In this review we take a look at Session Keys Electric S, undoubtedly one of the best electric pianos out there
Contact form through website
After our recent freeware round-up you may wonder why you should ever part with money to actually buy a software instrument ever again.
Well, e-instruments is thankfully on hand to remind us exactly why. Not only does the company’s new Session Keys Electric S represent great value for money, it is packed to the rafters with features you won’t find in freeware nor indeed much paid-for ware.
Electric S is a recreation of a 1973 Suitcase electric piano, and when we say recreation, we mean it. The company hunted down an original – famed for its killer combination of keyboard, amp and speaker – fully restored it and sampled the absolute hell out of it.
The resulting instrument works in the free version of Kontakt and features an attractive and simple front panel, complete with several tabs for further sonic exploration.
There are two main sets of presets: Studio and Live. The former is a DI sound, so direct from the unit, whereas the latter is recorded via a mic from the speaker. That makes things sound simple, but the reality is e-instruments sampled it in every way and mic position possible for the nine-plus GB instrument, so both sets of presets offer a surprising large range of sounds.
There are light, jazzy and mellow tones, crunchy amp’d and aggressive presets and classic tremolo sounds with selective auto panning.
Indeed, this is just one of the many features you quickly discover via the main tabs on the interface. Tonality lets you adjust parameters like Resonance, Noise and Envelope; the Effects tab accesses a vast range of tremolo, chorus, phaser, amp, compressor, delay, and reverb effects; the Piano tab offers EQ, dynamic and cabinet noise options; and finally, the Smart Chord and Animator offer one-finger MIDI file triggering and complete performances for players and non-players alike.
But it’s the sonic options that blow away the competition. Yes, you can play it for authentic and perfect jazz sounds, but Electric S is simply brimming with so many effects and dynamic frills that it becomes a synthesiser in nature – so is capable of moving well away from the norm into dreamy atmospheric territories. Great price and a stunning range of sounds and options
e-Instruments Session Keys Electric S – Key Features
● 1973 Suitcase piano emulation
● 9.2GB download
● 7 main effects
● Includes reverse samples, key noise, and tine pickup distances
● Recorded with and without speaker
● Animator features 400 licks and phrases