The famous Fender Rhodes Mark II stage 73 electric piano!
Essential if you plan to do funk-jazz, deep house, or any soulul music.
The Rhodes keys can be heard on countless tracks, from Herbie Hancock to Stevie Wonder, the Doors & Ray Charles, Chick corea & JojoLapin.
It’s funky, soulful, deep, smooth, jazzy, lounge, groovy.
Here are the best FREE VST emulations of the e-piano:
1. MrRay73 & MrRay22 VST by Guido Scognamiglio
These two VSTi are donationware.
and they are pure synthesis, no sample involved.
The sound is very good, Mr Ray 73 VST gives you that funky feeling when you play it.
Mr Ray 22 has more parameters and some good classic effects : a chorus, a wah wah, a tremolo/autopan, a distortion and a stereo delay.
Mr Ray Charles:
straight Rhodes e-piano
soft deep house chords
Rhodes piano through wah wah effect!
2. MDA ePiano
Based on a small but clever wavetable, the antique MDA ePiano still sounds fresh in 2014!
and since MDA plugins became open source, you can also find version for Mac & Linux, and also 64 bit versions => http://sourceforge.net/projects/mda-vst/files/mda-vst/mda-vst-src 20100214/
MDA ePiano VST is simple & effective, of course it’s more limited than Mr Ray, but sounds great!
riders on the storm!
Ray Charles – Shake a Tail Feather
3. EP-Station VST by Big Tick audio
A very nice FM modeled electric piano. EP-station is now freeware.
The plugin is not a straight emulation of a Rhodes piano.
It can also do the ” DX 7 e-piano “, the famous FM piano as heard on 95% of the pop / ballad / tv show theme / etc.. tracks produced between 1983 & 1989.
The EP-station also features a chorus & a phaser effect.
smooth sound for deep house
phased Fender Rhodes !
ultra smooth Deep house Rhodes+phaser
FM pop piano ! the sound of the 80’s
4. 4Front R-Piano VST
Based on samples, but not only, this emulation gives you a clean sound.
It comes for Windows 32 & 64 bit, and Mac OS X.
4Front R-piano also include a reverb.
soft e-piano for lounge house
5. LazySnake VST by Andreas Ersson
Back to a 100% synthesis emulation !
The Lazy Snake electric piano gives you this lounge and mellow sound.
The synth is easy to tweak, and you have a tremolo + wah wah effect.
It’s not really a Rhodes piano emulation, but it’s perfect for deep house chord.
soft clean deep house chord
wah wah effect!
Ray Charles shake a snake
6. Orange Lounge 2004A by StarrFish Lab
A funky japanese VSTi , created with Synthdit.
It’s not a Rhodes MK2 emulation, but it’s also groovy, and well suited for that deep house feeling.
We can feel the FM modulation but it’s nice!
pretty hard tremolo effect for this e-piano
7. SFZ + Learjeff jRhodes3 soundfont
There are some nice free Rhodes multisample bank around the interweb. So you can pick your favorite sf2 capable VST player and load a Rhodes piano soundfont into it!
Here i choosed the SFZ+ player by RGCAudio and the jRhodes sf2 , that’s the best combo!
(november 17 2014 update !!)
8. RhodyMK1 by Wahnsyn
A Synthedit VST plugin from Plugindex German website : it has a clean sound, i think it’s based on a soundfont / wav bank. It’s very usable. Unlike the other “classic” emulations, it features a vibrato effect instead of a tremolo effect, it’s strange but that makes unusual sounds!
9. Clavia Lab by Simple Media
This plugin is intended for e-piano sounds and also organ and clavinet / harpsichord sounds.