Emu Emax I
Old 9th February 2012
  #31
Regarding the "lack of synthesis" as some mentioned. I would not agree. In addition to spectral synthesis (which is a world of its own you can explore for moths), there's also the convolution synthesis. Even the classic subtractive with single cycle waveforms is nice.

Audio:

I've posted this earlier (in case someone missed it). Single cycle Saw wave played and tweaked live on my Emax SE/HD. The sample is just 200 bytes long and then looped.

You can hear the unprocessed saw (without the envelopes and filtering applied) at the beginning of the recording. After that is some tweaking and applying various stuff. One single voice was used so the sample gets processed by the same VCF and VCA all the time. Hope this helps your decision and sheds some light on things like VCA saturation, VCF behavior on Emax I, etc.

Here's the file:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/attac...-emaxhd_se.mp3

I used Velocity -> Cutoff, Velocity -> Resonance, ENV -> Cutoff, and live tweaking of the filter cutoff via Data slider for that sound on the recording.
Old 9th February 2012
  #32
Gear maniac
 

thats definiely a Triple D!

Dope Demo Don!
Old 9th February 2012
  #33
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post

I used Velocity -> Cutoff, Velocity -> Resonance, ENV -> Cutoff, and live tweaking of the filter cutoff via Data slider for that sound on the recording.

Fantastic sounding stuff. I owned an Emax I back in like '87 or '88, which I had bought at Sam Ash music (for you east coasters who know that chain!) but it developed some problems so I bought it back to them and they sent it out to be repaired (because I had gotten the service contract) and they had LOST it! When I finally got them to own up to it, they had taken what I spent on the Emax and let me put it instead towards an Emax II, which was brandy new at the moment. It's also the last time I've ever paid extra for, or gotten the additional warranty ever again.

On both of them, the filter was fantastic and I used to do this kind of stuff all the time - velocity to Q (Resonance) and Cutoff. It was super easy using the data sliders and I thought it was such a great way to bring life to all the samples. In fact, I remember buying Vince Clark's "Lucky Bastard" CD and sampling some synth sound off of it because he included these long tones for sampling, and using the velocity to control the filter made a really convincing Oberheim sound which I loved using in a lot of songs I was writing at the time.

I finally retired my Emax II around 2001 from a life of constant gigging because of broken keys and it's been sitting in my garage since. I really feel like going out to bring it back into the house and play with it now.

I also forgot about the supermode which was a major pain so I never used it.

As far as synthesis, I remember that the Emax II had that synthesis mode - I can't remember the name. But you would break sound down into slices and combine them and then leave the Emax to calculate the result - which considering chip speed at the time used to take anywhere from hours to a day or more. After all that waiting I'd hit a key and get something that sounded like a fart. I just didn't have the time to experiment with that mode since it took such a long time to get a result and you never knew what you were going to get.

I did remember adding a Zip SCSI drive to hold the samples. Now THAT was an upgrade!

Regards,
Frank
Old 9th February 2012
  #34
Gear interested
 

What you're describing sounds like Spectral Synthesis, the main difference between the regular and SE Emax I is that the SE can do this. Basically you can draw 24 consecutive waveforms/time slices with the slider or manually edit each. One waveform can be copied over 24 slices or you can have the Emax interpolate the values between the slices. Kind of like audio "tweening". There are amp and pitch slices as well, so it can get very involved and very time consuming to render when you choose to do so. The results are often unpredictable, but very interesting and sometimes usable.

I was always under the impression that any Emax I could be upgraded to SE via the software upgrade floppy. Is there anything other than software keeping original Emax Is from being upgraded to SE?
Old 9th February 2012
  #35
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatMachine View Post
What you're describing sounds like Spectral Synthesis, the main difference between the regular and SE Emax I is that the SE can do this. Basically you can draw 24 consecutive waveforms/time slices. One waveform can be copied over 24 slices or you can have the Emax interpolate the values between the slices. Kind of like audio "tweening". There are amp and pitch slices as well, so it can get very involved and very time consuming to render when you choose to do so. The results are often unpredictable, but very interesting and sometimes usable.
Ah, yes! Spectral Synthesis! I remember it was available on the SE and the Emax II now as well! It used to come on a separate disk to load up I think.

Yeah, the results were very unpredictable. Although at the time I just might have been incapable of understanding how the technology worked to know how to get something useful out of it. It used to take forever. Is there anything today that does something like that?

Thanks,
Frank
Old 9th February 2012
  #36
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatMachine View Post
Is there anything other than software keeping original Emax Is from being upgraded to SE?
Nope!

Its a PITA making an upgrade disk but that's about it. If you can't make an upgrade disk then I'm sure you could get someone over at the yahoo group to mail you one.
Old 9th February 2012
  #37
Gear interested
 

Luckily I don't need to upgrade! As far as I know, Baldwin IKEs are all just rebadged Emax SEs - in an Emax 2 case as stated earlier in the thread.

I remember reading something about the upgrade disk having some protection scheme that only allows it to be used once, but I know you can load the SE 1.1 OS to a floppy via EMXP and the IKE will show Emax SE Rev1.1 in the Master/Special menu. Logic would dictate you could do the same with the upgrade disk, but who knows.

The Yahoo Emax group has the SE upgrade disk image, if anyone's looking. I have no idea whether or not it works, so swim at your own risk.
Old 9th February 2012
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
As far as synthesis, I remember that the Emax II had that synthesis mode - I can't remember the name. But you would break sound down into slices and combine them and then leave the Emax to calculate the result
Emax I SE had it as well. It's a full additive synthesis engine inside, editable in frequency and time domain. They call it Spectrum Synthesis. Each individual partial can have its own amplitude curve. Fantastic for creating bell sounds and other crazy stuff. There are several way to generate a sound actually.

There's also a thing called Transform Multiplication which takes two waveforms and combines them using convolution. Very cool effects can be obtained when you take something like a pop recorded in a hall and use it as impulse. Result is a reverbed sound that sounds as if it had been played in that same room. Of course, you can use some crazy source for the impulse i.e. a jet engine and mix it with a sound of a lion. Result is .... something like a "lion jet". :o)

Far from "limited synthesis"....
Old 9th February 2012
  #39
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Emax I SE had it as well. It's a full additive synthesis engine inside, editable in frequency and time domain. They call it Spectrum Synthesis. Each individual partial can have its own amplitude curve. Fantastic for creating bell sounds and other crazy stuff. There are several way to generate a sound actually.

There's also a thing called Transform Multiplication which takes two waveforms and combines them using convolution. Very cool effects can be obtained when you take something like a pop recorded in a hall and use it as impulse. Result is a reverbed sound that sounds as if it had been played in that same room. Of course, you can use some crazy source for the impulse i.e. a jet engine and mix it with a sound of a lion. Result is .... something like a "lion jet". :o)

Far from "limited synthesis"....
Ah yes, the transform multiplication! I used to used that and I had far better results! I do remember spectrum synthesis though being good at making glassy sounding pads.

Also, I remember getting a flyer with my Emax II that had one company selling "Reverb Impulses" to use with transform multiplication so you could make your samples sound like they were recorded in world class halls.

To give you an idea of how lazy I could be, I have the Operator's manual for my Emax II (along with every other manual I've gotten) on a shelf to my direct left. I could have just thumbed through it to look this stuff up! Sometimes I even embarrass myself.

Yes, it definitely was a heck of a creative tool for just a sampler. I remember the next keyboard I owned with sampling ability was a Korg Triton and I was amazingly disappointed with it's lack of ability to twist, transform and mangle samples as creatively and easily as the Emax could. But by the time I bought the triton, Emax was no longer really making samplers I think - they were mostly spitting out racks like the Orbit and Carnival and stuff like that. I know they had made that E6400 or something like that but I was specifically looking for a Keyboard and they were just making rack units.

Thanks,
Frank
Old 21st March 2012
  #40
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Has anyone here succusfully updgaded their EMAX to a SE using the floppy image on the Yahoo User group?
Old 21st March 2012
  #41
Gear maniac
 

yup...all you need is omniflop and the image
Old 21st March 2012
  #42
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Did not work for me. Used omniflop for writing the disk like I would any other emax image. Can't be bothered to figure out why it didn't work.
Old 21st March 2012
  #43
mp3
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I used emaxutil to write the SE upgrade to floppy many moons ago.
Old 21st March 2012
  #44
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juno6 View Post
that must way a tonn! can the table underneith take the weight!?
Old 21st March 2012
  #45
Lives for gear
so it seems the only way to do the SE upgrade is if you have a PC with a built in floppy drive? A USB Floppy won't work? I haven't had a PC with a built in floppy for ages..
Old 21st March 2012
  #46
szf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
Did not work for me. Used omniflop for writing the disk like I would any other emax image. Can't be bothered to figure out why it didn't work.
I read on the yahoo group someone who had this problem, he then formatted the floppy in the emax before using omniflop and it worked, for the question about usb floppy working... from what I've heard that will not work!
Old 21st March 2012
  #47
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depulse's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubnspace View Post
so it seems the only way to do the SE upgrade is if you have a PC with a built in floppy drive? A USB Floppy won't work? I haven't had a PC with a built in floppy for ages..
People more or less give away old laptops with built-in disk drives for free. I have an old Compaq Pentium laptop just for this purpose. I bought it for 50 Euros.
Old 21st March 2012
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Had an SE I in the mid-90s. If you sampled something at 45 and then pitched it back down to normal speed it would have that grungy bell-like artifact sound to it. Strangely, even though the Emulator II was 8-bit, I recall that it was generally more hi-fi. I could not get that same grungy effect.

Didn't the Emax have a sticker on it that says "watch out for falling penguins" or some nonsense like that?
Old 21st March 2012
  #49
Ohx
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Ohx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Had an SE I in the mid-90s. If you sampled something at 45 and then pitched it back down to normal speed it would have that grungy bell-like artifact sound to it. Strangely, even though the Emulator II was 8-bit, I recall that it was generally more hi-fi. I could not get that same grungy effect.

Didn't the Emax have a sticker on it that says "watch out for falling penguins" or some nonsense like that?
Neither of mine had such a sticker, though I now wish they did
Old 21st March 2012
  #50
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Didn't the Emax have a sticker on it that says "watch out for falling penguins" or some nonsense like that?
Dunno, but it made me remember the bird run menu option.
Old 21st March 2012
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Didn't the Emax have a sticker on it that says "watch out for falling penguins" or some nonsense like that?
Mine is a first gen and it has the sticker. Yes, you can make the bird run, but can you play pong on it? What's the point of a vintage sampler if you can't play vintage video games on it? I can see k2000 prices going through the roof now.
Old 21st March 2012
  #52
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ionian's Avatar
I remember having both an Emax I and II, and when you hit play on a sequence, if there was nothing recorded it used to say, "Can't play empty sequences, Dude!" I used to love that.

Regards,
Frank
Old 21st March 2012
  #53
Gear addict
 

Yeah if you enter the service code wrong a few times it says something like 'maybe you should take a break?"

I have an HD SE and it has the penguin sticker.
Old 21st March 2012
  #54
Lives for gear
Anybody have the SE upgrade on floppy they want to sell me?
Old 21st March 2012
  #55
szf
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I can send you it if you're in europe if you pay the postage .. or at least I can try.. getting to an old pc tomorrow to attempt 2 of these for my emax family.. can try a 3rd disk while I'm at it.
edit.. see you're in the US now.. not worth the postage for you, ask on the yahoo group, I know someone there will help you out, if no one here does
Old 22nd March 2012
  #56
szf
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Well my attempt also failed, I used 4 floppies that where working in the emax, formatted them with the emax... omniflop used to write the se image to all of them...
Got 1 of these errors msgs on each of them .. disk error, disk not formatted.

Tried the disks in two emaxes, one with a perfectly working fd235hf .. the other with an original drive.. that works on and off.

Then I reformatted each disk in the emax with the 100% working teac drive.... and it gave a disk error message when the format completed.. which did not happen before I formatted them to use with omniflop... Anyway, they're old disks maybe they were all on the brink the whole time.. going to order some newer ds/dd disks and try again, I'll report back here.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #57
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That is the same error I got.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #58
szf
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You know the other thing I was wondering is that maybe emax support is broken in the newer versions of omniflop.. I mean it supports so many formats, that it wouldn't surprise me. Did you also use the newer version instead of the old DOS version that some sites link to
Old 22nd March 2012
  #59
Ohx
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I have a few Win 95/98 machines, 2 emaxs (standard and SE HD) and tons of disks.

If someone will tell me what to do, I'll do it, and distribute them for free.

I'll even pay for the postage to anyone in the US.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #60
szf
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@Ohx
Great community spirit!
I'm might try the DOS method myself with emaxuit first, I found the info here:

Yahoo! Groups

I also found a seup.em1 file for the update (no longer seems to be on the group)... did a checksum on it.... matches the se update image for omiflop.. so for anyone who wants to try that, rename 'EmaxSEUpgrade.img' to 'Seup.em1' ... No that's not a typo! don't name it 'setup' upper/lower case doesn't seem to matter.
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