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Best Virtual B3 ?? #3014746 11/03/19 12:41 PM
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Hello. I'm considering changing my live rig. I'm thinking of going with a Roland RD-2000, and adding a laptop for synth and organ sounds.

So what is the recommendation for a virtual B3? I would be using this with a "soul" dance band, so the B3 should have a sound like what might be heard on James Brown or Tower of Power - i.e. classic pop/rock B3. A good sounding Leslie emulation needs to be part of the package - either part of the virtual B3, or a recommended separate app.

I am sure the purists will say the RD-2000 keyboard is a poor choice for B3 playing. My response is 1) I am not really a good enough B3 player to notice these kinds of differences; and 2) I'm a poor smuck playing in a working dance band, so portability and quick easy set-up are perhaps more important considerations.

Thanks


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014749 11/03/19 01:21 PM
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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014752 11/03/19 01:49 PM
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Kind of debating this myself, but in my case trying to keep my rig to two boards...I've been more in "synth mode" and might (might) sell my Electro and get a knobby synth. Of course, I used to have one and sold it to get a better organ keyboard a few years ago, and regret it LOL!

I'm considering a laptop, in which case I'd probably stick to the Logic Pro X b3 since I already have it. It sounds pretty good to me.

However, the more convenient alternative would be iPad--the main draw being that I don't need a stand for it, it can velcro to the right side of my MODX7. Going to try out the Garageband organ (not sure it's exactly like the Logic one) and maybe purchase Galileo 2.

There are also some very nice synths for iPad. I have Moog Model 15 and Zeeon, and both of these sound very "analog" to my ears. That said, another draw for the laptop is that I have u-he's Diva and Repro among other excellent synths and IMO it's hard to top those synths.

I think the ipad is going to win out just due to logistical convenience though, IF the organ sounds decent (and IF I do sell the Nord). We've had a couple drunks crash onto our stage through the years and I fear what would happen to a laptop (or heck if a band member bumps it, definitely I'd need a rock solid--and heavy--stand for it, so it's more stuff to bring). Also, I use the ipad already for some lyrics and to adjust my monitor mix.

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014754 11/03/19 02:17 PM
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Cross-platform (Mac/PC) frontrunners are Blue3, VB3 II, B3X, and B5 (from GG, GSI, IK Multimedia, and Acoustic Samples respectively), all but the last have free demos. The first two let you separate the organ component form the Leslie component, so you can insert other fx or mix-and-match organ engines vs. rotary sims. The latter two don't, but I think you can probably bypass their rotary sims, which would let you use them with an alternate one. IK and GG also sell their rotary sims separately.

Mac also give you the option of their Logic/Mainstage organ.

As for iPad, from what little I've tried, I like GarageBand's organ quite a bit, and better than Galileo, but it provides no control mapping to hard controllers, and also monopolizes the MIDI input (you can't restrict it to a certain channel), interfering with your ability to run it in conjunction with other sound apps simultaneously.


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014757 11/03/19 02:42 PM
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VB3.


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014763 11/03/19 03:58 PM
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I’ll just throw this in there... if the OP isn’t an organ player, doesn’t notice the differences, is using a weighted hammer action, just needs a bit of organ to replicate some James Brown type stuff, and has a limited supply of money, what’s wrong with the “tone wheels” on-board the RD2000 in the first place? Thousands (well, hundreds) think Roland organ sounds are good enough.

All in context and YMMV, but in this case I’d suggest BbAltered save his money.



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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014764 11/03/19 04:08 PM
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I use the built in Logic Pro X/MainStage B3, when I don't have my Nord with me. I was *very* impressed by the IK B3X but if I'm doing an organ-heavy gig I'm probably bringing the Nord anyway. Any of the big four software organs previously listed are leaps and bounds ahead of the tonewheels in the RD2000 and capable enough for doing James Brown & Tower of Power in a dense band mix.

I'd even argue that the Native Instruments Vintage Organ Collection is good enough for that – I use that mostly for the C3 model and for overdriven sounds. I prefer NI's distortion models over Logic.


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014774 11/03/19 06:38 PM
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I have moved completely to Blue3 via Mainstage. I love it...and I’m controlling it via a weighted keyboard.

Last edited by philtre71; 11/03/19 06:39 PM.

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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014793 11/03/19 09:15 PM
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IK's B3-X is great, but even on my fast computer, I notice the VST sometimes takes too long to load when switching from another instrument. I also use VB3 which is way quicker. I also have NI Vintage Organs and Arturia's B3, but don't use those very often. Arturia's sound is a bit flat.


Trumpet player by trade, but fell in love with keys too.
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014795 11/03/19 09:18 PM
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Used iPad with Galileo or Korg Module would be inexpensive and get the job done. Neither app uses enough resources to overload even the iPad 3 which is my oldest one (although the 30-pin connector isn't as solid a connection as the Lightning connector on later iPads). My iPad Mini 2 is the one that I use most of the time - an Apple Camera Kit USB3 (which is an adapter for the lightning connector on the iPad to a USB connection, and also provides a Lightning connector to keep the iPad charged) plus a keyboard with USB MIDI and an audio cable that will plug into the 1/8" jack on the iPad and connect into whatever mixer is in use - nothing else is really necessary although there are more expensive ways of doing it.


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: OmniaAequalis] #3014804 11/03/19 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by OmniaAequalis
IK's B3-X is great, but even on my fast computer, I notice the VST sometimes takes too long to load when switching from another instrument. I also use VB3 which is way quicker. I also have NI Vintage Organs and Arturia's B3, but don't use those very often. Arturia's sound is a bit flat.


What are your computer specs?
How much ram? SSD? CPU?

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: philtre71] #3014816 11/04/19 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by philtre71
I have moved completely to Blue3 via Mainstage. I love it...

^^^ This.

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014835 11/04/19 03:46 AM
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I was never a fan of VB3v1 because I felt it's overdrive lacked character. When I got the Mojo61, which uses VB3v2, this feeling persisted until a month ago when I found a "feedback" setting, that really makes the overdrive sing! Now I'm a VB3v2 convert, though my experience with it in software is very limited. Prior, my favorite was B5 through Melda's VintageRotary sim. I still use B4-II a lot using a 32bit bridge... but less and less due to my Mojo.

I demo'd Blue3 and didn't like it at all.


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014841 11/04/19 05:51 AM
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Lest we forget how good we have it these days with organ clone software, listen to Mitch playing the old VB-3 1.4:



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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014845 11/04/19 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kwyn
[quote=OmniaAequalis]]

What are your computer specs?
How much ram? SSD? CPU?


2017 Dell XPS 9560

i7-7700HQ 3,8 GHz
16 GB DDR4
Samsung EVO 830 512 GB SSD

That should be more than enough to load the B3-X without a hitch.


Trumpet player by trade, but fell in love with keys too.
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: OmniaAequalis] #3014877 11/04/19 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by OmniaAequalis
Originally Posted by kwyn
[quote=OmniaAequalis]]

What are your computer specs?
How much ram? SSD? CPU?


2017 Dell XPS 9560

i7-7700HQ 3,8 GHz
16 GB DDR4
Samsung EVO 830 512 GB SSD

That should be more than enough to load the B3-X without a hitch.



That should be able to run it and put a rocket on Mars simultaneously!

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: kwyn] #3014881 11/04/19 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kwyn
That should be able to run it and put a rocket on Mars simultaneously!


I thought so too!


Trumpet player by trade, but fell in love with keys too.
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: OmniaAequalis] #3014911 11/04/19 07:26 PM
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IK's B-3X plugin for Windows is an absolute resource hog. It's a known issue and I'm not sure it has been addressed in the latest release (v1.1). On my Dell E7470 i7 laptop, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD it consumes 35% of the CPU in Gig Performer constantly.

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3014981 11/05/19 04:03 AM
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B-3X is a cpu problem for me as well. I don't have a great laptop, spec-wise, at all, 10 year old i5, 8 GB, but I run Diva in Divine mode no problem...B-3X is right on the edge for me 30-35% in Gig Performer for me also. But even weirder, when the UI is open, it is not playable at all, up at 70% and higher. Tech support replied they were aware of the issue and were working to resolve it, but it does not appear to have been fixed in this first update.

Otherwise B-3X seems pretty decent, although seriously overpriced, especially once introductory price ends... and considering you can't use the Leslie separately

I thought that both Blue 3 and VB3 I & II with IK Leslie were more interesting than B-3X... and even in combination way less cpu hit. There's no demo for B5 so I've never tried it but lots of people swear by it. And I'm sure lots of people will tell you one or the other is best, but my opinion is they're all pretty good, just different... in the same way any random sampling of various actual B3s is gonna be. They all have demos (except B5) so check them out, see what excites you to play.

One thing I can say for sure, Arturia B-3 V2 is not in the same league as the ones above. If you have it as part of V-Collection, it will work ok, but to buy standalone would be silly when you have the above options. For instance in B-3 V2, whatever overdrive you dial in is just there, same amount no matter how soft or loud you're at with expression pedal or how many notes you are playing.

Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: drawback] #3015005 11/05/19 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by drawback
I’ll just throw this in there... if the OP isn’t an organ player, doesn’t notice the differences, is using a weighted hammer action, just needs a bit of organ to replicate some James Brown type stuff, and has a limited supply of money, what’s wrong with the “tone wheels” on-board the RD2000 in the first place? Thousands (well, hundreds) think Roland organ sounds are good enough.

I'd been using the Roland organ sounds from my FA-08, routed through the aux outs to a GSi Burn (the Roland rotary effect is a weak point). But i realized since i already had the laptop for lyrics i could use a VST for organ and not have to carry the Burn. So a few years ago i made the change to running Blue3 under Cantabile (great program BTW). What a difference compared to the old Roland sound - it's got an edge to it that i never got from the FA-08 organs, brings a big stupid smile to my face every time i spin up the rotary and smear up to the high C.

- Jimbo


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: LilyM] #3015006 11/05/19 01:07 PM
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How well a VI/AU work, that is play without any glitches live, is the first test for me. I have ST2 and ST3 and don't use them as I find them to be slow loading resource hogs.

VB3 has been the Gold standard in being fast loading and good sounding since 2012. GSI's failure for many years to release a 64 bit AU version lead me to B5, which being a hybrid modeled and sampled option, uses more resources than VB3 but also plays without glitches. In my opinion it also wins on sound.

Silver goes to Logic's Vintage B3. Not quite up to B5 or VB3 sound wise but plays glitch free in MainStage.

And all three play well with others when using layers or splits.



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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3015230 11/07/19 07:20 PM
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If only there was an acoustic piano clone 10% as good as the worst B3 Clone.

After hearing alot of griping about Hammond Clones, as I was getting my own RT3 up and running, finnally I fired up Logic and tried the B3s. I fell out of my chair.

No they were not identical to the RT3, but we all know there is huge variation between organs, and some become totally unprecedented when modern capacitors are put on the TW. But the Logic organs sounded fantastic in the same room as my RT3 and it's two leslies. Or I thought so, anyway, when my expectation was the opposite.

They are helping make the real organs affordable smile Good A100s still go for under 1k often. A total steal.

The clones can't help the interface though. The real keybeds, and even more important, the pedal board, the real switches.....you see why real hammonds are in wide use still today. You are not going to play the same on a clone--unless you just don't care about how the real thing works.

Most players will have a real piano and a real organ in that "bucket studio", whether or not it becomes a reality. For good reason.


Last edited by uhoh7; 11/07/19 07:29 PM.

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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: drawback] #3015236 11/07/19 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by drawback
I’ll just throw this in there... if the OP isn’t an organ player, doesn’t notice the differences, is using a weighted hammer action, just needs a bit of organ to replicate some James Brown type stuff, and has a limited supply of money, what’s wrong with the “tone wheels” on-board the RD2000 in the first place? Thousands (well, hundreds) think Roland organ sounds are good enough.

All in context and YMMV, but in this case I’d suggest BbAltered save his money.



This. I'll also second/third the recommendation for MainStage/Logic's stock B3 plugin.


MainStage; Hammond SK1-73; Roland XP-80, JV-90, JV-1080, JV-1010, AX-1; Korg microSAMPLER;
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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: uhoh7] #3015241 11/07/19 08:27 PM
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I think many of the clone organ tones are very close; if you turn off C/V, percussion and listen to pure sine wave, the tone in my view is there, close enough for me. The delta's for me are C/V (which the Mojo, in my view, is the closest to being 'right'); the percussion, the key contacts (which only Hammond has attempted to duplicate) and the leslie. Even the Vent, as good as it is, doesn't give you the vibe that a real wooden box with tube circuitry provides. When I listen to an XK5 through a "real" leslie, i.e. tube leslie, I can't really distinguish it between a real Hammond. But an XK5 through its internal leslie, yep there's a difference. So getting back to the post, if you don't use C/V and percussion (many players don't), then the only distinguishing feature left is the Leslie; run any of them through a real leslie and you're splitting hairs. So which virtual B3 is the best? It would be the one that does the leslie emulation the best.


57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; GEM Equinox; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini Desktop Module; http://www.dyinbreedband.com www.facebook.com/acoustaxx/
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: Delaware Dave] #3015242 11/07/19 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Delaware Dave
So which virtual B3 is the best? It would be the one that does the leslie emulation the best.

IK Multimedia and GG also make their leslie sims available for purchase separately, so you can use those with whatever main organ engine you like (for example, if you prefer the C/V or percussion of something which does not include your favorite rotary sim). Though also, I'd say there are differences in the organs besides their C/V and percussion. The character of the key click, leakage, crosstalk can vary, as can balance of tonewheels and foldback (though there are often selectable options and/or customization available for these things as well).


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3015250 11/07/19 09:51 PM
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My personal combo is GG Audio Blue3 with the Leslie sim off chained to IK Multimedia Amplitube's Leslie pack. I never get dissapointed. So are my colleagues and ones who hear the results.
The IK Leslie is simply unbeatable, it raised the bar as far as the "Woodiness" and feeling of "air" in sims are concerned, and the Blue3 is so tweakable and has options and tonewheel models of an odd 30 organs (Including Bill Beer Chops and L-100's), I prefer using it over real B3's I have around in town. I'm a happy user of both for a year and so...


My Gear: Korg Kronos X 73, Nord Stage EX Compact, Kurzweil PC3K6 (For rehearsals mainly).
My Band: Aperco.
https://www.youtube.com/user/apercoband
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: hatricklov] #3015252 11/07/19 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by hatricklov
Originally Posted by drawback
I’ll just throw this in there... if the OP isn’t an organ player, doesn’t notice the differences, is using a weighted hammer action, just needs a bit of organ to replicate some James Brown type stuff, and has a limited supply of money, what’s wrong with the “tone wheels” on-board the RD2000 in the first place? Thousands (well, hundreds) think Roland organ sounds are good enough.

All in context and YMMV, but in this case I’d suggest BbAltered save his money.



This. I'll also second/third the recommendation for MainStage/Logic's stock B3 plugin.


I fourth the recommendation, and have used it extensively in my recordings


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Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: Aperkeys] #3015254 11/07/19 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Aperkeys
My personal combo is GG Audio Blue3 with the Leslie sim off chained to IK Multimedia Amplitube's Leslie pack. I never get dissapointed. So are my colleagues and ones who hear the results.
The IK Leslie is simply unbeatable, it raised the bar as far as the "Woodiness" and feeling of "air" in sims are concerned, and the Blue3 is so tweakable and has options and tonewheel models of an odd 30 organs (Including Bill Beer Chops and L-100's), I prefer using it over real B3's I have around in town. I'm a happy user of both for a year and so...
For a gritty "prog rock" overdrive sound (like Tony Kaye or Keith Emerson, not Jon Lord), how would you compare running Blue3 through the Amplitube Leslie compared to running it through its own Spin leslie? Also, have you tried comparing to Acoustic Samples B5?


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: AnotherScott] #3015341 11/08/19 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by Aperkeys
My personal combo is GG Audio Blue3 with the Leslie sim off chained to IK Multimedia Amplitube's Leslie pack. I never get dissapointed. So are my colleagues and ones who hear the results.
The IK Leslie is simply unbeatable, it raised the bar as far as the "Woodiness" and feeling of "air" in sims are concerned, and the Blue3 is so tweakable and has options and tonewheel models of an odd 30 organs (Including Bill Beer Chops and L-100's), I prefer using it over real B3's I have around in town. I'm a happy user of both for a year and so...
For a gritty "prog rock" overdrive sound (like Tony Kaye or Keith Emerson, not Jon Lord), how would you compare running Blue3 through the Amplitube Leslie compared to running it through its own Spin leslie? Also, have you tried comparing to Acoustic Samples B5?


Spin is nice and usable, but I wasn't able to make it sound as authentic and real as with the Amplitube Leslie. I did not try B5, I don't plan buying it and no one around me has it so I have no ways or plans to do so.


My Gear: Korg Kronos X 73, Nord Stage EX Compact, Kurzweil PC3K6 (For rehearsals mainly).
My Band: Aperco.
https://www.youtube.com/user/apercoband
Re: Best Virtual B3 ?? [Re: BbAltered] #3015346 11/08/19 07:37 PM
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 580
I like the sound of B5, but it's Leslie is whimpy as hell. Overdrive has no bite to it. My preference for gritty progrock Leslie is Melda VintageRotary, which you can dial in very precisely your transistor type and overdrive. It has a MEAN sound to it when you want. I finally was able to get that with my Mojo61 (which uses VB3-2), when they added the "feedback" control. I'm not sure if they've added it to software or not, I don't have VB3-2. Strangely, my test for getting a thick distorted organ sound has always been Kevin Moore's barky intro to "Errotomania" (Dream Theater). Sacrilege, I know, since it's technically samples from a "Roland JD-800", but man that's a rich and fantastic sound. Could have been mixed a bit better (they obviously EQd the low end out to make room for the guitars), but it's always been one of my favorite tones.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
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