Integrated into the B4 II are additonal tonewheel sets, so you can make it sound like a B3 that is sparkling-fresh from the factory, or like it was more than 100 years old. You can even replace the B3-modelled tonewheels with those of a Vox Continental, a Farfisa Compact, or a Harmonium to give your B4 a totally new character.
The classic British Vox Continental organs were played by many of the great bands in the sixties and seventies, such as The Doors, The Animals and The Monkees.
We have extracted the tones from the Vox Continental and converted them into B4 Tonewheel data to change the B4 into the classic transistor combo organ. Choose from three Vox Tonewheel Sets: Soft, Hard, and Mix, which faithfully correspond to the different tones sounds of the original Vox.
The highly-collectable Farfisa Compact was played by Pink Floyd, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Blondie. Included on this CD are 2 Tonewheel Sets, one with the Farfisa's Tone Booster switch activated and one with it off.
For something a bit unusual we have also taken an Indian Harmonium and converted its reed sound into a B4 Tonewheel Set.. With just one or two drawbars pulled out and lots of pumping on the expression pedal, the B4 sounds quite close to a real Harmonium. With more drawbars, vibrato-chorus, and the rotator turned on, it’s something else!
Classic tonewheel organs were limited to a fixed tuning, since the tonewheels run at a fixed synchronous speed that cannot be changed. The only way to change the master tuning is to change the transmission ratios in the tonewheel generator. That's completely impractical in hardware but easily achieved with the B4's replaceable tonewheel generator. The B3 Classic Tonewheel Set is also available tuned to 436Hz, 437Hz, 438Hz, 439Hz, 441Hz, 442Hz, 443Hz, 444Hz, 448Hz, and 452Hz in addition to the standard 440Hz tuning.
The Ageing Process
The filter capacitor in Hammond tonewheel generators deteriorate with age, which over time leads to an increase in leakage and rattle in the basic tone sound. At Native Instruments, we have found a way to artificially age the tonewheel sound. We can also run the process backwards to rejuvenate the tonewheels. To simulate B3 organs with different degrees of aging we offer Tonewheel Sets with varying amounts of purity or dirt:
- B3 classic – well matured
- B3 clean – good condition
- B3 pure – better than on day one
- B3 dirty – excessive ageing
- B3 filthy – very crunchy
- B3 trash – far beyond repair