E-mu Vintage Keys

E-mu Vintage Keys Image

The Vintage Keys is a digital rackmount synthesizer that emulates the sounds of classic vintage synths. For an early 1990’s ROMpler, this sound module was compact and actually sounded really good, loaded with good samples of vintage synth sounds. Just like the classics it has Portamento, a VCF (filter) and a Chorus effect. It has a lot of modulation capabilities which are all real-time and MIDI controllable. It does, however, have the typical brittle digital sound quality usually associated with digital sound modules, but it still makes nice pads, punchy bass and cool filter swept leads and works great for background synth sounds.

E-mu Vintage Keys Plus Image

The Vintage Keys Plus was released in 1994. This model doubled the internal ROM size to 16 MB of sampled sounds. Memory patches were also increased to 512 slots. Original Vintage Keys models could be upgraded to match the Plus version using E-mu’s 8 MB Expander Kit.

It is used by Hardfloor, The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Meat Beat Manifesto, Goldie, Olive, Faithless, LTJ Bukem, Roni Size, Future Sound of London, Depeche Mode, Laurent Garnier, Yesterdays and The Shamen.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a E-mu Vintage Keys? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

34 Visitor comments
June 4, 2012 @ 6:38 pm
I got the 8mb (Plus) version for sale johndifo at g mail com
May 18, 2012 @ 8:01 pm
Just got a Vintage Keys off ebay and it only has 383 memory slots that show (not 511), and all the user presets have been deleted. So I basically have 2 banks of ROM and they're both the same (0-126 & 255-383) weird. Someone posted earlier here that this thing has 8mb ROM but the sidebar specs say 4. No info available on Emu website anymore, including downloads. Hmm where to get a midi file of the factory presets to restore the user banks????
April 23, 2012 @ 9:50 pm
Pretty damn incredible Hammond patches. I didn't really have to much interest in the organs, but man are they amazing. I like the mellotron patches, they are dated, but still beat most stuff out their. The Rhodes & Wurlitzer stuff is so-so, but considering how good it is at the other stuff it isn't the worst investment if you can get it for under 350.
March 9, 2012 @ 4:38 am
This is useful for one thing: the quirky and gloriously flawed Mellotron samples, which somehow seem to work, even though spe [beep] t VST instruments are available cheaper to provide a much broader, more accomplished and more useful Mellotron soundset. The Mellotron choirs and Mellotron flute are the reason I'm still hanging on to it. Other sounds: Hammond, EP's, strings and all and sundry analog presets sound aweful to me. Prices are seemingly going up, which to me seems like the worst kind of wishful thinking. If you crave 'vintage' sound, I doubt this is will satisfy you in any way.
February 21, 2012 @ 7:02 am
It's not bad, the latest update made the presets better but you need to edit to get the best out of it. Emu did a clever thing (at least for us that own one) by including the word vintage on it. This means that you'll always be able to sell it, albeit to someone who has never heard one.
Buy but be sensible and pay a sensible amount of money, I shouldn't say this as I own one!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.47 (234 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 - 32 voices + 16 part multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 8 MB of ROM samples. Plus model has 16 MB of ROM samples.
  • LFO - Yes, with lots of modulation sources and destinations
  • Filter - Lowpass
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 358 patches. Plus model has 512 patches.
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1993 / 1994
  • Resources & Credits
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