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Originally Posted by jverghese
4 - Very detailed and authentic rotary effect, identifiably IK Multimedia
Originally Posted by jverghese
Chorus demo: ... 4 - Complex and detailed. Rotary and chorus are clearly discernible. Again, this must be the B-3X.
Good ears, you nailed it! And the reveal begins. ;-)

For now, I'll also mention what the other four are, but won't say which one is which yet...
Gemini module, Hammond SK Pro, Nord Electro 2, VB3m.

So now that people know what they are, anyone want to venture some guesses as to which is which?

Originally Posted by jverghese
Funny how number 4 (which I believe is the highly acclaimed B-3X) did not sound too great for Yours..., but perhaps some tweaking could have made it more like the original (180 deg mic position instead of 90 deg?).
And that's one of the limitations of the comparison... so much depends on my my familiarity with the sources and my ability to get the sound I'm looking for out of these things. I would certainly not claim my ears and expertise to be the definitive benchmark for how close anyone could possibly get any of these to the kind of sound I was after. In most cases, in fact, I'd say almost certainly not! One nice thing about the Nord Electro 2 is that there's virtually no ability to tweak, so in that case, it probably IS about as close as anyone could get it, just because there's not much to change! But B-3X has numerous rotary options and 4 selectable basic underlying Hammond models, SK Pro has a ton of possible tweaks, and Gemini is perhaps the most overwhelming in having I think 19 underlying models AND a ton of possible tweaks! Though there is an argument to be made when it comes to the different models, which I believe are basically different drawbar balances, that no matter which B-3X or Gemini model you select, while it may sound subtly different in its tonal balance, it still sounds like B-3X or Gemini.

Speaking of tweaks, getting back to your comment about how "clearly discernible" the chorus was on B-3X, as it happens, that was the only one of the 5 that I "tweaked" the chorus on, because when I first enabled it, it was so much less discernible than it was on the others. But there was a knob staring me in the face to increase its effect, so I turned it up and fixed that. The Nord and VB3m don't provide such an option. The Hammond or Gemini might have equivalents, I don't know off-hand (which isn't to say that that the availability of those adjustmentes would necessarily means the effect can be improved.)


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Without going into great detail, initially I liked 1 - although 2, 3, and 4 are all good enough for what I like as a starting point. Some minor differences in tone & overdrive which could easily be tweaked to get them all sounding very similar.

On the other hand 5 sounded pretty bad - like it had a blanket over the leslie just for starters.

As far as the leslie fast spin differences go, I generally only jog it on and off here and there, so not that important to me. I typically keep in on slow the vast majority of the time as my domain is mostly hard rock with ample overdrive.

Last edited by Konnector; 11/23/21 06:10 PM.
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4 sounds good on tremolo, but I did not vibe with chorale. Otherwise, very nice sounding.
1 has a familiarity to it that I preferred, so I'm guessing that's the Gemini.

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Incidentally, I have been using the Amplitube/T-Racks Leslie a lot (same as the B-3X Leslie), so I find it fairly easy to identify.

I fully understand it would require a lot of tweaking to get the various models to sound similar (or like the reference track). No problem there, this is an interesting shootout anyhow. I also agree that even if you do a lot of tweaking, most models still have their own characteristic 'voice' that comes through.

Interesting that you had to tweak the B-3X chorus to make it stand out. One would think they'd had got that right from the 'factory'.

As for the other clips, my guesses are:

1 - VB3m (wide spectrum, but with a certain flatness)
2 - Gemini (expecting this to be similar to the VB3m, but perhaps with a twist - brightness)
3 - SK Pro (dark, yet beautifully resonant)
5 - Electro 2

#1 and #2 could be the other way round. Or I could of course be completely wrong.

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Ah, the Electro 2. I still have mine in the back of the gear closet. Way past its sell by date. The organ on my Electro 5D is much improved over the 2, with more parameters that you can fiddle with to your heart's content.


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Originally Posted by jverghese
Interesting that you had to tweak the B-3X chorus to make it stand out. One would think they'd had got that right from the 'factory'.
I don't remember if B-3X has an official "init" sound, but I imagine this setting varies on different presets, and I can't swear as to what my starting point was. But if you go to advanced settings, the last big knob on the right is "Chorus Mix" - I just turned it up most (though not quite all) of the way.


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From the bonus round, I like #1 best, although I prefer the percussion on #4.

I disliked #2 even though I (slightly) preferred it over #1 in the first round. Still don't like #5.

I can't venture a guess as to which sound example corresponds to any particular candidate in this shootout. I haven't played any of them except the Electro 2 about 15 years ago.


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Opera Man say, I wan’ to hear five-o with better level-o~~~~

wink


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I like 1 and 2 the most but each has different qualities I like about them. Number 3 and 4 are also quite good and 5 is my least favorite.

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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Opera Man say, I wan’ to hear five-o with better level-o~~~~

wink
Okay, yeah, sorry everyone, you're going to have to turn up your volume to hear 5 louder. ;-) But whether it's for that reason or not, sample 5 appears to be the clear loser. While Mr. Fudd picked it as his favorite, it was the most common "bottom pick" (though it still got some compliments for some details, i.e. rotary, percussion).

So here's a little more reveal. Organ # 5 is... The Gemini module.

I'm afraid we may have been bitten by my own inability to get it soundling the way I wanted, leaving you hearing my failed attempt rather than a possibly much better version of this sound that it could be capable of.

So for all you Gemini owners here (or Mojo/Mojo61 owners, or VB3-II VST owners, since I think all these engines are identical), if you can get a better version of this sound out of it, please do, and let me know what settings you used! See my post #3117600 for details. I first mentioned wanting to hear a good Gemini sample back then (without having mentioned that one was already included) because the fact that the first respondent HAD a Gemini yet rated it at the bottom was my first clue that maybe I hadn't done a good job with it. We'll see...


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Perhaps next time, would there be any value in adding the dry sound of the clone as well as its internal Leslie sim? (c2d-dry_c2d-internal-sim_c2d-dry-into-vent)

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Regardless of the outcome and any limitations in the method, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you for doing this. It's educational. From a 40,000 foot point of view, the main thing to notice is how similar these all are and that as organ players we're up close and listening hard for the differences. Casual listeners, non-organ players, and non-musicians may not hear any meaningful differences at all. For me, the real comparison would be with a real Hammond B3 with real Leslie speakers spinning. But then, there is no comparison. Once you've heard the Real Thing live in the same room, everything else is a pale and synthetic imitation. But we shall continue on this Infinite Quest ...


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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Opera Man say, I wan’ to hear five-o with better level-o~~~~

wink
Okay, yeah, sorry everyone, you're going to have to turn up your volume to hear 5 louder. ;-) But whether it's for that reason or not, sample 5 appears to be the clear loser. While Mr. Fudd picked it as his favorite, it was the most common "bottom pick" (though it still got some compliments for some details, i.e. rotary, percussion).

So here's a little more reveal. Organ # 5 is... The Gemini module.

I'm afraid we may have been bitten by my own inability to get it soundling the way I wanted, leaving you hearing my failed attempt rather than a possibly much better version of this sound that it could be capable of.

So for all you Gemini owners here (or Mojo/Mojo61 owners, or VB3-II VST owners, since I think all these engines are identical), if you can get a better version of this sound out of it, please do, and let me know what settings you used! See my post #3117600 for details. I first mentioned wanting to hear a good Gemini sample back then (without having mentioned that one was already included) because the fact that the first respondent HAD a Gemini yet rated it at the bottom was my first clue that maybe I hadn't done a good job with it. We'll see...

I have no horse in the game. It’s the rotary’s performance higher up in the audio spectrum that I like. All of the others cut better, but none are perfect. Particularly on overdrive and rotary. It’s a very specific rock sound that’s being used for comparison, and one that’s a favorite of lead playing in the genre. I foresee a lot of surprises in the reveal.


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One thing that is true of the VB-3 engine, and probably others, is that the model you choose makes a huge difference. The generator levels, taper, loudness robbing, transformer levels, drawbar balance, percussion balance, and sometimes even foldback points change depending on the model.


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Okay the big reveal... As mentioned, #4 is B-3X, and #5 is the Gemini module.

The general favorites have been #1 and #2... #1 is the Nord Electro 2, #2 is the Hammond SK Pro. Yup, the hardware beat the VSTs. Hmmph!

#3 was VB3m.

It's kind of remarkable that not only did the almost 20 year old Electro 2 hold its own in this test, but overall, people found it often met or exceeded the level of others that are, not just much newer, but are actually widely regarded as being at least in the ballpark of current state of the art. Is the Electro 2 that good (at least at this kind of sound), or did I mess up and not fairly represent what some of these others are capable of, or some of both? So to anyone who was impressed with #1 and now unexpectedly finding it was the old Nord is thinking, "hey, I have B-3X {or whatever} and I bet I can get it sounding better than that Electro 2 demo"... please do! I can send you my settings if you want to use that as a starting point, if you'd like. But I'd be eager to hear the results of anyone who liked the Nord sound better than some of the others, and having seen the reveal, thinks I might not have shown some other at its best, and feels they can do a better job at getting this kind of sound out of them.


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Nice shootout Scott! Having had both the Electro 2 and now the Stage 3 as well as the most popular software versions my conclusion is: keep it in a keyboard! So much easier to gig with and more responsive and intuitive to play.

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Wow quite surprised by these results! Used the Nord Stage 3 and wasn’t to impressed with the Hammond sounds and liked IK B3x more but in this shootout I definitely preferred 1 and 2!
However, my favourite Hammond VST is AcousticSamples B5 V3. This will eventually be ported to iOS.

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The last time I did one of these shootouts was two years ago. (Thread at https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3070020/1 ) Kurt and Dickie, I included the NS3 that time (and it does sound different from the Electro 2). Dickie, I also did B-3X in both shootouts, and included B5 last time, though I think that pre-dated V3.

Also, as it turns out, I included VB3-II in both shootouts... as a computer VST that time and from the Gemini this time, though with very different settings.

Comparing samples from the older shootout to the new is made more complicated by, not just level differences, but that the last one was uploaded as an MP3, and the new one was lossless.

Some time over the next week or so, I'll try to find the time to go back to my original (pre MP3) files on that older shootout, normalize the volumes between the old and new, and then I could combine all into a single comparison file (albeit only for the the one YIND phrase the two tests had in common). Then we could compare them all on more even terms.

I also have a test I started at one point between these two shootouts, which I never completed and "published," I'll gather those as well. (Doing that as "part 2" was my reason for naming this thread "part 1.") That will add yet another handful of organs to the comparison.


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I find B5v3 to be a noticeable improvement over V2. The Rotary has been improved along with a few other tweaks.

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I’m going to shoot some clones when I get a chance.


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Originally Posted by El Lobo
Ah, the Electro 2. I still have mine in the back of the gear closet. Way past its sell by date. The organ on my Electro 5D is much improved over the 2, with more parameters that you can fiddle with to your heart's content.
Originally Posted by AnotherScott
The general favorites have been #1 and #2... #1 is the Nord Electro 2, #2 is the Hammond SK Pro. Yup, the hardware beat the VSTs. Hmmph!
...
It's kind of remarkable that not only did the almost 20 year old Electro 2 hold its own in this test, but overall, people found it often met or exceeded the level of others that are, not just much newer, but are actually widely regarded as being at least in the ballpark of current state of the art. Is the Electro 2 that good (at least at this kind of sound) ...
As I noted before, the organ in my Electro 5D is much better than the organ in my E2. It would be interesting to do this same shootout with a more recent version of the Electro organ.


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Well, my prejudices are exposed. #5 seemed weaker than the others (not only in terms of volume), so I automatically assumed that was the senior contestant (NE2).

Interesting how many people seem to appreciate, or even prefer, the 'first generation' Leslie sims such as the one in the NE2. The Ventilator (which of course wasn't represented in this shootout) belongs to this category as well, and still has a strong following. Personally, I tend to prefer the later, more advanced Leslie sims that more realistically model the resonances captured by placing the mics close to the cabinet.

It's also interesting to note how an organ shootout often becomes a rotary sim shootout -- the rotary effect being such an integral part of the organ sound. At least to me it did. Adding sound clips of C/V and percussion was therefore very welcome. Many thanks to Scott for all the work.

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Originally Posted by El Lobo
As I noted before, the organ in my Electro 5D is much better than the organ in my E2. It would be interesting to do this same shootout with a more recent version of the Electro organ.
That previous shootout had an NS3 (see post #3118177 above), so you could check there, but as I said, I'm going to try to create a single file that will create a simpler and more fair comparison among the older and newer tested models.


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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Okay the big reveal...
...
Yup, the hardware beat the VSTs. Hmmph!
WAIT A SECOND...

Technically speaking -- Wouldn't the REAL hardware be a Hammond B3 and Leslie?

The only "hardware" on the Nord or Hammond SK is the drawbars, knobs, sliders or the keys -- as NONE of those items produce the actual sounds that we hear.

So are they not "ALL software" devices and really just variations of a VST ? ? ? Some with keys and mechanical tweaks, some without.

As a Mojo 61 owner, I honestly have to say that I don't think the true sound of the Crumar Mojo 61 sound engine was on display here...

Great effort, I'll admit -- and much more than I could do -- but to my ears, my Mojo 61 sounds better than #1 to 4, and MUCH better than #5; and I can make it sound just like #1, #2 or #... just by playing around with the app editor and settings.

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Originally Posted by Old No7
Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Yup, the hardware beat the VSTs. Hmmph!
are they not "ALL software" devices and really just variations of a VST ? ? ?
Yes, they are all digital, there's nothing analog in the bunch. But there is a widespread impression that the best tonewheel organ emulations are in computer-based software, that's what I was referencing.

Originally Posted by Old No7
As a Mojo 61 owner, I honestly have to say that I don't think the true sound of the Crumar Mojo 61 sound engine was on display here...to my ears, my Mojo 61 sounds better than #1 to 4, and MUCH better than #5; and I can make it sound just like #1, #2 or #... just by playing around with the app editor and settings.
I absolutely acknowledge the possibility that I have not shown these at their best (in the context of what I was trying to get out of them). If you could make it sound more like #1 or #2, it would be great if you could let me know the settings that did it (maybe some screen shots from the editor?), and I'd be glad to duplicate it and post it!


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