If you’re like me, you absolutely LOVE electric piano sounds.
The sound itself is so versatile, from smooth, to rough, to silky, to jagged…the search for the perfect EP is never-ending.
Unless of course you have one of the classics (I’d love to own an actual vintage rhodes)
But when it comes to sample libraries and software instruments, there are many choices in this…and it really comes down to tastes.
Today I’m checking out Scarbee Vintage Keys, a Kontakt instrument available from Native Instruments.
So what is Scarbee Vintage Keys?
It’s a collection of 3 of the most sought after, popular, and best sounding electronic keyboards ever made.
The collection is made up of the “Wurly” A-200, Honer Clavinet, and the Rhodes Mark I
Each instrument is sampled in great detail, paired with a useful interface for quickly dialing in various fx, parameters and tweaks.
You can get it as a bundle or buy the single instrument/instruments that you prefer.
There isn’t a bunch of instruments in each collection, you get the best, basic sound of each instrument, along with various fx presets to change it up instantly.
- Content: 5.9GB of 24bit samples
- Format: Kontakt 4/Kontakt player
- Price: $79 each or $169 for the complete bundle
How does it sound?
I am a fanatic for electric pianos and I am always looking for something as close to the real thing as possible. I’m just saying, when I started playing these instruments, I instantly fell in love with the tone and feel of them.
Now I will say, I’m not a huge Clavinet fan, so I didn’t spend much time with it, but I AM a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE fan of the Mark I and A-200 instruments.
I really like the tone and quality of the instruments in their default settings, but the ability to quickly dial in different tweaks from the user interface is awesome.
Chorus, pan, wah, treble, reverb, bass, and many other simple fx are right there.
Distortion, amp, compression, etc…this makes it very quick to come up with the exact sound you want, right there in the interface.
Not to mention there are some pretty dope preset fx settings that will allow you to instantly dial up a specific sound or experimental tone
I really can’t say enough about the samples, holding a note allows you to hear the key all the way out to it’s natural decay, you also have knobs to tweak the sound of the original instrument keys/release samples…and it doesn’t sound “gimmicky” at all.
These instruments mix deep, intense, “perfectionist” style sampling with a very straight-forward and easy to use interface.
Once you hear it, you’ll know what I mean
So what’s the bottom line?
I’ve spent years looking for EP samples that captured the feel and sound I was used to hearing on records.
I’ve been through keyboard workstations, physically modeled instruments, and years/shelves worth of akai sample cds, kontakt instruments, soundfonts…whatever.
When I first installed and played the Mark I instrument in this collection, I finally felt like I had “found it”
I spend an hour or so just playing with the Mark I and A-200 instruments, I even played with the clavinet for a little while just tweaking parameters and listening.
When an instrument that I don’t have a particular love for (the clavi) still sounds amazing to me, then you know they did something right.
This was my first experience with any instrument from Scarbee…and I will say the reputation is well deserved.
I don’t quite know what he does in his process/programming to get such great sounding, dynamic, playable…and down right DOPE instruments, but I like it.
I give this collection without a doubt a 5 out of 5 subs, it’s focused on one thing and one thing only.
Providing the best “sampled” or “virtual” replica of these classic instruments to musicians everywhere.
I say they succeeded, and I will admit that the EP is probably my favorite instrument to use in my music.
I’m always checking out the EPs FIRST on any new workstation, sampler, or instrument I get.
I was excited to see what the physical modeling technology that has shown up in several instruments would do with the EP, and while they offer some good instruments in their own right, I feel like with the Scarbee Vintage Keys….there’s really no need for physical modeling.
That’s my opinion…and I stand on it 100%
Go on over and checkout the Vintage Keys collection at the Native Instruments site: Scarbee Vintage Keys