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


Resolution 88

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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)... I don't recall on the Yamaha Motif/Montage but I think it's equally extensive.

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.

Effects functionality is one of the most complicated comparisons to make among the various boards! When it comes to the non-global fx, I think this is right:

 

Kurzweil PC3/Artis series: 16 which can be used in any combination (for example, if you split/layered 4 sounds, you could put 4 fx on each, or 16 on one with none on the others, or any other permutation that didn't exceed 16 total). That 16 becomes 32 on the Forte, and 10 on the SP and older PC3LE series.

 

Yamaha Motif XS/XF,MOXF: 16 configured as 2x8, meaning the 16 effects are locked into a configuration of up to 2 effects on up to 8 sounds at once. (MOX was 2x3, MX is 1x4)

 

Roland FA-06/08, Integra7: 16 configured as 1x16, meaning you can't have more than 1 of these effects on a sound, but you can have them on up to 16 sounds at once (this approach creates a simplicity in that each sound will always sound the same whether used by itself or in combination with other sounds)

 

and I guess Kronos has 12 which (like Kurzweil) can be combined in any way you like among the (up to) 16 sounds.

 

...but even that comparison can be misleading. For example, on the Kurzweil, I think EQ counts as an effect, unlike Korg/Roland/Yamaha. Rotary simulation is usually a single effect, but takes up multiple effect units on Kurzweil. Similarly, Korg/Roland/Yamaha have some combination effects, so you can call up a single effect that, itself, contains multiple effects, though the scope of these also differ.

 

 

 

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. ;-)

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Effects functionality is one of the most complicated comparisons to make among the various boards! When it comes to the non-global fx, I think this is right:

 

Kurzweil PC3/Artis series: 16 which can be used in any combination (for example, if you split/layered 4 sounds, you could put 4 fx on each, or 16 on one with none on the others, or any other permutation that didn't exceed 16 total). That 16 becomes 32 on the Forte, and 10 on the SP and older PC3LE series.

 

Yamaha Motif XS/XF,MOXF: 16 configured as 2x8, meaning the 16 effects are locked into a configuration of up to 2 effects on up to 8 sounds at once. (MOX was 2x3, MX is 1x4)

 

Roland FA-06/08, Integra7: 16 configured as 1x16, meaning you can't have more than 1 of these effects on a sound, but you can have them on up to 16 sounds at once (this approach creates a simplicity in that each sound will always sound the same whether used by itself or in combination with other sounds)

 

and I guess Kronos has 12 which (like Kurzweil) can be combined in any way you like among the (up to) 16 sounds.

 

...but even that comparison can be misleading. For example, on the Kurzweil, I think EQ counts as an effect, unlike Korg/Roland/Yamaha. Rotary simulation is usually a single effect, but takes up multiple effect units on Kurzweil. Similarly, Korg/Roland/Yamaha have some combination effects, so you can call up a single effect that, itself, contains multiple effects, though the scope of these also differ.

 

Thanks Scott,

 

Didn't know the Yamaha series had those limitations. Also with Kurzweil, it's more accurate to state they have 16 or 32 units of FX available. A single FX can use up to four units.

 

Busch.

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Also with Kurzweil, it's more accurate to state they have 16 or 32 units of FX available.

I mentioned 16 for PC3/Artis, 32 for Forte... did you mean something other than that?

 

A single FX can use up to four units.

Yeah, that's the kind of thing that makes the comparison so complicated! And I think maybe their best Leslie effect uses even more than that? But yeah, while on one hand the Kurz is the most flexible in how you can assign effects, it's also the board that can go through them the quickest.

 

Back to the subject of Rhodes emulations, I picked up some nice ones which Korg has on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday... $66.33 for a set of 7 EPs/Clavs from a talented Purgatory Creek guy... good deal...

 

 

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. ;-)

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Is this the classic Herbie suitcase sound at 2:20?

Which model would it be?

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find over 750 of Harry’s piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and jazz piano tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas

 

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Back to the subject of Rhodes emulations, I picked up some nice ones which Korg has on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday... $66.33 for a set of 7 EPs/Clavs from a talented Purgatory Creek guy... good deal...

 

 

Very cool, thanks Scott!

 

BTW, I have some libraries coming to the Kurzweil Forte as well.

 

Here's the Rhodes:

 

Busch.

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Is this the classic Herbie suitcase sound at 2:20?

Which model would it be?

 

[video:youtube]

 

My take is that many of the "classic" Rhodes sounds up through the early 1970s are actually Sparkletops. It really doesn't make sense that these guys went out and bought the very latest model, same with the studios. Everyone was using Suitcases at that time. Rhodes never announced/advertised changes, it was something discovered by users over time. Rhodes made the switch to the "classic" Mark I neoprene hammer/Torrington tine around 1971. By the mid-1970s, sure everyone had switched over.

 

Obvious ones, because of recording date:

 

Miles

Miles in the Sky

Filles de Kilimanjaro

Bitches Brew

In a Silent Way

 

Herbie

Fat Albert

Mwandishi (recorded 1970)

 

Beatles

Get Back (anything with a Rhodes)

 

The Doors

Riders on the Storm (recorded 1970, has mono tremolo which is unique to the Sparkletop)

 

Zawinul with Cannonball

 

Quincy Jones

Walking in Space

Gula Matari

Smackwater Jack

 

These are think are strong possibilities due to the date of the recordings and the sound.

 

Herbie: Crossings (1972); Herbie as a sideman during this period (Jazz+ post)

Weather Report: 1st and 2nd albums

Chick: Return to Forever (1972) possibly

Anything else with Rhodes recorded in that timeframe.

 

The 5th Beatle

[video:youtube]

 

Chick with Miles 1969

[video:youtube]

 

Zawinul Mercy

[video:youtube]

 

Incredible video of early Weather Report 1971 (at 17:43 you can clearly see the Raymacs)

[video:youtube]

 

Quincy Jones - Walking in Space (1969) Bob James on Rhodes (note solo at 1:00 and 8:35--ONE FUNKY SOUNDING RHODES BABY)

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vcv-IqWhM-M&t=54s

 

Herbie Wiggle Waggle

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mXcs16jMsY

 

The felt hammers, when new, have a funky softer tone and lack clarity in the mid-range. The neoprene tips provide better clarity.

 

I've got a Sparkletop with worn hammers, very bright. I'll probably have to lay out 2 large$$$ to have VV replace them.

 

Busch.

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Nice thread so much more civil than any clone thread which is interesting in itself.

Agreed, this thread is an example of the forum at its best. So much knowledge contributed by experts on the original and clones. I have learnt a lot more about the Rhodes from this thread.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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BTW, I have some libraries coming to the Kurzweil Forte as well.

 

Here's the Rhodes:

 

Busch.

 

Wow,- I listened also to the others in the playlist,- this is excellent!

 

Did you tweak in Forte existing sample sets or did you use your own samples like you did for the Kronos libraries ?

 

Would that work for the Forte SE as well as the Forte and Forte 7 ?

Just asking because of significantly different size of user sample memory in Forte SE.

 

A.C.

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Incredible video of early Weather Report 1971 (at 17:43 you can clearly see the Raymacs)

[video:youtube]

 

Busch.

 

Well, after I listened to Miles´ Bitches Brew in 1970 and then saw that Weather Report show original in german tv in 1971,- that was it !

I was just 16 years old, playing a VOX combo organ and waiting for a (college)university place,- and that damn electric piano cost DM (Deutsche Mark) 2.100,- here at that time.

That was the $ to DM exchange rate of 1:4.25 !!!

 

So I organized me a job for half a year and bought a Fender Rhodes mkI 73 stage.

It came new in box and was stamped being manufactured somewhere 1970.

Noone in my hometown had a Fender Rhodes, I was the 1st,- so I think it was in stock of the shop for some month already.

 

Man, that sounded fabulous !

Unfortunately while it sounded great, the action was not so good out of the box.

After some time I found one who got familiar w/ modifications of the action,- so I gave it away for a week and when it came back, it was much, much better.

From that day, I played it all day ´til mid 80s.

 

I´ve never found any sounding that good again, in fact it sounded good w/ almost any amplification I bought over the years, tube Soundcity and Fender amps, Marshall, Ampeg and Fender cabs, 10", 12" and then solid state mixer and power amp as well as the 3-way EV cabs.

 

A.C.

 

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Al Coda - thanks for your posts, you've brought up a big issue about this all being subjective and how many different subtle variations there are when people talk about the 'Rhodes' (and in fact what they want, whether it's the Leeds 'E' or barky mk1 sound etc)

In answer to some of the other posters, I was being flippant about the tube on the SV-1 - I know it's mainly cosmetic and they keyboard has received good overall reviews from friends I really respect like Dan Goldman. I just didn't get on with the combination of Rhodes sound and its action, that's all.

The main reason I posted this originally was because I was interested to realise how much I'd shifted from my initial hardline stance in the space of one tour.

However - the real thing (especially when you have your own Rhodes voiced exactly as you wanted) really cannot be matched and that's why I'll always happily bring my Rhodes to Resolution 88 gigs.

 

I found a video from the tour in question today actually - so you can see the type of backline I was requesting. I can't remember how happy I was with this particular Rhodes but I think it was quite a nice one and as usual, I'd gone in and voiced it before soundcheck:

 

(Rhodes solo starts at 8min39s)

[video:youtube]

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I found a video from the tour in question today actually ...

 

thx for posting ! Cool ! :cool:

 

So, you was w/ Incognito today in Munich, Bayrischer Hof ...

Well,- I know that place.

I hope you had fun and a great audience.

Good luck w/ the upcoming gigs !

 

A.C.

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So the "Little Train" track(1971 Recorded At Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ) Rhodes sound is Herbie on a Suitcase black top (almost identical to a Mark 1 but with suitcase speaker box)?

I heard every time Rhodes made a new model they automatically sent a nice one at no charge to Herbie. Which makes sense from a marketing perspective.

 

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/mark1a/suitcase88.jpg

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find over 750 of Harry’s piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and jazz piano tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas

 

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I had a 70s Stage with a custom built "Suitcase" preamp modded by Paul Rivera himself. I also had 4 stacked Satellite cabinets with 15s in the 2 bottoms and a speaker/driver combination in the 2 tops with another custom built crossover and send/returns that could be placed across the whole spectrum or just above the cutoff frequency.

About 10 years ago I sold the cabs and gave the Rhodes away. I have barely missed it in all this time.

I do however, still carry a real Wurly to every record date and suspect I always will. Don't know why this matters, or even belongs in this thread, but I found I could live easily without the Rhodes but not the Wurly.

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I had a 70s Stage with a custom built "Suitcase" preamp modded by Paul Rivera himself. I also had 4 stacked Satellite cabinets with 15s in the 2 bottoms and a speaker/driver combination in the 2 tops with another custom built crossover and send/returns that could be placed across the whole spectrum or just above the cutoff frequency.

About 10 years ago I sold the cabs and gave the Rhodes away. I have barely missed it in all this time.

I do however, still carry a real Wurly to every record date and suspect I always will. Don't know why this matters, or even belongs in this thread, but I found I could live easily without the Rhodes but not the Wurly.

 

Is it because you have a good Rhodes emulation in software but not so much with the Wurly?

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find over 750 of Harry’s piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and jazz piano tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas

 

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Having owned 4 Rhodes and 2 Wurlies in my life- I always felt the Wurlitzer fit better in classic rock, Country (and derivative genres of) along with many Blues contexts.

 

Where the Rhodes seems more suited for RnB/funk, Fusiony type stuff , some straight ahead jazz, smooth jazz (for lack of a better description- Bob James, Grusin, etc) Brazilian/Latin and some pop/ rock (Steely Dan , Michael McDonald etc.).

 

Of course that's just generally speaking. :) In the hands of the great, creative player and depending on the song - anything can sound good..except a CP70 . :laugh:had to get that in there. Just kidding. :D

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

https://www.youtube.com/@daveferris2709

 

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, CP88, P515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is it because you have a good Rhodes emulation in software but not so much with the Wurly?

 

No. Not really. I have great software Wurlys and Rhodes.

The old sound just went out of favor for contemporary Rock/Pop/Country, and the producers I worked for never asked for real Rhodes anymore. Once in a blue moon someone will want to try it, and since I've found that most of the higher end studios here have old ones that they've maintained, I can just use theirs.

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All I can say is that I always have all the Rhodes and Wurli samples loaded up on my Nords. I'm not saying they're the best, but the variety really works in the music I'm playing these days. A few simple effects, and it's freakin' magic.

 

More is bettah'. Just sayin'.

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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I found a video from the tour in question today actually ...

 

thx for posting ! Cool ! :cool:

 

So, you was w/ Incognito today in Munich, Bayrischer Hof ...

Well,- I know that place.

I hope you had fun and a great audience.

Good luck w/ the upcoming gigs !

 

A.C.

 

Ah, sadly, I'm off tour now - I was only depping and now Matt Cooper's back. He was playing in Munich last night - they're in Zurich tonight .. meanwhile I'm home in London planning 2017 for Resolution 88!

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I found a video from the tour in question today actually - so you can see the type of backline I was requesting. I can't remember how happy I was with this particular Rhodes but I think it was quite a nice one and as usual, I'd gone in and voiced it before soundcheck:

(Rhodes solo starts at 8min39s)

OT

Wow. I would have come to that gig in Bethesda had I known about it in advance. Saw Snarky Puppy there earlier this year. Great club.

Back on topic, very cool solo.

:nopity:
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Ha, what a coincidence you would post that famous track with Joe. That was the first contrary example that popped into my head when I finished my post. That's why I added that little addendum.

 

I saw a fairly recent concert on youtube where Joe took a solo on - I believe it was "Put it where you want it"- and it was on a Wurli. I seem to remember it had a really small keyboard..like maybe 49 keys or something like that. It looked tiny ! He sounded great of course but I would have preferred hearing him on Rhodes. I feel for single note solo lines, the Wurli has too fast of a decay and not enough sustain.

 

And I had never heard the Donny Hathaway live version of Al Cleveland/ Marvin's tune. Jeez, was he ridiculous or what ?! Super cool chromatic 2-5 turnaround at 3:43 of the interlude | Bm9 E7 Bbm9 Eb9 | Am definitely going to steal that next time I play it. He could play an RMI and it would sound great .

 

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

https://www.youtube.com/@daveferris2709

 

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, CP88, P515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Id recommend Nord. They give you several to choose from---and combined with the onboard effects, EQ, and amp sims, you can really dial in your tone without dealing with menus.

 

Ive had 2 Mark 1s, disliked both because of the stiff action and uninspiring tone. Scored a Mark V about 10 years ago from a local college---LOVE it, because it sounds like a Dyno with no effects or mods at all, thru a Roland Jazz Chorus.

I would never consider bringing it out for gigs, so I was chasing around that sound for a while---found it in Bright Tines with JC amp sim on my NE476sw.

But if I wanted to achieve a Donald Fagany tone, I know I could do it, not perfectly emulating it, but very close and very nice.

 

OT:

I do mostly local gigs, but have done quite a few road trips with rented gear. Every B3/leslie has been problematiceither the B or the Leslie malfunctioned, or just sounded off, as in not even close to my B2. Its been aggravating and was kind of a minor bummer.

 

The next time I rent, Ill ask for a Nord Stage weighted for the Rhodes and acoustic, and a Nord electro 5 for B3. That sounds ridiculous, but my experiences with rented Bs are 100% bad, including an outdoors generator gig where the tonewheels werent up to speed, so I was out a quarter-tone, and it was not a situation where the band could tune to metoo much going on. I ditched it went to the digital piano with no organ at all. I pretty much hated that gig.

Granted I dont play really huge profile gigs with top-notch stuff, but I was/am shocked that a lot of the rentals are wildly disappointing.

 

Hammond B-2, Leslie 122, Hammond Sk1 73, Korg BX3 2001, Leslie 900, Motion Sound Pro 3, Polytone Taurus Elite, Roland RD300 old one, Roland VK7, Fender Rhodes Mark V with Roland JC90
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And I had never heard the Donny Hathaway live version of Al Cleveland/ Marvin's tune. Jeez, was he ridiculous or what ?! Super cool chromatic 2-5 turnaround at 3:43 of the interlude | Bm9 E7 Bbm9 Eb9

 

I've loved the Hathaway version forever and agree he was ridiculous, but the star of that track for me is still Willie Weeks. Jeeeeeeez what a player :cool:

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I saw a fairly recent concert on youtube where Joe took a solo on - I believe it was "Put it where you want it"- and it was on a Wurli. I seem to remember it had a really small keyboard..like maybe 49 keys or something like that. It looked tiny !

I don't think that there was a Wurli built with 49 keys...? All versions, 140, 200, 200a, had the same size: 64 keys. Tiny compared to a Grand, but not extreme... I made the experience that ist enough for almost all i play, especially with a band. But i agree that the Wurli can sound a little thin playing solo lines.

Nord Stage 2 76, Nord Electro 5D 73, Rhodes Mk2 73, Sequential Prophet 10 Rev4, Akai Miniak Synth, Roland JC 120

 

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I had couple of Rhodes' in the 70's and 80's, played them on many gigs, and thought I was knowledgable about the instrument...until I read this thread. I now know I knew very little. The expertise / enthusiasm you guys have is incredible!

 

Nowadays, I enjoy playing Rhodes on the CP4. As mentioned, tweakability is limited but, for me, the action is very comfortable and even inspiring.

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@OP I enjoyed the video clip you posted of your band Incognito. I think I remember being at a gig by an version back in the late 80s (think I bought a cassette on the night) and was introduced to the keyboard / piano player that night - nice man.

 

He didn't have a Rhodes on the night - AFAIR it was a stage piano (forgotten the model) but it was pre midi. Good gig. Your current line up sounds great. Love the horn section dance btw.

 

Did any of your current band mates ever gig with or know the crew that were The Ronnie Scots Rejects? I met them around the same time. Wondered if they'd any plans for another outing. I can't remember if there was a direct connection but the guys who took me to the Incognito gig seemed to have a connection to the RSR crew too. Another good night out.

 

Thanks for posting. Looks like you'd a great gig.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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