Famous Sounds

This side lists ‘sound desgin’ guides for some famous (signature) sounds.
Of course it would be easy to provide VR registrations for download (and we’ll do for sure) – but our intention is to help you understand how to do your own progamming 😉

VR ‘hardware’ buttons/knobs/faders/etc are set into square brackets: [xyz]
VR ‘menu options’ are set into curly brackets {xyz}
Knob positions are shown as ‘clock-time’ (matching VR scale graphs): from 7 o’clock to 12 o’clock (center) to 5 o’clock

Van Halen ‘Jump’

The instrument Van Halen used was an Oberheim OB-X/OB-Xa. The sound is based on detuned saw-waves with stereo-effects and added hall-FX.

VR09/730 has a dedicated sound for this: ‘Jmp Brass’ (VR BRASS section). Jmp-Brass is a nice sound but not 100% original – anyway if you like it you can stop reading. If you want to get closer to the original do the follwing mods:

  • We load VR ‘Jmp Brass’ into a single manual and shift down 1 octave. Right hand synth riff plays at > C5 keys, left hand bass plays dublets C2+C3 / F2+F3 / G2+G3
  • OB-X had no touch sensitive keys, so in VR-menu {Keyboard} we set VR {Initial Touch} to ‘OFF’
  • We fatten up the bass with [TONE] (ca. 1 o’clock)
  • The original sound has NO delay – but ‘Jmp Brass’ has – so we turn VR [DELAY] to zero
  • We add a LOT of [REVERB]. Recommended type is ‘Cathedral’, length is set to 11-12 o’clock: this adds a long hall without changing the timbre of the tone (reverb settings at > 12 o’clock change the overall sound)
  • We set [ATTACK] to 1 or 2 (not only has the original sounds a softer attack than Jmp-Bass – VR attack 0 would also add ugly sound artefacts on reverb)
  • [RELEASE] can be slightly increased (upon taste)
  • Finally we need more ‘stereo’ for a fatter sound: therefore we use the only customisable MFX on VR: ‘Twin-Rotary’:
    – we select [MFX] ‘Twin-Rorary’
    – as VR ‘Rotary settings’ affect (also) Twin-Rotary we open VR-menu, dial to {Rotary} and
        select {Rotary Type} ‘Type 3’
        tune Woofer and Tweeter {WF / TW Slow Speeds} with different values to create flowing ‘beat frequencies’, e.g. WF=’3′, TW=’2′.
    – on the left hand VR [ROTARY] buttons, we turn rotary ‘OFF’ (we don’t want the VR Leslie amp sim) and set speed to ‘SLOW’
    – we fine tune the [MFX] knob between 10 and 11 o’clock (upon taste)

Steppenwolf ‘Born to be Wild’

Steppenwolf organ players use the Hammonds’upper’ manual. Between the verse ‘riff’ chord h-e-g (b-e-g) and the chorus chords the dreawbars have to be used.
This is just ONE example of for sure numberless ways, to imitate the B2bW sound.
Watch some Steppenwolf live videos (Youtube) to see when the organist uses slap and slide techniques.

Organ [TYPE] Rock Organ
Organ [LEVEL] fader 6 (not higher for avoiding pushing VR into internal saturation)
VR-menu {Organ} {Leakage} ca. 20, {On/Off Click} ca. 10, {Low Gain} -5, {High Gain} +5
VR-menu {Rotary} Rotary Type: 3
WF Rise Time:  45     TW Rise Time:  82
WF Fall Time:  45     TW Fall Time:  76
WF Slow Speed:  8     TW Slow Speed:  9
WF Fast Speed: 80     TW Fast Speed: 85
[OVERDRIVE] ca. 3 o’clock
[TONE] ca. 3 o’clock
Use Drawbars: On the verse riff (Rotary FAST, chord b-e-g) : 766004400
On the chorus riff (Rotary SLOW): pull out 4, 2″, 1 3/5″: 766808800 (occasionally start-stop the rotary)
On the solo (Rotary FAST): pull out more upon your Taste

Prince 1999

This is an example of how to use the Virtual-Analog Synth of VR suggested by Mark Butterill. The settings follow this Youtube Video.

VA editing is done in CTRLR EDITOR ‘Sound Designer’ but will also work with Roland iPad app (click for a lager pic):