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Old 17th March 2012
I adore my Emax SD HD Rack and bought it new in '87. It's traveled all over the world with me and has never had to be sent to the shop except for the few drives I've replaced myself. I have hundreds of disks and the HD allowed me to use it for live shows as well as studio work. I'll never sell it and it's my favorite secret weapon for all sorts of things.

Some of my favorite things are the Supermode (which makes the Emax multitimbral across up to 16 presets.), the HD (eliminates the needs for carrying around floppies and Banks load in 3 seconds, so it's easy to change sounds in the middle of a set.), and the great, legendary filters. The filters have such a distinctive sound. If you want to hear them, just listen to the first NIN album. (AFAIK the original EmaxI was the only Emax model with the analog filters, the EmaxII was digital.) It even has a really nice arpeggiator that can be programmed per patch.

Above all of those things, I love the way the Emax sounds and the character it can add to samples to make them sound more interesting. It's also incredibly easy to use and navigate - whoever designed the user interface deserves a TEC award - it was pretty sophisticated for its time.

Oddly, I also like the limits of the memory - only 512KB. It's enough for 18.8 seconds of sampling at 41K and you can do a lot with that much time. It is an eternity when using the Emax as a drum sampler. And because of the limited memory, I love how everything loads quickly. Only when using the SE processing features do you need to really wait. I have a K2000 and it takes forever to load banks of samples.

If you decide to get an Emax, and I highly suggest you do, get the HD model, and better yet the HD+ model which includes an external SCSI port. The HD holds 32 banks of sounds and the system will boot from the SCSI drive, so you never need to worry about losing your system disks if you're moving around.

If you really want to play with the SE features and that's your main thing, I would not recommend the Emax since it takes a very long time to process each sample. One of the more modern models would be a better choice.

Come over to the Emax side. Join us....