie an unpleasant sound. I’m sure others would disagree, but we are back to personal taste. I use the brake many times to change my sound during a solo, or if I don’t want my sound to be as “in your face” dominant. When you rehearse, or even in a live gig, try some changes. It will actually change your playing style, because you will recognize the sound as something you’ve heard before, and immediately your brain and hands seem to go to a different place. Experimentation will let you expand what you normally do. Sometimes, I get bored with my sound, and just adding brake inspires me to be Jazz player. Not much wisdom here you asked for, but plenty of experience.

P.S. on the Leslie speed switch…Fast usually to accent points in a song or parts of a solo. Kinda like arranging and adding horns to bring attention to a chorus. If you watch the Billy Preston video above, see how he ups the ante on his solo with fast switch and full chords, and the reaction he gets from the crowd, and even Clapton himself.



This man inspired me first to play a Hammond. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a few times, and watch him play. My use of fast/slow Leslie and style came from many hrs of listening to his work. Even tho the audio in the video below is distorted, listen to his use of fast/slow switching.


I stay on Vibrato/Chorus setting C3. I have buttons on my Axiom 61’s that turn “Vibrato” tablet switches on and off and I use those often (I also turn percussion off sometimes). When I play live it’s pretty much the Benmont Tench type playing where blending in with guitars is important so I use the Leslie brake and adjust the drawbars a lot. My favorite Hammond effect is a well timed Leslie speed change from fast to slow. I’m really good at it playing along with recordings but find it harder to do well in a live band situation.

Hate to repeat myself but I am really enjoying VB3 II into the IK Leslie. It’s working well for songs where the playing is simple but the tone needs to be right.


I grew up with a Combo Preamp footswitch for Leslie speed and it wpoiled me. I could play with both hands and switch any time. For me, in rock the full-on vibrato speed is to be used very sparingly. I’m more about the ramping down swirl- hit it, get it fast and then turn it off, let it slow and then I hit it a few times in succession and play with that in-between speed. Think about the very last chord on Dark Side Of The Moon- it’s all about the deceleration :wink: At the end of the day it’s like wah-wah on a guitar. Can’t be taught, you just have to develop your own approach!


Hi Fred,

I recently started using my sustain pedal to control speed (unlike my XP-80 the Axioms don’t have switch inputs). I’ve been trying to decide between latched or just higher speed if I hold down the pedal. What type of pedal mode do you use?



The ramping down swirl is almost orgasmic (or organ-magic, lol). Love holding a chord at the end of a song, then speeding up, then slowing down. The loose belt on the Leslie, as in Steppenwolf, with it’s slow ramping down, is a “yeah” moment for me.


I used latched. That way if you do want to let it chug you don’t have to stay on it. But you can make an argument that for the way I like to use it momentary makes more sense. I’m used to 30 years of the way the combo preamp switch worked though. I’m also getting used to just using the mod wheel a lot.


I went through a similar thought process. All my bass effect pedals are latched, the Leslie half moon is latched, the Axiom mod wheel I use to control speed is latched so maybe the sustain pedal control should also be latched.

I’ve thought about buying another Axiom wreck to pull the mod wheel and fasten where a left hand Leslie half moon switch goes.

I emailed Guido about a midi half moon switch kit, he said it’s under consideration.


I’ve been listening to a lot of soul influenced B3 playing lately such as Lonnie Smith’s “Witch Doctor”:

or Tony Monaco’s “Acid Wash”: