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I wish - Stevie Wonder


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With respect to the intro, how do I get that sound out of my Fender Rhodes (effects, pedals, etc.)?

And, are there some adjustments to some patch on my QS8 I could make for practice purposes when I do not feel like breaking my back?

On a side note, why is it that practices are always held at the drumer's place - my keyboards and shit are heavy too?

cheers and thanks.

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The fullest Rhodes patch I have in my QS8 is as such:


You take the preset Hard Roads (Bank 2, 005), and instead of the voice being VeloRoads3, make it VeloRoads1. Switch the effect to be Ovr+Lzly, and keep the OD thresh all the way down and dime the brightness. That should get you a warm yet crisp Rhodes sound. As for the effect, I think he runs it through a phaser. I just use the above sound clean.


Another fuller EP sound I programmed is taking the Whirl Lee sound, returning everything to proper pitch and changing some of the voices around. I'll update this post with some more specific information after I've been at my keyboard.


Hope this helps. Stevie's one of my favourites. He wrote some tricky tunes, too!



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Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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Hmmmm... his Rhodes sound on "I Wish" always seemed pretty straight-ahead to me, with perhaps a little bit of bottom-end rolloff so as not to step on the bass player. Maybe there's a touch of chorus on there, but nothing fancy.


In the intro, you can really hear the tines and action of the Rhodes, and I'm pretty sure he's playing octaves for that famous bass line.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine


Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse



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Thank you very much for your advice David. I made a similar adjustment to one of the rhodes patches on my QS8 but I definitely like yours better. I think you are right about the phaser. Hopefully, I will soon be picking up a MXR phaser.

Maybe I am listening to a different recording Stephen. It just seems like something tacit is missing -- perhaps it is just my amp.

I have always been much more into the jazz side of things but lately I have been on a bit of funk kick. Been listening to more Stevie, Tower of Power, etc.

Anyways, thank you both once again.


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On the Classic Albums Song in the Key of Life DVD it's clear "Wonders" was playing a Rhodes part and three Arp parts (although the Arp wouldn't work on the '96 DVD recording). The Arp parts are funky and short, the Rhodes part is straight forward, with no fx. On the original '76 recording I don't hear fx at all, so I think things are a bit mixed up because of the Arp parts.

A real Rhodes needs a good "guitar like" pre amp. A neutral solid state speaker will not make it sound funky.



Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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I am quite enjoying that Vintage Synth site and have added it to my favorites. I know that I will never get quite the right sound out of my QS8, but is there a patch on the QS8 that emmulates the ARP sound just at the beginning of "I wish."


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