Author Topic: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's  (Read 6503 times)

Offline retro-mike

  • Vendor
  • Fiesta Red
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
    • Retrolinear.com
A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« on: August 05, 2013, 01:32:40 PM »
All three of Donald Fagen's Rhodes pianos were sent into Retrolinear for preparation of the upcoming Steely Dan tour.
We wanted to share how they came out  :) Each piano has differences in feel and tonality (Personally I'm partial to Lucy but all three certainly sound amazing)

Lucy underwent a full restoration, there was a litany of issues with the piano itself and the amplifier required a total overhaul.
We have some of the nitty gritty details on our site and a before video http://www.retrolinear.com/new-stuff/steely-dan-round-2!!!.aspx
Grace and Wilma were also restored by us here, but at an earlier date so they only required some minor adjustments.

It took sometime to sort footage and edit, but without any further delay, Grace,Wilma & Lucy.
BIG Thank you to Scott Coulter for coming and doing his thing for us.

We recorded with a Pair of Neumann KM184 mics on the front speakers of each Suitcase bottom. The mics ran into small Yahama mixer with the main outs patched into the audio/aux in of the Zoom Q3HD Hd video camera. Added a hint of Reverb. No compression, totally 100% flat eq- unaltered recording.

Lucy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTHnOdMysAM

Grace
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lAasti4CGY

Wilma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TlQh0ypYAo

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 02:04:53 PM »
They sound ammmmmaaaaazzzzzing!! Top job. Can i ask something: i'm sure i saw Herbie Hancock playing 'Grace' in this vid, unless my eyes are deceiving me? check 7:01

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSwhwfwTzqw

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3280
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 02:13:51 PM »
The pianos sound superb.  And they're all voiced equally so if one goes down, hey send in the reserve and no one knows!  Great work.

By the way GP, wow - great eyes.  7:02 I can clearly see GRACE above the namerail logo.  That's an interesting connection :).

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 retro-mike

  • Vendor
  • Fiesta Red
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
    • Retrolinear.com
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 03:11:55 PM »
That Herbie Hancock & Josh Groban performance is from 2008, it is Grace as she was from Ken Rich initially, prior to any reworks.

SD takes all 3 with them! I think that and something like 40 guitar amps I hear :)

Thanks for the kind words!!

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 03:13:10 PM »
Yes! I knew i wasn't going mad! I wonder if Herbie rang up Donald and said, 'hey man, can i borrow your Rhodes please!??? Would love to know how that came about...

ps...I still find it strange that Herbie hardly ever plays Rhodes these days except when guesting with another artist; he has a whole language just on the Rhodes that's very different to his piano style. I would love to hear him do another Rhodes led album. But anyway! I digress back to the Steely Rhodes' and Retronlinear.  8)

Makes sense that this was 2008 before the reworking.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 03:16:49 PM by goldphinga »

Offline retro-mike

  • Vendor
  • Fiesta Red
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
    • Retrolinear.com
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 03:15:09 PM »
here is another vid with Grace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJkyI4vEhFQ&feature=youtu.be


Those piano's are stored up in New York so who knows how Herbie ended up with Donald's piano, I would guestimate the know each other and have crossed paths in the past ;) (note if they haven't, collaboration hint!!!)

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3505
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 06:47:03 PM »
They sound awesome, voicing wise. Not to be nit picky, but Lucy needs a little tuning. Listen to the first few seconds, most noticeable around :07. There seems to be an octave that is off.

Other than that, wow!

Nice playing too.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline LeonSpinks

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 08:50:39 PM »
Hell yeah!  Love the Dan.  Seen them twice at the Gorge.  Terrific shows.  Don should buy my Executone and tour with that. 

/end threadjack

Anyway, I'll watch the vids at home.  No internet in the studio. 

Offline Tim W

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
    • View Profile
    • Retrolinear Inc.
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 09:05:25 PM »
Steveo-

Yes, indeed, Lucy is not tuned.  Neither are Grace or Wilma, for that matter... 

Donald has the Rhodes stretch tuned to match the Steinway grand so we were specifically asked not to tune the pianos for pitch since it would just make more work for everybody involved.

We generally tune our pianos equal temperament, but that isn't usable in this situation.

Probably should have made that clear in the earlier post. 

Also, FYI:

Lucy  1973
Grace mid- 1976
Wilma late-1976

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3505
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2013, 10:47:26 PM »
Hahaha that's good to know Tim.


Btw, we still need to talk.
Things have been hectic.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline David Ell

  • Vendor
  • Sparkletop
  • *****
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2013, 11:24:15 PM »
This is what I am hearing: The grommet to screw shank/tone bar fit, both inside and outside dia, (screw shank and tone bar contact) are even their float vs. isolation in regards to fork movement (blow response and recovery) after a hammer blow. In other words, not only is the fit good, but the rebound properties of the rubber is right. The response is optimal. The tone bars are jumping well to players touch, yet there is balance/smoothness. It seems that the grommets have just the right memory and make up. The forks have good velocity response (movement) and sustain. It's not just about voicing the tines and pick ups.
 What we are hearing are harps (and hammer tips) that have good voicing quality/float properties. The player is taking advantage with what is available. It's fun to play a Rhodes when it's responding well.
 It has always been the bane of a tech to have access to the right grommet. (springs as well)
 Tighter you get more smoothness, looser you get more to the funky side. You want just the right amount of float/balance. These Rhodes have it. It's something to always be aware about when working on a Rhodes. A lot of guys miss it. 
 After awhile you can tell what any Rhodes is doing, even from a recording. Those tone bars (harps) are floating well, I like it.
 I imagine those are the new grommet/screws. I have a set. I can't wait to use them.
 
 
 

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3280
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2013, 11:24:35 PM »
Yes, Donald definitely insists that he plays his Rhodes stretch tuned.  It's hard because the Rhodes sound wave is more simple than an acoustic piano, so the wolfing is more apparent.

http://youtu.be/dp-gpk-dUxE
0:27
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 Miguel Tuna

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 231
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 11:18:00 PM »
I posted that video of Herbie with Josh Groban on the Rhodes artists subforum, but saw later that they are not playing live... :(
Anyway, nice groove by Herbie.
'79 Mk1 Suitcase

Miguel Tuna

Portugal

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: A Trio of Steely Dan Rhodes 88's
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2013, 12:23:10 AM »
Not live? Really?