Everyone knows vintage Hammond B3s and C3s are very sought after instruments for they amazing sound. Every keyboard player has the dream of owning a Hammond organ. As with every vintage instrument, sometimes, when something breaks, there’s no solution, but, luckily enough, there are some usable parts. One Hammond part that drives many guitar players and studio musicians mad is the Vibrato Scanner section, and I mean, there are boutique pedal makers that creates pedals using that circuit from broken Hammonds.
Good news is Martinic has come with a plugin solution that faithfully recreates the Vibrato Scanner from Hammond’s B3s and C3s with some cool new features, so, lets check it out!
The Martinic Scanner Vibrato is a very straight forward and affordable plugin for both Mac and Windows. It is really simple to use, but, sounds just lovely!
Visually, it has a very nice Hammond feel.
From left to right, you’ll find an On/Off tab, the Chorus/Vibrato selector with all three vibrato and chorus settings, two separate rate times which can be linked -this is a stereo effect, so, Rate 1 is for the left channel while Rate 2 is for the right channel, and when both are linked, Rate 1 knob serves as master for both channels-; below, there’s a depth knob, a width knob and a mix amount knob.
Rates don’t go that fast, I mean, obviously they don’t get into audio rate, and that’s a good thing, this is meant to be subtle and sweet. Besides, original Scanners had a fixed rate of 6.9 Hz, so, it makes sense not going too fast.
As with the original Hammond scanner, you’ve got three different settings for vibrato and three for chorus, that is: V-1, C-1, V-2, C-2, V-3 and C-3. The classic Hammond solo scream setting is C-3, but, to my taste, vibratos work better with guitars, specially when playing arpeggios or clean chords.
When you push up the rates and depth, in any chorus mode, it can sound very much alike the Univibe pedal. You can do lots of crazy stuff too, and it’s an awesome plugin to add some space and stereo width to your tracks.
I’ve tried with guitars, Rhodes, and of course with the Arturia B3-V I reviewed a few weeks ago and it sounds wonderful! It adds lots of warmth. I’ve also tested it with some less obvious sources like drums and vocals and it sounds surprisingly nice too!!! Specially on drums. It just gives quite a vintage vibe.
On vocals, C-2 sounds great! It adds movement and darkens a bit the sound. Very subtle rates and depth can make your vocals sound much wider, specially if you use different rates on each channel and not linked.
Things like 1 oscillator mono synth can also benefit from the chorus settings, making it sound fatter.
There’s nothing not to like about this plugin! It sounds amazing, it’s a very faithful recreation of the original Hammond scanner, it instantly adds a vintage vibe to the sound, and it can help your tracks sound fatter and wider with very subtle settings. To me, this is a no brainer. It worths the money even if you use it just with clean “arpeggiated” guitars!
Scanner Vibrato audio plugin effect is available via Martinic’s website in Windows 32/64-bit VST version and also as Mac OS X 32/64-bit VST/AU installer and is priced at $19.50.
More Details: Scanner Vibrato