The V8 Pro has raised the bar in terms of Rhodes software emulations and has quickly become a favorite of mine. A must-have for any musician or producer looking to add the authentic Rhodes sound to their productions.
Lots of inspiring presets
The most customizable Rhodes plugin on the market
Great-sounding effect section
GUI and fonts could be easier on the eyes
No standalone version
The Rhodes V8 plugin is an incredibly detailed and authentic rendition of the renowned (and unfortunately pretty expensive) Rhodes MK8 electric piano. It has been meticulously sampled (over 30.000 samples total, up to 100 velocity layers, 14 articulations, sympathetic resonances, mechanical noises, and more) to capture the intricate nuances and distinctive character of Rhodes’ flagship instrument.
The plugin is available in two versions, V8 and V8 Pro. The basic version is more or less like having just an early Rhodes piano and little else (overdrive and ping-pong delay essentially).
The Pro version includes envelope-controlled effects like wah, plus VCA compressor, bucket-brigade style chorus, phaser and delay effects, plus a cherry-picked selection of mics and amps.
Delving deeper into the V8’s capabilities, users can explore the “Setup” (Pro-only feature) and “Detail” panels, which provide a wealth of sonic sculpting possibilities. These options encompass timbre, tuning, damper release and level, per note (!), mechanics volume, timbre shift, velocity curve adjustments, and pedal noise/velocity control.
For those who appreciate the unique character that comes from capturing the sound of a mic’d amplifier, the V8 Pro Edition includes a meticulously chosen selection of vintage amplifiers from the personal collection of Rhodes CPO (and ex-Morcheeba keyboard player) Dan Goldman. These amplifiers have been faithfully modeled to replicate their distinct characteristics and are carefully tailored to enhance the Rhodes sound in both live and studio settings. Among the carefully selected amp/cab options available in the V8 Pro Edition are the revered “Twin” tube combo, the versatile “Jazz” and “L5” solid-state combos, and the iconic Rhodes “Suitcase” cabinet.
I am truly enjoying the Rhodes V8 plugin. In the past I have mostly been using Scarbee’s libraries/instruments (which are still great-sounding and dear to my heart), alternating them more recently with Spectrasonics’ Keyscape (a must-have for the modern keyboard player and producer). The Rhodes V8 is a fantastic new option that I didn’t expect to see on the software market, and that I will surely use a lot over the next years.
It’s extremely musical, super detailed, highly tweakable, and just really a joy to use as a self-contained instrument (I hope they will add a standalone version soon!)
Also, I love the variety and quality of the presets. There’s something for everyone, from the basic and classic sound you would expect in a Rhodes emulation, to a good number of more “out-there” presets. Well done, Rhodes team!
Not much to say here, really. The interface, while resizable to a certain extent, could be more user-friendly (especially if your eyesight is not that great, like in my case). I would suggest an option to hide the keyboard and the lid, so as to have a much bigger overview of the controls. It would be nice to have an option for the font size too. I find especially the Setup panel a bit hard to work with (thank God for my Mac’s zoom feature!).
Also, as said, a standalone version would really be the icing on the cake.
Is The V8 Pro Version Worth The Extra Money?
My answer is a resounding yes. With the Rhodes V8 Pro edition, musicians are provided with an extraordinary level of control, allowing them to craft their desired sound and explore endless possibilities, all while maintaining the essence and authenticity of the “modern classic” Rhodes MK8 electric piano. The basic version, albeit not customizable, can be a fine option as well, as long as you use your DAW and third-party effects to create a comparable sound chain.
Personally, I greatly prefer using the Pro version, as it’s more of a ready-to-play instrument, with carefully picked sonic options and an unprecedented level of customization.
Conclusion – Best Rhodes Plugin On The Market?
Overall, the Rhodes V8 (£149.95 / $179.95 / €169.95), and in particular the V8 Pro version (£249.95 / $299.95 / €274.95), are top-quality and versatile plugins for any musician or producer looking to add the authentic Rhodes sound to their productions.
With its mix of pristine sampling and unprecedented tweakable tonal/mechanical features, The V8 Pro has definitely raised the bar in terms of Rhodes software emulations and has quickly become a favorite of mine. It’s not exactly cheap, but as with any quality instrument, it’s an investment that will pay for itself giving you countless hours of joy and inspiration.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.
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