Whammy Clavinet
July 23, 2021 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Did you realize you could have a whammy bar for your Clavinet? After stumbling across Lachy Doley's cover of Voodo Child on such a contraption, I found a little bit of information about it (more music links on that page) and Doley's own look inside his instrument.
posted by Harald74 (21 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of the most famous examples of the Castlebar Clavinet was installed on George Duke’s plexiglass Clav

Why why why did I not go see the Clarke/Duke project when they did a tour 15 years ago? I did not know of a plexiglass one.
posted by thelonius at 4:18 AM on July 23


Why? Why did I let you send me down this rabbit hole? I don't have time for this fabulousness today! Also: Thank you!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:35 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


This reminded me of Snarky Puppy's Tiny Desk concert, which opens with some back and forth between a whammy clav and a talkbox.
posted by t3h933k at 8:03 AM on July 23


That is utterly fantastic! I want one...not that I need one, but I still want it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:03 AM on July 23


Doley’s hands looked really sloppy on the keyboard, meanwhile this utterly amazing sound was coming out. Unbelievable. I didn’t know that a Clavinet was an electric guitar with a keyboard. I have a couple Clavinet soft synths which I have ignored, associating them with Fender Rhodes, and was I wrong. Time to explore what is undoubtedly a poor imitation of the real thing. Thanks!
posted by njohnson23 at 9:27 AM on July 23


Whoof - 1200 bucks for the kit, plus installation! I guess I don't want one that badly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:36 AM on July 23


Still very cool, though.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:37 AM on July 23


Hot shit, that cover is great and I had no idea these existed.
posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Doley’s hands looked really sloppy on the keyboard, meanwhile this utterly amazing sound was coming out

Massive distortion can conceal a multitude of technical sins.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:08 AM on July 23


(I read "clarinet" and was trying to work through the mechanics of the world's wee-est whammy bar on a single reed.)
posted by away for regrooving at 10:43 AM on July 23 [7 favorites]


associating them with Fender Rhodes

well, that is not too much of a stretch, as they were popular among keyboardists in the same era. And a Fender Rhodes is also a physical, all-analog instrument: it has a steel soundboard (one reason they are so heavy), strings, and piano action.
posted by thelonius at 12:06 PM on July 23


I believe the Rhodes uses tines instead of strings, it's like it's insides are full of tuning forks. The Wurlitzer electric piano is a similar concept, but they also have a rare electric piano with strings.

The Hohner Pianet uses smaller flat tines that ping when they unstick from little sticky pads. There's also a not so common combined Clavinet/Pianet that has both tines & strings together at last.
posted by ovvl at 12:57 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Oh I did not know that - thank you.
posted by thelonius at 1:09 PM on July 23


Massive distortion can conceal a multitude of technical sins.

*wide-eyed innocent look* Who, me?
posted by soundguy99 at 4:09 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]









I̶̡̖̯̖̪͕̝̟͔̰̗̮͖͎̮̗̤̯͔̠̞͎̤͚̰͙͑̓̀̅̀̊̎̒̈́̀̓̀͗͘͜͠ͅţ̷̧̢͇͙͚̞͕̰͙͚̠̦̹̹̱̘̰͓͓͙̠̳̤̰̻́̀̓̃͐'̶̨̢̧̛̛̛̰̩͓̪͕̖̼̞͍̥̼̘̩̹͇̳̲͈̝̇̋̏̓̌͑̌̂͂͂͌̄̔͒̀͐͌̓͒̀͘͜͝͝ͅs̸̛̺̻̳̹͍͍͉̫̠͖͕̔́̇̿̾̇̔̾̕͠ ̷̧̯̤̲̟͔̠̬̯̻͚͈̩̦̥̲̹͈͓̬̥̓̂̊̉͌̔̾͛̎͋̿̉̅̍́̆̌̀̈́͆̈́̇̏͌̎̋̈͌͗̽́̈́̉̚͝͠a̴̢̨̡̢̛̬̥̩̺̱̮̝͉͎̟̹͕̦̬͍̫͔̤̲͇̘̞̠̯͈̥̱̘̹̱̗͉̘̞͊͊͋̾̎́͆̓̄̍̌̚͜ͅl̶̨̥̗͇̱͔͕̈́̾̿̾̐̈́͌̒͋̏͑̓͘͘͝l̶̨̛͕̻̲̭̘͓̯̝̗̘̖̦̪̬͔̪͚̼͇̲̦̳̲̱̹̫̫͈̈́̀̈́̈́̍̑̎̐̽̾̂̓̅̀͐̃̑̎̂̃̎͑̋̄̒̚͜͠͝͝ ̷̧̢̥̗̥͇̝̮̫̲̪̘̥̖̹̱̭͇̥̳͉͚̜̥̤̲̩̮̙̽́̅̈́̐́̿̿̈́̆̽͌͋̎́͌͝ͅģ̵͎̭͖̫͚͓̀̆̅͋̇͛͆̾́͛͗̋̅̅̒̊̋̿́͠ȯ̶͍͈͎͎̻͔́̃̿͗́̽̀̀̾̓͛͛̽̍̎͌̀̇̎́͘̚̚̚͘͜͠ͅơ̶̧̢̢̢̢͔̙̻͇͓̹̰̮͕͔̘̗̮̟̬̯̖͕̙̖̜̜̝̭͓͎͑̊̈́́͊̑̈́̈́̒̉̋̒͑͛̃̽̔̓͂͗̄̔͝ͅͅd̶̡̧̮̮͔̠̳̮͙̲̹̞̤̲͔̮̬̙̱̤̉̃̉̆̓̀̀̈́͑̕̚͘̚͜ͅ

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:28 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I remember back in the 80s (maybe early 90s?) when Keyboard Magazine had soundpage of some guy who had apparently developed the clavinet whammy. It was awesome, but real clavinets were extremely passe at the time, you couldn't give them away. Who wanted them when you could get a DX7 with that fake Rhodes sound that was on every radio ballad?

Doley’s hands looked really sloppy on the keyboard, meanwhile this utterly amazing sound was coming out. Unbelievable.

I saw NRBQ performing once, with keyboard/singer Terry Adams playing a good amount of clavinet with much wacky gusto. Like flat handed banging, and it sounded perfectly at home with the energetic, rootsy rock and roll they do. I swear, I wouldn't be surprised if he tuned adjacent sets of keys as chords. Perhaps the clavinet is unusually forgiving? I only ever played a few notes on one, I'll be damned if I can understand how Stevie Wonder made his sound so awesome.

A few years ago, I saw this vid of Matt Johnson playing a Vintage Vibe Vibanet. Basically a modern repro of a clavinet. I have no business playing a keyboard, but I still want one of these sooooo hard.

Hey, I'd settle for one of their Rhodes repros.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:40 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Who wanted them when you could get a DX7 with that fake Rhodes sound ....

It was amazing how quickly that sound disappeared. It was everywhere. For example it is all over that 80's Mahavishnu reunion album, with Billy Cobham and Jonas Hellborg and saxophonist Bill Evans and Mitchell Forman on DX7 chores, and, I suppose, some piano now and then. You could probably argue that the 90's began when the DX7 died.

I have heard they are hard to find now, because Trent Reznor has bought so many to use as destroyable controllers on tours.
posted by thelonius at 7:41 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Who wanted them when you could get a DX7 with that fake Rhodes sound

I fucking hated that sound, even before I knew it was a DX7 faking a Rhodes sound; maybe because I've always adored the sound of a real Rhodes.

Fortunately there's a couple of VSTs nowadays that come pretty darn close for those of us without super deep pockets. I'm *very* impressed with the Scarbee Classic EP-88s, which is just a little over 100 bucks, or about 3% of the price of either an actual Mk I or a Vintage Vibe repro. They also offer a Clavinet VST...maybe I'll spring for that too, now that this post has me all fired up! And I could use the pitch-bend wheel on my keyboard to emulate the whammy, woo!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:26 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I fucking hated that sound,

I didn't even know it was supposed to be like a Rhodes, I thought it was a dehydrated marimba at the time. I couldn't believe so many musicians used this patch on records back then.

Jan Hammer playing a Rhodes with the top cover open, a glimpse in between some show-offs.
posted by ovvl at 9:07 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


"dehydrated marimba" is absolutely going to be my next sockpuppet name!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:44 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a dehydrated marimba at the time.

I saw those guys opening for Glock and Spiel in '04
posted by thelonius at 12:03 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


« Older All the trains in my son’s train podcast ranked by...   |   A unanimous vote for the right to repair. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments