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MK-80 Digital Rhodes
MK-80 Digital Rhodes®

In 1987, shortly after they discontinued the Rhodes® product line, Fender sold the Rhodes® brand name to a well-known Japanese manufacturer where Spectrasonics President Eric Persing was Chief Sound Designer. Two years later, the Japanese company released the MK-80 – a digital “re-imagining” of the electro-mechanical Rhodes®. The MK-80 featured a solid, 88-key weighted-action that could also be used as a MIDI controller and came with a practical flat top for stacking other synths. It felt great to play and came with 4 separate electric piano sounds, along with a trio of high-end analog stereo effects: a built-in tremolo, phaser, and chorus.

Because of the reverence for which die-hard Rhodes® fans have always had for the original electro-mechanical instruments, it might have been a mistake to brand the MK-80 keyboard as an official, modern “Rhodes®” keyboard. On internet Electric Piano forums, the MK-80 has a poor reputation. This is especially interesting, because internally this digital instrument was that company’s follow-up to the greatly revered MKS-20 and uses a more advanced version of the Structured Adaptive® synthesis technology. While it sounds nothing like a classic Rhodes®, it is a wonderful, brighter variation of the much-loved MKS-20 sound - excellent for layering with other sounds! We are happy to revive this great 80s-style “Vintage Digital” sound in Keyscape!

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All musical instrument manufacturer and product names used in Keyscape are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Spectrasonics. The trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied during Spectrasonics sound development. All names of musical artists and instrument inventors have been included for illustrative and educational purposes only and do not suggest any affiliation or endorsement of Keyscape by any artist or instrument inventor.