Discussion in 'B4 & B4 II' started by BobTheDog, Aug 23, 2009.

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  1. tillephone

    tillephone New Member

    OK, understood. This means B4 and Pro-53 did not have any economic value for you any more.
    So, here's a provocative question: Are you thinking about putting those products under an open source license?
    This way, the community to which B4II and Pro-53 have an ideological or other value could maintain compatibility with upcoming OS and DAW releases themselves. The investment would come from the community because there are individuals who see the cost of investing time in maintaining the products covered by the profit (i.e. compatibility) they receive.

    You might be afraid of competitors trying to copy your work. (well, maybe you're not :) ) But IMHO it would be worth considering what is the greater economical damage to NI: a) competitors benefiting from your work in an area which you are not considering profitable anyways or
    b) a pissed off community (excuse my French) which is considering changing to competitors' products already (see other posts in thread)

    Just my $0.02.

  2. pbryant

    pbryant New Member

    What does it need to cost to support a piece of 'frozen' software, which you don't sell any more? About zero, I would suggest. Especially if your first response is going to be 'we don't support it any more - buy the new replacement product'.

    Let's face it, the reason for all this hot air is that most of the (thousands of?) people that have purchased B4, are generally pleased with it, and it is pretty reliable. I'd love to know how many copies have been sold over the years?

    So exactly what does it cost to make sure a piece of long-established software run in a new, generally-backwards-compatible version of an operating system, or a 64-bit version of a 32-bit O/S? If the code has embedded any 'dirty' short-cuts or optimising tricks, then these will need to be re-evaluated, fixed and tested. Otherwise, a recompile and test.....and? For Chrissakes, the existing users will happily do the bulk of the 'beta' testing - FOR FREE!

    I think the real issue here is that NI just don't understand the appeal of a realistic user interface and sound creation engine. To an ex-Hammond/Leslie player, B4 has always resonated well - it looks and feels about as familiar as a piece of software ever can.

    A general-purpose sample player, with a 'synthy' user interface just isn't a credible replacement. It completely misses the point. Compare the B4 /organ situation with how many real sax players bother to buy software versions of brass sample players and libraries?

    I bet there is somebody at the VB3 company is rubbing their hands with glee now. I just hope that they retain their roots, and continue to provide support, upgrades and customer service in the future.

    I would have happily paid a small upgrade fee to get a supported 'new' version of B4 for Windows 7 , or some new MAC O/S. I would probably have been happy to pay even more for additional features and some of the wish list. But basically, this new relacement 'toy' organ thingy seems to offer nothing additional that I want to pay for.

    NI could esaily have taken more money off me over the next few years, and made me a happy evangelist for their products.

    As it is, will I buy any more NI product now? Will I heck.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  3. Tical

    Tical NI Product Owner

    The sales of these products are not the result of what they are, but more the result of what they are not: to when the last major updates for B4II and Pro53 date back?
    There's a loooooong wish list and feature request list for both plug-ins: you start upgrading them again, we start purchasing them again, both new and old customers, is that simple.

    As a matter of fact "the company‘s paradigm shift from feature-centric software applications to integrated solutions with a focus on creative workflow and innovative interface design" actually means NI is not interested in producing serious software anymore.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  4. pbryant

    pbryant New Member

    Hmmmmm - this morning's email trash contained this piece of not-so-well targeted spam announcement....

    "Now available - BALINESE GAMELAN - the new exquisitely sampled KONTAKT Instrument‏ "

    ....I wonder how many B4 users will be needing this essential purchase? It's difficult for me to see a mass-market emerging for the sampled gamelan.

    Check out the user interrface at -


    I don't wish to diss the value of an ethnic instrument, but I can't quite see all the Tibetan hip-hop monks working those red and white knobs......so much more satisfying than hitting real organic metal things with mallets :)

    Clearly, market research shows that the gamelan is a much more fertile (and under-supplied) market-place than the classic software tonewheel organ emulation.

    Strange, I'm sure you can still buy gamelans, but you can't buy a real Hammond B3/Leslie combination? The Hammonds will only get rarer as they decay...... but gamelans don't even rust, do they?

    Maybe NI just got the B4 pricing wrong? People still seem very happy to pay a lot more money for plastic (red) Nord Hammond-alike keyboards, and their ilk.

    The B4 wish-list was long and largely well-informed.....yet market research must have indicated that the Kontakt player and 57 Draw-Bar organ combination was a better commercial opportunity? I'm sure that the wish-listers would have happily stumped-up some more cash for a paid-for, added-feature, major release?

    Well, for me, Mr VB3 seems to be the way to go.....NI seem to have just given their market away.

    Oh dear....I seemed to be going off-topic?
  5. Leee

    Leee NI Product Owner

    I'm already feeling the fallout of B4 being discontinued. I recently uninstalled and reinstalled all of my plugins (due to a separate issue from updating to Sonar 8.5)
    Everything installed and activated correctly EXCEPT B4 II. It keeps asking me to activate, buy or demo it. And whenever I click activate my Service Center states that ALL of my NI programs are already activated.
    I sent a trouble ticket into support, they told me to turn off Vista's UAC, which was already turned off. No help there. Still waiting for another solution from them.

    But I can't help but get the feeling my B4 issues are not a big concern from a company that's already kicked it to the curb.

    I'll say it again, what a shame such a great program is being abandoned.
    I wish they would have sold it to another company to continue its survival.
  6. glittle

    glittle NI Product Owner

    Seriously, try the vb3:


    I won't claim to be a hammond connoisseur (although I did have an M-3 once), but in the little bit of time I've spent playing with the VB3 so far, it seems as good as the B4, and has some adjustments (high-low balance across the tonewheel frequencies, for instance) that I do like.

    I like what they're trying to do with the note attack, where they spread out (time is adjustable) the onset of the various tonewheel frequencies per note. I do think this feature is still not quite there yet, but it's an admirable attempt. I'm afraid that it won't really be quite right until you can get the tones to really come on at various points in the key travel so you can sort of grind the notes on and off, but midi won't allow that.

    It's reasonably inexpensive, and a nice alternative.

  7. SixStringGeek

    SixStringGeek New Member

    Seriously, stop bringing up the VB3 until it works in Digital Performer. Its not a solution.

    Seriously. Its not an alternative until its fixed. This has been suggested half a dozen times and each time I must re-explain - VB3 is brickware under DP and I work in DP.
  8. glittle

    glittle NI Product Owner

    I know where you're coming from and I know how you feel. Didn't know it wasn't working in DP. That sucks. I believe the whole paradigm is too easily accepted. That of software just changing or disappearing out from under you. On the one hand, we want to treat our programs as treasured tools, learn them, commit to them, internalize their ways of working, and rely on them. After all, they are sold as "tools". I wish they were like my grandfather's hammers... weighted just how he liked them, handles polished from a lifetime of use, they did just what he wanted and expected and always worked, and even I, two generations away, could experience the exact same tools. They still work.

    On the other hand, we are discouraged from doing that due to examples like the B4, or Cubase (my own personal pet peeve) deciding to not support their older file formats, leaving me to have to scramble so as not to lose forever my song sketches that I've created over the years but haven't had time to flesh out. I've seen it said in forums that we should just finish their projects and we wouldn't have problems. That of course ignores the fact that different people work in different ways. I want tools that work for me, not ones for which I have to fundamentally change the way I conceive and realize my own inspiration.

    I think we just haven't learned as a culture to really cope yet. Or maybe I'm just being a luddite in not wanting the word "ephemeral" to go with "tools".

    I hope they get the vb3 working for you, but yes it's a shame you even have to give it half a thought in the first place.

  9. dwetmaster

    dwetmaster Forum Member

    Yep SSG
    I just tried VB3 in DP7. Still doesn't work. Plogue Bidule is still my friend...
  10. JavaJ

    JavaJ NI Product Owner

    This makes people want to go back to hardware only
  11. BarnesVer6

    BarnesVer6 NI Product Owner

    Ihad that problem a few months back. The issue required me to delete a record in the Regestery. Then I could reactivate B4II without any problems.

    The on line ticket resposes was just too slow, better to call the support and talk to some one. However make sure you are talking to the right people. First time I called there were only Mac support people there and while they tried to help it was going nowhere. Called back the next day, got the right guy and it was fixed in no time.

    It's the actiavtion thing that scares me the most now its discontinued. I have had it working in Sonar 64 so I figure I have some more years out of yet. As long as activation does not become a problem if I need to reinstall.

    I would have loved to seen an 64 bit B4 III, lets hope someone fills that vacuum. VB3 I guess is 32 Bit?
  12. dwetmaster

    dwetmaster Forum Member

    Yep, my M3 is 1956 and it's still going strong...
  13. charater

    charater Account Suspended

    guys I can still find a copy of b4II to purchase,, should I bother?

    also who's to say that NI won't bring out a new one, and they are just doing this to play around as usual...
    Also in kore kontact watever do you recon we will see a version of b4 with the graphical interface pop up? because they recon they have elektrik paino i think or someone of the mods or NI team said it, and will be bringing out akoustik piano as packs soon... like whats this going to be and what difference will it have? better sound quality? more? this is really getting on my nerves as i think b4 has so much potential over the 57 drawbar organ... its not the same at all NI, how can you even compare a b3 to a c3, this is just insane...

    please ppl help me on this!

    much appreciated.!
  14. BarnesVer6

    BarnesVer6 NI Product Owner

    If you buy one you will be getting one of the best VSTi ever made. What’s the risk? If you stay on your current operating system and do not upgrade your DAW, I would say very little.

    Others may be able to tell you about Mac compatibility but I can confirm that B4II works on Vista 64 and from what I have read it runs on Window 7 (32 and 64 bit versions). I have had it running in Sonar 8.3 64 bit and others have been successful running it the 64 bit Sonar 8.5. This would all tend to suggest there is some life in the old girl yet.

    I think the piano packs were sample based so porting them to Kontact or Kore is an option, B4 II was modeled so I doubt if that is an option.

    While I have no knowledge of NI future product plans I would have thought the most likely scenario would be more Kore sound packs, Say a B3, a Vox , a Farisia, a Jon Lord Special distorted version, etc, etc. From NI’s perspective it would make more commercial sense. They would probably sell well to those that just wanted a few good organ sounds, but from a B4 II aficionados’ view it would be a more expensive and less versatile approach.
  15. BarnesVer6

    BarnesVer6 NI Product Owner

    Has anyone actually tried the 57 organ? Looking at the web page again I think one of the worst things about it may be NI’s marketing. They say “The pack contains a full instrument, with 10 KoreSounds and 8 variations per sound.” Which is not going to excite any B4 II user. But I got to wondering about the statement “this instrument is immensely tweak-able due to access to every single drawbar” and claims of “immense tweakability.” Which seem at odds with the “10 sounds” specification.

    I down loaded the manual and low and behold if you load one of the 10 presets called “KoreSound ‘57 Drawbar” you have access to all 8 drawbars and can adjust them by rotary knobs. One can also adjust percussion, drive, vibrato, swell, reverb, and rotary speaker settings.

    It looks like there is a lot more to this than the 10 sounds X 8 variations that NI seems to be using as their main selling point.
  16. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Moderator Moderator

    Yes, but it's still samples, not modelling. Still a bad move by NI :/
  17. BarnesVer6

    BarnesVer6 NI Product Owner

    I agree, even if all the features work flawlessly it won't have B4II's versatality. I was just wondering if anyone had tried it out.
  18. burgvogt

    burgvogt NI Product Owner

    Folks, I've definitely gone hardware: nord electro3. Better Hammond sounds, absolutely stunning e-pianos, acoustic pianos fairly usable and less than 10kg, 73 keys. It's all I ever need. Forget NI if you don't need synths.
  19. Blackbyrd

    Blackbyrd Forum Member

    You all forget about very nice organ from LinPlug - Organ 3. It has a very cool sound that I tend to like even more than B4. It is more clean for my ear, less unwanted distortion. It's a pure physical emulation too and it is not discontinued.

    So take a look
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