FK14: Hammond AV-64
- 6/8 March
- March 4/4 | Polka
- Western | Shuffle
- Blues Rock
- Hard Rock
- Cha Cha
- Rhumba | Beguine
The Hammond AV-64 first arrived on the scene in the 1970s and came as both a stand-alone model as well as built-in to some Hammond home entertainment organs. The actual model number is the rather catchy: 101100. The stand-alone model was designed to sit on top of a home organ also which is why it came complete with a built-in music rest. The rhythms are also a giveaway of its home entertainment origin. The main feature of the AV-64 was the auto-vari function which cycled through the four variation that each rhythm had. This was supposed to relieve the listener of the monotony of a constantly repeating two-bar rhythm. The change could be set to take place every ½, 1, 2, 4 or 8 bars.
In the early 1980s, Hammond released an updated version of the AV-64 with the equally engaging model number: 101300. It was probably a bit late in the day to release this model as by this time, new PCM sampled drum sounds were starting to appear in the home organ market where the AV-64 was clearly aimed. The unrealistic sound of the old drum machines was not desirable any more. I remember while working in a music shop in the 1980s, my boss buying a load of the new AV-64s from Hammond to sell at a special price, giving us a bonus on each one we sold. We weren’t very confident that we would be able to sell them at the time!
The Rhythms on the updated version were almost identical to the original with just the afro rhythm being replaced by disco. The auto-vari feature was enhanced so that the four variation could be programmed to change in any order rather than just cycle A-B-C-D. The other feature of note was the rhythm break. There were six preset breaks assigned to twelve of the rhythms. It has to be said that some of the breaks are rather awkward and often have a swing/triplet style where the rhythm it is associated with doesn’t.
The machine used to create the samples used in the FK14 Kontakt Instrument was an online auction purchase. It goes without saying that it arrived with problems that were not mentioned in the auction listing. After repairing the machine I purchased a service manual so I could better work out how to trigger the individual sounds. Unlike the earlier model, the 101300 has a single circuit board for generating the rhythms and sounds and there are no marked trigger points for each sound.
The Kontakt Instrument
Based on the later AV-64 101300 model. Key features include 10 sounds (multi-sampled) and 16 rhythms (combinable) with 4 variation each plus 6 rhythm breaks. A Setup tab with volume, pan, tune and mute for each sound, randomisation controls and customisable note and output routing. Most of the original features are replicated with the exception of touch-tempo and fade-out.
Details of the Kontakt Instrument and how to purchase it are here. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
FK14: Hammond AV-64 Kontakt Instrument