Watch Vulfpeck’s Jack Stratton recreate Stevie Wonder’s I Wish

He’s created an instrument patch to let him recreate Wonder’s famous 1970s Rhodes sound.

Jack Stratton

Image: C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images

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Vulfpeck‘s Jack Stratton is a Stevie Wonder fan – particularly when it comes to his 1970s work on the Rhodes piano. And more specifically the one he played on his 1976 track I Wish, from his album Songs in the Key of Life.

He’s created an instrument patch to allow him to recreate it, and he’s shared his experience in a YouTube video.

He begins with some famous footage of Wonder in the studio trying to recreate I Wish, as seen in the Classic Albums TV show that looks at the making of Songs in the Key of Life, and he says, “This is the straight-up funkiest footage on Earth.”

Stratton brings up the original I Wish electric piano stem in Logic Pro as a reference, and then gets up his personal favourite Rhodes plugin, the Scarbee Classic EP-88s. He records the part himself, and describes the resulting sound as “super-close” to Wonder’s.

However, it’s not quite there yet, with Stratton explaining that he hears “Huge EQ difference, and I hear way more attack in Stevie’s”. So, he uses FabFilter Pro-Q.3’s Match EQ feature to analyse and emulate the original sound, adding “a ton of high-end and a low-end boost,” coming from the Lots Of Attack preset in the Vulf Compressor.

But as Stratton thinks there’s still too much l0w-end, he uses GoodHertz Tiltshift EQ, and then adds some crunch from GoodHertz’s Tupe tape/tube simulator plugin, some Softube EQ for more brightness, and then a final Logic Pro Match EQ.

Stratton then has a patch he can use, something he describes as “so exciting for all involved,” before he shouts out Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff for the part they played in developing Wonder’s famous 1970s-era sound.

His video is an excerpt from the Jack Stratton Mixing Masterclass course. And you can watch it below:

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