Neo Soul Keys electric piano instrument review

Submitted by on Nov 30, 2011

Yo what’s good fam!

I been waiting to do this one for a while!

I had the first version that requires the full version of Kontakt, but they said the “powered by” Kontakt version was coming in a few months so I waited until it was done.

This is a Kontakt instrument dedicated to Neo Soul EP made by Jamal Hartwell at

You know I love EPs so let’s see how it stacks up!

What is Neo Soul Keys?

I know what you’re thinking….”man, ANOTHER electric piano?”

I know I thought that….

but the thing that grabbed my interest on this one, was that it was the first one I knew of that was specifically created to capture the urban/soul ep sound.

Plus, the guy who made it, Jamal Hartwell, is pretty dope on the keys,

and I would consider his sound to be very soulful.

So you know I had to check it out.

This is created to be used inside the free kontakt player or the full version of kontakt

It uses high quality samples, some impulse responses, and some amp simulation

Quick Specs

  • content: 2.6gb
  • format: kontakt player 4 or 5, and kontakt 4 or 5
  • price: $199 ($20 to upgrade from non player version)

How does it sound?

This is all that matters, and for me, I’m very picky with my EP sounds. I have some favorites for sure, so I wanted to see what was up with this.

Bottom line, they got it!

It has the warmth, the grit, the bark, the silkiness, the growl…it has “that” sound.

Each time I test a new EP it gets closer to the sound I prefer, but there was still always a little “something” missing.

Sure, there are many great, well recorded, amazing sounding EP libraries. I have a few

But when it comes to actually capturing that soul, that dirt, the smooth funk that we know from records, albums, and live performances….this is it.

I love the control you have over the sound, the fx, the small nuances, the amp sims, all come together to make a great instrument.

Even the default ep sound, is awesome.

What’s the bottom line?

I’m an EP fanatic, I’m ALWAYS looking for the best EP.

I have some favorites, and this one finds it’s way right to the top of that list.

This is definitely one of my “go to” EP libraries, I find myself using it alot.

If you like EPs, specifically soulful, urban, dirty, smooth, and funky ones….get this, no question, 5 out of 5 subs

I love everything about it, love the interface, and totally love the sound.

I really like the fact that they made it available to people who do not own the full version of Kontakt, making it a Kontakt Player library really opens it up to everyone.

Every time I got an EP library, even if I felt it was the best I had heard up until that point, I always found myself looking for more.

I can honestly say now, I have no need to look elsewhere, sure I’d probably still try to find a real rhodes one day.

But I don’t feel my EP choices are lacking, and I definitely feel like someone has actually captured the sound I imagine when I think EP, based on my many years of listening to music.

Check out this little promo video he did, watch him go IN on them keys, dudes a beast!!

As usual, leave a comment below and let me know what you think

Then go get your own copy! Neo Soul Keys product page


  1. Cris says:

    Nice review! Have you tried Soniccouture’s Broken Wurli? Really curious as to how they compare.


  2. tony says:

    all i can say is wow this is great i was just looking at the history of the rhodes piano and all the work that went into the making this fine instrument and what it cost to buy one and to get one of these for 99 bucks is great this is a fine sounding ep for the money thanks for the info

  3. everythingbutthegirl says:

    Hey Joe!

    You have excelled yourself. This is DOPE! Right at Christmas time, this is on my list.

    Thanks for the Dope review my friend!


  4. iLogic Chop says:

    Hi Saint Joe!, I Interesting in this sound, Can I make slices in maschine pads? Byyee

  5. Ola says:

    I am a bity puzzled. I’ve been following the development on this Electric piano and just checked the link you indicated and it is not yet on sale. Where did you get you copy of the new version? Do let me know.

    • saintjoe says:

      @Ola, I bought the original when it first came out, been waiting for this one, I got my copy directly from Jamal it should show up in the shop soon

  6. Ola says:

    What are you other favourite electric pianos

  7. J says:

    I have, and like it very much. Very unique in my opinion, not just another EP VST.

  8. sky says:

    Thanx.. i need more neo in my collection.

  9. jamari says:

    Thanks for this review, I was contemplating Lounge Lizard but I may just wait for this one…I might be on the fence between the two. I’d expect this to be very flexible when shaping sounds via Kontakt’s scripting. By the way, what’s your thoughts on LoungeLizard? Do check Sonic Couture’s stuff, if you’re looking for an exotic sound.

    • saintjoe says:

      @jamari, no doubt fam, I have never really been intrigued by lounge lizard so I never tried it. Before this one, the Motu/Uvi stuff was my favorite.

  10. DanTC says:

    Very nice indeed!! Dirty and just a little bit acid!

  11. iRonicLee says:

    How is this EP compared to MachFive’s?

  12. DigLo says:

    I bought immediate! This is the best sounding Rhodes I’ve owned. A must have for any Rhodes player.

  13. Question: Should I get this if I already have the e pianos that come with Komplete 8 Ultimate? I mean, these sound hella buttery, but can I get the same thing tweaking what I already have?

    • saintjoe says:

      @BlackSoultan aka QueMusiQ the N.O.T., in my opinion, yes, but i’m an EP fanatic and this ep is incredible, has the sound I like. The scarbee stuff is cool too, but this has a more funky edge to it that is common in neo soul/urban music

  14. Knowlegde says:

    Hey Joe..wussup man…how is this one compared to Neo Soul Suitcase? Just wondering…

    • saintjoe says:

      @Knowlegde, it’s updated, he went in and redid a few things, got some better amps and such, it’s pretty close but I noticed a difference in sound so I asked about it, and he confirmed it.

  15. sam says:

    wow this piano sound real i’m going to grab this one great review joe ! by the way i wanted to ask u if there’s some bass vst you could recommend me to find some dope bassline ? thanks :)

  16. Syko says:

    I would like to know if you prefer Neo Soul EP or Scarbee Vintage Keys. I have NI Elektrik Piano but I’m looking for something better. Which one do you prefer and why, please compare or explain. There’s also MOTU/EPI EPS…Thanks a lot man.

  17. richard says:

    going to grab this when it updates….it does sound pretty sick…in the meantime im going to grab the sonic couture broken wurli for an ep fix while i wait…any clue when this will be available?

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