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Native Instruments discontinues B4II and other instruments?


WheelHead

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Unless it is a hoax, last week Native Instruments announced the B4II along with other instruments is discontinued. Here is a paste written on 9/02/09

 

 

B4 II has been discontinued - please read here for the details

Hello everyone,

 

As of this week, the following instruments have been discontinued: Akoustik Piano, B4 II, Bandstand, Elektrik Piano and Pro-53.

 

This means that these instruments will no longer be available for purchase, and that no future software updates will be developed for them.

 

However, you will still be able to get regular tech support from NI as long as you use these instruments under a supported operating system. Also, you can still install and activate discontinued products, as well as buy or sell them privately. They also won't be removed if you install the new Komplete 6 over a previous Komplete version.

 

So most importantly, the discontinuation will not prevent you in any way from further using these instruments under the system configurations that they are guaranteed to work with.

 

In the larger context, the fact that we will not maintain these individual instruments any longer has very real benefits for the wider NI userbase.

 

Our developers and QA testers have to spend a good share of their time to make sure that products stay compatible with new versions of host sequencers and operating systems. With a focused product portfolio like the one we have now, we can maintain the remaining products more efficiently and release new fixes and features faster. The resources that we save on legacy instruments like B4 II and Pro-53 will now be utilized for more popular and versatile products like Kontakt, Guitar Rig etc.

 

Here is some more information on the individual products both for existing users and for people interested in these instrument categories:

 

Akoustik Piano: The sounds of this instrument can and should be used with the free Kontakt Player, which is a much better platform regarding its sample engine and compatibility. The four individual piano models will also be re-issued as Kontakt-Powered instruments for download in the near future.

 

B4 II: The affordable "'57 Drawbar Organ" instrument is our alternative offer for drawbar organ fans. You can check it out here.

 

Bandstand: Same as with Akoustik Piano, the free Kontakt Player is the new recommended playback platform for the sounds contained in this instrument.

 

Elektrik Piano: Same as with Akoustik Piano, please use the free Kontakt Player. The sounds of Elektrik Piano are also now part of the Kontakt 4 factory library, so they continue to be available within Komplete.

 

Pro-53: While there is no direct replacement for this instrument in the NI product range, a wide range of vintage synth sounds can be achieved with Massive and Reaktor.

 

I hope this clears things up and provides a good perspective for all users of these and other NI products. If you feel that any info is missing in this post, just send me a PM and I will look into it.

 

Best, Th****

 

 

Wheelhead

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Yep, we've been talking about this for some time now, but not in a dedicated B4 thread; rather as part of the ongoing discussion about Komplete 6.

 

I've been looking into alternatives myself, and may pick up the '57 Drawbar Organ Kore Sound Pack, which uses the same tonewheel samples as B4 anyway and has more programmability than the B3 organs in the main Kontakt library so may more closely approximate B4 than those sample sets can.

 

B4 is presented as a modeled VI but is actually a hybrid -- something NI doesn't really talk about but others have verified. The tonewheels are sampled; everything else is modeled. That's still a lot of modeling, and brings it closer to the Hammond -Suzuki XK-1/XK-3c approach (which some criticise for not being 100% modeled).

 

VB3 doesn't work with Digital Performer, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to learn Cubase, so that one is a no-go for me. Windows users, and Apple Logic users, may like that option though. I personally feel it is warmer, deeper, and more organic than B4. I could never slot B4 into a mix without a lot of work, so in retrosepct I no longer feel I will miss it.

 

We'll see how the '57 Drawbar Organ Kore Sound Pack works out. Otherwise I'm going to have to prioritise a hardware organ, which was otherwise pretty far down my list. Even though a Kurzweil PC3X was at the top of my list, I had no intention of using its KB3 mode -- I want a dedicated organ controller with waterfall keys if I'm going to go the hardware route. But certainly sound-wise it is a good option overall.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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VB3 doesn't work with Digital Performer, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to learn Cubase, so that one is a no-go for me. Windows users, and Apple Logic users, may like that option though. I personally feel it is warmer, deeper, and more organic than B4. I could never slot B4 into a mix without a lot of work, so in retrosepct I no longer feel I will miss it.

 

I may have different perspectives than I previously had of software clones because of their specific rotor sims in their software, shortly.

 

I am getting one of the just-released Ventilator hardware rotor sims that some are rave-reviewing. (???) Perhaps a couple of clones running rotor-dry into that may give me more options. (do not carry leslie but sound reinforcement speakers for organ)

 

 

 

Wheelhead

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B4 is presented as a modeled VI but is actually a hybrid -- something NI doesn't really talk about but others have verified. The tonewheels are sampled; everything else is modeled. That's still a lot of modeling, and brings it closer to the Hammond -Suzuki XK-1/XK-3c approach (which some criticise for not being 100% modeled).

 

P.S. I was trying to find information on that via some DSP testing on the software. You may be/are correct on solid testing but I have to say I am skeptical until I see it documented and you may have links.

 

There have been urban legends that were quite surprising before, so to speak, with organ emulation encoding.

 

One I can think of (urban legend) was the first time VASEIII (HS clone software in hardware clones) came out a couple of people high in the biz (obviously not going to cite) said that Tomiyuki Hayashi, chief engineer for Hammond Suzuki sampled the B4. I have no idea if they are still saying this, this was years ago.

 

I don't have one but reportedly IF you listen VERY, very careful to the originally released VASEIII embedded software holding a tone, you can hear, almost inaudible, minute, extremely short, 'bips' (for lack of a better word) of the loop. THAT, I don't know if true not owning HS gear with VASEIII.

 

So, respectively, one should hear minute, tiny, almost unhearable 'bips' in a "loop" of the B4 repeating, also.

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ew is a moderator at NI for the B4 product and here's some comments he posted.

 

>> Tical wrote:

As far as I can tell B4 is not a sample-based unit but sort of a specialized synth. <<

 

Correct. The B4 is nine sine wave oscillators for each manual, with each oscillator responding to a specific foot setting (drawbar).

 

http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55865&highlight=samples

 

>>Hi Everyone,

 

Can someone explain to me the difference between the NI B4II and the '57 Drawbar Organ Kore Soundpack? I thought that the B3 (on which the B4II is based) and the Hammond C3 (on which the '57 Drawbar Organ soundpack is based) were identical, with only cosmetic differences? In other words, if I have the B4II (from Komplete), is there any reason to get the '57 Drawbar Organ Kore Soundpack? I'm going to post this in the B4II forum, as well, just in case anyone there has an answer.

 

Thanks! <<

 

The B4II's a synth, and the '57 Drawbar uses samples.

 

 

ew

 

http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89932&highlight=samples

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Rich, OK, thanks for that. There's no point in wasting time hunting down the other sources now, since NI has categorically stated that B4 is a synth in its tone generation.

 

It's sort of moot of course, with it being canceled and probably only having one release left of life in it as far as OS upgrades go. But it's always good to know the details of a sound source.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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As far as Pro-53, I feel like there may not have been much more they could do to enhance it much, so discontinuing it isn't a big deal.

it's a not a big deal until you upgrade your computer to a new operating system a year from now and realize Pro-53 doesn't work anymore.....

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Remember one big issue with using samples vs. modeling for drawbars is that with samples there is a phase cancelation problem. If the drawbar tones aren't triggered in phase sync, you will hear cancelation. This is most noticeable with the upper drawbars pulled--you'll hear the tone changing subtly with each new note pressed. The new Hammonds are about the only sample-based clone that doesn't have this issue. The Kontakt engine is extremely powerful, but I don't know that it can do phase sync.

 

Busch.

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it's a not a big deal until you upgrade your computer to a new operating system a year from now and realize Pro-53 doesn't work anymore.....

 

As VMware gets better and more popular and computers get more powerful this may not be true forever. I expect we'll see VMWare solutions for sharing audio and midi among VM session that are low latency. DOS and Windows 3.1 are alive and well in VM land.

 

 

There were those thinking that NI would add more Sequential Products to the Pro-53 like the VS ( the approach Arturia took).

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it's a not a big deal until you upgrade your computer to a new operating system a year from now and realize Pro-53 doesn't work anymore.....

 

Both B4 (original) and PRO-52 work with no problems in either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 Professional - final RTM version. I have tested this personally (advance copy of OS through Microsoft's dealer program). My eMu 1616M also worked, using the same drivers as are used for Vista - need to temporarily turn off User Account Control during the install. I would expect that B4 II and PRO-53 would also work, but do not own them for testing.

 

I tested them as stand-alone applications. Sonar LE and Cubase LE also installed and worked properly, but I have not tested using the NI programs as VST's.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

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There were those thinking that NI would add more Sequential Products to the Pro-53 like the VS ( the approach Arturia took).

 

Pro-53 is not like a Prophet at all. It was a nice early experiment in trying to give a synth fake wood grain, but it lacks several things better emulations incorporate - free-running oscillators, separate voices (see also Sonic Projects OP-X), drift, distortion, etc. Striving for more detail and authenticity is key.

 

As a synthesizer it loses out in terms of specifications and it'd be too much of a hassle to try and cram a Kore browser in there.

 

Lots of companies have already jumped on the vintage emulation plugins, so for NI it makes sense to move away from that.

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