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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Samplers
Should I go Emu route?
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Should I go Emu route?
Subject description: Or Akai S5/6k
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Just a general question really...
I own an Akai S3000XL but was burned due to the fact the seller had gutted the internal FX card.

I also have a Yamaha A3000 sampler with the SCSI/output upgrade.
I'm happy to keep the Yamaha, this might be subjective but it does more for me than the S3k.

I love the idea of the mod options that one can get from Emu samplers and I don't fancy splashing out similar money on an FX board for the S3k as I might spend on an Emu 4 series - depending on the deal of course.

Obviously I can go the soft sampler route and already own Kontakt but I love having hardware to tweak, sync, maintain and record.
So anyone with any experience of hard samplers, hit me up.

I'm also putting some thought toward some other units but for other reasons - I may or may not look to replace the S3000xl with an Emu altogether as I'm not tied to specific sample formats, I just like to have a lot of options when playing with my kit - not to mention that the Emu samplers offer a lot more in the way of synth'ing a sample (unless I'm missing a trick with what I have...)

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Harald



Joined: Jun 21, 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have a couple of E4 series samplers - an E4K and an E-Synth rack - and I love them both. I used to have an E6400 as well, but as I figured I could probably get by with just two of them I turned it over to a friend, who was at first skeptical of it but now LOVES it - just like I love the two I still have left here.

I'd definitely recommend that you get yourself an E4 sampler of some kind, preferably an ultra version, as they obviously come with some hand features and also have tighter MIDI, something that was always an issue with E-mu samplers when compared to Akai equivalents (which as you probably know are ultra-tight).

I personally find the sound of these now vintage E-mu beasts to be really musical and "pleasant." It's more of a "roundish" or "American" sound than the somewhat harsher, brighter sound that might be in vogue right now, but when I feel that they need a little "help" up top I usually turn to the Noveltech Character, which does the job of "modernizing" the sound quite well. The filters on these things are also terrific, of course, and they're quite user friendly and easy to learn instruments as well.

Considering the kind of price you can expect to pay for one of these I think it's a no brainer - even if you end up not liking it you can always resell it without the risk of losing much money. My bet is that you'll like it a lot, though.

That said, the Akais certainly have their place as well. I currently only have an S900, but want more of them - an S1000 (which I used to own back in the nineties), an S3000 series something and an S6000 would all be very welcome here.

Yeah, I kinda love samplers, but there you go... Laughing I guess I also love the fact that I can get these amazing machines (which they really are) for peanuts now. They sound great (rediscovering the S900 after having relied mostly on software for drums for a while was... well, an eye opener) and people have been using them to make some awesome music, so they must be doing something right these old boxes...

As for the S5000/s6000 I can't really comment as I never used them much, only tried an S6000 at a friend's studio a few times. I was quite impressed, though. And the remote thing is certainly GREAT to have.

But yes, the E-mus are good, and for the price they're fantastic. I have no problem recommending any of them.

Sorry for the rantish post..
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the response, and apologies for my delayed reply...

Yeah - I'll be looking for a 'top-end' E-Mu sampler at some point - I read up on an after-market OS for the later E-Mu's too - seems to add a few groovy features that may or may-not be superfluous.

That as an aside, the Akai S6000 is also tempting due to its faceplate; it's the hassle of finding a 'complete' unit that daunts me. I got burned on an S3000XL (none of the effects or filters that were advertised). The formidable price of the individual elements that always seem to be missing on the S5/6000 units (USB, FX) seem to cost more than the shell they fit into.

I might be tempted to look at an E-Mu model sampler with a sequencer as its my goal to rid as much PC time as needed while noodling etc - I love my Command Station and its sequencing capabilities - if that sequencer features on their samplers then I'll get a rack sampler and either an Axiom or Akai MPK keyboard to replace my samplers and Command Station.

So I guess the question now is which E-Mu sampler has a decent sequencer, decent-sized screen and an optional synth capability (over adding a sampler to my Command Station).

Cheers again

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MusicMan11712



Joined: Aug 08, 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
Yeah - I'll be looking for a 'top-end' E-Mu sampler at some point - I read up on an after-market OS for the later E-Mu's too - seems to add a few groovy features that may or may-not be superfluous.

I might be tempted to look at an E-Mu model sampler with a sequencer as its my goal to rid as much PC time as needed while noodling etc - I love my Command Station and its sequencing capabilities - if that sequencer features on their samplers then I'll get a rack sampler and either an Axiom or Akai MPK keyboard to replace my samplers and Command Station.

So I guess the question now is which E-Mu sampler has a decent sequencer, decent-sized screen and an optional synth capability (over adding a sampler to my Command Station).

I can only speak to the P2K/Command Station line and the low end E-Mu Ultra Sampler line. It really depends what you want to do. If you take the CS to gigs and want to leave the Sampler in the studio, you might try to find some Flash ROMs to burn your custom samples using the Ultra (even the low end E5000) and play them in the CS.

The E-Mu Ultras do have various options to meet various needs--additional ins, outs, midi, scsi, adat, and the RFX-32 option.
The E-Mu Sequencers are nothing compared to the CS. If you do a lot with pattern arps as well as on-the fly triggering with the CS, pattern sequencing, etc., you will >>not<< have those with the sampler's sequencer. It is a 48 track midi recorder with a number of editing features, but nowhere near what the CS/P2500 can do.

Personally, I would think an E-Mu Ultra sampler and a CS would complement each other very nicely. You can even put your P2K ROMs in the Ultra, copy the banks, and create sampler presets using each and every individual sample on the ROMs. Bear in mind that the P2K level presets are >>not<< available to the sampler, just the ROM instruments and the samples that make up those ROM instruments.

(The P2K presets are stored in the baby flash of the P2K sound ROMs, which the ultras cannot access. That's why to do sound ROM authoring you would first have to burn the samples onto the Flash ROM using the Ultra and then create P2K style presets on the CS once the samples are there. The ultra will create presets usable on P2Ks/CSes based on each sampler preset, but the fun comes in in designing the P2K/CS presets using your custom, self-designed, self-sampled ROM insruments. )

The manuals are still at e-mu's site, but you need to go to the legacy gear entry point to find them.
Steve
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you for the details; am I right in thinking though that chips one uses to burn via an Ultra are like hens teeth nowadays? The couple I've seen in the last 12 months were prohibitively expensive.

I accept that it might pay off for what it offers, maybe, but are there any compatible chips - out there that you know of?

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MusicMan11712



Joined: Aug 08, 2009
Posts: 739
Location: Upstate New York USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
Thank you for the details; am I right in thinking though that chips one uses to burn via an Ultra are like hens teeth nowadays? The couple I've seen in the last 12 months were prohibitively expensive.

I accept that it might pay off for what it offers, maybe, but are there any compatible chips - out there that you know of?

You are right; they are rare, but they do show up occasionally. I do remember a lot of 10 being listed on e-bay for $1,000 (US Dollars) maybe 6-8 years ago. Wish I had the wisdom and the money to get them. Within the past year or two I have seen a several go for between $200 and $300. I have seen 16MB and 32 MB ROMs listed.

I have seen people discussing possible designs and substitute chips for newly designed Flash ROMS for the E-MUs, but I have not seen anything come of it.

Within the past year someone was selling unpopulated E-Mu ROM Boards.

Steve
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was putting a bit of thought into the software route; E-Mu Emulator X and Proteus X specifically.

The Command Stations have the same user-interface and, as such, map directly to the software UI's; Proteus X anyway. This seems like a cheaper way of doing it.

I was given both apps, V1, but they require E-Mu hardware to run.
I was thinking of getting the required E-Mu unit, running it on a WinXp laptop and tracking down the sound packs for the roms. Not quite the same but considerably cheaper and more options, I hope...

The only downside, I can see, is sacrificing user slots for custom templates; I've already got a few for outboard gear and other apps though.

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MusicMan11712



Joined: Aug 08, 2009
Posts: 739
Location: Upstate New York USA
Audio files: 148

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Have you tried the free version--Proteus VX (see link below)? It is a limited version of Proteus X2--you cannot edit a number of settings and are limited to 16 channels per instance, but it doesn't require a dongle--either an external e-mu midi interface for the non-free Proteus X2 or an internal card for the first two versions of Emulator X.

Proteus VX is not supposed to work on 64 bit Win 7, but I have it working. Proteus X2--even with an e-mu 2x2 midi interface does not--strictly for Win XP. Everything I have seen says that only Emulator X3 is supposed to work under 64 bit Win 7.

Also, a number of the E-Mu disks (Protean Drums, Planet Earth, and possibly others) do not work with 64-bit Win 7 and Proteus VX).

On a related matter, I have had it in mind to take some of the field recording samples (or maybe other banks of samples), put them into banks using a hardware sampler, and design banks in Proteus X2 on under Win XP for use in the Proteus VX. Its a long-term, back burner project, but if others here at electro-music are interested in collaborating, so would I.

Steve

Here's the Proteus XV link for anyone interested: http://www.creative.com/emu/proteusvx/ .
Here's the link that will get you to the sampler (and other hardware) manuals): http://support.creative.com/Products/product_list.aspx?catID=237&CatName=E-MU+%2f+Creative+Professional# .
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