Sampleson has released Fire ($29 value), a virtual instrument which emulates the Rhodes Piano Bass electric piano. The instrument, available in VST and AU plugin formats for compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac, can be downloaded completely free of charge for the next 60 days using the coupon code found in this article.
Fire uses spectral modeling to emulate the sound characteristics of the Rhodes Piano Bass electric piano. Instead of sampling the instrument, the team at Sampleson has developed a synthesis algorithm which emulates the modeled piano in real time. The main advantages of this approach are better playability and expressiveness, along with a much smaller memory footprint of the plugin. Whereas sample-based plugins rely on a large number of static samples, synthesis-based emulations can use the processing power of modern computers to simulate the complex behavior of real-world instruments.
The plugin features a modern-looking user interface with large and clearly labeled controls. The user can adjust the amount of drive and reverb added to the signal, set the velocity response to their liking, and control the low partials and the release time. The preamp stage can be turned on or off using the button on the left. The settings menu is where you can adjust the GUI zoom amount, the maximum number of voices, and various audio and MIDI settings for the standalone version of the instrument.
As for the sound quality, Fire seems like an excellent emulation of the original instrument. The plugin sounds warm and organic, with plenty of power in the lower frequencies. I also liked how the dynamic response of the instrument allows for expressive playing. Fire could easily fit an electronic music producer’s toolkit as a secret ingredient for the bass section, either on its own or layered on top of a traditional synthesizer plugin.
The instrument is normally priced at $29 but you can download it completely free of charge for the first 60 days after release. Simply apply the coupon code GETINSPIRED at checkout to reduce the price to zero. The download link will be delivered to the provided email address. The plugin doesn’t need to be activated. Simply extract the downloaded ZIP archive and move the included plugin files to the desired folder.
Fire is available for free download via Sampleson for the first 60 days following its release (28.2 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin for Windows & MacOS).