Dark Star! Round 2

Last summer RetroLinear restored a very special Rhodes piano for Rob Barraco of Dark Star Orchestra. DSO was so thrilled they sent a Yamaha CP-70 in for an Optical midi system  and complete overhaul! We've also added some special modifications to their Rhodes.

Prior to "midi-fying" we overhauled and stretch tuned Rob's CP-70.

Optical midi- the final frontier. Converting a CP-70 into a midi controller sounds simple but the subtle nuances of what makes PNOscans optical system function properly requires time and an attention to detail - in other words,   no cheating or cutting corners!  Inside a CP-70 space is at a premium, the optical sensors require precise positioning for proper response.  Custom supports and shims were fabricated for correct placement.  Installation also required modifying keys,  a tedious but necessary process.  The support electronics and cabling are carefully placed to avoid interfering with the piano's mechanical action.  A custom recessed plate was fabricated to securely hold the midi and usb interface jacks.  After the mechanical install was complete each keys velocity was calibrated..

Rob's Rhodes returned for some special modifications. This Rhodes was once owned by Brent Mydland of the Grateful Dead and has the famed "Dyno-my-piano" preamp installed. One of our tasks was to maintain the correct sound Brent had but we found there was more to be had from this Rhodes! Our mod adds a small toggle switch which routes audio to the Dyno preamp or into stock passive Rhodes volume and bass boost controls.  This isn't a plain old switch either! If for whatever reason power is lost our mod will re-route signal into the stock passive Rhodes controls.  Quite a nice addition to this Rhodes.  The Dyno preamp voicing enhances treble, scoops mids and in Dyno Mode taming this Rhodes can be somewhat difficult. Now with a simple flick of a switch the stock volume and bass controls are right there- simple! Two completely different voicing's in one Rhodes.



Yamaha CP-70 Midi Installation Photos


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