Getting to know the XW-P1 Drawbar Organ Tones, part 2

In part 1, we explored how each drawbar brings a certain harmonic into the sound. It’s the combination of drawbars at various levels that gives us the array of organ tones we’ve come to know and love. Once you get a sense of how the drawbars function, we can make some user preset settings.

First, it’s important to note that the sliders work differently than in HEX LAYER mode or MIXER. In those modes, the sliders work like a traditional mixer:

Slider DOWN= minimum (0), to

Slider UP= maximum (127)

If you’ve used a mixer before, it makes sense. Turn it up, turn it down.

However, in DRAWBAR ORGAN mode:

Slider UP= DRAWBAR IN=minimum (0), to

Slider DOWN=DRAWBAR OUT=maximum (8)

Think of a drawbar like a reverse volume fader. All the way UP (0) is silent, and as you pull the drawbar DOWN, you get increased volume level from 1 to 8. Why is it like this? On a vintage drawbar organ, the idea is that all the way “in” is “closed”, and bringing the drawbar “out” (towards you) “opens” it up, letting its sound come through.

As you move a drawbar slider, look at the screen. You’ll see the name of the drawbar and its value displayed temporarily below the preset name, as seen here:

As you can see, there’s also a visual of the overall drawbar setting on the right side of the screen. A drawbar preset is often described as a row of nine numbers from left to right, with each number representing a drawbar position. In the case of the photo above, that setting would be described as “888000000”. This is a classic setting that can be found in PRESET DRW:P0-0 “Drawbar Org 1”. Try matching this setting by pulling “out” the lowest 3 drawbars, and pushing “in” the others.

Now try these settings, by moving each drawbar until the screen shows the corresponding number:

888800000 (Booker T.-style soul)

885800321 (top end shimmer)

888000004 (classic with added whistle)

Remember, with the XW-P1, you can change the sound while you play, to tweak the drawbar settings to your liking. Once you find a sound you like, you can save it as a USER PRESET.

This is a major part of getting a great organ tone, but there’s even more to it. Next time we’ll cover percussion, vibrato, and rotary effects.


One response

  1. Pingback: Getting to know the XW-P1 Drawbar Organ Tones, part 3 – percussion « XW SYNTH BLOG

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