Neo-Soul keys

Urban, R&B and Soul lovers, let me introduce you to Neo Soul Keys!

I have to say that I haven’t bought it just yet, but I will in the next month or so… I have been listening to its samples and have also been watching some of the many videos available on Youtube and I can only say that the Neo Soul keys plugin is everything you need; or is a huge plus for your home studio or for your daily piano practice/music composition, period.

This is not only just another electric piano…

Neo Soul keys are defined by its very specific urban sounding electric piano which was designed to reproduce the exact sound, feel and also playability of a real electromechanical instrument. It has the expression of a real cabinet and of course, vibrato.

New Soul keys EP – Electric Piano – is a combination of samples and complex impulse response algorithms that will give you the grit of hip-hop, the silkiness of R&B and the soul in neo-soul. Realism was the main goal when creating these great samples, so with vintage modeled effects, complex algorithms and tweakable knobs for ultimate control, you will have the best electric piano experience ever produced in a plugin.

Neo Soul Keys features:

Overall, the main goal was to provide the most important features needed to make the sound as real as possible. Achieved? YES!!!!

Forget about carrying your keys, cabinets, pre amps and effects to your next gig, simply carry your MIDI keyboard, laptop and the fabulous New Soul Keys plugin.

Some of the main features are:

Controls for treble, bass boost and vibrato.
Vintage effects such as Amp, pre-amp, chorus and twin spring reverb
Tweak every effect as you like, tine, pedal, noises, release sounds and bark
Velocity layered release samples
Special EFX Section: Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, Delay
Easy MIDI Learn function for all knobs, sliders, and buttons

For a deep look on the features, click here.

Quick specs:

Content size: 2.6gb
Format: Kontakt player 4 or higher, Reason 6, Yamaha Motif ES/XS/XF. iPad and iPhone for iOS Garageband.
Price: $99.99

How does it sound?

The only way I can describe it is that they have nailed it. It has the perfect sound; soulful, urban, dirty, smooth, funky… what else do you need? Again, if you are into neo-soul, funk and R&B, you have to get it! No questions asked.

Can’t wait to hear it? Check out a live demo made by the creator of Neo-Soul Keys, Jamal Hartwell & GospelMusicians.com:

Keen on it? More videos and samples here.

I am in love with this plugin and I want it bad, what do you think about it? If you have any questions about how you can use it or what you require to start playing with it, visit the New-Soul Keys support page – everything is there.

Cheers and I hope you enjoy the videos and sounds as much as I do!

Kawai EP3 Digital Piano

Kawai LogoDoes Kawai ring any bells? It does for me, not only because they have been in the market forever, but because they have always been doing high quality acoustic pianos. And more lately also doing amazing digital pianos and synthesizers.

The company was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, a gifted piano craftsman, in Japan. Today, it is a proudly family owned business and has been for three generations.

They have a massive product family, but it’s the EP3 Digital piano that I want to talk about here. The digital vs. acoustic is always a dilemma. We receive many emails from people asking about digitals, so if you are after one, the EP3 is well worth a look.

The EP3 model is one of two models in their portable digital range and boasts a range of features that really make this a versatile instrument for the at-home user as well as the gigging musician.

Main Features:

  • Harmonic Imaging sound technology
  • 88-Key AHAIV-F graded hammer action
  • 21 exceptional instrument sounds
  • Dual, Split and Four-Hands modes
  • 96-note polyphony
  • Powerful built-in speaker system with bass-reflex enclosures
  • Elegant black finish
  • Optional designer stand
  • Optional soft road case with wheels

Touch and tone, “remarkably realistic feel…” is what Keyboard magazine said about its graded hammer action. So, touch won’t be a problem with this Digital piano. What about Tone? Japan has always being on top of technology and the Kawai family is not the exception, something that digital pianos lack of is the “real acoustic piano sound”, well, Kawai has been able to achieve this using their harmonic imaging technology, capturing every realism and every sound that a real acoustic piano has.

The EP3 Digital piano has a really nice built in sound system with a full bodied sound. It comes with 26 watts speakers of stereo sound and the popular bass reflex system.

It comes with the typical L/R outputs if you wanna get it crankin’ on bigger sound systems. If you need to practice quietly at home, you can plug your headphones in and turn off the built in speakers. You can also connect your iPod or Mp3 player so you can play along with all your favorite tracks.

What about built in sounds? The EP3 has 21 different sounds ranging from classical guitar to string choir and the classic organ sound, just to name a few. You can of course, combine two different sounds or layers, but what is great is that you can EQ each of them separately. Let´s say that you want the classic organ sound backed up by the string choir, you can simply press a button and to balance the volumes of each layer to your liking – 50-50, 75-25, etc.

Another great thing, besides being able to split the piano in 2 sections for your own use of different layers on each half, is that you can split it in “4 hands mode” as Kawai calls it. This gives two players their own 44 note piano in the same octave, which is a great tool for students and teachers.

The EP3 also comes with a built in metronome which allows you to change tempo and time signature, but that’s not all. It comes with 30 drum patterns to play along with, which is a must for practicing at home to get the feel of playing with a band.

As I mentioned before, Kawai is on top of technology, this digital piano comes with MIDI input and output and also USB – so you can plug this beauty into your computer to work with different learning software as well as recording your own stuff. Oh by the way, you do not necessarily need to connect it to your laptop to record your master pieces, the EP3 has two tracks for internal recording which can hold 15,000 notes, amazing isn’t it?

This EP3 has everything you need, it doesn’t matter if you want it for practicing at home or for gigging constantly, the EP3 will definitely do a great job for you. The price of this amazing digital piano is between $1,100 to $1,500 USD, which for all the features, is pretty tidy…just like the EP3.

Not for nothing Kawai means lovable and cute!

Check it out:

Luis Tovar
Luis Tovar