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#2305964 - 07/23/14 01:24 PM Wurlitzer electric piano sound
88 Fingers Jeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/14
Posts: 31
Loc: Peoria, IL
I am trying to find a keyboard that does a good job of mimicking the old Wurlitzer electromechanical pianos from the 50s - 70s timeframe.

Can anybody offer any recommendations as to what makes/models I might look at?

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#2305968 - 07/23/14 01:34 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 843
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: 88 Fingers Jeff
I am trying to find a keyboard that does a good job of mimicking the old Wurlitzer electromechanical pianos from the 50s - 70s timeframe.


Is this the type of sound you are trying to mimic?



Edited by Marko in Boston (07/23/14 01:40 PM)
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#2305973 - 07/23/14 01:47 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: Marko in Boston]
88 Fingers Jeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/14
Posts: 31
Loc: Peoria, IL
Somewhat. Basically, I'm looking for something similar to Supertramp's sound. I've read that in general they used a 200A with some chorus effects (I'm sure the specifics varied from song to song).

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#2305979 - 07/23/14 02:05 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Some say the Casio PX-5S has some nice Wurlitzer and EP sounds, I don't know for sure, I haven't tried them. I have a PX-5S, but I'm not so interested in EP voices.

You can browse through the audio demos by clicking the link below, just scroll down you'll find some Wurlys. Beware that you have to have a decent PA system for the EP voices, as probably piano voices as well.

http://sc3900.wix.com/px-5s#!music/c1x9v
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#2305983 - 07/23/14 02:14 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 547
There is a great "Trampy" Wurlie preset called "Hello Stranger" on the PX-5S.

Video demo:

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#2306028 - 07/23/14 03:42 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1585
Loc: Portugal
Do you mean a Wurlitzer sound more like this? https://soundcloud.com/naughty-toad/roland-wurltitzer
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#2306065 - 07/23/14 04:50 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
88 Fingers Jeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/14
Posts: 31
Loc: Peoria, IL
Thanks for the replies. The PX-5S really sounds quite good. The Roland is also nice.

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#2306081 - 07/23/14 05:30 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Marko in Boston Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 843
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: 88 Fingers Jeff
The PX-5S really sounds quite good.


PX-5S seems like such a great go-to DP. Not sure what it cant do. On paper you would think someone was joking for everything you get starting with jam-packed features, tons of sounds, great action, 24lbs, can run on batteries, and UNDER $1000. Then throw in Mike Martin's personal support and tutorials.... wow

I know, Im OT again.
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#2306113 - 07/23/14 06:59 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I think there's a fair bit of choice now - that PX-5S demo does sound very good. (better than the sound Roger Hodgson uses live these days, that's for sure) I liked the demo recordings of the Kawai MP11 too.

Nord's sounds ultra-real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECIwAB6irGE but probably too expensive?

Greg.

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#2306136 - 07/23/14 07:34 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8862
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I'm undoubtedly bias, but I think the EPs on the MP11/MP7 are really great. There are some nice Reed (Wurlitzer) EP demos on the MP website:

http://www.kawaimp.com/mp11/media/audio/

The Yamaha CP1/CP5 also had excellent EPs.

Cheers,
James
x
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#2306298 - 07/24/14 05:23 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
ColoRodney Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/14
Posts: 18
The Korg SV1 is highly regarded for its Rhodes and Wurlitzer samples, and I found it a joy to play. Plus, it looks cool and retro, and has an actual tube amp built right in for very nice amp simulation.

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#2306313 - 07/24/14 06:50 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Cmin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 221
Loc: Swabia
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#2306359 - 07/24/14 09:00 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: Cmin]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1728
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
I'm not a huge EP aficionado these days , but when I do use them, I want them to sound good.

I had always thought the Nord had the best Wurli & Rhodes (they still are excellent and work fine for the majority of applications) - that is until I started using the CP4 out live.

All the EPs, especially the Wurlis, are thicker , sustain more, and have a smoother top end. Basically I feel everything sounds more realistic & full playing (and sitting in the stage mix) with bass , drums and guitars.

I played the CP4 for over a month until I first gigged out with it. All the time in my studio I didn't think the EPs were that big a deal, and I still preferred the basic tone of the Nord.

Moral of story--things dramatically change when moving from your studio/home to the gig.

The CP4 has the best Wurlis I've heard (and I've owned 2 SV1s in addition to the S90 Classic) . I'd have to have it next to a Kronos to compare the Rhodes. (which is the Korg's strongest appeal, at least to me) Just guessing, but I think the Kronos might have the edge there.
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#2306373 - 07/24/14 09:16 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: Scott Hamlin]
36251 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 723
Originally Posted By: Scott Hamlin
There is a great "Trampy" Wurlie preset called "Hello Stranger" on the PX-5S.

Video demo:

It's funny how this sounds so much better than the earlier post of a real Wurlizer.


Edited by 36251 (07/24/14 09:16 AM)
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#2306381 - 07/24/14 09:30 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1585
Loc: Portugal
It's funny how this sounds so much better than the earlier post of a real Wurlizer.

Yes it is! Casio sounds (considerably) more like a Wurlitzer electric piano than a real Wurlitzer electric piano. Though it has something to do with the playing, which on the real Wurlitzer is a bit Sunday-lunchtimish for an EP demo (IMHO).
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#2306474 - 07/24/14 01:52 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: sullivang]
88 Fingers Jeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/14
Posts: 31
Loc: Peoria, IL
Originally Posted By: sullivang
I think there's a fair bit of choice now - that PX-5S demo does sound very good. (better than the sound Roger Hodgson uses live these days, that's for sure)


I was thinking the same thing.

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#2306475 - 07/24/14 01:52 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3153
No one has mentioned Kurzweil yet, so I'll toss that in, I think they have some of the best EPs. And you can get them in models as cheap as the SP4-7. If you get the SP4, be sure to download the additional free EP sounds from their web site.

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#2306746 - 07/24/14 11:05 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: anotherscott]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Nobody has mentioned "Lounge Lizard", either. It has a whole bunch of Wurlitzer presets, and it's fully programmable.

The cost of a PC, a MIDI-to-USB converter, and either Pianoteq or Lounge Lizard (each of them model both Rhodes and Wurlitzer) is less than most DP's.

. Charles

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#2307122 - 07/25/14 07:04 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: 88 Fingers Jeff
Somewhat. Basically, I'm looking for something similar to Supertramp's sound. I've read that in general they used a 200A with some chorus effects (I'm sure the specifics varied from song to song).


One of the "Lounge Lizard" pre-sets is named "Tramp Wurly". That might be a good place to start.

Free download, free use for 14 days.

. Charles

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#2307189 - 07/25/14 09:51 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
Dave Weiser Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Boston, MA
I made a few Supertramp Wurly presets for Kurzweil, some a while back (PC2, K26, PC3) and one quite recently (Forte).
The one in the PC3/Artis has an audio demo.
They don't have an audio demo up for the specific Tramp sound in the Forte, but there are other Wurly demos posted.

https://soundcloud.com/kurzweil-music-systems/sets/artis-series-e-piano

https://soundcloud.com/kurzweil-music-systems/sets/forte-series-wurly

I did some work for the PX5S as well - a superb all around board, esp considering the price and weight.
http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/topic/4725-vintage-keys-set/
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#2307251 - 07/26/14 04:27 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
[rathole alert]
Dave,
Just a nit, but I notice you called the Casio preset "dogpianet", implying that they used a Pianet. I used to think it was a Pianet too (it sounds like one to me) but according to here: http://www.hallofelectricpianos.co.uk/whoplayed.html and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Greenspoon it was actually a Wurly. If you have any references I'd be really curious. smile

Greg.

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#2307382 - 07/26/14 01:58 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: sullivang]
Dave Weiser Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: sullivang
[rathole alert]
Dave,
Just a nit, but I notice you called the Casio preset "dogpianet", implying that they used a Pianet. I used to think it was a Pianet too (it sounds like one to me) but according to here: http://www.hallofelectricpianos.co.uk/whoplayed.html and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Greenspoon it was actually a Wurly. If you have any references I'd be really curious. smile

Greg.


Ah yes I've bounced back and forth on this one over the years. Years ago when I created Pianet presets for Kurz (with Pianet samples) we had a few pretty solid keys reference books that listed it as Pianet. But I've also seen the Greenspoon quotes about it being a Wurly. I'm inclined to say that settles it.

Yet there are still a few things that give me at least a hint of a grey area. I'm pretty sure that there's no sustain pedal used on the Three Dog Night recordings. The Pianet had no sustain, the Wurly did. But of course some players used their Wurly without the sus pedal. On Mamma Told me not to Come, the pitchy warble effect sure sounds an awful lot like the Pianet's vibrato setting. Wurly didn't have one of those. Greenspoon mentioned playing the Wurly through a Leslie... yet it still sounds really like the Pianet vibrato. When creating presets to match the recordings, I tried using both Wurly and Pianet samples - I always got better results with Pianet samples. On the PX5S (that has no Pianet samples) I timbre-shifted (transposed the root sample) the Wurly many steps up to get a sound that matched.

All of these factors seem to be at odds with what Greenspoon himself had to say.

The quote I saw from him was quite recent. I've worked with several high profile guys that 30-40 years after the fact have actually gotten some facts wrong about their own recordings. The best example was hanging out with Bernie Worrell from P-Funk and gently reminding him "No dude I'm pretty sure *you* wrote this song". After a minute of memory-jogging he came around saying, "Oh yeah thanks man, I remember now! I love that song!" One hypothesis of mine is that a Pianet could have been used on the studio recordings, but on all live renditions he did in fact use the Wurly. In this scenario, he would have hundreds (or even thousands) of memories of having played the Wurly rig vs the one single memory of the Pianet in the studio. Throw in an adult dose of partying in the 70s and I know my memories of such things might get a little fuzzy.

I'm still 95% on side of thinking it was probably a Wurly. But the nerdly minutiae mentioned above does drive me a little nutty. This is why when I'm not programming keyboards for work I try to keep my head occupied with things like Weird Al, art, old books, history and bad sci-fi/horror movies. Otherwise all of my waking moments would be dominated by keyboard-geek conundrums!


Edited by Dave Weiser (07/26/14 01:59 PM)
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#2307413 - 07/26/14 04:11 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Dave,
Many thanks for sharing your expertise - absolutely fascinating. I liked your playing a lot too, in those demos.

Greg.

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#2307452 - 07/26/14 06:08 PM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: 88 Fingers Jeff
I've read that in general they used a 200A with some chorus effects (I'm sure the specifics varied from song to song).


That's my understanding too, but I can't really hear any chorus in "Dreamer", and it still sounds insanely good. ;^)

Just took another listen to the Kawai Wurly demos - yep - that really is dead on, IMHO - it has that bright metallic tone.

Greg.

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#2308038 - Today at 07:42 AM Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Dave,
FWIW, I did a Google for "pianet joy to the world" and found this post by Ken Rich: (I don't know anything about him, but he seems to be into keyboards in a very big way, like yourself)

https://www.facebook.com/KenRichSoundServices/posts/315402998515529

He too seems to be coming round to the opinion that it's a Wurly!

Greg.

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#2308272 - 12 minutes 14 seconds ago Re: Wurlitzer electric piano sound [Re: 88 Fingers Jeff]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2190
Loc: Sydney, Australia
And the "previous post" Ken refers to is: https://www.facebook.com/KenRichSoundServices/posts/285471241521959

this pretty much settles it for me - that's a Wurly sounding about the same as the studio recording, IMHO. Moreover, there are sections in the studio recording that really do sound more like a Wurly than a Pianet - the tone sounds more like hammers hitting reeds than the reeds being "plucked".

I'll still download your patch, though, even if you don't rename it. ;^) (if I ever get a PX5S)

Greg.

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