Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Rhodes vs. emulations - where do you stand? My experiences..


Resolution 88

Recommended Posts

So... over the last two months I've had a chance to reassess my position on this whilst going on a tour around the world where I always requested a Rhodes on the tech rider.

 

Up until this point, I've been pretty hardline about using the real thing - I love playing a Rhodes, I've got two beautiful suitcases and I always gig with mine for my band Resolution 88.

 

My tech rider stated that I wanted a suitcase Rhodes (not a stage) - this is for the tremolo, the foldback you get from the cab, the active preamp and perhaps most importantly, a functioning sustain pedal that doesn't slide away from you every time you use it! I also requested a mk1, second preference was a mk11 and I stipulated that I didn't want any late Rhodes with the full-plastic keys.

 

 

Anyway, I'm not naive enough to expect that I'd always get what I wanted. I also travelled with a toolkit - at every soundcheck I'd balance the volume across the keys, tune (if necessary) and voice (always necessary) the Rhodes.

 

My experiences were:

INCONSISTENCY:

1) I had some beautiful Rhodes pianos in Japan and in some places in the US - but also a baffling number of duds that were sent out by hire companies. Dodgy amps, dulled notes, out of tune / unbalanced.

VOICING:

2) If there are people actually voicing these hire pianos, *nobody* is voicing them the way they should be voiced. They were consistently voiced with the tines miles above the pickups - so the entire midrange was this dull, bassy fundamental sound which wouldn't cut through any kind of band sound. I always had to voice them with far more harmonic content.

EQ:

3) Even if I gave my Rhodes feed to the desk completely flat and asked them to do the same for front of house, there were occasionally venues where there was clearly some resultant EQ somewhere in the chain and as a result, a few notes would really jump out in volume (very disconcerting). I've never experienced this problem to the same degree with an emulation like a Nord.

PLASTIC KEYS:

4) I had a Rhodes with plastic keys once. I gave it away free to a friend. They're horrible - they should never have ever been made. Spongy, awful. Despite my tech rider specifications, I got given these a number of times in the US - and one awful Rhodes came back to haunt me when several cities on the trip used the same hire company :)

 

My conclusion is - I still want to be an ambassador / advocate for the real thing. I have a beautiful sounding suitcase that cuts through that I will continue to use for every gig with my own band. When I sit at it and play, there's nothing like that feeling.

When it comes to hire pianos and touring though, it's definitely worth travelling with enough tools to sort out the Rhodes to your liking in soundcheck. And as much as I hate to say it, if you get given a plastic key mkII or a dud piano where there are dull notes / poor dampers / dodgy amp etc then actually I now admit that it's better for your playing and for the gig to have a good, even emulation (that will cut through in the mix) like a Nord Stage 2. I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences of touring and using backline Rhodes.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences of touring and using backline Rhodes.

 

I gave up gigging/touring w/ bulky electromagnetic instruments mid 80s already and often also hated the instruments being provided from studios for recording.

Even those were partially in disastrous condition, especially (Fender-) Rhodes and beginning w/ the action followed by voicing and ´til other mechanical or electronic failure.

In germany in the 70s and 80s, all for rental was beaten up and there was no trained service knowing how to repair or maintain a Rhodes.

 

I owned 2, a 1971 Fender Rhodes mkI 73 stage and then a Rhodes mkII w/ wooden keys, the instrument´s innards built into a flightcase, providing less weight and a lid devidable into 2 parts,- remove lid above keys for playing and leave the rest as a flat top for my Prophet-5.

Not to forget to mention I also hauled a Clavinet D6 around and now carried service manuals, replacement parts (there was some kind of roadie kit for the Rhodes) and tools with me to keep my toys in shape.

After some time I was tired of it.

 

I don´t praise the time when the DX7 made the Rhodes obsolete, but that was the occasion leaving the bulky gear at home and the interest turned more into synths and MIDI-modules.

 

Since decades I´m on the hunt after the best Rhodes emulation I can find in a DP, a module or in software,- and I regret my old 1971 Fender Rhodes mkI is gone (even it was beaten up when I sold it).

 

Now I wonder which improvements will come in regards of physical medelling after NAMM and Musikmesse.

 

:-)

 

A.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't tour or record in studio or any situation requiring hired backline, but I have years of experience with Rhodes that I can share.

 

I sold my Mk1 stage in 1983. It had spongy keys that hurt my hands and the twin guitars in the band always masked the sound.

 

I replaced it with a Kustom88 that could finally be heard above the guitars. I didn't want that tinny peashooter DX-7 (which the guitars would mask again) or the Yamaha CP70 (way too heavy and I didn't want to tune them between club gigs). I frankly didn't miss the Rhodes sound.

 

When I first got into MIDI in the late 80s, the Rhodes sample in my Kurzweil 1000PX was "good enough". As the years went by, I sampled a few used Rhodes in stores and yearned for one again. I didn't know there were better ones out there than the one I used to own.

 

Finding a good Rhodes is a REAL crapshoot. I'm good at voicing them, but some just refuse to sound good at all. I learned about all the variations they put into them over the production years, including the pickups which have the biggest impact on the sound. The sound varies from piano to piano, between years of production. There are good ones out there made during certain eras, but people hang onto them.

 

I've been trying emulations over the years and frankly they don't measure up to the real deal. Crossfading is not the same as the dynamic timbre you get with varying key velocity on the real thing. Samples just cannot emulate that. There is something about the tactile feedback on the real thing when you feel the sound vibrate through the keys to your fingers. And you can't voice samples like a real Rhodes. I played a friend's Motif and while the Rhodes emulations were better than samples it still wasn't good enough.

 

I went through three more Rhodes before I landed a real good one - great playing action, great sound. But my 1967 sparkletop Rhodes is not rugged enough to gig, the Mk1 and later pianos are much more durable. If you gig sparkletops they lose their tuning, the harp shifts out of position (changing your carefully voiced strikepoint), and the case isn't strong enough for gigging. I usually gig with Anvil cases but they won't help the tuning or harp issues.

 

This piano was missing the preamp and power amp electronics. The sparkletop electronics were a different design and sounded terrible anyway - the reason was that the original pickups have a terrible inherent hiss and the preamps were designed with the high end chopped off to mask the hiss. I only had the direct signal right off the harp. But the silver lining of the missing electronics is that I was forced to experiment with different amps and DI boxes. I found that the Countryman Type 10 to be the best DI in that it completely eliminated the hiss and brought out the best tone. Because Rhodes pickups are extremely sensitive to loading, different DI boxes can create a different sound. Since I had an assortment of tube amps, I found that they can get certain sounds. too. Different guitar speakers can change the sound too. EQs can't get the same effect.

 

As a matter of fact if you look at pictures of Rhodes pianos onstage just before the MK1 era, some players have removed the tops and have taken the sound directly off the harp, bypassing the crap preamp.

 

The previous owner of my sparkletop had replaced the original felt hammers with the wood/plastic hammers, which happened to be interchangeable and was recommended by the Rhodes service manual. When I set out to voice the piano, I happened onto a setting that got everything from that 70s fusion 'bark' to the bell tone of the 80s. Some of the original Raymac tines were replaced with later Torringtons and they don't sound different at all. I also found that if I positioned the pickups just close enough, I could get a pleasant THUNK with harder playing, like Joe Sample used to do. That was the sound of the pickup coils saturating, and I exploited it.

 

Then I sent the piano to my tech to be tuned - and he revoiced the damn thing! :mad:

 

I had a 1976 stage piano (which also had spongy keys) and could not duplicate that sound so I sold it.

 

But I'm done looking. I see little need for a sturdier Rhodes to gig with on a regular occasion so my piano is largely for the studio. I'm just tired of the cherry-picking that has to be done to find a good Rhodes. I only take the sparkletop to gig with the company jazz band; we only gig outside the company once a year for a fundraiser and I won't use the piano if there is a guitar player.

 

If I needed a Rhodes for the road, I would get one of those new Vintage Vibe pianos. I heard a YT demo of them and they sounded a lot like my sparkletop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the OP:

 

I too have had spotty experiences with backline Rhodes.

I would recommend trying Vintage Vibe Tine Pianos......

Are you familiar with them?

Where in the U.K. Are you?

I know they have a U.K. Distributor....

If you are using a suitcase because of the active electronics, VV has an active model based on the Peterson Presmp....

Plays like butter and sounds like a dream

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto on the recommendation to look at VV. The weight and bulk is close to a modern digital weighted keyboard. I tried a few backlines for electro-mechanical keyboards for the purpose of sampling but was disappointed and that's not an option for me any more. I don't think these instruments are rented out enough nor do the people in charge have any idea how to maintain them. They are checklist items, you get what they have and they don't seem to care.

 

In LA there looks to be an excellent option, but it will run you $200+/day.

 

http://retrorentals.net/

 

Busch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I wanted a commonly available, predictable, satisfyingly playable "Rhodes" to be provided as backline, I'd probably ask for a Korg SV1 as first choice. Also, like the Nords, the effects and EQ are readily available from the front panel, but I prefer Korg's EP sounds and finger-to-ear connection.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies all ..

Well, this tour was a flying job so although I appreciate the suggestions of Vintage Vibe, it's not an option to take one around with me. Cost is a factor with those pianos too, as lovely as they are. Also - the same problem would ultimately apply if it was being hired - it seems that there aren't enough hire companies that actually have the know-how to send out electromechanical pianos that are actually well-maintained and set up. Ben Bove's Retro Rentals would be a notable exception.

The sound I'm always after is Herbie's Rhodes around the Sunlight / Secrets era - that for me is the quintessential Rhodes sound. I get pretty close to that sound when I take my own suitcase to gigs - and weight is not an issue then so none of this is about portability etc. This post was more about decision making in terms of rider when you want to have a Rhodes on a gig but have to hire from a company of the venue's / promoter's choice.

I was given an SV-1 in one city and I asked why they didn't give me the Rhodes - they said there was a problem with a note (probably a broken tine). I said to them that I wished they'd run it past me because I could have fixed it for them and also got what I wanted in the first place...

I prefer the Nord to the SV-1 - I'm sure familiarity is a factor but the valve in the Korg just serves as an indicator that they're thinking differently to me. I don't want a stage Rhodes through-a-valve-amp-type-of-sound. I want a solid state amp, suitcase Rhodes sound. I don't need some kind of decorative valve lighting up to convince me that the thing's 'vintage'.

It's not all doom-and-gloom though - this tour has just served to remind me that a bad Rhodes is indeed very bad. I got home, did a few gigs on my own suitcase and I'm reminded that a good Rhodes is... well, there's still nothing like it. I'll happily lug it back and forth to gigs and look after it for the privilege of playing it. And I don't see myself stopping doing that.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Gemini and all I can say is that the Rhodes is fabulous. Not only the sound, but the behavior of the key strikes with the phasing. The modeling was done well.

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

https://dyinbreedband.wixsite.com/dyinbreedband/home

facebook.com/smokingunsrock

facebook.com/acoustaxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy owner of an SV1. Does a great Rhodes "approximation"; of course, nothing is the real thing. But the SV1 is consistently a satisfying experience when conjuring Rhodes...

 

Add me to this (along with AnotherScott) makes 3 of us. I don't own one but have played the SV1 - I liked it for EP.

 

It was nothing like the only Rhodes I've owned though - a 54. Nothing like it all all - but I did enjoy playing the SV1.

 

@OP I've never owned or rented one of those beautiful red Nords but hire companies do them. Maybe that's your best bet if you're worried about getting a less than stellar Rhodes provided on tour.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Mark I Stage 73 back in the day. Fit nicely in the back seat of my '73 Cutlass Supreme. :thu:

 

Drifting a bit OT, but unless Rhodes is central to the music you play, these days I find just about anything from the major manufacturers to be acceptable (e.g., Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Nord, Kurzweil, Casio). Again, this statement must be qualified, I only use Rhodes on a handful songs per night, and certainly understand that "acceptable" may not be good enough for more intensive applications. But for more general gigging purposes, it seems they all pretty much have got it down, perhaps even to a greater degree than acoustic piano.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... these days I find just about anything from the major manufacturers to be acceptable (e.g., Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Nord, Kurzweil, Casio)... and certainly understand that "acceptable" may not be good enough for more intensive applications.

 

Here we come down to the definition of "the Rhodes sound".

 

IMO there is no general Rhodes sound as there isn´t any for clavinet and wurli.

Those electromagnetic instruments lived from their amplification and processing, may that have been analog stomp box FX or studio processors.

 

I´ll describe some Rhodes sounds I like for different purposes:

 

a)

Herbie Hancock - Headhunters era ...

 

That´s a mk I suitcase and there´s the more dull sound coming from the suitcase amp & spkrs, w/ tremolo and echoplex incl. the feature shifting the playback head of the echoplex to achieve the pitchbending in just only the FX signal ...

Doesn´t need many FX slots, but there´s the zipper noise when moving a fader modulating the delay time of onboard digital FX.

 

b)

Zawinulish Rhodes:

 

It swims because of that beautiful Mutron Bi-Phase and there´s the echoplex in use too, but in between there´s the (Mutron)wah-pedal as well as the (Oberheim) ringmod which gives some grid (in some fixed setup).

Much harder to achive from most major brand DPs,- especially when you want everything in a chain and have the option switching dedicated FX on/off on the fly.

 

Don´t forget you´d also need EQ and probably some compression as well as some amp modelling in the ballpark.

And that also rules for example a) above ...

 

c)

The Jan Hammer Rhodes ...

 

He himself already experimented a lot w/ the original instrument and there´s kind of "hardstrike" voicing of the Rhodes itself, the amplification, the pumping tube compression (Fairchild), EQ, Oberheim ringmod with C/V control (no! fixed setup because he used the C/V pedal for the pitch and the slider for amount in realtime), Oberheim/Maestro phasor and tape-delay (maybe echoplex) as well.

 

d)

The Chick Corea Rhodes ...

A modified mkV offering a complete different set of hammer tips in the upper half of the keyboard ... well, you might get it when buying the sample library for the Yammi Motifs, but I´m not sure if that is what HE uses in his Motif and when I compare the sound he get´s from his Motif to what he got from his original Rhodes mkV,- that´s also significantly different to my ears (and to HIS´ too).

 

e)

The, I´ll call it "pop music" Rhodes,- probably Richard T like ... very soft, some phaser (probably Mutron too) and a bit of reverb, very tasteful playing though,- doesn´t hurt and/or doesn´t jangle someone´s nerves.

 

But there´s also that "pop music" chorus Rhodes,- and that´s a DynoMy w/ a DynoMy/Songbird Tri-Chorus built in where the passive electronics of the Rhodes are replaced by the DynoMy preamp/EQ.

I´ve never seen a digital keyboard offering those samples at all.

 

Kurzweil (PC3) has a big advantage over the others in regards of creating YOUR customized FX chains which is very important when your demand is going beyond any basic Rhodes sound.

 

With the other brands mentioned above,- and I´ll add Kawai here too,- average is 2 insert FX and the global (master) FX.

 

It works for some Rhodes sounds but not ALL and the crucial samples are missing as well as physical modelling doesn´t exist.

 

Physical modelling for Rhodes exists in Korg Kronos, Yammi CP-4 and GSi Gemini as well as in Physis Piano H-models,- but the freedom creating your desired FX chains like in a Kurz doesn´t exist.

PITA also here ...

 

Even I like the freedom of creating FX chains to your liking in a Kurz, I dislike it uses samples in general, just because there ARE velocity jumps and sample stretching, which is what you don´t have w/ a real Rhodes (or Clav or Wurli),- and there are missing DynoMy-Rhodes samples in addition.

 

I´d really wish Kurz came up w/ physical modelling and the already existing freedom designing FX chains to your liking until you run out of DSP power.

 

So,- no perfection, just only compromizes as always.

 

We don´t get it w/ digital,- at least not in my life and before I retire,- period.

I read promises in regards to digital since early 90s.

Advertising the solutions we actually have as a "replacement" is far away from truth.

Same rules w/ most "vintage" synth "replacements".

 

I can live w/ that because I adapt to it and really think the performance is much more important than sound (and gear),- but WHEN we talk about sound and gear, I realize, most of us prefer the "organic" (what ever that is,- but it seems to be the prefered description) sound from the past when discussing the instruments we still need to use for TODAY´s performances.

 

Now I wonder ... will that sound from the past survive by whatever reasons,- OR,- is the digital sound (more harsh and artificial highs plus a lot of sub-bass) the NEW reference ?

 

If YES, we´d probably don´t need any Rhodes, Clav or Wurly anymore and also not a Hammond.

 

Or do you think it´s worth giving a s##t on digital and compromizes, better buy VintageVibe for some xxxx.xx bucks as also some hissing analog stomp boxes and tube-amps in addition, haul ´em around for bad payed gigs, then wank on the resulting sound experience ?

 

What do you think ?

 

A.C.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have made an excellent case for Pianoteq's modeled Rhodes with your choice of effects plugins. None of the limitations of hardware.

 

As for the original, given the number in poor condition presented to the OP by backline companies, those that remain in good condition will end up as studio only instruments. The sound will be preserved, recorded, sampled and modeled, but the real ones will not be gigging.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you think ?

 

I think you bring up some excellent points as usual.

 

I often wonder what Rhodes, Wurlie or even B3 sound we would strive for today had they started with the flexibility of software. Would there even be a set of "standard" Rhodes sounds? I imagine it would still be driven by that of our favorite artists and releases. As often stated every B3, Minimoog etc. sounds slightly different from the next. Are we overly critical when a modern day clone (whether hardaware or VST) sounds slightly different?

 

Personally I've never been a huge Rhodes fan and much prefer the Wurlie. But I really like Lounge Lizard for allowing me to tailor a Rhodes-like sound to my liking. Now I'm sure it doesn't get near close enough to that Rhodes experience for the true Rhodes/Wurlie aficionados but what I care about is its responsiveness to my playing style. As someone indicated with samples any noticeable cross fading and or phasing issues would make one quickly dismiss the product. I don't find that to be the case with Lounge Lizard. I'm assuming the Modartt is very similar, maybe even better.

 

Like I said I don't care if it doesn't exactly duplicate the sound of a real Rhodes or Wurlie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kurzweil (PC3) has a big advantage over the others in regards of creating YOUR customized FX chains which is very important when your demand is going beyond any basic Rhodes sound.

 

With the other brands mentioned above,- and I´ll add Kawai here too,- average is 2 insert FX and the global (master) FX.

 

It works for some Rhodes sounds but not ALL and the crucial samples are missing as well as physical modelling doesn´t exist.

 

Physical modelling for Rhodes exists in Korg Kronos, Yammi CP-4 and GSi Gemini as well as in Physis Piano H-models,- but the freedom creating your desired FX chains like in a Kurz doesn´t exist.

PITA also here ...

 

I can't speak for all of the instruments listed, but with the Kronos you can have 12 insert FXs, two send FXs and two more master inserts at either the program or combi level (16 FX total + more in the instance of EP-1 which has an insert FX + preamp/speaker effect built into EP-1). Enough, I think, to cover any Rhodes situation. I don't recall on the Yamaha Motif/Montage but I think it's equally extensive. With the CP-4 it is more limited. But both Yamaha and Korg offer FX models of specific stomp boxes. With the Kronos for example, you have the Small Stone Phaser, Boss CE-1, MXR Phase 90, tc electronic Stereo Chorus+, Dyno My Piano Built it Chorus, MXR Flanger, MXR Dyna Comp, Vox Wah [847 / 848]. Both Yamaha and Korg have Wah effects modeled after famous pedals. On the Kurzweil you only have a generic filter that can be used to simulate the wah, but there's a big difference sonically. In addition, the Kronos has emulations of the Peterson and Janus preamps/cabinets from the Rhodes plus Wurly 200 and 200a preamps/speakers.

 

I don't see a big difference in what's possible with FXs between the Kurzweil and the Kronos/Motif/Montage. With Kurzweil you save off the FX chain to a separate object, which in my experience can be as much an advantage as a PITA. With the others, the FX chain is saved with the Program, but you can always copy a chain from one program to the next. You can also save FX presets so they're available any time the FX is used.

 

Busch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we come down to the definition of "the Rhodes sound".

 

IMO there is no general Rhodes sound as there isn´t any for clavinet and wurli.

Those electromagnetic instruments lived from their amplification and processing, may that have been analog stomp box FX or studio processors.

 

I´ll describe some Rhodes sounds I like for different purposes:

 

a)

Herbie Hancock - Headhunters era ...

 

That´s a mk I suitcase and there´s the more dull sound coming from the suitcase amp & spkrs, w/ tremolo and echoplex incl. the feature shifting the playback head of the echoplex to achieve the pitchbending in just only the FX signal ...

Doesn´t need many FX slots, but there´s the zipper noise when moving a fader modulating the delay time of onboard digital FX.

 

b)

Zawinulish Rhodes:

 

It swims because of that beautiful Mutron Bi-Phase and there´s the echoplex in use too, but in between there´s the (Mutron)wah-pedal as well as the (Oberheim) ringmod which gives some grid (in some fixed setup).

Much harder to achive from most major brand DPs,- especially when you want everything in a chain and have the option switching dedicated FX on/off on the fly.

 

Don´t forget you´d also need EQ and probably some compression as well as some amp modelling in the ballpark.

And that also rules for example a) above ...

 

c)

The Jan Hammer Rhodes ...

 

He himself already experimented a lot w/ the original instrument and there´s kind of "hardstrike" voicing of the Rhodes itself, the amplification, the pumping tube compression (Fairchild), EQ, Oberheim ringmod with C/V control (no! fixed setup because he used the C/V pedal for the pitch and the slider for amount in realtime), Oberheim/Maestro phasor and tape-delay (maybe echoplex) as well.

 

d)

The Chick Corea Rhodes ...

A modified mkV offering a complete different set of hammer tips in the upper half of the keyboard ... well, you might get it when buying the sample library for the Yammi Motifs, but I´m not sure if that is what HE uses in his Motif and when I compare the sound he get´s from his Motif to what he got from his original Rhodes mkV,- that´s also significantly different to my ears (and to HIS´ too).

 

e)

The, I´ll call it "pop music" Rhodes,- probably Richard T like ... very soft, some phaser (probably Mutron too) and a bit of reverb, very tasteful playing though,- doesn´t hurt and/or doesn´t jangle someone´s nerves.

 

But there´s also that "pop music" chorus Rhodes,- and that´s a DynoMy w/ a DynoMy/Songbird Tri-Chorus built in where the passive electronics of the Rhodes are replaced by the DynoMy preamp/EQ.

I´ve never seen a digital keyboard offering those samples at all.

 

Kurzweil (PC3) has a big advantage over the others in regards of creating YOUR customized FX chains which is very important when your demand is going beyond any basic Rhodes sound.

 

With the other brands mentioned above,- and I´ll add Kawai here too,- average is 2 insert FX and the global (master) FX.

 

It works for some Rhodes sounds but not ALL and the crucial samples are missing as well as physical modelling doesn´t exist.

 

Physical modelling for Rhodes exists in Korg Kronos, Yammi CP-4 and GSi Gemini as well as in Physis Piano H-models,- but the freedom creating your desired FX chains like in a Kurz doesn´t exist.

PITA also here ...

 

Even I like the freedom of creating FX chains to your liking in a Kurz, I dislike it uses samples in general, just because there ARE velocity jumps and sample stretching, which is what you don´t have w/ a real Rhodes (or Clav or Wurli),- and there are missing DynoMy-Rhodes samples in addition.

 

I´d really wish Kurz came up w/ physical modelling and the already existing freedom designing FX chains to your liking until you run out of DSP power.

 

So,- no perfection, just only compromizes as always.

 

We don´t get it w/ digital,- at least not in my life and before I retire,- period.

I read promises in regards to digital since early 90s.

Advertising the solutions we actually have as a "replacement" is far away from truth.

Same rules w/ most "vintage" synth "replacements".

 

I can live w/ that because I adapt to it and really think the performance is much more important than sound (and gear),- but WHEN we talk about sound and gear, I realize, most of us prefer the "organic" (what ever that is,- but it seems to be the prefered description) sound from the past when discussing the instruments we still need to use for TODAY´s performances.

 

Now I wonder ... will that sound from the past survive by whatever reasons,- OR,- is the digital sound (more harsh and artificial highs plus a lot of sub-bass) the NEW reference ?

 

If YES, we´d probably don´t need any Rhodes, Clav or Wurly anymore and also not a Hammond.

 

Or do you think it´s worth giving a s##t on digital and compromizes, better buy VintageVibe for some xxxx.xx bucks as also some hissing analog stomp boxes and tube-amps in addition, haul ´em around for bad payed gigs, then wank on the resulting sound experience ?

 

What do you think ?

 

A.C.

Very nice dissertation, A.C., I enjoyed reading that. I generally tend to just go with my favorite Rhodes patch and stick with that one.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we come down to the definition of "the Rhodes sound".

 

IMO there is no general Rhodes sound as there isn´t any for clavinet and wurli.

Those electromagnetic instruments lived from their amplification and processing, may that have been analog stomp box FX or studio processors.

 

I´ll describe some Rhodes sounds I like for different purposes:

 

...

 

What do you think ?

 

Pretty good list; I think the "E Model" deserves a place there. It has appeared on MANY records, notably Al Jarreau and Steely Dan. The E Model was the inspiration for the DynoMy Pianos but they never quite duplicated that sound.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive heard the vintage vibe piano hybrid , my personal feeling is it sounds good, almost like a cross between a Rhodes and a wurli , but will not be able to get the sound Tom is after.

I think you should give the SV-1 another shot, I play a 72' buzz Watson stage that is fantastic to MY ears , but I get a nice sounding Rhodes out of the SV-1 too. I don't do too much modelling via the SV-1, pretty much don't have any amp sims at all. Don't get fooled by the tube, it really dosnt do much of anything worthwhile IMHO . Does it sound as warm as my stage ? no, but it dos make me smile and enjoy playing it.

After trying out a mojo61, I would have to say the Rhodes modelling on that or Gemini should be in your sights.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we come down to the definition of "the Rhodes sound".

Yup, I assume that one of the reasons people here don't always agree about whether a board has a great Rhodes sounds is that we aren't all aiming for the same thing (though as discussed, some boards are also good at getting a wide range of them).

 

As an example, I really don't care for the famous gentle swirly Rhodes (i.e. Bill Joel's "Just the Way You Are"). But here's a lesser known song I like, which for me strikes the right balance between bell and bark...

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote=Al Coda

What do you think ?

 

A.C.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Al. I enjoyed your article. Now that I've read this thread I miss my suitcase 73 more than I thought I would. It lived at my family's summer house so I only played it about one week a year. Every time I played it I had to get out the tools and make it sound good again. After that I could play for it hours. I used to have a baby grand that I would play for hours also. Now to my point. What do I have now? All digital. Real AP's and real EP's still make my heart sing, but they also make my back hurt. ~BOB

I'm practicing so that people can maybe go "wow" at an imaginary gig I'll never play. -Nadroj
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you should give the SV-1 another shot... Don't get fooled by the tube, it really dosnt do much of anything worthwhile IMHO .

I would have to agree with this. If you don't like the SV-1 you don't like it, but I wouldn't make the tube, of all things, the deal breaker. It's mainly there for looks as far as I can tell, and no-one in the audience can see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With Aussie_Chicago and CowboyNQ that's five of us on here that feel the SV-1 is a worth a shot.

 

The Kurzweil Forte - doesn't Dave Weiser do a special Weisersound custom Rhodes preset tweaked for RH one (and two) note soloing but scaled in such a way that you could play full chords in the LH round the middle without it becoming overpowering?

 

Anyone on here have it and used it live?

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I can't speak for all of the instruments listed, but with the Kronos you can have 12 insert FXs, two send FXs and two more master inserts at either the program or combi level (16 FX total + more in the instance of EP-1 which has an insert FX + preamp/speaker effect built into EP-1). Enough, I think, to cover any Rhodes situation. I don't recall on the Yamaha Motif/Montage but I think it's equally extensive.

 

Well I apollogize for mentioning the Kronos as also my intention wasn´t advertising for Kurz.

In fact I know the Kronos is a beast feature wise but don´t have much knowledge about because I don´t own it.

Didn´t know you can chain up to 12 FX on program level and I previously thought, 16 slots in a combi and 16 FX means 1 insert-effect per combi slot/MIDI channel plus the global FX.

So, thank you for correction.

 

Never owned a Motif too and thought it might work the similar way.

 

B.t.w. I find the work you do for the Kronos engine outstanding !

When I listened to your soundbank examples for Kronos stuff already month ago I was floored, especially how well you nailed the synth sounds.

 

But I could never decide for a Kronos because I still live w/ my aversion to any MI product based on industry Intel Atom boards.

 

On the Kurzweil you only have a generic filter that can be used to simulate the wah, but there's a big difference sonically.

 

I don´t know what you mean w/ "generic filter",- to me it sounds like there would be just only ONE filter in p.ex. a PC3.

In fact, there are many and one of ´em is a tweakable resonant bandpass you might combine w/ some distortion and compression in a chain, tweak all three to your taste, assign a CCpedal controller or velocity to it, save and have a pedal wah or touch wah which works well for almost any tune.

Just only one example ...

 

In addition, the Kronos has emulations of the Peterson and Janus preamps/cabinets from the Rhodes plus Wurly 200 and 200a preamps/speakers.

 

I don't see a big difference in what's possible with FXs between the Kurzweil and the Kronos/Motif/Montage.

 

Can be, I´d have to own ´em all to find out and that´s out of reach for me.

 

With Kurzweil you save off the FX chain to a separate object, which in my experience can be as much an advantage as a PITA.

 

Yes and no ...

You save a custom designed new FX chain as a new object under a new name, but you don´t urgently share the same object across several programs/setups.

In fact it depends on the user.

 

I personally prefer saving every dedicated FX chain I create under the same name I use for the program I create (they have different suffix anyway).

It sums up user objects in memory but I use slightly different chains for each program and try to keep the aux FX the same then.

 

In addition, once you edited any given FX chain depending on a given program, you´ll be asked not only tosave the FX chain to a location of your choice but also re-saving the program before going back to play mode.

At least I myself don´t have any confusion between programs, setups and FX chains in the user memory department.

 

With the others, the FX chain is saved with the Program, but you can always copy a chain from one program to the next. You can also save FX presets so they're available any time the FX is used. Busch.

 

They all work different.

There´s also different approach, depending on the need of exact FX emulations and just only throw ´em in on demand or the freedom of modularity and bring your creations more or less close to what you were used to hear from originals or do totally different stuff what no original was able to offer.

 

One example could be, you might have a Oberheim ringmod emulation but want some ringmod but not the Oberheim,- more some Bode Frequency Shifter approach where sidebands matter too ...

In that case some modularity and parameters you won´t find in a dedicated emulation is welcome.

 

Many prefer to have a lot of stuff global,- lets say like a hardware leslie and only 1 or 2 models and not 25, or the MXR phaser, the EH flanger, the echoplex.

But that can also be a limitation.

 

Will say, you can tinker a lot in VAST but most don´t want to do it.

You yourself were or still are busy working w/ Kronos´ sampling options in depth,- and most don´t want to do that too.

 

I´m pretty sure, you´ll get what you want soundwise from almost any machine WHEN it offers a minimum feature set meeting your demands,- just only because you have the intelligence, the phantasy, the patience and the persistance to come to the target.

 

Most don´t have,- they unbox a machine and ask "where´s the Rhodes, where´s the wah, where´s the phasor" and when they don´t find in a minute or were asked tweaking to their demands they give up and say "it´s not for me".

That´s life !

 

Well,- my main intention was showing which kind of FX chains I´d probably need to create when trying to get the Rhodes sounds I know from the past and present recordings as also personal experience w/ the real deals and now using the digital world.

 

When you need a Rhodes, my impression is most manufacturers think you need the sample set (or tine model so to speak) and 1 special (modulation) effect plus amp sim and reverb,- eventually delay too.

 

They also think too much about acoustic piano and electric piano doesn´t have the same importance than acoustic.

 

For me personally it´s exactly the opposite when I play electronic keyboards.

I prefer the electric pianos and synths and rarely play acoustic piano on a electronic keyboard.

 

The electric piano waveforms aren´t too sensitive ´cause the originals were already designed to be amplified,- acoustic pianos weren´t.

 

A.C.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...