Pete Townshend’s Synth Organ on YouTube.
Hi, welcome to an episode of “Thinking Inside the Box” on Noah’s Ark. In the video, we’re going to talk about a specific sound I call the Synth Organ sound, famously created by Pete Townshend of the Who. The iconic sound can be heard most prominently on the Who track “Won’t Get Fooled Again” from the album Who’s Next.
So how did he come up with the sound in his home studio? Townshend constantly experimented while recording his own demos and it was a time when synthesizers were starting to pop up in a lot of commercial records of the 70s. A few artists including Pink Floyd, Todd Rundgren, John Paul Jones and Pete Townshend, acquired a synth called the EMS VCS3 as used on the instrumental track “On the Run” from Dark Side of the Moon.
The VCS3 was equipped with a matrix to configure its internal modules but most importantly featured an external input where you could patch any sound to modulate. So what Townshend did is that he decided to patch his Lowrey organ into the VCS3 thus producing a chopped-up sound using a VCO’s LFO to modulate a LPF.
To find out more about Pete Townshend’s synth organ sound, you can watch the video above or on YouTube here.