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21 September 2005

M-Audio Key Rig review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 8:44 am Comments Off on M-Audio Key Rig review — Computer Music

Computer Music magazine reviews Key Rig, the first virtual instrument from M-Audio. They note its easy-to-use interface, clearly designed for keyboard players rather than hardcore programmers. The most important module of the four included is the Stage Piano module, which contains various pianos and synth pads. Strangely, the reviewers say that this module does not include any clavinets, but M-Audio’s website explicitly says that this module contains “grand pianos, Wurlitzer, classic electric pianos, FM, clavinet and more” (my emphasis). If your heart is set on a clavinet, you’d better check this first. Apart from this, they rate the Stage Piano module sounds as “serviceable” — if you want the best piano sounds then you should look elsewhere (and probably pay more). This is the price you pay for Key Rig’s simplicity and convenience.

The Polyphonic Synth and General MIDI modules are also decent but unexciting — you may not want to use them for the final mix of your next hit single, but they would be fine for demos or gigs. On the other hand, they like the Electromagnetic Organ: “there are some excellent presets here, whether you want to go smooth and jazzy or dirty and loud.” They say they would happily use this module in a live performance.

In the end, they rate Key Rig as 7 out of 10, saying that it is best suited to laptop musicians — that means you! — especially in a live setting. It has a lot of different sounds in a compact, easy-to-use package.

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