Corky’s VST Organ Tips and Tweaks Page 🎹


I modeled my Rack posted above for the 1st version of VB3 II, but was not impressed, and went back to VB31.4. I tried it last night on v 1.1.0, and WHOA…what a difference.

At this point, I am not using the new VB3 until it calms the updates. Love the updates, just don’t want to keep re-doing my setup.


Thanks Corky, I thought it sounded better and thicker like it’s granddaddy the original VB3. <

Good to know, did not get familiar with the brighter sound of VB3 II till now (something is missing for me).

Regards, humphrey


Just got me the update and hm, well, hmm… sorry to say but VB3 II still doesn‘t do it for me.

I tried to find out what is so annoying, used VB3 I and II side by side to compare identical settings. I left away reverb, overdrive, scanner, percussion and leslie on both and only used the 8‘ register. What I found is:

  1. The basic sound of VB3 I seems to be softer, mellow, with less overtones in it
  2. If playing cords VB3 I sounds more harmonic to my ears, even if I only play 2 notes in octave intervall there seems to be a very decent (but sweet) modulation going on in the background (but I may be wrong here).
  3. Crosstalk on VB3 I sounds as beeing well corellated to the basic sound (in fact the frequency is changing depending on the key I press). In VB3 II it sounds like a separate soundgenerator producing a static overtone spectrum is added when pressing the key.

All this results in a harsher more static sound when trying to reproduce VB3 I settings with version II and this unfortunately didn‘t really change very much with the latest release (at least for me). All in all I have to say I will keep VB3 I as my workhorse for the moment.

To be clear: I confess I‘m definitely not a hammond expert like Corky, Fred and others here, I only know hammonds from recordings. So all I describe is my personal taste which may probably be far from the real thing!

Regards, humphrey


I really haven’t done an in-depth comparison of v1 to v2 yet. I’d be interested to look for the differences you’re mentioning. At the end of the day though, there are so many subtle differences between organs themselves, that kind of stuff doesn’t matter to me so much- good grief, Blue3 has, what, about 30 separate organ models and they’re all harmonically a little different. My gut reaction is that I like the brighter more harmonically rich sound I feel is coming from VB3 2, but in the end it;s all about the Leslie. A good Leslie sim and amp combo can have ANYTHING in front of it and I’ll be happy :wink:

There are at least three songs on the cd we just finished though that had VB3 I stock sounds as placeholders that I tried re-tracking with VB3 2 and the IK Multimedia Leslie and we wound up sticking with the original sound because it just had something we liked and were used to.


Hi Humphrey

Like I said at the top, I am by far no expert, :wink: I have been playing Hammonds, Farfisas, and Voxs for over a half century. I learned at an early age how to maintain them and do a little work on them. I ruined a perfectly good back moving them, so at least I am an expert in that sense.

I felt the same way with the initial VB3 II release, but came to the unfortunate understanding that it IS NOT VB3 I.4. A much different engine, so trying to re-create VB3 I sounds is mostly futile. I will, however, use VB3 II on other things that it may shine on. I have found v 1.1.0 to have better Leslie response and better presence. That said, we all hear things much differently, as is witnessed by the differences of the developers. I am excited we have so many good choices we didn’t have a short 3 years ago.


The Amplitube Leslie has 1 thing missing, or I haven’t found yet. No motor or chorale noise. Completely quiet until keys are pressed. Very strange feeling, like putting a Leslie on a gate.


Yeah, there is that. You could always run the GSi Leslie in the background just for that :wink: Actually, running an amp sim in front of it that hums can fix that in a fairly natural sounding way. But nothing will ever beat VB3 1 for Leslie hiss and those solenoids clicking.


DUDE!!! I am close :smiley: I tried something tonight. Just gotta dial it in tomorrow.


Anxiously waiting !!



Here is where I stopped on the Tony Kaye setting. This is using VB3 II 1.0.3 and T-Racks Leslie. I thought it would be easier to dial these in from screen shots. I would seriously doubt that these settings translate to other VSTs or the newer VB3 II v1.2.0. This very close to the tone coming from the isolated track of Yours Is No Disgrace. It needs a little more “hollowness” and powerful bass grit. I am now getting even better results with Amplitube Leslie, even though IK Multimedia says they are the same…but not to my shattered ears.

T-Racks setup page

T-Racks amp page

T-Racks eq page



Thanks very much for sharing. When I get five mins I am going to grab the demos of these and set them up. Will also try and get the same sound in my Kronos CX-3 to check out the difference, which is my “exam question” really. I have been using CX-3 for a few years now, but want to know how it is fairing against the Modern VSTis, or whether it is time to shift to something like VB3. I get the feeling that there will be no further development of the Kronos models now.


That is really a shame.

Good luck. Hopefully you will get the same thing I am hearing. As I said above, I came across a good Wakeman Tone while working on this one. I am going for a Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) tone next. I recently watched a 2016 concert of theirs, and his playing and his Hammond was killer. He has always been one of my favorites. I really think B5 may come closer than the others for that. What I will eventually do is try to get the same tones on VB3, VB3 II, Blue3 v2, and B5…just to see what it takes in each separate plug. I figure they will all be vastly different.


I’m using the Blue 3 v2 Evil Ways preset (under Rock) with the IK Amplitube Leslie 122/122 (amp drive and volume at 2 oclock - cab at defaults) for learning the song. It sounds pretty close to the studio recording of the song. I’m not experienced enough in B3 playing to know what fine points are lacking but when the expression pedal is down the grind seems right.


Thank you for the info Doug, I will check it out.




Hi Corky,

One of the issues is I’m listening on headphones - getting it to sound right on a small stage is another issue.

Very interested in whether you think I’m crazy for thinking it sounded close.



I don’t think that at all. :grin:

I set my presets up through headphones, then try it through an amp, If it passes that, then I will take it to the stage where it will fail or not. There is a huge difference in initial setup and stage use. Many times it is a fail on stage, but I will be able to go back home and adjust it, or completely ditch it, then start over.

I will let you know what I think as soon as I get in front of my rig in a few hours, but I am sure it will be fine.


Quick question. I played hammonds from 15 to about 25 years old until I studied physics at UCSB specific to sound. Then I fell in love with synth and synth programming at the advent of FM synthesis (4 years prior, but I was broke and couldn’t afford the DX-7 immediately) and Sample attack etc. (plus playing funk exclusively).

Now I long for the Hammond sound again. Purchased VB3 1.4 (back in the day), VB3 II and (at Corky’s recommendation) Blue3 which I favor above all.

What I am seeing here is that players are bypassing the leslie inside the VST Hammond, and are constructing the drive and leslie with other plugins (as we did in the old days. Anyone remember oiling the generator once a year?). Is bypassing the leslie in VB3 or Blue 3 necessary to get a good sound, or can it be accomplished within the VST.

Lee Michaels, some Jon Lord is primarily my mental sound reference. I was not much of a Yes fan.



Arrgh, didn’t have time to tweak my sound today.

Howifeel, up until now I thought the Leslie in VB3 v1.4 was the best available in software form, and I would still use that if I were to load up a Hammond VST for an all-in-one solution. I actually feel the Leslie (and amp) in VB3 v2 is a step backwards. I also think the Leslie in Blue3 is inferior to it, even though they have improved with v2 as well. However, imho the Leslie that IK Mutimedia is the best currently. So that’s why right now I’m currently interested in turning off the Leslie built in to both Blue3 or VB3 and using the IKM, along with trying various amps, preamps and overdrives in a quest for THE SOUND- because for the first time it’s in reach. BTW this is all because of wanting that dirty, heavy sound- VB3 v2 sounds good with its built-in Leslie for clean jazzy sounds. It’s all subjective but for me I wold either run VB3 1.4 by itself for a good sound, or VB3 v2 or Blue3 v2 with the IKM Leslie for a GREAT sound.


Hi John

They all have their special place. Truthfully, the resident rotary simulations in these newer plugs are really good. As you know, there are purists in nearly everything, and many will not ever be satisfied. These developers give us a lot of parameters to tweak, but most will never use them, and settle for factory presets, that usually suck.
I still have VB3 1.4 in most of my setups. But, I am constantly checking the newest thing out. I used B4 for a long time, many years ago. Not knocking it now, but the rotary sounded cheesy. Vb3 was a big step ahead, and I still love it as it is. What has happened is there are some really good plugs on the market, all at the same time. There are also many fast coming updates as well. It makes my head spin like a Leslie sometimes. I decided to make some sense out of all this, if possible. I am doing the same thing with amp sims too.
I am trying to get some hold on these plugs to closely emulate certain artists’ setups, if possible. What we run into, as in guitar amp sims, is that many artists have special mods that are mostly not available in most plugs. And, there is the live aspect that comes into play. Will it sit well in a live mix?

They both are favorites of mine. Other than the jazz greats, I started teething my chops on Booker T, Billy Preston, Goldy McJohn, Jimmy Greenspoon, Mark Stein, Felix Cavaliere, and many more I can’t recall at this minute. I have been able to dial in settings close to most of them.

I still carry oil on me when I sit in at a couple of local churches. I always do a little maintenance on their organs cause no one else will.


Thanks so much for the input! I am looking into IK Multimedia. I bought their MODObass immediately when I heard it. I also own Amplitube 3 (and 4 I think).