Session Keys Acoustic Bundle by e-instruments Review

There are so many piano libraries available you could get dizzy just looking at half of them – but today we’ll have a look at a collection that’s balanced, well priced and well worth a look – Session Keys Acoustic Bundle from e-Instruments.

Session Keys Upright Piano

e-Instruments are probably best known for partnering with Native Instruments to release libraries like Session Horns Pro and Session Strings Pro.  The Session Keys Acoustic Bundle is a package containing three pianos that can also be bought separately – Session Keys S, Session Keys Y, and Session Keys Upright. E-instruments did send a review copy with no strings attached.

All three libraries sport precise deep-sampling and tone controls – the grand pianos were sampled with their lid both open and off completely, while the upright was sampled with the front panel both on and off.

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Installation

The library is downloaded in parts (there’s a fair bit of content) and then each piano library can be unzipped to your folder of choice.  Then you simply log in to the Native Access program (which can be downloaded from Native Instruments’ site) and add the library to your account by activating the serial number you were given at purchase and pointing Native Access to where you unzipped the folder.

Sound

Overall, these three pianos sound immaculate.  The recording is crystal clear, perfectly balanced and they all feel great to play.  You can get a sense of the weight and presence behind each key even when using a standard MIDI keyboard because the transient detail has been captured very carefully.

Personally, I’m a very harsh critic when it comes to upright pianos – there is a particular sound I like, and I’m very adamant about it.  Needless to say, Session Keys Upright didn’t quite appeal to my tastes – I prefer a full, resonant and dark tone – whereas the Session Keys Upright has a brighter, thinner and more classical sounding tone.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as this upright is by all means a beautifully sampled instrument with plenty of that upright character, and it’s near flawless.  I just prefer my uprights to have a darker character, so it comes down to preference in the end.  The upright still gets top marks disregarding my personal taste.

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