IK Multimedia has announced the release of the Hammond B-3X tonewheel organ virtual instrument. Created in close collaboration with Hammond USA and Suzuki Music Corp. of Japan, along with top Hammond artists, it is designed to meticulously recreate the sound, controls and entire effects signal path of the legendary Hammond B-3.
IK's modeling techniques were employed to deliver fine details and nuances that passed the ears of the Hammond Organ Company in Chicago. In addition to its authentic organ sound, this new instrument offers a full-rig chain including stomp effects, an extended version of IK's Leslie Collection with a rotary cabinet with mix-and-match amp and cabinet models plus four microphones, a parallel guitar amp with 4x12 cabinet, a mixer and three studio post effects.
Hammond USA Executive Vice President Peter Nguyen shared, "We're excited about the very first official Hammond/Leslie Virtual Instrument, and the partnership with IK Multimedia which made it happen. The teams certainly captured the qualities that have made the Hammond Organ an essential part of music for the past 85 years."
It's all in the details
Hammond B-3X begins with 91 tonewheels, which are based on well-maintained Hammond organs that IK studied in locations around the world. These free-running tonewheels are mixed in real-time based on the notes played and drawbar levels, for authentic realism.
Hammond B-3X can be fine-tuned using IK's detailed models of the original settings, controls and circuits, which were all approved by the Hammond Organ Company. Users can employ tonal filtering, select the independent key click, and engage the iconic Hammond percussion and chorus-vibrato circuits with advanced controls.
For deeper exploration and realistic touches, Hammond fans will appreciate a familiar simulation of the effects of "aging" components to control tonal balance, generator leakage and crosstalk, and the chorus circuit's presence boost.
All the controls are designed to recreate the exact experience of playing a classic, hardware B-3 organ - from the order of the chorus/vibrato settings to the placement of the percussion switches. Some additional features have been included as well, for modern convenience.
The drawbars update in real-time when the inverted drawbar settings keys are selected, allowing users to save 24 custom drawbar settings per preset. For live use, a "Controls" view hides the keyboard and enlarges the drawbars and switches for less distraction while playing. MIDI assignments for modern Hammond digital organs are also included, making it plug-and-play easy to perform with everything at arm's reach.
Extended stomp box effects
The organ feeds a 5-unit pedalboard in the STOMPS section that features overdrive, graphic EQ, stomp box-style chorus-vibrato, wah wah and spring reverb. Derived from IK's AmpliTube and T-RackS software, these effects were carefully chosen and arranged for easy recreation of the widest range of iconic tonewheel organ sounds. They can also be assigned to MIDI control for on-stage use.
Real Leslie sound
The signal is then sent to a CABS section that includes a choice of real Leslie amps and speakers that can be mixed and matched, along with a parallel guitar amp and 4x12 cabinet. Using technology derived from IK's AmpliTube 4 amplifier modeling, combined with an extended version of IK's Leslie Collection, Hammond B-3X's cabinet section offers a massive range of sound-shaping option tabs. They include:
- Setup - lets users fine tune the Leslie's slow and fast speed settings - including acceleration and deceleration - and adjust the mic distance and configuration.
- Leslie Amp - offers a selection of five Leslie power amps (or a power amp modeling off switch) and two guitar power amps to use in any of five Leslie cabinets, with full control over gain, EQ and volume.
- Leslie EQ - enables the rotary speaker to be shaped with high-pass, low-pass and parametric mid EQ.
- Guitar Amp - adds a parallel guitar amp derived from AmpliTube into the mix for use with popular rock tones used by top rock and blues players; offers full tone-shaping controls and spring reverb.
- Mixer - blends the sound of the Leslie, with independent volume and panning of both the horn and drum mics, the parallel guitar amp, and the DI organ sound for tonal flexibility.
Add professional polish
Lastly, Hammond B-3X offers three rackmount studio effects derived from IK's T-RackS Mixing and Mastering Workstation to add a final, professional touch. IK's Limiter 76 FET-based compressor offers an iconic, timeless sound; the EQ-81 adds classic console tone-shaping and warmth; and a digital reverb adds a pristine sense of space.
Price: €/$299.99 - Now available from the IK Multimedia online store and from authorized IK dealers worldwide for a special introductory price of €/$199.99 IK customers with qualifying registered products with a retail value of €/$99.99 or more will be eligible for special introductory crossgrade pricing of €/$149.99 (regular crossgrade pricing will be €/$199.99).
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