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.
Major Changes in version 1.4:
- 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
- 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:
Notes for the Mac version:
- 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.
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.
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
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
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.