Session Keys Electric – Three Electric Pianos Reviewed

All three Session Keys Electric, Session Keys Electric W, Session Keys Electric S, and Session Keys Electric R all produced and sampled by e-instruments. Session Keys Electric continues the already established Session Keys series (See also our Session Keys Acoustic Bundle by e-instruments Review). The three models under review today are a member of the Session Keys Electric product line. The developer e-instruments lab GmbH did send a review copy with no strings attached. The Session Keys Acoustic is a series of remarkably important and fundamental acoustic grand pianos and legendary electric pianos.

Installation

Downloading and installation, as well as activation and updating, are all conveniently managed using the Native Access application.

Sound

All three models have in common that they characterized by their pure sound, superb playability, as well as extended editing functions for sound design. They are excellent for a real-time performance as well as for production and composing. Let’s dive into each one.

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Session Keys Electric W Snapshots

Session Keys Electric W

The Session Keys Electric W reproduces the sound of the legendary Wurlitzer 200A electric piano. The Wurli is used the most to bring the audience back into the time where Fusion, Disco, Funk, and Pop was a hype.

Session Keys Electric W Tremolo

Session Keys Electric W captured from a delicately refurbished old Wurlitzer Piano, Electric W grants the direct unchanged line out signal, the characteristic amplified vintage piano sound as well as interesting acoustic sonances and resonances recorded via an individual microphone setup.

Two different sample sets : Studio and Live

  • The studio version offers the original unaltered direct sound recorded from the line output through high-end pre-amps and converters.
  • Live gives you the distinctive sound of a Wurlitzer piano played via the internal speakers, captured with microphones.
Session Keys Electric W Features
  • 1974 electronic piano
  • Two separate sound banks: Studio and Live
  • Pentamorph sound control to transform the overall sound with a single knob
  • Animator with over 440 flexible phrases
  • Smart Chord function to create instant piano chords from single keys or pads
  • Effects chain with Tremolo/AutoPan, Chorus, Phaser, Amp Simulator, Compressor, Delay and Convolution Reverb
  • Native Instruments NKS compatible
  • Size: 9 GB / 4.5 GB (lossless sample compression)
  • 24 bit, 44.1 kHz
  • Requires free Kontakt 5 Player or Kontakt 5 (Version 5.8.1 or higher)
    • Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit) Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB RAM
    • Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10 oder 10.11 (latest update) Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM

Session Keys Electric S

Session Keys Electric S is a remodeling of a 1973 Suitcase electric piano which was completely restored and sampled.


The Suitcase was recorded resulting in Electric S with and without the original speaker to create two separate sound sets: Studio and Live.

  • The Studio gives direct unaltered line-out sound, it offers the initial unaffected sound directly recorded from the line output through high-end pre-amps and converters.
  • Live captures the sound of cabinet and speakers through a comprehensive microphone set-up covering all four speakers for an incredibly realistic feel
Session Keys Electric S Midi tracks
Session Keys Electric S Features
  • 1973 Suitcase
  • Two separate sound banks: Studio and Live
  • Pentamorph sound control to transform the whole sound with a single knob
  • Animator with over 400 flexible phrases
  • Smart Chord function to create instant piano chords from single keys or pads
  • Effects chain with Tremolo/Auto Pan, Chorus, Phaser, Amp Simulator, Compressor, Delay and Convolution Reverb
  • Native Instruments NKS compatible
  • Size: 18.8 GB / 9.9 GB (lossless sample compression)
  • 24 bit, 44.1 kHz
  • Requires free Kontakt 5 Player or Kontakt 5 Version 5.5.1 or higher
    • Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit) Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB RAM
    • Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10 or 10.11 (latest update) Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM

Session Keys Electric R

SESSION KEYS Electric R reproduces the vintage sound of a Fender Rhode’s Mark I Seventy Three Stage Piano. The samples were taken with a 1976 Rhodes Mark I. Spanning across different vibes be it lush, relaxing lounge to Electro – the sound of a Mark I is everywhere and without a doubt recognizable. Session Keys Electric R satisfies with every single note or chord played. From the live and studio (my favorite) version. It is a Rhodes so sit down at your keyboard and improvise. Always remember that if you run out of ideas the smart chords and animator help you tremendously to take jamming to compose something new. There are two versions Studio and Live: The Studio version was recorded straight through high-end pre-amps and A/D converters, reproducing the piano’s clear character. The second version called Live utilizes classic vintage outboard equipment and pre-amps for an edgier, rougher version of the Rhodes.

Session Keys Electric R Overview

Session Keys Electric R Features

  • 1976 Stage Piano
  • Two separate sound banks: Studio and Live
  • Pentamorph sound control to transform the whole sound with a single knob
  • Animator with over 400 flexible phrases
  • Smart Chord function to create instant piano chords from single keys or pads
  • Effects chain with Tremolo/Auto Pan, Chorus, Phaser, Amp Simulator,
Compressor, Delay and Convolution Reverb
  • Native Instruments NKS compatible

Smart Chord

Smart Chord helps you finding new for ideas or inspiring chord changes. Establish the key of your song and Smart Chord creates the harmonies. With Smart Chords, you select a key signature and modes. Next, you play to generate chords that fit the choice. Their Humanise government defines the tightness of the created chords.

Session Keys Electric Smart Chord Details

Animator

The Animator idea includes prepared Songs in a variety of different genres. Just play the desired chords (with the help of Chord Detection) and leverage the included phrases. Animator owns hundreds of ready-to-play licks and phrases. It helps you to kick off a new idea in different genres and styles.

Session Keys Electric S Animator

All three Session Keys Electric Pianos are perfect for composing, producing, and live performance.

User interface & Usability

The Session Keys interface is clear, easy to use and still offers many possibilities.

Session Keys Electric R Sound Presets

Rating:  Five out of five stars

All three versions are offering beside excellent sound additional vital features like the smart chords and inspirational animator phrases features. Many of those three electric pianos have already been the subject of numerous virtual recreations, and I would recommend to any composer the Sessions Keys Electric bundle. For all three pianos sampling was done in great detail, also including lots of mechanical details like pedal noise and release noise.

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