Author Topic: I want this tone !  (Read 14075 times)

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« on: January 29, 2007, 07:54:20 AM »
Hello !

Congratulations for this site, i've been visiting it for years, before buying my Rhodes, and it's always been a great source of information. Several months ago, i fulfilled my dream, i bought a 1974 Mark I 73 Rhodes piano. It has half wood/half plastic hammers and everything is in mint condition inside ! I also has the key pedestal mod.

I have a problem with the sound though. I would love to have the Rob Coops sound :

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/audio/rc/Example_1_Sunlightglasses.mp3

The tone of my Rhodes is good until the D# (that's where the tips switch from yellow to black). The notes after have a very strong attack and i'd like to make it softer, but i was told it's not recommended to put yellow tips after D#. What do you think about it ? Has anyone done this ? I don't want to reduce the volume (i would change the pickups position for that), i just want to reduce the strike sound.

By the way, i've tried to use an 8 band parametric EQ (Waves Q10) to boost the frequencies at about 1KHz but it wasn't really helpful. I had a more shallow tone but the keys with black tips still were too agressive.

Thanks very much in advance !
Cheers,
Laurent

Offline willedsmithmo

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 08:08:49 AM »
Mine is 1974 too - I think models from around this time did have a strong barky attack often, and so a mellow tone may be a lot harder to achieve on your model than it would be on say, a post 75 plastic hammered rhodes. However listening to the sound sample that is an interesting tone - do you know if any eq or preamps were used? and also wether it is a suitcase or stage. The tone in that sample is quite barky but not reeeeally barky (for example Fela Kuti's Rhodes sounds are the FATTEST and heaviest I think i've ever heard).  The tone actually reminds me alot of Hanoc**ks thrust and hunters rhodes, which I've always thought have sounded as they do because he had a close escapement and therefore sensitive action. This sound however has a fair amount of bark to it. The hammer idea sounds promising - as you have identified the point at where the sound seems too heavy on the attack for you.

 Sorry i wasn't much help and more of a rambler, but I'mm gonna hit the post button anyway  :wink:
Fender Rhodes MK I Stage 73 1974 :)

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 08:25:11 AM »
That's right, the sample from Coops sounds like Herbie's tone in the 70's (and the guy plays the Bb-11 Db7sus4 chord progression from the second part of Chameleon  :P ).

On the Rob Coops' site it's written that this Rhodes is just EQ'd and recoreded direct to the computer. It's a 1974 model with a damper mod (what is it ?) so that you don't hear the dampers when you play. I hope my translation is correct, it's written in dutch  :D. I don't know what preamp/EQ is used, all I know is that's it's a transistor device.

To reduce escapement, you have to remove the black strips that are under the harp right ?

Do you have a sound sample of your Rhodes so that i can compare with mine ?

Is that your Rhodes on the picture ? It's strange, you have the "fender rhodes" logo. Mine has a "Rhodes" logo. The man who sold mine said it's a transition model.

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
I want this tone !
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 04:46:16 PM »
that's correct.  The transition models I think started late 74, maybe 75 but 74 probably.  if you look at your hammers they should be wood below the tip (striker) and plastic mounted.  They're the same.

I don't know what mod he's talking about, as you can hear the dampeners definitely kissing the tines in the beginning, especially the first two notes.  "uh-ch uh-ch"

My guess is it's a stage as the tremolo is certainly added after - it's not an immediate effect, its a rated-pan, probably direct into an interface to be computer recorded.
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 06:09:27 PM »
yep, mine has half wooden/half plastic hammers.

Here is a sound sample i've recorded for you, so that you actually hear what i'm talking about !

http://www.jazz72.info/rhodes.mp3

I have used an EQ to boot around 1kHz in order to have better definition in the medium area, but with the treble notes the strike is too hard. (i don't know if i'm clear, english is not my mother language  :D ). So i was wondering if replacing black tips with yellow ones (or replacing yellow and black by red) would make my Rhodes sound like Rob Coops' one.

Offline willedsmithmo

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 03:47:32 AM »
^ Man that's a nice sound i like it!

Well we all know that different Rhodes sound different regardless sometimes of what you do to them! I would say personally that your sound doesn't even differ from Rob's sound that much (it could be ALOT different/worse!) but perhaps it literally is just his EQ setup (possibly refined after many years) and possibly an amp/preamp he is playing through? This is the point where you need more expert help  :P love from Will
Fender Rhodes MK I Stage 73 1974 :)

Offline kitchen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2007, 02:05:30 PM »
It's maybe not the answer you would like to hear, but if you want your piano to sound like Rob Coops' setup there's really only one way to go........take it to him !
Probably not an option, but I'm sure there must be techs in your area that can help you out with getting that tone.
As for that dampermod,...I'm not really sure, but I saw a picture of a modded dampermodule once. I'm definitively not sure so don't try this at home !!, but what I think they've done is stiffening up the damper arms by creating a V-shaped dent across the length of the damperarm of about 1-1,5 inches, but i could be totally off here so don't shoot me.

Great playing BTW !!




Kitchen
'76 Mk I Stage 73 -> 70's Small Stone

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2007, 04:57:48 PM »
As you said, not an option to take my Rhodes to Coops  :( It's not that far away from France, but it would cost me big bucks to make the trip and pay him for his work. And as my Rhodes was quite expensive (2200 euros, you read well  :P i wish i was American  :evil:, well only for the price of the Rhodes there  :D), i'm not going to spend too much again, I'm just a poor student, so i want to do the sound modification myself. I think that if i put red tips in place of the yellow and hard black ones, i would get a closer sound.

But i hesitate, i don't want to regret it after. Decisions, decisions ...

By the way i've sent a mail to Coops but i doubt he will help me for free  :(

Offline EightyEight

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 02:50:42 PM »
I wouldn't travel that far for a modification either. I'm lucky Rob lives about 100 miles away from me :D

Of course, you can just call him (he likes phone more than email) and he will help you. His telephone number is on his website, but I GUESS your dutch isn't very well, so you may try to contact him in English. That is the quickest solution, and you will get the right answer for sure!
1974 Mark I Stage 88

Offline BJT3

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 378
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2007, 06:42:05 PM »
Laurent, do you know if your tips have been replaced before? I know the rubber tips harden with age. Maybe that's what is causing the more percussive sound? You've probably already read this but this page has some more info about tips.
http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/hammer-tips.php
You can get individual tips from Vintage Vibe if you want to try it.
Regards,
-Ben-
1978 Mark I Stage Piano 88
1970 Wurlitzer 200
Hohner D6 Clavinet
1961 Hammond A100 Organ
1977 Fender Twin Reverb (Blackfaced)

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2007, 11:41:37 AM »
Thanks for your replies guys !

You're right, my dutch is not that good  :D There are other good things that could make me want to go Amsterdam, but well ...  :lol: I have translated Coops' page with an automatic translator and indeed i read that he doesn't like mail communication. My english is not very good too but i'll try to call him !

BJT3, my tips look in good shape but it doesn't mean they are new. I've read the page you're refering to and apparently, it's OK to put softer tips in the treble area.

I visited the VintageVibe site but here's the message they give for the tips : "We no Longer carry these tips". Too bad ! Anyway, i won't buy anything from them because of the cost to ship in France (customs fee too).  There's epservice which have good prices too, i think i'll buy parts from them (i've broken my "seventy three" logo  :roll: ).

Offline kitchen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2007, 12:58:32 PM »
If you need help with the translation, I'm Dutch and my English is fairly good, so just say what you want to know and I'll try to help you.

Kitchen
'76 Mk I Stage 73 -> 70's Small Stone

Offline kitchen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 01:20:30 PM »
For those of you who want to have a go at Herbie's solo on the 2nd part of Chameleon, I've found this link and the score is pretty accurate if you ask me. I just started to study this.
Gives great insite of Herbie's improvisational skills..........also a lot of fun reading this sheet while listening to the original.

http://bert-transcriptions.0catch.com/transcriptions.htm

Select Herbie's Fender Rhodes solo and you're good to go. It's in.jpg format

Kitchen
'76 Mk I Stage 73 -> 70's Small Stone

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 01:45:31 PM »
Thanks ! That's funny i just made a transcription of this tune several months ago !

I love Chameleon, i've grown with this song in my head, what a terrific rhodes sound, what a groove, aaaaaah i just love it !

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2007, 12:32:01 PM »
Rob Coops answered to the mail i sent him. Here's what he says :

"There is one big misunderstanding on this thread , there is NO dampermodifications in this 1974 piano of the Sunlightglasses. Actually , the dampening is not how it ideally should be and not that good at all.

However , on the 1975 piano-MP3 in the "Models" section of the Supersite , I did  simple modifications that improved the dampening in bass an middle section of the piano.

Every preamp has a different setting of frequency bands it works on. The Majorkey preamp is  different than a Suitcase preamp for instance. If you want total control over the frequencies of your preamp you could invest in the more expensive brands , Focusrite , Amek , Avalon TC Electronics with multiple bands (usually 4) to play with. These have the disadvantage that they cannot be build into the Rhodes like the Majorkey preamp and these cost a lot more money."

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2007, 04:39:23 PM »
New message from Coops :

"I do not remember the work on this piano exactly. This was a customers piano , and we recorded a few things with it , just before it was picked up. I do not think I used yellow tips in the register you mention. It does not really make sense to do that. I quickly listened to your MP3 and the thing that I hear is that your upper notes are intonated a bit thinner (to thin for my taste) and could be that the overall striking line is not optimum , and the high notes of your piano actually sound not loud enough for my taste.  Also keep in mind that hammertips can become very different in hardness after 30 years , the yellow tips hardness can be quite different for similar serialnumbers.So every piano can be refined and hammertips optimised , but using yellow tips beyond D sharp I have never done that I think. Also the high notes of a 1974 Rhodes can be very different in quality (sustain). I think that has to do with how much is has been played . My personal record is exchanging 16 tines in a completely "dead sounding" high register of a intensively battered and abused 1974  . So this year can have its disadvantages and weaknesses too

One more thing about preamps : if you would compare a 1974 Suitcase preamp (round knobs)with a , let's say , 1979 Suitcase preamp (sliders) , you would hear a very clear difference. This difference in tone could be described with terms like "warmth" , "bass" , "transparancy" etcetera etcetera etcetera. But these differences are just differences in frequency bands that are boosted or cut , and can be easily compensated with a EQ-plugin. If you would make 2 samples with these 2 preamps you could make them sound exactly the same with a bit of reworking with a EQ-plugin , by additionally EQ-ing the right frequency bands in a subtle way. A good hearing exercise!

The biggest difference between the "Sunlightglasses"-sound and the sound you hear on Herbie Hanc**ks "Sunlight" or "Mr Hands" is a sweet but musical overdrive in the high frequencies that is typical of these Hanc**k records. My sample is lacking this because the signal-path is 100% clean.  I do not know where exactly in the signal-path of Hanc**k this overdrive arises , I guess you would have to ask Wally Heider. To my ears these 2 records sound DI-recorded (except the last track of Mr Hands which is a Headhunters-session-track).

Headhunters (+ the last track of Mr Hands) sounds amp-recorded to me. A few years ago I asked Herbie if he could remember how this overdrive was generated and his answer was , quote, : "The amp I guess."  Did you know that Wally Heider also did the live recording of the Fillmore East (Band of Gypsy) concerts of Jimmie Hendrix?  

Good luck ,

Rob "I wish my name was Wally" Coops .

"

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2007, 05:07:15 PM »
I'm getting closer and closer to rob coop's sound  :D

He said that my strike line was not optimal. I followed the instructions on this site to adjust it and i was surprised how much the position of the harp can alter the sound !!

I'l post new samples if you're interested.

Offline matt.musicman

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 143
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2007, 08:09:00 PM »
I don't think anyone would object to getting any kind of sound clips...ever.

At least, i would hope not. I want to hear as many sound clips as I possibly can!
Matt

Offline Spookyman

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2007, 08:46:07 AM »
Quote from: "lolo"
I'm getting closer and closer to rob coop's sound  :D

He said that my strike line was not optimal. I followed the instructions on this site to adjust it and i was surprised how much the position of the harp can alter the sound !!

I'l post new samples if you're interested.


Yes...that's a point that i will have to try out myself. The tone of my Rhodes is very mellow too. Not like a Mk2 at all.

I will try to put some audio samples in the next weeks. But it's not allways easy, as my piano is not at home, where i have all what is necessary to record it. I have to take my DAT recorder or my Computer and sound interface to record it...
Fender Rhodes Stage 1971
Fender Rhodes Suitcase 1973

Offline lolo

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
I want this tone !
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2007, 07:09:56 PM »
Hey spookyman, mister perfect pitch  :lol: I see you on every forum  :shock:

In fact, i don't want my Rhodes to sound like a Mk2, i want to get closer to the "Headhunters" sound, which is shallow but deep at the same time, hard to say. What i DO NOT want is a bell-like sound. A friend of mine has a MkV which sounds like this and i find it really awful  :shock:

Keep me updated with your audio samples !

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: I want this tone !
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 04:23:05 PM »
Just to add. For anyone wanting to know about the exact way Herbie's Rhodes was recorded, i spoke to David Rubinson who was Herbie's producer on all those classic albums such as Headhunters, Thrust, Manchild, Sunlight, Mister Hands, etc and all those records were the Rhodes>d.i outs from the suitcase cab>tube limiters...

no cabinet miking.

there you go.


Offline Rhodestech Robocop

  • Vendor
  • Fiesta Red
  • *****
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
    • http://www.fenderrhodes.nl
Re: I want this tone !
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2016, 12:38:10 PM »
Sorry for the late reply Goldphingha , but I must object.

I think the first 3 tracks of Headhunters involved some amp clearly adding overdrive to the sound , and looking at the Bremen 1974 Headhunters video , its probably a Fender Twin with JBLs. So my guess would be actually a MIX of a DI and Twin signal with the amp having the upper hand , which is pretty easy to realize in the studio. Probably some subtle phase-shifting and other sound-arttifacts due to the use of sought after vintage compressors and eq , to get a tighter sound that evens out the loud high notes etcetera etcetera....

For me the last track (the fourth) is a bit of a mystery , this really is very premium sound with extremely musical overdrive in relation to the touch=volume of playing. It sounds more DI than the other tracks.
A wild guess would be the Rhodes going though a Massenburg parametric EQ (just invented at that time! ) , then into a stereo EMT-plate which has a tube-preamp in it , maybe with some overdrive magic....

But I agree that everything afer 1974 sounds DI , and your explanation of the touch of overdrive on some of those records could come from tubelimiters.
Thumbs up for David Rubinson!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 01:37:38 PM by Rhodestech Robocop »

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: I want this tone !
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 03:21:38 PM »
Well, this was direct from David Rubinson in a conversation I had with him (who was the producer and actually there on the sessions) so this is the gospel! He and Fred Catero used 2 x RCA tube limiters on the Rhodes suitcase amp direct outs and the Rhodes was setup for very percussive attack and non-linear transient distortion. So yes an amp was involved but it was the Rhodes suitcase amp although Herbie had the speakers uprated to JBL's. The amp and Rhodes was stock as confirmed by Steve Woodyard some years ago. Just to underline this all facts, not supposition!!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 02:36:39 AM by goldphinga »

Offline Electrickey

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: I want this tone !
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 04:19:19 PM »
Well, this was direct from David Rubinson in a conversation I had with him (who was the producer and actually there on the sessions) so this is the gospel! He and Fred Catero used 2 x RCA tube limiters on the Rhodes suitcase amp direct outs and the Rhodes was setup for very percussive attack and non-linear transient distortion. So yes an amp was involved but it was the Rhodes suitcase amp although Herbie had the speakers uprated to JBL's. The amp and Rhodes was stock as confirmed by Steve Woodyard some years ago. Just to underline this all facts, not supposition!!

Still need to take into consideration how it was mixed after all the processing. Sounds to me the mid to high end was rolled off and tamed. But if JBL's were used, that would've increased the mids, but recording direct did not include the JBL's.

So we're not hearing the speakers and the room sound. And whatever they did to the Rhodes you would have to know the exact tweaks, the model and year of the piano, the limiters, mixer, recorder and outboard effects used. Hence it's not just the piano involved in the end result.