Ghost in the Lowrey

A 1960 model Lowrey organ, raised from the dead by sampling technology

The story

A 1960 model Lowrey organ, raised from the dead by sampling technology!

The LSC “Holiday” organ was manufactured in the USA in 1960. Sourced from an op shop, this little Lowrey has suffered a lot of wear and tear in its sixty year lifespan. Most of the keys make no sound at all, and there is a strange, spectral grumbling from deep within its dusty valves and meticulously-clamped wiring. But I got to sample enough of the old beast to make an enjoyable instrument, complete with three characteristic vibratos, pedal swells and old-school resonance. As a tribute to its state of decay, the Ghost of the Lowrey also includes the electric hum of the speaker, the heavy clunk of the switch, and the plaintive swirling of confused circuitry.

Recorded with an SM57 placed against the speaker. The organ has switches for various sounds, but essentially, this is the only sound I could get out of it. It’s a lovely piece of furniture anyway.


Reviews for Ghost in the Lowrey

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Probably Favorite EP on pianobook

    I absolutely love this sound. It has such a warm and chaotic vibe. The ability to control the electrical noise and the finger noise is awesome. I like to have the finger noise all the way up and a bit of the electrical noise. Its a pretty dark sounding instrument and works really well as a kind of melodic bed. The GUI is also really beautiful and simple, the colors are great. The electrical noise interacts with the instrument in a really interesting way and this control along with the finger noise adds alot of realism. This is a go to for me. Ive never got into using the Vibrato control but its definitely a cool edition.

    septemberwalk27 October 2021
  • The perfect ghost patch!

    This is a very well designed Kontakt patch that can stand for itself even without the organ sound. From the entire idea to the actual execution of it, everything seems to be working amazingly well - except one thing. If you turn up the electrical noise, the noise resets itself once you change a note. That's why I recommend activating it only if a note is sustained.

    Other than that, Brendan has you covered, because you use the lower section as an ongoing noise, which is in my opinion the right way to do it! There are 5 keys in the highest register of Kontakt's keybed, visible at the +3 octave setting. I'd actually prefer those to be at the bottom of the +2, since there is enough space. If you go down to +1, you will also find some more samples, more percussive ones.

    On a final note, I really think that the two knobs on the secondary tab, should just be in the main tab, leaving the second tab just for the sake of information.

    Alex Raptakis01 December 2021
  • Ghostly deep warm pad

    So nice! It has a subsonic textured deep pad, and with vibrato it creates such a unique sound! Nice to have!

    Asuka Amane21 October 2021
  • Love atmospherics and electro-mechanical artefacts? Then this is for you

    At first hearing there’s not much to it but, as with all good instruments, lurking just beneath the surface is a wide range of possibility and creative variation. I love the effects – or artefacts of age, if you prefer – and it would easily be possible to occupy a track with the ‘Electrical’ effect alone. Brendan has hit on just the right description for these; there’s definitely something ghostly about what’s going on behind the notes. I could definitely hear something going on in the background that wasn’t played by me… The GUI is simple but elegantly effective, even if it's mislabelled "ghost of" rather than "ghost in" - excuse the pedantry. The vibrato is lovely, though not subtle, and the ‘Fingers’ control gives you something like release triggers only more so. Oh, and ‘Strange Spectral Grumbling’ and ‘The Plaintive Swirling Of Confused Circuitry’ could well be the title of my next tracks.

    wordsSHIFTminds04 November 2021
  • Gentle Chapel Organ

    This is a nice, gentle, rather nondescript organ. I love that it's possible to dial in the sounds of fingers hitting keys as well as failing electronics. Very nice!

    Sam Ecoff16 October 2021