The Rhodes piano is an electromechanical keyboard instrument, released for the first time in 1946 and subsequently manufactured for at least four decades, reaching an iconic status and being now generally referred to as the electric piano. A few academic works discuss its operating principle and propose different physical modeling strategies; however, the inharmonic modes that characterize the attack transient have not been subject of a dedicated study before. This study addresses this topic by first observing the spectrum at the pickup output, applying a psychoacoustic model to assess perceptual relevance, and then conducts a series of scanning laser Doppler vibrometry (SLDV) experiments on the Rhodes asymmetric tuning fork. This study compares the modes of the Rhodes piano to those of its individual parts, allowing for the extraction of important information regarding role and natural modes. On the basis of this study, numerical experiments are conducted that show the intermodulation of the modes due to the magnetic pickup and allow the tones produced by the Rhodes from the collected data to be closely matched. Finally, this study is able to extract the distribution of the most important modes found on the whole keyboard range of a Rhodes piano, which can be useful for sound synthesis.
The Rhodes electric piano: Analysis and simulation of the inharmonic overtones / Gabrielli, L.; Cantarini, M.; Castellini, P.; Squartini, S.. - In: THE JOURNAL OF THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA. - ISSN 0001-4966. - 148:5(2020), pp. 3052-3064. [10.1121/10.0002002]