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Native Instruments Electrik Piano


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I did a search here to see if anyone else started a thread about the NI's Elektrik Piano & didn't get any hits. Now that it's been out awhile, does anybody have it or have any opinions? Listening to the demos, I thought the Rhodes MkI was usable, but I think I have better, the Wurlitzer A200 was very cool, especially the demo without the crappy distortion. I didn't care for the Rhodes MkII & the Clav. Thoughts anyone?




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Originally posted by dontae:

I was about to but it today and was wondering what others thought. What do you have that you like better than it's MKI??

In OS9 I have EP73, a VSTi. They didn't make it for OSX. For OSX I use a free refill for Reason. It's actually a sampling of Lounge Lizard with 8 velocity layers. You get two sets of samples, one with tremolo & one without. It can be found here. And did I mention it's free?


What made me interested in Elektrik Piano is the price, & the Wurlitzer samples. I also don't have any clav sounds for OS X.




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Originally posted by gmstudio99:

Have you checked out the new free refill from The Propellereads called "Electromechanical?" It's free to all registered Reason users and has a very nice Wurli.




I was tempted to get the NI instrument, but the Props one-upped them with this refill. :D

I missed that one!!! What are your thoughts? Is it better than NI's? I'll download it now!




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The only rhodes and wurlitzer reproductions that can compete with the real ones are made by Scarbee. 12 to 16 samples per note plus all matching release samples, made by a perfectionist.


All others can't compete with the real stuff. Not even close.


So check out the scarbee website .

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Elektrik Piano Review


If you've read any of my posts you know I a big fan of soft synths and Native Instruments in particular. Ever since the B4, I had hoped they would build on that success, cranking out quality retro keyboards and synthesizers. It didn't turn out that way, but they came up with some pretty great stuff anyway.


On to the Elektrik Piano.


The sampling is detailed and excellent overall. I can't fault that. The Rhodes is sampled at five velocity levels, the Wurly at six, and the Clav at four. All instruments have release samples as well. Each instrument has three variations: normal (each note sampled), medium (one sample spread across two notes) and small (one sample stretched across four notes). Because these are .nki files they can be loaded into Kontakt. You can turn DFD on, otherwise load time is very long.


I found it difficult to get the proper relationship between my weighted keyboard and the Elektrik Piano. Nothing really felt right. I couldn't control the instrument. I believe the problem is that the velocity switching is off the chart bad. Not only are there huge tonal differences but the volume changes are extremely abrupt. This is most noticeable on the two Rhodes samples. I think the only solution would be to bring them into Kontakt and scale back the volume levels on a sample by sample basis. But then how do you get it back into Elektrik Piano?


I also found the simplified interface to be frustrating. With each preset a different combination of the four controls is loaded. So if you want to control reverb, tremolo, EQ and decay for example, you won't be able to because these are found on different presets. The presets are all across the board, a few good but just as many are a waste of time.


MK1: I have a strong preference to the early Rhodes with the Mark V being the only later model I've ever really liked. NI's choice of piano to represent the MK I is questionable. It sounds like a post 1975 Mk1 with the thinner tines. The bark is disappointing in that it's really only pronounced from the F below middle C on down. In the high traffic area around middle C bark is non-existent, which in my way of thinking makes for a fairly lifeless MK I. Listen to the nice consistent bark on the Yamaha ROMpler Rhodes in comparison--it's obvious those are from a pre-1975 MK I. The piano needs work. It's not that it's in terrible shape, but it does have problems, e.g. the E above middle C sounds like a dead tine (there are others), voicing is inconsistent in the high traffic area, the highest octave is weak.


MK2: The Mark II seems to be in a little better shape but tonally the thing sounds very similar to the MK I. HELLO, NI (AND ALL YOU OTHER LAME-OOOOHS)!!!! PLEASE STOP WITH THIS MEANINGLESS MK1 - MK2 LABELING. The only difference between a late model MK I and a MK II is the FLAT TOP. Do you understand this???? When people (at least people in the know) talk about the early pianos and might casually call them a MK I, they are referring to the soft, fat tines and wood hammers of the pre-1975 instruments (actually the change took place in 1975). They are talking about the Fender Rhodes Mark I not the Rhodes Mark I which is mechanically identical to the Rhodes Mark II. So why would someone sample two instruments that are essentially the same? Because they flat out don't know any better.


Wurly: I never did own a Wurly, but I've played quite a few real ones plus all the sampled versions. I found the NI version to be brighter than I accustom to hearing. I prefer a more rounded tone. That to me is the beauty of the Wurly when it has that warm tube distortion-type coloration. Otherwise it's more playable than either of the Rhodes.


Clavinet: This is sad. This is so very sad. Of all the tonal possibilities of the Clavinet they chose to sample only ONE setting. No muted versions, no pickup/tone variations. ONE COMPLETELY UNFUNKY SETTING. Pretty much worthless. Emagic set the bar with the EVD6 and NI didn't even make an effort to compete. What a waste.



The list of viable alternatives to the Elektrik Piano is way too long to list here. The free download from Propellerheads is better. The Rhodes, Wurly and clavs on my S90 are better. On and on and on.


There, I just saved you $200.



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Another contender?


Scarbee Vintage Keyboard Collection

SCARBEE has specialized in creating hiqh quality virtual instruments for the demanding musician with no compromises in the quest of recreating the most authentic feel and action of the original classic keyboard instruments. This special bundled DVD edition consists of:


Scarbee R.S.P. \'73 the sound of the Rhodes® Stage Piano Mark 1 - '73. 73 keys, 12 sustained + 12 release samples pr. key - no loops.


Scarbee W.E.P. - the sound of a Wurlitzer® 200A Electronic Piano. 64 keys, 16 sustained + 16 release samples pr. key - no loops.


Scarbee D6-C - the sound of a Hohner® Clavinet D6. Four different pickup settings + one muted sound. 60 keys, 16 sustained + 16 release samples pr. key - no loops.


SCARBEE Vintage Keyboard Collection (VKC) will ship in a 16 bit Giga 2.5 /24 bit Giga 3.0 version and in a MULTI format version containing a 24 bit native Halion, EXS24 mk II, Kontakt and Kompakt versions and be available in June/July 2004 for MSRP $479.00




My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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