57 Organ fo B4 II users.

Discussion in 'B4 & B4 II' started by BarnesVer6, Nov 20, 2009.

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  1. BarnesVer6

    BarnesVer6 NI Product Owner

    Now the initial furore surrounding the discontinuance of the NI B4 II has died down here is a hopefully objective review of NI '57 Organ.
    Does it produce some pretty decent Hammond sounds? -Yes. Will it replace B4 II? - No.

    There are 10 "Kore Instruments" in the pack. Hammond aficionados will probably load '57 Organ most of the time as this is the only one with access to all the drawbars. The other patches start with a fixed mixture of certain drawbars plus the ability to vary two or three others.

    The first thing that hits you in terms of usability is it's effectively a single manual instrument. There is a key split function but as far as I can see it only enables you to vary the volume of the bass notes. To emulate a B3 / C3 you would need up to three instances of Kore player, one for upper and lower manuals and one for the pedals. However once you do this you will run in to the the fact that there are three separate signal paths. Each manual is going through a different amp and rotary speaker so there will be a drop in realism.

    The interface of the '57 Organ patch is spread over three pages. Not a major problem except the 1ft drawbar is on a different page to the rest!

    My feeling is the amp, drive and rotary speaker emulation is not as good as the B4 II emulation. There are certainly a lot less options and it does not sound as good to my ear. 57' Organ sounds a lot more gutsy is you use the DI setting and insert B4 II as an effect! If you want to vary the rotor speeds you have just two options, fast and slow unless you use the Mod wheel. If you have a sprung mod wheel / controller this is a pain, however you could map a different controller if you have a suitable controller keyboard. It's a shame they did not make this parameter variable using a knob.

    If you are using Kore player there is no way of saving user patches so they appear in Kore database. In a VST host (Sonar in my case) you can save a preset file which is a clunky workaround.

    The Kore interface introduces some other options. There are attack and decay controls which enable pad type sounds to be created. While these will find uses in my opinion these knobs would have been better being assigned to rotary speed and mike positions.

    Each "Instrument" has eight variations. This could be quite useful as it enables 8 different registrations to be stored in the same "instrument". Switching between them remotely however is not straightforward You have to use the "morph" function and assign to rotary knob on a controller to the X and Y axis of the morph control. Morph seems like it would be a useful function with some of the more exotic soundscape sounds marketed for Kore player but as an organist you are most likely to need precise changes between registrations.

    Load times are quite long, hopefully this will improve when NI makes Kore player 64 bit. A 64 bit version is also needed to add some future proofing.

    I think '57 Organ is good and reasonably priced but not a replacement for B4 II. The main problems I think are the restrictions of Kore interface and engine. If it could be repackaged as a instrument for Kontakt Player 4 with upper and lower manuals and pedals each on a separate midi channel, improved rotary speaker and amplifier options and an interface with drawbars rather than knobs they may start winning a few people over. I think B4 II will be NI's Minimoog, a classic that was never bettered. There's a challenge, now prove me wrong NI!
  2. JasonSpatola

    JasonSpatola Forum Member

    Very thorough assessment. Though I'm more satisfied with '57 than I ever was with B4 II (I'm not a huge organ guy), you've stated exactly why it's not the Hammond replacement for you in a logical, eloquent way, and have made a good case for an interface update.

    Great post.
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