VB3-II Hammond Organ

Genuine Software and Instruments (GSI)

For all the Hammond / drawbar fans out there Jeff has shared some information that you may be interested in:

GSI_VB3-II
GSI_VB3-II

Genuine Software and Instruments (GSI) have recently released a new version of their VB3 Hammond Organ software, VB3-II. Wersi owners will be familiar with this product line. An older version was made available as an optional VST plug-in on OAS models, and the previous version is one of the standard drawbar units on OAX models. Since this is a completely new product, not an update, I thought it would be useful to try it out, see what it can do and report my findings in a review of the product. I think the review will be of particular interest to those OAX owners seeking a better drawbar sound on their instruments, and to OAS owners who have upgraded their instruments to run this type of software on a second processor.

You can find the review on the WersiClub UK website in the ‘Latest News & Site Additions’ section at http://www.wersiclub-ukfocus.org.uk/

or you can view/download it directly at http://www.wersiclub-ukfocus.org.uk/Jeff%20Ormerod/VB3%20II%20Review.pdf

If you have any questions or require further information on the product, I’ll be happy to respond.

Jeff

23 thoughts on “VB3-II Hammond Organ

  • 01/12/2019 at 05:40
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    Hi Jerry,

    Yep, the Seelake AudioStation Mini certainly looks the business and looks to be an ideal solution for what you want to do. I’ve included it in the foreword that I’m writing for the HD Series Upgrade Manual as another option for connecting an external device.

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 01/11/2019 at 10:41
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    Hi Byron,

    It was good to read your post. Some time ago I came to one of your concerts in Cheadle Cheshire and was very interested in the way you used an external computer for your pipe organ registrations. I had a word with you after the concert and you very kindly explained how it was all done and gave me some information on the Hauptwerk software. This was the inspiration for what I later came to call the Wersi HD Series instruments. So a big thankyou for getting me started with this amazing new generation software.

    The Steinberg UR22 midi/audio unit that I’m using is very similar to the Focusrite unit that Curt is using. They both do essentially the same job. You can see more details of the UR22 at:-

    https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audio_interfaces/ur_series/models/ur22mkii.html

    One thing to note is that both units offer a single midi port, which is fine if you just want to play sounds in your Mac. If however you want play sounds from other OAX applications concurrently with these, for example from the instruments in the midi sequencer or those in a style, you will need a two or more port unit. OAX instruments have three midi outputs available so this is possible. Having said that, there are devices on the market that can take two or more midi ports and merge them into one for connection to the midi/audio unit, so even if you go for a single port unit, there’s an upgrade path available in the future if required.

    Theoretically you don’t need a midi/audio unit at all since one of the midi outputs on the Wersi is a USB output and can be connected directly to a USB input on your Mac. Also you could take the analogue audio outputs from your Mac and connect them directly to the audio inputs of the Wersi, or other amplification equipment. The digital to analogue converters in the Mac however are unlikely to be as good a quality as those in the midi/audio unit, so for the highest quality sound it’s best to take the digital output from the Mac via a USB output and let the midi/audio unit do the conversion.

    Although the Upgrade Manual for the HD Series is written specifically for OAS instruments, the general principles are the same, and much of the content is applicable to both OAS and OAX. The exception is Chapter 2 which is the detailed information for setting up the Wersi external midi system. I’m sure Curt and others can help with this. Since we’re getting an increasing number of owners going down the second processor route, I’m planning to construct an OAX version of this chapter, and make any other changes necessary to the manual to make it OAX relevant.

    You can find the Upgrade Manual at:-

    http://www.wersiorganshowcase.com/upgrademanual.html

    Good luck with the venture and let me know if I can be of any further help.

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 01/11/2019 at 06:49
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    Hi Curt,

    Brilliant, thanks, that would be great.

    Jeff

    Reply
    • 01/11/2019 at 09:36
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      Jeff – Check your email. I just sent you a couple of the default OAX MIDI related screenshots to get our conversation started.

      Reply
  • 01/10/2019 at 10:42
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    Hi Curt,

    Good to hear that some folks are contemplating hooking up their OAX instruments to an external computer. Spookily enough I’m just about to publish a foreword to the HD Series Upgrade Manual that explains the thinking behind the concept and answers a number of questions that owners might have about making this move. At the moment I’m focussing on developing the performance side of the system, the objective being to enhance the sounds and features of the instrument. The flexibility of the concept however allows any kind of software to be installed, including a DAW, so I’d be very interested in the experiences of anyone doing this.

    What would be really useful would be an OAX equivalent of Chapter 2 of the Upgrade Manual that details the setup required for the external MIDI system. If anyone has the specific details for this and the associated screenshots I’d be happy to put something together and include on the Wersi HD Series web site.

    Jeff

    Reply
    • 01/11/2019 at 06:41
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      Hey Jeff,

      I just took a quick peek at chapter 2. I’ll send you a few screenshots from OAX in the next few days, and we can see where that takes us.

      Reply
    • 01/11/2019 at 21:17
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      Jeff,

      I have purchased the Seelake AudioStation Mini to interface with my OAX1. I am going to use it for some VST instruments and to play my backing tracks. I have the Native Instruments B4 II that will run on the AudioStation and Steinberg The Grand plus others. I personally like the sound of these 2 VST’s better than any of the new ones and fortunately the AudioStation will run them. I will be using midi solutions footswitch controller to control the slow/fast rotor on the B4 II using a separate pedal. One really neat thing about the AudioStation is I can use a sound patch on the OAX1 to tell the AudioStation which backing track and other instruments to load.

      Reply
      • 01/12/2019 at 08:16
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        Hey Jerry,

        I was just browsing the Seelake website. Do you mind sharing which config you went with? An interesting solution.

        Reply
        • 01/12/2019 at 10:01
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          I7 CPU, 16 gig memory and 1TB hard drive. I am using the Multitrack player so good thing I went with large drive because the size of my backing tracks are ranging between 500 mb and 1.5 gb.
          I’m going to try to connect a cable to the right footswitch on my OAX1 volume pedal which will connect to the footswitch controller. That will allow me to use the right footswitch to control the fast/slow on the AudioStation.
          I will share my set up when I get everything up and running. It’s a slow go right now because of work.

          Reply
          • 01/12/2019 at 11:41
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            Funny thing about Memory, Storage and CPU – Kinda like $$$ – You can never have enough! 🙂

  • 12/23/2018 at 05:46
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    Hi Curt, how can I connect an apple pro to my OAX1
    I have looked for midi channels can’t see them.
    Ano,their thing how to down load from my scala to oax1
    Many thanks
    Byron

    Reply
    • 12/24/2018 at 13:40
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      Hey Byron!

      About 998.6 gazillion years ago pretty sure I met you at a Wersi show in the states that Ralph Conti or Bill Horn hosted? I doubt you would remember me, but I would have been running around helping those folks get things set up for the “evening concerts.”

      I apologize for the slow response. Like everyone else, busy as #$^ this time of year. As for connections to OAX – Lot’s of options I’ll say that we are using a Focusrite 6i6 interface which is connected via USB to a Mac. That allows us the option to work via MIDI with OAX or simply record audio output from the Sonic. There are MANY other options out there. Pick what works best with your overall Wersi and PC/Mac configuration.

      Check out this video we did a while ago and see if it helps? If not, PLEASE feel free to ask more questions, and we will try to help. https://youtu.be/vXaRQb5zB0o

      Tell us more regarding your question about downloading from the Scala into OAX – What it is you are trying to do?

      Reply
      • 01/09/2019 at 16:56
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        Hi Curt I’m very sorry as only now noticed your message to me. Yes I do remember you.
        Yes a long time ago,great to catch up again and I thank you and who ever are helping us with all our questions.
        I am not even on the tip of the iceburg. The Oax is wow.
        Sincerely
        Byron.

        Reply
        • 01/10/2019 at 06:56
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          Byron – Any luck get your setup working? We are considering doing a video or two on the subject. We are working with a couple of other folks that are in the midst of setting up OAX to work with software running on a computer.

          Reply
          • 01/10/2019 at 19:40
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            Hi Curt, not yet as have been away for the new year cruising . Back now and ready to go.
            Regards
            Byron.

  • 10/13/2018 at 10:33
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    Hi John,

    I omitted to say in my posting on resources that as Curt says, your ASUS machine will be fine for running the HD software. I have exactly the same specification in my Mac mini and I’ve not had any problems. The only issue you may encounter is when running the very largest pipe organ samples in Hauptwerk. For best quality these use 24 bit samples which can require more than the 16 GB of RAM. The great thing about Hauptwerk however is that we have a choice of sample bit lengths, so selecting the 20 bit samples enables the software to run comfortably within the 16 GB. You might experience a small loss in quality, but at these higher bits lengths the human ear is reaching its limit of sensitivity and the difference is not that perceptible. At least not to my ears anyway!

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 10/12/2018 at 10:51
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    Hi Curt,

    I’m currently running a 1TB SSD on the Scala HD. I find when it comes to specifying computing resources for high definition software you can’t go wrong adhering to what I call the ‘Fagin Principle’ which basically says that the more you have of something the better. You will recall that Fagin was a character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and in the musical Oliver! Fagin gets to sing the song ‘You’ve got to pick a pocket or two’ from which we get Lionel Bart’s immortal line “In this life one thing counts, in the bank large amounts”. Adapting this for computing resources we get the ‘Fagin Principle’, “In this game one thing counts, in the spec large amounts”. So specifically for the relevant resources:-

    RAM – Software like Hauptwerk loads all its samples into RAM, so if you’re a power crazed maniac like me who likes to run the biggest instruments, these can take up a considerable amount of RAM capacity. The Willis organ for example requires 24 GB of RAM space. Dual or even quad channel RAM is also a good idea for optimum speed if the motherboard supports it.

    Disk Capacity– Sample libraries for software like Kontakt can take up huge amounts of disc space. The Hans Zimmer Steinway Grand Piano which I’ll be featuring shortly on the HD Series has 88,352 samples and requires 211 GB of disc space!

    Disk Speed – SSD is pretty much essential for these type of applications. Software like Kontakt spools all its samples from disk, so speed is of the essence to avoid latency issues.

    CPU – A fast processor, but also a good number of cores. Software like Hauptwerk can take advantage of parallel processing by computing the sounds for each individual stop concurrently. So the more cores you have the more efficient this process is. Hauptwerk aficionados have obscene numbers of cores in their processors.

    We should say though that you don’t need the most powerful machine on the planet to run this software, it will run quite happily on even a modest spec machine. However in this situation you will have to make compromises on quality, for example shorter bit length samples, lower sample rates, reduced polyphony (number of voices sounding simultaneously), increased latency due to data being swapped in and out to disk etc. So Fagin got it right, large amounts, that’s what counts!

    Incidentally, the word on the street is that there’s about to be a new Mac Mini launched this month. The model hasn’t had an upgrade since 2014 so Apple aficionados are getting all excited. Apple as usual are saying nothing, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. If they’ve implemented the ‘Fagin Principle’ in the upgrade, I might be tempted.

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 10/11/2018 at 09:48
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    hello Curt, I have a PC at home an ASUS with i7 processor and 16 GB memory. I hardly use it anymore, because of the purchase of a new laptop / tablet. I want to get started with that PC. I think that will work. And of course I will keep you informed here at WersiClubUSA.

    Reply
  • 10/11/2018 at 09:44
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    hello Curt, I have a PC at home with an ASUS i7 processor and 16 GB memory. I hardly use it anymore, because of the purchase of a new laptop / tablet. I want to get started with that PC. I think that will work. And of course I will keep you informed here at WersiClubUSA.

    Reply
    • 10/12/2018 at 06:48
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      John – That will make a lovely external processor. If not already installed and if possible, add an SSD (or two). It will help significantly with sample load times.

      Look forward to progress reports.

      Jeff – I know you are running with a Mac Mini – SSD or spinning disk(s)?

      Reply
  • 10/11/2018 at 08:08
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    Thanks for the tip Jeff. I will definitely try this with my Verona OAS organ. next month I start according to the example of WERSI ORGAN SHOWCASE
    By Jeff Ormerod to renovate my Verona. Than I will certainly try out the VB3-II Hammond Organ software.

    Reply
    • 10/11/2018 at 09:27
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      John, Keep us posted as you implement. Do you plan to go with a Mac or a PC of some kind? Should be a fun and exciting project!

      Reply

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