Producer Steve Levine on his use of the Rhodes MK8 piano

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Producer Steve Levine on his use of the Rhodes MK8 piano

Rhodes MK8
Words by Mixdown Staff

The world-renowned producer has worked with some huge names.

Steve Levine is a Rhodes MK8 devotee. His credits as a producer include Culture Club, The Clash, XTC, The Beach Boys and Motörhead. He began his journey as a trainee tape-op at CBS studios in 1975, before quickly progressing to in-house engineer.

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A musician himself, Levine has used Rhodes pianos for decades, their soft, warm tones being littered across records he’s produced as well as made himself, most recently on his own work Baltic Jazz Recordings.

“A lot of the stuff I recorded in the ’70s was with a Fender Rhodes, and I was always a Rhodes man. I rarely used the competitors’ keyboards, because they were always more trouble than it was worth and tended to sound quite poor. For me, growing up with Stevie Wonder and the Isley Brothers, this was the sound that I loved and adored. I had never ever owned one, and even during the original Culture Club sessions we used to rent one.”

Rhodes being acquired more recently, as well as news of a new Rhodes MK8 electro-mechanical keyboard being announced piqued his interest, being manufactured and built in Leeds, near to his home. Rhodes new MK8 has become a staple of his home studio, its classic sound being coupled with modern playability and reliability, building on an already stellar design with extra routing and tone options.

“For me, the audio quality has been absolutely top notch, and I love the fact that it has both ¼” Jack and Balanced ​ XLR outputs as well as the Jack ‘Send & Return’ found on the original Rhodes.”

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