AES Update: Native Instruments announced B4 II, an updated version of their virtual classic drawbar organ. The B4 II offers even more authenticity and flexibility due to further advances in sound synthesis and amplifier emulation technology, and brings a wide range of additions and improvements that make it the most versatile and easy-to-use drawbar organ solution both in the studio and on stage.
The sound generation engine has been further improved and now includes realistic tone wheel leakage which can be adjusted to set the amount of the characteristic “blooming” in the sound. The bass pedal section of the B4 II has been extended with a Pedal Bass Legato function, and now even includes a special “String Bass” option that changes the tonal characteristics of the bass pedal sounds, similar to the original hardware modification for drawbar organs that was popular in the Seventies. The B4 II comes equipped with a wide selection of included tone wheel models, ranging from a number of B3 organs of different age and condition to Vox Continental, Farfisa and Harmonium models.
The rotary speaker section, the crucial element in achieving the signature Hammond sound, has also received a complete overhaul that brings both its authenticity and versatility to a new level. The B4 II now offers an analog-modelled emulation of the original tube amplification stage in the Leslie Speaker Model 147, based on the same Dynamic Tube Response technology that is at the heart of the amp emulations in Guitar Rig. The new amp section gives B4 players a broad spectrum of true-to-life and highly dynamic tube sound flavours, from slight crunch to fierce overdrive.
The cabinet section of the B4 II offers a selection of both various rotary speaker models as well as different conventional speaker cabinets, all modelled after classic real-world units, which allows musicians and producers to emulate a wide range of real-life recording and stage setups. This also includes the option to activate two simultaneous rotary speaker units spinning in opposite directions, reproducing a popular setup used by experienced Hammond players for an even thicker sound. Further improvements include a Speaker Brake to turn off the virtual Leslie motor, and the inclusion of a reverb effect painstakingly modelled after a vintage spring reverb unit.
The versatility and ease of use of the B4 II has been further increased with numerous enhancements, including a new Preset Manager, and a completely reworked remote control facility that makes host sequencer automation and working with external hardware controllers highly flexible and convenient. The B4 II comes with a large number of control setups that allows the instrument to work with a wide range of MIDI controllers right out of the box, including NI’s own B4D Drawbar Controller.
The B4 II will be available in November 2005 for a suggested retail price of $ 229 / 199 Euro from authorized dealers and in the NI Online Store. An update for existing B4 owners will be available for $ 99 / 79 Euro. The B4 II will also be available as a bundle with the B4D Drawbar Controller for $ 449 / 399 Euro.
More information is availalble at the Native Instruments site.