ElectroMechanical 2 ReFill is a collection of multisamples, patches and song files designed to bring the sound of those hard-to-find, easy-to-love vintage keyboards into your Reason rack. Our main focus when creating this ReFill has been on realism; the keyboards used were carefully recorded using both vintage and state-of-the-art equipment, but rather than try to make these old beasts sound squeaky-clean and sonically perfect, we have embraced the flaws, quirks and errors that make up their very soul.
The result is a set of Reason instruments that are stunningly authentic and a joy to play. So here it is, the ElectroMechanical 2.0 ReFill, in all its warm, fuzzy, realistic glory.
Wurlitzer EP100 (Tube Fleckstone Model 100)
Right up there with the Fender Rhodes is the legendary Wurlitzer, a pick-up based electric piano introduced in the early 50’s. This model, the EP 100 “Fleckstone” model, was made in 1953 and has full piano length action. The Fleckstone’s “woody” signature sound can be heard on numerous Beatles albums, as well as on tracks by Ray Charles, Donnie Hathaway and the Rolling Stones, to name but a few. So If you need the “birth of rock-n-roll” model, this is the one.
All the early Wurlitzer models featured tube circuitry amplifiers, and this one is no exception. The patches use two velocity layers to capture all this, and the EP100’s vibrato effect can be accessed and adjusted from your mod wheel.
The Wurly sampled here – an 80’s edition of the classic EP200 model made popular in the 60’s and 70’s – is very accurate and has that warm, soulful sound to it. Which has translated really well to the multisampled version. Try finding another set of Wurly samples this musical and playable…
As with all pickup based instruments, hum and noise are to be expected, but us purists know that these artifacts shouldn’t be edited out completely, the Wurly would sound less alive without them.
Fender Rhodes MK I (Tubed)
The Fender Rhodes is the predecessor to the MK II, and very similar in sound and appearance. Which is why we chose to record this one using a Fender Twin tube amplifier, for that thick, growling quality. The inevitable amplifier noise adds to the overall impression – this is for real!
Every third key has been sampled here, using eight velocity levels plus release samples to really capture the character of the instrument.
Fender Rhodes MK II
The Fender Rhodes piano is the mother of all electric pianos. This particular model – a 73 keys MK II Stage Piano – weighs in at a healthy 60 kilos, lacks the Wurlitzer’s vibrato feature, and has some pretty crude tonal controls, but its rich, warm sound is what matters. And that’s the sound we’ve tried to reproduce here. Play hard for extra grit.
This Mark II was sampled directly from the instrument output, with no extra Bass Boost or treble added. The sound is comprised of four velocity crosswitched layers: extremely soft, soft, medium, and loud (hard), allowing for plenty of variation and expression.
Hohner Clavinet D6
The Hohner Clavinet with its staccato sound and slightly nasal tone is best described as: Funk. This string instrument was originally designed to be an electric version of the 17th century Clavichord, but after Stevie Wonder released Superstition, all hope of ever using this Keyboard for chamber music was forever lost. Our D6 was multisampled in eight velocity layers, with release samples to boot! Four Mother patches are available, one for each of the Clavinet’s microphone settings, representing the switches labelled A, B, C and D on the original instrument. This gives you four combos: AC, AD, BC and BD.
The mod wheel controls the tone color on all Mother patches. Loads of possibilities, loads of authenticity.
Hohner Pianet T
The Hohner Pianet is a pretty low-key little instrument. Significantly smaller than the average Rhodes or Hammond, the Pianet has no volume control, no tonal controls and no mains connection. All you do is plug it in and play away.
The soft, muffled tone sounds like a cross between a Wurly and a jazz guitar and is created by plastic suction pads plucking the reeds inside.
This Hohner Pianet T model was sampled in two velocity layers with release samples that make this instrument sound very lifelike.