Jim Alfredson

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Posts posted by Jim Alfredson

  1. Hi friends,

    Those that have been members of this board since 2003 have seen us change hosting companies several times. We started with a shared server space via an Ann Arbor, MI based web-hosting platform then migrated to a Dallas, TX company, still on a shared server. As the forum grew it became clear that a shared server platform would not work because of the bandwidth limitations, so we moved to a our own dedicated server in 2008 thanks to a friend of mine who was vice president of Liquid Web. Liquid Web is a Lansing, MI based company, right here in my hometown, so it made me happy to keep the money in the local economy and my friend provided me with a $300 per month server for only $150 a month.

    Well, that poor server is now 10 years old and showing its age. I cannot even upgrade to the latest version of the forum software because the server cannot run the PHP and MySQL versions required. We are currently two iterations behind and that leaves us susceptible to security issues.

    Unfortunately my friend retired so I cannot reach out to him to extend that super buddy deal. It looks like the least expensive option to upgrading our server is to get a brand new one with much more RAM (that's our biggest limitation right now and why the site is sometimes so slow) and a SSD RAID array for backups. The cost is $209 a month, which is $59 more per month than we're paying now or $708 more per year, bringing our total yearly costs up to $2578. The extra $70 is for the Invision Power Board yearly license (aka the forum software). Having a valid license gives us tech support and access to bug fixes.

    I wanted to ask you all if this is something you will support. If not, I'll keep rolling along as we are and hope for the best; mostly that we don't get attacked by hackers exploiting the security holes in this old software. I certainly cannot float that monthly cost myself. I have done so several times the past year for the current $150 a month package. The donations are coming in decently now but during the late summer / fall months, I paid for the server out of my own pocket for the most part.

    If we decide to do this collectively, then I'll be much more vocal about donations. 

    I've attached the proposal from Liquid Web

    Jim A..pdf


  2. Sorry for being MIA around here.

    If you ordered the bonus tracks you should've received an email over a month ago that they were ready for download. I just resent the email to all those who ordered the bonus tracks. Check your spam folders.

    Flurin, I sent your CD but if you didn't receive it, I'll send another.

    If you still can't find the bonus material, just PM me and I'll send you a link.

  3. Well, there are two things at play here:

    Firstly, the contact system in a real Hammond organ is comprised of buss bars. There is one bussbar for each drawbar, so 9 total per manual (keyboard) stacked vertically under the keys. The famous "key click" of a Hammond is the result of little wires under each key making contact with those buss bars. If you pull all 9 drawbars out and very slowly press a key you can actually hear each individual contact (1 through 9) for each drawbar being made.

    The pedals are similar. There are two drawbars for the bass pedals and each drawbar has two buss bars associated with it; one for the regular tonewheels and one for the "complex tonewheels" that are exclusive to the pedals.

    So... on a real Hammond, when you tap very fast and lightly, it is possible to barely make a connection with just one bussbar, resulting in no pitch but rather a percussive transient on the front of the note.

    This is much more difficult on a digital organ / Hammond because there are no buss bars. Digital is perfect. When you press the note, it triggers. There's no slop, no analog electrical connection being made, it's just ON.

    Secondly, your tapping has to be REALLY short, even more so on a digital organ for the above reasons.

    Make sense?

  4. Our recently completed bathroom remodel cost $18k. The room was already gutted by me and I also did the tile flooring myself. The contractor built the shower (no steam shower) which is a 4 x 4 with glass door and subway tile, re-used a dresser we found for the sink vanity, and did all the finish work including re-hanging a severely crooked door. But the plumbing was really simple (probably could've done it myself) as was the electrical. I couldn't really believe how much it cost. Except for the actual framing (which was tricky due to the weird shape of the room), I could've done pretty much the entire job myself. However, with my schedule, it would've taken 9 months to complete instead of a few weeks. So...

    But yeah... it's expensive.

  5. That's a cool feature in Premiere! I used Premiere for years back in the early 2000's and downloaded the latest trial version in 2013 when I was making a DVD of the Dirty Fingers album. But I couldn't even figure out how to get video on the timeline! They had changed it so much and it was utterly confusing to me. So I just went with Vegas. Might be time to re-assess.

    The XPK-200L are nice but take some adjustment if you're used to playing full-sized Hammond pedals.

  6. Hi!

    Yes, I do have a custom tonewheel set. PM me your email addy and I'll send.

    I don't actually own an XK3c so I can't help on reverb settings, unfortunately. The cool thing is that the XK3/XK3c has an FX loop, so if you can't get the reverb sounding like you want, you can use an external reverb unit. Even a real spring reverb if you wanted.

  7. Hello everyone. Well, I've been remiss and just reset the funding goal (on the right side of the main forum page) for 2017, even though we're two months in and I've paid $300 for the server out of my own pocket for those two months.

    As usual, Paypal to me (b3groover@hotmail.com) or check to the po box.

    Jim Alfredson
    PO Box 27551
    Lansing MI 48909


  8. Well, you already have an XK3c. The SK2 sounds like that, but with a slightly better Leslie sim. So you already know what you're getting. 

    The KeyB Legend looks pretty nice. I think it's slight above your budget? Can't recall at the moment. The Uhl is interesting but the last time I heard the Leslie sim, I thought it was mediocre. They may have fixed that. Either one is probably a good option.

  9. On 1/26/2017 at 4:21 PM, AllenLowe said:

    oi; every time I think I am out....

    I hope you stick around, too. I apologize if anything I said came across as offensive, which was certainly not my intent. But I'm pretty sure from your post that everything is cool between you and I.

    I re-read this thread, too and was reminded that I should do the experiment I wrote about above consisting of recording a source through two of the same interfaces but at different bit-rates. I could do that with my desktop DAW and my laptop DAW, both connected to an individual Steinberg MR816x interface and each interface fed the same audio signal from a microphone via a splitter. One interface would be set to 16bit 44.1kHz and the other to 24bit 44.1kHz.

    That would be a very interesting experiment.

  10. I use Sony Vegas 13 to edit the videos. I believe Sony sold the software to another company and they are up to version 14 now, but I am still using 13 because it works.

    Essentially, I use four cheap Go-Pro knockoff cameras (SJCAM SJ4000) positioned around the stage. I also multi-track record the audio separately using a Macbook and Presonus interfaces to capture the audio. I then dump all those files to my computer and mix the audio first in Cubase. Then I export the finished mixes and start the video editing.

    To edit the video, I first line up the files from the four cameras in Vegas by hand. I start one song at a time since without timecode the video files drift away from each over the course of 10 minutes or so. So it's not possible to just line them up once and let them fly. I use the onboard camera audio to line them up.

    Once the four videos are lined up, I line up the mixed, multi-tracked audio to them. Then I make adjustments, since usually the video looks better if the mixed audio (and the camera audio for that matter) is shifted just a hair backwards from the video.

    And then I go into multi-camera mode in Vegas and switch between cameras with the number pad. That's the main reason I use Vegas; you can switch between up to four cameras and it automatically makes cuts, mutes the non-used clips, etc. It's fairly easy.

    I think Adobe Premiere has a similar feature.

  11. As you may have gathered asking this question in other forums / FB posts, it's a loaded question that contains a lot of emotional reactions, bias, and of course subjectivity. My own biases are towards Hammond Suzuki, since I'm an artist with them but I will preface that by saying that I approached them, not the other way around. And as of this writing, they have not given me any digital organ for free; I paid for my XK System that I used with organissimo and others from 2008 to 2012 and I paid for my SK2 that I use now, albeit a discounted price.

    With that out of the way, I have played all the models you're considering with the exception of the KeyB Legend.

    I currently have a student that owns a Mojo, so I play it several times a month during our lessons. Before I give my impressions, note that I have owned and used the VB3 software for going on 10 years. I still use it in some of my work today though usually it gets replaced by either a real tonewheel console or the Hammond SK1 / XK1c. 

    Concerning the Mojo, the short version is that I am not impressed by it. I think it sounds overly processed, the bass is rather flabby and ill-defined, and it has a strange latency that I can't believe other Mojo users don't notice. I honestly do not understand why it is as venerated as it is among organ enthusiasts. When I play it, I feel like I'm playing a synthesizer's idea of what a Hammond should sound like. I don't know if that makes sense. I think the chorus/vibrato is very good, the percussion is good, and the Leslie sim is good, but the overall tone and especially the latency or maybe better put the feeling of disconnect between my fingers and the sound really bothers me. 

    I will say this: Whenever I use VB3 to demo a song, when I replace it with either the real deal or the SK / XK1c, the replacement fits so much better in the mix.

    The XK5 is a different beast altogether. It is way beyond the XK3c, which is a great board. If you are an organist, if you have any familiarity with the real console tonewheel Hammonds and how they feel, then you will understand why the multi-contact system in the XK5 is so important. If you've never played a real Hammond, then you might not understand.

    I really think the XK5 is the best Hammond emulation on the market. But yes, it's expensive. And big.

    The KeyB Legend sounds really nice but I think those two videos from NAMM that show Cory Henry playing both the XK5 and the KeyB Legend speak volumes. The Hammond responds like a Hammond should and you can hear it in his playing and how he plays it. The KeyB sounds nice but it doesn't respond like a real tonewheel organ and for guys like Cory that literally grew up at the console, that's a big deal. Playing a clonewheel changes the way you play. It's the same for an acoustic piano vs a digital piano. You have to play a digital piano differently than a real acoustic. Same for a clavinet. It's REALLY easy to emulate the sound of a clavinet yet nothing emulates the actual feel of playing one. And once you play a real one, you understand why it is played the way it is; why Stevie Wonder came up with those funky clavinet lines on Superstition and other tunes. The actual feel of the keyboard makes you play a certain way.

    I'm still happy with my SK2. It sounds great. The XK5 is far superior though and there are moments in playing the SK2 where I try to pull off a technique that would sound so great on a real Hammond or on the XK5 and it just doesn't work. Case in point is this video. The sound, I think you'll agree, is killer. But dig when I do the glissando up to the high C during my solo at about 2:14 or so, it just doesn't sound authentic. This is because of how the SK2 and every other clone except the XK5 triggers the notes. On a real Hammond, doing a fast glissando like that would mean that not all the contacts under the keys would necessarily close nor would they close at the same time, making the sound almost like a 'wah wah' effect as you glide up. In other words, it would be more organic, less perfect, less stiff. 

    So it boils down to two things: 1) What is your budget and 2) Is authenticity more important than weight / cost?

    Hope that helps.

  12. Hi Egor,

    It depends on the style of music for me. The strengths of the Ventilator include the overdrive and the sense of 3D realism but it doesn't have the solidity in the bass that the SK's internal sim does. This works well for blues, rock, and other styles where you're not playing pedals and/or left-hand bass.

    The internal sim works well for the jazz organ thing due to that bass solidity mentioned above. I especially like how the bass pedals sound with the internal sim. 

    Hope that helps!