How many of us are true organ players that can get the most out of Logic’s Vintage B3 Organ? I’m willing to bet not many of us can step up to the plate and unleash the beauty this instrument has to offer. The factory presets are a great starting point, as they are with most of Logic’s instruments. But they only scratch the surface of what the instrument is capable of.
Along comes Christian Matthew Cullen. With over fifteen years of experience touring and recording with some of the biggest names in rock, Christian has brought his not inconsiderable experience, as a performer and sound programmer, to the table and created a pack of twenty channel strip presets for Logic’s Vintage B3 Organ, for both Logic and MainStage.
My keyboard chops are modest and I enjoy noodling around with Logic’s Vintage B3 Organ. But I know enough to understand that real organ players are constantly morphing the sound of the instrument by changing drawbar settings, and working with the rotation speed of the Leslie speaker. The instrument itself is not touch sensitive. The illusion of dynamics is created through timbral variations. Well not only is controlling the drawbars on a software instrument difficult, but you also need to know which drawbars need to do what. And THAT is the true art of organ playing.
Christian has dug under the hood of Logic’s organ and created some complex settings that are simple to play. Here is how Christian describes what he has done:
“Once I started digging around the Vintage B3 plugin, I started to realize that it was extremely capable of re-creating the sounds and nuances from my vintage '63 Hammond organ and Leslie 122 speaker cabinet. It gives you control over Key Click, Chorus Vibrato, Tonewheel Crosstalk, Percussion, and Drawbars that all add up to the massive B3 sound. My intent with this pack was to make record ready organ sounds for both stage and studio but simplified for ease of use. I figured out a way to map the mod wheel to morph between two different drawbar settings to give you a variety of tones in the same patch. By default, the sustain pedal is mapped to temporary Leslie Speed.”
The mod-wheel control is what makes these patches come to life. Playing them is a joy. You can sustain chords with one hand and morph the drawbar settings with the mod wheel; all while the Leslie ramps up/down by means of the sustain pedal. These presets really do lend themselves to creating more expressive performances.
Here is more of what Christian has to say about these settings:
The mod wheel defaults to morphing between drawbar settings I set up that I felt was functional to use in a live or studio setting without physical drawbars.
I felt this was a great way for non-organ players to get more dynamic out of the sounds tonally and musically.
By default, the sustain pedal defaults to temporary Leslie speed, tho I encourage users to map the Leslie speed to the Mod Wheel if they prefer. That's how I personally use it.
Rather than me try to do a video showing you how these work, you can listen to Christian himself playing them and get an idea of the range of sound they offer. His examples are far more impressive than anything I could come up with.
Christian’s Vintage Organ Presets also comes with a MainStage pack, which includes a bonus concert with patches utilizing Sound Toys Decapitator plug-in for additional pentode tube warmth. You do need to own Decapitator though to take advantage of these.
Vintage Organ Presets, from Christian’s company Sounds Famous is very reasonably priced, and includes channel strip settings, a Logic project with all the presets laid out, and a MainStage concert.