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 28, 2013 @ 3:24 am
@ jivraj singh, try to change the battery first .... and before that make a backup of the SysEx
June 21, 2013 @ 11:56 pm
I bought a second-hand VK Plus and it sounds fantastic. It's manual is very clear on how to program it, but I'm using the Midiquest 10 as editor. Everything worked nice until some weeks ago. Most of the times it doesn't initialize and, when using internal diagnostics, it gives an error code and the MIDI test fails. I already replaced the battery. Does anyone know what it is or where I can find the service manual, or even a list of the error codes?
Eva org.
June 9, 2013 @ 5:20 am
I few days ago i purchased a second hand unit of vintage keys for 50 bucks, and the internal battery was dead... the battery kind is a br2330 its a little bit hard to find in my local store!
after two days spending a lot of time searching for another equivalent battery in the web
I decide to try with another 3V battery, cr2032 and my unit work perfectly...

If anyone has the same trouble, i hope that information can be useful.
Randy Martin
March 26, 2013 @ 1:17 pm
jivraj singh - there is an E-MU Proteus-X VST which has hundreds of the classic E-MU sounds, not sure if the ones included in the "Classic Keys" and "Vintage Keys" are specifically represented in the Proteus-X VST plug-in, but the sounds are quite good!
jivraj singh
March 16, 2013 @ 7:15 am
i have a emu classic keys which i love. unfortunately it has started going a bit nuts - weird volume issues, midi channel, bank, patch jumps, etc. does anyone know if there is a VST for these two cheap beauties?
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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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