I am going to sample one drawbar setting on my friends B3/Leslie rig for my own personal live use. Was wondering if anyone knew how many cycles of the leslie spinning do I need? 1, 2, 10? Also do I have to sample each note with the leslie in the same position in it's rotation, at the beginning of the note? Thanks.
Sounds like a great job for convolution! (Maybe we need GigaSpin in addition to GigaPulse.)
Should work fine on single notes. Should also work fine on block chords if you sample everything at the same rotation position, though the spin on each note will go further out of phase the longer you hold the chord. For chords that are layed in one note at a time, you're out of luck. It may sound pretty cool though!
On my Kurzweil PC-88 I can go from 0 to 100% on my mod wheel, and the leslie effect accelerates slowly. It will be tough to do anything like that with samples.
I don't know how many rotations to sample, or what speeds to sample, but for sure I'd recommend one set with no rotation. You may find that some combination of chorus, tremolo and vibrato will do better than sampling rotation - especially if you can lock your effects to one LFO. Using a sine wave LFO to mix between different impulses (direct, left side, back wall, right side) would be pretty trick. Add some vibrato for the warble effect and you're set.
For single note stuff at one speed, the sampled version should sound pretty killer. Listen closely to some Dead songs to find the right rate.
I think it depends upon how much of a purist you want to be. Provided the Leslie is in good shape, and you're sampling a single speed, then it's always going to be pulsing the same speed, whether the pulses have been struck together or not (or whether they're recorded together or not). I don't think this is a distinction anyone hears unless they're listening for it, certainly not on a live gig.
Patrick mentioned Cool Vibes, and I concur for exactly the reason above. You CAN listen and hear that the resonators are out of phase on given notes, but the overall effect, no matter what you play, is pleasing.
Cheat: You could also sample the note, no spin, and use B4 as an insert to apply the rotation. Then you can get acceleration, too. I do this, it works nicely.
Just as the rotors, the leslie preamp applys a continuously changing effect, so sampling will not really capture it. However, I think the preamp is less problematic than the leslie (just a guess).
You could try to sample the leslie while it isn't rotating; so you just sample the sound of the B3/preamp/speakers. Then route it to the rotator simulator of B4, with the 'drive' function off.
Less work, more money: a Speakeasy vintage hammond clone tube preamp. It is designed for hammond clones, like B4, to get that real fat, crunchy sound of B3/leslie. It uses circuitry found in the real stuff. So it will not exactly sound like your friends setup, but it will be really close. (see www.speakeasyvintagemusic.com)
In my experience, B4 first gets everyone saying 'wow'. Then after you've used it a lot, it becomes a bit fatiguing, a bit heard-it-all. It also mixes not as good as the real thing. Somehow, the preamp-simulation plugins I've tried so far lack the live of the real stuff. Call me a purist or a pessimist if you will, but I think the digital world isn't yet really there yet. Fortunately, with the help of some real sound-transformers, like the Speakeasy preamps, you can put some live in it again.
For fat and nasty, the B4 really does work for me. It now ships with the additional tonewheel sets, so you can get REALLY NASTY or mildly distorted, or almost clean funny, I've played several real 3s that sounded a lot cleaner than their 'pure.' But ti's styill the closest thing. I sampled my own A103 and spent hours detailing it, and still didn't sound anywhere near as real as the B4. (the tone was right on, but the nuances of the Leslie made it muddier than it should...)
------- It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...