Keyboard with best rhodes sound

Keyboard with best rhodes sound DEFAULT
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Which digital piano brand has the best digital piano sounds such as
Fender Rhodes, Wurly, Clavinet, Strings, Yamaha CP80

The music I like to learn is mostly popular and rock from The Beatles , Foreigner, EltonJohn, Pink Floyd etc .

So for me the electric piano sounds as important as the acoustic piano sounds.

Dan


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I don't about 'the best' that's very subjective. But having owned a Korg SV1 - 73, I haven't played anything else that plays and sounds that nice for just EP's. I have a bit sellers remorse for that one! And I have owned a real Rhodes suitcase model. The finger to ear connection with the SV1 is excellent and the little glowing tube does make it sound warm. The Acoustic piano is acceptable for the music you want to play. But your not going to use it for solo jazz or classical.

The Kurzweil Forte is fairly close though to it for EP and has a nice Grand Piano sound as well as organ, a host of synths and other instruments.

I have also heard good things about the Crummar Seven but haven't played one.


Last edited by Kbeaumont; 06/05/ PM.


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Which digital piano brand has the best digital piano sounds such as
Fender Rhodes, Wurly, Clavinet, Strings, Yamaha CP80

The music I like to learn is mostly popular and rock from The Beatles , Foreigner, EltonJohn, Pink Floyd etc .

So for me the electric piano sounds as important as the acoustic piano sounds.

Dan



Loads of good options:

1) Kawai MP7
2) Korg SV-1 / Kronos / grandstage
3) Roland RD
4) Yamaha CP88
5) Kurzweil Forte
6) Nord Stage 3 / Nord Piano 4 etc.
7) Crummar Seven,
8) Dexibel models.
9) Casio PX-S

I have the MP7 and the epianos IMO are stronger than the acoustic piano voices.

Now, sampled epianos are really good partly due to modelled effects.

There are some modelled epianos (notably Korg's epiano engine and Pianoteq).


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Here's another vote for the Korg SV1. And download the optional soundpacks (free) for access to more sounds.

I've also heard good things about (but haven't played) a Crumar Seven, but it doesn't have strings sounds, and it uses a TP action which I think is not as good as Korg's RH3 action. Also, while neither is first rate for grand piano, the edge there probably also goes to the Korg.

Yes, Kurzweil Forte can be good here (and presumably forthcoming PC4), as I think can Kawai MP7SE, Nord Piano, Korg Grandstage though specifically for Rhodes/Wurly/Clav/Strings/CP80, I think SV1 would be my first choice, and happens to also be the cheapest. For the task at hand, I don't think I'd look beyond that unless you need better acoustic piano.


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Those out of my price range..
So between Yamaha P vs Roland FP10/30 , Korg B1 for electric piano sounds, pros and cons for each?

Dan


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CP73 = $, and not as good for EP/clav as SV1 for <$

If you need to stay in a lower price range, Kurzweil SP6 (which I forgot about before for the purposes at hand, it's pretty close to the Forte).

If you need to stay in an even lower price range, Casio PX5S. There are nice additional EPs you can download into it from the casio forum, programmed by Dave Weiser, who also programmed lots of the EPs for the Kurzweils. Though I'd have to double check to see if it has a CP80 in it. It would still be a much better choice than the Yamaha P, Roland FP10/30 , or Korg B1 you mentioned.


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If you need to stay in an even lower price range, Casio PX5S.


I've owned a PX5S for several years and, while the EP sounds are tolerable, would not highly recommend it. Like many keyboards, the number of velocity levels for the Rhodes and Wurli is sorely lacking - only 4 levels.

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If you need to stay in a lower price range, Kurzweil SP6 (which I forgot about before for the purposes at hand, it's pretty close to the Forte).



Totally agree, I have one and gig with it at least twice a month. And as Scott said its better than the others you mentioned. For the price its a real good value.

Last edited by Kbeaumont; 06/05/ PM.


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If "software pianos" is acceptable (I understand the gigging problems):

. . . Applied Acoustic Systems (AAS) "Lounge Lizard EP-4".

You don't get 15 examples of "Rhodes sound", chosen by someone else. You get the front panel (and some of the technician's adjustments) of a Rhodes, and you can set it up as you please. There are lots of presets, as well.

Against that, it is "modelled", not "sampled". Since the Rhodes was an electro-acoustic instrument, that might be OK even for sensitive ears.

When I sat down at a Korg SV-1 to try it out, my first reaction was:

. . . "Wow! These are all great sounds!"

But if it's out of budget . . . .



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All good suggestions so far!

However, if you're on a tight budget, I would suggest the Yamaha P and a secondhand iPad Air running some apps such as Korg Module, Gospel Keys, etc. The Yamaha has a USB audio interface built-in, allowing the iPad's sounds to be output through the built-in speakers.

Also, sure I'm biased, but +1 on the MP7! wink
http://www.kawaimp.com/mp7se/media/audio/

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James
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CP73 = $, and not as good for EP/clav as SV1 for <$

If you need to stay in a lower price range, Kurzweil SP6 (which I forgot about before for the purposes at hand, it's pretty close to the Forte).

If you need to stay in an even lower price range, Casio PX5S. There are nice additional EPs you can download into it from the casio forum, programmed by Dave Weiser, who also programmed lots of the EPs for the Kurzweils. Though I'd have to double check to see if it has a CP80 in it. It would still be a much better choice than the Yamaha P, Roland FP10/30 , or Korg B1 you mentioned.



Here in Canada prices I see:
Yamaha CP73 $ Long & McQuade
Korg SVBK $ Cosmo Music

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I've owned a PX5S for several years and, while the EP sounds are tolerable, would not highly recommend it. Like many keyboards, the number of velocity levels for the Rhodes and Wurli is sorely lacking - only 4 levels.


The hexlayer EPs can be 6 level, though more likely, they will be less in order to reserve some of those hexlayer elements for other things (e.g. keyoff noises).

But did you download the free additional EP patches from the casio forum? If not, you may not have heard the PX5S at its best.

Regardless, I was suggesting PX5S if he couldn't swing even an SP6. I still think its is the best low budget option. What other weighted action board under $1k has EPs better than (or even as good as) the PX5S? Plus the PX5S sounds are highly editable, so you can tweak them in ways you can't on many low cost boards.

Here in Canada prices I see:
Yamaha CP73 $ Long & McQuade
Korg SVBK $ Cosmo Music


The difference isn't as big as in the U.S., but the SV1 is still hundreds less, and it's the better board for EPs and clav.

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I’ve recently demoed a CP88 and that’s the best Rhodes I’ve ever played, really enjoyed it and the effects are great. Casio’s Rhodes is a joke IMO.



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Loads of good options:

1) Kawai MP7
2) Korg SV-1 / Kronos / grandstage
3) Roland RD
4) Yamaha CP88
5) Kurzweil Forte
6) Nord Stage 3 / Nord Piano 4 etc.
7) Crummar Seven,
8) Dexibel models.
9) Casio PX-S
.



Vs. Rhodes

















RD vs. Grandstage



@ from bonners MP7SE showing the effects section





Casio @



actual




Vs. Wurlizer











actual



Clavinet

@









epiano reviews and comparisons

Crumar 7 epianos






Recent piano comparison video for those sick of epianos


Last edited by Doug M.; 06/06/ AM.


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I’ve recently demoed a CP88 and that’s the best Rhodes I’ve ever played, really enjoyed it and the effects are great. Casio’s Rhodes is a joke IMO.


You've played the PX5S Rhodes, including its free additional downloadable EPs?

(Though I have to admit, I even like the Rhodes in your CDP, if a "dark" Rhodes is what you're after.)

At any rate, again, I was saying PX-5S has best Rhodes under a grand. Even if you like CP88 better, it's $, pricier than the SV1, and I think most would agree, not as good.

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I’ve recently demoed a CP88 and that’s the best Rhodes I’ve ever played, really enjoyed it and the effects are great. Casio’s Rhodes is a joke IMO.


You've played the PX5S Rhodes, including its free additional downloadable EPs?

(Though I have to admit, I even like the Rhodes in your CDP, if a "dark" Rhodes is what you're after.)

At any rate, again, I was saying PX-5S has best Rhodes under a grand. Even if you like CP88 better, it's $, pricier than the SV1, and I think most would agree, not as good.


You can buy plenty of used boards for under a grand in £ e.g., the MP7, the SV1 etc.

Last edited by Doug M.; 06/06/ AM.


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Fender Rhodes sound in


Hello,

first of all, I absolutely love Fender Rhodes sounds. I use it in almost every production and its my go to keyboard sound.

But i have a few problems with it:

1. I've never been % happy with my sound quality. My chain is a Nord Electro into an Apollo. This sounds better than the software that I have used (Scarbee Vintage Keys/Arturia V). Very HiFi, but often not grabby enough and sometimes even indistinct.
Ive tried saturation and running it through my , but didn't get very good results with it. Subtle clipping, tremolo/panning and the blue stripe from Waves were a good step into the right direction. I know a real Rhodes would probably be the answer, but since i am a Student this is beyond my budget. Especially including spare parts, servicing etc.

Is there anything else i could try out?



2. In terms of production I feel like it is quite overused today, and laying down some chords with a Rhodes tends to make things sound a bit samey. I have experimented with similar sounding synth patches. Honne uses this technique very often and I love it, but often my mixes get very static when i use these kind of sounds.

Do you have any ideas for alternatives to a Rhodes?


Thanks a lot for your answers!

I too use a Fender Rhodes sound in nearly every track i write. For me the best non-original and the one i have used since is the Korg SV You can custom the factory patch to your taste, either via the keyboard it's self or via the Korg software for the SV-1 and save them in six custom preset slots. That gives you even greater control.

There are plenty of YouTube vids of the SV-1 to check out.

Good luck.

Quote:

Originally Posted by satissounds➡️

I too use a Fender Rhodes sound in nearly every track i write. For me the best non-original and the one i have used since is the Korg SV You can custom the factory patch to your taste, either via the keyboard it's self or via the Korg software for the SV-1 and save them in six custom preset slots. That gives you even greater control.

There are plenty of YouTube vids of the SV-1 to check out.

Good luck.


Thank you so much for your reply!

A new SV1 is not that much cheaper than a real Rhodes, and i would like to keep the Nord because I like its sound in general and its very small and handy. Would you say getting the SV1 mostly for the Rhodes sounds makes sense? Or is a real Rhodes really worth the extra $$ and servicing effort?

Try adding a touch of lofi effects to your Rhodes track. I don't know if you have Reaktor but I've been using this Reaktor VHS Degradation Suite effect on my Rhodes tracks and it makes them kind of smeary and warm and gives a slight bit of wobble and grit if you know what I mean. I also use RC 20 Retro Color from XLN Audio sometimes to give life some life and depth.

VHS Degradation Suite:
VHS Audio Degradation Suite | Entry | Reaktor User Library

RC
RC Retro Color - XLN Audio


Last edited by sean; 23rd October at PM.. Reason: Correction

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiedelfinn➡️

Thank you so much for your reply!

A new SV1 is not that much cheaper than a real Rhodes, and i would like to keep the Nord because I like its sound in general and its very small and handy. Would you say getting the SV1 mostly for the Rhodes sounds makes sense? Or is a real Rhodes really worth the extra $$ and servicing effort?

I brought the SV-1 as reviews at the time it received the best Rhodes sound available outside an original. I love it and will never part with it all the time i'm still able to make music. The Nord is very good I'm sure. It really depends what you're after in the end. If you can, try out the Korg to see if it's what you are looking for (it might not be).


Last edited by satissounds; 23rd October at PM..

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Keyscape is exceptional. Particularly for the Eddy Reynolds classic LA Rhodes sound. Pretty good on the Dyno-My and unmodded sounds, too (as well as the avalanche of other wonderful stuff included). Not terribly light on the CPU, so be using something reasonably robust as a computer.

Acousticsamples just released a VI called VTines. The audio examples are pretty spectacular and, based on the same style of modeling/samples combo as their B5 organ, I’d expect it to be a contender. Also touted as being light on CPU.

Last, for a KONTAKT library, consider the recent EP from Scarbee. Very nice.

As a point of reference, there’s a fully modded Dyno-My piano I’ve owned since new, dragged all over the country and had Chuck Monte modify in SF sitting in my room.

Add a tri stereo chorus to the Rhodes.

Gear Nut

I have a real rhodes mk II which is awesome, and I posted a video recently in the Soundtoys Facebook group where I'm putting it through some soundtoys effects.

It's a closed group but I uploaded the video to this wetransfer link where you can download it. Hope it gives you a nice perspective WeTransfer

edit: if the link expires and people still want to check it out shoot me a message and I'll send it

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiedelfinn➡️

Or is a real Rhodes really worth the extra $$ and servicing effort?

Absolutely % yes.

The Nord, Korg, or various VSTis (AK Mark I is my personal fave, ymmv) are good enough to sit in a mix and 99% of listeners won't know they aren't "real."

But if you are using the instrument as a source of inspiration, nothing beats the real thing. You can't sim the feeling of hammers hitting tines, and I haven't found a sim yet that drives like a Rhodes. And as far as service, I am an idiot and a klutz but even I can service 90% of a Rhodes. If you can read, handle a screwdriver, and order parts off the Internet if need be there isn't much too it.


Last edited by Greedy; 23rd October at PM.. Reason: Added a thought

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I used to have a real Rhodes. It was a great instrument and I lent it to a friend and never saw it again. However, they are pretty large and heavy. Nowadays I have been using the soniccouture broken wurli and canterbury suitcase for my EP sounds and I think they're really quite good. I would check those out and see if you like them.

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I have a real one. actually 2 ATM. a 73 and an they are beautiful. I would trade one for a Wurli these are even more vibey and tend to excel at dirty

Getting a real rhodes is worth it. They can certainly be had for less than a Nord. I love my Rhodes MKII suitcase.

That being said, I have gotten great sounds recording a Nord DI and also through a Vox AC15 amp and blending the two signals. WAY better than plugins.

Lives for gear

The Vtines demos are impressive.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean➡️

Try adding a touch of lofi effects to your Rhodes track. I don't know if you have Reaktor but I've been using this Reaktor VHS Degradation Suite effect on my Rhodes tracks and it makes them kind of smeary and warm and gives a slight bit of wobble and grit if you know what I mean. I also use RC 20 Retro Color from XLN Audio sometimes to give life some life and depth.

VHS Degradation Suite:
VHS Audio Degradation Suite | Entry | Reaktor User Library

RC
RC Retro Color - XLN Audio

I don't have Reaktor, but that gave me the Idea of sending the signal through an old cassette deck, and it actually sounds amazing when added to the unprocessed signal! It adds a nice warm drive and some chorus/flange modulation. Also very nice on Synths.
Recording it to the cassette and back into the DAW is pretty unpractical and requires warping/splicingd to compensate for the differences in playback speed.
But still worth doing in some situations.
I will definitely give the RC20 a try, it looks like a much easier and more flexible solution.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Khaleesi

I have a real rhodes mk II which is awesome, and I posted a video recently in the Soundtoys Facebook group where I'm putting it through some soundtoys effects.

Woow this sounds soo beautiful, that gave me some goosebumps! Also very nice playing! I'm going to study music in a few months and Soundtoys has a good educational program, so thats definitely on my List.



Quote:

Originally Posted by burp

Keyscape is exceptional. Particularly for the Eddy Reynolds classic LA Rhodes sound. Pretty good on the Dyno-My and unmodded sounds, too (as well as the avalanche of other wonderful stuff included). Not terribly light on the CPU, so be using something reasonably robust as a computer.

I've been thinking about Keyscape some time ago, but didn't buy it because i never felt very inspired by virtual instruments. Is it a big difference compared to Scarbee Mark 1?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Greedy

Absolutely % yes.

The Nord, Korg, or various VSTis (AK Mark I is my personal fave, ymmv) are good enough to sit in a mix and 99% of listeners won't know they aren't "real."

But if you are using the instrument as a source of inspiration, nothing beats the real thing. You can't sim the feeling of hammers hitting tines, and I haven't found a sim yet that drives like a Rhodes. And as far as service, I am an idiot and a klutz but even I can service 90% of a Rhodes. If you can read, handle a screwdriver, and order parts off the Internet if need be there isn't much too it.


That sounds very tempting, I restored an grand piano together with a friend, so servicing shouldn't be a problem then.
Inspirational quality of an instrument is the most important thing for me, and since i am moving into an apartment in a few weeks and wont be able to take the grand with me, a Rhodes might be a good way of still having a "real" instrument.
The Mark I or Mark V are probably too expensive for me, but Afroham's Video changed my mind a lot about the Mark II which is sometimes almost half the price of a Mark I here in Germany. I will check the classifieds in my region and try some of them out. Especially because I never played on a rhodes in a decent shape haha



Quote:

Originally Posted by thismercifulfate

I have gotten great sounds recording a Nord DI and also through a Vox AC15 amp and blending the two signals. WAY better than plugins.


This sounds like a really good Idea! I have an old Fender Amp with which will try this, did you use a reamping box, or did you go straight into the amp?



Thank you all for your replies!!

As far as sims go, I‘m pretty happy with the Neo Soul Keys app on iPad.
It‘s sample based and there‘s no parameter you can‘t tweak
Plus, it‘s massively more affordable than the desktop version.
I usually run it through pedals and an amp, which helps with the realism.

Gear Nut

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiedelfinn➡️




Woow this sounds soo beautiful, that gave me some goosebumps! Also very nice playing! I'm going to study music in a few months and Soundtoys has a good educational program, so thats definitely on my List.



Thanks!! The playing is a friend of mine (unfortunately, I wish I could play that well). But Soundtoys is awesome. you should definitely grab a deal when they have one, or the educational discount of course.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiedelfinn➡️


The Mark I or Mark V are probably too expensive for me, but Afroham's Video changed my mind a lot about the Mark II which is sometimes almost half the price of a Mark I here in Germany. I will check the classifieds in my region and try some of them out. Especially because I never played on a rhodes in a decent shape haha

A MK1 and and a MK2 sound more alike than a mk1 and a mk1. The sound of your Rhodes is determined for 90% on how it's serviced and 10% on its components. Find a great Rhodes servicer and you'll have a great rhodes.

I bought mine for euros and it looked like on the picture with the nord lead 2 stacked on top of it, the owner before the guy I bought it from had the amp/filter installed but it wasn't even working anymore. there was also a constant high-pitched tone. So I said I wanted to buy it, but for cheap because I had no idea how much it would cost to make it original again.


I ended up buying an entirely new front panel for 85 euros, the person I bought it from even bought the old one with the amp in it from me for 50 euros. The high pitched tone was because of a loose cable end which was gone with the old front panel as well. Then I took out all the keys and cleaned them, and in the end I had a Dutch reviser come to my house and he cleaned everything, aligned all the keys, tuned and voiced it perfectly and fixed all the problems, that cost me around euros as well.


Long story short: for euro I now have a beautifully restored Rhodes which sounds great, I could probably sell it now for or something if I wanted to (in the Netherlands).

As long as the Rhodes is complete (all legs, foot pedal, & case), it isn't eroded heavily and the tolex isn't completely ripped, your servicer will probably be able to repair all the other stuff easily (broken tines, broken pick-ups etc.)

This is a video of a refurbishment my guy did on Niels Broos's Rhodes MKII:


And you should check out this video where a guy goes over everything you should pay attention to when buying the rhodes:


Also, try to find a rhodes mark II with wooden keys instead of plastic ones (I think they changed that in 82 but I'm not sure)

Good luck


Last edited by Khaleesi; 24th October at PM.. Reason: embedding youtube videos

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiedelfinn➡️

This sounds like a really good Idea! I have an old Fender Amp with which will try this, did you use a reamping box, or did you go straight into the amp?

I plug the output of the Nord into the DI box and then the thru from the DI box into the amp. I usually put a 57 and a ribbon mic on the amp, so I’m recording 3 channels in total. Don’t be afraid to use some pedals in front of the amp as well!

Lives for gear

Fiedelfinn,
You asked if Keyscape was different than the original Scarbee Rhodes. The answer is “Yes, significantly “. The updated Scarbee EP88 and the VTines are also generations removed from the original series of libraries/VIs that you may have used. I love my Rhodes but there’s no way on earth I’d recommend one today. Heavy, finicky and an idiosyncratic keyboard. There is, however, a particular feeling I get playing it that I never got from a VI or library till now.
Do yourself a favor and check the new generation stuff before diving into the real Rhodes pool.

I'd echo a few posts above, trying the nord electro with a good guita/tube amp mic'd up would prob get you the results you'd dig. I've always liked the electro's, I have a NL2 MKi. Local band here rocks the electro for rhodes and organ and it's right on. I have a 73 and only the direct out currently works. I've experimented with running it into the DI on the Apollo but couldn't quite get enough good clean gain. My sebatron tube pre is my typical go to ( when not amping) but I just ran it through a Pacifica and BAC and damn, I was pretty happy. Either way, I don't think you need more software.

This is all very helpful!
I just tried to send the Nord into my guitar amp ( Fender Superchamp). Its a bit noisy and looses some low end (probably due to the 10" speaker), but it feels so much more alive! Very nice sound, especially when mixed with the DI. I have to try the Dimension D on the mics, that is a very interesting idea!



Quote:

Originally Posted by burp

Do yourself a favor and check the new generation stuff before diving into the real Rhodes pool.

I will definitely check the new software, but i think that feeling you are talking about is the deciding factor for me. Especially when I cant bring my piano into the new apartment, a Rhodes might be a good way to still have this kind of creative responsiveness that I can only seem to get from a "real" instrument.



The in depth review Afroham has posted was super helpful, and encouraged me a lot to get a real rhodes. But thats not necessarily a good thing since they are all well over 1K over here.
I'll try to find a cheaper one that needs some service and restore it myself. Seems like a very nice project!
I will move to the Netherlands next year, so if it needs some fine tuning I will probably get it done by your servicer!

Lives for gear

My point was that I got that feeling from the new software instruments. While I doubt I’ll ever sell my Rhodes, I don’t use it anymore. Best endorsement of the current generation of instruments I can give.
And, while mine was infinitely better after Dyno-My modded it, the keyboard action is the definition of an “acquired taste “. Be aware.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greedy➡️

Absolutely % yes.

Yes. Rhodes or Wurly. The real thing. Every time you hit a key, the tine or reed reacts differently, and it interacts with other sounding keys in the moment. This is not something that can be recreated in samples, IMO. It's very audible, and comparing a real board to a sample is pretty obvious depending on the board's prominence in the mix of course.

On the road or even at local gigs? Forgetaboutit. I'll always gig with a Nord.
But in the studio? So worth it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by satissounds➡️

I too use a Fender Rhodes sound in nearly every track i write. For me the best non-original and the one i have used since is the Korg SV You can custom the factory patch to your taste, either via the keyboard it's self or via the Korg software for the SV-1 and save them in six custom preset slots. That gives you even greater control.

There are plenty of YouTube vids of the SV-1 to check out.

Good luck.

The sv1 is amazing nord’s of all flavor have always sounded plastic to me

You can throw a brick and land on any one of a dozen Rhodes virtual instruments that will eat the nord’s lunch

The newest Scarbee (that he self-released), the acoustcsamples stuff is incredible (Rhodes and Wurlitzer) if you like your Rhodes with some character

Gosh, maybe even lounge lizard sounds better than the nord

There’s a free Rhodes mk 7 kontakt library that’s crazy good

Quote:

Originally Posted by kennybro➡️

Yes. Rhodes or Wurly. The real thing. Every time you hit a key, the tine or reed reacts differently, and it interacts with other sounding keys in the moment. This is not something that can be recreated in samples, IMO. It's very audible, and comparing a real board to a sample is pretty obvious depending on the board's prominence in the mix of course.

On the road or even at local gigs? Forgetaboutit. I'll always gig with a Nord.
But in the studio? So worth it.

I dunno, man I’ve never liked nord and it doesn’t seem like buying real Rhodes and Wurlitzer is anywhere close to what the OP is about

but as far as the real thing, I finally moved my Rhodes and Wurlitzer into long term storage when I got a whiff of some of the newer VIs. I have the korg sv1, too, and it’s amazing as well.. the korg is one of the few fakes that plays well with real pedals and amps, too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgood➡️

I dunno, man I’ve never liked nord and it doesn’t seem like buying real Rhodes and Wurlitzer is anywhere close to what the OP is about

but as far as the real thing, I finally moved my Rhodes and Wurlitzer into long term storage when I got a whiff of some of the newer VIs. I have the korg sv1, too, and it’s amazing as well.. the korg is one of the few fakes that plays well with real pedals and amps, too.

What VI's are you liking? I used to have a real 73 Rhodes and nothing I've played on the VI end has come close to what I like about the real deal. But I would prefer a good ITB solution since I stay in the box a lot.
Sours: https://gearspace.com/board/
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Approximate reading time: 6 Minutes

gearnews.com software rhose

Top 5 Software Rhodes Emulations  ·  Source: gearnews.com

With the arrival of yet another virtual electric piano with the Waves Electric 88 it got me wondering. What is it about the Rhodes that inspires software developers to pursue the perfect emulation? The history of the Rhodes piano is quite a story and you can read about the journey of Harold Rhodes and his development of the instrument here.

I have played one and as I recall the keyboard action was just horrible &#; really heavy to my soft synth hands &#; but the sound was sublime. Most of my experience of course comes through records it was used on. Riders on the Storm by The Doors, Get Back by the Beatles, I&#;m Not in Love by 10cc and then much of Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder&#;s music from the &#;s. The most iconic performance for me is Ray Charles playing Shake a Tail-feather in the The Blues Brothers movie.

There&#;s something in the way the sound is created. Hammers hitting strips of metal called &#;Tines&#; like a sideways vibraphone. But it&#;s not just the physical glockenspiel-like vibration it&#;s the tonebar that picks up the sound and the preamp and amplification that give it the grit and variation that we&#;ve come to love. And then there are the effects. The classic tremolo of course, the phaser, chorus, wah and a delay are always popular.

Pretty much every digital synth, keyboard workstation and sampler will have some kind of Rhodes electric piano going on. And this follows on into software versions &#; it&#;s a standard sound. But sometimes when a manufacturer focuses on recreating the feel, heart and soul of this classic electric piano &#; whether Mark I, Mark II, stage or suitcase &#; magic can happen.

Here&#;s my top 5 software recreations of the Rhodes electric piano, in no particular order.

1. Applied Acoustics Lounge Lizard

The oldest, the grand-daddy of all virtual Rhodes is the Lounge Lizard from Applied Acoustics. Originally released in Lounge Lizard is based on physical modelling rather than the more common sample based emulations. So instead of recording the sound of a piano they create a computer model of how sound is generated when a mallet hits a tine. They are now up to version 4 and I should point out that the instrument includes physical models of both the Rhodes and the Wurlitzer piano. As you&#;re not dealing with samples the sound can be more or less infinitely variable. The controls vary how the various elements of resonators and vibrations interact giving Lounge Lizard a unique feel when editing. It comes with a load of presets and lots of room for finding the perfect sound.

Applied Acoustics Lounge Lizard

Applied Acoustics Lounge Lizard

Lounge Lizard is standalone and in plug-in formats VST/RTAS/AAX and AU for $ There&#;s a free demo version available on the Applied Acoustics website.

2. Arturia Stage V

Arturia have also gone the modelling route with their Stage 73 V piano. It includes models of the Mark I, Mark II, Stage and Suitcase. All the controls of the original instruments are there including developments that came in over the years of production. So you can switch between the tone knob of the model and the bass knob of the version. Arturia have put a lot of focus into the amplification and effects loop, including a volume and sustain pedal. They&#;ve gone for the look of stomp effects rather than incorporating them into the body of the piano. Under the hood (as it were) are mechanical controls allowing you to govern things like tone bar resonance, pickup distance and hammer hardness. This again is the advantage of physical modelling over a sample based instrument.

Arturia Stage V

Arturia Stage V

Arturia Stage V is standalone and in plug-in formats VST, AAX and AU for € There&#;s a free demo version available on the Arturia website.

3. Native Instruments Scarbee Mark I

Moving into the realm of the sampled instrument with the Scarbee range of electric pianos hosted by Native Instruments. They have come in several forms over the years but the Scarbee Mark I is their definitive sampled Rhodes machine. This is where the &#;painstaking&#; approach of sample based developers comes into play. Everything is sampled umpteen times at umpteen levels of everything in order to capture the &#;soul&#; of the instrument. There has to be a point at which the detail starts getting lost under the weight of the samples and variations. Suffice to say they did a magnificent job and believe that a soul is captured in GB. It runs in Kontakt 5 or the Kontakt Player and benefits from it&#;s excellent effects engine.

Native Instrument Scarbee Mark I

Native Instrument Scarbee Mark I

Native Instruments Scarbee Mark 1 runs inside Kontakt 5 for £ There&#;s no demo version but more information can be found on the Native Instrument website.

4. Cinematique Instruments Electric Piano

Perhaps a lesser known purveyor of fine sampled instruments I really like the Electric Piano they produced for Kontakt. The samples are taken from a fairly beaten-up Mark I and as they point out it&#;s the flaws that make it irresistible. I&#;d agree. This instrument has a fabulous amount of dirt in it. It has a grit that I hadn&#;t found before. It&#;s not as exhaustive or comprehensive as some others coming in at just MB, but in my view they did a great job with what they had. Simpler, easier, less fussy and a great sounding instrument. It was updated last year to pull all the patches into one complex patch and they improved the GUI.

Cinematique Instruments Electric Piano v2

Cinematique Instruments Electric Piano v2

Cinematique Instruments Electric Piano v2 runs inside Kontakt 5 for $ There&#;s no demo version but more information can be found on the Cinematique Instruments website.

5. Waves Electric 88

And so we come back to the plug-in that sparked this little round up. I wrote about the release of this their first sampled instrument in an article here. For this baby you need 4GB of disk space so it must be nearly 4 times as detailed as the Scarbee. There&#;s a lot of talk of pains being taken and absolute attention to detail and actually, priced for a limited time at $39, it&#;s probably bloody good value.

Waves Electric 88

Waves Electric 88

Waves Electric 88 is a standalone and plug-in running in VST/AAX/AU/RTAS formats for OSX and Windows. There is a demo version to try which they say will move you to tears, from the Waves website.

Notable mentions

I really like the electric pianos that come with Kontakt 5&#;s band section &#; they&#;ve always done me all right. Although I do find myself trying out the vibraphone&#;s and Celeste as well when looking for that tinkly sound. I&#;ve also used pianos from SampleTank and Halion to great effect &#; but the five I&#;ve listed here are something a bit special.

I&#;m lucky enough to own the Arturia V Collection which includes the Stage V that otherwise, when compared to the similar quality of the alternative offerings, seems really overpriced. It has to be down to the sound at the end of the day. I don&#;t want a real one because as keyboards they are hard work to play, so instead I guess I&#;m looking for that allusive feel and authenticity. Should you go for sample based or physically modelled? You&#;ll just have to try them and see. By the looks of things the Waves Electric 88 is a steal and we all deserve to have a great Rhodes piano at our fingertips.

by Robin Vincent

Tags from this post

News SYNTH amp delay effects loop Fender hammer Phaser Piano rhodes Stage suitcase tines tremolo wah
Sours: https://www.gearnews.com/topvirtual-electric-pianos/
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