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E-mu Vintage Keys thoughts?


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If you can get it cheap... I have the MK6 keyboard that has the vintage keys chip in it (along with the Proteus 1/2/3 and Ensoniq chips) that I got for 300 bucks about 8 years ago. To me the sounds are dated but there are some usable ones in there.


Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6



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I bought a Vintage Pro right before they were discontinued. Not really impressed with the sounds, and most of them suffered from low volume.


Editing was quite tedious with the tiny screen. Not even sure where it is now. :idk



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Paul, I notice you're in Maryland. Hopefully, the Emu Vintage Keys you're considerong is not at Atomic Music.


If it's the same unit, the internal battery may need to be changed and/or the patches need to be reloaded. Just FYI.


Otherwise, I think rackmount sound modules are a good investment especially if the price is right. :cool:



"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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No, it's not. I have seen them listed on Reverb.com for around $220.00 dollars.


I also forgot, about the Classic Keys by E-mu as well.


I'm not worried about editing, sounds. That's why I have the Microbrute.


Yes, rack modules are good, because I can find used ones cheap. Pus they take up less room then most keyboards. Plus I can't afford new pro gear be it sample based of synthesizer.



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I had one of these (the Vintage Keys + with expanded memory), got for ~ $150.


LOVED some of the patches in it - some instant Kraftwerk-type sounds, for example, as well as some other iconic sounds epianos and organs. The mellotron patches were especially cool.


However, overall, I started thinking I was noticing a "vintage" ear-fatiguing thin-ness, and or "digital sheen/brittleness" to some of the sounds (like many of the first batch of CD's in the 80's had).


So anyway, over time that made me sour on it. Might have been psychosomatic on my part, but I ultimately decided to sell it and invest in other stuff.


Anyway, its a cool module.

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I had the original Proteus and the Morpheus, great units for their time.


I think now that the use case for these modules would be better answered (for me) by using an ipad. Granted, I already have the ipad and a camera connection kit, so I could use it right now. Apps are very cheap (relatively)...for example, I picked up this somewhat-at-least-cs80-sounding synth for 7 bucks...




You can get a piano that absolutely kills the old emu stuff for not much more.


To be fair, I haven't folded an ipad into my rig just yet as I have (bought used) hardware keyboards...but if I needed some good synth sounds that my pc3 couldn't deliver (due to my poor programming skills!) I'd be tempted to try it out.

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E-mu's Proteus 2000 range impressed me deeply. I had an XL-1 (which finally gave up the ghost), a Planet Earth (ditto, very sadly) and a Vintage Keys I applied to a trade-up deal. I'd be a bit dubious about the age of the hardware now, but you can buy all of the presets at https://www.digitalsoundfactory.com/ in several formats, including the ubiquitous Soundfont. I seem to keep mentioning DSF because the sets are immaculate. I went for their Virtuoso set, which offers a decent orchestra with some odd filter settings, but its still a great layering utility. You won't get the hands-on powers or access to the great set of arps way down below the presets, but otherwise, is a good way to lay hands to E-mu, Ensoniq and a few other vintage libraries. Some of the sounds are clearly dated, but many still show off that fine E-mu shine.


Lab Mode splits between contemplative work and furious experiments.
Both of which require you to stay the hell away from everyone else.
This is a feature, not a bug.
Kraftwerk’s studio lab, Kling Klang,
 didn’t even have a working phone in it.
       ~ Warren Ellis

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In 2011/1012, after I bought my Stage 2, I decided to buy one synth of each brand I was crazy about in my 20's/30's, aka, Emu, Roland XV series and Oberheim....The cheapest way to do that was a proteus 2000 and 4 extensions (Composer, Protozoa which is Proteus 1,2 and 3 boards, world and XTrem Lead XL-7). Ok I don't have any powerfull soft synth or mainstage and I didn't paln to play live with a computer anyway, so, I did the same with the XV5080 and 7 cards (4 JV and 3 XV Ext cards) and bought 1 Matrix 1000. Yes, I can hear that sometime they could be outdated but if you play some fund dance music ALA Chic or New Wave, you are in pure synth Heaven with these machine, mix their drums with a good drummer and 7 Mics on the Drums kit and you have a very powerfull drums/percussions section.

Layer them with any of the synth sounds form some "analog", DSI P08 and P12, and they're is still a fatness for some, a vibe for one and a shine for another unit that really sit well in the mix....

I'm talking life use of course, they responds well to midi, no soft to launch no issue and they will be even better when I will have the time to go deeply to the Z Filter of the Proteus but for me, as they are very cheap, you could get really very nice tool for the money from these synths...

Just my opinion....

Stage 2, C2, NL2X+TC Pedals, P08+Tetra+H9, P12+TC Chorus D50+PG1000, 2 Matrix 1K, Proteus 2K, TX802, Streichfett, Drumbrute. Guitars:G&L Legacy, Asat X2, Ibanez Artstar AS153.Bass: L2000, SR1200&2605.
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I still have my Proteus 2000 Custom - the B£ module with Vintage Keys ROM.

The only reason I changed it to a Roland XP30 was because I couldn't tweak the Hammond sounds to my liking, otherwise it's a great module and sounds just as good today, despite previous comments

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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