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M-Audio has released Key Rig and Drum & Bass Rig, the first first two products in its new range of M-Audio branded virtual instruments.

Key Rig covers all the basic needs for today's keyboardist in a single virtual rack housing four modules:

  1. The SP-1 Stage Piano module serves up grands, Wurlie, Rhodes, FM, clav, pads and more. Each preset can hold a combination of two instruments with individual settings for Mix, Octave, Detune, Velocity and Tone. Owing to a dual effects section, each preset also has its own effect settings including delay, chorus, phaser and more.
  2. The MS-2 Polyphonic Synthesizer delivers a new, easy way to call up and edit synth sounds. Each preset consists of sub-presets for each major section: filter, amp, mod and FX. Creating new sounds is as simple as combining these sub-presets in different ways and tweaking any associated parameters from there as desired.
  3. The MB-3 Electromagnetic Organ authentically emulates the classic Hammond sound complete with rotary speaker. Standard features include nine drawbars that are pre-mapped to M-Audio brand USB MIDI controllers, percussion and variable key click, three chorus and three vibrato settings. Rotary speaker emulation includes tube overdrive, speed and tone controls to yield everything from glassy jazz chords to smoking rock leads.
  4. The GM-4 General MIDI Module delivers 128 GM instruments plus a great GM drum kit. It instantly plays GM-compatible standard MIDI files from host applications and provides an extremely easy way of sequencing additional backing tracks.

Built on the same engine, Drum & Bass Rig delivers a wide variety of bass and drum sounds in a single virtual rack. Drum & Bass Rig delivers four modules ideal for creating backing tracks in both authentic and electronic styles:

  1. The RD-7 Real Drums module features a comprehensive library of drum kits and individual drums in all styles, with control over tuning, tone, decay, panorama and level. Each kit also has adjustable overheads, room ambience and effects. All kits are GM-compatible and contain an additional standard percussion set.
  2. The EB-8 Electric Bass module produces the sounds of authentically played electric bass guitars. This extensive collection includes a large selection of finger, pick, slap and fretless sounds featuring slides, dead notes and harmonics. The EB-8 also includes a built-in bass amp emulation with drive and tone controls, as well as an effects section for creative options. This electric bass collection is topped off by a virtual analog synth bass model.
  3. The LC-5 Loop Creator is one of the most efficient and creative tools available for working with loops. Its pool of 250 source loops can be freely combined and flexibly manipulated by options such as slice-reordering, slice muting or group muting of ranges of slices. The LC-5 Loop Creator is designed for people who want their own loops but find it hard to create them from scratch. It also offers a vast range of real-time controls for dynamic playing/arranging.
  4. The BL-6 Bassline module is a monophonic bass synthesizer combined with a powerful arpeggiator/step sequencer. Synth controls are straightforward and immediately accessible. An onscreen keyboard provides a familiar step-entry interface pioneered on vintage gear in this genre.

Key Rig and Drum & Bass Rig are built on the same engine and therefore share some common features. The master MIDI/Mixer section of Key Rig and Drum & Bass Rig lets you route, split, layer and mix each set of four powerful modules in whatever way best suits users' performance and recording needs. A master effects section even allows for adding a common effect in addition to the individual effect section included with each instrument.

Both modules operate in stand-alone and hosted mode on MacOS X and Windows XP platforms, with compatibility including AU (Mac), VST (Win/Mac) and RTAS (Win/Mac).

Key Rig and Drum & Bass Rig cost US$129.95 each and audio demos are available.

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