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Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby AndyN » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:18 pm

You may find that you want a keyboard with speakers. Just the vibration going through the instrument may add what you feel is missing.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby innerchord » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:09 pm

Arpangel wrote:I don’t want to use software, I want a good keyboard for gigging.

I suspected that, which is why I suggested the stage keyboards. You'll just have to play them in person of course; there is no shortcut. Try the Roland RD range, too. I'm sure there are others that I've not been able to play.

I'll also say that it sounds like you're after the feel of a Rhodes with an amp, so you must try that combination. Add a couple of guitar pedals or multiFX unit and you should be close to EP heaven!

I do think I understand. It's similar to playing a real Hammond with Leslie(s). It's an experience that is almost impossible to achieve using other gear.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:53 am

innerchord wrote:I'm of the opinion that there are many great Rhodes sounds available. I've been able to get excellent results ever since discovering AAS Lounge Lizard over a decade ago (I think?). I use a handful more. I love the range of tones I can get.

The Rhodes was one of the most variable instruments I've ever dealt with. Some were unplayable but sounded good, and some played wonderfully and sounded like... :shh:
I've booked studios for sessions simply because they had a good Rhodes. Corea's pianos were always well-serviced and quite modified, I believe. The one I played was very nice indeed!! ;)

I'm still a great fan of AAS' Lounge Lizard for its versatility.

I did own a Fender Rhodes Stage 73 for several years (and my arm muscles can still remember the weight when lugging it down flights of stairs for pub gigs!), but ultimately found it frustrating in that it seemed to need servicing every year or so, as a few notes ended up occasionally going 'dunk' instead of 'bong', which made it a more expensive long-term investment than an acoustic piano!


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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Humble Bee » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:13 am

Arpangel wrote:I had Mr Ray, fantastic, didn’t matter what keyboard I used for that it always hit the spot, but it’s for PC and I’m on Mac, plus, more importantly, I don’t want to use software, I want a good keyboard for gigging.

Sounds like you need a Crumar Seven.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:49 am

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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:11 am


Hmm? Sounds a bit processed to me, and that distortion was coming in way too early, maybe too much velocity sensitivity.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Chump » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:23 am

I reckon the Rhodes variations in Spectrasonics Keyscape are head and shoulders above the competition. Not a particularly cost effective solution if you're only after the Rhodes, but it does also include a fantastic EP200.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby baward » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:17 pm

Arpangel wrote:So many options it’s bewildering.
I watched a video of the Nord, a note for note comparison with an original. It sounded identical to me, but when I tried it in the shop it didn’t inspire me at all.

I wonder if knowing and seeing it's not actually a Rhodes, makes a difference to how one perceives the authenticity of an emulation/model? Hmm, I'm sure Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles would have smelled a 'fake' a mile off!
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Humble Bee » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:17 pm

Just thought that if you liked Mr Ray you would like the seven. Since it’s Mr Ray in a box... :idea:
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Wurlitzer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:35 pm

Arpangel wrote:I watched a video of the Nord, a note for note comparison with an original. It sounded identical to me, but when I tried it in the shop it didn’t inspire me at all.
OK, I’ll try and be as brief as possible, it’s like, the whole package has to work, the feel, the piano sound, the amp, and maybe vibrato/phaser, it all has to work together, if it doesn’t, the result to me is primarily flat, lifeless, and uninspiring.

So what makes you think that a real Rhodes is going to supply that gestalt magic where other options fail? It's just an instrument at the end of the day, like anything else. I think your first intuition was probably correct, that the effect you fall in love with from the recordings is due to the synergy of many different factors (although I think you rather skirted over the most important one: the skill of the player :) ).

Having used a lot of emulations of various acoustic instruments in both hardware and software form, I've of the opinion that electro-mechanical keyboards are one of the things that have been gotten most right. They really suit the sampling process perfectly because they have the percussive envelope to the sound that suits playing from a keyboard (so you're not dealing with trying to emulate woodwind or string legato via a totally unsuitable playing mechanism), but on the other hand the original sound they produced was already partly electronic and amplified, so they're not having to cope with all the pure acoustic complexity of an acoustic piano. When I first got the Scarbee Rhodes I just sat and played it for hours, all night. Absolutely drew me in, something like you describe seeking in your OP.

I don’t want to use software, I want a good keyboard for gigging.

Then I'm sorry you're insane thinking about a real Rhodes (unless you're playing stadiums and have a team of roadies to lug it around for you). Like others upthread, I gigged with one of these as a young'un and have the hernias to prove it. Never again. I also echo the comments about difficulties of voicing and maintenance. I remember my Rhodes had one note - I think it was B above middle C - that sounded massively brighter than the tone of the rest of the instrument. Nothing I could do with adjusting the tine or anything seemed to fix it. You end up unable to concentrate properly on soloing because you're worried about working around things like that.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby LonzoB » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:33 am

Arpangel wrote:

Hmm? Sounds a bit processed to me, and that distortion was coming in way too early, maybe too much velocity sensitivity.

Has an editor that let's you tweak quite a lot of parameters. I have the Mojo 61 which sounds great. I want the Seven now for the weighted keys.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:45 am

It’s weird, when I play my Reface CP from its very inadequate little keyboard, it sounds, and feels, so much more of a complete playing experience, it feels direct, and responds very well, so much so I’m forgetting the small keyboard.
When I play it from my full size my master keyboard it just looses it completely, it feels disconnected, not quite there, it’s disconcerting.
I really don’t like that "Seven" I’ve listened to it a few times now and it really does sound synthetic and overblown to me.
I’m on the edge of ordering a Yamaha Montage, the sounds Matt Johnson gets on his demo's are excellent, some are not purist Rhodes, but they have all the ingredients and sound very expressive.
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:55 am

Arpangel wrote:When I play it from my full size my master keyboard it just looses it completely, it feels disconnected, not quite there, it’s disconcerting.

No, it's latency...

I really don’t like that "Seven" I’ve listened to it a few times now and it really does sound synthetic and overblown to me.

If you haven't heard it in the flesh, with your hands on the keyboard, you really haven't heard it. There's no telling what the effects of player's tweakery, indifferent video production and YouTube mangling have done to the sound...

I’m on the edge of ordering a Yamaha Montage...

Excellent. Get on and do it so we can put this subject to bed -- although I know full well that you'll want to sell it within three months because it's still not enough like the 'real thing' and you can't love it... :lol:
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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby AndyN » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:16 pm

Hugh is absolutely right. You have to play these things. Slightly different situation but I once had a Roland jp8000 and loved playing it. We moved house and I had to sell it because my new room didn't have the space. I bought the module version but got rid of it because it didn't sound the same - only it did. It was the fact I was playing it from a weighted keyboard that didn't suit it! The way the keys connect with the sound is all important. There are plenty of real rhodes out there that feel awful because the action is shot. Normally I would say go and try loads - but we can't. Doh!

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Re: Rhodes sound, it’s all in the production.

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:05 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:When I play it from my full size my master keyboard it just looses it completely, it feels disconnected, not quite there, it’s disconcerting.

No, it's latency...

I really don’t like that "Seven" I’ve listened to it a few times now and it really does sound synthetic and overblown to me.

If you haven't heard it in the flesh, with your hands on the keyboard, you really haven't heard it. There's no telling what the effects of player's tweakery, indifferent video production and YouTube mangling have done to the sound...

I’m on the edge of ordering a Yamaha Montage...

Excellent. Get on and do it so we can put this subject to bed -- although I know full well that you'll want to sell it within three months because it's still not enough like the 'real thing' and you can't love it... :lol:

If it’s latency it must be incredibly small, I’m going straight out of the hardware Midi out on the keyboard, into the Reface.
I did mention in another thread that I was concerned about this, but people kept saying to ignore it because it’s so low it doesn’t matter, but it does!
As for buying a Montage, what puts me off buying vintage gear now is the reliability, as I’m out in the sticks, when I lived in London this didn’t bother me, I could always get anything repaired locally, not so now. And I’m not up to shlepping around taking stuff all over the country to be repaired, hence more up to date solutions, I know it’s not going to be anything like the real thing, but it’s a compromise, unfortunately.

:(
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