I play a lot of quirky experimental jazz stuff and have some fantastic rhodes sounds on my Roland XP-80 (Keyboards of the 60\'s/70\'s expansion card) and am in need for a rhodes for Giga. I am using the VR rhodes right now with Giga which sounds pretty good also, but I need more options. Any suggestions on a good rhodes library? So far, the only one I\'ve heard is Xsample and it does indeed sound good. Any others out there? I\'ve played a real rhodes quite a bit, so realism is a must.
I\'m using the Rhodes from Bigga Giggas. From what I can remember, It\'s a 1979 suitcase Rhodes with all keys sampled at three to four different velocities. What I like to do is put the Rhodes through the EQ effect in the DSP Station. I turn up the highs so I can get a bit more of a tine out of it. This is the only Rhodes I\'ve tried, but it\'s a killer instrument. You can get it at Bigga Giggas\' website or from Nemesys driectly.
The Xsample one is very good. Sometimes you forget you\'re playing a sample, it can be just blissful. The weakness here is that it \'only\' has 4 velocity layers, and a real Rhodes can have more variations near where it distorts (barks) when you give it different thwaks. Because of this I have auditioned about a half dozen Rhodes for sale, but in fact most of them didn\'t sound as nice as the sample, specifically so well maintained and consistent.
The best one I tried was near mint condition and well in tune, but only about a third of the notes had a good variation of tone all the way to a nice bark; it was just too polite and tame/pretty sounding, plus it had one bent tine...
In fact the Xsample is good enough to dissuade me from the tweaking and maintenace I\'d have to do to keep a real one sounding that good, plus it\'s easier to record. The programming of it is great too and it comes with an excellent Wurli piano.
Anybody have both the Bigga and Xsample EP\'s? It would be cool to A/B them since there\'s so much variation to Rhodeses.
Thanks for your input guys!
Nigel, I don\'t know what you\'re talking about. What does have to do with buying a rhodes?
The point here is not to have to drag a real rhodes around with me, plus I\'ve got no more room in my studio for a real one.
[This message has been edited by Damon (edited 04-26-2001).]
Having played a real Rhodes from the seventies (yes I still have one), I can tell you that this is one instrument that has lots of different sounds depending on its setup. You can go from crystal clean to mean and distorted if the Rhodes is setup right just by changes in playing style and velocity. If you get the real thing you can set this type of range up by two key tweaks. 1. how close the pickup is to the end of the tine (it slides back and forth and locks in place by a screw (be careful not to break any wires doing this)) and 2. the most important, the angle at which the tine faces the pickup (from dead centered in the middle to outward, there are screws on each tine to adjust this)(my setup has the end of the tine about 1/8th of an inch above center and about a 1/16th of an inch from end of tine to end of coil pickup, but each Rhodes is going to be different). Once you find the magic spot for a sound to your liking, you set up every key that way with minor variations of tweak #1 to balance the loudness across the whole keyboard. After you have done this then tune each note by sliding the coil spring on the tine itself. Since there is so much variation on a single Rhodes, an acurate emulation sample would require many velocity layers (a hell of alot more than 4)and good editing to balance the emulation to behave like the real thing. I like my Rhodes to bite both clean and distorted depending on how I play the keyboard, also I boost the high end alot keep the mids normal and set the bass so I can get a good growl but not muddy, and I add lots of great reverb slaping back the sound, the typical spring reverb in a Fender twin amp. Keep looking for a real Rhodes in good shape thats more on the clean / hard side than mushy and with a spare afternoon of tweaking, you will probably get the sound you appear to be looking for. Samples are great and have their purpose, everyone knows how heavy a Rhodes is to cart around, but until someone realy does a Rhodes sample that can be clean and dirty, be soft and bite, you wont have anything close to the real deal. Good luck with whichever route you take.
I hear ya Doc. Nothing like the real thing
I was just wanting to know if there was a library available that had different rhodes sounds like distorted, wah-wah, phaser, tines, etc. all in the same CD and not just one sound.
[This message has been edited by Damon (edited 04-27-2001).]