Roland VK-8M to VB3 using MT

I searched for any posts on using Bome's MT to interface Roland's VK-8M module to the VB3 VST. Didn't find any so I'm posting my experience over the weekend.

I downloaded the MT Pro trial version, installed it, routed it to my MIDI interface's out, with the MIDI interfaces IN connected to the VK-8M's MIDI out. That was enough to start moving the VK-8M's controls and monitor it's MIDI out commands in MT's Log window. I examined what was coming out of the VK-8M, a combination of exclusive SysEx and CC# commands, and was able to easily program MT in about 30min to translate them and start controlling the VB3. Yippeee!!!!! :-) Had some help from Steve. Thanks Steve!!!!!

The VK-8M is a beautiful module with Hammond like drawbars and controls. Check out the attached photo. It does have it's own B3 sound, but if you're a long long long time Hammond purest like me, the VK-8M's sound is just ok. The VB3 VST on the other hand is a monster! It's a screaming Hammond plugin!

So you can imagine how tickled I was to finally be able control VB3's drawbars in real time without a mouse!! Just like on one of my old Hammonds. Thank you Bome!

**** Anybody have any experience with the VK-8M, would sure like to hear from you. ****

I'll keep adding to my MT project until all the VK-8M controls are mapped to VB3 controls. If anyone's interested I'll attach the project here when it's completed.

There are many useful Roland products that Midi Translator can resurrect from the dead. My next MT projects will be translating my Roland SI-24 and VS-2480 consoles to interface with my DAW. Both those have motorized faders. (already have the faders, buttons, alpha knobs and transport buttons and jog knob working)

More later. :-)


View of VB3 VST. Definitely a great buy. Use MT to map it to your controller.

This is VB3 version 1.4 that I’m mapping to. It’s not the latest version, but I like I like it’s panel better. Some of the front panel knobs don’t appear in the latest version.


Great to see you are up and running, Lance! Fortunately it looks like the documents for the other Roland devices are quite extensive and now you have a basic understanding of the techniques used along with your programming background, you should have no problem with the SI-24 and the VS-2480.



Interesting topic. Would be great if you can share your BMTP-file for the VB3 !


Do you have a VK-8M? I love it’s B3 like drawbars. A lot of controllers have sliders, but playing live you just don’t have the same control as with B3 like drawbars.
VB3 has a midi learn feature, which will work for controllers sending out CC#’s. The VK-8M however sends out short SysEx commands, which can easily be translated with Midi Translator to CC commands that VB3 understands. It’s weeeell worth the effort. Hook VB3 up in stereo and CRANK IT!!!!! Your guitarist will be jealous because you just took over the band! (And maybe the girls too! 🙂

No, I don´t have a VK-8, but considering buying one…

I will post my VK-8M to VB3 file when I complete it. I’ve had great help from the developers when I hit a couple of hurdles!! (still have one left) The VB3 midi implementation chart doesn’t tell all. I’m a document freak, so I’ll be posting a documentation file too. You may have to modify it depending on which version of VB3 you’re using. (I attached a screenshot of a VB3 pulldown window showing an option that had to be selected before the Leslie Brake would work)

I couldn’t have done this so fast without MT’s great log window. The VK-8M outputs SysEx commands for every control, so VB3’s MIDI learn feature can’t read the VK-8M. I executed each of the VK-8M’s controls, and used MT’s log window to copy and paste them into the translators, and of course edit them. Took advantage of the duplicating translators to speed up things.

If anyone else has already mapped to the VB3 on this forum, would be glad to hear from you. Currently I’m trying to get the Vibrato Chorus types working (C1..3, V1..3) Their MIDI implementation lists the CC#, but not what values VB3 wants. Last issue like this required a menu setting I’d probably never have figured out without emailing the developers.

It’s been a blast!


Status update on my Roland VK-8M --> Bome --> VS3-II progress.

   Well, there are 3 versions of the VB3 VST floating around out there.  I started a Bome project that worked with the free VB3 that came with my DAW.  It worked fine.    Unfortuately not all the Roland VM-8K features have a MIDI controller# assigned to them,  some have Roland system exclusive msgs.   That's were BomeMT comes in.    The drawbars are sysEx, leslie controls are CC#,  and other pertinent Roland front panel controls do send out either SysEx or CC#'s.  

  Unfortunately,  there were some CC# changes made between the 1st VB3 version and the expanded purchased version,  causing the leslie controls to not work.   I'm still trying to resolve those. (can't get stop to work) 

  There's now a VB3-II version, the latest.  There's a $79 upgrade price,  or about $169 if your a new buyer.  Sounds high, but if you're a serious Hammond player, like me,  it's well worth it.    You can use a mouse to control it, but if you're like me, you MUST have,  as a minimum, physical control of the drawbarsl, leslie slow/fast and volume control.   In my case I'm using my Roland VK-8M,  which unfortunately sends out those SysEx message that don't map directly to the great VB3-II VST.    ***That's where Bome comes in ***  

   I'll eventually figure out the Leslie control magic.  (theres more to it than following VB3's MIDI implementation chart when it comes to Slow/Stop/Fast.     Also I've asked the  vendor to add more CC# messages for features like selecting the organ type,  things I'd do live.   

  Hoping to finish this project.   I don't work constantly on it.  


Hi, I was wondering if you’d be willing to share your work with translating the VK8-M. I have a gig this weekend and am being rented a VK8. I’m just investigating how much work it might be to convert it’s sysex into CC to control another module. Have you gotten it working? hard thing for me is I won’t see the board till sound check… thanks! Darcy

I don’t have anything for the VK-8M but I put together a tutorial on the VR-09 that might help you get started. You are cutting it pretty close if you can only do this during the sound check just before your gig.

See this post.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care

Also available for paid consulting services:

Based on one of the pictures @lancearm71 posted, this might work.

What I don’t know is

  1. If incoming CC needs to be scaled 0-8 or 0-127
  2. If outgoing CC needs to be scaled 0-8 or 0-127
  3. If incoming Sysex needs to be scaled 0-8 or 0-127
  4. if incoming Sysex needs to be scaled 0-8 or 0-127

Right now:

CC to SysEX is scaled from 0-8 on input to 0-127 on output
SysEX to CC is scaled from 0-127 on input to 0-8 on output

I also don’t know if the che checksum cc to Sysex is right because of scaling or even if the Roland VK-8 will enforce checksum on input.

That is the best I can do with the available documentation.

I set the global variable ga as the beginning CC number and allow only 9 drawbars with consecutive CC’s in translator 0.1

VK-8-VB3-Untested-2021-07-20.bmtp (2.0 KB)

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care

Also available for paid consulting services: