At the behest of @dave_dore, and several PM’s, I am creating this topic to share what we know about our Hammond/Leslie VST’s, and how we achieve the tones that gives us a smile. I am, by far, no expert, but work very seriously to get the best out of these plugins. Nothing is better than sitting behind a real Hammond, but the developers are continuously getting closer to “the sound”, but it is up to us to tweak these plugs to our liking. Feel free to share settings and racks, and maybe all of us will learn more about the instrument we love. Let the sharing begin.
Memphis B3.cantabileRack (9.4 KB)
This is a very simple tweak to achieve a STAX based background organ as used in Memphis Soul Music of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Think of Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Al Green. I use it around the C5 range. The rack contains VB3 1.4 with MIDI channel 3 for the upper keys. I don’t know if the global settings will translate to other laptops, but if you have to use MIDI channel 3 to get it working, then all the other global changes will be there as well. I worked with one of the old STAX session keyboardists a few months ago, and he loved this sound, and couldn’t believe it came out of a computer.
Location of your VB3 may not be the same as mine, so there could be a problem loading it on your system. I can share screen shots and settings if needed.
I look forward to the exchange but will need some time to get an offering together. Thanks for starting “The Thread” and in the mean time I be checking in to see what comes up and trying out the postings like yours.
Here is something I have found while testing the various Hammond/Leslie plugs. Many of the plugs came up short on the slow speed of the cabinet. I could not hear the slow swirl very well, or at all. To many people this may not be an issue, but I found it distracting. Sitting next to a Leslie for many years, I am used to hearing the slow swirl, whether playing or not. The solution to this became a matter of mic positions, and adding the acoustic/motor noise that most plugs offer as a setting. It can be over done, so I am careful how much to add. This gives more reality to any of the plugs. VB3 1.4 does a great job with this. Others, not as well. Try it on your plug of choice and see what you think.
I got pretty close when we were discussing it. @Neil_Durant shared some settings and I worked on it for quite awhile. Then the new VST’s came along and I shelved it. Need to get back to it. I will share what I came up with soon. I am sure there are others that would be willing to share.
When I get five mins (hah!) from a really gruelling work period, I intend to demo the new VB3 and the IK Leslie to see what it gives me over and above the Kronos CX-3 engine, which I am guessing has probably now been well overtaken by the modern VSTi Organ choices.
I was very happy with some of the sounds I got out of CX-3 for some Floyd songs, but less happy on others. I know a lot of people swore that putting it through a VENT pedal made a world of difference, but now I have a PC with good horse power, I might as well try a fully virtual route to see how it compares.
I remember that Tony Kaye discussion, and agreed that it is a great signature sound to nail and show off what organ/Leslie modelling can do.
I have a VB3 II + IK Leslie that is extremely close to the Tony Kaye YIND sound almost ready. While tweaking I found a Wakeman sound as well. Trying to find the best way to release them other than screen shots. Maybe everything in a rack, but I don’t know how they will translate to another system.
We should have a Kaye-off! I think I have something pretty good with my rig too, better than before… Would need the time to really tweak it though. BTW there are numerous stories from the members of Yes that he had a double Leslie in those days, but it’s pretty evident to my ears that if he did he wasn’t recording with it. Not on The Yes Album at least. I hear one swirl…
The other trick is you need a twin-manual setup to get the left hand at the right registration and I’m too lazy to do that.
I have seen it done very convincingly with one manual, but I am sure it would be better…of course, not too hard to do with Cantabile.
I resemble that remark.
Rick Wakeman recorded with a flanger on Roundabout. So, I have been experimenting with a few to get that slow swirl. The free and cheaper ones work better. It also sounds better placed after the Leslie.
I was trying to do this within ONE Hammond plug. It was easier to get using IK Leslie with VB3 II. I have a running trial on Blue3, but not quite there. Have a good running trial on VB3 1.4. B5 will become another target too. Again, trying to achieve this without any other outside plugs, except IK Leslie. That said, if I don’t achieve this, I will use some free plugs and make it work. The VB3 II + IK is working very well, so I will release it in a few days. Gigs and Doctors have been keeping me from working on it as much as I would like.
I tried your setup, liked the Abuser, but don’t think the Decapitator added anything that the Abuser achieved.
I guess that’s better than a Tony-off.
Thank goodness this is not about a Jack McDuff setting.
Yeah, I went back and forth- Abuser by itself was very good but it seemed like setting them both for less than the total amount of distortion desired and blending it had a little mojo. It was a very specific setting on Decapitator. I’d have to look and see what it was. I have a lot of distortions and tube drives, I haven’t begun to try them all. I’m really starting to think though that as good as the IK amp is the sound is better bypassing its amp, using just the cabinet and finding the right pre to go before it.
Well the Abuser sounded good by itself when I tried it out, based on your info. I am going to eventually upgrade my old version of Amplitube and check out the Leslie with the amp they used on it, if you remember the video we discussed a few months ago.
I guess a rack would be best, along with maybe a simple description of what each plug in is so it will be easy to substitute something in. E.g. I have a lot of Line 6 amp modelling, but not Amplitude. So if you say you have used a "Marshall sim, drive x, tone a, b, c) etc. Then I think that is the best that can be done? Don’t want to create a lot of work as a result of this, but really interested to see how people are using the combinations.
Yeah you can choose any amp you want. Been looking at upgrading tonight, but hoping I won’t lose all my self-made presets.
I am finding a parametric eq at the end of the chain really brings the tone out on a lot of VSTi’s
Paul Rose, from the video re-posted below, has confirmed that all the growl in the test was from the Leslie, and NOT from the SK-2.
So, I updated my Amplitube yesterday. I substituted a Hiwatt. for the Leslie 122 amp (which was very good). I was able to dial in grit easily. In fact, I had to turn values down before I could start dialing. The Amplitube is much more visually graphic than the T-Racks version. I don’t know if the visuals made it seem better, but I am impressed. I spent a couple of hours with it, and I really believe the Amplitube version has more going for it, although the T-Racks version, to me, seems to have more control over cabinet controls. My 2 cents.
I’ve been checking in and want to say thanks for the input from all, it helps me check what I do against others much more experienced with Hammond products! I’m getting a wonderful growl out of the stock 122 Amp, but have tried some different heads in between the organ plug and the Leslie and that produces even more focused distortion tones so I find my self cleaning up the sound of the Source and the Leslie amp and having most of the distortion brought in by the Amp head plugin in between. The Leslie starts to growl pretty good at a little over half on the Gain Knob for me, but can get way dirtier for other uses that I don’t do in my working group, only when I sit in with the Hard rock gods around here. I have been impressed by the T-racks version but must admit the Amplitude version has a nicer GUI and it looks like more options for the dough. Is it just me or does the new version of VB3 II sound better than the previous, I am curious if it really just the same and my brain makes it sound better or if G mad some improvements other than the Spin plugin part of it. Thanks for any feedback
What little time I’ve had with VB3 II v 1.1.0 has been nice. No doubt, the rotary has a lot more going for it, although the Proggers (which I secretly am) will probably not be impressed. I am also noticing what you are confirming. I think there is an improvement in the organ too. I did a side-by-side version check, and yes, even with direct out, there is a change.
Thanks Corky, I thought it sounded better and thicker like it’s granddaddy the original VB3. I heard the demos of Blue 3 (I don’t possess that one, Yet lol) and it sounded very good with the new version they put out so GSI reacting was I think warranted.