The question of how to mic a real rotating Leslie speaker like the Hammond organ sound on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon has engineers throwing in their opinions. I had the bounty of sitting in the control room with the legend engineer-producer Alan Parsons last week and he was preparing the mics for the Hammond B3 overdub with a Leslie 251 speaker. I had always thought to put 2 mics (quality condensors like Neumann KM84 or the good for anything Shure SM57) on opposite sides of the treble horn and one mic on the bottom rotor. Mr. Parsons set up 2 Neumann condensors about 3 feet away from the open side top horn and 3 feet away from the lower bottom rotor. He also then panned them hard left for the bass and hard right for treble like the arrangement for stereo piano from the pianist’s perspective. The organist played loud to get the OC3A power tubes driving an edgy sound and the speeding up and down was still evident in its glorious stereo panorama.
Have a look at some pics from the Alan Parsons session in Toronto.
Piano, Keyboard & Recording Manager