E-mu Proteus 2500

E-mu Proteus 2000 Image

The new Proteus 2500 is basically a 4-unit version of the 128-voice Proteus 2000 rack module with much greater real-time controls and some other new tricks! The Proteus 2500 has got over 30 real-time, programmable knobs and buttons. It features the exact same great Proteus 32 MB sound set of ROM samples, and can be expanded up to 128 MB with additional sound cards from E-mu's family of genre based sound modules, keyboards, and desktop groove machines. The sounds it ships with is called the "Composer" soundset, offering sounds that cover the whole spectrum of synthesizer type sounds, from real instruments to bizarre sounds and effects.

The Proteus 2500 features a built-in 16-track MIDI sequencer, with 16 MIDI channels per track! It offers both linear and pattern based recording, real or step time, analog grid/drum machine style programming and more. Unlike the Proteus 2000, the 2500 has 24-bit DAC outputs instead of 16-bit, for enhanced sound quality. The MIDI processors have also been redesigned and are three times more efficient now than on the Proteus 2000! The 2500 has six audio outputs, S/PDIF digital output and a USB port. This is the most powerful Proteus ever, and will likely be E-mu's flagship synthesizer module for quite some time!

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 Proteus 2500 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 Proteus 2500? 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.

27 Visitor comments
sian howard
May 19, 2014 @ 10:24 am
The P2500 is an extremely deep synth with almost endless programming possibilities, but it definitely isn't for the beginner. I have owned one now for about 18 months and I have steadily extended it with other ROM cards (XLead and PDrums). I must admit that, when composing, I turn to my other easier-to-use sample-and-synthesis units (fantom, motif, triton etc) when I want an instant, polished sound. The P2500 does reward a patient manual reader and can sound like nothing else, definitely worth having in your rack. The patches usually sit very nicely in a busy mix too (but I can't explain why!)
Pulse Emitter
April 17, 2013 @ 12:51 am
i use one of these for live performance, it works well. very powerful as a live performance sequencer synth. the matrix of 16 knobs is great for adjusting track volumes and then switching to a synth voice and changing filter settings, LFO, etc.. sound quality is good, i prefer my vintage synths for recording but this is adequate for performance. for the downsides, when you turn a knob the value jumps immediately to the new position, and the effects are only master effects, you can’t save settings within the song (that i can tell). still, a lot of synth for a low price! www.synthnoise.com
January 30, 2013 @ 4:57 pm
@Taz My experience is the opposite of yours. I've had one of these in the past and was sorry to part with it. I'm about to buy another. I also have the XV5080 and Triton rack and can say that aside from the sample replay feature on the 5080, this unit is their sonic equal. The plethora of knobs and the Z-plane filters also make it a far easier to coax unique sounds out of this box.
October 30, 2012 @ 8:40 am
I re-visit this unit from time to time and must admit, love it very much. BUT, if you really wish GREAT SONICS, use SPDIF out. Fantastic. I recommend to anyone, buy them while they cost nothing.
April 26, 2012 @ 6:43 am
Open it up, maybe?
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.58 (256 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 owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 128 voices
  • Oscillators - 32 MB "Composer" Sound Set ROM (expandable to 128 MB), four 24-bit DACs
  • LFO - 2 per voice
  • Filter - 50 types of 6th- and 12th-order Z-plane filters
  • Effects - 24-bit dual stereo-effects processor with 29 reverbs types, 15 delay types, 8 chorus types, 7 flange types, 5 distortion types
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 1,024 Patches (512 factory patches, 512 user patches)
  • Control - MIDI (32 multitimbral parts)
  • Date Produced - 2001

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