When the new owners of the Rhodes brand got into business, their aim was to develop an all-new hardware version of the classic electric piano. With that achieved, in the form of the MK8, it now appears that the company could be setting its sights on the software market.
A report by The Beat Community (opens in new tab) indicates that Rhodes has now registered as a software developer at KVR, the online music software database. Which can only lead us to conclude that a new official Rhodes electric piano plugin could well be on the way.
Our suspicion is that this will be based directly on the MK8, possibly including all of its optional effects. It wouldn’t surprise us to see emulations of other Rhodes models being bundled in too, though.
It remains to be seen what kind of tone generation will be used. Arturia’s Rhodes-emulating Stage-73 V is powered by a physical modelling engine, but a sample-based instrument is also a possibility.
As to whether the availability of a software MK8 might cannibalise sales of the hardware piano, we’d suggest that it won’t. With prices starting at more than $9,000, the MK8 is designed to appeal to a very specific kind of player - one who’s always craved a real Rhodes and has money to burn, basically - but, assuming the plugin costs significantly less (which we think is probably a given), its potential audience should be considerably larger.
More news as and when we get it.