"Leslie" Simulation for B-3 Sounds Using a Roland D-50

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"Leslie" Simulation for B-3 Sounds Using a Roland D-50

Postby Adam C. » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:24 pm

I remember back in the early '90's reading in Keyboard Magazine about how to use the built-in "Chorus" effect on the Roland D-50 synthesizer to emulate the "speeding-up and slowing-down" of a rotating Leslie Speaker on Hammond B-3 sounds, (in order to make them sound more believable.) The original idea came from some of the programmers at VALHALA, (the guys who designed the famous "Screamin' B3" ROM Card from their "ORGANizer Series", specifically.)

The D-50 has always been one of my favorite keyboards since the very beginning, and I've put that 'particular trick' to great use over the years. Nowadays, with all of the great organ-clones and Leslie-effect boxes at everyone's disposal, I realize that using a D-50 synthesizer for recreating Hammond B-3 sounds isn't probably going to be a "go to" move for most people, but after not being able to find any reference to this particular trick anywhere on the internet, I figured that I'd go ahead and post a quick video-tutorial for anyone who might be interested. (Hey...in a pinch, a D-50 organ might be better than nothing, ya know?) :wink:

Simulating a "Leslie" Speaker Effect with a Roland D-50
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Re: "Leslie" Simulation for B-3 Sounds Using a Roland D-50

Postby Europanaut » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:19 am

Really nice! Thanks for posting.

I recently picked up a mint D50, with the Musitronics upgrade. Now, in a studio with 60+ vintage keyboards, our D50 gets more use than any other synth. The MEX additional memory is full of custom patches, and they really emphasize the synth's normally untapped potential.

It blew me away in the 80's, and it still knocks me out. I'm a huge fan.
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Re: "Leslie" Simulation for B-3 Sounds Using a Roland D-50

Postby Bitexion » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:23 am

Yeah it is a great synth. It's like having 4 separate single voice synths in one box.
Can create some massive sounds with it. Everything doesn't have to use PCM samples.
I love the pure sawtooth sound on it, the shape is more like a shark fin than a straight sawtooth, making it sound super thick.

I got the SysexD50 editor/librarian, works perfectly and lets me swap sounds and sound banks in and out with a mouse click.
It's also a fully equipped sound editor, though I haven't used it so much for that. You have to send each change with a mouse click, it's not "realtime".

There are hundreds of free soundbanks lying around online. I got the full "Revolutions" sound set too, the sounds JM Jarre used on Revolutions. He was pretty creative with the use of the in-built sample loops too, plus some awesome strings sounds.

Screamin B3 is a good soundset, it's incredible how many different Hammond sounds you can get from this synth.
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Re: "Leslie" Simulation for B-3 Sounds Using a Roland D-50

Postby Adam C. » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:12 am

Surprisingly, there's actually quite a lot that can be coaxed from some of these older keyboards.
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