E-mu Xtreme Lead-1

E-mu Xtreme Lead-1 Image

The Xtreme Lead-1 is E-mu's coolest lead synth and BPM synthesizer. Based off of the Audity 2000, the Xtreme Lead has the 32 MB "X-Lead" soundset ROM, 64-voice polyphony, 16 simultaneously available programmable arpeggiators, 12-pole digital filters, 24-bit dual effects, a memory expansion slot and a Turbo upgrade that can extend its features two-fold!

The XL-1 introduces E-mu's new SuperBEATS Mode, which allows you to effortlessly trigger, latch and unlatch synced loops and grooves from separate keys on your keyboard over 16 independent rhythm tracks. Great for live use by DJs and artists alike! Sounds of the Xtreme Lead-1 include techno basses, buzzed out synth leads, pads, dance drumkits, vocal stabs, hits, analog synths, DJ scratches, etc. The twelve assignable real-time front panel controls provide fast hands-on access.

Programming this beast can be tedious but it features the same new Modular PatchCord architecture as the Audity 2000 for extreme sound-sculpting capabilities. In addition, there are two outputs (expandable to six + S/PDIF with Turbo upgrade). For the all-in-one dance module, check out the new Xtreme Lead-1! It is used by BT and The Crystal Method.

E-mu Xtreme Lead-1 Turbo Image

The Xtreme Lead-1 Turbo (pictured above) has 128-voice polyphony, two additional internal ROM expansion slots, four additional outputs (six total), 16 additional MIDI channels (32 total), and a digital S/PDIF output. The Xtreme Lead-1 is also available in a keyboard version called the XK-6 Xtreme Keys. A desktop MPC-sequencer style module is also available, called the XL-7 Command Station.

Current E-mu sound modules ship with one 32 MB sound-set each, but are expandable up to 128 MB via three additional slots for 32 MB expansion cards. These cards include (ranging from $249 to $395):

  • 9061: Siedlaczek Orchestra 32 MB ROM.
  • 9062: Pure Phatt 32 MB ROM - standard in Mo’Phatt, MP-7 and MK-6.
  • 9063: Beat Garden 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9082: Protozoa 16 MB ROM - standard in Proteus 1, 2, 3.
  • 9083: Definitive B-3 32 MB ROM - standard in B-3.
  • 9084: Techno Synth Construction Yard 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9085: Orchestral Session Vol. 1 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9086: Orchestral Session Vol. 2 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9087: World Expedition 32 MB ROM - standard in Planet Earth.
  • 9088: Sounds of the ZR featuring the Perfect Piano 32 MB ROM - standard in Ensoniq Halo.
  • 9089: X-Lead 32 MB ROM - standard in Xtreme Lead-1, XL-7 and XK-6.

With these expansion options, you could buy a PK-6, then add the sounds of the Orbit 3, XK-6, and the MP-7... or any other combinations you may want. If you like desktop synths, you can start with an MP-7 or XL-7, and then add these same expansion card options to add Proteus, Orchestral, or the new Halo sounds to them. E-mu/Ensoniq's interchangeable sound cards and a variety of keyboard/sound-module options means that there's a model out there for everybody now.

Lookup E-mu Xtreme Lead-1 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a E-mu Xtreme Lead-1? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

25 Visitor comments
JANSEN ( Singapore )
December 7, 2013 @ 12:56 am
Latest OS. on my unit is 2.26. I do have a thick hard copy manual printed out. Its a thick sounding unit with lots of options to program.. the filters are stunning even till this year 2013... nice effects as well..the sounds sound thicker/meatier compare to my korg Krome. can't complain at the price I bought it for. Not sure where to download the latest OS.... grab one if you can find it...cheers !
November 29, 2013 @ 6:22 am
after years i pulled my xl-1 out again after reading that stuff here. i remember that there was a software for the xl-1 but i think it was only for midi-dumping of sounds. does anybody know if there is an editor available since it is still pretty anoying and not really intuitive to edit envelopes and arp patterns with the data entry wheel, a 2line display and two back and forth buttons. would be much more easy to get the fun out of it
November 1, 2013 @ 5:34 am
Can anyone tell me whether the filters, effects, and arpeggiator, etc... are part of the ROM card, or are they built into the module itself on this line of E-mu modules and keyboards?
April 23, 2013 @ 9:49 am
Thanks for posting the manual. having fun with this synth but having trouble with some basic programming like achieving aftertouch vibrato.
April 12, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
I think the most recent is update is 2.1 you can go to the emu legacy website and you will be able to get the most current update along with the software to load it.
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Rated 4.03 (361 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - 64 voices (expandable to 128 with Turbo upgrade)
  • Oscillators - 32MB Sound ROM
  • Arpeg/Seq - Rhythmic Pattern Generator/Arpeggiator: 16 arpeggiators (1 per MIDI channel); SuperBEATS Mode
  • Filter - 12-Pole Digital Filters
  • Effects - 24-bit dual stereo-effects processor
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 512 ROM & 512 User Presets; 1 additional internal ROM expansion slot (expandable to 3 with Turbo upgrade) for Proteus libraries or create your own custom ROMs using E-mu's E4 Ultra samplers
  • Control - MIDI (16-parts, expandable to 32 with Turbo Upgrade)
  • Date Produced - 2000
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from
    and E-mu Home Page

    Thanks to Russ for providing information.

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