Hybrid Multiple Key Contact System
On classic Hammonds (and in our current, full-sized New B-3 mk2 family), pressing a key closes nine mechanical contacts: one for each drawbar. Your ears usually hear the multiple harmonics as one note. Depress a key slowly, however, and you can hear the harmonics come in at slightly different times. Normal playing created a subtle “slop” between otherwise crisp attacks, and the more drawbars you pull out, the more of an almost subliminal but chewy and soulful character it impacts to the sound. One perhaps feels this more than hears it, but seasoned players certainly notice its absence.
You can’t accomplish this with a single MIDI note-on, which is what most of today’s organ and synth key actions use. In the XK-5, we use three mechanical contacts at different points in the keys’ travel. Each of these in turn triggers three virtual contacts, giving you separate “note-on” connections for every drawbar frequency in the same manner as the original nine-contact electro-mechanical Hammond-organs. The result is a fingers-to-music connection that perfectly duplicates sitting at a vintage B while saving on weight and cost. Plus, the time-spread between these “note-on’s” is programmable, as is the order in which you hear the harmonics speak. And since the contacts all receive and transmit MIDI note data, you can capture every harmonic nuance of your performance in your DAW program of choice -to which you can directly connect the XK-5 via USB.
Completely Redesigned Key-bed
The XK-5’s keyboard action is built in-house, not sourced from a third-party manufacturer. We designed it to duplicate the heft, bounce, and key dip of a “new old stock” and well-maintained B-3: No springy synth keys allowed! Master Hammond players who tested early prototypes confirmed that nothing comes closer to the feel and response they expect. Of course it has the “waterfall” key fronts critical to Hammond playing techniques such as palm slides. Play the XK-5 alongside any other modern organ and we’re convinced you’ll find the difference stunning.
All-New Sound Engine
The XK-5 employs new proprietary technology to recreate Hammond’s storied tone wheel generator with unprecedented accuracy and flexibility. Tone wheels were spinning discs on shafts, each with its own pickup pointing at the edge. The pattern of “teeth” cut into the edge of the wheel and its rotational speed determined the pitch. Modeling and sampling are combined in an exclusive process to capture the frequencies of all 91 tone wheels found in the original organs, not to mention other important sonic details such as key click, harmonic percussion, vibrato-chorus, and more.
Tone wheel generators have become like rare violins or classic cars: Even though Hammond originally calibrated all instruments that left the factory to sound identical, no two are exactly alike after decades of use. So we’ve extended the programmability of both the overall generator characteristics (such as leakage and cross-talk between pickups) and individual tone wheel behavior (such as the purity of the sine wave) to almost ludicrous depths. In addition to letting you perfectly duplicate different conditions of Hammonds -from showroom-new to road-abused if that’s what you’re going for- there’s the ability to recreate individual organs right down to the model, year, and serial number! Presets will capture the exact tonal qualities of famous artists’ instruments, from jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith to Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones) to Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey) and more.
Virtual Matching Transformer
An often overlooked subtlety of the Hammond sound was that the tone wheels generated tiny voltages that needed to be stepped up, and you could be “drawing on” some of the same wheels at the same time by playing similar notes with similar drawbar settings on both manuals. All signals from the upper, lower, and pedal manuals passed through a matching transformer that was intended to even things out before the signal moved on to the preamp and vibrato-chorus scanner. The transformer -a piece of iron with a coil wrapped around it- could “remember” some of its saturation based on how hard it had been working previously, thus affecting new notes played. Physicists call this hysteresis. Musically speaking, it affects how much “volume robbing” you hear and adds to what Hammond aficionados think of as the “breathing” quality of the organ. (The phenomenon is similar to why some recording engineers like transformer-equipped microphones and/or preamps for certain sounds.) In the XK-5, the matching transformer and its place in the signal chain is modeled precisely, and the saturation and hysteresis amounts are adjustable from barely-there to over-the-top. Like we said, we’re closing the final few millimeters of the realism gap.
- Out of a total of more than 50 innovations and features, we here list the some of the most outstanding…
- Four full sets of Harmonic Drawbars plus pedal drawbars.
- 12 additional virtual tone wheels are devoted to pedal tones.
- Custom tone wheel profiles available via download.
- Our best-ever Digital Leslie effect.
- Continuously variable Digital Leslie speed if desired.
- Dedicated octave shift / transpose buttons.
- Improved DSP-based overdrive complemented by vacuum tube preamp.
- Improved vibrato-chorus.
- Dedicated on/off and amount knobs for reverb, overdrive & assignable multi-FX.
- Lower B drawbars can alternately control 9 MIDI CC messages for external gear.
- Left and right ¼” outs can be used at the same time as Leslie output.
- More key-triggering modes for pedal-to-lower coupler (Manual Bass function).
- Firmware updatable via USB flash drive or directly from computer.
- Crisp new OLED display is more readable under different lighting conditions.
||MTW I(Modelled Tone Wheel I)
61 polyphony (for manual)
3 polyphony (for pedal)
||73 (61 + 12 Preset Keys)
Water Fall type
Virtual Multi Contact
– Upper: 2 x 9 Pitches
– Lower: 2 x 9 Pitches
– Pedal: 2 Pitches
– Manuals: 4 choices (A-100, B-3, C-3, Mellow)
– Pedal: 4 choices (Normal, Muted, Synth1, Synth2)
– Virtual Multi Contact
|TOUCH RESPONSE PERCUSSION
– Percussion On, Th ird Harmonic, Fast Decay, Volume Soft
– Touch, Velocity, Decay (Fast, Slow), Level (Normal, Soft)
||Vibrato and Chorus
– Digital Scanner
– Device: 12AX7, 12AU7
– Adjustable: Routing, Level
– Control: On, Depth
– 8 programs
– Bass, Mid, Treble, Tone
– Advanced Digital, 2 Rotors
– Buttons: Bypass, Stop, Fast
– Digital, 11 programs
– Control: On, Depth
– Leslie On Reverb
– Bass, Mid, Treble
– Pedal To Lower, Split, Transpose, Octave Down, Octave Up, Lower
– Coupler Highest note, Split Point
– 100 User Patches, 100 Factory Patches, Adjust Preset A#/B
– 10 Keys
Patch Load Options
– Drawbar Registration, Drawbar Parameters, Internal Zone, External
– Zone, Eff ects, Reverb
– Master Volume
– Power On/Off
||USB Flash Drive
||20 – Characters, 2 – Lines
7 Control Buttons and Value knob
– 5 Templates
– 3 External Zones (Upper)
– 2 External Zones (Lower)
– 1 External Zone (Pedal)
– and Keyboard Channels:
Upper, Lower, Pedal
– In (Pedal), In (Lower/Other), Out
– To Host
– To Keyboard/Pedal (0.3A max)
– Line Out L/Mono, R, Headphones (Rear, Bottom)
– 11 – pin, 1 and 3 channels available
– Leslie Switch, Foot Controller 1, 2, Exp. Pedal, AC Inlet
||119(W), 40(D), 12(H) cm