This Sheltone 226 Electric Reed Organ was made in Italy sometime in the late 1970’s. It was purchased from new by Carol’s Grandmother, who gave it to Carol as a fifteenth birthday present. Sadly it proved to be unpopular and was soon confined to the loft, where it remained for over 30 years. When it came back out of the loft earlier this year, the case still contained the two muslin bags of Silica Gel it originally was shipped with!
The Sheltone 226 Organ came in a handsome red and grey Tolex case with white piped trim. It featured a three octave keyboard, a set of Bass note buttons and two sets of buttons for Major and Minor Chords. Sound is generated by an electric fan which blows air over reeds, like an Accordion or Harmonium. The sound comes out through three grills on the back of the organ, there is no volume control.
Carol’s Sheltone Organ was recorded using a Carlsbro CMW20 Dynamic Microphone into a Line 6 UX-8 Audio Interface. Noise reduction and level adjustments were executed in Audacity and Propellerhead Reason respectively. Cropping, loop and root note assignment where completed in Björn Bojahr’s excellent (and free) Session 2 and Endless softwares, which can be found here: https://www.bjoernbojahr.de.
The Kontakt instrument dispenses with the chord buttons, but the bass notes have been added to the bottom octave of the keyboard. As this is an acoustic instrument I have added the rather clunky keybed noises as round robin layers. And for added realism you can activate the fan noise and on/off switch by depressing C1 on your keyboard.
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Recording and sampling fan organs is really tough because you always get that fan noise in there. The noise reduction is pretty amazing in this sample pack. There seems to be a resonant peak around 3-4k in these sounds. That makes it a little hard to listen to. I was almost tempted to low pass filter these sounds because I think it might make them more usable.