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NAMM 2008: 50 instruments in MOTU Electric Keys

All the Electric Keys skins have a decidedly retro look.
All the Electric Keys skins have a decidedly retro look.

MOTU's Electric Keys is the latest in a long line of virtual instruments to emulate vintage electric keyboard hardware. However, rather than covering just the obvious examples - the Rhodes/Wurlitzer pianos and Clavinet - this also features organs, tape samplers, string machines, keyboard basses and more.

Electric Keys is built around UltimateSoundBank's UVI engine and is divided into 12 banks of sounds (50 instruments are emulated in total). Each bank has a different skin and can be installed separately. This is good news, as a full install of Electric Keys requires a whopping 40GB of hard disk space.

The software's interface has been kept simple - just a few simple controls are offered - which is indicative of the fact that Electric Keys is very much an instrument to be played rather than pored over. You can add effects though: a separate rack of these is provided.

Electric Keys is cross-platform and supports the VST, Audio Units, DXi, RTAS and MAS plug-in formats. It can also be used standalone.

Scheduled to ship in February, Electric Keys will retail for $295. Further details are available on the MOTU website.