E-mu Emulator III

E-mu Emulator III Image

The Emulator III was E-mu's biggest classic "Digital Sound Production System". Also called the "EIII", it was E-mu's biggest and most professional sampler-synthesizer prior to the 1990's. It was the first sampler to offer 16-bit CD-quality specs with stereo or mono sampling at 44.1kHz or 33kHz. RAM memory is 4 MB expandable to 8 MB. There are extensive and modern sample editing features (from looping to rate conversions). The on-board 16-track sequencer and arpeggiator are also superb. Equipped with MIDI, SMPTE, SCSI, built-in disk-drive and multiple outputs, the EIII is comfortable in any studio. A Macintosh can also be hooked up to the EIII for easier graphical editing which was very useful since the LED screen on the synth is so tiny.

As a sampler workstation the EIII was at one time the dominating force. Although modern machines far exceed it today, the EIII is still a quality instrument with controls and functions that would be familiar to anyone who uses samplers. A very classic machine that can still stand strong among a generation of sampler workstations 10 years later, the EIII is still in use and will continue to be used for many more years. It has been used by Depeche Mode, Genesis, and JellyFish.

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17 Visitor comments
May 25, 2010 @ 4:52 am
THE E-llls sound SUPERB

I have owned an E-lllxp since the early 90s - got it used for $1200AUD - nice. I secured a second one in 2010.
Sure SCSI is a pain and getting drives SMALL enough (yes) to work with these things is getting harder, but they sound so good.

I sometimes read comments from people who think the OS is somehow complex "WHAT THE .....". Ive owned and own lots of equipment and this has to be one of the most intuitive easy to get around systems ever. If you want complex - try Yamaha's early attempt at a sampler.

Totally professional instrument.
Totally professional performance.
December 29, 2009 @ 12:04 pm
Love and Hate is my way to describe this sampler - Soundwise no other option - but the maintenance - my tech guy says, why am i using this crap anymore, this machine is falling apart in anyway and to find the problem is a question of time, so i became a EIII tech myself - biggest enemy "dust", keep this machine clean and better not move it to much, a cable could break, but the sound and the libary, fantastic....
Mic Romoog
November 18, 2009 @ 6:37 pm
I love my EIII and agree with Rokuez: The best sounding sampler (ok, i never owned a Synclavier or Fairligt III :-))
I still have the same problems as Jmiles described, never move an EIII from your last (repair-)point...it needs a big steel-concrete bond as keystand. As EIII User it's not wrong to own also a good cordless screwdriver... :-)
Alex Stone
September 23, 2009 @ 12:45 pm
I use EIII.
This is the best tool that I have ever seen!
I believe that EMULATOR III - the best sampler and is the standard of playing among the synthesizers, samplers and workstations of all time!
September 5, 2009 @ 8:20 am
I had one of the first E111.s back in Jan 1988.It was an absolute nightmare.The cards kept on coming loose and I had to open it up and reseed them every time we moved the synth.
It took awhile for them to get it right.I used to also own EMU's first HD rack.A 300 meg HD that cost me $4000 in 1989. Saying all this there is the fact that it did sound great.really fat and sampling vocals was really a breeze and they sounded fat as well.Sampled lots of Vocals from Luther Vandross.
I still have my E4XT-a great sampler which I still use
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Rated 3.95 (308 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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 - 16 voices
  • Sampler - 16-bit, 44.1kHz (67 seconds)
  • Sequencer - 16 tracks, 100 patterns, 100 songs
  • Filter - Yes there is a filter and it is FAT!
  • VCA - ADSR envelope control
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 4Mb expandable to 8Mb
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987

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