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#2562486 - 01/17/14 02:46 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
learjeff Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/09/04
Posts: 7613
Loc: NC, USA
Hey, as much as I love the real thing when it comes to a Rhodes, there are a lot of things I like better about a good sample set.

First, I like to boost the treble, and without a noise gate, the damn thing hisses. I never found a noise gate I really liked, either (though today that might be different). With samples, problem solved two ways. First, the samples themselves can be de-noised. But the real noise problem is during silence, when it's not being played, and samples or modelers don't have this problem (unless you're silly enough to add it for realism ... which I wouldn't be too surprised to see.)

Second, a sample set allows me to even out the response along the keyboard to what I want. On my Rhodes, the middle-to-upper octaves (but not top octave or so) are quieter than I'd like. No problem, boost 'em!

Third, when playing a real Rhodes I generally had two "settings". I was either playing clear and bell-like, where I'd have the gain way up and I'd have to play very carefully especially at the top -- or I'd back way off on the gain and hammer the notes to get a ballsy sound. I didn't like having to gain-ride. So, I set up the sample set so that I get more tone change than volume change as I increase velocity. Yeah, that reduces dynamics, but I leave in as much of that as I want; it's a balancing act.

Fourth, if you want more sustain (or less sustain, more punch) in notes, you can apply compression to each sample (bake it in). This is a totally different result than using a compressor live. Ask if this isn't obvious.

Fifth, I baked a fairly subtle stereo imaging effect into the samples, which works far better than what it replaced (chorus). The problem with chorus is that it's either too weak on the low notes or too strong (out-of-tune) on the high ones. I was trying to use pitch-shift doubling, but for whatever reason, the result was somewhere between chorus and PSD, which I frankly liked even better than what I had originally intended. You can't do this on a real Rhodes. (You can do PSD, which I've done, but that's another story.)

All this without mentioning it being light and sitting in the same hardware with lots of other sounds. Or the action.

That said, there's still something about the real thing, even the less-than-perfect ones. Never mind the crappy ones, though I've had some fun playing some pretty beat-to-hell old Rhodes.
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#2562488 - 01/17/14 02:48 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
I-missRichardTee Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 3038
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Dave , Jeff is correct, neither duck, nor dock. The other way to look at this, is what do the name guys use on a gig, leaving out, the Real Rhodes?
Has anyone ever played a real Rhodes through a clean amp, that they downright did not like? I have, but it's been a long time; the memory is buried but indelible.
Plus the versatility factor is wonderful from people like Kurzweil.
Dave, is there a Kurzweil Rhodes that has a definite bark thing towards the end of the its velocity range?
I set up this thread, starting with the real life scene of you about to play with your favorite icon; to bring out your truest feelings.
I have done 2 gigs, with iconic players in the past 5 years, where in both cases my instrument really failed me. In one case, I left my ax home and borrowed another instrument..
It really brings it home, in a case like this.

Last night the Mojo saved my ass, but had it been a Rhodes vibe, I would have been up a creek. Thanks

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#2562491 - 01/17/14 02:53 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: I-missRichardTee]
learjeff Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/09/04
Posts: 7613
Loc: NC, USA
I played a friend's Rhodes through a tiny cheap old tranny amp that just happened to sound killer. This guy had done a lot of work on his Rhodes, including setting the strike line, which he explained in detail.

The problem was the intonation was terribly uneven! One note would ZING on the slightest touch; the next I had to smash to hear. The sound was really great but it was terribly hard to play with any subtlety. I pointed it out to the guy and he says "Oh really?" Hard to imagine a gifted player not even noticing. But it's something any decent tech should have been able to sort out. And it was still fun to play!

Anyway, I don't know what the Keyboard Gods would want on stage, so I'll sit back and read what folks with a clue have to say.
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#2562492 - 01/17/14 02:57 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
learjeff Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/09/04
Posts: 7613
Loc: NC, USA
Gee, I said I'd shut up, but just remembered.

A guy here who runs jazz jams has one of those really beat-up old Rhodes -- the legs wobble, etc. But it's playable, it works, and it can be warm & lovely. Anyway Chevy Chase was going to be in town playing with someone and needed a Rhodes and for whatever reason this guy's Rhodes was tagged for the gig.

Chase complained that it was too short. The keyboard was too low.

???? We're still trying to figure that out. It had the factory legs. Not a keyboard God, I guess, but the only name I could drop!
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#2562494 - 01/17/14 03:01 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: burningbusch]
mate_stubb Offline
10k Club

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 11388
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Here's a VERY quick and dirty improv of my Mark I sampleset in the Kronos.
Purgatory Creek Mark I for Kronos

Mark V
Purgatory Creek Mark V for Kronos

Clav D6 (all pickup settings sampled + release samples)
Purgatory Creek D6 for Kronos

All of these are free. I'll put them up against anything out there in the hardware world. The D6 has eight velocity layers and the Mark I/V are 16+.

Busch.



These are most excellent, especially the Mark 1. Would that I had a platform to play them from (without complicating my rig!)
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About the only thing I'd run through a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw.
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#2562495 - 01/17/14 03:06 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
mal7 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 37
IMO the Rhodes on the Nord Stage 2 are over rated. I have never liked the rhodes on my RD700GX My solution for quite a while was to use Scarbee Rhodes via a Muse Receptor. Recently I started using Lounge Lizard and it is now my go to Rhodes. Needs a bit of tweaking though
I'd also point out that the keybed of the RD700 is far more expressive than the Nord. I can dial in the exact velocity I need on the RD whereas the nord only has soft,hard and normal
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Roland RD700GX with Supernatural piano expansion, Nord Stage 2, Hammond SK1, Receptor VIP running Ivory Steinway 11, Galaxy Vintage D, Lounge Lizard and Scarbee Rhodes

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#2562497 - 01/17/14 03:28 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: mal7]
timwat Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 3083
Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
I have a 1971 Stage 73 (dyno'd), a PC361, the Kronos, and the CP4.

The EP on the Kronos is really expressive, with lots of easily accessible modifications to custom tailor to individual taste.

The Kurzweil's emulations of classic recordings if first rate.

The CP4 offers less default variations, but the ones it provides are aces to my ear and really inspiring. I end up defaulting to the "73" one, if I recall.

But the real thing is an entirely different experience. It needs work, and the action is terribly even or consistent. But it's the real thing and speaks like no other. Its limitations demand you adjust to its unique limitations and idiosyncrasies. But once I do, it's like a partnership with the instrument.

That aside, since I'm not hauling that thing around to gigs anymore, I find the CP4 is the most "inspiring" of finger-to-note connections, and I find myself composing on it more than the Kronos or Kurz.

My 0.02.
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#2562504 - 01/17/14 03:58 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: timwat]
Mididude Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 150
Loc: Walnut, CA
I edited a bunch of presets on my Yamaha S-08. I thought they sounded very good, though by no means as 3-dimensional as some of those sound sets like the ones BurningBusch posted. Just screwing around with editing the ROM 'Elements' I made some voices a.k.a. patches that consisted of hybrid Wurly and Rhodes samples, triggered by different velocity ranges. I know I'm not the only one who has either stumbled on, or read about, this technique to assembling a good e.p. sound. I can say it's pretty cool though. You can have a sound that's mellow and bellish when played softly, then gets a little nasally when you press the keys harder (faster, technically if my understanding of 'velocity' is right). I made one user preset (with just Rhodes samples I think) that I titled 'Mark I' that sounded very bell-ish, like some passages on R & B and Jazz recordings I've heard. I haven't played it in awhile but IIRC, one down side is it lacks the subtly-differing gradations leading up to that characteristic 'splat' when you lay into it at triple forte. The sucky thing with that S-08 board...one of the keys (D above middle C)..actually now two of them near each other, are stuck. A spring problem I believe. I've paid to have the thing repaired three (yes 3) times now by Paul Morte's shop now (parts from Yamaha of course). I know, I'm crazy to have done that. I should just sell the thing and be done with it. I really dig the e.p's in it though. I'll confess what I had in mind...I backed up as Sysex dumps in a midi file, all my custom S-08 e.p. sounds, and I intended to buy a Yamaha S-03 which to my understanding, contains the same sound engine as the S-08. I know this is a 'poor man's Yamaha' approach. Side note: I don't have the means to purchase any keyboards at this time, and I'm not enthused about buying/selling any gear. I just don't like any drama, or even the potential for drama. I doubt I could get much for a keyboard with the known issues I mentioned anyway. The funniest story I have to tell about that keyboard is I brought it to a band practice about 6 or so months ago. I think I had forgotten about the broken keys (selective memory). I ended up trying to transpose the instrument globally between each song. "Er..hold on...Give me just a second...This one has acoustic piano, so I need to pull up that sound and...". Not a comfortable way to get through a practice. Ah, now on the other hand....gear that's reliable = heaven. Side note: does anyone have horror stories about key/spring problems with weighted Yamaha flagship keyboards like the S-90 or 88-key Motif? I'm thinking this broken keys problem might be one that plagued the S-08 because it was after all a 'Budget' synth, and it's now more than ten years old.

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#2562506 - 01/17/14 04:00 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: timwat]
MonksDream Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 1861
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
There are almost as many Rhodes sounds as there are Rhodes themselves and people playing them.

The very best hardware Rhodes I've touched in recent years is the Vintage Vibe. I also really enjoyed playing the SV-1. There are better Rhodes sounds out there but few that are more fun to play. The New Rhodes that came out recently was really really nice.

The all-around best sounding Rhodes I have is the Scarbee in software. Logic's Rhodes isn't bad either.
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- my buddy's music professor

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#2562509 - 01/17/14 04:05 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: timwat]
LX88 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1117
I still prefer the Rhodes in the Roland RD300GX to the ones in the Yamaha Motif or the Nords.

The reason for this is that the tonal response reminds me very much of my 1979 suitcase Rhodes.

It's actually quite hard to get the 79 Rhodes to bark. This was a big problem I had with the Motif. It went from zero to bark much too easily.

The later Supernatural Rhodes found in the RD 700NX etc. really disappointed me. They sounded very thin. The RD 300GX Rhodes is very fat and warm, much like the 79 suitcase I have.

All 88 tones sound good on the RD300GX too. I like the lower register on it. You can play bass lines and it sounds very good.

The RD300GX may not be funky like an older suitcase ( ala Herbie's Fat Albert Rotunda)but it is very musical and therefore works well in a funk situation.

The longer I have it , the more I appreciate the acoustic piano on the RD300GX. The Wurli in it is very good too.

Roland made a mistake when they went "beyond" some of these sounds. They should have been included in the NX series.

(Hoping for better things from the RD800, but not holding my breath).

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#2562510 - 01/17/14 04:07 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
bluzeyone Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 1248
Loc: Utica, Il.
In another thread we were discussing the Fantom X. That beast would be a runner up for some sweet and funky eps with meat and all the taters!
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#2562511 - 01/17/14 04:09 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: Mididude]
Theo Verelst Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 1980
Being appreciative of funky-ness, the question is also a bit "who wants to know ?". If you're a hobby player and like some funky music in a cover band it isn't the same as when you'd want your epiano to work on a nice funky session, and then of course there's the taste that cannot be discussed.

Also, it's hard to play funky on an un-produced/-effectuated rompler type of sound. So I'd think the very least would be something that makes the sound funky like a whawha, alternate samples, compression with some form of harmonization, etc.

The sound examples give are nice, though I'd not consider them terribly funky on a scale which ends with a 70s funky epiano solo that really works and grooves.

There are few keyboards besides a natural epiano with effects that IMO can turn seriously funky, most others, not so much. Examples of course could change my mind, but I have a serious opinion about Da Funk, so, they'd have to be musically good, and funky !

T.

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#2562517 - 01/17/14 04:28 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: Theo Verelst]
David Loving Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/11/00
Posts: 4518
Loc: Texas
Using software a lot, I have grown to like Jamal Hartwell's neo soul Rhodes, and especially Scarbee's suitcase
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#2562522 - 01/17/14 04:46 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: learjeff]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6239
A Wurli.

Just kidding ..... Sort of.

It would not matter much what Rhodes patch. If I were to use a ep for Funk it is hitting a Ring Modulator.


Edited by CEB (01/17/14 05:33 PM)
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#2562525 - 01/17/14 05:02 PM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: David Loving]
bluzeyone Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 1248
Loc: Utica, Il.
Tru dat with the software thing. With Sonar came an ep plug in free. Man I am just floored by the realism of it. Its a simple basic vst with just enough essentials to make it happen especially with the fx chains you can add. I used it on the funk tune I wrote at the end
I'll post it in a min. smile
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#2562608 - 01/18/14 05:46 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: I-missRichardTee]
lerber3 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Since OP suggested that some player would be using my gear, I would want to make sure they could tweak the sounds to their taste. For this reason, I'd stay away from software rigs or brands that few are familiar with.

I'd definitely be happy to let a serious player use my Electro 3 HP, and I'd ask him (or her) to please save the tweaked patches. I winter in Mexico, and when serious players come to town (a couple of times a year) they often use my kb instead of bringing their own.

On the down side, really good players squeeze all the good sounds out of your keyboard and you might not want to play it any more.

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#2562614 - 01/18/14 06:10 AM Re: Best funky elec piano, clav sounds keyboard! [Re: I-missRichardTee]
AnotherScott Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 6877
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
Last night the Mojo saved my ass, but had it been a Rhodes vibe, I would have been up a creek.


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#2562615 - 01/18/14 06:13 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: lerber3]
AnotherScott Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 6877
Originally Posted By: lerber3
Since OP suggested that some player would be using my gear, I would want to make sure they could tweak the sounds to their taste. For this reason, I'd stay away from software rigs or brands that few are familiar with.

Good point. If you're going to call up a patch and let them wail, it doesn't really matter... but if you want to give them something they can tweak in real time, even if they've never seen it before... I'd probably go with the SV1.

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#2562623 - 01/18/14 06:57 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: AnotherScott]
Kevmo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 435
Loc: Long Valley NJ
Roland still nails some Eps . The Wurlitzer and clavs. On vr09 are startling good .the Rhodes after much masage just Ok

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#2562652 - 01/18/14 08:30 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: Kevmo]
muzikteechur Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 1243
Loc: Kittery, Maine
Seriously - no love for the Wurli?
I usually associate the Rhodes with more pop-ish love songs (i.e. "Just the Way You Are").
For funk I like a dirty Wurli. My Kurz does a nice job with all of those EP's.

Fun Fact: when I was in College, they had 20 or so Wurlitzer 200A EPs in the piano lab. They were switching over to something else and had the Wurli's lined up in the hallway with a sign: "FREE! Take two if you like!"
I took one home to have a practice rig. When I graduated, I left it behind in the apartment - it was worthless and it was too much bother to transport it. facepalm
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Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

A-105, Leslie 715, XK-3c, Kurz PC1x, Neo Vent, Motion Sound KP-200S, and a bunch of other stuff that weighs too much and doesn't sound authentic.



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#2562655 - 01/18/14 08:38 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: muzikteechur]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6239
Like the Wurli a lot. Not a Rhodes fan. The ones I've played sound like bad xylophones with crap actions. A Wurli kicks its ass.


Edited by CEB (01/18/14 08:39 AM)
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Hammond. Anything else is just a clone.

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#2562663 - 01/18/14 09:14 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: CEB]
davedoerfler Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 1196
Loc: Washington DC
Originally Posted By: CEB
Like the Wurli a lot. Not a Rhodes fan. The ones I've played sound like bad xylophones with crap actions. A Wurli kicks its ass.


Ed, you are certainly consistent on this topic. I currently have a 200A and a 81 Stage 88 key. The 200 sounded great and played well right out of the box. I had to put a lot of money into the Rhodes to get it to sound and play great. Took it to Vintage Vibe and let Chris Carroll and his crew work on it. Every Rhodes needs professional help. Wurli, not so much
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#2562666 - 01/18/14 09:22 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: davedoerfler]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6239
I post crazy stuff. I go over the top. There are great rhodes out there. It is one of the most prolific keyboards in history.

The ones I played in high school and university jazz bands were terrible. I always held a grudge. I post a lot of over the top crazy stuff.


Edited by CEB (01/18/14 09:24 AM)
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#2562679 - 01/18/14 09:54 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: muzikteechur]
AnotherScott Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 6877
Originally Posted By: muzikteechur
When I graduated, I left it behind in the apartment - it was worthless and it was too much bother to transport it. facepalm

Yeah... I've tossed good stuff too. In the pre-ebay days, there was no effective way to sell them, and I was moving pretty often back then, so into the dumpster went my old bulky Baldwin electric piano and optigan...

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#2562686 - 01/18/14 10:34 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: muzikteechur]
frogmonkey Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 1383
Loc: Vermont, USA
I'd put my PC3x in front of any player and feel good about it.

Now, to chime in on the Rhodes vs. Wurlitzer debate:
You're right, Rhodes is worthless! They sound awful and the action is terrible! <rubs hands in a sinister manner and gleefully waits for the price to drop>

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#2562717 - 01/18/14 11:56 AM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: I-missRichardTee]
The Real MC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 2847
Loc: Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
This is the funkiest EP I have laid fingers on bar none. It's a hybrid of 1960s tines/resonators/pickups and 1970s plastic/wood hammers. Found it in a shop two years ago, the owner was literally walking out the door as I was walking up to the piano. After playing for thirty seconds I knew I was taking it home, then they put the price tag on it and I told them to pack it up. They couldn't believe it sold that fast.

It's the most dynamic Rhodes tonewise I have owned, and this is the fourth one. I found out that if you adjust the pickup position just close enough to the tine, you get a wonderful PUNCH on hard hits, and can still get that lovely bell tone playing softly with all the variations of bark in between. It's even better through the right tube amp (the piano was missing the original preamp and power amp but I don't miss them). I tried the same trick on my 1976 rhodes with all plastic hammers - forget it, just forget it. I am no longer looking for another EP.


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#2562740 - 01/18/14 01:13 PM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: The Real MC]
Theo Verelst Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 1980
Examples are cool.

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#2562748 - 01/18/14 01:45 PM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: Theo Verelst]
The Real MC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 2847
Loc: Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
Originally Posted By: Theo Verelst
Examples are cool.


Yes they are

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#2562758 - 01/18/14 02:34 PM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: The Real MC]
I-missRichardTee Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 3038
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
.
I put up this video a few years ago, "Little Train" is my favorite Herbie Rhodes solo. It's so exciting it's hard to believe he forgot about it.



Here is Herbie, courtesy of Jazz+, playing a Rhodes, killer sound and solo.

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#2562759 - 01/18/14 02:35 PM Re: Best funky elec piano! [Re: I-missRichardTee]
I-missRichardTee Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 3038
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Real MC you have an excellent Rhodes there... that's what I mean when I say, some suck, some are just ok, and some smoke!

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