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leslie simulators


analogman1

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Greetings,

I have Roland VK-7. The built in Leslie simulator is adequate but I'm looking for the "next level" in sound. I use a Barbetta 32c amp as a monitor; the organ, along with all other keys, goes through the PA. I'm considering adding a Motion Sound head (either the one with the built in mics or the other one), or possibly a ***small*** Leslie (I used to have a Leslie 760 and two 122's, but who wants to haul that stuff around!--can't afford a roadie http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif ) Please note that I have other stuff (Roland XV-88, 2080, XP-30) so maybe I should just live with the built in simulator and get a few Mackie SRM450's!!)

Any Ideas??

Tom

Tom

Nord Electro 5D, Modal Cobalt 8, Yamaha upright piano, numerous plug-ins...

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Keyboard recently did a roundup of Leslie simulators that I was lucky enough to participate in. The Hughes & Kettner pedal is cool, but its low rotor simulation overdoes the amplitude modulation, to the point where myself and a lot of players noticed a "motorboat" effect. Kind of like what you'd get if you miked the low rotor on the real thing with a directional mic too on-axis.

I'm a VK-7 player too, and I sometimes haul my Leslie 142 to gigs. IMHO, miking up a motion sound box (I'ved used them a bit too) won't give your FOH audience enough of an improvement in realism to justify its cost and having to mic the thing up all the time. (Don't get me wrong... I'm glad somebody is out there making a real physical rotor. If you want one and a real Leslie is out for reasons of availability, cost, weight, etc, MoSo is the only game in town.)

Unlike a lot of folks I've talked to, I actually think the opposite is true when it comes to the real. big wooden box. When I can, I've put it offstage, miked it with Audix D3's, and monitored it in stereo through my Mackie SRM-450's. There's a grind and heft to the sound that is definitely not there with the simulator, even though all I'm hearing are the Mackies.

Let your ears be your guide... for me the acid test of any rotosim is fast speed with higher drawbars pulled. Do you get the illusion of circular motion, or merely a pleasant (if inauthentic) cocktail of tremolo, vibrato, phase shift, and stereo panning? The simulator I think is coming closest to the illusion right now is the one onboard Native Instruments' B4. Unfortuantely, gigging live with it involves using your VK-7 as a controller and bringing a notebook computer. My second choice, if I currently had the bux: Korg's new CX-3.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all of your expert opinions! I would love to get a real leslie (at one point I had three of them but sold them many years ago - what a dunce!!!) However..alas...with a mortgage to pay and a family to support, the 2100.00 price tag is a little heavy right now. If I were to try the H & K pedal, and possibly EQ some of the low end out of the mix, would that help?? I guess I have to just try it. Or, I could just live with the simulator in the VK-7. It's really not *that* bad. BTW, have you guys read how keyboard was talking about things like "click off noise" and "leakage" in the CX-3 review this month, as if this stuff never existed? Kind of sounds like an advertising plug if you ask me. Only my .02.

Thanks again...

Tom

Tom

Nord Electro 5D, Modal Cobalt 8, Yamaha upright piano, numerous plug-ins...

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Try the Line 6 modulation modeler. I use it with a Roland JX3P, Voce V5 and a Trace Elliot tube amp. I mainly play guitar, so I get twice the mileage out my Line 6. But for $300w/expression pedal it's cheaper than the H & K. And I think it sounds unbelievable. Plus it has 16 mod effects including Leslie and Fender Vibratone(which I think the H & K is modelled after-low rotor motorboating), which are speed controllable.
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I have a VK7 too. By the way Steve, thanks for the tip on the VK problem. I got it fixed and can beat the daylights out of it now without it cutting out.

I use a 122 on stage, stick the mics on by the louvers, as opposed to in the open end. This way the mics are behind the leslie and away from immediate feedback danger and I also run them thru a pair of 450 Mackies.

I just haven't found anything else that satisfies me. I spent an hour or so on the Korg CX3 yesterday and it is quite nice, but the leslie simulator is still too "cyber" sounding for my stuffy purist ears. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

BUT: one thing I do do that helps alot is running the VK thru one of those ART mono tube preamps. Best hundred bucks I've laid out in a long time. It really warms the VK up alot and takes that bitey edge off which, in turn, make the onboard leslie simulator sound much much more realistic if you must use it. I have had to record without the 122 on occasions and that little box really does the trick. jwk

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A few years back I used a XB-2 live. Didn't like the Leslie simulator at all. Picked up a Dynacord CLS-222. Sounded great! Don't know if they still make them. If I remember, it was expensive new. Don't know the used prices and quite frankly, haven't seen a used one for sale.

 

Quit playing live, sold the XB2 and use an A100 w/ 145 now. Kept the CLS-222 though. If you can find one, give it a try.

sp

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  • 11 months later...

Ok, so this is a big bump, but I figured it would be better than starting another thread. I just got a great deal on a Leslie model 302. It's a Hammond-Suzuki thing, but no longer made. I'd heard bad things about their Leslies, but the price and size were right.

 

I am very pleasantly surprised at how it sounds with my VK-7 keyboard. In some respects, it's a better match for the Roland's tone than my 142. The 302 is a box about the size of a 4x10" bass cabinet, and it has a physical treble rotor and a front-firing 12" speaker with a low rotor simulator. I actually prefer its sound to a Pro-3T / LowPro comhination. Very warm in spite of being solid-state. It's got 100W, but still would need to be mic'ed if I'm near the guitar player. It has one of those 11-pin connectors nobody uses, but also takes a 1/4" in, and can use a cheapo footswitch for fast-slow, so there's no fussing with a combo preamp pedal and thick Leslie cable.

 

I think I've finally found a good medium between coping with the onboard simulator and hauling the 142, which can now live in the studio and not take any more abuse. :)

 

BTW, CLS-222's are great, but nigh impossible to find.

 

[ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: SteveFortner ]

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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I run my Hammond A100 thru the MotionSound Pro3T, and then send its low-rotor sim to a Marshall 200w amp w/ 4x12 cabinet. Sounds awesome, especially for that Emerson/Lord type of sound (and it does all the other Hammond sounds well too). And it's plenty loud - I don't need to run it thru the PA at all in most cases.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by SteveFortner:

I just got a great deal on a Leslie model 302. It's a Hammond-Suzuki thing, but no longer made. I'd heard bad things about their Leslies, but the price and size were right.

 

I am very pleasantly surprised at how it sounds with my VK-7 keyboard. In some respects, it's a better match for the Roland's tone than my 142. The 302 is a box about the size of a 4x10" bass cabinet, and it has a physical treble rotor and a front-firing 12" speaker with a low rotor simulator. I actually prefer its sound to a Pro-3T / LowPro comhination. Very warm in spite of being solid-state. It's got 100W, but still would need to be mic'ed if I'm near the guitar player. It has one of those 11-pin connectors nobody uses, but also takes a 1/4" in, and can use a cheapo footswitch for fast-slow, so there's no fussing with a combo preamp pedal and thick Leslie cable.

 

I think I've finally found a good medium between coping with the onboard simulator and hauling the 142, which can now live in the studio and not take any more abuse. [ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: SteveFortner ]

I had one of these 302's but traded it for a 145. I had the opportunity to try the 145 before I did the trade. The 302 is much more shriller sounding than the 145. It made my XK-2 beating problems more apparent. The 145 is much more truer sound & the beating has almost gone away. Bigger box, bigger lower rotor speaker - richer sound, more of what a Hammond/Leslie should sound like. The 302 is only inches smaller & 10 lbs lighter, so I didn't mind the extra weight/size. I put castors & handles on the 145. The 302 is a still a good substitute.

 

I also have a Tube MP & agree best $160 Can I ever spent. I highly recommend it for any Hammond imitator.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Well, here we are, a year later and I'm still carting my 122 around. Haven't found anythinf better yet. I paid 300 bucks for it a couple of years ago and it's been a great investment. I just can't develop the inspiration I desire from anything else.

 

I have some gigs this weekend that are going to be crammed for space and so I plugged my VK7 direct into my 1604 Mackie and SRM 450 speakers, played about 5 minutes and was so bummed that I am going to take the leslie with me and if it doesn't fit on stage, I am going to just play piano.

 

It might be 2002, but technology just hasn't replaced wood, in my opinion.

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Originally posted by b3wiz@hotmail.com:

I have a VK7 too. By the way Steve, thanks for the tip on the VK problem. I got it fixed and can beat the daylights out of it now without it cutting out.

I use a 122 on stage, stick the mics on by the louvers, as opposed to in the open end. This way the mics are behind the leslie and away from immediate feedback danger and I also run them thru a pair of 450 Mackies.

I just haven't found anything else that satisfies me. I spent an hour or so on the Korg CX3 yesterday and it is quite nice, but the leslie simulator is still too "cyber" sounding for my stuffy purist ears. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

BUT: one thing I do do that helps alot is running the VK thru one of those ART mono tube preamps. Best hundred bucks I've laid out in a long time. It really warms the VK up alot and takes that bitey edge off which, in turn, make the onboard leslie simulator sound much much more realistic if you must use it. I have had to record without the 122 on occasions and that little box really does the trick. jwk

 

I got one of those Art`s for Christmas. And to my ears it don`t make any difference in the sound. I`m expecting it to sound more closer to a B3 than it already does, and I was expecting that digital chime to go away. Any guess what I might be doing wrong? What are your settings on the volume levels? Thanks, Casey

 "Let It Be!"

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Originally posted by analogman1@aol.com:

Greetings,

I have Roland VK-7. The built in Leslie simulator is adequate but I'm looking for the "next level" in sound. I use a Barbetta 32c amp as a monitor; the organ, along with all other keys, goes through the PA. I'm considering adding a Motion Sound head (either the one with the built in mics or the other one), or possibly a ***small*** Leslie (I used to have a Leslie 760 and two 122's, but who wants to haul that stuff around!--can't afford a roadie http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif ) Please note that I have other stuff (Roland XV-88, 2080, XP-30) so maybe I should just live with the built in simulator and get a few Mackie SRM450's!!)

Any Ideas??

Tom

 

Tom, I have been using the Motion Sound KBR-3D for the past 3 years. I have 3 sound sources plus the organ(OB-3/2). I use a Rolls 3 channel mixer to run into one of the two keyboard inputs and the organ into the organ input. The advantage with the KBR is that it is small, moderatly light(51lbs), can play loud, has a real top end leslie with stereo low end simulation and has mics in the leslie top. Having stereo low impedance outputs makes it easy to hook up to the PA (you won't have to mic it). It sends out what you here. So as a monitor, you can set your levels as you play and that is how it will sound out in the house. The sound quality is very good(though not quite as accurate as your Barbetta! ;) ) IMHO, for live playing, I think the mechanical leslie is still best. Good luck in your search for musical stimulation!....... or is that simulation...... :D

Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK-1 + Ventilator, Korg Triton. 2 JBL Eon 510's.

 

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