PSA: IK Multimedia B-3X Sale


A bargain at that price - I think it was 150 when I pulled the trigger on it

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I like the B-3X even so I can’t make it growl like a rock organ.
My main problem is that it often crashes Studio One when opening the GUI.
With opening tickets at Presonus and IKMultimedia I had no luck so far but I can’t imagine that I’m the only one with this problem.

Not true…keep your eyes open for a future post in the organ thread!

Well, there goes another $99… :grinning:

Have you not seen the videos on the IK site? Specifically the prog rock video?

@ Corky; nice - will do.

@ Derek
Yes, I saw the videos - nice playing but I’m still not convinced.
May be I’m biased or simply nostaltic but some of the old organ recordings have more body and depth and in the highs more bite in a pleasent way. One can call it more 3D and the organ fits better with the other instruments without making it loud to stand out.

Some examples from a quick search (even with YT quality I can hear a difference):

I agree there is a noticeable difference. My guess is some post EQ gets a lot closer and I’ll be finding out soon enough. Now if I could only play the thing with something other than a mouse and a grid… :rofl:

[edit] Here is a very quick settings test that is maybe a good starting point to liven it up. These settings on ThrillseekerXTCmkII give it a bit more girth and chime. But not tested in a mix yet so…

The thing is, most things are blended in the mix. The original Winwood Gimmie Some Lovin’ was extremely gritty. But most videos of a live version is much cleaner. And, like guitar amps at the star level, they are modded, just like the Leslies in the day. I constantly change levels and eq to the different venues because every room is different.

But one thing many people forget…drawbars ARE your eq. I constantly move drawbars in real time to get what I feel. Most Hammondites do. Just watch Corey Henry or Billy Preston, and see if they don’t make your head spin with constant drawbar changes.

Just like in real life, drawbar settings are just a starting point, where you go from there is on you. Learning what the drawbars do, what they add or subtract, the frequencies 2 out or 5 out on every drawbar. I know what to shove back, or tame that over-brilliant high. Presets are always set in my songs at a gig. I know what I want at home, but at the gig, I will adjust accordingly while in the song.

And again…keep a watch on the organ thread.

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From the videos, I’d have to say, they don’t have more, but actually less high range. To my ears, it sounds like quite a bit of 6kHz and upward (sometimes even lower, e.g. Gimme Some Lovin’) was rolled off / low-passed on these recordings, to avoid the Hammond getting in the way of the vocal high end and the cymbals etc.

Same with the low end: I frequently reduce quite a bit of the <250 Hz (or even higher) range to make my Hammonds sit in a mix - they are far too boomy out-of-the-box, so when I turn them up for a solo, the lower range drowns out everything else. Once I put in the low shelf, things become so much easier to manage, and the organ starts to shine. On Gimme Some Lovin’, I’d wager there’s not a lot left of the organ below 350 Hz…

It’s like mixing bass: when your bass guitar feels too low in a mix, it’s often really useful to turn down the lower range with a low shelf and then push the bass up - you don’t want a boomy mess…

A bit of careful sculpting of the frequency range can make the organ cut through the mix far better, so borrowing some mixing techniques when building your “live” sounds can be super-helpful.

The B-3X gives you great “raw material” to start out with, and it does sound pretty cool in isolation, but in a mix, an organ needs quite a bit of massaging…




I constantly change levels and eq to the different venues because every room is different.

Sorry for going off-topic. How do you know what kind of EQ changes are necessary? Do you play some recording through Cantabile while walking around the venue? Or do you just know based on experience that certain kind of venues require certain kind of EQ tweaks? I found it to be extremely hard to get a feel for how I sound out there. Of course I can adjust my EQ settings while setting up but it’s easy to underestimate how much the sound is altered by a crowd of people.

Apologies to the OP, but this is also gonna be WAY off topic…
In most instances, I will be in a group with their own PA system (or mine), sporting different amps and such. If it is a new venue to me, I will help set the PA sound, either by shooting the room with the mixer, or just by ear. There are lessor venues now with a sound man and PA, so it is up to us. I used to play a rehearsal recording off the mixer, but unless it’s a new venue for me, I don’t do it anymore.
It is difficult to set a room with patrons already in attendance. I’ve been doing this type setup for over 55 years, so it has become inherent, and when I test my rig at setup, I can hear what I need. Once the band gets going, I can adjust to them. One thing I’ve carried over from the 1960’s, is 1st song, always START with an instrumental. All of us are adjusting to the room and each other’s sonic space during that song, and vocals will not get in the way. Most musicians I play with have enough experience to adjust on the fly. I always see my guitarists and bassists adjusting pedals and amp settings during this time. As far as total sound out front, there are usually other musicians, and followers we know, who will tell us what needs adjusting. The same when using a closed in-ear system.

I have knobs handy on my lower keyboard bound to EQ, so as to fit in the mix, from where I sit. It is important to me to have an “output” rack with EQ, and a few other adjustments. As the crowd lessons, or gets bigger, listening to each other lets you know how to adjust. When playing a vst Hammond, I know what to do to cut through the mix we have, especially with solos. I also adjust my speaker EQ and volume throughout the night. An intro with no keys playing, or a guitar solo is an opportune time to do that.

All this is also tested in rehearsal, which gives you the best reference in fitting into a group. If I am substituting in a band I’ve never played with, I let them set their own sound, and space, then adjust. They will usually tell me if I am too loud or soft for them. We all help each other.
I’ve substituted drummers several times, and they look to me for direction. Several times, I’ve used Hank Williams JR’s long time drummer. He is used to playing stadiums and huge venues. So, he looked for direction from me, not only for song intros, endings, and breaks, but adjusting his volume. It’s just what we do.

I don’t know if I really answered your question, but my main point is, learn your gear, and it’s nuances. Develop you ear enough to know how the different frequencies affect your rig, and if you are playing a Hammond, learn the drawbars, and their frequencies, and how they fit into your particular sound.

Sorry…didn’t mean to write a book. :yawning_face:


LOL, didn’t mean to trigger a firestorm :upside_down_face:

That said, while drawbars determine harmonic content, which is at least related to EQ in that EQ determines harmonic content relativity but in a different way, in most cases when an actual B3 is used in either a concert setting or recording session, drawbars are not the full picture. Microphone response and the person at the console with EQ knobs also come into play in a not so subtle way.

I’ve worked both ends of the snake (not as a B3 player mind you) so feel very comfortable with saying a sound person is going to EQ anything including a B3 to make it fit in the mix. And everyone has their methods.

That said, my above suggestion as a starting point may or may not work for a particular drawbar setting and mix. It was simply based on what B3-X at full drawbar sounds like to me outside of a mix context and what would probably be needed inside that context. Again, it may or may not actually work, just a suggestion. As is the tool to accomplish the adjustments (which I’ve found very good for a number of instruments).

But that said, B3-X sounds very neutral to my ears, and that was probably intentional on IK’s part. Because its relatively easy to add certain aspects to a neutral base sound as opposed to subtract them from a highly colored base. JMO of course.

So again, wasn’t wanting to trigger a firestorm and offered a perspective from the other end of the snake is all. Hey, at least its less boring around here for the moment! :rofl:

All valid points mentioned above.
I use low shelf and/or HP all the time but didn’t touch the high range. I’ll have to look at it further.
I also tried thrillseeker and other plugins but I think when I use the B-3X with the built in leslie it is not a good idea to put anything except eq at the end of the chain.
Last thing I tried out was to lower the amp gain and drive it harder from the stomp eq - gives me a bit different behavior when using the expression pedal - not sure if I leave it that way.

You didn’t…I was just attempting to answer Thijon’s questions he asked of me, if that is what you are referring. :grin:

The only reason I suggest TS is that it seems to be much more EQ than exciter (except for the new mid-band with comp) and what excitation it does add I’ve always liked and found useful. But as always, ymmv and until its in context of a mix it is just speculation on my part…

Probably a poor choice of words on my part, I was more referencing the amount of copiously detailed discussion! :grinning:

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IK Multimedia’s licensing terms are an interesting read:
Your license is for 30 years.

Is anyone using software they purchased in 1992?
Are they going to support it for 30 years?
It’s also limited to 3 computers, which, If you’ve a main and backup for live performances, leaves you just 1 for the studio.

It sounds flipping awesome though.

I take full responsibility for triggering that firestorm and hijacking this thread :wink: . Thank you @Corky for your thoughts. I think it’s incredibly helpful to learn how others are dealing with those things. It’s the musician’s dilemma that we cannot really play and listen from the audience perspective at the same time.

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Not looking to start a war of which Hammond plugins are the best here.
I currently have GSI VB3. I haven’t used it enough to build a strong opinion of it yet but the music I play features B3 a fair amount. Is it worth getting B3X to have in my collection as well? The discount looks fantastic.

Thanks in advance.