Native Instruments B4 II® is one of the best software emulations of the legendary Hammond B3® and reproduces its sound and its rotary speaker cabinet with great accuracy. However it lacks some important features, e.g. the possibility of using your keyboard for turning the "bank rotary switch" or selecting the reverse-color keys ("inverted keys") on each manual.
"B4 CONTROLLER" (ver. 1.2)
The "B4 Controller" is a VST midi processor that you can put in your host between the midi input and the N.I. B4 II (or the B4 previous version) VSTi. It transforms the Control Change messages or the Note-On messages from your midi keyboard, allowing:
- the use of the "bank rotary switch" for choosing one of the B4 ten presets banks;
- the use of one or two octaves of your midi keyboard for selecting the upper (or also the lower) manual "inverted keys" and selecting one of the twelve presets of each bank;
- the use of the sliders/knobs of your midi keyboard for moving not only the upper manual drawbars, but also the lower manual and the pedalboard drawbars;
- reserving the bottom two octaves of your 5 octaves midi keyboard for playing the B4 pedalboard and the other three octaves for playing the lower manual;
- using the "pedals octaves" of your keyboard to play in unison the B4's pedals and lower manual, as many great jazz organists do. Moreover you can choose to make the pedals sound “staccato” (like an upright bass);
- saving and loading different settings (programs).
The ideal setup for using "B4 Controller" is:
1) a midi master keyboard with buttons, knobs and sliders capable of sending Control Change messages to be used to play the B4 upper manual and send most of the Control Change messages provided by the "B4 Controller" and
2) a midi keyboard (better if it has 76 or 88 keys), to play the B4 lower manual or pedalboard.
But you can use all the features of the "B4 Controller" with only one midi master keyboard as well; in this case, in order not to permanently sacrifice one octave for selecting the "inverted keys", you can push the "Inverted Keys Switch" when you want to change preset and release it when you want to use such octave for playing.
"B4 Controller" doesn't prevent the use of the other N.I. B4 controls assigned to CC messages via the "Controller Assignment" window of N.I. B4 setup.
NEW VERSION: 1.2 (21.02.2009)
INVERTED KEYS - "UPPER MANUAL ONLY": if you active this function, the “Inverted Keys” function doesn’t work on the lower keyboard, but on the upper only, so that you can use the whole range of your lower keyboard, eventually in the "Pedals/Lower Split" mode.
PEDALS "COUPLER" AND "STACCATO": when the "Pedals/Lower Split" function and the “Ped./Lower Coupler” function are active, using the "pedals octaves" of your keyboard you can play in unison the pedals and the lower manual, as many great jazz organists do. Moreover you can choose to make the pedals sound “staccato” (like an upright bass, whilst the "meat of the bass" comes from the lower manual sound). According to Joey DeFrancesco, this is the secret to kicking bass (see Keyboard Magazine, n. 6/1999, page 50). Changing the value in the “Staccato” label you can activate/deactivate the “Staccato” mode and select the relevant length, expressed in milliseconds (from 20 to 400 ms).
Now you can activate/deactivate the B4 Controller's functions directly clicking on the black labels with your mouse's left button (whilst clicking on such labels with the right buttons allows to change the value shown on each label).
NEW VERSION: 1.1 (12.10.2007)
read the manual
DOWNLOAD THE B4 CONTROLLER DEMO
The demo version is fully functional for 15 minutes. It then expires and you have to remove and re-load it in your host to use it again
Price: € 15,00
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