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RMI Electra-Piano Plugin


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Why?

Just ribbing you a little. As a former RMI owner, I can't imagine wanting to revisit it.

Maybe they're playing in the pit for a production of Company, and they're really married to the original 70s orchestration? :idk:

Samuel B. Lupowitz

Musician. Songwriter. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.

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As a former RMI owner, I can't imagine wanting to revisit it.

 

Ditto!

 

I was literally on drugs when I heard Winwood play one in Toronto w/Blind Faith. I ordered one the next day. God it sounded awful! :o

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The Right Place, but the Wrong Time for it! I gigged one a lot in the early 70's....if you used a bit of slap-back echo and reverb on it, it sort of went over...

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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Just like many current keyboards have an interface lock to eliminate accidental changes, an RMI VST should have an activation lock to prevent accidental, no, any, actual sounds being generated.

 

I stupidly bought an RMI in the early 70s. Quickly realized that, although it actually sounded kind of like a piano, that the lack of velocity based volume was painful. I bought a Rhodes to sit underneath it, Wired a set of contact switches to the Rhodes keys, and paralleled them to the RMI via a large multipinned cable. This allowed me to add some reasonable attack to the Rhodes sound. When our band van was stolen a year later, I wasn"t hurt about losing the RMI.

 

If you own an RMI with a large Amphenol connector on the front panel: it"s stolen goods, and I"ll press charges if you try to return it!

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I toured with an RMI in 1979-80. The band owned one, and that and a Rhodes 73 Stage were my choices for piano parts. I used the RMI a lot for the 'plinky' non-sustained acoustic piano sounds. When playing those same parts on the Rhodes it often felt and sounded like marshmallows. After awhile though, the RMI's piano tone began to grate on me. It did have a unique character though, and was cool for certain songs; but all the time for rock piano? Nah... In early 1980 I took out a loan and bought a CP-70b, and that was that.

 

Hearing a recent, Roland RMI sample did induce a trip down memory lane; so I had a little fun and programmed this:

 

 

[video:youtube]

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anybody in an early Yes or Genesis situation would be interested. I asked my friend who channeled Tony Banks for this remarkable
production what he used and he said "It"s from an older SampleTank collection of Genesis related samples Dave Kerzner made at The Farm some years back. Only cost something like $10! (of course SampleTank license required to use it). I added a little bit of phasing with MainStage.)"

Yamaha P515 & CK88, Pianoteq, Mainstage, iOS, assorted other stuff.

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great find. solid company. Runs in Kontakt Player (doesn't need the full version of Kontakt) All for the low, low, price of free. Thread over.

 

Not so fast! This is the "Rocksichord", not the model 300 Electra-piano. Different instrument, I think.

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I just got my RMI Electra-Piano and Harpsichord 300A working again after last using it about 25 years ago. Yes, it is a limited instrument as far as the range of tones goes but I'm having fun playing it again. Electronically the RMI is very well designed and uses top quality components. One thing that sets it apart from seemingly similar sounding 1970's Italian Electronic Pianos is that it has an individual tone generator board for each note rather than Top Octave Dividers. The later Yamaha CP-20/30 electronic Pianos also used TOD but had a weighted velocity Keyboard. Every note is individually tunable on the RMI so it can be used for historic tunings or stretch-tuned if desired. The top of the line Rocksichord models added a complete second rank of tone generators tuned an octave higher than the main rank. This model is capable of a richer tone than the "Electra-Piano and Harpsichord" with the notes on the higher rank also being individually tunable. RMI/Allen Organ were well aware that the keyboards lacked dynamic response. They did develop a method of incorporating velocity response in prototypes but decided to leave it out due to increased weight, expense, and other factors. The last RMI keyboard in the early 80's had a velocity Keyboard but are very rare.

 

RMI parent company Allen Organ was an innovator in music technology first employing a primitive form of digital sampling in their Organs as far back as 1969. This led to the world's first digital keyboards the RMI Keyboard Computer KC-I and KC-II around 1973.

 

Here are some videos of prominent bands and players who used an RMI:

 

The Rascals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJD3zmWVg4M

Blind Faith (Steve Winwood):

Edgar Winter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQv9cRk8R4M

Sparks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x29_lhRjuuw

Yes (Rick Wakeman):

Blood Sweat and Tears:

Iron Butterfly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXF1MdH8u1I

Kris Kristofferson:

Frank Zappa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7H1Q5pJu0I

New York Rock Ensemble (Michael Kamen):

Mandrake Memorial:

Three Dog Night:

Country Joe and the Fish (RMI Calliope):

Lawrence Welk (Allen Electric Harpsichord): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2IkrPlE6w

Allen Electric Harpsichord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxIeYkFxAn4

The Doors (this one may be controversial but sounds like an RMI to me):

C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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Fess.

 

http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wpsu/files/styles/x_large/public/201501/longhair2.jpg

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I had an RMI back in the 70's. One night I got drunk and forgot to lock my car when I got home. The next morning there were 3 RMI's in the back seat.....(bah-dum-bum-tisssssss) Seriously, I STILL remember how awful that thing sounded. Can't imagine ever revisiting it, but ymmv.....
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Can anyone recommend a plugin for Mac that does a good job of RMI Electra-Piano simulation? I'm looking to use it with Logic Pro X. Thanks.

 

Here's a free one and it runs in the free version of Kontakt Player. Winning!

 

http://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/p58-rmi-rocksichord/

 

Thanks - just installed it and it should meet my needs. Now I'd like to find a real one.

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Can anyone recommend a plugin for Mac that does a good job of RMI Electra-Piano simulation? I'm looking to use it with Logic Pro X. Thanks.

 

Here's a free one and it runs in the free version of Kontakt Player. Winning!

 

http://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/p58-rmi-rocksichord/

 

Thanks - just installed it and it should meet my needs. Now I'd like to find a real one.

 

As I said in my post above â I think this is their "electric harpsichord", aka "Rocksichord" - NOT their piano (or what they were claiming to be a piano, lol). If it meets your needs then case closed of course.

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The RMI story is the Bakelite knob of synth design history. They were reaching hard with technology that just wasn't there yet. I got to play an Electra-Piano and it felt like watching a one-legged ballerina. OTOH, the Pianet was a side player when compared to the Clavinet, but it still has its charm. It depends on your aims.

 

I got to play a Harmonic Synthesizer, RMI's monosynth with two rows of 16 harmonic drawbars. The early-digital screech factor was prominent, but it also had a few small gems that were very engaging. Its amusing to see VST/AU versions appear. You probably wouldn't play a lot of their sounds in an exposed setting, but things like the new K1V are dripping with promise as layering recources. This assumes that you have the time and motivation to work a new 40-year-old synth into your rig. :whistle:

 "You seem pretty calm about all that."
 "Well, inside, I'm screaming.
    ~ "The Lazarus Project"

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And least not we forget that Jon Lord had one built into his custom stage organ rig by that British tech who wired it in that and the Ring Modulator in... supposedly part of the secret to his overdriven sound...a flip of a switch turned it on and off I have read!

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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