EHX KEY9 Electric Piano Machine Guitar Pedal

Electro-Harmonix introduces the KEY9 Electric Piano Machine, a pedal that emulates multiple electric piano sounds.

EHX KEY9 Electric Piano Machine

Related Feature:
EHX B9 Organ Machine

This pedal expands on the cool synth style effects that they previously released, only this one transforms your guitar tone into convincing electric piano sounds based on sought after electric pianos that were popular back in the '70s and '80s.

At first glance, the idea may seem silly, especially since you can always get a keyboard player instead of you playing their parts. But because their previous emulation of organ machines sounded really natural and inspiring, I can't help but be interested with this new pedal which emulates electric pianos.

Plugging your guitar into the EHX KEY9 morphs your guitar sound into convincing electric piano emulations of popular keyboards. Instead of merely going for one electric piano tone, this pedal emulates various electric pianos which you can choose via a rotary switch. It carries several variations of the classic Rhode and Wurlitzer sounds along with recreations of vibes, mallets, an organ, and even steel drums!

Following the design of the popular EHX B9 and C9 pedals, the new KEY9 comes equipped with DRY (uneffected signal) and KEY (wet/effected signal) knobs, along with preset-specific parameters that can be adjusted by CTRL 1 and CTRL 2 knobs. A dry output jack is also provided for better signal routing management, along with the normal output jack.

Here are detailed descriptions of the 9 presets built into the KEY9:

  • Dynamo - An evocation of the “Dyno My” modified Fender Rhodes electric pianos of the 1970s and 1980s. Ctrl 1 adds bass to the lower strings of your guitar. Ctrl 2 adjusts the “tine” or high-end overtones.
  • Wurli - The classic sound of the Wurlitzer electric piano. Ctrl 1 adjusts tremolo depth. Ctrl 2 sets tremolo speed.
  • Suitcase - This preset pays tribute to the sound of a Fender Rhodes electric piano routed through a phase shifter. Ctrl 1 adds a bass octave and adjusts the “tine” or high-end overtones. Ctrl 2 sets the phase shifter speed.
  • Mallets - Here we have the sound of a wood marimba. Ctrl 1 adjusts chorus depth. Ctrl 2 sets chorus speed.
  • Eighty Eight - This preset emulates a Fender Rhodes 88 electric piano with built-in tremolo. Ctrl 1 adjusts tremolo depth. Ctrl 2 sets tremolo speed.
  • Tri-Glorious - The sound of a Dytronics/Dyno My CS-5 Tri Stereo Chorus. Ctrl 1 adjusts chorus depth. Ctrl 2 sets chorus speed.
  • Vibes - The sound of a metal vibraphone with motorized tremolo. Ctrl 1 adjusts the high pitch attack. Ctrl 2 sets tremolo speed.
  • Organ - This preset offers a highly touch-responsive percussive organ. Ctrl 1 adjusts the high frequencies (treble). Ctrl 2 sets the rotating speaker speed.
  • Steel Drums - This preset conveys the metallic sound of a steel drum. Ctrl 1 adjusts chorus depth. Ctrl 2 sets chorus speed.

Check out the official video demo below:

The demo video certainly showcased the pedal's fast tracking capability, resulting in natural sounding electric piano tones that would certainly make jaws drop during gigs. Note that many of the presets included in this pedal come with adjustable modulation such as tremolo, phaser and chorus, allowing for a wide range of sounds based on how the electric piano was actually used on popular tracks.

With the EHX KEY9 chained alongside the B9 and C9 Organ Machine pedals, you have for yourself a powerful and versatile keyboard rig. Now maybe the keyboard player will think twice before not showing up on your band's next gig. The new EHX KEY9 is now available with a retail price of $293.73. Visit Electro-Harmonix for more information.

Related Articles:
EHX Mel9 Tape Relay Machine
EHX 720 Stereo Looper

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