Since we’re already going on pianos and organs…
I used to be a pretty staunch user of the Scarbee Vintage Keys for Kontakt but lately I’ve been using Lounge Lizard. I don’t know if it sounds entirely realistic, but I love the quick load times and the amount of tweaking it offers. Plus I tend to go for electric pianos that sound like they’ve been dropped down a flight of steps and never refurbished, and processed through harsh amps, so any lack of realism gets lost anyway. Also, I usually use Wurly sounds over Rhodes. I never owned a real electric piano; I only really started getting into the sound in the last few years so I’m far from a purist the way I am about Hammonds.
How about you guys?
I played a Rhodes a lot in high school and college, and believe it or not, the junior high I teach at has one. It is really hard to imitate the punchy sound it gets. Part of the sound is the old tube Fender twin reverb amps. I use the Mark 79 from Acoustic Samples and change the velocity curve on my route to get that more aggressive sound. I know Mark Kelly from Marillion uses Lounge Lizard on their latest album. Saw them live a few months ago and his Rhodes sound was great (I think he uses Guitar Rig with it too, but am not sure).
My two favorite players on Rhodes are Chick Corea and George Duke. I have heard that a lot of the 1970s recordings with Rhodes all used the same rented instrument.
The one that really has me blown away lately (and surprised me no little) was the Electric Piano called “Velvet” by AIR.
I just got the AICP3 package (mostly for Vacuum and Loom, Hybrid and Xpand!2) and here was this great, very playable item in there I never expected. It really has taken me over.
Well, that’s cool because that’s my exact setup right now Agree with you on Chick and George- especially Duke.
I’ve heard the demos for Velvet and it sounds really good! Their DB-33 organ was a real letdown though.
For me there is only ONE rhodes plugin out there… which is awesome!
The new Scarbee EP88s is absolutely stunning! I’ve made a little sound-demo yesterday… you also hear the scarbee rhodes:
Man, y’all have been busy since I’ve been gigging ! I have been using the Lounge Lizard as well, and also run it through an amp sim. I have been testing the Waves Electric 88 and am really starting to like it. Haven’t tried it live yet. I owned a Wurlie in college, and know all it’s ins and outs. I liked the Mr. Ray made by GSI (VB3), but the Scarbee A200 is the bomb. Great for live, and responds like the real thing. Very fun to play. There are a lot of raves about the Acoustic Samples electrics, and they sound great online, but haven’t been able to invest in them.
@FantomXR I REALLY have been wanting to try EP88 !
Now I REALLY REALLY want this one. Great demo!
Thanks! Yes, this one is really OMG sounding
Neo Soul Keys Electric Piano Suite
A while ago I made a comparison video. Although it’s German (but with english subtitles), it could be interesting for you guys. Of course it doesn’t cover the latest plugins… I’ll do another comparison sure… hopefully:
Lots of options, and many of then quite good. I’ve used Lounge Lizard, Pianoteq, AIR Velvet and Waves Electric 88 for Rhodes. All of them are good, and frankly for a live performance, the audience won’t know the difference. For recording I’ve been using Pianoteq MkII and Velvet recently and like both
For Wurly’s I’ve used Lounge Lizard, Acoustic Samples Wurlie and Pianoteq Vintage Reeds. I’ve recently purchased the Waves Electric 200 (currently on sale, $39), but haven’t explored that very much yet. My current favorites are the Acoustic Samples vst, and Pianoteq W1 Warm with Tremolo, with personal tweaks on the tremolo rate and reverb, and run through the Stereo Rhodes patch on Nomad Factory COSMOS http://nomadfactory.com/products/cosmos/
I’m currently between LoungeLizard and Pianoteq. Not so happy with the Arturia offerings - good base sound, but too little dynamics. With a Rhodes or a Wurlie, I need to be able to really dig in and feel the punch!
The Pianoteq really comes to life with a separate amp plugin behind it. I use either Overloud TH3 (which gives a great variety of pedals to plug between the piano and the amp) or the free Voxengo Boogex with a Fender Twin impulse response.
LoungeLizard is a responsive little beast, but it’s difficult to tweak it to the right balance of punch and dynamics. Tends to lose body with increasing “bite”. Pianoteq feels more balanced to me.
Torsten, you’ve captured my thoughts about Lounge Lizard completely.
Agree with You, Terry. Bought AICP3 and found “Velvet” being a real good E-Piano simulator. Maybe is not the perfect one, but it really sounds nice to my ears!
That’s a nice plugin and I’m still amazed at the deal AIR was running on the AIEP 3 upgrade. I continue to sort through and explore all of the apps in that package. If anyone is interested, here’s a Julian Bradley arrangement of Silent Night I recorded over the holiday using Velvet.
Hmmm, that Scarbee EP88s sounds exciting!
Just before I get another case of GAS: does anyone know how many authorizations it allows? I need three parallel authorizations (studio, live, backup) - that’s why all the AIR offerings don’t qualify for my live rig - only two authorizations…
The Rhodes in keyscape feels and sounds great too…
Just realised that one classic EP not covered in this debate is the Yamaha CP70. For that I used Pianoteq (mentioned above). I have Pianoteq basic and there is a free addon to give you a CP70/CP80. Add a bit of chorus, drop the sustain pedal down a little to pull the notes out and you get “instant Tony Banks” (Genesis).
Addictive Keys has a good CP-70 but I usually use Hollow Sun.
New update from Gospel Musicians on their Neo Soul Keys line. Bought crossgrade and love it, more balanced volume and tone and big improvement on resource hit compared to the uvi workstation version (the new version is a stand alone vst sample host from GM). One con is the 20 Gigabyte sample library which is much larger than the uvi compressed type library but with my trusty SSD it’s running very smoothly in C3. If you like tine pianos give it a look while it’s on sale. I just keep riffing on …