January 8, 2007

Oh, please, no...

by Chris Randall

Apparently, the Rhodes remake will actually be at NAMM this year, only like 5 years after that dude bought the name and started threatening to make one. There is actually a web site up and everything, and since it's on the interwebs, you know it's true.

I have to say that the technical data on the preview page isn't exactly inspiring. I can't for the life of me figure out why a simple mechanical instrument would need a USB port and an LCD screen, so it makes me think that they may have tried to improve on an already good thing. The words "state of the art" appear twice in three bullet points, and since the original Rhodes was created in 1946, I'm wondering how much "state of the art" technology should really be applied.

However, I don't think it's a ROMpler. If it is, I swear to christ I'm gonna start fashioning a shiv.

Any other rumors we should all be aware of? I do know a certain effects maker is supposed to debut a new flagship, but other than that, I haven't heard about anything that would really qualify as "interesting."



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Jan.08.2007 @ 1:21 PM
So light it's bulleted twice, never trust a company that can't proof read it's own website, no doubt this thing is filled with techno.
CR, you had better get on fashioning your toothbrush shiv.

Jan.08.2007 @ 2:45 PM
I think "state of the art" means dsp fx,amp and preamp emulation.
midi is nice,i remember the 73 case has very natural feel to it back when hammer wight action was still non existing.
i also thing if it will be electro mechenical,it will also feature a rom player engine. and then all the audio demos will be like:
"A synth pad layered on top of a rhods piano,we really are in the year 2000!" :>)

Jan.08.2007 @ 4:49 PM
Oh, it is probably blasphomy... but the Rhodes piano sound was always a bit to clinky (for lack of a better term) sounding for my tastes. From what I understand, it was really the only road worthy portable keyboard instrument practical for a touring musician back in the day, so you have a lot of great music created with the Rhodes. Would there really be so much Rhodes love if it wasn't for Stevie Wonder?

So really, why not a Rhodes rompler? One of the things I noticed on the family piano growing up, was that part of the richness of the piano sound came from the sound in the room resonating back into the piano. Sometimes, when there would be a loud enough pitched sound in the room, you would hear a faint reverb of the sound actually coming from the piano. Just the piano sitting there in the room altered the acoustics of the room. The electric piano that I learned to play in school did no such thing. I don't think it was a Rhodes, but still, without that resonance and feedback in the body of the piano, it might as well been a rompler.


Jan.08.2007 @ 4:54 PM
I don't see what all of the fuss is about. They've been putting midi outputs and sound modules on real pianos for years. My gf used to own one, and it was still a great sounding piano. The techno crap, although kinda silly, didn't get in the way of the piano at all, and it was kind of fun to be able to record in midi and have the real piano keys mechanically play it back on cue. My only problem with adding all the midi stuff is that it will obviously raise the cost of the thing, and aside from the authentic hammer action, I don't see it being of much use to serious musicains-- I remember a Rhodes being WAY too noisey even when switched off to be used as a dedicated midi controller.

Anyway, my point is that it's pretty hard to fuck up a Rhodes, no matter how much extra shit you attach to it. Then again, I'm the type of guy that would wire a midi controller into an old Rhodes just for fun!


Jan.08.2007 @ 5:22 PM
This is akin to putting a USB port on an old tabletop AM radio. If you really like AM radio, you're probably not worrying about ways to interface it to your computer. There's bunches of used Rhodes pianos running around for under a grand, and there are plenty of people who still service them. Anybody who wants that sound can get it if they're willing to do the heavy lifting.

Jan.08.2007 @ 6:26 PM
If you can figure out what "Passive-to-active capability with MIDI" means, you'll probably have the truth and maybe the DaVinci Code as well. But only Level 27 initiates are revealed to the mysteries behind "Mark 7 technology".

It's not completely terrible. "in passive, active, and active MIDI configurations" probably means that there's an analog pickup in there somewhere. And "Light, transportable, hi-performance neodymium speaker systems" hopefully means that it's just the cabinetry that got lighter.

BTW, I'll be offering kits that let you convert a Chinese SM-57 clone into a handy shiv/club/toothbrush, hopefully by early April.


Jan.08.2007 @ 6:51 PM
Chris Randall
I assume that passive/active/active-MIDI means that there are models that are totally passive (e.g. original Mark 1 w/ no EQ), semi-active (e.g. Mark 1 with slider EQ) or semi-active with some sort of MIDI thing shoehorned on.

Be all that as it may, I agree with afreshcupofjoe that if it does have the normal electro-mechanical innards of a Rhodes, then who gives a fuck about whatever shit they throw on the ass end? I also agree that one might as well just buy a proper Rhodes and be done with it.



Jan.08.2007 @ 8:28 PM
I write over-the-top marketing copy just to amuse myself. This morning I was quoted on Music Thing. :)


Jan.08.2007 @ 8:34 PM
a zzounds employee?

Jan.09.2007 @ 1:12 AM
Damn! you wrote that ad copy synthetic? I remember reading that line on zzounds ages ago when I was bored and looking for cheap, lofi devices and thinking, "This ad copy guy must have a great sense of humor!" It's just too over the top to be serious. "Records one track at a time with classic warm analog sound!"



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