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In my WIP, the first two phrases don't ask for any effects, and the third measure onwards requires a Leslie simulator to be switched on (and as to why I'm being so specific for this piece, it is because only one person, whose gear I know, will ever see this sheet). How do I notate this?

In general, has anyone in the last half-century or so had any word on what a standard for notation of use of effects units?

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You just write it! It's the same as Fans on and Fans off in a vibraphone part. You can write it above the stave, or between the staves if the part is written using two. Synths usually have presets marked the same way: Preset 12, or Patch 133, or Didgeridoo patch or whatever.

I put such instructions in a box, like the one you draw around beaters in a percussion part.

You don't put senza sord. at the beginning of any orchestral part because the default state for all instruments IS unmuted. But the default state of e.g. a Hammond B3 may be Leslie on. So, as a precaution, you might put Leslie off at the start of the part.

(I don't understand what you mean about being specific btw.)

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  • For a funny note, I'm actually using a Leslie sim on an electric piano. The default state is not using a Leslie :) – JohnnyApplesauce May 29 at 2:03
  • Confirm - default Leslie is off - the horn and baffle may be turning slowly, but there's no Doppler effect until it's switched on. On gtr. parts, there may be 'chorus', or 'dist.' just written in. – Tim May 29 at 7:03
  • @Tim Yes, I played one quite a lot in the early 80's. Lovely things. But I still think one would write 'Leslie off' at the start. If its characteristic sound is 'Leslie on' then maybe that's its default. I suppose it depends how you define 'default state'. (Or whether you bother!) Is there a default on/off state for the vibe's fans? Its characteristic sound is 'on'. And has it got a default fan-speed? A snare drum's characteristic sound is 'snares on' but they get packed away with snares off. Hmm. I'm abandoning this :-) – Old Brixtonian Jun 3 at 16:52
  • My reasoning is that with a joystick on a lot of keyboards, not touchng it results in Leslie off, and moving it gives Leslie on. Same with the pedals I use with keyboards (expression, of course!). With snare drum it can't be a snare drum without the snare! So default is ON. Needs notating if it has to be off. And good drummers leave it off till playng. Bit like mics? – Tim Jun 3 at 17:48
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I've seen this in scores for musicals in bass or guitar parts, but it's usually very low detail. Usually there will just be a short note like "(fuzz)" or "(wah)" above or below the staff.

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