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E-mu Emulator X


aeon

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Pictures here and here . :)

 

  • New DSP (the E-Chip)
  • 16 effects in real time without latency
  • WAV, EOS, EIII, GigaSampler and Akai support
  • 36 patchcords per voice
  • more than 50 Z-Plane morphing filters
  • LFO with multiple waves
  • wide possibilities for modulation
     

Emulator X = ~$249 USD

Emulator X Studio = ~$499 USD

Emulator X:

 

  • 1 stereo analog inputs (2 ins)
  • 1 stereo analog outputs (2 outs)
  • 1 ADAT I/O
  • 1 S/PDIF I/O (coaxial)
  • 1 MIDI I/O
  • 1 FireWire (IEEE1394) I/O
     

Emulator X Studio:

  • 2 Micro TFPro preamps (w/48V phantom power)
  • 3 stereo analog inputs (6 ins)
  • 4 stereo analog outputs (8 outs)
  • 1 turntable input w/RIAA preamp/EQ
  • 8 outs for configurable enclosures in 7.1
  • 1 ADAT I/O
  • 1 S/PDIF I/O (coaxial)
  • 1 S/PDIF I/O (optical)
  • 1 MIDI I/O
  • 1 FireWire (IEEE1394) I/O
  • 1 Word Clock I/O
  • 1 SMPTE I/O
  • 1 MTC output
     

Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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Originally posted by Rabid:

Interresting. I also wonder how close it will be to the E4 sound quality?

 

Robert

I guess it will be pretty close, since it has its own in/out hardware.

 

I guess if E-mu will also keep manufacturing hardware Emulators... If not, they're setting an interesting trend: The old and established hardware intruments manufacturers are producing software instruments, but with hardware attachements to avoid the bottlenecks of cheap soundcards.

 

Very interresting indeed. :D

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Originally posted by marino:

... If not, they're setting an interesting trend: The old and established hardware intruments manufacturers are producing software instruments, but with hardware attachements to avoid the bottlenecks of cheap soundcards.

 

Very interresting indeed. :D

Word!

Hopefully, they will allow compatibility with professional soundcards in order to get more I/O options.

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Director de Ventas, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus Audio Electronics

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

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Not only that but the hardware is also a dongle, the software is useless without it. The price seems really reasonable. PCI might seem old school, but my USB and Firewire ports are maxed out while I still have PCI slots open (on my PC at least). PCI is still faster and once installed, trouble-free.

 

Hopefully the standard version can be clocked via the digital ins.

 

Busch.

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It's actually not a bad thing for $250.00, if it can also serve as a DAW i/o (I assume that it can). Those Z-plane filters are really great...I always felt that the factory patches on the Morpheus never took advantage of them.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Not only that but the hardware is also a dongle, the software is useless without it.
I hope you're referring to the PCI card and not the I/O box which I could do without. Hopefully you can just run it into any I/O box and the software allows for routing as you please. I guess we'll know more on Thursday if E-mu shows.
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So you have to use two PCI slots for the Emulator X? Or can you just choose whether you want the digital or analog I/O? I'm also wondering if it will stream audio directly to disk, to avoid those soundcards entirely.

 

Seems a bit limited to have only one ADAT I/O set. The hardware samplers can be upgraded to 16 outputs, which is very handy. Dedicating a computer to this sampler you'd want more than one ADAT and a few analog outs. And if the card is in your host computer, then streaming would be better than going through all that hardware.

 

Questions, questions.

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Originally posted by bleen:

Interesting - Creative Labs branded, too.

 

I'm only seeing Window$2k & XP graphics on the box...where's the Mac support? :confused:

With a name like "Emulator X," it would be strange if the "E X" weren't also available for OS X. :freak:

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Albert said:

So you have to use two PCI slots for the Emulator X?

Looks like 1 for the basic version, 2 for the Studio version.

 

Albert said:

I'm also wondering if it will stream audio directly to disk, to avoid those soundcards entirely.

heres betting the internal routing and mixing will allow for a bit-clean passage of audio to a DAW app.

 

Albert said:

Seems a bit limited to have only one ADAT I/O set. The hardware samplers can be upgraded to 16 outputs, which is very handy. Dedicating a computer to this sampler you'd want more than one ADAT and a few analog outs.

That is why they also included the FireWire port...more I/O channels, more choices for connectivity.

 

Consider too...the card will likely have some number of output streams going to the DAW app in question.

 

Albert said:

And if the card is in your host computer, then streaming would be better than going through all that hardware.

What exactly do you mean here?
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Originally posted by aeon:

early signs seem to indicate...no Mac support! :eek::rolleyes::mad::freak:

I don't think that's such a horrible thing (and before someone tries to hack my head off with an ADB cable: Macs are my main computers for music). I have a feeling that the E-X will probably be best served in a standalone, powerful, but barebones, box. and if i have to buy a computer just to run a sampler, you can bet I'd rather pay for or build a PC than fork out the cash for a Mac.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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after considering this for a day, i think it could be an awesome deal for someone who has a pc with a stock soundcard and an open slot or 2 (beginner or not).

it may even be worth building another computer for if you're really into the emu stuff:

 

but, here's the thing aeon: (and this is what bothers me that i couldn't put my finger on).

i don't like to see the packaging of software with hardware, unless the software is available separately. (and vice-versa).

of course you would lose the dsp effects, but for someone who already has a higher-end audio input, having to have the card installed might not be real enticing.

 

if i have to buy the hardware, i'd just as soon have it be strictly hardware and not have to rely on a pc to gain full functionality.

vice-versa for software; i like it strictly 'native', using the computer's dsp.

 

the G2 rack, roland's variOS, lots of groove boxes, plug-in boards and way too much other stuff are beginning to go this route.

 

i used to say i was old-fashioned because i liked hardware;

but now i'm going to have to say i'm old-fashioned because i like to keep my hardware and software separate.

 

anyway - thanks for finding this and giving us something to 'mull over' while waiting for thursday.

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Originally posted by zeronyne:

Originally posted by aeon:

early signs seem to indicate...no Mac support! :eek::rolleyes::mad::freak:

I don't think that's such a horrible thing (and before someone tries to hack my head off with an ADB cable: Macs are my main computers for music). I have a feeling that the E-X will probably be best served in a standalone, powerful, but barebones, box. and if i have to buy a computer just to run a sampler, you can bet I'd rather pay for or build a PC than fork out the cash for a Mac.
zeronyne, I hear ya...and that just may be the route I will have to go.

 

BUT!

 

the reason I was disappointed with the (potential) lack of Mac support is the fact that I would have made the Emulator X my main audio I/O...

 

I would have a few analog I/O channels, but then I would also have 8 channels I/O to/from my OASYS PCI (which would act like an external unit supplying effects inserts and auxes and also synth voices), a S/PDIF loop with one or more of my hardware fx boxes and then a FireWire port for connection to another computer, or something like a PreSonus FireStation.

 

cheers,

aeon

Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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mildbill said:

i don't like to see the packaging of software with hardware, unless the software is available separately. (and vice-versa). of course you would lose the dsp effects, but for someone who already has a higher-end audio input, having to have the card installed might not be real enticing.

The software may be available separately as a controller/programmer for an E-mu hardware sampler.

 

That said, this is not a softsynth with DSP effects...the sampler itself, with all of the synthesis engine and routing, is on the card itself...the app is just a means by which it is programmed and controlled.

 

mildbill said:

if i have to buy the hardware, i'd just as soon have it be strictly hardware and not have to rely on a pc to gain full functionality. vice-versa for software; i like it strictly 'native', using the computer's dsp. the G2 rack, roland's variOS, lots of groove boxes, plug-in boards and way too much other stuff are beginning to go this route.

I hear ya, and I often agree with this point of view.

 

That said, many of the devices you listed could not exist solely as hardware and still have the same functionality (without them costing a LOT more money). For example, how would you create patches on a Nord Modular and share them via the internet if it had no computer integration without adding, for example, the expense of a video out port and integral software for driving it? Roland did that back in the day...and boy were those samplers pricey on release!

 

As it regards the Emulator X, and hardware samplers in general, part of the reason I think they have so quickly migrated to the computer world is because of issues of data management, memory/drive/audio I/O redundancy, ease of use for engines that typically have many layers of hierarchy, storage needs as it regards modern sample libraries, and standardization and interchange of sample formats. All those issues sum up to a huge and compelling argument to computer integration.

 

That said, there are still compelling arguments to DSP integration as well when you are talking about a sample-playback environment that offers deep synthesis and modulation options (i.e., not GigaSampler!), as well as complex mixing and routing, and integration of effects processing in a computer that is already doing many other tasks, and near-zero latency at high sample rates with heavy voice-count is required.

 

After all, a PC could do all of its graphics processing with the main CPU, but graphics cards with hardware acceleration exist for a reason...should it not be the same for audio devices?

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I have to disagree with keeping them separate, I use Samplecell and I have to say I'd much rather do sample editing on a computer screen with a keyboard and mouse than a little LCD. Whether or not you get a benefit from the audio staying on the internal busses, you cannot beat the timing benefit you get from internal MIDI.

That studio version looks like it doesn't necessarily take up 2 PCI slots. That daughtercard will take up a slot on the back of the PC, but depending on your motherboard, it might possibly be a blank slot where you didn't have a PCI slot anyway (or an unreliable slot, like the one next to an AGP or ISA slot where you don't want to put a card anyway). I also have to wonder- as a sync option, for word clock output alone, is there another option under $500 that provides that?

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Originally posted by dementia13:

I have to disagree with keeping them separate, I use Samplecell and I have to say I'd much rather do sample editing on a computer screen with a keyboard and mouse than a little LCD. Whether or not you get a benefit from the audio staying on the internal busses, you cannot beat the timing benefit you get from internal MIDI.

While I agree in theory, there is a huge difference between a PCI card sampler that has its own RAM and one that relies on disk streaming (as the E-X must if it's compatible with Giga stuff). Any MIDI timing advantages could be offset by massive disk i/o and CPU performance issues.

 

But none of us will know until this thing ships. :D

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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i agree that in a studio there are lots of advantages to being able to edit on a monitor instead of a small display, and data management is also simplified with something like this.

if it integrates well with a host program, that's more icing on the cake.

but it's got to be a major pain in the butt for anyone who thinks of taking it on the road.

oh well, something for everyone, i guess.

 

also, i was under the impression that it 'was' a softsampler and the dsp chips were for the effects - i guess not?

 

i would like to see emu release this as a softie without the card/chips/dsp - but maybe they figured it's too late? this was what i was expecting when i first heard about emu's 'softsampler' last year.

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The large screen and data management are huge for me as well. I have well over 100 GB of samples and loops which, because they're on my computers' hard disks, I can easily bring them into various sofware samplers, DAWs, wave editors, looping programs, etc. I know most hardware samplers have provisions for sharing the SCSI bus with the computer, but I've never gotten this to work without major issues.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by bad jitter:

E4XT Ultras are going at quite cheap price now. I'm tempted. Would it be a stupid move to invest on a old technology at this point?

Cheap they are, but good they stay. I don't know the soft samplers on the market, but with the Emu, you'll sure have good converting quality, extensive modulation capabilities. In my view (and use) it's a very powerful synth, except it doesn't emulate anything and you put your own sounds inside. A drawback compared to soft samplers is that the new libraries aren't made to fit 128 Mb RAM, but you can do much with it nonetheless.

And you get a crash free machine with great filters (well I've had a few crashes, like 4 in nearly 4 years of use, and nothing critical).

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Markyboard, the Excel version of the NAMM directory I downloaded from the NAMM site lists "E - Mu Systems" in booth 6940 of Hall A. If you used a search function to find "E-mu," you wouldn't find it because the NAMM folks put extra spaces between "E" and "Mu."

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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