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Hammond Novachord


The original polyphonic synthesizer – from 1939!

This legacy ReFill product features the original Novachord sampleset licensed from Hollow Sun. For more information on our reinpretetation of the Novachord in a Rack Extension format, please check out our beautiful Champagne SuperNova Vintage Synthesizer!

Back in the 1930s, there was a man called Laurens Hammond, an electronics engineer, inventor and innovator. Best known for the patent he took out in 1934 for a tonewheel organ which was to become the B3, C3 and various other models, in 1939, Hammond released something altogether different – the world’s first polyphonic synthesiser. Yes — you read that correctly … a fully polyphonic synthesiser … in 1939.

Using divide-down oscillators (the world’s first?), the Novachord was fully polyphonic. The oscillators pass through resonators, hi-and lo-pass filters and a simple but effective envelope shaper. What is particularly impressive is that the Novachord had LFOs and envelope shapers for every one of its 72-notes so that the instrument was TOTALLY polyphonic! This is actually very impressive as even string synths 40 years its junior such as the ARP Omni, Moog PolyMoog, etc., were paraphonic – i.e. all voices sharing a single LFO/envelope. This means that combined with the huge polyphony, six octaves and a superb sustain control, you can combine massive chords and arpeggios with no chance of note stealing. The electronic architecture that makes this possible is beautifully elegant too. It also has vibrato but not like the type found on analogue synths – instead, the modulation is polyphonic which imparts a rich ensemble effect to its sounds.

With Hollow Suns’ 24-bit samples we present over 100 presets, you can now own a piece of this historic audio furniture.

Please note that while the samples have been cleaned up by Hollow Sun, they are still fairly raw with many imperfections; this is part of its vintage charm, however! You will need varying degrees of EQ to get the most out of it!


Please note this legacy ReFill is presented “as is”, and does contain some Combinators that included amp devices which were later removed from Reason. Those patches will still open correctly, but will be missing the additional sound design provided by those original devices. For some baffling reason that’s never been adequately explained, the replacement Softube Amps default to “Off” rather than “Bypassed”.