The Hammond electric organ was invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934. It was originally intended and indeed used in churches as an alternative for the costlier wind-driven pipe organs. Though there have been numerous emulations throughout the 20th and indeed in the 21st century some respectable soft-synth versions of the B-3 organ but nothing compares to playing an original Hammond instrument.
The new Hammond SK1 Combo Organ is a truly portable instrument weighing merely 15.4 lbs. As for emulating the original B-3, Hammond fans would love these two iconic features; the nine mechanical pitch drawbars, an iconic feature of the original Hammond organ that essentially served as a built-in mixer by allowing you to control the levels of various frequency waveforms, is a key feature as well as the built-in digital Leslie feature, which emulates the Doppler Effect of a true Leslie speaker remarkably well. This Doppler Effect from the Leslie speaker was a key part of the personality of the original Hammond and the emulation on the new SK1 is superb. A notable feature missing are bass pedals but remember because this is a digital emulation you can split the keyboard and actually play the lower register.
The Hammond SK1 offers feature-rich add-ons with a host of additional voices, like Acoustic and Electric Pianos, Clav, Vintage Combo Organs, Vintage String Synthesizer, Accordions, Pipe Organ, and many others which enables your Hammond to do more than just emulate. Hammond organ sounds to include emulations such as Vox, Continental and various Farfisa models. The range of onboard effects, including adjustable vibrato/chorus, reverb and overdrive are all wonderful benefits of the digital platform. The full MIDI and USB capabilities also bring the SK1 firmly into the 21st Century. The USB is great as you can save your own customised patches direct to flash or hard drive aside from connecting to your DAW.
Besides Hammond SK1, there are other instruments like Nord C2 and Nord Electro 3 HP. Each of these instruments has their own virtues and depending on your requirements you will without doubt purchase accordingly. What I like to say here about the SK1 is that this is a dedicated combo organ catering specifically for organ players. A highly desirable keyboard instrument - it has the portability, the sound, the playability, looks and the features. These will guarantee its popularity among gigging keyboardists. Additionally, there is also the SK2 for more advanced players, which has an extra layer of 61 notes for double-decker organ ripping.