As a Hammond guy, I’m so used to playing organ with a half-moon Leslie switch that I hate playing without one, so I usually try to engineer something to retrofit to all my live keyboards. My current gigging board is an Arturia Keylab 88 Essential, a great board but the Mod wheel is located at the extreme top left of the keyboard and that’s just too out of the way for Leslie switching, especially when you’re also playing bass with the left.
On this keyboard I decided the best way to achieve this was to emulate what the mod wheel does using a three way Telecaster switch via a resistor network.
These telecaster 3 way switches are perfect for this job, so I created the resistive network and wired it all up and tested to make sure I got the values right.
This circuit should work with any keyboard that uses a voltage divider to perform the task, you might need to alter the resistor network values to match. In my case the mod wheel potentiometer was a 10K linear.
With my circuit certified working I tidied up the resistors and heat shrunk everything to keep it all together.
Next I printed out the half-moon case for the switch. Don’t ask why I chose red… it’sjust what filament I had in the machine at the time
In hindsight, I reckon the red contrasts nicely against an all white keyboard
The next step was really the hardest because the Arturial Keylab Essential 88 is so tight for space that I had nowhere to route the switch cables without them getting in the way of the keys - the keybed splits the keyboard in two complete sections. I had no choice but to do some non-reversible modifications to the casing which meant removing a lot of the plastic ribbing under the chassis to accommodate the wiring and then secure everything with hot glue - a service tech’s nightmare
I screwed everything back up and viola!! I can now constantly fiddle with my Leslie speed like any self respecting Hammond freak
Thanks for reading and have a great day!