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Emu Morpheus - Opinions?


Rod S

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Guys, I have the opportunity of picking one these up as a trade in for a piece of gear I have. I haven't been able to sell it, and this feels like something I might use...

 

The guy lives in another town, and if I don't like it I'm sure he would take it back, but I want to at least make an initial decision.

 

I'm not too familiar with Emu modules, but I did test drive a Proteus 2000 a few years ago (circa 2000...) and I dug the sound. I know this module is from the earlier series (Proteus, Vintage Keys, Proformer, etc.), so I'm not sure how similar it is.

 

I'm looking at general opinions. This is what I have nowadays in terms of synths and modules :

Yamaha CS6x

Alesis QSR (probably selling soon...)

Wavestation SR.

 

I don't gig, so it will sit on the rack for me to pick sounds from...

 

I still rather get cash for the equipment I'm trading in, but since I've been stuck with it, oh well...

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

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American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Originally posted by soundscape:

Well, the Proteus-X2 might be a better option these days?

Not really - I'm not interesting in buying one (if I had the cash I would buy something else), but since I'm stuck with a piece of gear I don't use, I rather trade it for something else I will... so that's where the Proteus comes in.. Thanks anyways.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Originally posted by Rod S:

Originally posted by soundscape:

Well, the Proteus-X2 might be a better option these days?

Not really - I'm not interesting in buying one (if I had the cash I would buy something else), but since I'm stuck with a piece of gear I don't use, I rather trade it for something else I will... so that's where the Proteus comes in.. Thanks anyways.
Well I think you'll get your answer at:

 

http://www.synthmania.com/morpheus.htm

 

Note the filters...!

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Well, I'm horribly confused about which piece of gear you are thinking of trading for the Morpheus. That makes it hard to judge the relative value of the trade-in.

 

I owned an E-Mu Morpheus for a few years, right after it came out. At that point in my life, I was an acoustic music purist, and hadn't yet gotten into the 80's retro thing. So I sold it once I discovered the GEM physical modeling technology, as all I really wanted at that point in time was a good set of acoustic instruments.

 

Last year, I returned to the Morpheus Z-plane filters via the Proteus Command Station and ROM expansions. As many know, that gear was all stolen a couple of months ago. I didn't have a chance to get into the programming side of things, but was very impressed by the depth of the sounds in the better of the ROM expansions (Tech Synth Construction Yard, World Expedition, Ensoniq Project, Protozoa in particular).

 

The Morpheus is still unique in the number and types of filters, but unless you plan to do your own programming, I think you would be just as well off with the later Proteus 2000 related modules, which also have superior D/A (depending on which model). The Proteus 2000 is a direct descendent.

 

Nevertheless, even modules that are "superseded" by later products often have a unique character or sound that people desire more than their follow-ons. The examples posted at the Vintage Synth website should give you a good idea of the Morpheus' unique characteristics, for judging against the later Proteus 2000 based modules.

 

Certainly the Morpheus has greater cachet at the moment, in the on-line reviews and in its on-line prices. I dumped mine for practically nothing, little knowing it would resurrect as a sought-after module years after it became considered passe. Such is the world of synths.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

Well, I'm horribly confused about which piece of gear you are thinking of trading for the Morpheus. That makes it hard to judge the relative value of the trade-in.

Well, I did that on purpose ;) I didn't want the conversation to turn into a debate on whether the piece of gear I was trading in was of higher value or not, which one was better - I rather decide that myself. I wanted to focus on the Morpheus itself.

 

BTW, the gear I'm selling is a Roland MC307. I had fun with it, but not my cup of tea... I'm just having a hard time selling it.

 

But thanks for the opinions, it certainly looks interesting, but I'd rather have the $$$ to save towards something like a Motif Rack... Still making up my mind.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

The Morpheus is still unique in the number and types of filters, but unless you plan to do your own programming

Aren't all of them to be found in the current Emulator/Proteus software products?

 

Hmm, let's see... "Proteus X2 features: Powerful synthesis with over 50 patented Z-Plane filters" (emu.com) (same for Emulator X2)

 

vs. Morpheus... (synthmania.com)

 

"The star on this machine are undoubtedly the 197 filters."

 

Woah! I think it's time for a bit of trawling around eBay...

 

Still, I'm confused as to why all these filters aren't in the current products... as I understand, the current Z-plane filters are extremely flexible and offer tons of possibilities...

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And that exactly is their problem! Most buyers don't want flexibility and endless possibilities. Probably well over 90% of buyers never get past the presets.

 

The Morpheus intimidated people, including myself (I did not have my first home computer until many many years later, and front-panel deep menu editing is not my cup of tea).

 

Similarly with Yamaha's physical modeling technology. And Korg's similar efforts. The VL1 and Z1 were complete failures in the marketplace.

 

Still, in the software world, people have come to expect mega-features, so I'm surprised E-Mu doesn't give people the full Morpheus in the current emulations.

 

For that matter, I'm surprised they cut off us Mac owners. In the general population, we represent a small market share, but amongst those in the creative arts, it's a much higher percentage (for the clientele of my company's growing list of software products, it is probably 60% Mac!).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

And that exactly is their problem! Most buyers don't want flexibility and endless possibilities. Probably well over 90% of buyers never get past the presets.

Well, I'm not sure that's a bad thing--musicians creating/playing music... at least until it means sound design tools are unavailable.

 

Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

Similarly with Yamaha's physical modeling technology. And Korg's similar efforts. The VL1 and Z1 were complete failures in the marketplace.

How much of that Yamaha's technology remains in the Physical Modelling PLG card? (PLG-150VL.)

 

Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

Still, in the software world, people have come to expect mega-features, so I'm surprised E-Mu doesn't give people the full Morpheus in the current emulations.

Well, perhaps it's not so easy to port them over. But... are the 197 filters in the Morpheus actually more capable than the 50 filters in Proteus-X2/Emulator-X2?

 

Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

For that matter, I'm surprised they cut off us Mac owners. In the general population, we represent a small market share, but amongst those in the creative arts, it's a much higher percentage (for the clientele of my company's growing list of software products, it is probably 60% Mac!).

It's strange for sure but Creative (E-mu's parent) and Apple aren't on such good terms, perhaps. (Not so long ago Creative sued over the iPod.) Also the Creative/E-mu cards have shared the core DSP chip designed by E-mu (not sure about the current line) and since the Creative cards are somewhat aimed at the gaming market, which is small on the Mac, probably E-mu's development has tended to be more PC centric.
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