Visual indication of leslie slow/fast

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Sometimes the monitoring on stage is far from optimum (especially with the 6 brass players next to me) and it doesn’t make sense to turn my monitor louder since I’d like to hear the other musicians too.
However, on quieter organ parts I have problems hearing if leslie speed is slow or fast.
The reason is that sustain pedal is used for toggling leslie speed and at the same time for “normal” sustain with piano/synths a. s o…

Recently I had the idea to make the leslie speed state visible.
I “misused” the OnScreen Keyboard for that purpose.
If the OnScreen Keyboard is visible the leslie speed is fast.
If it is not visible the leslie speed is slow.

In the linked rack (Blue3 here) I have to make sure that the initial condition
when loading songs/song states is “leslie slow”. Then every action on the sustain pedal toggles the OnScreen Keyboard on/off.

In the background rack I make sure that the initial condition for the OnScreen Keyboard when switching songs/song states is “off”.

This works inside one songstate with various instruments and when switching songstates in conjunction with seamless switching too.

BTW: That’s why I like Cantabile3 so much - there is always a solution that is not possible with hardware keyboards alone.


That’s creative thinking!

I still stand by my vertically mounted TV display connected by hdmi behind your keyboards :sunglasses: (Requires IK Amplitube Leslie)

I was on a tiny stage last month with two horn players right behind me - thankfully I had my Etymotic ER15’s to tone that down.

Cool. :slight_smile:

That was always a small but nice feature on the Kronos CX3 engine. It showed Leslie speed at the top of its Touch Screen.

Not this specifically, but I bind toggled colours to conditions quite often, to show which Media Player is active, for instance.


On reading this thread, I fiddled around a bit with Bindings in one of my organ racks: here is a solution that directly accesses the status of the leslie plugin, so it is independent of song load state:

This binding inside my organ rack reacts to the state of the leslie speed parameter in the plugin and sends CC127 messages to the onscreen keyboard. Then I set up a controller bar button:


This is the caption formula: $(cc(127) == 127 ? “Fast” : (cc(127) == 64 ? “Stop” : “Slow”))

Now my controller bar has a button that shows the current leslie speed:


But of course you could use a similar binding to light an LED or color a pad on your MIDI controller, if it allows this to happen via CC or sysex.




Hi Torsten; very interesting. I’ll try it out (just don’t know at the moment if there is enough space for another button).

I have to wonder… going back to the O/P, if you can’t hear whether the Leslie is fast or slow I’m sorta of shocked you can even tell what notes you’re playing! I started running earbuds right off my audio interface and leaving one out. That way no matter what horrors happened on stage in the wedges I could always hear myself well enough to keep going. Generally as long as I can hear me and the drummer I could care less about what the rest of the band is playing :smiley:


No problems hearing the notes I play but the transition from slow/fast grows up slowly and it is important to get the right starting point so the transition end fits the musical intention. At the beginning of the transition the impact is not as obvious as when it has ended.
In my opinion it is important to hear what the others play since there is interaction between musicians during live playing. This is what makes live playing so interesting. The consequence is that I have to train my part so well that I can listen to what other musicians play.

Until now I got it right in most cases except those where piano and organ are at different key ranges of one song state. When playing piano you use the sustain pedal several times and don’t count the hits. When the organ comes in there is a 50/50 chance that the leslie is already fast at the beginning. In this case it could be useful to have a visual indication of the leslie state.

Yup - that’s why I don’t use the sustain pedal for leslie speed. In most songs, I use the pitch wheel with a special rack that converts pitch wheel impulses to static CC1. I really don’t need the pitch wheel with organ or piano sounds, so that’s a useful assignment for it. When I have my hands so full that I can’t spare them for leslie speed duties, I either use my left pedal or aftertouch for leslie speed.



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Whilst it might be extravagant, the right expression pedal on my FC300 is always used for Leslie speed, and as I rest my foot on it, I always know what my Leslie is doing. And now I am using VB3 and the IK Leslie, as the start of a song I can bind a CC message to the Leslie to ensure it is at the right speed - a bit of belt and braces…

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Just my $.02, if stage volume is so terrible that you are unable to hear your Leslie speeds (especially with Blue3), I don’t understand how you could possibly play with any expression, which is essential when playing a Hammond. From what you’ve described, I can only assume you are going direct into the PA with no amp in your general area. I also can only assume in-ears are not available as well. If you are using wedges to hear yourself, it is a known fact that having them on the floor impedes the ability to hear them properly, especially on a crowded stage. All the bands I work with (unless those with in-ear systems) have pole mounted monitors. It is a necessity. One of the drummers I perform with, has a short pole mounted small powered monitor running off the mains at ear level. He can adjust the volume accordingly. Also, every stage, and FOH or self-mixed, is a determining factor. I really don’t understand you saying you can hear the notes but not the Leslie, since that is the output for the sound.

Since you are using the normal speed switches on other instruments, there are other options. I think I am seeing you are also trying to change speeds with state changes. If so, I wonder if you are using show notes as your main screen. If you can depend on a state change to change speeds, simply use a different color background to confirm the state change. If you can see your state changes on the left menu, you can color them as well to confirm state change. Also, if you are not using your screen for anything else, the Blue3 GUI shows the switch position on the organ, and on the Leslie page, the horn rotation is also a visual reference.

I agree with @Torsten, I rarely use sustain pedal for Leslie speeds. It really only makes sense to use the Mod Wheel because you can see where it is sitting, and, for us long time Hammond users, it is the closest thing to the half-moon switch we have. If you have four hands, and use Mod Wheel for other instruments at the same time, there are other options, but not knowing your setup. and what is available to you, it is difficult to to advise. We can only speculate, thus my usage of “IF” in every sentence.



Thanks for your suggestions so far.
I didn’t say that I don’t hear what I’m playing at all - no problem open air or at bigger stages - only a small problem under certain circumstances when using the sustain pedal for leslie slow/fast (especially in the case described in my second post (last section)).
And I can turn up my monitor but especially on smaller stages it doesn’t make sense if every player turns up his monitor.

You are right. There is room for impovement.

No; always reset leslie to default (slow) on state changes.

Using the modwheel (or the other suggested methods) is a way I’ll have to consider but I see advantages in using the sustain pedal (especially in conjunction with seamless switching). With Blue3 you can make the sustain pedal react to both sustain and leslie speed. For instance when you play the last chord of an organ part you can hold down the sustain pedal to slow down the leslie while holding the chord. You can then switch to a different state (e. g. piano) and have a minimum gap between the sounds when playing further. Disadvantage is that you can switch speed only when no note is played or a chord is held.

PS: Corrected a typo in my first post (end of first section: modwheel replaced by sustain pedal)

I agree, I also gave up on having two functions in one pedal - especially if I split the keyboard and have both organ and piano at the same time, because then I use sustain to make sure the chords on the piano is legato.

I have a separate switch pedal for leslie speed (momentary, goes to fast only when the pedal is down), and use a controller stick on the keyboard as a half moon switch - and use a separate continous pedal for sustain.

Still have the issue with my expression pedal that doubles as wah-wah on some rhodes parts (inspiration from the keyboard player in Crowded House at a show in Copenhagen a few years back - never thought of using that effect on keys before). Currently just making sure I switch the wah-wah off while playing both rhodes and organ parts.

Listen to Pink Floyd’s Money for a classic example of the EP going through a Wah :slight_smile: At the moment I cheat and use a touch wah effect, but keep meaning to putting it under pedal control.

Also Joe Zawinul of Weather Report was a master at wah wah Rhodes (as well as a lot of other creative effects).

  • Paul

After creating a rack with Lounge Lizard and Kuassa Efktor WF-3607 for Money we performed at an open mic I now use that rack regularly for EP.

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Well not exactly ‘on topic’, but close.
C3 Performer:
I have a ‘B3’ rack and I want to send a MIDI CC to my hardware keyboard (Mojo61) so that the Leslie Speed indicator always returns to Slow on a State change. I created a binding in the rack for ‘Song States’, ‘On Load’, to send CC1, value 0, to target MIDI out to my keyboard. The binding works fine when I click the ‘Play’ button for the binding, but it doesn’t seem to work when I am actually changing states. I want this to happen for all States in the rack, so I haven’t checked any of the ‘State Behavior - Binding’ checkboxes.

What am I missing?

Cheers - David


I don’t use a Mojo, but being a lifelong organist, I use the Leslie switch many times during a song. I would use too many states if I used it that way. That said, assuming you are using a Hammond VST, why would you not want to use the Mojo Leslie switch, and bind it to the VST Leslie switch? That way, you can visually see where the Leslie switch is sitting. On my keyboard controllers, I use the mod wheel. Others use a sustain pedal. If Mojo sends CC out, it shouldn’t be a problem to bind.
BTW, you should be able to hear the Leslie in fast speed.