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 Key Rig by M-Audio is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin and an Audio Units Plugin.
Key Rig
Product Key Rig
Developer M-Audio
Price (MSRP)
$129.95
Type / Tags Sound ModuleElectric PianoGM ModuleOrganPiano / Keys
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Instrument(s)  
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
1.1.0.4
 
- Released
 
1.1.0.4
 
- Released

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.

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.

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By Conslaw
November 12, 2011

Even though M-Audio Key Rig received a "best buy" award from Keyboard magazine when it was released; it really hasn't gotten the credit or the acceptance that it deserves in the music community. Key Rig is maybe the best "first softsynth" for someone just starting out in electronic music. It's also an excellent synth for complex pads and layered sounds. It's also excellent for getting a "quick and dirty" instrument sound for a particular track to keep the creative flow going without going through 2000 presets in your sampler's folder.

So I don't have to repeat the basics, take the time to read KVR's basic sofware description. In short, Key Rig consists of 4 modules that can be layered or can be assigned to different MIDI channels for different purposes.

The top module, the SP-1 stage piano has two separate sound generators. The first one allows you to select various acoustic and electric pianos. The second generator allows you to also select several basic synthesizer pads. So with this module alone, you can layer two different acoustic pianos, an acoustic and a Rhodes, a Rhodes and a Whirly, etc. This module like all of the modules has its own effects section that allows you to apply the most common electric piano effects. The acoustic pianos in this module aren't my favorites, but as elements in a layered sound, they are very useful.

The second module is the MS-2 Polyphonic Synthesizer. This is just a really neat sounding virtual analog synth that has a very ballsy sound. It covers most of the standard synth sounds, and it is ridiculously easy to program.

The third Module is the MB-3 Organ, a B-3 clone. This module has been criticized for using samples rather than physical modeling. I don't care what it uses. It sounds good like a Hammond B3 to me, and it layers well with the other sounds.

The last module is the GM-4 general MIDI module. This is the only disappointing one of the bunch for me; primarily because it truly has a basic GM standard without the GS or XG enhancements that I am used to. The choir sounds are especially good though. I never figured out how to get it to handle multichannel input.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. Let's say you want a big pad, a la Massive. If you want a percussive attack, you can use the SP-1 to layer a piano sound with a warm synth pad. Layer a more buzzy sound from the MS-2. Layer an organ sound from MB-3 with lots of low end, and finally add a different synth pad or orchestral sound from GM-4. All of this is coming into your DAW on one MIDI channel and all of it uses a surprisingly low level of CPU. If it were a Korg Kronos doing this, people wouldn't stop about how cool it is. Since it is a 7 year old software program, Key Rig just gets ignored.

I want to remind folks that Key Rig is dual platform Windows/Mac. For a long time Key Rig wasn't compatible with Intel Macs. That has changed. If you have an old copy of Key Rig gathering dust because you switched from a PowerPC Mac to a Intel Mac, just install the Key Rig software from your disk and get the updater from the M-audio site. The updater installs without an authorization code.

Read more

Reviewed By Fhangor
June 10, 2006

I am someone who doesn't want to give synths a long time for tweaking many knobs to get a perfect sound from it. I tend more to use presets and easy to use virtual instruments. So I took a look on Key Rig. Because of the easy looking and wonderful design and some positve articles in some magazines I bought it. And I am really happy I did!

Key Rig is a wonderful collection of very useful instruments. With it alone you can make a whole production of a song. All needed instruments are available in it. And they sound mostly really great!

User Interface
--------------
I have never seen such an easy to understand design like that of Key Rig. You don't need to search around a long time to find out where everything is. I love to look at it!

Sound
-----
A real pearl is the organ simulation of a B3. It sounds really great. The same I have to say to nearly all sounds include. But the organ is top! In the GM-Set the Accordion is really fantastic! And some presets of the included synthesizer are very useful (especially the pads). The weakness are the included Pianos. They sound really good in the deep/midranges. But higher keys are too thin.

Features
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The possibility of routing all 4 sections together makes this synth to a monster. It is so easy to combine instruments! There is a punch of effects included so you can experiment for hours to get new and strange sounds out of it.

Documentation
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The good thing is: you really don't need a documentation on Key Rig. Everything is so easy to find and understandable that it needs no description. The included documentation is ok.

Presets
-------
There are not too much presets included. But that included sound great. And if you need more: it is really easy to make them. Believe me: you will like this synth for its easyness.

Customer support
----------------
Can't say something about it cause I didn't need it because Key Rig is rock solid. But as I remember before I had to deal with the customer support because of my M-Audio Firewire 410 and I was satisfied.

Value for money
---------------
To say it short: you can't get more for your money! I think: It's too cheap for that what is included!

Stability
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Rock solid, nothing more to say...Read more
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Key Rig

Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

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