The story

This sample library was made to serve as a farewell to my beloved Hammond L102 Tonewheel Organ. This is an all-tube spinet style organ that I’d purchased from a classified ad while still in high school. It’s been with me off and on, but with another move on the horizon, I came to the realization that such an instrument is not conducive to apartment living, and that it was time to let it go.

Over the years, I have done a number of modifications to it, including adding a zener diode overdrive and removing the filter capacitors that Hammond installed in 1960’s models to dampen the keyclick, at the time seen as a flaw. I also paired the organ with a 760 model Leslie and improvised an effects loop to chain a better chorus and wah. These time-varying effects would have been impossible to sample sensibly, and I instead opted to capture the dry organ by micing the internal speaker with a Lauten Atlantis and UA 4-710d. The signal to noise ratio is quite low, especially with the higher harmonics, so a healthy amount of noise reduction was employed. Given how loud the motor is, this is still some in the instrument, as well as a noise file in samples, in case anyone wants to loop it.

Additionally, I captured impulse responses of the three spring reverb settings, and threw in my Fender Hotrod DeVille reverb too. I recommend following this instrument with a tube preamp emulation, vibrato/chorus, spring reverb, and (of course) a rotary cabinet.

There are two presets; an “imperfect” library that uses all of the samples, and includes some notes with buzzing, ringing, and tuning instabilities. I created a “cleaned” preset as well that removes the worst offenders, and fills the gaps with surrounding samples.

I hope the Pianobook community enjoys this library, and gets as much value and use out of it as I have from this fantastic instrument that I am parting with!


An Ableton Edition of this library is about to go live (pun intended)! This isn’t just a different sampler format either. I was having trouble recommending high quality and free effects to pair with the original library, and hearing a Hammond dry is certainly hearing it out of context.

I took it upon myself create some Max for Live devices (included in the achieve) to simulate the unique Scanner Vibrato/Chorus featured on the larger Console organs, as well as a Rotary Speaker (Leslie), and Spring Reverb. Of course, these effects can be saved and repurposed on other tracks as well.

I intend to update the Decent Sampler version with some plugin effects (VST/AU/CLAP) at some later point as well, but it will be a big endeavour, and I have no timeline for it just yet. From what I hear, including effects/plugins with this library is a PianoBook first, and I hope that it is well received!


Reviews for Hammond L102

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • J'adore

    Really nice organ with authentique sound !

    Vincil03 April 2024
  • Great - but with untypical decay

    Sound really great. The only thing I would have wished for is to be able to remove the decay that lingers for a while after releasing a key. Probably I'm doing something wrong though :-)

    peterq04 March 2023
  • a chill alternative to the classic bombastic B3 sound

    This is a thoroughly-sampled electric organ that is a different flavor of the more bombastic Hammond B3 sound that is wonderful and also a dime a dozen. This sound is useful and much rarer to find, so finding this library on Pianobook was a welcome find!

    I have a propensity to rebuild sample instruments in Logic's EXS format. Each sample is well-recorded, trimmed, and labeled - a huuuge endeavor considering every drawbar, every note, key on/off, and percussive overtones are all included as separate samples. This is a huge aid for me as part of the learning process.

    This is not only a great sample instrument in and of itself, but also a great resource to learn what's under the hood of an electric organ, just by investigating the samples that Peter has given us :)

    sethbutlermusic28 November 2023
  • A customizable organ

    If you are looking for a layer-by-layer customizable organ, this might be a good fit for you. It features 10 different layers along with key triggers. To my taste, I feel that the attack can be a little clicky, even with the "on" trigger all the way down, but could be up to your preference.

    As a note, I feel that the way to control the knobs is a little funky, since you need to "follow" the curve motion with your mouse in order to change it. You need to first drag up and once it reaches the midpoint you need to go right and down. I would much prefer the regular up-motion to increase, down-motion to decrease.

    Alex Raptakis15 May 2022
  • Beautiful sound

    This organ is very well recorded and sounds like the real deal. It has a lot of customizability and options to tweak it. The sound itself is fairly simple and exactly as you would expect it. I would love to see this with more knobs and tools to go around with, or a more advanced kontakt port. There could be much more to this!

Log in to leave a review