Organ Settings

Classical ‘Hammond’ settings

The VR09/VR730 Roland organ engine has a ‘sound on its own’ that cannot reproduce all the timbres of a Hammond B3: VRs ‘base sound’ – the ‘pure sine waves’ – are ‘too sine’ and lack fine overtones.
When you try ‘standard’ B3 registrations on VR, some will work, some won’t. Some of ‘don’t work’ can be tuned-in by adding ‘higher harmonics’ (to compensate the lack of overtones): e.g. a pure Hammond 8′ can be compensated by adding small amounts of 4′ and 2′ (and 1′).

Per music-style:

  • Rock: rock-type ‘full out’ (all drawbars at maximum, massive overdrive) works fine (‘aggressive noise’)
  • Church organ: VR does an amazing job
  • Reggae (Bob Marley style), Latin (Santana style) : VR works very well
  • Jazz organ: the typical ‘Smith full-out’ registration works. The classical 888000000 cannot be reproduced (sounds ‘cheasy’ even when compensating higher harmonics). Many mellow or ‘sphercial’ tones of modern Jazz (post Smith era) cannot be reproduced – VR09 is not an organ for Jazz players

Be carefull when combining ‘Organ Chorus’ and ‘Leslie’: Chorus 3 and Rotary type 3 produce a ‘muddy’ sound. Eventually step down to Chorus 1 or 2 – and/or use Rotary type 1 or 2.
For ‘mellow tones’, don’t hesitate to experiment with Organ type ‘Jazz’ and Rotary Type 1/2 – it might sound better on your PA than default Rock-organ + Rotary 3

Learning to play ‘Hammond’:

  • An excellent book for ‘initiating’ organ play is Hammond Organ Complete (Dave Limina, Berklee, check-out your local shop, amazon, etc): it shows playing techniques, typical registrations and includes an audio CD.
  • Those mastering the language of Goethe can watch Bonedo Hammond Workshop – an excellent introduction into organ playing
  • Many many ‘organ guides’ can be found in the wide web (youtube, google, etc)

Tuning of Leslie rotational speed and acceleration

All men are equal – but Leslies are not 🙂 There is no such thing as the true unique real ‘Leslie speed’. Leslies all ‘turn’ differently, depending on the model, ageing of bearings, tension and ageing of belts (friction, slip), the chosen pulley of the horn, etc.

Grosso modo values are: tremolo (fast) speed: 360-400 rpm, chorale (slow) speed: 40-50 rpm.
Setting (slow/fast) speeds of drum and horn to identical values will result in a ‘church like’, rather ‘clean pulsing’ effect as drum and horn will be phase-coherent. Setting them slightly apart results a constant ‘phase shift’ between drum and horn, which makes the sound more vivid.

In real life, rpms of horn and drum always differ to a certain amount (on purpose or by imperfections / ageing) with the horn rotating faster. Changing the ‘pulleys’ of the belt driven horn changes speed about ca. +/- 10 rpms.

VR recommendation:  VR factory settings for VR Leslie speeds are faster than usual. If it pleases you leave it as it is.
If you tune the speeds yourself, one tip: set slow speeds for drum and horn 1-2 units (5-10 rpm) apart nd fast speed 1-6 units (5-30 rpm) apart

The following tables show examples of Leslie setting: ‘value’ is the number set in the VR menu (or CTRLR EDITOR), the braces contain corresponding rotations per minute (rpm) or ‘fall/rise time’ in seconds:

  • VR Leslie Type 2+3 factory setting::
      Woofer SLOW Horn SLOW Woofer FAST Horn FAST
    value (rpm) 12 (56) 23 (108) 62 (292) 99 (467)
      Woofer RISE Horn RISE Woofer FALL Horn FALL
    value (time) 36 (7s) 92 (1.2s) 36 (7s) 80 (1.7s)
  • CTRLR EDITOR default setting:
      Woofer SLOW Horn SLOW Woofer FAST Horn FAST
    value (rpm) 9 (42) 10 (47) 79 (372) 82 (387)
      Woofer RISE Horn RISE Woofer FALL Horn FALL
    value (time) 45 (5s) 91 (1.2s) 45 (5s) 83 (1.5s)
  • ‘Leslie 147’ (measurement by Mr. Fischer):
      Woofer SLOW Horn SLOW Woofer FAST Horn FAST
    value (rpm) 8 (35) 10 (47) 72 (340) 85 (400)
      Woofer RISE Horn RISE Woofer FALL Horn FALL
    value (time) 45 (5s) 91 (1.2s) 45 (5s) 83 (1.5s)
  • Averaged values of a couple of ‘real’ Leslies:
      Woofer SLOW Horn SLOW Woofer FAST Horn FAST
    value (rpm) 9 (42) 9 (42) 78 (368) 79 (372)
  • Neo Ventilator:
      Woofer SLOW Horn SLOW Woofer FAST Horn FAST
    value (rpm) 10 (48) 10 (48) 83 (390) 87 (408)