I've also been following Nubi since the early days and though those early betas were already good the most recent updates have really made it formidable competition for B4. First thing is first, the sound: frankly I've played with B4 quite a lot and also own DaOrgan and in the raw sound department Nubi beats them both. It just sounds more organ like and present than either of those with great sound throughout the length of the keyboard. The leslie (rotary chorus) isn't a perfect emulation just yet but as of the most recent update holds it's own with most leslie emulations available in VST format. Now on to features, Nubi is without a doubt the most flexible organ emulation allowing you for control of the foldback points, multiple types of percussion, tuning scales, percussion harmonics, drawbar leakage, etc. If that wasn't enough there's more to tweak in the config file, that PJ didn't want cluttering up the GUI (which was smart as these features are already more than enough for most). The only reason Nubi didn't score a perfect 10 here is due to the lack of vibrato which I'd personally love to see implemented in the future. The GUI is a good size, easy to read, and has just the right amount of features present, so another big score there. The User Guide is a .txt file which covers all of the features and explains them very well. Nubi get's a low score in the preset department though as very few are available, but the real fun in Nubi is coming up with your own sounds anyway. PJ is great as far as taking care of his customers whether it's a technical problem, or feature suggestion, etc. And finally for less than $40 I can't see how you can go wrong with Nubi, check it out.
This is an initial review of Nubi, the B3 emulation from PJ Geerlings. I have been using this since the initial betas.
There are currently two versions: a single manual with a very nice looking GUI and a non-GUI version with 3 manuals, which simply uses sliders for all functions. Internally though, they are the same engine.
The first question anyone should ask is: 'Does the world really need another B3 clone?' I would say 'yes' for three reasons: 1. N/I's B4 simply does -not- nail the B3 (though it does have a VERY nice GUI and a really good Leslie/Preamp simulation.
2. Charlie -does- sound better, but it simply is not 'playable' to a real organist.
3. Both of the above a somewhat pricey.
[b]YES, BUT HOW DOES IT SOUND[/b] NuBI combines the control of B4 with the better sound quality of Charlie. No it doesn't use samples, but it does use an emulation which is much more like a 'real' B3. It sounds fatter and just plainly more realistic than B4. And yet it gives one all the control of B4. Fantastic. Plus it's currently in a 'donation' mode so you can get something that actually sounds BETTER than the industry standard product and get it for a song.
Now the bad news: The Leslie and preamp sections in NuBI are not quite ready for prime time. Oh they aren't -bad-, but this is frankly where N/I hit it out of the park with B4. People often think B4 sounds better than it does because the Leslie and preamps are so darn good. The raw tones are -not- that happening.
So my suggestions to overcome this are: 1. Donate to PJ so he can work out a better pre! ;)
2. Use a better tube pre and Leslie VST and bypass the NuBI effects (this is what I do).
If you do this, NuBI simply -smokes- B4 or Charlie in all the ways that matter.
[PRESETS] One thing that needs some work are the presets. There are presets with NuBI but frankly they ain't exactly as fantastic as B4. But that said, figuring out presets on a B3 is easy and a great way to learn how things work so I can't get too dis-chuffed about this. Also I think there is enough info on the web re: drawbar settings used by various players that one could figure this stuff out in about 15 minutes.
[b]GUI OR NON-GUI?[/b] As I said, the GUI version is quite nice. So at first blush one might asky why in the Sam Hill someone would want a non-GUI version of -any- VSTi?
Here's the deal: a -real- B3 has 3 manuals. The GUI version only has one manual---which is fine for the odd bit in a pop song. But any self-respecting organist will use every bit of -all- 3 manuals, moving back and forth for different sections of a tune. An organist is constantly moving draw bars, pedalling and so on. In short: there's a LOT more going on than with a typical 'keyboard'.
So the non-GUI version is simply more like a -real- B3 and if you want to play like a real organist, you'll want the extra manuals.
Plus, call me a Luddite, but I find the sliders to be a LOT easier to work with than the GUI. The GUI is pretty but it's also a bit large. To -me- the smaller size of the non-GUI version leaves more screen space for me to manage Cubase without constantly flipping between windows. I am told that I am the only human on the planet who feels this way, however so YMMV.
[CONCLUSIONS] IMHO, everyone should have NuBI: ---Non organists should still probably have a decent emulation around just in case. NuBI does this without breaking the bank.
---Organists, however, will want something that sounds better than B4, but is more controllable than Charlie. NuBI fills the bill here as well, so long as one uses that outboard preamp/Leslie.
I cannot stress enough the overall value of NuBI, I would place it in the same bang for the buck arena as Alexey's Voxengo plug-ins (which is the highest praise I can think of at the moment).
It have found no significant bugs (shocking but true!) and it works completely as advertised. Additionally, PJ is a pleasure to work with and has already incorporated many ideas from sincere organ-devotees such as meself.