Native Instruments '57 Organ

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Glyn Barnes
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2009/11/20 10:36:13 (permalink)

Native Instruments '57 Organ

Here is a cross post of a "review" I have just posted on NI's B4 II thread in their forum.
 
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!

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    AT
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/20 11:10:05 (permalink)
    nice review, tho I doubt if NI would like it.  Of course, that kind of review spurs software engineers onward.

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    Rajay1
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/21 21:06:21 (permalink)
    Well, talk about being heartbroken?! I've been out of the loop for awhile and just decided to upgrade everything and start the studio again. Pulled out some old programs I still want to use. Needless to say, B4ll was first on my list. I've been trying to find out if I could still use it with w7 x64 and Sonar 8.5. Now you tell me this? Oh please tell me I'll still be able to use it.
    Added: When I went to their site and saw this new '57 thingy and didn't see my B4ll I thought they'd just misprinted something. I know B3 players will start back hauling the 500lb monster around again rather than this new junk organ. 
    post edited by Rajay1 - 2009/11/21 21:11:35

    Rajay
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    #3
    Glyn Barnes
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 05:36:48 (permalink)
    B4 II is working on in Sonar 8.5 64 bit on Vista 64. Reports on the NI forums indicate no problems in Windows 7. Some retailers are still selling B4 II at knockdown prices. eg Digital Village in the UK.
     
    I would not call '57 Organ junk, it does sound very good and I guess most users will just want some good organ sounds, but it can't be seen as a B4 replacement for the reasons I stated above.
     
    As an alternative there is VB3 from GSI and Linplug have hammmond emulation. There are demo versions on their websites.

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    mike_mccue
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 08:28:40 (permalink)
    Will the B4II, with all it's functionality, be available thru the Kontakt interface?

    I have Komplete 5 and intend to upgrade to 6 soon. I use B4II a LOT and really like the whole package.

    I've been hoping that I can access it in Kontakt in the future but was unsure of what parameters would be available for tweaking.

    best regards,
    mike

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    #5
    craigfowler
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 11:20:11 (permalink)
    mike_mccue


    Will the B4II, with all it's functionality, be available thru the Kontakt interface?

    I have Komplete 5 and intend to upgrade to 6 soon. I use B4II a LOT and really like the whole package.

    I've been hoping that I can access it in Kontakt in the future but was unsure of what parameters would be available for tweaking.

    best regards,
    mike


    Hopefully I'm not totally off-base here, but I think I was told I could use the Akoustic/Elektrik samples in Kontakt, but B4II wasn't accessible in it as there's no 'sample library' to think of.
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    Glyn Barnes
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 11:25:02 (permalink)
    mike_mccue


    Will the B4II, with all it's functionality, be available thru the Kontakt interface?


    I think the answer to that question has to be no. B4 II is not sample based so I doubt it would port into Kontakt.  They could probably port the '57 organ over to Kontakt and build a decent interface and address some of the issues I mentioned above.  Do they have the will?

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    keith
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 11:52:52 (permalink)
    Glyn, not sure if you've run across GSi's VB3 -- http://www.genuinesoundware.com/?a=showproduct&b=24

    I'm a big fan of B4/B4II as a longtime owner, but I actually prefer VB3... it a major upgrade in quality and performance from the older "ORGANized trio" plug, and I think it outperforms B4II to boot. Definately worth the 49 euro... checkout the audio and plug demos.

    I would be wary of any sample-based B3 type instrument. If you think about it, specialized synthesis and modeling is the most effective way to reconstruct the complexities of something like a B3. At least it is the most cost-effective means without having to employ complex sample manipulation -- resynthesis, samplemodelling.com type morphing, etc.
    #8
    Glyn Barnes
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/22 15:10:26 (permalink)
    keith


    Glyn, not sure if you've run across GSi's VB3 -- http://www.genuinesoundware.com/?a=showproduct&b=24

    I'm a big fan of B4/B4II as a longtime owner, but I actually prefer VB3... it a major upgrade in quality and performance from the older "ORGANized trio" plug, and I think it outperforms B4II to boot. Definately worth the 49 euro... checkout the audio and plug demos.
    I just tried the demo. I was aware of it but I have a feeling the last time I tried it it was the old one as this seems a lot better than I remembered. The bass is probably better than B4 II.
     
    It seems to be working flawlessly in Sonar 64 using bit bridge 2 and anyone looking to buy a organ VSTi should give it serious consideration.
     
    As my B4 is still functioning and I have the extra sounds provided by '57 organ I will not buy at the moment. If it was native 64 bit I would probably buy it now, but at the moment I don't see it is necessaraly more future proof than B4 II.
     

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    #9
    SvenArne
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/23 12:18:38 (permalink)
    They could release the full B4 II as a Reaktor instrument...

    Sven
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    ew
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    Re:Native Instruments '57 Organ 2009/11/23 14:25:37 (permalink)
    SvenArne


    They could release the full B4 II as a Reaktor instrument...

    Sven

    At 3-4 times the CPU hit, if not more...
     
    ew
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