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Roland VK-7 Leslie Sim Tweaks


b3keys

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Hi,

I recently pulled my VK-7 out and have been really digging this board, but I am slightly unhappy with the Leslie sim. Does anyone have any tweaks to the onboard sim they can recommend? Or, alternately, what leslie stompbox/amps are you using?

 

I know a real leslie is perferrable, but due to space limitations, is out of the question. Thanks!

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I don't hate the sound of it out of the box, but I now use a motion Sound Pro3t. Way better. That's my suggestion, but it is a little beyond 'tweak'...
I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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The purgatory creek site has a tweak for the Rd700sx leslie effect that can be applied to the VK-7.

 

http://purgatorycreek.com/

 

(Go tho the "synths & things" section)

 

I've used it (and adjusted to taste) and it really beefs up the leslie effect - fantastic when playing live as it cuts through heaps better. The default lesie settings on the VK-7 are too tame, too gradual.

 

The key things to adjust are the transition speed settings and especially the rotary spread setting, which, kind of counter-intuitively, weakens the rotary effect the more you apply it. So start with rotary spread at "0" and go from there...

 

I think the VK-7 is very underrated. It can be infinitely tweaked to get the sound you want and the leslie is very good if adjusted properly.

 

And of course, if you are lucky enough to play it through a REAL leslie... it's the Sh*t! I defy anyone to pick it from the real thing...

 

Let us know how you go...

 

Cheers,

Dengus

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Hi - I played a VK-7 for years before getting the cx-3, and it was a nice board - always played it through a motion sound KBR-3D with pretty good results - heard an old CD the other day of me with the VK-7 thru my old leslie 145 on a blues tune ... I was really taken aback with how nice the VK-7 sounded ... agree that the internal sim out of the box is not the greatest, will be curious to see what the learned folks on this forum have to offer.

PC1x, Hammond XK1c, Deep Mind 6, MS500 (gig rig)

Kurz PC4, Mini Moog Model D, Little Phatty, Hammond M3, Leslie 145, viscount op-3, Behringer model D, Roland GAIA.. (home studio)

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My first emulator was a VK7 and at the time I thought it beat everything out there including what Hammond was offering. It had several shortcomings,however. As B3-er noted, the vibrato and chorus was pretty miserable and worse yet, could not easily be changed on the fly. You could turn it on or off and that was about it. You could have different vibratos for different voices but it was just not the same as the convenience of the rotary knob on the B3, Korg or now XK3, or even VK8. The leslie sim was serviceable but, lets face it, nothing (and I own an electro) but nothing, beats the real thing. In all the best tweak is to move some air and then upgrade to a better keyboard. In all I found the VK7 to be a great organ for someone who never had experience with the real B3. This is not a slam, by the way. The fellow I sold it to came up on electronic keyboards and synths and found the VK7 to be very intuitive to his way of thinking. It may be to yours as well.
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Originally posted by retrokeys:

My first emulator was a VK7 and at the time I thought it beat everything out there including what Hammond was offering.

Exactly. At the time I bought mine, there was really nothing on the market that was better, including Hammond. The Korg CX-3 was not out yet (which was a better emulator) and it was either the Hammond or the Roland.

 

I used mine for several years pretty hard and it got beat up quickly. The buttons for both the rotor stop and rotor fast broke within a year and my unit always had this weird thing where it would restart for no reason at totally random times. Very annoying while playing live. It also used to suddenly launch into complete and total digital distortion (every key you pressed sounded like you just stuck a data-CD in an audio CD player) and the only remedy was to turn it off and back on. Again, not very fun in the middle of a gig.

 

The Leslie sim is not bad. In fact, it is better than the stock XK-3 Leslie sim, imo. Going through a real Leslie, however, although much better obviously, I found the Roland to be a little weak. It didn't have enough output to really push the Leslie and get that nice, nasty tube thing going. That was one of my worries about the XK-3, but the Hammond has PLENTY of output and can really push a Leslie.

 

I also like how on the XK-3, the volume knob affects the volume of the signal going to the Leslie as well, so you can go from very quiet to overloading the input on the Leslie with the turn of a knob. The Roland's volume knob does not affect the output of the 11=pin Leslie connection, it only affects the 1/4" outputs.

 

The key click and the "kickback" on the Hammond XK3 is much more realistic, too. But hey, like I said, back in 1997 or '98 (can't remember when I bought mine) it was the best thing out there. And it still sounds pretty good. I just had mine hooked up to a Leslie 21H while I was trouble-shooting my 1122 kit (had a blown resistor). I was impressed at how good it sounded. Until I turned on the chorus.... ;)

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Agreed that the 11-pin output is weak, and it's stupid that the volume control does not work when it's connected. It sounds better if you bypass the internal rotary effect and connect a leslie using a pre-amp via the 1/4" output. Then you can push it nice and hard.

 

I've also had the wierd power-off thing happen to my VK-7, but this is very rare and thankfully hasn't hurt me in a gig yet. Never had the digital distirtion thing.

 

The other thing is that the glue under the keys (that holds the little metal weights in) has recently become soft and begun to ooze out in places. Any one else had this problem? I've actually had to pull it apart to clean the felt under a couple of keys because the glue made them stick. I wonder if I could hit Roland up to fix it even at this late stage as it's quite obviously a design flaw. I've seen it (albeit to a much worse extent) in a couple of Roland boards of the same era in second hand shops so I know it's not just my VK-7.

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If it's anything like the VK sim in my Fantom S, that one sounds best with separation maxxed and just using the right out if amping in mono. Summing the two sides together, either with little or no separation or using just the Left output (which is a summing output) waters down the effect.
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I haven't seen the glue problem, although I will say the last time I actually used my VK-7 for a gig, the power switch disintegrated on me. I had to open it up and bypass the switch to get it to turn on. The switch literally just fell apart.

 

Luckily I had a soldering kit on me (when traveling with a Leslie, it's always a good idea!)

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