STUDIO RHODES Plugin
VST † AU † ReWire † Standalone
Based on Rhodes Mark II 73
The Rhodes piano was
invented in the 1940s by Harold
principles are derived from both the celesta
guitar. The action is similar to that of a
conventional piano, but whereas in a conventional piano
causesfelt-covered hammers to strike sets of
strings, in a
Rhodespiano rubber-tipped hammers strike
fork-likeconstructions to sound the note.
Sound producing mechanism.
The tuning forks themselves are "unbalanced" or asymmetrical: one arm
consists of a short, stiff metal rod
(essentially a stiff wire) called a "tine" which is struck by the
hammer, and the other arm is a tuned resonator resembling
a piece of metal bar stock, sized to sound the appropriate note. The
actual sounded note is too soft to be practical,
so each tine vibrates in front of an electric-guitar-style magnetic
pickup. The pickups' output is fed to an amplifier which can be
adjusted to produce the desired volume.
The sound produced has a bell-like character not unlike a celesta or
glockenspiel. Because the instrument produces
sound electrically, the signal can be processed to yield many different
timbral colors. Often the signal is processed
through a stereo tremolo (which was called Vibrato on the Rhodes front
panel) effects unit, which pans the signal back
and forth between right to left; it is this "rounded" or chiming sound
that is most typically called a classic Rhodes sound,
which can be heard on, for example, many of Stevie Wonder's songs. The
preamp with stereo panning is included on
the "suitcase" models; the "stage" models lack the preamp.
In the 1980s a set of Rhodes modifications done by a company called
"Dyno My Piano" became popular: it made the
sound brighter, harder, and more bell-like. It can be heard on many
records from that time. When notes are played
forcefully, the sound becomes less sweet, as nonlinear distortion
creates a characteristic "growling" or "snarling"
overload—skilled players can contrast the sweet and rough
sounds to create an extremely expressive performance.
Artists who played Rhodes
The Rhodes was particularly popular from the late 60's-early 80's, and
many of its signature songs date from this
period: The Doors' "Riders On The Storm", "Just the Way You Are" by
Billy Joel, "Still Crazy After All These Years" by
Paul Simon, "Babe" by Styx, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Stevie
Wonder, "Peg" by Steely Dan, "Gotta Serve
Somebody" by Bob Dylan, the intro to "Sheep" by Pink Floyd, and the
theme from Taxi by Bob James.
Ray Charles played "Shake Your Tailfeather" on a Rhodes in the music
store scene in the Blues Brothers movie.
The Rhodes was also used much in jazz-fusion throughout the 1970s.
Chick Corea's album Light as a Feather and
Miles Davis's In a Silent Way featured the Rhodes throughout the whole
album. Joe Zawinul of Weather Report, Jan
Hammer of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Herbie Hancock also used the
Rhodes. Steely Dan used the Dyno-My-Piano
modified Rhodes on many recordings such as "Hey Nineteen," "Kid
Charlemagne," "My Rival," with a phaser on "The Fez,"
and on most of their newer recordings.
More recently, the Rhodes has seen a resurgence in popularity and has
been adopted by a number of bands, including
Radiohead (heard most prominently on OK Computer and Kid A), The
Appleseed Cast, Super Furry Animals, Eisley,
The Arcade Fire, Tori Amos, Wilco, Thrice, R.E.M., Hot Hot Heat, Cake
(the Rhodes is in "Sheep Go To Heaven" in the
background chords of the chorus), and Glenn Danzig of the Misfits. It
has also seen a large resurgence in the genre
of "Jam Bands," being used regularly by Phish, The String Cheese
Incident, Medeski Martin and Wood, Leyline and The
Special Purpose. Heavily filtered or processed Rhodes piano samples
have become canon for contemporary dance-oriented
electronic music genres.
In addition, the Rhodes has seen heavy usage in hip
hop—especially that of a more jazzy nature. This can be seen
with artists such as Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star,
Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, A Tribe Called Quest, and others.
† AU † ReWire † Standalone
*REQUIRES STEINBERG KEY
WINDOWS XP OR VISTA
X10.4 OR HIGHER
Uses HALion player, includes FX
† AU † ReWire † Standalone
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