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Best keyboard for Rhodes piano simulation ?
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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 140
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject: Best keyboard for Rhodes piano simulation ? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi all, I am looking for the best possible keyboard for simulating a Fender Rhodes, I have short-listed two so far, the Korg SV1, and the Nord Elektro 3, has anyone any experience of these ? I haven't had the chance or found anywhere here in the UK where I can actually try them side by side, which is essential. I thought about a Rhodes reissue, but I have heard of horror stories regarding delivery etc, as there is no UK or European distributor for Rhodes. I don't want a secondhand original, as reliability and maintenance can be an issue. I have a substantial budget, that's not an issue, so, has anyone any alternatives to the Korg/Nord ?

Thanks....

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Posts: 265
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You need to decide which Rhodes sound you would like to have available because there are quite a few different Rhodes models. Generally, the sound of a Rhodes tends to be classified by years, and partially by models. I have a 1974 Stage 88, and found the '74 Rhodes patch on the Yamaha S90 was pretty close to an exact emulation.

The '74 does not have as much of the bell-like sound of earlier Rhodes pianos, but I find it to be a bit more versatile. Run the '74 through a good phase shifter (Mu-tron, or the Maxon that I use) and you're playing "Minute by Minute" or "Just the Way You Are" in lounges all over the world in no time!

Joe Sample, from The Crusaders, also has a signature Rhodes sound. Listen to the live version of "Scratch" or "So Far Away", amazing!

Don't worry too much about side by side comparisons, because as I mentioned, even two Rhodes pianos do not sound alike. Just find something you like. Make sure you check the velocity response, it should be mellow when hit softly but have some bite or even slight distortion when hit hard.

You could also get a good controller keyboard and one of the computer-based emulations, or even an iPad-based app. I'm looking forward to trying the iPad-based versions.

Getting a second-hand original might not be too bad, they are really not that difficult to work on. Parts are still available, although grossly over-priced. Getting the action right can be a challenge 'though. Watch out for the boutique preamp syndrome if you get a stage model, there's a huge marketing push out there to sell Rhodes preamps that cost more than a new Rhodes does. The big disadvantage of the original is the weight. Mine is 200 lbs fully packed.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, thank's for your help, the type of Rhodes sound I'm after is a sort of "mid boost" slightly distorted, but soft and round when played quietly, I like a lot of Chick Corea stuff, especially the sound on Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy, and Steely Dan have great EP sounds, but I also like a lot of Harold Budd's music, and his Rhodes sounds are very good. But the music I make is a combination of all these styles and sounds. Most of all, I want a keyboard that "feels" right, and is nice to play, as well as having a versatile sound. Plus, it would be nice to carry it around easily, the Nord scores in that department. Whatever I get, I'll also use some effects pedals. I used to play a DX7 MK1, and I have a great Rhodes sound for that, it used to do a really good job, but with a twist. But I've done so much music with that sound, and the time has come for a change basically.

Thanks....

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



Joined: Aug 18, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you're ever in the Toronto area, make sure you stop by and play mine for awhile. A friend dropped by a little while ago, a really good jazz player, and when he saw my Rhodes, said, "I just use the virtual and sampled stuff now, don't really need a real Rhodes anymore." Then, he sat down to play it, and didn't get up for some time.

He still has a Minimoog and a Clavinet D6, right after I win the lottery I'm going to make him an offer on both!

Don't discount an older Yamaha S90. It's a lousy synth, and some of the sounds are not very well-sampled, but the Rhodes, organs and pianos are nice and the keyboard feel is great.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keysandslots wrote:
If you're ever in the Toronto area, make sure you stop by and play mine for awhile. A friend dropped by a little while ago, a really good jazz player, and when he saw my Rhodes, said, "I just use the virtual and sampled stuff now, don't really need a real Rhodes anymore." Then, he sat down to play it, and didn't get up for some time.

He still has a Minimoog and a Clavinet D6, right after I win the lottery I'm going to make him an offer on both!

Don't discount an older Yamaha S90. It's a lousy synth, and some of the sounds are not very well-sampled, but the Rhodes, organs and pianos are nice and the keyboard feel is great.

Randy



Hi Randy, thanks for the offer, but I live in London UK ! But I might take-up your offer if I'm ever in the area !

Thank's for pointing out the S90, that one slipped by me. I've been using the computer for some time now, and I'm out of touch with the hardware scene. I'm going to make a concerted effort to check out the Nord, and for all I know, there are things out there that I simply don't know about, I must admit, I'm using the Mr Ray VSTi at the moment, and it's actually quite good ! But I want to start playing live again, and going to friends for recording sessions, and I just don't want to take a computer with me, hence this search for a keyboard, I'll keep you posted as to what I get, in the meantime, have a good time !

Patchmouse.
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Cynosure
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you like Chick Corea's sound, then you might want to watch this video. They sampled his rhodes for a Motif sound pack.



Keysandslots - I'm in Thornhill. Maybe I could take you up on the offer instead? Very Happy
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Keysandslots - I'm in Thornhill. Maybe I could take you up on the offer instead?"

Of course, just email me.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Yamaha Motif XF is very good, the Chick Corea MKV Rhodes samples are excellent, this is a serious contender, and the keybaords come in various sizes, so this could be a solution, I prefer the sound to the Nord, and the Korg, the Motif just sounds right to my ears. £2,750 for one sound is a lot of money, but then again, when it comes to electronics in music people seem to have rather peculiar ideas about what is "good value" A Steinway piano only makes one sound, a violin only makes "one sound" but that doesn't stop those people paying upwards of £100,00 for the right instrument, which makes £2,750 pale into insignificance.

Patchmouse.
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

HA HA ! yet more confusion !

Waldorf Zarenbourg

I went to Chappells yesterday to check-out the Yamaha CP1 and Motif XF, what is it with people in music shops ? they rarely seem to listen to what you want ! Still this guy was actually quite nice, and gave me a run down on the XF, almost too much information, but I think it's going to be wasted on me, I don't want all those synth and workstation functions, it's just not worth it. Enter the Waldorf Zarenbourg, which I have yet to try, although it does sound good on Youtube, very expressive, and rich sounding, but I'm not sure about Waldorf's reliability reputation ? The CP1 wasn't bad, but I got the feeling that it just didn't sound like £4,000 worth of instrument !
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi all, the saga continues ! I had a good long play of the Motif XF yesterday, I didn't like the feel of the keyboard at all, even though it was weighted it still felt "plasticky" and slightly stodgy. This model also had the Chick Corea samples in it, which I was very underwhelmed by, they just sounded very thin to my ears. I didn't connect with this instrument at all. I'm not having a go at Yamaha, I think the Motif has potential as a workstation, but it's not for me. The surprise came when I tried out the Korg Kronos, it had a really nice weighted keyboard, which felt very "friendly" and responsive, it also had some great Rhodes and Wurlitzer sounds, so this is on my short-list. I'm going to try out the Waldorf Zarenbourg soon, but there is only one shop in the UK that has one, and it's some distance away.

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Waldorf does not have a very good reputation lately. I came fairly close to buying a Blofeld but there are alot of reports of bugs so I'm glad I didn't.

I'm in the process of sampling my own Rhodes into my Kurzweil K2600XS. It's more difficult than I thought it would be, the Rhodes is a bit inconsistent (it's nearly 40 years old) and the sampled sound doesn't have the same, uh, balls, but I'm going to keep at it.

As I mentioned 'though, the S90 has the closest sound I've heard to my '74 so far and the keyboard feel is great. I'm not a fan of Yamaha anymore, the S90 should have been fixed a bit before releasing an S90 ES, but there are some advantages to that particular keyboard. And it's inexpensive enough now that if you don't like it, you could still use it as a controlller for something else. The mods that you want to make, such as the distortion, should be easy enough on the S90 too.

If I pull off the sampling, you could always buy an old K2600 and you're welcome to the samples.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keysandslots wrote:


If I pull off the sampling, you could always buy an old K2600 and you're welcome to the samples.

Randy


Thank's for the offer, who knows ? I may take you up on that ! My search isn't looking too promising right now, although I am going to keep looking, but I did find this....

http://www.dv247.com/clearance/yamaha-s90xs-professional-performance-keyboard-synthesizer-as-new--97017

Also, I found a Zarebourg in a shop about 30 miles away, so I'm going to try and play that next week if I can. But you are right, Waldorf haven't been I success with me either, I had a Waldorf XT when they first came out, and I ended up taking two of them back they had so many bugs, so the thought of spending a few thousand on that piano isn't going to be easy !
I know I will get something though, and look forward to posting the good news, whenever that will be !! ???

Patchmouse.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Korg just announced the KronosX, so if you wait a bit, you may be able to buy one of the now-older Kronos models at a discount, once the KronosX actually hits the market.

From what I understand, the KronosX is only worth the money over the present Kronos if you really need big sample libraries in your keyboar

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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I spoke to a salesman here in London about the Zarenbourg, he couldn't have put me off more if he had tried, I mentioned the potential unreliability, which he replied with, "well, they've already updated the software, to give it a "better" sound" ......what ! I thought, it's only just come out ! hopefully they would have got it right in the first place ! I don't want to keep having to download updates, that's the whole point of buying an instrument like this so that you leave all that computer/hi-tech stuff behind. I'm still going to try it, but if I do buy one it's only on the strict agreement that is is "replaced" pronto if anything goes wrong, with no excuses. I'm still tempted by the Kronos though, I like the sound engine concept, it may be a gimmick, but I like it, could be fun.

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

No matter what you end up with, you might want to keep searching for a beat-up original. Just think of the fun you could have playing an actual Rhodes. They are mostly mechanical, so there is very little that can be wrong that cannot be fixed.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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The Real MC



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I sold my Rhodes almost thirty years ago. Since then I have tried many a Rhodes emulator. None of them measured up to the real thing and I went looking for the another one - landed a great one last year.

But if you really want a DP, the Korg SV-1 is the best Rhodes emulator out there.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If Korg really wanted to, they could release an Electro-killer - something like an SV-2 with:

- EP-1 engine from Kronos, which is hybrid sample-playback/physical modelling unlike the SV-1's sample-playback-only electric pianos

- CX3 engine from Kronos - opinions vary on which clonewheel is "best" but I've always liked the CX3 organ sounds

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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know why there aren't people making real electric piano's these days ? it can't be as difficult as making an acoustic piano ? plus, as we know, there "is" a demand. Also, this is a very personal thing, I know someone who's tried the SV1 and he hated it, I haven't tried it, so I can't comment. Yes, a real Rhodes is an option, and I might just go down that road, the way things are going. Sad

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Someone did try a Rhodes comeback but I haven't heard anything about it for quite some time. The problem is cost, they are electro-mechanical, so there are lots of little parts, instead of lots of little ICs. Mine with an amp in 1974 was $1500.00, quite alot of money back then.

Get one and restore it, you'll have fun and end up with something unique.

Randy

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1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keysandslots wrote:


Get one and restore it, you'll have fun and end up with something unique.

Randy



Absolutely, but "back then" when we didn't mind going to the trouble of actually "making things" we didn't have a choice , there weren't any samples, or "modelling" technology, have we progressed, or regressed ???

Patchmouse.
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Have we progressed? That's a good question and depends on getting a good idea of what it is you really enjoy about the Rhodes. For the sound, that's probably not so hard, the Rhodes has been modeled in so many different ways at least one of those models will get close to what you are after. But there is more to a Rhodes than just the sound, which is the same for an acoustic piano or organ or anything else.

There is the feel, the hammers actually moving and strking the tines. Does that add to the playing experience or is the sound enough? Only you can answer that.



Randy

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1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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The Real MC



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you want a new tine piano then Vintage Vibe is making good ones.

There is also the Rhodes corporation but they threatened the wrong website over trademark infringement - fenderrhodes.com, the largest group of rhodes enthusiasts which p#ssed off a lot of potential owners. Since that debacle the website has banned any discussion on the new Mark VII piano. CEO Joe Brandstetter is a lawyer and has been too aggressive defending the trademark (think monster cable), and sales have suffered as word got around.

The corporation is currently seeking a buyer for the company.
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Keysandslots



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's kinda funny actually, what an idiot. It's interesting how education seems to have very little relationship to intelligence.

The entire idea of a new Rhodes must be dying, I've heard nothing about it for the past couple of years.

Randy

_________________
1974 (maybe 1975) Rhodes Stage 88, Kurzweil K2600XS, Kurzweil K2500R, Roland A35, Roland A90EX, Korg Microstation, Korg MicroKorg, Alesis SR-16, Shruthi SMR4 mk1, Shruthi 4PM, PreenFM, MIDIPal, iPad 2 + Alesis IO Dock, Maxon Phaser, Maxon Chorus
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Patchmouse



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keysandslots wrote:


There is the feel, the hammers actually moving and strking the tines. Does that add to the playing experience or is the sound enough? Only you can answer that.



Randy



Yes, it does, enormously for me, no matter how velocity sensitive a sampled instrument is, it can never replace the control you have over real hammers. I think it's also down to the type of music you play, my music is quite dynamic, with lots of low quiet sensitive passages, I bit like Harold Budd I suppose, but with loud hectic slightly Chick Corea-esque type sections. I'm still waiting for a call from the shop with the Zarenbourg, I'll let you know what I think of that !

Patchmouse.
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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: PSO2 RMT
Subject description: PSO2 RMT
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PSO2RMT wrote:
I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I absolutely liked reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!


???

I don't have a blog, anywhere, and what tips ! ?? Question

Patchmouse.

[Blue Hell : edited the links out]
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