The Fender Rhodes is a very famous electric piano from the 80’s, especially the Stage Mark II model. It has a deep and gritty sound perfect for Soul, Neo Soul, Blues, R&B and Jazz. Famous artists such as Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock have made numerous famous tracks using the Fender Rhodes.
See below for some free VST plugin Emulators for the Fender Rhodes. E-piano. These can be used with most DAWs that support VSTs.
1. MrRay73 & MrRay22 VST
See the link to the VST below.
The sounds are generated through pure synthesis, no samples are used. These VSTs have a nice warm and funky vibe to them when you play. There have a range of effects too such as Wah Wah, Chorusing, tremolo, panning etc. See below for some links to samples.
2. MDA ePiano
Based on of very small but neat sounding wavetable synth. The MDA plugins are open source, therefore you can find MAC and Linux version too at the link below. Not as many functions as Mr. Ray however still as solid sounding VST.
Riders on the storm
3. EP-Station VST
This is a very cool FM moded EP plugin. Not direct emulation but it does have some good sounds e.g. the DX-7 e-piano which can be heard on a lot of commercial productions in the 80’s. All in all a very good free vintage sounding plugin for you library. It also has a nice phaser and chorus effect. See below for some samples.
Phased Fender Rhodes
4. Clavia Lab
This is an electric piano a little different to your typical Rhodes and Wurlitzer sound. This is a hybrid style analog/physical model using experimental techniques to create the changing complex harmonic content found in an electric piano.
It features the following
- Source, amplifier and modulation sections allowing you plenty of control over tone and playing dynamics
- precise control over all the parameters – the knobs each have around 120 steps
- A VU meter which indicates when tone is likely to distort (distortion is actually wanted in most cases to some extent)
- 8 presets plus extra room for 8 more
- lots of potential for experimentation
This is a cool Electric Piano VST plug-in with 64 voices. This VST does not have an oscillator or ADSR controls. Instead the harmonics and fundamental are controlled by controlled by volume and decay. The timbre of the sound can also be adjusted. The hardness of the sound and attack is also adjustable. Typical other features such as Tremolo and wah wah or of course available.
Some pretty good sounds can be achieved with this Free Rhodes VST. Especially if you add some reverb.
6. Elektrik Keys
A very rich sounding free rhodes VST
This VST is made up of 2 layers of 13 waveform sounds. Each layer offers the typical controls e.g. ADSR, Volume, spread, pitch, flanger and of course delay. There is also assignable automation and even portamento. Due to the sampled waveform, this electric piano VST has a very rich sound.