Korg CX-3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Korg CX-3
KORG CX-3 (1980).jpg
Korg CX-3, 1980 model
ManufacturerKorg
Dates1979 – 1991
2001 – 2011
Price$1,340 (1979)
$2,595 (2001)
Technical specifications
PolyphonyFull
Synthesis typeAdditive
HardwareSiemens SM304 key encoder
Input/output
Keyboard61 note manual (CX-3)
2 x 61 note manuals (BX-3)
External controldrawbars, knobs for volume and overdrive, buttons for percussion effect and rotary speaker effect

The Korg CX-3 is a clonewheel organ that simulates the sound of an electromechanical Hammond organ. The CX-3 was first introduced in 1979.[1][2]

The Korg CX-3 provided the sounds of a vintage electromechanical Hammond B-3 organ but in a lightweight 10.5 kg format; the original B-3's keyboard, pedalboard, bench and Leslie weighed 193 kg. The CX-3 also provides a lightweight electronic emulation of the heavy, large Leslie speaker, a rotary speaker and power amplifier housed in a big wooden speaker enclosure. Two models of the CX-3 were produced: a 1979 analog version and a 2001 digital version. As well, a two-manual (two keyboard) version of the CX-3 was produced, the BX-3.

History[edit]

There had been a market for a lightweight clone of the Hammond organ, due to the instrument's weight. In the 1970s Combo organs attempted to emulate the sound, but many were poorly received, though the Italian Crumar organs could sound reasonable in a mix with a Leslie speaker.[2]

1979 model[edit]

The Korg CX-3 gave a convincing enough emulation of a tonewheel Hammond's sound to be used in professional live performances, particularly when played through a real Leslie.[3] An expanded version of the instrument, the BX-3, had two manuals.[2]

The Korg CX-3 (single manual) and BX-3 (dual manual) were the first lightweight organs to produce a comparable sound to the original Hammond B-3. Sound on Sound's Gordon Reid said that the CX-3 "came close to emulating the true depth and passion of a vintage Hammond," particularly when played through a Leslie speaker.[4]

The 1979 Korg CX-3 has 9 drawbars, a volume knob, an overdrive knob, two percussion buttons (4' and 2 2/3' percussive sound), percussion volume, percussion decay knob, key click knob, tone control knobs (bass and treble), tuning knob, three presets (jazz, octaves, full organ), rotary speaker emulator button, slow-fast button for rotary speaker, effects send and return, rotary speaker control jack (slow-fast), high level output for PA system, low level output jack for guitar amplifier.

The instrument struggled to compete with digital synthesizers in the 1980s, particularly the Yamaha DX7, and sales fell.[3] Production eventually ceased due to the Siemens SM304 chip used in the instruments becoming obsolete.[1] By the end of the 1990s, instruments were being sold second-hand for a similar amount as spinet Hammond organs such as the L100 or M100.[2]

Korg CX-3 digital 2001 model[edit]

A digital remake of the Korg CX-3 was launched in 2001,[2] has two sets of drawbars, expression and overdrive controls, and a built-in reverb unit and Leslie simulator.[3] It weighs 37.5 lb (17 kg). It has a 20-character fluorescent display to provide information to the player about the presets and effects. It uses Korg's REMS (Resonant structure and Electronic circuit Modeling System) to provide sound modeling and emulation for the tonewheel sound.

Like a Hammond B-3, the Korg CX-3 has three vibrato settings and three chorus settings. It can save 128 programmable presets. It has 2 drawbar sets with 9 drawbars each and offered a split keyboard mode. It also has MIDI In, Out and Thru jacks so it could be connected to sequencers or other MIDI instruments.

The 2001 model has some buttons and functions not present on its 1979 version, such as an edit button, a write/enter button, an exit button, eight program select buttons, two check/advance buttons and two increment/decrement buttons. The buttons have LED lights, which indicate the status of the button. As well, the 2001 model has a 1/4" expression pedal jack and two 1/4" assignable control jacks (switch pedals could be connected to the two assignable jacks to control various features, such as turning on the rotary speaker emulator or selecting programs). A feature not found on the 1979 CX-3 or on the vintage Hammond B-3 is the 2001 CX-3's EX mode, which enables the user to produce new and even unusual synthesized sounds using the tonewheel synthesis engine. The CX-3 does not have an 11-pin Leslie speaker jack, a feature found on vintage Hammond B-3's and on earlier clonewheel organs.

The 2001 digital Korg CX-3 was retired in 2011 after the introduction of the Korg Kronos.[5] The Kronos included a tonewheel modelling engine as one of nine sound-generating engines.

Korg BX-3[edit]

The two-manual version of the Korg CX-3 is the BX-3. It has two keyboards stacked on top of each other in a staircase fashion, each with its own set of drawbars, enabling performers to have different sounds for the upper and lower manual. Sound on Sound reviewer Gordon Reid called the Korg BX-3 the "best Hammond C3/B3/A100 emulation I've heard" and he praised its "excellent editing system with a large, friendly screen", "first-class on-board treatments and effects", the 'EX' mode, which adds four drawbars to the vintage Hammond approach, its "excellent MIDI CC capabilities" and its playability and "gorgeous" appearance; at the same time, Reid criticized its bi-timbral set-up, which does not allow performers to "play two manuals plus [ pedal keyboard ] pedals", there is no vintage-style 11 pin Leslie output and it is expensive.[6]

The Korg BX-3 provides separate vibrato, chorus, and percussion controls for each manual, enabling the performer to have different tones for each manual.[7] Unlike the CX-3, which did not come with an expression pedal, the BX-3 has an expression pedal, which enables the performer to adjust the volume while performing; the CX-3 expression pedal also has a spring-mounted feature which returns the pedal to a default position after the performer has depressed it to its maximum for a fortissimo effect.[8]

Notable users[edit]

  • Marillion's Mark Kelly used a CX-3 for live performances and recording in the early 1980s. Although he wanted a Hammond C-3 organ, it was impractical for touring.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vail, Mark (2002). The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B. Backbeat Books. p. 291. ISBN 978-0-87930-705-9.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Korg CX3 Modelling Tonewheel Organ". Sound on Sound. January 2001. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Wahler, Bruce (11 March 2002). "Review: Korg CX-3". Ashby Solutions. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  4. ^ Reid, Gordon (January 2001). "Korg CX3". Sound on Sound. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Fortner, Stephen (16 November 2011). "Korg Kronos". Keyboard Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  6. ^ Reid, Gordon (August 2003). "Korg BX3 Organ Dual-manual Modelled Combo Organ". www.soundonsound.com. Sound on Sound. Retrieved 31 March 2018. The BX3 would be the best Hammond emulator on the planet were it not for its lack of a pedalboard and Leslie output. If neither of these omissions bothers you, it's still the best there is. But if you want to play with your feet, or plug a Leslie directly into your organ, you'll have to look elsewhere.
  7. ^ Reid, Gordon (August 2003). "Korg BX3 Organ Dual-manual Modelled Combo Organ". www.soundonsound.com. Sound on Sound. Retrieved 31 March 2018. The BX3 would be the best Hammond emulator on the planet were it not for its lack of a pedalboard and Leslie output. If neither of these omissions bothers you, it's still the best there is. But if you want to play with your feet, or plug a Leslie directly into your organ, you'll have to look elsewhere.
  8. ^ Reid, Gordon (August 2003). "Korg BX3 Organ Dual-manual Modelled Combo Organ". www.soundonsound.com. Sound on Sound. Retrieved 31 March 2018. The BX3 would be the best Hammond emulator on the planet were it not for its lack of a pedalboard and Leslie output. If neither of these omissions bothers you, it's still the best there is. But if you want to play with your feet, or plug a Leslie directly into your organ, you'll have to look elsewhere.
  9. ^ Kelly, Mark (May 2005). "Taking VST instruments on stage" (PDF). Sound on Sound: 12. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Korg CX-3 (alt) versus Hammond XK-3c".
  11. ^ "Paul Shaffer playing a Korg CX-3 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, circa 10/17/2017".
  12. ^ "Adam Wakeman". Korg UK. 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2015.

External links[edit]