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Topic: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

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  1. #1

    How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Sampled electric pianos can sound great but usually they are sampled directly from the source, which leads to clean but lifeless and rather unsexy sounding instruments. When listening to the Fender Rhodes and how they have been recorded throughout history, it seems that engineers had some standard trick to give it that juicy, electrostatic, transparent Rhodes-like sound. I'm quite sure no one putted the output(s) straight into the input of the mixing desk. Adding effects like chorus, reverb, delay don't get you all way home either.
    I believe that the "secret" of the true Rhodes sound lies in the use of speakers and mics, very much in the way electric guitars are being recorded (in fact, synths were also recorded using monitors). So, I believe "ambience", the distance between sound and source, is a genuine important factor. Wouldn't it be nice to have convolution impulses (most preferably for GigaPulse), consisting of classic recording setups, that would take care of the Fender Rhodes? The great thing is that this "setup" would be very handy for synths also.
    Is there already such a device in virtual existence? Is Vintage Keyboard FX (Scarbee's plugin) the answer? Does 'Vintage Keyboard FX' do everything it should do, or is it just chain of basic effects? Is there anyone here who knows the secrets of the old chefs? How to spice up that Rhodes in an easy and fast manner?

    Thanks.

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  2. #2

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    You might have some luck with using a speaker or cabinet impulse response in a convolution reverb engine. There are some free ones on noisevault.com, and the Kontakt2 impulse library contains some aswell. Most of these are guitar cabinet recordings, but hey, you never know what works... I haven't come across an impulse response of a real Rhodes speaker yet, I assume this would require some hardware tinkering.

    Cheers,
    jan

  3. #3

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    "Does 'Vintage Keyboard FX' do everything it should do, or is it just chain of basic effects?"

    VKFX is way more than just a chain of effects. It's the 'other half' of Scarbee's Vintage Keyboard sounds.

    Thomas Skarbye has always been rightly proud of how good a job he does at sampling vintage keyboards like the Rhodes - but there's always been a 'missing link' - the processing.

    It's not really practical to sample a Rhodes WITH processing because you'd need to do a set of samples for every little variation to keep everyone happy.

    So how do you get that vintage processing sound?

    How do you get the original Rhodes preamp tone?
    The Suitcase tremolo?
    The Dyno'd piano sound?
    That cool old school chorus?
    The funky envelope filter wah?
    The clean yet gritty bark of the tubes in a twin reverb?

    There are plenty of eqs, compressors, choruses, filters, amp emulators etc.,out there in VST format - heaps - and many of them can be had for free, or next to free - but they just don't sound like the processors that Scarbye needs to achieve the classic sounds of the originals. That's not to say that the free processors aren't very good - just that they aren't designed with certain specific vintage processors in mind.

    Thomas Serafini and Alfonso De Prisco were set a pretty tough task when Scarbye asked them to capture the 'missing link' in the vintage keyboard sound path, but they've done a great job.

    But don't take my word for it. Go to the website and download the demo of VKFX. Forget all the clever stuff like being able to drag the modules around and morphing from one preset to another - just pull up the preamp module and see what a difference it can make to your sound.

    http://www.scarbee.com/products/vkfx/index.php

  4. #4

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Demo is currently unavailable.

    I'm going to check it out but I'm not sure how this plugin, other then being greatly vintage sounding, "disconnects" the cable that's going straight from the Rhodes' outs to the input of the mixing desk. It's sounds like a cable with effects pedals.


    Thanks for your input, guys.


    GigaPulse only has a guitar amp and no keyboard speakers of any kind

  5. #5

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Thomas Hansen Skarbye
    Singer, Bass Player, Composer
    & Creative Director, SCARBEE

    www.scarbee.com & www.myspace.com/scarbee

  6. #6

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Hi Alex,

    RSP73 is recorded direct from harp bypassing the tonecontrol.
    This gic´ves you the full sound. Then We have modelled the Rhodes preamp in VKFX.
    Thomas Hansen Skarbye
    Singer, Bass Player, Composer
    & Creative Director, SCARBEE

    www.scarbee.com & www.myspace.com/scarbee

  7. #7

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Amazing! Is this compatible with GigaStudio 3.0? I mean really compatible, without hassles?

  8. #8

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexcremers
    Amazing! Is this compatible with GigaStudio 3.0? I mean really compatible, without hassles?
    VKFX? Yes it works in GS3 and it's on sale at the moment..
    Thomas Hansen Skarbye
    Singer, Bass Player, Composer
    & Creative Director, SCARBEE

    www.scarbee.com & www.myspace.com/scarbee

  9. #9

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    When a mac demo is available I will be quite curious to see how these work with my EVP88 in Logic.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  10. #10

    Re: How did they use to record a Rhodes ... and how to emulate it today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashermusic
    When a mac demo is available I will be quite curious to see how these work with my EVP88 in Logic.
    demos should be ready very soon.
    Thomas Hansen Skarbye
    Singer, Bass Player, Composer
    & Creative Director, SCARBEE

    www.scarbee.com & www.myspace.com/scarbee

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