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Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes #2993075 06/07/19 10:29 AM
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Markyboard Offline OP
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Well maybe not quite as exciting but anyway...

I really like Scarbee Classic EP88s and even more so Canterbury Suitcase except for one glaring deficiency; the upper register notes abruptly lose their bite, snap, punch, whatever you want to call it. I have no doubt those higher note samples capture the authenticity of the piano used. But for me it just ruins what otherwise might be my favorite virtual Rhodes (and apologies for the repeated whining taz ). However, I have finally come up with a satisfactory work-around and thought Iíd share. If youíre not interested in the technical details but have an interest in either product you might still enjoy hearing the samples in the link referenced below.
In a nutshell it comes down to supplementing Canterburyís high registers with Scarbee sounds taking advantage of its midi splitable EQ. Scarbeeís built in EQ is my first encounter with one that lets you define a lower and upper midi note and create 3 independent fully parametric EQs each operating only over its designated note range; 1 below and including the lower midi note, 1 in between and 1 above and including the upper midi note. Along with the EQ parameters you can also adjust the final output level independently for each and even make it completely silent which is very useful. Iím curious if there are any hardware EQs that have this feature? Apparently, there are several stand-alone soft EQs that do Ė one I may acquire in the near future. While similar results may be achieved using multiple instances of each VST operating over certain midi note ranges along with separate EQs applied to each this is not exactly efficient or convenient; This approach also makes modifications difficult to achieve. Sample crossfading also comes to mind here but Iíve never achieved a satisfactory result with this approach- ymmv.

Iíve provided detailed descriptions with each example ( link below). Youíll have to click on each sound clip (toward the bottom of the page) as the descriptions donít auto advance from sound clip to sound clip. Btw the difference between successive sound clips is not subtle and does not require golden ears or beaucoup expensive monitors to hear. The correction is a bit exaggerated and maybe even a bit squaunky at time. Like I said itís pretty easy to adjust to taste but for now good enough.
https://soundcloud.com/markyboard/sets/canterbury-scarbee

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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #2993080 06/07/19 10:54 AM
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To properly Theoize, you mustn't provide comparative samples for A/B testing - only provide the B version.

Joking aside, thanks for posting.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: stoken6] #2993086 06/07/19 11:13 AM
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The Real MC Offline
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There are multiband compressors which use a crossover to splits the frequency bands then route them to compressors. You could use a 3-way crossover to split an audio signal then route those three outputs to EQs.

Artists like George Duke had the pickups on his Rhodes split in three sections. That let him apply different processing to each section.

I could easily do this on my MIDI controller which can have three splits across its 88 note range.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: stoken6] #2993120 06/07/19 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
To properly Theoize, you mustn't provide comparative samples for A/B testing - only provide the B version.

THIS ^^


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: The Real MC] #2993136 06/07/19 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: The Real MC
There are multiband compressors which use a crossover to splits the frequency bands then route them to compressors. You could use a 3-way crossover to split an audio signal then route those three outputs to EQs.

Artists like George Duke had the pickups on his Rhodes split in three sections. That let him apply different processing to each section.

I could easily do this on my MIDI controller which can have three splits across its 88 note range.


Yeah, Iím aware of those techniques through reading although Iíve never had the opportunity/equipment or maybe just the motivation to explore this myself. I was really just wondering if a similar all in one hardware version existed. Thinking about it further multiple independent parametric EQs in the same box might be a pretty tall order, and expensive. Having midi notes ďboundĒ the EQ sure makes dialing in the desired effect easy although I wouldnít be surprised to hear seasoned pros call this cheating. I highly recommend it.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #2993154 06/07/19 04:43 PM
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I hopeyou doin't mind, but I had to transfer your OP to Word, and parse out the paragraphs. My eyes couldn't handle the huge blob of text in that middle section smile

Here's the reader friendly view

Quote:
Well maybe not quite as exciting but anyway...

I really like Scarbee Classic EP88s and even more so Canterbury Suitcase except for one glaring deficiency; the upper register notes abruptly lose their bite, snap, punch, whatever you want to call it.

I have no doubt those higher note samples capture the authenticity of the piano used. But for me it just ruins what otherwise might be my favorite virtual Rhodes (and apologies for the repeated whining.

However, I have finally come up with a satisfactory work-around and thought Iíd share. If youíre not interested in the technical details but have an interest in either product you might still enjoy hearing the samples in the link referenced below.

In a nutshell it comes down to supplementing Canterburyís high registers with Scarbee sounds taking advantage of its midi splitable EQ. Scarbeeís built in EQ is my first encounter with one that lets you define a lower and upper midi note and create 3 independent fully parametric EQs each operating only over its designated note range; 1 below and including the lower midi note, 1 in between and 1 above and including the upper midi note.

Along with the EQ parameters you can also adjust the final output level independently for each and even make it completely silent which is very useful. Iím curious if there are any hardware EQs that have this feature? Apparently, there are several stand-alone soft EQs that do Ė one I may acquire in the near future.

While similar results may be achieved using multiple instances of each VST operating over certain midi note ranges along with separate EQs applied to each this is not exactly efficient or convenient; This approach also makes modifications difficult to achieve. Sample crossfading also comes to mind here but Iíve never achieved a satisfactory result with this approach- ymmv.

Iíve provided detailed descriptions with each example ( link below). Youíll have to click on each sound clip (toward the bottom of the page) as the descriptions donít auto advance from sound clip to sound clip.

Btw the difference between successive sound clips is not subtle and does not require golden ears or beaucoup expensive monitors to hear. The correction is a bit exaggerated and maybe even a bit squaunky at time. Like I said itís pretty easy to adjust to taste but for now good enough.
https://soundcloud.com/markyboard/sets/canterbury-scarbee


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: EscapeRocks] #2993161 06/07/19 05:17 PM
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I'm loving the real deal that Lynette Williams is playing (and her playing is stellar)...3:49 to 4:05, for example.

Several slabs serve up Rhodes sims that die in the upper octaves. I find this with the CP4, for example.

My go-to Kronos Rhodes is Busch's awesome 'Winter Rhodes', which if I understand it correctly is a Mk 1 in the LH and a Mk 2 in the RH. Warm, meaty, ample bell, and still speaks for single line work. Scarbee also provides a wonderful RH single line.


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: EscapeRocks] #2993163 06/07/19 05:19 PM
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Markyboard Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: EscapeRocks
I hopeyou doin't mind, but I had to transfer your OP to Word, and parse out the paragraphs. My eyes couldn't handle the huge blob of text in that middle section smile

Here's the reader friendly view



Wait, so you ran my text through what .....a multi band equalizer?

Seriously though thank you David. I actually wrote this up in word earlier in the week and copied it here today. But still the original was not as pretty as your mastered version. thu

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: timwat] #2993166 06/07/19 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: timwat


Several slabs serve up Rhodes sims that die in the upper octaves. I find this with the CP4, for example.

My go-to Kronos Rhodes is Busch's awesome 'Winter Rhodes', which if I understand it correctly is a Mk 1 in the LH and a Mk 2 in the RH. Warm, meaty, ample bell, and still speaks for single line work. Scarbee also provides a wonderful RH single line.



Interesting (although Iíll have to wait on the video clip until Iím back home). From the EP-88s User Manual Iím gathering that capturing the high end is no easy feat even if the tone is there to begin with.

We spend enourmous amount of time cleaning the samples for noise Ė each sample went through four rounds, where the last two was done in hand. The reason for this was the fact thatwe wanted to be able to offer presets with extreme treble EQ settings wihout having extra noise Ė and without hurting any part of the recordings.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #2993331 06/08/19 02:16 PM
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Bit it sounds, euhm, only little short of bloody awful, at least on my system. Some fun basic funky jazz Dorians aside which I find fun, why do you consider the sound even usable, it's all over the place, no clarity, no nice distortion, I mean my RD300 sounded more musical to be fair.

I understand perfectly they're looking for sample reconstruction tricks when trying the bit higher electric piano samples through an equalizer, but that's pro material and they clearly don't have a clue...

T

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Theo Verelst] #2993346 06/08/19 03:26 PM
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Not to derail... but I've just applied this method to Ravenscroft iOS using custom EQ's for above & below A3.

Neo-Soul is next for upper 2 octaves.

Works fantastic. Thanks for this!!


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: drawback] #2993367 06/08/19 04:47 PM
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Scarbee has the better high notes.

AcousticSamples vs Scarbee vs Canterbury



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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Jazz+] #2993368 06/08/19 04:54 PM
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Ö

This Fantasy Records live recording captures the classic Rhodes sound at 2:40. Notice it clacks and overdrives on strong accents but never really barks. The notes are full bodied sounding which is really great for soloing.


Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Jazz+] #2993376 06/08/19 05:37 PM
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Well that Funky Quarter sounds alright, but the example above that makes my ears cry, that is some ugly...

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Theo Verelst] #2993381 06/08/19 05:55 PM
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I find this debate amusing, much like guitarists arguing over fuzz pedals. They get GAS, too! Frankly, having played a nice cross-section of real EPs, the biggest improvement I encountered was the built-in EQ on two Rhodes pianos. If the instrument is in good repair, that's the #1 "effect." I have several great EP samples that croon or bark well and I find Logic's EP to be gratifying overall. Markyboard's examples were illuminating, but not super-new; that's what I generally get after a bit of sculpting. You always end up building the EP you want for the job at hand.

I have been eyeing Scarbee a bit, as EP is so intimate, I've begun to want a bit more smokiness and bite at times. Varied EQ at certain split points is a fine idea, but it would be rather octopus-like as hardware. Better to get the instrument's heart right. The best EP music I've heard has come from base instruments through a pedal or two. That's perhaps a wee bit harder when you have 15 pianos on tap in a menu. cool

I wasn't drawn to EPs for a long time, but I've become a convert after seeing how many great hats they can wear. I love bells in particular and from some angles, an EP is like a full set of them in a box.
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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: David Emm] #2993386 06/08/19 06:12 PM
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Look, a Fender Rhodes has a distinct sound. It didn't come with effect pedals. Of course any instrument can be processed. But Rhodes didn't come with an exagerated bell tone. It had Treble and Bass EQ. In it's natural state, the Fender Rhodes is clean and fat. They all sounded nearly the same with only slight differences in tine, pickup distances and hammer tips. A live Rhodes sounds exactly like in that video above of the Cal Tjader band at 2:40:





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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Jazz+] #2993387 06/08/19 06:18 PM
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It's like saying Fender Telecasters sound different from each other. They all sound nearly the same with only slight differences in pickup heights, strings and picks.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #3028678 02/12/20 08:24 PM
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Hmm, Scarbee better for the high notes -- I think this is why I found it became my choice for RTF type textures vs. Canterbury for more of the new agey type stuff.


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Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #3028685 02/12/20 09:27 PM
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It's a really interesting observation Mark, I enjoyed the clips. I too have been frustrated that digital rhodes tend not to "speak". (to borrow Tim's terminology) If it's a rompler, I've used a peaking filter tuned to the midi note, to emphasize the fundamental frequency and called it a day. What you are proposing would be a considerable step up. thu Thanks to this thread I got to learn about Cal Tjader, so there's a lot to be grateful for. Here's my $0.02

Originally Posted by Markyboard
Im curious if there are any hardware EQs that have this feature?


It seems to me, the primary problem for hardware is that the sound generating mechanism has to make a decision and route a particular note down a particular audio path while not damaging the audio paths of other notes which may be sounding. Therefore the decision has to be made at the sound generating mechanism (the instrument) or before (the MIDI sent to the instrument). Does this reasoning sound ok to you? idk

Originally Posted by Markyboard
While similar results may be achieved using multiple instances of each VST operating over certain midi note ranges along with separate EQs applied to each this is not exactly efficient or convenient; This approach also makes modifications difficult to achieve.


Despite it's inconvenience, this could be a useful idea for me. Thank you.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Tusker] #3028704 02/12/20 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tusker
Does this reasoning sound ok to you? idk

Definitely. I have little real insight into what goes on in the sampling and processing of a complex instrument like this. But I have to believe the guys doing it are well aware of every imperfection and nuance.

Originally Posted by Tusker
While similar results may be achieved using multiple instances of each VST operating over certain midi note ranges along with separate EQs applied to each this is not exactly efficient or convenient; This approach also makes modifications difficult to achieve.


Despite it's inconvenience, this could be a useful idea for me. Thank you.


You’re welcome Jerry. I appreciate the renewed interest in this thread.

Re: Theoizing the Virtual Rhodes [Re: Markyboard] #3028981 02/14/20 05:56 AM
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Lynette Williams - wow, just wow. I can listen to this sound and playng all day.


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