E-mu PK-6 Proteus Keys

E-mu PK-6 Proteus Keys Image

The new PK-6 Proteus Keys is a sleek keyboard with E-mu's Proteus 2000 sounds and features. The PK-6 comes with the Proteus's 32 MB "Composer" soundset, and additional Proteus expansion ROM soundsets can be added up to 128 MB. The sounds cover the whole spectrum of synthesizer type sounds, from real instruments to bizarre sounds and effects. The keyboard is a full 61-keys long with 16 real-time controllers. There's also 16 on-board syncable/programmable arpeggiators and the Proteus 2000's Super BEATS interactive Groove Mode. With 16 mute/enable buttons this keyboard is set for live and on the fly performances with plenty of real-time controls! Unlike the Proteus 2000 which is 128 voice polyphonic, the PK-6 has just 64 voices and only 4 audio outputs as opposed to 6 in the rack modules. The PK-6 also features multi-mode resonant filters, 24-bit DACs, and an affordable price tag!

The PK-6 is part of a new line of performance keyboards launched by E-mu that repackage their current line-up of top notch sound modules targeted at specific genres. For all purpose synthesizer, the PK-6 Proteus Keys. For HipHop and R&B, the MK-6 Mo’Phatt Keys. For techno trance and dance, the XK-6 Xtreme Keys. And Halo from Ensoniq, which is another all purpose synthesizer.

Every one of these ships with one 32 MB sound-set, but are expandable up to 128 MB via three additional slots for 32 MB expansion cards. These cards include (ranging from $249 to $395):

  • 9061: Siedlaczek Orchestra 32 MB ROM.
  • 9062: Pure Phatt 32 MB ROM - standard in Mo’Phatt, MP-7 and MK-6.
  • 9063: Beat Garden 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9082: Protozoa 16 MB ROM - standard in Proteus 1, 2, 3.
  • 9083: Definitive B-3 32 MB ROM - standard in B-3.
  • 9084: Techno Synth Construction Yard 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9085: Orchestral Session Vol. 1 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9086: Orchestral Session Vol. 2 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9087: World Expedition 32 MB ROM - standard in Planet Earth.
  • 9088: Sounds of the ZR featuring the Perfect Piano 32 MB ROM - standard in Ensoniq Halo.
  • 9089: X-Lead 32 MB ROM - standard in Xtreme Lead-1, XL-7 and XK-6.

With these expansion options, you could buy a PK-6, then add the sounds of the Orbit 3, XK-6, and the MP-7... or any other combinations you may want. If you like desktop synths, you can start with an MP-7 or XL-7, and then add these same expansion card options to add Proteus, Orchestral, or the new Halo sounds to them. E-mu/Ensoniq's interchangeable sound cards and a variety of keyboard/sound-module options means that there's a model out there for everybody now.

Lookup E-mu PK-6 Proteus Keys Prices

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12 Visitor comments
October 19, 2011 @ 5:53 pm
I can't for the live of me understand why my PK 6 is hissing like it is. It is just giving white noise. No sound. And the LCD is showing "Blank Preset." I reseated the ROM and Nothing.
December 5, 2010 @ 8:26 am
xtybc Google qpk ihpgw http://www.google.com.br Google tnbev
June 26, 2009 @ 7:16 am
I found a mistake here: the article says the PK-6 offers the same Super BEATS mode of the Proteus 2000 module while there is no beats mode like the XL-1 module on this one, and it's a shame...
I also have to say a lot of the preset patches on the PK-6 seems better programmed... I'm wondering if there is any way to load them into the Proteus 2000 module.
Anvil Chorus
April 26, 2009 @ 11:16 am
I love this synth for its expandability. It's a decent controller and has enough space inside to really get an amazingly high -fidelity sound collection with the expansion cards.
It is difficult to program and the menus are confusing to me every time I get into them. The casing materials are cheap and I would not gig witht his unit heavily at all. For me it is in my studio to act as a controller and a tone bank. Pick one up for cheap and you will be pleasantly surprised.
March 4, 2009 @ 11:31 am
This this is a slightly handicapped version of the Proteus 2000, but, don't let that discourage you. It's got some really DIRTY sounds buried inside, and while making new patches from scratch is often a chore, the pre-made synths and leads can be tweaked with a couple extra waveforms to be pretty rough.

I have mine plugged into a pair of BOSS / Danelectro pedals and it gives it some seriously weird character.

The filters are quite good for a cheap waveform synth, and the Electric Pianos are smooth enough to use for Pop / Top 40.

It's by no means great, but it's a decent controller and a good 2nd or 3r synth to spice things up. Remeber: use some fx and it's got some teeth.

VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.28 (229 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices
  • Oscillators - 32 MB "Composer" Sound Set ROM (expandable to 128 MB), four 24-bit DACs
  • LFO - 2 per voice
  • Filter - 50 types of 6th- and 12th-order Z-plane filters
  • Effects - 24-bit dual stereo-effects processor with 29 reverbs types, 15 delay types, 8 chorus types, 7 flange types, 5 distortion types
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 1152 Presets (640 ROM, 512 RAM)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 2001

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