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Lowrey on "Let It Be"

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  • Lowrey on "Let It Be"

    A friend of mine was saying that he found it impossible to dial in the organ sound on The Beatles' song "Let It Be," so I was trying to help him out. Some sources online say that it was Billy Preston playing Abbey Road's Lowrey DSO-1 and not a Hammond. I sat down at my TBO, which is very similar in features to the DSO-1 and was able to come up with something that seems to capture it, though it was probably played through a Leslie as well.

    Did the DSO-1 have onboard spring reverb?
    I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

  • #2
    David,

    The DSO-1 doesn't have onboard spring reverb. All that exists is the onboard sustain. There is also an onboard Leslie, unless someone connected the external Leslie 125, 127, 145, or 147. I believe they were all compatible with Lowrey's plug available in the back of the DSO-1 organ.

    Hopefully that helps.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • human-potato_hybrid
      human-potato_hybrid commented
      Editing a comment
      Judging from available photos, the Beatles always seemed to use an external Leslie set to Main Chorus Reverb, and also had "Add Main To Leslie" on. Probably because recording with the built-in speakers retains too much key noise...

  • #3
    AFAIK, it was indeed the studio DSO-1 - there are photos of the Beatles using it on line. When I've been in studio, as opposed to recording for the BBC at home, we always used the studio's reverb system rather than the one in the organ. It was better quality and we could play around with things until we got the sound we wanted. Back in the 60s studios would have have analogue units like springs and plates available for reverb.

    As to who played it on Let it Be, we'd have to ask Paul McCartney! He only lives a few miles along the coast from me, but I don't have his number! :D
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

    Comment


    • #4
      Wow, thanks, Andy! What was Abbey Road's studio reverb system based on? Was it spring, plate, or some combination thereof?
      I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

      Comment


      • #5
        Here you go David http://www.londononeradio.com/reverb...-road-studios/
        B3, XB3, XB5, M102 Factory Split x2, TTR-100, L162
        145 x3, 251, 760 x2, Farfisa Compact Duo, Compact Deluxe, Lowrey Berkshire, Heritage
        drawbardave.co.uk

        Comment


        • #6
          And all these years I thought I was hearing a Hammond when I would hear that song!
          Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

          Comment


          • #7
            I know this is an old thread now, but my head is full of Lowreys these days and I just found footage of the recording session and it is in fact a Hammond L100! Billy Preston's part is at 2m08s.

            I always thought it was the Lowrey too.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfudHcyILSs
            B3, XB3, XB5, M102 Factory Split x2, TTR-100, L162
            145 x3, 251, 760 x2, Farfisa Compact Duo, Compact Deluxe, Lowrey Berkshire, Heritage
            drawbardave.co.uk

            Comment


            • #8
              Good find, Drawbar Dave! The photos of Macca at the Lowrey must be another track, then.
              It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

              New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

              Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
              Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
              Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
              Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by andyg View Post
                Good find, Drawbar Dave! The photos of Macca at the Lowrey must be another track, then.
                Yes I saw an article about “Mr Kite” which had a picture of him at the DSO-1. Apparently that track had the RT3 on it too. Of course that photo could also be the “Lucy” sessions.
                B3, XB3, XB5, M102 Factory Split x2, TTR-100, L162
                145 x3, 251, 760 x2, Farfisa Compact Duo, Compact Deluxe, Lowrey Berkshire, Heritage
                drawbardave.co.uk

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by andyg View Post
                  ...we always used the studio's reverb system rather than the one in the organ....
                  Andy,

                  I know I'm reviving a dead thread, but this part of your sentence confuses me. There's a reverb system in the Lowrey DSO-1? Are you referring to the onboard Sustain, or was there indeed a spring reverb in the DSO-1? If there is, I've never seen it in mine.

                  Thanks in advance for the clarification.

                  Michael
                  Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                  • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                  • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                  • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                  Comment


                  • andyg
                    andyg commented
                    Editing a comment
                    To clarify, when I was in studio, I was either using a Hammond or a Kawai. Both makes had reverb on board but we used studio reverb in preference. A DSO-1 would have had no reverb built in so studio reverb would have been a necessity.

                    Recordings on Hammond, Gulbransen and Kawai for the BBC at home had to use the reverb in the organs, until the advent of computer-based reverb. Now, with the Roland, its digital reverb is enough!

                • #11
                  Originally posted by Drawbar Dave View Post
                  I know this is an old thread now, but my head is full of Lowreys these days and I just found footage of the recording session and it is in fact a Hammond L100! Billy Preston's part is at 2m08s.

                  I always thought it was the Lowrey too.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfudHcyILSs
                  Now says "! Video unavailable" 🙁
                  -------

                  Hammond M-102 #21000.
                  Leslie 147 #F7453.
                  Hammond S-6 #72421

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    I have since discovered that there are two versions of the song. I am not sure why there are two mixes although it might be that there was an album and single version released. One uses the DSO-1 and can be heard in the descending section before the chorus, the other version is the L100 version that I mentioned previously.
                    B3, XB3, XB5, M102 Factory Split x2, TTR-100, L162
                    145 x3, 251, 760 x2, Farfisa Compact Duo, Compact Deluxe, Lowrey Berkshire, Heritage
                    drawbardave.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Just listened to the Naked version of Let it Be .....sure sounds like a Hammond during the verse and chorus but I hear Lowery Vibrato in the interlude.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        If you research it, there is footage of the Hammond version being recorded which is how I know there are two versions. Also remember that the L100 vibrato is derived from a tube circuit like the Lowrey and does not have a scanner vibrato.
                        Last edited by Drawbar Dave; 07-27-2021, 12:35 PM.
                        B3, XB3, XB5, M102 Factory Split x2, TTR-100, L162
                        145 x3, 251, 760 x2, Farfisa Compact Duo, Compact Deluxe, Lowrey Berkshire, Heritage
                        drawbardave.co.uk

                        Comment

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