EMU Vintage Keys


The EMU Vintage Keys is a 1U rackmount rompler from the early 90s. When I purchased this device a couple years ago, I thought it sucked. Most of what I perceived to be the factory defaults sounded like garbage. I really wanted the Vintage Keys because the Mellotron strings sound was supposed to be great... it wasn't (or so I thought). Long story short... When you re-initialize the unit to "factory" settings, it's not the collection of great samples you often hear on the internet. To be honest, I am still not completely sure of what I heard. Perhaps default samples that more complicated patches are built off of? Not sure, but I digress. What I ended up missing was the SysEx file used to create the amazing patches I heard online. I couldn't find the factory SysEx file for a very long time.

After searching through many links, I found a reference in a forum to a German website that is no longer in existence. Through the magic of the Wayback Machine I was able to find a cached version of the website that included the factory SysEx file. To save you the trouble of having to track these down, here are the EMU Vintage Keys Factory SysEx and the Vintage Keys Plus Factory SysEx files.

I have had a hell of a time trying to communicate to this rompler using Cubase. One of the main issues with this device is accessing patches above patch number 127. Apparently, implementation of banks was not used with the Vintage Keys. I did, however, find the following information on this magic German site that no longer exists:

"About the internal program table up to 128 of the 384 or 512 sounds are (depending on the version number) can be achieved. Unfortunately, the bank change was not very widely used command in appearance Vintage Keys and was therefore not incorporated into the device. However, since the Vintage Keys can receive the program table via MIDI SysEx, there is the way described below still a loophole to reach all sounds via MIDI. The only condition is (due to the amount of data sent) the operation with a sequencer:

On the Vintage Keys 4 program tables are created and stored in the sequencer.
The contents of the tables:

Objectives of Table 1: 000-127
Objectives of Table 2: 128-255
Objectives Table 3: 256-383
Objectives Table 4: 384-511

When calling a particular sound the appropriate program table is then sent first and then the appropriate Program Change. This is then calculated with the above tables as follows:

Sounds 000 - 127 (Table 1) to be transmitted Program Change = sound number
Sounds 128-255 (Table 2): to be sent Program Change = Sound Number - 128
Sounds 256-383 (Table 2): to be sent Program Change = Sound Number - 256
Sounds 384-511 (Table 2): to be sent Program Change = Sound Number - 384"


The information above is a very bad English translation via Babblefish. I left the above quoted exactly as it was presented to me. I have not been sucessful in getting Cubase (or any other external midi device for that matter) to access patches above 127 on the Vintage Keys. Hopefully the above information with help somebody more than it helped me. If you ever figure it out, I would love to hear what you did. Feel free to contact me. Also, I would love to give credit to the German website/the person who was originally responsible for the above information. Unfortunately that is information I have long forgotten. If you know who it was, let me know and I will give them credit.

E-Mu Vintage Keys
MIDI Implementation Chart
Date : 1992
Version : 1.00

    Function ...
   Transmitted
   Recognized
 Remarks
Basic       Default
Channel
            Changed
   x

 ****************
   1

   1-16
Memorized
Mode        Default
            Messages
            Changed
   o

 ****************
  Mode 1, 3, 4
  Mono, Poly
  Omni, On/Off
Memorized
Note
Number :  True Voice
   x
 ****************
   0-127
   0-127
 
Velocity    Note ON
            Note OFF
   x
   x
   9n v=1-127
   9n v=0
 
After       Key's
Touch       Ch's
   x
   x
   o
   o
 
Pitch Bender
   x
   o
 
Control
Change
 
   x
   x
   0 -31
   64-79
 
Prog
Change :    True #
   x
 ****************
   0-127
   0-127
 
System Exclusive
   o
   o
 
System :    Song pos
       :    Song sel
Common :    Tune
   x
   x
   x
   x
   x
   x
 
System   :  Clock
Realtime :  Commands
   x
   x
   x
   x
 
Aux  : Local ON/OFF
     : All Notes OFF
Mes- : Active Sense
sages: Reset
   x
   x
   x
   x
   x
   o
   x
   x
 
Notes
  
   Pan   0=hard left   127=hard right
Mode 1 : OMNI ON,  POLY
Mode 3 : OMNI OFF, POLY
Mode 2 : OMNI ON,  MONO
Mode 4 : OMNI OFF, MONO
o : Yes
x : No 
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Last updated 9/16/2015 at 2:30pm