What is a Hammond organ?

An organ with electromechanical tonal string invented by Laurens Hammond in the 30s. The heart of the construction is a set (91 pieces) of toothed metal wheels that spin in front of electromagnets that then generate small alternating voltages that make up the frequencies of the notes played. A counterpart to a pipe in a church organ, one might say. The first model came in 1935 and was then further developed over many years. The most famous model that has become iconic in many ways is the B3 which came in 1955. Organs with the above-mentioned tone generator were manufactured until the mid-seventies, when other technology took over in production. Today there are a plethora of so-called clones, digital organs that try to imitate the old organs in the smallest detail.

The organ used in the recording of QLX is a B3 from 1971.

What is a Leslie cabinet?

A type of amplifier and speaker cabinet invented by Donald Leslie in the 40s. Hammond organs and Leslie cabinets have become intimately associated with each other and are often considered to belong together, although you don’t always see a Hammond with a Leslie. The sound in the cabinet is divided into lower and higher frequencies and is then directed via speakers into rotating elements that throw the sound in different directions in the room. At the top a horn where the bright frequencies come out, at the bottom a drum with a slanted disc inside. The horn and drum can rotate at different speeds or stand still. The acoustic effect that occurs in the room next to a Leslie cabinet is difficult to describe and creates a kind of 3D effect. A leslie is cool enough, as it gives a completely different acoustic experience than a static speaker. Using several cabinets in parallel adds another dimension to the sound in the room Nowadays there are a lot of digital simulations of the Leslie effect.

What is QLX?

An abbreviation for “Quadraphonic Leslie Experience”, a project and concept created by Andreas Hellkvist. A Hammond organ is connected to 4 Leslie cabinets, which are placed around the organ. The sound can be modulated both with effects that change the sound itself, as well as delays and other pannings that make the notes bounce or wander around between the cabinets. The rotation in the Leslie cabinet can be controlled in different ways. At concerts, the audience can move freely in the venue to be able to experience the sound from all angles.

What makes QLX unique?

The whole! “Just” hooking up an organ to 4 leslies has been done before. But this is so much more. The sound from the organ is made to bounce, wander or pulse between the cabinets, partly with a time delay and partly with other pannings. Other effects change the sound further. The rotation in the cabinet is controlled with the help of a computer so that they can be made to react to the control according to different programs, as well as being decoupled so that they can be controlled separately. You can even control them via an app! In addition, the music is specially written for the context and tailored to the set-up. It’s quadraphony for real!