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This is one of the best VST plugins you could possibly ever get! Omnisphere brings many different types of synthesis together into one amazing-sounding instrument that will inspire a lifetime of exploration. Sylenth1 by Lennar Digital 139 € Sylenth1 takes the definitions of quality and performance to a higher level. This plugin is a “snapin”. That means you can use it as a regular VST/AU plugin, or you can use it with our snapin hosts Multipass and Snap Heap where you can combine effects in amazing ways. The best VST reverb plugins 2020: make some space in your DAW for these amazing ambience processors By Ronan Macdonald (Computer Music, Future Music, emusician) August 06, 2020 The.

There is nothing quite like the warm tone of a Rhodes piano. The unique sounds of this instrument can be found in countless songs in modern music through a variety of genres, including R&B, hip-hop, electronic music, and chillwave.

Want to infuse the sounds of the Fender Rhodes in your mix? Well, you basically have two options. Spend thousands buying the real thing or spend considerably less on an authentic digital version.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great options to choose from if you want to go down the more convenient, less expensive path.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best Rhodes VSTs you can currently buy.

Top 6 Rhodes Plugins

1. Applied Acoustics Systems Lounge Lizard EP-4

If you’re looking for a quality plugin that faithfully replicates not only the Fender Rhodes but also Wurlitzer sounds, check out the Lounge Lizard EP-4. This plugin, created by Applied Acoustics Systems, is fairly simple with fewer than 20 parameters. This means it’s easy to use and won’t be overwhelming if you’re not super experienced with mixing.

Even though it is simple, it does go far beyond the typical Rhodes sounds that you might expect. You can achieve unique Rhodes tones, including organ-like, chime-like, and bell-like tones. You can explore these and others in the Experimental preset section. Beyond that, you can also play with the compressor, equalizer, and multi-effect processor to dial in some crazy, unexpected tones.

Pros

  • Doesn’t take up much CPU
  • Get a good amount for what you pay
  • Sounds are super authentic and transparent

Cons

  • Interface is a little outdated
  • Not able to import sounds from older versions

2. XLN Audio Addictive Keys: Mark One

XLN Audio has a very popular professional drum VST called Addictive Drums, but their Addictive Keys VST definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The Mark One plugin authentically emulates the distinctive warm tones of the Fender Rhodes. The Fender Rhodes on this plugin was played through a vintage tube combo amp and was recorded with the help of several rare microphones to give the best sound quality.

The Mark One can give you any Rhodes sound you are looking for from classic to funky. If you’re wanting a super transparent tone, you can also use the line output on the Rhodes rather than the amp.

This software from XLN Audio gives you the ability to adjust the recording and mixing. You can also choose from a selection of vintage microphones and adjust their distance to achieve a shift in ambiance. If you want to play with the distortion or warmth, take a look at the amp settings.

With the Mark One you get a dynamic mic, room condenser, and ribbon mic in addition to a floor mic and room mic. You also have the option of adding in a Roland Dimension D for analog stereo chorus.

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality and great microphone choices
  • Takes up much less CPU than you would think
  • Flexible in the processing stage

Cons

  • Doesn’t have pre/post switching for effects sends

3. AIR Music Technology Velvet 2

The Velvet 2 VST from Air Music Technology is an electric piano plugin with a good amount of versatility. It actually combines the sounds of five of the best electric pianos out there today. These are the Fender Rhodes MK I, Fender Rhodes MK II, Wurlitzer 200A, Fender Rhodes Suitcase, and Hohner Pianet-T. This VST gives you intimate tones that authentically emulate sounds from a Rhodes piano.

You’ll also find a number of onboard effects that will help you venture outside of the natural capabilities of the instrument. The tube drive panels can help if you want to warm up your tone. You can further shape the sound by adjusting the timbre, curve, and reaction to playing dynamics.

If you want to boost the authenticity of the sound, you have the option to blend in the noise of the pedal and other mechanical sounds from inside the keyboard. With these details, it’ll truly sound like you’re working with an actual Rhodes. You’ll also have access to a 3-band EQ and 350 amazing presets created by the AIR Technology sound designers. This can help you work more efficiently as you search for the best tones for your mix.

Pros

  • An incredible library of 350 presets
  • Numerous effects to choose from
  • Very authentic sounding Fender Rhodes plugin

Cons

  • There is no standalone version
  • Can take too long to load

4. Arturia Stage-73 V

Arturia stands out among the competition when it comes to vintage synthesizer and keyboard VSTs. They offer just about anything you could think of in this arena, but we’re going to take a look at their Rhodes Stage-73 VST. This is an impressively versatile and authentic emulation of the instrument with beautiful, transparent tones. You can also switch over from the 1973 to the 1974 version just by turning the tone knob.

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The layout of the Stage-73 is not only aesthetically pleasing but also user friendly. There’s a wide range of pedals for you to play with to take your Rhodes sounds to a different level. There’s no shortage of effects options too, such as changing the curves and the wet/dry mix.

If you want a grittier final tone, you can take advantage of the small Fender Twin amplifier. The awesome selection of presets is conveniently organized by category, including Clean presets, Short presets, Dark presets, Distorted presets, and many others. If customization is a priority for you, Arturia’s Stage-73 should be at the top of your list.

Pros

  • Incredible preset menu
  • Makes use of top-notch physical modeling
  • Stomp effects section is very unique

Cons

  • Certain presets take some time to render

5. Waves Electric 88

Waves has built a strong reputation based on their incredible product line of plugins. They are the go-to for many mixing engineers worldwide. Among their amazing collection you’ll find the Electric 88, an authentic Rhodes plugin. Its interface lets you dive into the details to craft the ideal tone for your track. You can use this plugin to enhance nearly any type of production. One of the best features is its price tag. It is one of the most affordable Rhodes plugins in the market.

The Electric 88 utilizes a sampling method that borrowed tones from the Mark I 88. You’ll get super realistic and smooth sounds with its fine-tuned velocity curves. You’ll definitely notice a drop-off in effect options compared to the Stage-73, but all the effects you want can be added in later. If you’re wanting a good-quality, low-priced VST, you need to pick up the Waves Electric 88.

Pros

  • Easy to dial in various sounds
  • Affordable
  • Great quality sampling with lots of layers

Cons

  • Not a very wide range

6. Toontrack EZkeys Classic Electrics

Yes, Toontrack has awesome VST keyboard plugins with grand piano sounds, but they also have a solid option for those who want classic electric keyboard sounds. The Toontrack EZkeys Classic Electrics bundle features the sounds of the Rhodes MK I and Wurlitzer 200A. One thing we love about this plugin is that it offers several songwriting features to help those who may struggle in that area. Transposing MIDI tracks is a breeze, and you can also use various playing styles from other MIDI tracks. The Chord Wheel feature can be used to add some color to your chords or adjust the voicings.

With the EZkeys MK I, you can experiment with tones that are outside the natural realm of the Rhodes. There’s an exciting collection of various presets with built-in effects for processed sounds. These include a chorused Rhodes, a distorted Rhodes, and a funky Rhodes with a wah-wah pedal.

If you’re not a super strong keyboard player but would like to add some chord progressions and keys into your mix that sound human produced, the EZkeys bundle is a great option.

Pros

  • Included Export to WAV function
  • Built-in sequencer is top notch
  • Awesome sound quality

Cons

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  • MIDI data is a little too similar to some popular songs

The Sweet Sounds of the Fender Rhodes

When you look at all the options of Rhodes VSTs out there, it might be a bit overwhelming narrowing down which one is best for you. But we have to say that it pretty much comes down to your budget as any VST on our list will likely get the job done. The plugins we have described are the best on the market right now, and each holds its own in this space.

You already know that there is nothing quite like the sound of a real Fender Rhodes in a professional production. Trying to replicate this sound with various effects and piano and synth sounds might seem like an impossible task. Make the whole process much easier for yourself by adding a Rhodes VST to your collection.

Lots of people are obsessed with the ‘warmth’ of analog studio gear. Sure—it sounds fuller, more human, more present.

But these days, modeling technology has become really good at simulating the effects of analog circuitry. Our computers and DAW apps are powerful enough to handle these VST workhorses.

So forget about spending tons of money on analog gear.

Here’s 7 VSTs (for both PC and Mac) that will give you that sweet analog warmth.

  1. SGA1566 Tube Preamp
  2. TDR Slick EQ
  3. Ace Amp
  4. Molot Compressor
  5. Voxengo Tube Amp
  6. MJUC jr. Compressor
  7. Softube Saturation Knob

What’s all the analog fuss about?

Ok, so what does analog circuitry do to your sound? What’s everyone so obsessed about?

What people like about analog sound are the quirks and imperfections.

So when people talk about ‘warm analog sound’ they’re referring to:

  • Subtle distortion and drive
  • Harmonic distortion
  • Tape Saturation
  • Vacuum tubes
  • Preamps

What these processes do to your sound is often hardly noticeable. That’s what the magic’s about—you won’t hear them, but they’ll make a huge difference in how your track sounds and feels.

The cumulative effect of analog processes is what people are gushing about.

1. SGA1566 Tube Preamp

Shattered Glass Audio’s SGA 1566 gives you a single channel vintage tube preamp. The whole circuit is simulated in real time to get you that authentic analog sound.

Use the SGA 1566 as a saturation compressor to boost the warmth of your track. Or add a bit of grit with the tube overdrive.

The newest version is also lighter on your CPU––so no computer freak outs!!

Download the SGA 1566 for free here.

2. TDR Slick EQ

“This little guy sounds amazing” –Dave Pensado

Plugins

The TDR Slick EQ is a sleek easy-to-use three-band EQ that gives you amazing sound—like all Tokyo Dawn Records plugins.

Warm up your sound by choosing a non-linear option under Output Stage. That’ll add subtle harmonic distortion and texture.

Download the TDR SlickEQ for free here.

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3. Ace Amp

Ace Amp—another Shattered Glass Audio creation—is based on classic 1950s style tube amps.

Control the input, volume, feedback, output. Choose between three resampling options.

This amp plugin has simple controls and doesn’t eat up your CPU.

Hot Tip: Try it on vocals for a cool aesthetic effect.

Download the Ace for free here.

4. Molot Compressor

Vladg’s Molot is a compressor with character. Even the vintage Soviet look is on point.

Molot will give your sound interesting color. I recommend reading the manual to learn how to tune it properly—it’s worth the read.

Download Molot for free here.

5. Voxengo Tube Amp

Voxengo’s Tube Amp gives you warm overdrive, fuzzy distortion and everything in between.

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It imitates tube overdrive in the style of single-tube mic preamps.

Hot Tip: Use the low-pass filter to imitate the texture of lower-quality tubes.

Download Voxengo’s Tube Amp for free here.

6. MJUC jr. Compressor

Klanghelm’s MJUC jr. compressor is simple and elegant.

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Use it for smooth compression or a heavier pumping effect. MJUC jr. is based on vintage compressors of the 1960s––it even looks like one.


Flip the ‘Time Constants’ switch to choose between slow, fast and auto. This changes the attack and release time. It affects other parts of the circuitry too, giving you interesting analog-style saturation.

Download the MJUC jr. for free here.

7. Softube Saturation Knob

This Saturation Knob is one the best free analog emulation plugins out there. Even Dave Pensado gives it two thumbs up!

Use it anywhere to add some character and distortion. Drag it on your vocal track to add shimmer.

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The great thing about this one is how simple it is: literally one knob and a switch. Change the switch setting to choose between the kind of distortion you’ll get.

Download the Softube Saturation Knob for free here.

Fake It Till Ya Make It

These effects are the missing ingredient in your digital sound.

The key with analog emulation is to avoid overdoing it. Bring in the effect until you hear it, then dial it back a notch. It’ll still make a huge difference. Your sound will be fuller and warmer.

Use these plugins and people will be asking for your studio secrets in no time.

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Make sure to grab the whole LANDR-approved free VST plugin collection: