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VB3 The Ultimate Virtual Tonewheel Organ v. 1.4


Instrument Description

VB3 is a virtual tonewheel organ which simulates an american electromagnetic organ of the old days, but it's also capable of other simulations like the italian transistor organs of the seventies or the red-tolex organs played by famous pop bands of the sixties.
Main features:
  • Full polyphony (147 notes)
  • Virtual 91 modeled tonewheels generator with accurate phase synchronization
  • Adjustable leakage noise and cross modulation between tonewheels
  • Three sets of waveforms: Set H (American Electromagnetic), Set F (Italian Transistor), Set V (Red Tolex Transistor)
  • Three different organ models
  • Adjustable global tuning
  • Foldback on 16" deactivable
  • Realistic motor wow & flutter
  • Busbars and 9 key contacts simulation
  • 17 steps drawbars
  • Two separate sets of drawbars per manual
  • Full "inverted octave" presets
  • String Bass with adjustable release time
  • Dynamic pickup coil impedance loss
  • Adjustable generator filters scaling
  • Single triggered percussion with natural capacitor discharge/recharge
  • Adjustable global Percussion Level
  • Adjustable global Percussion Decay
  • Vibrato/Chorus virtual scanner
  • Adjustable Vibrato Scanner depth
  • Electronic vibrato simulation when Sets F or V are selected
  • Separated Upper and Lower V/C tablets with smooth switching
  • Dynamic tube overdrive simulation
  • Spring reverb derived from Type4
  • Smooth action volume pedal with adjustable MIDI response
  • Stereo wooden rotary speaker simulation with artificial environment and microphones positioning
  • Five different rotary speaker algorithms with adjustable "character"
  • Tone Cabinet (stationary speaker) simulation
  • Rotors brake position
  • Adjustable background hum and noise
  • Very low CPU consumption
  • Midi controllable, supports VST automation
  • Easy MIDI Learn function
  • Up to four separated outputs
  • Upper and Lower manuals SPLIT with adjustable split point
  • Upper and Lower manuals octave transposers
  • Selectable output level
Major Changes in version 1.4:
  • Added new Rotary Speaker simulation
  • Added option to choose the destination of MIDI CC# 64 (sustain, rotary switch or assignable)
  • Added new item in the DAT (ini) file for the CC# of rotary brake for the "2 controllers" option
  • When the organ preset octave isn't active, keys below the first C and above the last C play folded-back octaves

Major Changes in version 1.3:
  • Added "Advanced Midi Learn" function
  • Added support for the sustain pedal

Changes in version 1.2.2:
  • VB3 is now available for MAC OSX in VST and AU format
  • New Spring Reverb algorithm derived from GSi Type4
  • The code has been enormously optimized and the CPU load is amost halved
  • Fixed bugs with some hosts (Sonar, Tracktion3, Receptor) that caused a crash when loading VB3
  • Added option "Output Level" with 5 different levels. Use this to prevent VB3 from generating audio clips at high dynamics
  • Rotary speaker simualtor: improved control over rotors speeds; improved algorithm "Jazz 122";
  • Keyclick: improved and optimized
  • Percussion: added the missing high-pass filter that gives it more punch and enforces the attack
  • Organ sound: the leakage factor, the whole balance between lows and highs and the background noise have been noticeably improved
  • Functionality: no more need to recompute the internal wavetables when the plugin is set in standby by the host; improved the stereo widening algorithm
  • Many other things have changed internally that can't be explained in few words, but your fine ears will be able to notice the difference with previous versions.
Notes for the Mac version:
VB3 is known to function properly in Apple Logic, Ableton Live, Cubase, Nuendo, EnergyXT2, RAX, GarageBand and in many other VST and/or AU hosts.
GSi plugins aren't compatible with ProTools.

Please read the PDF manual and the manual addendums for more detailed information and the full list of new changes and updates.

Excerpts from the manual...
How VB3 works
There is a "virtual tonewheel generator" which constantly plays 91 waveforms. When you depress a key, a connection matrix decides which "tonewheels" have to be played according to the note played and the drawbars setting. If more than one note requires the same tonewheel to be played, this is amplified twice but no other "oscillators" are required other than the 91 already available. Actually, only 79 tonewheels are used for the two manuals, while the first 12 are only used for the first octave of the pedalboard. You can, however, choose to use the first 12 tonewheels for the upper and lower manuals too by deactivating the foldback on the 16" drawbars from the Global Options Menu. Also, you should know that VB3 doesn't use any samples. All the sound it produces is 100% calculated in real-time. The waveforms are modeled after an accurate examination of actual electromagnetic organ's output signals, and digitally reproduced with the help of mathematical formulas and computations.
Nine key contacts simulation
The original american electromagnetic organ has, underneath each single key, 9 mechanical contacts, one for each drawbar. When a key is depressed these contacts are closed sequentially in a very short time interval, near contemporarily. In most cases you won't notice any particular effect due to this kind of mechanics, but some great organists take advantage of this feature in order to create some soft nuances during their playing. Unfortunately there's no way to let the computer know exactly how deep a key has been depressed, since the only message that a MIDI keyboard can send is that of note ON or OFF (leaving apart velocity and aftertouch features which, in this example, are unused). Thus, the simulation happens almost randomly. In VB3 version 1.2 the 9 Key Contacts simulation is always active. From the Preset Options Menu you can set the maximum time between the first and the last contact to be closed. The range is from 1 to 39 milliseconds. The effective time is calculated according to the MIDI velocity: the harder you hit a note, the shorter is the time required to close all 9 contacts. For softer keystrokes you'll have slower times beween contacts. And if you have ever played one of those beautiful vintage console organs, you do know what we're talking about, and you'll notice a great similarity between the real thing and this simulation.
Virtual Acoustics
VB3 also provides an accurate simulation of the famous Rotary Speaker vastly used to amplify those amazing organs, but it not only simulates the speaker itself. As you surely know, all the sounds we hear in nature are the result of the actual sound source (a car's motor, a human's voice, a bird, etc.) and the natural reflections which happen in the surrounding environment, that is what we also know as "reverberation". VB3 recreates the environment where an imaginary Rotary Speaker is in, and is recorded with three or four microphones at a distance from the cabinet of about one feet each.
The sweet contour: the "Vibrato Scanner"
VB3 brings you a Vibrato / Scanner simulation 100% faithful to the original. In the electromechanical organ, the vibrato is accomplished using a series of LC filters which form an analogue delay line. This line is divided into a number of "taps", and each tap is connected to a terminal of a circular variable capacitor which, in turn, carries the sound from the organ's generator to the preamplifier through a moving pickup. This fast movement causes a variation in pitch that generates the well known Vibrato effect. If this effect is coupled with the dry audio signal, you have a Chorus effect. In VB3 each single element of this electronic circuit is perfectly reproduced with the use of digital synthesis, with the aim to bring you the warm and alive sound of an electromechanical vintage organ. When you're using waveform Sets F or V (transistor organs), the V/C effect automatically switches to a common electronic vibrato simulation. The six steps are: Type V Min, Type V Max, Type F Slow Shallow, Type F Slow Deep, Type F Fast Shallow, Type F Fast Deep.
The warm element: the "Tube Overdrive"
VB3 uses an all new approach to tube overdrive simulation. This new simulation is mainly based on the dynamic response of tube amplification electronics. If the nominal dynamic range is exceeded, the sound gets "saturated" and the result is a very musical and pleasant distorted sound. On the interface you only have two knobs and a switch: use the switch to turn on and off the distortion; the Drive knob lets you adjust the distortion amount along an exponential scale; the Edge knob lets you choose the harshness of the distortion: if you just want a sweet saturation, mostly on the low-end, keep this knob low, but if you need a very distorted sound for your hard rock songs, you may want to increase this parameter. Move it at little steps and hear the result for yourself. And what about the spring reverb? VB3 brings you the warmth of the famous "Type 4" american spring reverb of the sixties, driven by a tube preamplifier. The right tone for a great organ sound.
The digital breath
Among the many features that make VB3 a realistic simulation of the electromagnetic organ, there are a couple of internal “facts” that make it yet more “alive”. As you may know, the tonewheel generator of the electromagnetic organ is driven by a synchronous motor and is stabilized by a long series of springs, and is hung by four springs for more stability. Nevertheless, the intonation still flutters, even if in some models this fluctiation is hardly noticeable. Also, you should know that the passive components used for the generator filtering, mostly responsible of the “leakage” defect, can vary their value from time to time according to weather, humidity, wear, temperature, etc. resulting in a slightly different leakage component in the sound. Not to mention that not all the keys have the same keyclick. Well, VB3 reproduces all these behaviours randomly every time it is run.

Frank Montis playing VB3 1.4 from a GSi DMC-122

A short video review by Simeon Amburgey of Sound Creations, Inc.

Simeon Amburgey suggests how to use jBridge to load a 32 bit plugin in a 64 bit host under OSX

A video by Rafael Agostino from Brazil, keyboardist of rock band "Sancti"

Some frequently asked questions related to this product:
- Is there a 64 bit version of VB3 available?
- Is there a RTAS version of VB3?
- Can I use VB3 with my iPad?
- Can I use VB3's built-in rotary simulation as an effect for external audio sources?
- I've read on the VB3 manual that I can have up to 4 outputs but I only see two in Logic.
- Can I connect VB3 to an external rotary speaker?
- Can I create my own presets with VB3?
- How do I set up VB3 in Cantabile?
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VB3 The Ultimate Virtual Tonewheel Organ
PDF DocumentVB3 - 1.2.1 - PDF User's Manual - 459 Kb  
PDF DocumentVB3 - 1.3 - PDF Manual Addendum - 70 Kb  
PDF DocumentVB3 - 1.4 - PDF Manual Addendum - 87 Kb  
Zip ArchiveVB3 - 1.4 - Windows VST - 2,58 Mb  
Zip ArchiveVB3 - 1.4 - Windows VST x64 - 1,59 Mb  

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GSi Hardware is manufactured and marketed by V.M.Connection - Italy

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