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
May 17, 2010 @ 6:55 pm
actually this emu module is pretty nice.
i mean it came out of the audity2000 and there is a lot power in both modules. while its not got anything on a virus or a nord it has its own cool factor.
i dont know but this series of last synths from emu are great for making loops and beats you can fire off into a sample for further tweaking.
the unit alone is more than enough to come up with fast and dirty tracks for production work.
there are some pretty great sounds in this that offer themselves well to the emu architecture of sound design.
i am not sure but i kind of think for 200 bucks they now bring they are a bargain. i mean theres not much wrong with getting one for that price.
September 3, 2009 @ 5:53 am
Since when was there such a thing as digital warmth??? This unit is a beast to program and most the sounds are tinny and thin. The only cool thing about it is the "real-time"control knobs on the front of the unit that allows you to tweak the sounds. Other than that nothing special. More garbage than anything. I want a Virus instead.
Anvil Chorus
April 26, 2009 @ 11:12 am
An amazing synth! I bought one when E-mu was cutting out their hardsynth market and retail prices tanked. I am very happy it is in my rack. My version is not the turbo, so it doesn't have the extra outputs (bummer, so handy). I have the X-Lead and Beat Garden cards in the synth. The rhythmic layering that is capable by this little monster is amazing. It has the sound quality of the Proteus series, so if you are familiar with the fidelity, it's crisp and clean. I loved this rack mount synth so much I had to buy an E-MU PK-6 to fillout my sonic preset pallette. Worth every penny used.
December 11, 2008 @ 6:57 pm
The best module !!!!! the sounds are really cool. There no other synth like this. You can create any sound...
Oneki Kai
August 26, 2008 @ 8:46 pm
Definitely *different* sounding compared to the mass of techno synths, or general synths with techno sounds.

This plus the Orbit 3 will make music stand out from everyone else due to the unique "digital warmth" of these sounds. The GEM Equinox has a similar character and is a general purpose synth, but is really unstable.
VSE Rating


User Rating

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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