Emu EMAX 1
Added: 09-Nov-01 | Author: admin
New price: out of production | S/H price: 250 ish up to 400
Emu EMAX 1E-mu were really the first company to offer commercially affordable sampling with the early Emulator keyboards.
The Emax, was introduced with a price of about 2.8K Sterling.........Nearly 3000 pounds !!, and was at the time considered a big time luxury item, offering as it did, high quality E-mu sampling, and access to the superb E-mu sample library.
It absolutely pisses on the S900, and whilst the Casio FZ-1, and Roland S series do have a synthesis section, I think the Emax is better...definately a better library than the FZ, Better sample organisation than the Rolands.....and in terms of the synthesis, sound quality/output converter quality it even beats the S1000.
Even if you have a sampler, or you're not on a budget, I would still recommend an Emax just for it's sheer creativity, library, & ease of use.
Nowadays the E-max is right down in the bargain bin......I saw one in the LOOT free ad's paper about 5 weeks ago for only 350 pounds !!
Out of all the budget priced samplers, the E-max is the one. Not only do you get the superbly warm E-mu output converters, so that kik drums and the like are big and fat with plenty of punch; but the E-max also functions as a superb keyboard synth !!
REALLY !....You got to here this thing. The Emax has a full compliment of filters etc, so you can treat raw samples and turn them into weird synth sounds. Only expensive newer samplers offer anything like these facilities, and still with the Emax you get the excellent Emax library.
The sounds from the Emax library, are nearly all ported down from their higher spec/sample rate machine, the E3 , ( something of a legend in it's own lunchtime ). GREAT SOUNDS is the only way to describe them. Brilliant warm filtered pads is the Emax's thing, as well as a great ethnic stuff and some nice analogue waves you can filter to bits.
Often the pads have a few surprises, with secondary samples fading in later in the envelope. The Emax can do this because, although technically it is only 8 note poly, those 8 notes can each contain a primary and secondary sample, which can be velocity switched/faded, scale switched/faded, and enveloped, as well as having seperate mapping & analog processing. Combine this with all the midi/filter/Q and other functions, and you get some total sounds, as well as the ability to velocity fade drum samples, while still maintaining 8 note poly. It really is a sampler AND great sample synth all in one at such a cheap price.
Although being only 1 meg, Emax supports about 5 different sample rates, so you can get quite a bit of time. For example, I have one disk, called the "Bliss Disk", that has 99 preset sound banks on it !! , and they are all different.
The Emax also has the most comprehensive arpeggiator I've ever seen on a keyboard, the combinations are enormous, and you can clock it to midi......It is seriously awesome.
The Emax also excells at string sounds. They are so round, fat and upfront, and again combine this with the analogue processing section and you get some wicked pads with names like "1000 mm Lens" Emax will also create pads from things like heavily detuned cymbel samples etc....In fact I hear loads of ambient & other dance tracks featuring Emax sounds...When you play those sounds to people at the studio, they go..."OH Yeah !!.......That's that sound from....."
I use the Emax for all it's sounds and also to provide kiks and snares, and here's an idea of how good and up-front it's sound is........
I got a deal offer from Profile Records, and the management company, demanded a 24 track 2" mix ( God knows why ).......Anyhow I got in the studio complex, y'know , big place/top gear/name clients etc, and me and the engineer were getting all the sounds up on the board. When we started on the drums I had a 909 kik & snare comin off the Emax, (which is a 12 bit sampler)........So I says , "Hey, why don't we use the S1000 for the drum sounds"...... cos I knew the S1000 was 16 bit and although I never really heard one to compare, I just assumed it would sound more punchy and upfront .
So we wired in the S1000 and stuck in the studios 909 samples, then we ran the sequencer and compared the Emax and the S1000 sound........
We both listened for a minute, looked at each other, and the engineer raised his eyebrows an said...."lets stick with the Emax ".......There was no more punch from the Akai, an the Emax was a bit warmer.
Well that's about it.......Just to say that there were a few different models made. There was the Emax HD which has a 40 mb hard drive in it, and the Emax SE, which had an extra synthesis section (not sure what it does), and apparently goes up to 2 meg....(we explored this myth i think in the chat forum, we thought it was a myth ! ?...)..... anyways, they are so cheap now, you could get 2. one as a sampler and one as a synth !!......My dream studio would have 4 Emax Racks...!!!!.....
However, since I wrote that page, stuff like Akai s2000's with up to 32mb of simms & libraries a-plenty, are hovering around the 450 (UK) level secondhand at the lowest....... it's impossible to rate these older lo-memory units when within the last year we've seen big,newer samplers drop to the same price !(?).....
For straight sampling & production, you'd be nutz to not go for a larger memory unit.... but the emax has a serious sound that is upfront as fuck and warm..... and most of it's sounds are excellent..... it was a top-end item on release costing nearly 3k !!!... and it shows..... but bare in mind the above .....if it's cheap and you can't go higher to an s2000,esi etc.... look at these, look also if you want a unique machine & sound......
It's hard to know what will happen to machines like the emax, s900, s330 etc... will owners hang on to them, or will they hit bargain bin prices ?..... still, the emax is the rolls-royce of the older 1mb 8 note samplers... enjoy...
Check how the emax can panning the two samples from a single voice. This is my new E-mu EMAX. Just c...
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Total stars: 126 | Total votes: 29