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Recording Rhodes with dedicated Channel Strip
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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jr30's Avatar
 

Recording Rhodes with dedicated Channel Strip

Hello

I want to improve the recordings of a Rhodes (and Vintage Vibe Piano). I am looking for that 'sound' of the late 70's, funky and barky, getting from Rhodes MKII '75.

Today I run my Rhodes into my RME UFX Audio Interface direct from harp (without any preamp) and use the Hi-Z Input (Instrument Level) of my RME. The result ist OK but not great. I miss depths, details and transparency. Mic'em up from Amp is no option (Apartment).

Some Rhodes owner use the Avalon U5 DI for better recording. But is U5 DI significant better than the Hi-Z Input of my RME UFX?
Other Rhodes player are using dedicated Channel Strips, such as Warm Audio WA-73EQ or UA 6176 for their tube compressor.

What do you think? Your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated!

Roman
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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I've used a Wunder PEQ2R for direct Rhodes recordings in the past, and I really liked it because it has a touch of the Neve-esque fatness but with a bit more clarity / hi-fi sound, plus you have the 'active' & 'vintage classic" instrument modes for different flavors. I recently got a ZOD ID DI, which would probably sound amazing on Rhodes as well, but I haven't got a chance to record a real Rhodes with it yet.
Old 4 weeks ago
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I love my rhodes through my A-Designs REDDI. Much nicer than a normal passive DI box.
Old 4 weeks ago
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try a preamp (or di) with switchable impedance - different settings (can) make much of a difference.

i used a radial piezo di live recently, otherwise often a grace design m-103, amek cib or focusrite 828.
depending on what sound you're after, a tube (guitar) pre and/or a chorus can be nice (and more important than a clean pre) ...
Old 4 weeks ago
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jproc's Avatar
If I have to record one direct, I usually go into a tube mic pre, and dial in the gain til I get just enough distortion when I play hard, but keep the output level low enough that I’m just kissing 0VU on the loudest parts.

If I’m running any effects pedals like chorus, I do them between Rhodes and preamp just like I would live with a regular amp.
Old 4 weeks ago
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr30 View Post
I want to improve the recordings of a Rhodes (and Vintage Vibe Piano). I am looking for that 'sound' of the late 70's, funky and barky, getting from Rhodes MKII '75.
Personally, I don't think you'll get 'funky and barky' from a single DI or instrument preamp.

A lot of suggestions here will give you a very nice Rhodes tone, but it won't be 'funky and barky', at least not without some additional help from extra FX/amp-sims/plug-ins etc.

That said, one to try might be the Warm Audio TB12, which has a proper Hi-Z instrument input and a wide range of total adjustments. I've been through this and many other options but ultimately concluded, as you probably will, that you can't ever quite get there – real 3D 'funk, bark & bite' – without an amp; it's just a fact of life with a Rhodes.
Old 4 weeks ago
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drockfresh's Avatar
Tree Audio Branch is *divine* for Rhodes

I’ll try to post some samples

It’s the best I’ve every used

A VVEP can get that late 70s Rhodes sound (bright) especially in Low Notes

But I usually think Pre ‘75 Rhodes

When talking bark

D
Old 4 weeks ago
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Personally, I don't think you'll get 'funky and barky' from a single DI or instrument preamp.

A lot of suggestions here will give you a very nice Rhodes tone, but it won't be 'funky and barky', at least not without some additional help from extra FX/amp-sims/plug-ins etc.

That said, one to try might be the Warm Audio TB12, which has a proper Hi-Z instrument input and a wide range of total adjustments. I've been through this and many other options but ultimately concluded, as you probably will, that you can't ever quite get there – real 3D 'funk, bark & bite' – without an amp; it's just a fact of life with a Rhodes.
The warm audio tone beast is... a beast. Also, I really like the UA 610mkii for this application either through its own HIz or good DI box into the preamp...

Also... a Fender style amp with a speaker out into a loadbox into the above preamps is even special-er...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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jr30's Avatar
 

Thank you for getting back!

Yes, I agree, the sound of 'bark and bite' is more the combination of a perfect adjusted Rhodes (relation btw tonebar, pickup etc) as well as a great amp. Sometimes I run my Rhodes MKII or the VVP through my Brunetti Amp and use a 'Torpedo Live' (Cab simulation) with a Fender Twin or Deluxe Reverb. My Brunetti amp is super clean (blackface style) and when not 'cranked*up', it is hard to hear the difference btw
  • Rhodes (harp) >> Amp >> Torpedo >> RME (Line)
and
  • Rhodes (harp) >> RME (Hi-Z)
especially in a mix.

@ bgood : I wonder, UA 6176 has the same preamp as the LA-610 mkii and the results should be near the same? As far as I know, UA 6176 also has a built in compressor and can be used for Acoustic Guitar Piezo DI, Bass DI and vocals.

Roman
Old 4 weeks ago
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr30 View Post
Thank you for getting back!

Yes, I agree, the sound of 'bark and bite' is more the combination of a perfect adjusted Rhodes (relation btw tonebar, pickup etc) as well as a great amp. Sometimes I run my Rhodes MKII or the VVP through my Brunetti Amp and use a 'Torpedo Live' (Cab simulation) with a Fender Twin or Deluxe Reverb. My Brunetti amp is super clean (blackface style) and when not 'cranked*up', it is hard to hear the difference btw
  • Rhodes (harp) >> Amp >> Torpedo >> RME (Line)
and
  • Rhodes (harp) >> RME (Hi-Z)
especially in a mix.

@ bgood : I wonder, UA 6176 has the same preamp as the LA-610 mkii and the results should be near the same? As far as I know, UA 6176 also has a built in compressor and can be used for Acoustic Guitar Piezo DI, Bass DI and vocals.

Roman
Same preamp, the mkii has an opto circuit ala the LA2a, the 6176’s comp is a fet and basically an 1176...

Honestly? If this is all you’re using it for, I say but the 610 solo... just the preamp
Old 4 weeks ago
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Same preamp, the mkii has an opto circuit ala the LA2a, the 6176’s comp is a fet and basically an 1176...

Honestly? If this is all you’re using it for, I say but the 610 solo... just the preamp
Herbie Hancock had a tube leveler in his tracking circuit (according to legend and @JD73) so I’d say the LA2A would be helpful

In my experience compressor/limiters help the Rhodes tracking
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
I used to take the harp directly into the high Z of my RME, just like the OP.

Then I build this; http://www.frontiernet.net/~jff/SonO...lembicF2B.html

I use it for my Rhodes and passive jazz bass.

The pre has a sweet EQ !!! .. and a pretty hot line level (big transformer) output, I often pair it wit a Dizengoff D864 vari mu for some extra growl.
Old 4 weeks ago
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Herbie Hancock had a tube leveler in his tracking circuit (according to legend and @JD73) so I’d say the LA2A would be helpful

In my experience compressor/limiters help the Rhodes tracking
Then go for the la610mkii I love both of mine...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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drockfresh's Avatar
I’ll try to record some quick Rhodes and VVEP into Tree and Great River demos this weekend. I have to test my new wiring anyway.

To the OP tubes are good plan if you are trying to mellow out a bright EP (like the VV).

And Yes everything on this thread will be “better” than straight into the RME DI input.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
This thread has some more info;

How do you record Rhodes Piano?

Also a short clip and some pics of my wiring setup
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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jr30's Avatar
 

Thank you for your information and your suggestions.

@ Cozmik Prod. - your preamp looks great! Nice solution.

Unfortunately the LA-610 MKII is not available in Europe. So my only option to get a 610 preamp and a compressor (1176LN instead of LA-2A) in one unit is UA 6176. As far I understand, the 1176LN is a faster compressor.
How will this FET compressor affect tone-wise in context of a Rhodes (and a Vintage Vibe Piano)?

At the other hand I've read good things about the suggestion of @ James Lehmann taking a Warm Audio TB-12 'beast' (...and going into a Warm Audio EQB WA (tube eq), perhaps...)?
Old 4 weeks ago
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
plug it into a tube amp and get the tubes cooking.

i have a messa boogie 22 that i sometimes use on the Rhodes, or sometimes a 30 watts Goldentone 2 by 12 tube amp.

the sound comes from the amp, if you want it to bite.

then mic it and any pre will do.

Buddha
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