Rhodes has now developed a VST version of of the MK8

Rhodes MK8 sound bank of its own: Rhodes V8. With a total of 30,000 samples and 100 velocity layers per note, you can now access the official Rhodes sound from your computer. You get a V8 preamp emulation with drive control, EQ and a four-waveform Vari-Pan effect with frequency and amplitude controls. A window allows advanced configuration of the virtual instrument, as well as four virtual effects: a compressor, a chorus, a phaser and a delay. On the configuration page, there is per-note control over timbre, fine tuning, level and damper response. Finally, a selection of microphones and amplifiers are available, as is an Expression input to any front panel parameter via MIDI CC. The Rhodes V8 Pro goes a step further by offering the Envelope parameter from the MK8 version to create envelope-controlled filter effects, such as Auto-Wah, and to use the Vari-Pan circuitry in audio frequency modulation.

Rhodes V8 and Rhodes V8 Pro have been developed for Mac and Windows in AU, VST and AAX formats. The V8 version costs €169.95 and the Pro version €274.95. Both will be available at the end of the Missing Keys competition organized by the manufacturer, on March 1st. For more information on this competition, visit the Rhodes website.



Hmmm, not really overwhelmed after downloading over 20 GB(!) for the demo.

It does play with nice dynamics, and it gives you a broad range of settings and sound options.

But seriously: you need the Pro version (275 EUR!) to get something as basic as a chorus and a phaser? And a tremolo without a mono mode??

Plus, to my ears, it sounds a bit “sterile” - doesn’t really inspire me. But that may just be me and my personal taste…

Could be this is something for a true Rhodes aficionado who wants the “original” in the box, but for my live requirements, I’ll probably stick with my Acousticsamples VTines. Or maaaaybeee look at the “Famous E” from OrangeTree?

Just my 0.02 EUR…



I immediately lost interest when I read that it is “sampled”.
May be it sounds good but for live use I won’t bother with >20 GB.
Don’t know what copy protection is used.


The same here. I found it interesting they are investing in a plugin at this late stage of the game. There are numerous developers making great emulations without using samples. Honestly, how many people actually went under the hood, and tuned the tines… unless roadies are constantly throwing them around on tour? What would be the advantage of doing it digitally, other than looking for a few detuned tines for a well worn sound, which are in the presets. Too pricey for me, but I’ve always been a Wurlie fan, so I am biased. :wink:

Meh. I’ll keep Lounge Lizard (or Pianotek) for live, Keyscape in studio. This is too much too late.

And the days of “OMG 100 velocity layers 209Gb!” are over. I remember good (if not strictly accurate) electric piano sounds with 2 velocity layers


But I was going to win the contest and get it free :crazy_face:

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Can’t say I am interested in a sampled version either. Modelling is the way and it gives you a small foot print.

Having said that one of my favourite EP sounds comes from the Yamaha EX5, which is very small samples through its Formulated Digital Signal Processing (FDSP) engine’s Electric Piano model. 25 years on and it still gives modern equivalents a run for their money, especially the “SKiRhodes” that Ski of EX5Tech programmed.


Uh, lots of sampled instruments haters, around here? :thinking:

I don’t think we are haters. It’s just a matter of reducing our CPU footprint for live purposes. It’s really hard to hear detailed samples in a live mix. I think acoustic and electric pianos these days are sounding better with modeled instruments, are a combination of samples and modelling like V-Tines or V-Reeds has.

My favorites these days are V-Tines, Velvet, and Lounge Lizard.


AIR’s Velvet still rings my bells. I love that thing, and it is REALLY low-footprint. It has “the vibe” that keeps me playing it.

This is way too expensive - definitely for aficionados. I played a real Rhodes back in the mid to late 70’s, with a phasor and Mu-Tron, and it was pretty thrilling back then.

I get the same thrill from Velvet, though, and Plugin Boutique has it on sale all the time.

AIR Velvet Search



I am not a sample hater. I use sampled instruments, but I prefer modelled instruments as they usually have a far lower memory/cpu footprint but primarily I prefer them because they model the subtle nuances of instruments in a way that a set of static samples do not (no matter how many layers are used).

Case in point on the Yamaha EX5 I mention above. It is mainly a sample based instrument but it also has AN (analog synth) and VL (wind and string modelling) and also FDSP (a processing engine applied to the samples with many different processing models) engines, and the AN, VL or FDSP voices will always blow the sample only voices out of the water.

On the EX5, if you listen to a sample only EP voices or one processed by the FDSP EP model (which models the EP pickups) and you cannot hear the difference, then you need a new pair of ears. :wink: Ditto for a sample based sax versus a VL sax (where VL is actually computing the entire sound from the starting point of you blowing into an enclosed tube or bowing a string.

If I want a MiniMoog lead and want to introduce some pretty drastic oscillator and filter mod from VCO3, what’s best? A VST emulation or a few Mini samples?

If I want to program a classic patch on an ARP2600 without having the real one, and that patch needs some complex patching (including OSC XMOD), am I going to use a VST modelled ARP to do that or some static ARP2600 waveforms in a sample based instrument?

But on the flip side, if I want some classic Mellotron patches, I will fire up MTRON PRO and its massive sample library, or use Omnisphere for its really lush pads

So, that is why I prefer modelling, but that preference does not stop me using sample based instruments, or instruments which combine the two (like my EX5 or VSTs like B3-X).

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Like I said, I think Keyscape is great and it’s sample based. But I respect thoughtful sampling. Many Kontakt libraries try to use brute size as some kind of selling point. I have far more respect for the example of EX5. Scarbee also had some terrific electric piano (and of course, bass) sample libraries and they weren’t 200 flipping gigabytes.


I was a long term Lounge Lizard user but when I compared it to Pianoteq’s ep offerings there was no turning back.
I’ve never been tempted to try Keyscape or other sample-based instruments because of the resource requirements.
TBH, I did try the Waves sample-based ones years ago which were characterful but had limited tweakability, and annoyingly slow loading times.


I’m not a sampling zealot, and I was joking saying “haters”. I should have put a smiley at the end of the sentence. I apologize for this misunderstanding.

My point is: is always true that modeling is better than sampling?

No doubts a sampled Minimoog, these days, is a nonsense. Same for sax, violin… lots of instruments. This is related to expressiveness of modelling.

But I’m thinking of my very huge grand piano libraries. Although I love Pianoteq, some of my big-sized sampled pianos are better, IMHO.

Quoting Jason Chapman of Production Voices:
Some modelled pianos are nice and have a very small footprint, but some users find the sound to be a little sterile. This is a matter of taste and context. Both samples and modelling have their strengths and weaknesses. Sampling is like a high megapixel digital picture of an instrument. Modelling is a computer rendering based on algorithms. Think of Hollywood effects for movies. It is expensive and time consuming to create real explosion effects and to create elaborate battle scenes. Computer models can simulate these, yet the real thing done right looks right.

I expect the final answer for a lot of instruments to be a hybrid of the strengths of samples and modeling, like the SWAM vsts.

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Acousticsamples B5 does the hybrid thing well. V3 is sounding pretty good but I keep going back to B-3X because I can more quickly dial in the tube distortion and the Leslie sits in the rehearsal mix better. The B5 sounds more real to me though.


It is course one of these debates where there is no right answer, and what is right for you is what you like.

I am only basing my views on my own preferences and the experience I have. So, I will tell you that my 25 year old EX5 VL physically modelled sax will blow any sampled sax I have heard out of the water even modern ones on my Montage, but have I heard the best ever sampled sax? Possibly not, and I do hear good things about these SWAM instruments.

So it is my personal view that modelling is superior because in all of my experience it has been for a certain subset of sounds that I need, but that does not mean I am not a sampled instrument user.

So, in conclusion, all opinions are valid and you have to go with what gives you the sound you are looking for. :slight_smile:

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You are right. No ultimate answer exists. I think modeling will win in the end. I read somewhere that Roland flagship workstation is now based on modeled sound (Zen Core). OK, there are eighty DSPs inside, So the owner doesn’t have to worry about latency, buffer length, and all that nasty stuff. :slight_smile:
About Audio Modeling SWAM, I wrote them and they invited me to their development center (a place nearby Milan, where I drop by quite often). A great chance to talk to people who develop modeling instruments. Will see.