E-mu ESI-32

E-mu ESI-32 Image

The ESI-32 is an excellent polyphonic sampler for any musician at any level. It offers all of the same sampler-type features and goodies that you would find in other Akai and Roland samplers. Its base model is perfect for anybody looking to get into sample-based music and is designed to grow and expand with you into a complete and professional sampler.

The standard ESI-32 comes with 2 MB of RAM (about 11 seconds at 44.1kHz stereo), 32 voices polyphony, 16 MIDI multitimbral parts, built-in 3.5" disk drive, extensive editing features and an easy to use interface. Sampling can be in any combination of Left, Right or Stereo in, at 44,100 or 22,050 Hz. Auto looping, truncating, triggered sampling and auto key placement functions make sampling fun and easy. Editing features include truncating, loop editing, gain, reverse, taper, DC filter, stereo/mono, tuning, compressing, Para-EQ, time comp/exp, pitch shift, Doppler, exciter and transform multiply (harmonic sample morphing) as well as a host of envelope, filter, velocity and MIDI effects.

When that's not enough anymore you can easily upgrade the ESI-32 with user-installable parts from E-mu. Increase the RAM up to 32 MB for very extended (up to 6 minutes) sample times. Replace the disk drive with an internal ZIP or hard disk. Install the external SCSI card for external drives or computer interfacing with ReCycle and some Sequencers. The Turbo Expansion kit offers the greatest bang for the buck. You get two on-board effect processors with reverb, delay, chorus and distortion. Up to 8 outputs are made available. The VCF (filter) section has several awesome filter algorithms for filter sweeping or tweaking loops and sounds. The professional purists can add the Digital I/O card for digital sample input and main output. The ESI-32 is without a doubt the easiest to use, customizable, upgradeable and professional sampler perfect for anybody who is thinking about sample-based music. It is used by Daft Punk, Ixy InDaMix, and Somatic Responses as well as many, many more.

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27 Visitor comments
November 1, 2010 @ 1:32 am
Oh I forgot too add, the "add on SCSI card/port" for the ESI-32 was nothing more than a SCSI ribbon cable and a adapter on the end attached to a metal tray for your rear panel SCSI port. The 50pin socket inside on your motherboard IS THE SCSI PORT, GET A 50 PIN SCSI RIBBON CABLE and a ADAPTER and you have got your scsi port. There is nothing else to it. You can connect to your PC and use sound forge to quick edit or chop (recycle pgm) your samples and zip them back to your sampler on the scsi port never touching a button on your ESI-32. SF has a menu to set up the ESI-32. You've already got the port hole pre cut on the rear panel! It's that easy! (they are not sold new anymore).
November 1, 2010 @ 1:20 am
I own the ESI-32 I got it new way back in the mid 90's. My ESI-32 is quiter than my EMU-E4X and AKAI S6000 sammplers because their backlights are much larger and the circuitry that operates the backlight creates hum. If you own a sampler with a large backlight for its LCD screen. Set your input trim on your mixer or preamp to the level you sample at, then turn the samplers volume all the way up. I have none of that hum with my ESI-32, complete silence, thats nice. It is much quieter than the larger samplers and I agree, get two 16mb chips (32mb) and a old ,mag opt, syquest, jaz, or hard drive(SCSI) disks are cheap now and you will be set with 32mb ram it is much more than needed unless you are copying music in length and calling it your own that's not sampling... (ex: puffy, the police trk) .
Evan Long
October 6, 2010 @ 8:12 pm
Most users will probably never need more than the 32 MB of sampling memory that a maxed-out ESi-32 can deliver, especially if you are mostly using clips on the shorter side such as drums or single cycles. One thing, though: you'll definitely want a Zip drive or better for storage as dealing with 20 or so floppy disks per bank plus about ten minutes of load time isn't a lot of fun. Probably the biggest drawback of this unit is the SCSI (no USB) implementation as SCSI and newer Macs especially don't seem to get along very well. You can always use (the much slower) MIDI sample dumps to load up your box, though. As for price, the ESi-32 probably is worth $500-600 but right now they are going for much, much less. Good sampler.
August 16, 2009 @ 2:53 pm
I have two and used them on my last album still as good today and bullet proof
April 13, 2009 @ 3:26 pm
I used to own an ESi-32 and it was stunning in terms of sound quality. Literally the best sampler I have used for musical sound quality, vastly more musical than my Korg Triton Studio or Akai MPC2500, but nowhere near as quick or as easy to program or store samples with. They are very slow to edit, and unless you are backing up to a hard drive, it is very tedious. But they are sonically beautiful units.
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Rated 3.72 (294 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Manual - Download the original owners manual here.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 32 voices
  • Sampler - 16-Bit, 22 to 44.1 kHz sample rates in stereo
  • Memory - 2 MB expandable to 32 MB
  • Filter - Turbo Kit: 4 & 6 pole lowpass E3x lowpass, various hi-pass and band-pass, phaser, flanger and more
  • Effects - Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flange, Distortion and Vibrato
  • Keyboard - None
  • Options - Turbo Expansion Kit and 8 outputs, Internal SCSI Zip or Hard drive, Digital I/O card, external SCSI interface
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1994/95
  • Resources & Credits
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