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Emu Vintage Keys


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Emu Vintage Keys

Category:  Products / synthesisers / sample synthesisers

Added: 29-Mar-99  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: na

Emu Vintage Keys

Emu's 'Vinatge-Keys' mudule wasn't cheap! Let's get that out of the way from the get-go! It was almost £900 which was a lot in those days, and while you got a full 16 part multitimbrel box stuffed chocka full of Emu's famous samples all set into rom as mapped out ready to go presets with full midi control... in many ways you were paying for the E-mu name & for the intellectual property of those multi-samples themselves.


In total the Vintage Keys delivers 249 mono samples organised as follows:

68 samples of real instruments

B3 Organs with Leslie speakers, including a distorted sample where you can't hear the loop at all. Mellotron choirs, violins and flutes. A Farfisa organ. Yamaha CP70, Wurlitzer, Dyno-myRhodes and Fender Rhodes pianos. Hohner Clavinet, Taurus Bass Pedals. Mini, Micro, Memory & Model 55 Moogs in various moods. Yamaha DX7 bass, with one sample via a Rockman amp. Oberheim Matrix 12 'Sync', 'Hollow Pad' and 'Strings'. ARP 2600. Fairlight Ahhs. Sequential Prophet 5 'Sync Lead', 'Guitar', 'Pipe' and 'Strings'. Solina (ARP) String Ensemble. (There are also a few of the ubiquitous Saxophone, Brass, Guitar and Bass sounds that no sound module can apparently be released without.)

32 drums & reverb spaces

The nine Reverb Spaces allow you to 'add' reverb to the otherwise dry drum sounds. More effective than you might imagine.


52 single cycle samples

Of Moog, ARP & Oberheim synths, and B3 organ. Lots of timbres to experiment with — most analogue synths only had square, rectangular, sawtooth, sine and triangle.

22 harmonic waveforms

An Emu speciality — as seen in all Proteus versions. More useful than you might think.

53 single cycle waveforms

Some very unusual and distinctive timbres.


6 multi-cycle waveforms

Filter Bass, Harmonics, ElecPiano, Marimba Attack, Vibe Attack, Xposed Noise

15 loops & piles

Loops are single samples continuously looped. Piles are continuous loops containing multiple samples. Loops and Piles are useful for special effects and can provide rhythmic accompaniment when chords are played.Extreme transpositions can also yield unusual effects


Some of the vintage synths and keyboards you get included the Minimoog, Hohner Clavinet, ARP Odyssey, Solina String Machine, Korg PS3300, Sequential Prophet 5, Yamaha CP70/80, Yamaha CS80, Roland Jupiter 8, Sequential Pro-One, Oberheim OB8  & more...



The Vintage keys specs are

  • RAM Presets (user): 256
  • ROM Presets: 128
  • Polyphony: 32-Note (max)
  • Outputs: 3 pairs stereo (including 4 mono returns via the ring of a stereo jack)
  • MIDI: In, Out and Thru ports
  • Data encoding: 16-bit linear
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 15kHz
  • Power Supply: 110/240 volts (automatic switching)

Product Manuals or Files

no user manual

Product Resources

User Comments

Product:  Emu - Vintage Keys
Name: Joe Gerardi
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 15-Dec-99

Amazing box. I used it for years in bands, and kick myself for selling it.

It was a ROMpler, all vintage synths and keyboards sampled on the legendary Emulator III. And what samples. A kick-ass Yamaha CP-70 Electric Grand; Mellotron Voices, Strings, and Choir; Moog 55 resonant filter sounds; Arp 2600; Fairlight sounds that were used ad nauseum in the 80's, but everyone still wants; Minimoog sounds; Oberheim synths; and amazing Hammond, Rhodes, Wurly, and DX-7 tine sounds also. The list goes on and on.

256 ROM sounds and 128 user-programmable slots made it such that you head the foundation needed to get what you needed. The most important thig was to tweak every sound to *your* specs - we all have ideas as to what these old synths should soung like, and this box really only delivered vanilla - you need to add the spice to the sounds til they fit your idea. Once that's accomplished, this puppy and you will have a love affair that'll never end.

Another fantastic item about this box was the filters. Though digital, they had an incredible analog warmth to them, and could be EITHER 2-pole or 4-pole, so you could match them up to the type of original synth you were trying to recreate. Important point, that, because in the old days the filter was what distinguished the sound.

Modulation routings were wonderful, and the velocity crossfade allowed for the feel of fast/slow Leslie simulations. Tons of chorusing options, and built in effects made it sound even better.

It's only limitation, as I saw it, was that multi-timbral mode had its shortcomings. You needed to have a controller that would send MIDI channel info on each note to create a multi setup. Kind of a drag, but in a full kit, not really a problem.

As to reliability, I think you could drop this thing out a 2-storey window and it would still work. Mine received some brutal abuse at the hands of roadies, and never hiccoughed once.

Their high used price is a testament to their quality. I'd love to find me another.

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Last added comment

Product:  Emu - Vintage Keys
Name: Ezra
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 29-Jan-01

This was the first multitimberal synth I bought. It has tons of good samples, a passable digital filter and a chorus effect. Programming this synth is as easy as any digital synth I have ever used. This gives you a lot more freedom to experiment than some more complicated but difficult synths. One of the neat things is that you can link patches together to create some really complex sounds. Emu uses this to create some wonderfull Hammond B3 patches. With some simple modification of the extensive "modulation" page you can even set it up to use a Peavy PC1600 (or any other midi controller) as drawbars and switches. I have used patch linking to do simple wave sequencing like a PPG Wave. OK it dosen't sound anything like a PPG Wave but it is interesting. The only thing that is really lacking is a set of analogue drum samples. Supposedly this is fixed in the "plus" version.

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