Real-time Physical Model of a Wurlitzer and Rhodes Electronic Piano

Florian Pfeifle
DAFx-2017 - Edinburgh
Two well known examples of electro-acoustical keyboards played since the 60s to the present day are the Wurlitzer electric piano and the Rhodes piano. They are used in such diverse musical genres as Jazz, Funk, Fusion or Pop as well as in modern Electronic and Dance music. Due to the popularity of their unique sound and timbre, there exist various hardware and software emulations which are either based on a physical model or consist of a sample based method for sound generation. In this paper, a real-time physical model implementation of both instruments using field programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware is presented. The work presented herein is an extension of simplified models published before. Both implementations consist of a physical model of the main acoustic sound production parts as well as a model for the electromagnetic pickup system. Both models are compared to a series of measurements and show good accordance with their analog counterparts.