!!! UPDATE - 21st January 2012: Visitors looking for the best VST Leslie 122-type rotary speaker simulator are now advised to download the newer Stomp King SK-6 Ro-Tube freeware effect. Here's the link to the SK-6 Ro-Tube landing page...
The Real Rotor download can still be accessed from the bottom of this page, but it has been eclipsed in terms of sound by the above effect. I should also stress that the Real Rotor does not send or receive MIDI control information, and so any on-the-fly changes such as slow/fast transitions have to be mastered 'live'. This is not the case with the Ro-Tube, which records and responds to control changes.
The FreeST Real Rotor VST rotary speaker effect replicates the sound of a mic’d up, valve-type, bass-plus-horns rotary speaker cabinet, as typically used with an old Hammond organ. It’s a development of my original Real Rotor effect, which was integrated into the FreeST VSTX3 virtual organ. Not only does this new version have improvements over the original, it’s also the first time the rotary has been available in its own right, not as part of an instrument. So now the Real Rotor can be used with any VST organ, and indeed any other instruments you feel it would suit.
It can of course be used with non-rotary-fitted FreeST organs, such as The Nash, but there will also be benefits to using it with The Rawgan or the VSTX3, both of which do have existing rotary effects. Switching off the VST instrument’s own rotary effect and employing this separate unit instead, allows other VST effects to be used between the instrument and the rotary – keeping everything in the correct position in the effects chain.
Several improvements have been made in this version of the Real Rotor. Firstly, the sound has been modified to impart a more valve-like tone. In alignment with this, the level of available drive has been increased. It’s still not designed to produce screaming distortion or anything like it – just to roughen the edges and provide a bit of growl. However, you could add a distortion effect between the instrument and the Real Rotor to gain a much harder drive. Don't forget that if you just want to make more of the Real Rotor's own drive, you can simply up the level of the instrument you're feeding into it. This will push the drive harder and roughen up the sound more. You should also find that the Real Rotor now has greater definition in the ‘spin’.
Bass and Treble controls have been added in this new version of the Real Rotor. These aren’t really designed to tailor the fidelity – they’re more about adjusting the character of the amp simulation. As experienced rotary users would expect, the S/F button speeds and slows the rotation, alternating between ‘chorale’ and ‘tremolo’ states. The Spin button activates or stops the rotation. Unless the Real Rotor effect is completely bypassed, even with the spin stopped, the effect will still colour the tone to represent an old amplification system. The other controls do as follows…
Horns Rise: Controls the rate at which the treble speaker simulation speeds up.
Horns Fall: Controls the rate at which the treble speaker simulation slows down.
Bass Rise: Controls the rate at which the bass speaker simulation speeds up.
Bass Fall: Controls the rate at which the bass speaker simulation slows down. Typically, the treble horns will rise and fall more quickly than the bass.
Horns PM: The amount of pitch modulation applied to the treble spin.
Horns Mic: The apparent proximity of the mic to the treble horn area of the speaker. Higher values simulate closer miking.
Bass PM: The amount of pitch modulation applied to the bass spin.
Bass Mic: The apparent proximity of the mic to the bass area of the speaker. Higher values simulate closer miking.
Please see the VST instruments landing page for installation details and terms.
Download the Real Rotor VST effect