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MichaelT 2nd July 2005 03:13 AM

Improving a synth organ
 
Ok, so I remember reading somewhere once that if you're stuck with a synth B3 model, like Native Instruments B4, you can run it out into 2 speakers and mic it to give it some "air." Anyone do this or something like it? Do you use guitar amps, keyboard amps, studio monitors? I once heard a keyboard organ sound run through a real leslie and it made me very happy:) Usually the leslie's I see are pretty expensive, though.

Now I know it wouldn't really approach the sound quality of the real leslie, but what if you send the NI B4's stereo out to a pair of cheap studio monitors or something...face the speakers back to back, and put a mic on each speaker and pan like you might pan a leslie? The B4's already got a leslie happening in stereo, so between the two speakers you'd hear the rotation of the sound.

I'll probably end up trying this, but before I go spending money on any cheap monitors or the like, are their any better suggestions minus the real leslie? A leslie sim box would still not have the same sound as micing something in a room, so I'm trying to get a feel for what other people would do or have done in similar situations. Thanks for the replies!

-Mike

Oh, and I hate to get so technical about it, but if the monitors would work fine for this, what might I look at in terms of cheap (sub $300-400) studio monitors that would also do me well as an echo room speaker(s)?

MJGreene Audio 2nd July 2005 07:08 AM

The speaker idea will work ok to give it some air. It depends on what mics and what amps your going to use. One thing that I do use all the time now that I rarely get real B-3 tracks is in Pro-Tools I use the Voce Spin and chorus. I program the rotor speeds depending on the part and the style of music. I basically go through and automate it as if I was playing the part and working the Leslie on a B-3. It helps make it sound a bit more real. I used to own a Leslie and to this day wish I hadn't sold it. It was a great sounding Leslie and when I work at the studio I sold it to it really helps to give sampled B-3 tracks some real air and life. I guess if I would have known that it would be worth 4 times what I sold it for 12 years later I would have hung onto it........ grrr

Good luck,
Michael Greene

MichaelT 2nd July 2005 07:07 PM

Thanks for the reply, Michael! Anyone else with some comments or tips?

Jim Williams 2nd July 2005 07:46 PM

Sure, I use a Kurzweil (sp?) module into a '66 Fender Deluxe Reverb amp. Turns a plastic synthetic organ into a breathing distorting monster ala ELP.

Try to do THAT in pro tools!

Works really well for minimoog patches, like Jan Hammer.


Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

max cooper 2nd July 2005 07:59 PM

I really like the 'rotating speaker' vibe; and I'm always interested in anything of that ilk.

The other day I was messing about with that Motion Sound cabinet, and it was a heck of a lot of fun!

It's a real rotary deal, the Pro 145, and it seems roadworthy too. I think it's a little more than $1500, though.

Also make a thing called a 3TM that's around $800 and seems to be just the top rotor. There's an optional bottom cab too.

They also make cabinets that do simulated rotary sounds; two speakers, stereo, you know..

OTOH, I'll be danged if that Voce Spin plugin that Bomb Factory makes doesn't do just about the best simulated rotary speaker I've ever heard. And I'm not a fan of most Bomb Factory plugins, either, so I went in just wanting to hate this thing. It seems like it's just got a fast/slow switch, but when you open the automation, you find that you can adjust many aspects of it's operation. If you combine that with a little 'reamping' it'll definitely make you smile.

MJGreene Audio 2nd July 2005 10:13 PM

Quote:

I really like the 'rotating speaker' vibe; and I'm always interested in anything of that ilk.

The other day I was messing about with that Motion Sound cabinet, and it was a heck of a lot of fun!

It's a real rotary deal, the Pro 145, and it seems roadworthy too. I think it's a little more than $1500, though.

Also make a thing called a 3TM that's around $800 and seems to be just the top rotor. There's an optional bottom cab too.
Ah I totally forgot about those. I have used the 3tm and it actually is great. It is solid state and doesn't have quite the grunge of a 122 or 147 Leslie but it sounds great. It also has some kind of direct out for the low end that helps a bit. I am sure you can pick those up used on ebay for cheap since they have been out for 12 years or so.

Quote:

OTOH, I'll be danged if that Voce Spin plugin that Bomb Factory makes doesn't do just about the best simulated rotary speaker I've ever heard. And I'm not a fan of most Bomb Factory plugins, either, so I went in just wanting to hate this thing. It seems like it's just got a fast/slow switch, but when you open the automation, you find that you can adjust many aspects of it's operation. If you combine that with a little 'reamping' it'll definitely make you smile.
I couldn't agree more. I use that exact set up all the time and it does make for some pretty convincing results when mixed in a track.

Jim's way won't give you the stereo rotor effect but will give you a very cool sound.

Michael Greene

Hans Hitmachine 3rd July 2005 11:20 AM

Guitar amps are the way to go, not only for hammond simulations, but Rhodes/wurlitzer stuff as well. I use a Fender blues deville for this.
If you want a "real" leslie effect, try this: take a microphone and swing it in front of the guitar-amp. Instant old school leslie. They actually used this technique before they invented the lesie cabinets.

Froombosch 3rd July 2005 01:23 PM

I was quit happy when using a distressor and a real cheapo synth in making a B3 like sound..... Just turn the knobs till it sounds right....


kind regards,

Kestral 3rd July 2005 05:38 PM

I use a guitar amp as well. Vox AC15tbx with Native Instruments B4 and EVP88 electric piano. thumbsup

wallace 3rd July 2005 06:03 PM

If you have the Waves Metaflanger, put it on the track you want to effect (set to slow rotor) and then mult, or buss the track to an aux channel and set to fast rotor. It sounds pretty "swimmy".