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Topic: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

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  1. #1

    RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Hi all
    Anybody know if the RMI Electra Piano has been sampled by anyone yet? If you're not sure what I'm referring to, have a look at the following link:
    http://www.synthmuseum.com/rmi/rmiele30001.html
    The piano sound was highly unrealistic but was a classic component of early 70s prog rock.
    Many thanks,
    Aqua.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Yeah, I sure do remember Rick Wakeman using the RMI quite a bit on the earlier YES recordings. (Especially the "Fragile" album)

    It kinda has a very distinct sound, unlike anything else.

    I cannot say for sure, but I think that I saw where one of the "vintage keyboard" sample libraries has an RMI electric piano in it.

  3. #3

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    I sampled one for Roland that appeared on "Keyboard's of the 60's & 70's" (I think it was vol.1)...came out extremely well, and it's that exact sound.

    spectrum

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Hard to believe someone actually WANTS that sound now!!

    I couldn't wait to get rid of my RMI. I loathed it.

  5. #5

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Hard to believe anybody actually BOUGHT one (It's OK, Bruce, I did too... )

    I was just returning to western music after three years studying sarod and Hindustani classical music. Everybody was playing Rhodes, so I wanted to sound different. Well, I certainly did. The action consisted of a screw screwed into the lever end of the piano key. It made contact with a reed switch that closed a circuit and caused an oscillator to osc. Adjusting the screws so all the contacts would close at something approximating the same time was a Herculenean, and totally wasted, effort. After one song, the screws would self-readjust. I found the one cool undocumented feature of the box when I moved the 'bias' pot from the inside of the 'instrument' (I have real trouble calling it that,) to the front panel, it was a decay control.

    The action was so bad on this thing, and I had just gone three years without touching a keyboard, or paying any attention to western sounds. I thought my chops were gone for good, nothing I could do would let me play with anything like feel or timing. I was about to quit music and get a day gig permanently when I got a call to sub (at a strip club in San Fran's North Beach) playing the house B3. Went in and burned, tore it up, came home and put the RMI up for sale!

    Incidentally, the music store inadvertently left the 'salesman guide' in the box - a set of instructions on how to sell it. They were supposed to demo the sounds for you, playing them one at a time, but (and this was stressed heavily,) you were to NEVER allow the buyer to play the instrument till you had his money!

    After owning one, I can understand why. One touch and no pianist would ever buy it!

    Now the RMI Keyboard Computer, OTOH, was an interesting tool. Never got to use one, but I watched Clark Spangler put one through its paces, interesting organ tones...
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  6. #6

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Thanks for the replies, guys. Spectrum - really pleased to hear that you've sampled this fine instrument (dare I use the term...). How might I get hold of it? Is it only available as a hardware expansion card for particular Roland synth or is it available to purchase as a CDROM? Many thanks!

  7. #7

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    I have one of these gathering dust in my basement. I'm planning on sampling it one of these days, though right now the output is pretty anemic and it may need to be serviced. I thought it would be neat to be able play it and have it be respond to velocity. (Which the real thing does not do)
    I'll move it up the list and make it available for free if it comes out OK.

    Since it's NOT velocity sensitive, it would be a pretty easy sampling job...

    If anyone knows of a nicely sampled one available commercially or on-line, please post a link!!!!

  8. #8

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Quote Originally Posted by thesoundsmith
    Hard to believe anybody actually BOUGHT one (It's OK, Bruce, I did too... )

    I was just returning to western music after three years studying sarod and Hindustani classical music. Everybody was playing Rhodes, so I wanted to sound different. Well, I certainly did. The action consisted of a screw screwed into the lever end of the piano key. It made contact with a reed switch that closed a circuit and caused an oscillator to osc. Adjusting the screws so all the contacts would close at something approximating the same time was a Herculenean, and totally wasted, effort. After one song, the screws would self-readjust. I found the one cool undocumented feature of the box when I moved the 'bias' pot from the inside of the 'instrument' (I have real trouble calling it that,) to the front panel, it was a decay control.

    The action was so bad on this thing, and I had just gone three years without touching a keyboard, or paying any attention to western sounds. I thought my chops were gone for good, nothing I could do would let me play with anything like feel or timing. I was about to quit music and get a day gig permanently when I got a call to sub (at a strip club in San Fran's North Beach) playing the house B3. Went in and burned, tore it up, came home and put the RMI up for sale!

    Incidentally, the music store inadvertently left the 'salesman guide' in the box - a set of instructions on how to sell it. They were supposed to demo the sounds for you, playing them one at a time, but (and this was stressed heavily,) you were to NEVER allow the buyer to play the instrument till you had his money!

    After owning one, I can understand why. One touch and no pianist would ever buy it!
    I had a gig waaayyyy back when they provided me with this thing and I had to play it for 2 weeks. I wanteed to have my fingers surgically removed! What a piec of poo-poo. I guess I could see using it on a track or two as a different souind but that is the extent of it. The Wurlitzers of that generation sounded a lot better and played a lot better.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  9. #9

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Aqua Tarkus
    Hi all
    Anybody know if the RMI Electra Piano has been sampled by anyone yet?
    Yes... I have. I sampled my old one years ago (S1000 I think).

    I have put it up here:

    RMI Electrapiano

    It's in Kontakt format (though my S5/6000 patch is in there too). Should be ok. Less than 400kb!!!! Totally authentic too - no velocity (easy enough to add if you want).

    This is the classic 'Carpet Crawlers' sound by Genesis. Enjoy.

    And yes.... piano? Don't make me larf!!!!

  10. #10

    Re: RMI Electra Piano - Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Hard to believe someone actually WANTS that sound now!!
    Funnily enough, I get a lot of requests about the RMI... people who have one (or have maybe inherited one) and want to know the value... people who want schematics... people who want samples - whatever - and I get quite a lot of requests to include it in sample libraries. I've probably had more enquiries about the RMI than anything else.

    Bizarre I know.

    I had one briefly (I bought it coz Tony Banks, Wakeman and Dave Greenslade used 'em so I thought it must be good - doh! ... well... I was just kid - show some slack!) and I thought it was awful. I'd not long before scoffed at some cheap Italian electronic piano (Crumar?) and here I was with pretty much exactly the same sound (and a whole pile of equally useless other noises!).

    But the biggest shock of all (not that I am an even half-way average pianist) was that it wasn't velocity sensitive!!! Ermmm - it's supposed to be a piano FFS!!!! Anyway, it remained largely unused and I (understandably) used my Wurli EP200 instead (even tho my kbd heroes of the time didn't use that) but I had the foresight to sample the well known 'Carpet Crawlers' Banks sound it before I dumped it.

    In hindsight, I think it's an endearing sound but that's probably all psychological and tied in with memories of youth (and maybe a sub-conscious desire to return there and to be in the audience of 'The Lamb Lies Down.... " again!!!).

    I hope my little freebie brings back similar memories for those here who are 'of a certain age'!

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