[ Edit added in January, 2020: If you are reading this to understand how the different organ clones compare, make sure you check out my more recent blog post about a disappointing problem with my Viscount Legend Live. ]
In an earlier post I discussed the Viscount Legend Live that I purchased in late March, 2019. Since then I’ve done several more gigs with it and have set the instrument up so I really like it very much now, maybe more than I imagined possible for a clone.
Crucial to my ability to set it up the way I like has been the editor that Viscount provides. After I noticed that the Legend Live didn’t really respond like any of the Hammonds I’ve ever played (and why not is a mystery to me, but…), I set up my Legend Live next to my Hammonds and identified multiple areas in the editor where I was able to tailor it to act like my A-100, my B-3, or somewhere in between. All the editor changes are global, meaning they apply equally to every tone generator model in the Legend Live, but all I need is one setup that works so I picked the tone generator model that sounded closest to my Hammonds and started from there.
Of course the next gig I played, I forgot to select that tonewheel model, so I was applying my carefully customized setup on top of the wrong foundation! Oops! And I only figured this out after being bummed for a few days that the gig had gone kind of poorly because I couldn’t get the organ to sound right. It’s disappointing that the Legend Live doesn’t remember the tonewheel model selection when it’s unplugged from AC power.
And this brings us to the main point of this post: In every subsequent gig I’ve remembered to select the right tonewheel model and all those gigs have gone GREAT! I’m really happy with how the instrument sounds now, even in rooms that are really challenging because they’re noisy or the bandstand is placed in an acoustically questionable part of the room. The way it blends with the other instruments in a group and the way it cuts through without being too loud are really critical to keeping me comfortable and able to concentrate on the music and the interplay with my bandmates and the audience.
The final nice thing I have to mention is that in June I happily sold my good friend and companion, the Nord C2D, to a happy buyer who is a badass gospel organist in Texas. I’m thrilled that it has a good new home.