E-mu Emulator II

E-mu Emulator II Image

An affordable classic early eighties sampler/workstation synthesizer. It's a sampler that sounds like an analog synth because it has analog filters! It samples at a low 8-bits (up to 17.6 seconds) so it's got that lo-fi sound which is great for some types of electronic music. Especially nice is its ability to create warm analog-ish pads and sounds. It uses those giant 5" floppy disks for storage. Also on-board is a useful 8-track sequencer. It can be hooked up to a Mac for easier editing using software such as Digidesign's Sound Designer.

The Emulator II had many new features for its time. MIDI, SMPTE and computer control. Editing samples includes truncating, manual/auto looping, reverse, velocity switch cross-fading and splicing samples together. A great feature is the 24 dB/oct analog 4-pole low pass filter. There are eight separate LFO's and eight extra individual outputs for each voice. Make no mistake, the Emulator II was a long standing professional sampler of the mid-eighties for musicians and sound designers.

The Emulator II received numerous upgrades during its four year production run from 1984 to 1988. These included the Emulator II+ with double the sample memory and the Emulator II+HD which adds a 20MB internal hard drive. The Emulator II series was replaced by the much improved Emulator III in 1988. Although both have definitely been overcome by modern samplers and workstations the Emulators remain as classic music machines. The Emulator II has been used by Depeche Mode, ABC, Genesis, Paul McCartney, Tangerine Dream, New Order, Front 242, Brian Wilson, Simple Minds, Enya, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Stevie Nicks, Yes, filmaker/composer John Carpenter, ABC, David Frank Of The System, Mr. Mister, Phillipe Saisse, Stevie Wonder, David "Hawk" Wollinski, Pet Shop Boys; even Ferris Beuller!

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59 Visitor comments
KW
May 15, 2012 @ 8:15 am
Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark (OMD) used the Emulator II extensively. You can easily see it in at least five of their videos.
RKM
May 1, 2012 @ 12:29 am
"so it's got that lo-fi sound which is great for some types of electronic music"

that's funny how things change. at the time article was written that statement may be true, but tell me exactly which kind of ELECTRONIC MUSIC of today wont benefit from these dinosaur analog samplers with analog filters and their 8-bit or 12-bit lofi character. it's all about dirt and more dirt and bitcrushing, and don't say ambient.. these machines simply are perfect for every kind of electronic music [the orignal ones] and will be the real classic instruments and collector items every one wants or needs.
crifox
April 24, 2012 @ 9:15 am
Emulator II was Alan Wilder's "toy" ...
In this video Alan explains what the Emulator is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jny8hD3Vm2g
Mike
March 10, 2012 @ 11:17 am
So would you need an sp-12 in addition to an emulator II?
I'm wondering which one(s) to buy.
VCO8
March 7, 2012 @ 7:37 pm
The EII's Shakuhachi is used on Tangerines Dream's Yellowstone Park from their 1985 album, Le Parc.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 27kHz; 8-bits; 512 KB to 1 MB storage
  • Multitimbral - 8 parts (8 midi channels)
  • Sequencer - 8-Track
  • Songs - 1
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity & aftertouch
  • Filter - 24 dB/oct 4-pole lowpass with resonance
  • Control - MIDI, SMPTE, RS422 Interface
  • Date Produced - 1984

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