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Waldorf Zarenbourg Electric Piano


jook

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This has been mentioned in the depths of various other threads previously (Nord C3, NAMM, Waldorf), but each time it seemed like there were new people hearing it for the first time - so I thought it deserved a thread of its own, to bring it some attention and revel in communual gassing.

 

http://www.sonicftp.com/news/images/waldorf_zarenbourg.jpg

 

Waldorf have launched the Zarenbourg electric piano.

 

An advanced physical modelling sound engine provides emulation of five classic electric pianos including effects. The piano has 78 real wood keys and a speaker system by EMES tuned spefiically for pianists needs with an external stereo input for the speaker system.

 

 

Waldorf had this to say, Zarenbourg is a traditional electric piano that plots a new course uncharted by any other of this breed of instruments. This piano looks funky, and its feel and performance deliver on the promise of its funky look. The Zarenbourg is the guitar for keyboardists who want to spank the plank an instrument many musicians have yearned for and will never part with. Nothing that came before rivals its look touch and feel. Its clearly arranged, easily understood control panel sports classic powered knobs and selector switches. The top of its housing offers plenty of room for a full grown synthesizer a real players instrument indeed."

http://www.sonicftp.com/news/images/waldorf_zarenbourg2.jpg

 

http://www.fdiskc.com/syn/namm/2007/.slide_WaldorfZarenbourg.jpg

 

I am absolutely GAS'ing for one of these to put my CX-3 on top of. It looks just deep enough for it.

 

For some time now, I've been hoping someone would come out with an EP-dedicated keyboard. I had been fighting the urge to get an Electro.. since the organs overlapped with my CX-3 and if I only used it for EPs, i'd prefer the keys to be weighted. This Zarenbourg however, looks set to fit my needs to a tee.

 

In fact, it almost matches exactly what I was dreaming up back in this thread:

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/18/t/017736/p/1.html#000002

 

Gotta wonder if Waldorf was listening... or more likely the case... great minds think alike :D

 

The only questions that remain are: how much does it cost, and how does it sound.

 

There's no mention of sampling being used, and it seems like it depends entirely on physical modelling (as opposed to the Electro's mix of sampling and modelling).

 

Now this can work wonderfully if done right, and if it's similar to the results of MrTramp and MrRay73 VSTi plugins (which are also entirely physically modelled AFAIK), then this would be awesome indeed. Here's hoping. I wouldn't have thought of Waldorf excelling in the area of digitalizing EPs and pianos from their history... but thats similar to Clavia/Nord prior to their introduction of the Electro.

 

And of course, the second issue is cost. I can only hope that it is priced competitively. It's main rival would be the Electro (which would be more portable, and has the additional clonewheel function), so it would be wise to be around that price range...

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I have to say I found this to be a disappointment. I played it at NAMM. I thought most of the models sounds very similar. The only one that sounded different was the reed (Wurly). They didn't sound any better (probably not as good as) a $200 piece of software. The case is DEEP. I didn't measure it, but I bet it's 20" or more deep. All it can do is some mediocre Rhodes imitations.

 

The new Rhodes Mark 7 makes this thing irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned.

 

I did catch a price, but I suspect it's Waldorf expensive.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

I have to say I found this to be a disappointment. I played it at NAMM. I thought most of the models sounds very similar. The only one that sounded different was the reed (Wurly). They didn't sound any better (probably not as good as) a $200 piece of software. The case is DEEP. I didn't measure it, but I bet it's 20" or more deep. All it can do is some mediocre Rhodes imitations.

 

The new Rhodes Mark 7 makes this thing irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned.

 

I did catch a price, but I suspect it's Waldorf expensive.

 

Busch.

How'd those wood keys feel? Does it have midi?
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Thanks for the initial impression from NAMM. Must say that's a worry - I hope it turns out better. How would you compare the Rhodes/Wurly sounds to the Electro?

 

A $200 piece of software is not bad in my book. As I said, I really enjoyed MrTramp and MrRay73, despite them being FREE software. I like them more than Lounge Lizard. But I'd just personally prefer to play hardware than software. That's just me.

 

I wonder how close to production they are. I notice that the photo of the Zarenbourg at NAMM looks a little unfinished, - the proportions like the metal face for the knobs, is much shorter in height than in the graphics. Also its much whiter than the "Creme" colour in the PDF (and the name) suggest. Perhaps its still an early prototype?

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I'd say its fairly unlikely it would weigh as much as a Mark 7. I'm hoping it would weigh ALOT less than that.

 

The wooden keyboard is optional. So I think it should be available for fairly light (and even with a wooden keybed, i can't imagine how it can come anywhere near the weight of a real Rhodes). I think most of the casing is empty and there for looks to allow other keyboards to sit on top of.

 

One other benefit is it being digital, there's no maintenance in terms of tuning, tines, or reeds. I think theres some ways of adjusting the modelling as well, and maybe downloading patches (is that what Custom 1 and Custom 2 is?). I think I read that being implied in the PDF. Will check again later.

 

I'm also personally more interested in the Wurly performance than the Rhodes to be honest, though I love (and expect) a good Rhodes too. So the Mark 7 is not too interesting to me - I'd also wager that the price for that would be astronomical, like the New B3 from Hammond. Has there been a ballpark figure announced for it?

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The Waldorf looked surprisingly big and heavy to me. It is certainly deeper than the Mark 7. I expect that it will be in the 50 lbs range. I might be off. The Mark 7 61 note is ~65 lbs and prices are supposed to be in the low $2,000 range.

 

My time with the Waldorf was very limited. I was put off by the size and not knock out by the sound. It's not my final judgement, only my initial one.

 

Busch.

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The obvious lack of Wurly with the Mark 7, perhaps, which is a tone I actually prefer a little over the Rhodes. I dunno. It looks to me, and this is without hearing or playing the thing, that if you were in the market for this instrument you'd be much better off with an Electro. From the looks of that big, bulky thing, I'm sure your back will appreciate it.

 

The Mark 7 seems great and all, but when will someone take up the reins and put the Wurly back into production? That's what I really want to know. I'd scoop up a souped-up, new and improved Wurly in a heartbeat.

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Wurly's can be found in good condition. They aren't terribly heavy and the actions are certainly acceptable. The Rhodes NEEDED a rework. I don't think the Wurly does nearly as much.

 

Back in the day, the Wurly wasn't nearly as popular as the Rhodes. I saw more clavs than Wurlys.

 

Busch.

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You have a point. I used to own a 200A model Wurly that I think was around 60lbs. Lighter than a Rhodes, but not light. I figure that with today's technology they could cut down that weight even further, while making significant improvements to the instrument in the process. Gigging with a 40 lb. Wurly would be a dream. For me anyway.
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For me, if it does spot-on imitations (or Electro-level imitations) of Wurly, Pianet N in addition to various Rhodes, then it would still be seriously attractive to me over a real EP in many ways. Difficult to maintain (and obtain) various EPs in good condition.

 

Now if it can retain a price point which makes it reasonable against a real Rhodes and Electro, and also make it weigh significantly less than a real Rhodes (and hopefully weigh less than a Wurly). It would be a must-have. Frankly, I'd think it can't weigh much more than the casing.

 

Icing on the cake would be if the 'custom' models mean that you can interface with a PC and download additional patches, or modify your own (akin to adjusting pickup positions, or Dyno'ing, etc.).

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I doubt they'd put acoustic pianos in, but it would be one of the few wooden key MIDI controllers available...

 

Would love to hear from more NAMM visitors, if anyone else played this board...

 

And here are some new pics I've found - its looking better from these angles than the pic before I think:

 

http://media.miroc.co.jp/NAMM2007/wp-content/uploads/3waldorf_za.jpg

 

http://www.hookup.co.jp/misc/images/zarenbourg_s.jpg

 

Click here for full-sized version of the last image.

 

GAS!

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In Waldorf's brochure for this thing, they rattle off some useless info like "realistic emulations," "wooden keys", "a speaker system," then follow it up with "so much for the mundane technical facts."

 

I actually thought that was kinda funny. I couldn't tell if they were being toungue-in-cheek about not revealing anything interesting, or if they actually thought they had dangled some enticing tidbits.

 

Anyhoo, this keyboard intrigues me. It appears to have the versatility of the Electro, minus the B3, and sound quality notwithstanding (since we haven't heard it yet). The weight I'm a little curious about. Obviously much lighter than an authentic alternative, but the wooden keys will certainly add some weight. It looks pretty big, like even if it isn't very heavy it might be awkward to move around.

 

I'm sure this is being overshadowed at NAMM by other stuff like the Mark VII, but any initial reviews or comments would be interesting.

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  • 6 years later...

New demo. Sounds nice, huh?

 

[video:youtube]

 

Zarenbourg editor software for physical modeling, direct streaming sample playback, and 6-operator FM synthesis:

http://greatsynthesizers.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/690x550_Zarenbourg_FM.jpg

 

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Original thread was 6 years ago. Did this kbd ever come out?

 

And does it do wurly and clav too? What I heard of the Zarenbourg rhodes, I can get out of my brand new $850 24 lb PX-5S.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I find it funny that the OP mentioned my plugins with regards to the Zarenbourg because... well, I think I can say it now, there should be a bit of Italy in there :)

 

Interesting !

 

So, why not running VB3-2 on it too and Crumar designs a single manual drawbar organ controller we can put on top of the Zarenbourg ?

That would justify the size of the Zarenbourg case for me.

 

A.C.

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Did this kbd ever come out?

 

Yes.

unboxing

 

Estimated delivery @Thomann is 4 days away ...

 

Musicstore has it in stock already ...

see here

 

And does it do wurly and clav too?

 

Yes,- and more ...

 

What I heard of the Zarenbourg rhodes, I can get out of my brand new $850 24 lb PX-5S.

 

Cannot comment on this because that requires a direct comparison IMO.

 

Edit:

 

I´ve found another test

clonk

 

There are dry single note audio examples of the different models at different velocities too.

Not bad IMO.

 

A.C.

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