The Vox Continental is back, and it’s more than just an organ

You’ll know the distinctive sound of the original Vox Continental organ - think House Of The Rising Sun by the Animals and The Doors’ Light My Fire - and DAW users may have tried Arturia’s software emulation. Now t his ‘60s classic is back in hardware form as well, though, albeit with some tweaks and additions.

The new Vox Continental is a more versatile beast than the transistor-based original. Not only does it emulate that characteristic organ sound, but it also gives apes another transistor organ from the same era, and Korg’s CX-3 combo organ (touch drawbars enable you to adjust the harmonics and tone). In the cases of the Vox and CX-3 organs you can switch between upper and lower keyboard splits with a button press.

You can enhance your organ tone with vibrato/chorus and a rotary speaker emulation, and other vintage effects are included, too.

There’s more to the new Continental than organs, though: you also get an electric piano section that provides Tine, Reed and FM models, along with amp and cab sims. Grand, upright and electric grand pianos are covered in a further ‘part’, while the Key/Layer section offers more keys, brass, strings, synth and other sounds. The effects section features chorus, phaser, flanger, compressor, drive and wah processors, along with four types of delay, five types of reverb and EQ. Korg’s Nutube is also included to provide warmth and drive.

This is very much an all-in-one stage keyboard, then, and Vox says that the interface is optimised for live performance. The touch drawbars double up as parameter or EQ controllers when you’re not playing an organ part, and you can switch between ‘scene’ sound settings. 16 can be stored on the keyboard, and you can save and load up to 100 sets of 16 scenes via a USB drive.

The Vox Continental features a semi-weighted waterfall keyboard, and you can adjust the feel of this using a Dynamics knob. As you might expect, it comes in the same distinctive scarlet colour colour as the original, and is made of sheet metal and lightweight aluminium. A volume/expression pedal and keyboard stand are included.

The Vox Continental will be released in October priced at £1,769 for the 61-note version and £1,869 for the 73-note model. Find out more on the Vox website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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