Authentic Chorus-Vibrato/Touch Response Percussion
12 Hammond MACRO Profiles with 17 Tweakable Parameters
96 individually Adjustable, Voiceable Digital Tonewheels Create YOUR Perfect “B-3” From Showroom New to Road Worn Vintage
Chicago Engineer/Inventor Don Leslie bought a Hammond Organ not long after its introduction in 1935, but felt the instrument lacked the warmth of the Mighty Theatre Pipe Organs he so loved. The main difference between Church Pipe Organs and Theatre Organs was the deep Tremulant that took the edge off the Theatre Organ’s pipes and made them emotionally “sob”. Making use of an acoustic phenomenon called the “Doppler Effect”, Mr. Leslie constructed a speaker cabinet that used a simple system of rotating horns and baffles to give the Hammond tone “motion” and “depth”. This created a different instrument altogether, one that could play “Popular” music. Mr. Hammond intended his organ for the Church and Classical Music, looking at “Popular” Music with disdain-he wanted nothing to do with Mr. Leslie’s invention when Mr. Leslie demonstrated it. The public however, took the combination of Hammond and Leslie to heart, and so it remains to this very day. It is difficult to think of one without the other, although Mr. Hammond never allowed Hammond Dealers to sell Leslie Speakers.
After Mr. Hammond’s death, the two companies became partners, and now Hammond owns and manufactures Leslie Speakers. For both Hammond and Leslie, the golden goal was to produce a Leslie that did not require motor-driven speakers, and the goal has been reached in the XK-3c. Now the elusive effect can be had where space and mobility have heretofore denied it. As an added benefit to being produced in the Digital realm, many aspects of the effect can be adjusted and tailored to ones own taste and requirement. Slow and Fast Rotor speeds, “Ramp Up” and “Ramp Down” speeds, Speaker Size, Amp type, Virtual Mic Placement and other parameters may be combined into “Cabinet” Macros which then may be assigned to any Organ Preset. In addition, 8 factory Cabinets, comprising the most popular Leslie Models like the 122, 147, 760, Vintage 31-H, and others are available for instant choice. There is even a model of the original PR-40 (Non-Rotating) Hammond Factory Tone Cabinet. A button on the Control Panel allows the bypass of the Digital Leslie circuit and sends the Organ tones directly to the Stereo Outputs
7 Leslie MACRO Profiles:
Type 31H (or “TallBoy”-the first Leslie Speaker released in 1941)
Type 722 (Mid 70’s “Home Organ” Model)
Type 760 (Late 70’s Solid State “Combo” Model)
Type 825 (1970’s Solid State Single Rotor Model)
ROCK TYPE (Early 70’s Model 925 High-Power “Combo” Model)
17 Tweakable Leslie Parameters
Create YOUR Perfect Leslie-Store it in any of 8 User Profiles
Combine the Hammond organ of your choice with the Leslie of your choice to complete your dream rig!
1000’s of Combinations Possible
One octave of B-3 style reverse color, unlatching B-3 style Presets, with 8 banks containing 9 presets (A# and B♮ call the current drawbar settings)
Twin Real Tube Preamp
Provides warmth and overdrive characteristics
Comprehensive MIDI Controller functions with 6 external zones
(3 Upper Keyboard/2 Lower Keyboard and Pedal)
Dedicated Switch and Rotary Control for each.
Digital Tonewheel Generator
The Xk-3c’s VASE III “Engine” uses the exact model of Laurens Hammond’s design, executing it in the digital realm, with no moving parts, retaining all of the nuances, imperfections and idiosyncrasies of the original. The wheels are always “spinning”. When a note is played, the tones pass, just as water through a faucet. The random starts of each wave played allow for phase interaction, producing the rich tone so prized in the vintage Hammonds.
The Digital realization of Laurens Hammond’s System allows sophisticated control of every facet. Each Digital Tonewheel can be voiced for Volume, Timbre, Motor Noise and Leakage; enabling the musician to tailor the Modern Hammond to match the characteristics of any Vintage Hammond, or to create their own vision. Twelve Macro Profiles allow the user to quickly select the most popular “kinds” of Hammond, from Showroom-New to Road-Worn Antique and all points between.
Laurens Hammond’s original Organ (invented in 1935) had an intricate electro-mechanical mechanism that used 96 Quarter-sized wheels spinning on driveshafts powered by his patented synchronous motor. The wheels were notched according to pitch, and an electromagnetic pickup (much like that on an Electric Guitar) sensed those notches and rendered a musical note. The Drawbars combined those harmonic tones to produce the inimitable Hammond Organ sound.
Hammond’s adherence to quality has allowed many vintage instruments to remain vital today, and are among the most desired and imitated musical instruments ever, but at a high cost. The Electromechanical Hammonds require expensive maintenance, regular doses of oil, and were of great weight; not easy to move at all.
Mr. Hammond used the Pipe Organ Design concept of “Unification” in creating the iconic Drawbars of his Electronic Organ. This concept allowed one or more keyboards to control the pitches of many pipes within one set or “rank” of pipes. Adopting the harmonic standards and nomenclature of the Pipe Organ, Mr. Hammond’s design assured that any organist would be able to play his instrument without a steep learning curve. Unlike the Pipe Organ, Mr Hammond’s design allowed variable volumes of each Harmonic represented by each drawbar. This variation gave the musician millions of combinations of harmonics, and assured that every Hammond player would be able to summon a unique voice. An extra level to the expression a Hammond Organist had at their fingertips was added because the Drawbars could be manipulated in real time. The Drawbars also serve the Combo and Pipe Organ divisions, but with a slightly different function.
One of the most distinctive parts of the Hammond sound is the shimmering “Chorus Vibrato”. It adds a silken quality to the sound by adding a second, slightly detuned pitch to the original in the Chorus Mode, and repeat-modulating the pitch slightly in Vibrato mode. Few musicians realize the Chorus effect pedal widely used for Guitars and Electric Pianos had its genesis as a component of the Hammond Organ. Mr. Hammond’s original design used an electromechanical apparatus that looked much like the distributors you would find in the automobiles of the day, and ran off the same synchronous motor that powered the Tonewheel Generator. The Chorus-Vibrato is executed in the Digital Realm, without moving parts, and works under the same model. The classic V1/V2/V3/C1/C2/C3 controls are familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond. As with the Tonewheel Generator, Digital control allows a wide range of adjustment that was simply not possible on the original. As the Antique organs aged, the components acquired their own unique qualities. Digital control allows the user to shape the Chorus/Vibrato’s various facets, with the added ability to “age” the effect-with the resulting treble emphasis and subtle distortion that marks the organs that develop this patina as “sweeter” than others.
The chief feature of the Hammond B-3 upon its release in 1955 was the inclusion of Touch-Response Percussion™ (Perc). This effect added a high “attack” to the Organ tone at either the octave or the twelfth, with a fast note decay. This sound was reminiscent of an xylophone or clave, and became immensely popular, immediately. Perc gave the Organ a bright highlight, and every generation of music has embraced this sound. Controls for the Perc have the classic nomenclature, familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond. Perc is executed in the Digital realm, allowing a wide range of controls the organists back in the day did not possess. The 1′ drawbar muting, characteristic of the Vintage Organs can be defeated, as can the drop in Drawbar volume level that accompanied the engaging of the Percussion voice. You can control the volumes and decay times as well.
The Vintage Hammond used a mechanical “Buss-Bar” system behind the keys, which triggered each note played. As this involved live electrical circuits being made as the organ aged, a slight noise was heard every time a key was pressed (or released). Hammond engineers tried to rectify that imperfection, but as with so many of the other eccentricities of the Hammond, the effect grew to be highly desired, with some even adding modifications to enhance the key-click. The XK-3c uses digital keying, but the key-click effect can still be had, with extensive control as to the volume, envelope, and timbre of the click. The control goes further with the dynamic change of the click according to the drawbar’s registration. The culmination of this is that the performance feel is much closer to a “buss-bar” keyboard, and the key-click can be set to your taste.
THE “TONE” CONTROL:
The inclusion of this obscure feature demonstrates the commitment to authenticity Hammond has brought to the XK-3c. Inside the Vintage Hammond B-3, on one side of the tube preamp, there was a “Screwdriver Pot” with the engraved legend “Tone”. This control was adjusted by the Technician installing the organ in order to tame the treble response in the instance of the organ’s installation in a Church or Mortuary, where a more muted organ was desired. The control was a cocktail of upper Mid and High frequencies (the proportions of which were, until recently, held secret. The “Tone” control was basically a “hi cut” control and only went “down”. You could not direct the control to go “up” for “boost”. The TONE control is included in the XK-3c’s menu with the added benefit of being able to BOOST the unique blend of frequencies, which adds a nice “edge” to the Xk-3c tone, if desired.
Organ Division DSP and Other Features
A 3-band EQ is available with Shelf Lo and Hi with sweepable Mid control.
Preset and Backup
The Xk-3c has 8 banks of 9 presets each, controlled by the Traditional “Reverse color” Preset keys at the lower end of the Manual. The entire Xk-3c setup may be saved to a common CF Flash card for backup or restoration.
6 external MIDI zones may be controlled by the Xk-3c, with all settings saved as a preset. You can play these external zones with or without the Xk-3c voices sounding. A Programmable Rotary control and switch are available for each Zone. A pair of performance controls (Pitch-Bend and Mod) reside to the left of the Keyboard.
XK Vintage Lower Manual with Music Rack
Keyboard: 61 + 12 (preset keys) Panel Controls: Power on/off Terminal: AC input, MIDI out, Headphone Cables included for hookup to XK-3c: (1) 5-pin MIDI cable, (1) 8-pin XLK cable #100-116-3401
XK Vintage Stand
Collapsible stand featuring spindle legs Note: The XK Vintage Stand is compatible ONLY with the XK Vintage Lower Manual
XK 25-Note Pedalboard
Keyboard: 25 keys Terminal: MIDI out, Expression pedal out Cables included for hookup to XK System manuals: (1) 5-pin MIDI cable, (1) 8-pin cable
Red Walnut w/ Maple Veneer
Adapter Cable: 11-pin to dual 1/4″ (audio/speed)
XK-3c to Studio 12 – 10ft length
Dimensions and Weight
XK-3c: 5″ (H) x 47″ (W) x 16″ (L), 45 lbs Vintage Lower Manual: 48”(W), 25”(D), 8”(H) (without music rack), 67 lbs XK Stand: 48”(W) x 25”(D) x 30”(H) (set up), 36 lbs XK 25-Note Pedal Board: 42” (W) x 37”(D) x 6”(H) (without expression pedal), 55 lbs