The RMI Electrapiano from US manufacturer, Rocky Mount Instruments, was a popular electric piano/harpsichord in certain musical genres of the '70s.
To be accurate, the Electrapiano was actually an electronic piano - whereas other electric pianos at the time were electro-magnetic using tines hit by hammers that were amplified using pickups, the Electrapiano's sound was generated electronically.
It is thoroughly unrealistic and sounds very little like a real piano (or even an electric piano!) but it is a pleasant and distinctive sound nonetheless sounding somewhere between a harpsichord and a guitar... being charitable, let's just say that it has a piano or harpsichord 'quality'!
Despite its aspirations to be a portable piano, the Electrapiano was not - unbelievably - touch sensitive! This was to come much later at the end of its life and even then, the velocity sensitive model was only available to order before the product was completely discontinued.
The Electrapiano featured piano, harpsichord and lute and had a curious 'organ' mode which modified the envelope for more sustained sounds and these were generated electronically with impressive internals...
The Electrapiano was very popular with many prog-rock bands of the '70s. Probably the most famous user was Tony Banks of Genesis and you can hear it in abundance on many of their albums most notably, perhaps, in 'The Carpet Crawlers' from their album 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' where it provides a rapidly arpeggiated backdrop throughout the whole song (in those pre-sequencer days, his fingers must have ached when they performed that one live!). He was also known to put it through a fuzz box when duetting and trading guitar licks with the band's guitarist, Steve Hackett. Other prog users include Rick Wakeman, Dave Greenslade, Gryphon and others all of whom (presumably) appreciated it for the sound it makes rather than as a substitute for a real piano.
However, prog was not the sole province of the RMI Electrapiano and it has also been played by Sparks, John Lennon, Wings, Steve Wonder, Ray Manzarek, Chick Corea, Dr John, Keith Jarret, Leon Russell and John Lord (who had his RMI custom built into his Hammond B3).
The samples employed in Hollow Sun's RMI Electrapiano come courtesy of one Justin Casey in the US who took them from his own RMI Electrapiano 368. He very sensibly sampled each 'tab' separately thereby providing access to the PIANO, PIANO PP, HARPSI, HARPSI PP, LUTE and ACCENTER thus providing an opportunity, using Kontakt's scripting, to totally recreate the instrument as authentically as possible with each tab switchable individually to mix and match and combine the different sounds.
But of course, the sound of the actual Electrapiano itself was only half the picture - its famous users of yesteryear shoved their RMIs through all manner of effects pedals such as distortion, phase shifters, echo, etc., so, again, an opportunity to recreate that using Kontakt's on-board multi-effects.
Hollow Sun's Electrapiano also brings modern twists to the instrument such as presets and the ability for users to store their own presets.
||Hollow Sun / Chris Salt (features RMI Harpsicord)
Kontakt 4.2.2 full version
Windows® XP (SP2, 32bit) / Vista® (32/64 Bit), Windows 7® (32/64 Bit), Pentium® or Athlon XP 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM
Mac OS® X 10.5 or higher, Intel® Core™ Duo 1.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM
|NOTE : It will work with the Kontakt Player but only in 'demo' mode and the session will be time limited.
When I saw your version that included the complete soundset, PLUS the fab GUI, there was only one thing for it.
I have to say I couldn't wipe the smile from my face - it's a fantastic job, just like playing the real thing.
Nick Magnus - composer, keyboards for Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis), The Enid, session player and Electrapiano owner.
finally got round to buying it.
this thing freakin' awesome, woah !
Darsho - KVR
Yup, new stuff by Hollowsun is pretty cool and price is fair. Just got a few of them
luxth - KVR
I am currently working on a project for EMI production music and Hollow Sun's RMI has fired my imagination and helped me develop an interesting and unusual sound palette
Chris Salt - riffs.tv
I've been following progress of this with interest. It's an amazing achievement and sounds great.
Tom - via email
The UI is stunning. Well done. Sounds great as well. Keep up the good works
Farrer - via email
We play old Genesis songs in our prog band. This will be a great addition to get that uthentic sound.
Randy - via iPhone
Lovely stuff as always from Hollow Sun
Paul - via email
Coolest Kontakt interface I've seen yet!
A.M. Gold - KVR
Stunning work. Loving it. Hollow Sun prog rocks :-)
Raymond - via email
The interface has got to be the best I've seen for a kontakt instrument and I love having presets and the ability to save your own. As always Hollowsun provides a stellar product for a paltry sum. You guys did good!
MRT - KVR
bought it yesterday... another essential by Steve & co !!! fantastic and utterly expressive and emotive instrument ! thank you HS !!!!!
States - KVR