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Still searching for the Rhodes?

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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby R_A » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:11 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’m not a competent sound recordist, and I don’t work with a great sound engineer, apart from myself, and I’m still looking for the "real deal"

In that case, consider getting a few private lessons with a great engineer - in your space, once you have the instrument. There will be a cool, generous pro somewhere who will be happy to spend time teaching at a fair rate - this will ensure that you get the best out of your Rhodes!

Good luck with the search and whatever you record with it!
:)
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby chanceoperation » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:00 am

Two ideas:

Before anything, grab a copy of AAS Lounge Lizard EP-4. It's on holiday sale still. I wouldn't wait. Even if you don't end up living with it, use it for research. I'll bet your chances of finding the sound you are after are 90%+. At least then you'll be very familiar with what you want and how to get it.

Fact is, your description of multiple quick repeats with a feel that you are working real tines and hammers and pickups is just a natural for physical modelling, and AAS do electro-mechanical pm better than anyone. Samples just cannot do what you ask. You've got to be inside the means of sound production.

Idea two is: Your key-bed is going to be really important. Any lack of fidelity of weight, response, return, and sensor response is going to be critical. Of course, all MIDI key-beds are a compromise, but given your style, I suspect there will be only a few available that meet your needs.

I bought a Rhodes Mark I 73 key suitcase new, a long long time ago, and played it for years. I completely (I think) understand what you are imagining. But it is fair to say that the keyboard was not the greatest. It did the repeat-bounce-bell-gong as you describe, but not at any tempo or volume, and not on any key (as I recall, range mattered, but I can't recall which range was more amenable).

I bet you can do very well with a modern quality key-bed and a good modelled VI. If you do get a Rhodes, make sure the action is in great condition and it's properly setup.

Of course, nothing matches the presence and vibe of sitting down at a real Rhodes.

Good luck.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Dave B » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:42 am

I do wonder if a certain amount of the sound that you are after comes from the amp and mic combination as well as the basic Rhodes sound. There are a variety of different ways of doing this and a load of amps and mics that could be used.

So I wonder if trying to find a perfect sound off the bat from a demo of a keyboard will give you what you want? Would it not make sense to try a few units out and see if you can build the sound you like?

(I appreciate that that means going into a store, so that's not an option right now, but will be in due course)
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby The Elf » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:49 am

Dave B wrote:I do wonder if a certain amount of the sound that you are after comes from the amp and mic combination as well as the basic Rhodes sound. There are a variety of different ways of doing this and a load of amps and mics that could be used.
That's certainly what I do with my reface CP - without an amp simulator it's not really the sound I'm after.

The worst Rhodes, for me, are the ones that velocity-switch between soft and hard samples. Unfortunately, in my experience, that tends to be most of them.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Animalbeats » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:23 am

"Fender Rhodes restoration group” on Facebook is a good community for learning.

Miracle mod, parts and tuning.

They were designed to be user serviced
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:49 am

N i g e l wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
Like a lot of us Hugh, I just make my own music.

:)

there can be only 1 Arpangel [as heard on national radio ] !

Dont be stuck in a 60's paradigm, its been done, get somthing with room for expansion, that does what you want but has room for you to stamp your identity & experience on to.

:thumbup:

Thanks everyone, for all your input, I think there’s a lot of important things mentioned here, like, there are so many variables, mic's, amps, pedals, etc, in the sounds that are on some of my favourite records.
Nigel, it’s not a 60’s thing, I love playing acoustic piano, it's one sound, and millions of people have stamped their identity on it, just like a Rhodes piano, I’m happy with it as an instrument, it’s a done deal I think, I won’t be happy until I’ve got one.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby SecretSam » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:38 am

I am not a keys player of any ability, but to these untutored fingers, part of the Rhodes is the distinctive, bouncy feel of the keyboard.

I tried an Akai mpk about ten years ago that felt similar. Dunno whether the new ones feel the same.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:06 am

SecretSam wrote:I am not a keys player of any ability, but to these untutored fingers, part of the Rhodes is the distinctive, bouncy feel of the keyboard.

I tried an Akai mpk about ten years ago that felt similar. Dunno whether the new ones feel the same.

Thanks, I think Akai have stopped making the larger keyboards, but I guess that’s why some folks buy things like the Zarenbourg, or a Viscount, because they have the form factor, and keyboard feel similar to an original.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:13 am

Arpangel wrote:....I won’t be happy until I’ve got one.

If you'd promise to be happy afterwards I think I could persuade the whole forum to chip in! :lol: :lol: :lol: :bouncy:
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:57 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:....I won’t be happy until I’ve got one.

If you'd promise to be happy afterwards I think I could persuade the whole forum to chip in! :lol: :lol: :lol: :bouncy:

That’s very thoughtful of you Hugh, in fact, I’m feeling so bad now, I’m not sure I can record anything until I’ve got a Rhodes, it’s really depressing ( as Arpangel reaches for the anti-depressants)

:D
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Animalbeats » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:04 pm

Have you read the history of the Rhodes?

Original developed by the man when he was helping war casualties recover in bed with a glockenspiel and then made his own instrument based on that, which developed into the Rhodes, then he met Fender man.

It’s also been designed to be user serviceable and changeable to the desired taste for “bark etc. so it’s really something you can play with to make unique to the user.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:58 pm

Animalbeats wrote:Have you read the history of the Rhodes?

Original developed by the man when he was helping war casualties recover in bed with a glockenspiel and then made his own instrument based on that, which developed into the Rhodes, then he met Fender man.

It’s also been designed to be user serviceable and changeable to the desired taste for “bark etc. so it’s really something you can play with to make unique to the user.

Yes, I’ll probably end up getting a Rhodes Suitcase 88, if I can find one.
But.....I’ve been listening to that Kurzweil Forte, not baaaad 8-) for what it is.
The Korg SV2 sounds very lightweight, and synthetic, as for the Nord's, well, there’s just something in me that says buying a Nord is really un-cool, don’t ask me why, they sound good (not as good as the Kurzweil) plus, I’ve met quite a few people who have bought Nord's, and have ended up selling them, for various reasons, but, if it’s good enough for Harold Budd, it’s good enough for me I suppose.
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:30 pm

The Elf wrote:Might help:
https://youtu.be/FSamnzXl5J8

Love those comparisons, and it just goes to show that it's not necessarily the keybed that makes a difference performance-wise.

Me? I'm still quite happy playing the AAS Lounge Lizard EP-4 softsynth - physical modeling works for me with electric piano sounds ;)


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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby ajay_m » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:19 pm

I have the neosoul library which was a deal on vstbuzz ages ago. I really like it. The sounds are warm and mellow but you can also dig in and get that characteristic bark. Theres a wide range of models sampled and they've nailed my favourite Rhodes sound which Al Jarreau's keyboard player coaxed from a legendary "model e". Though they didn't sample that exact model but orange tree now have I believe
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Re: Still searching for the Rhodes?

Postby Dave B » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:17 pm

Thing to remember about the Kurzweil Forte (or PC4) is that, while the factory programs are very good, if you ask him very nicely, Dave Weiser will give you his versions of the pianos/electric pianos which are supposed to be just that bit better. Might be worth checking it out if you are seriously considering one ..

https://www.weisersound.com/
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