E-mu Proteus

E-mu Proteus 1 Image

Proteus 1 (1989)

Throughout the 1990’s, E-mu came to be known for its rack-mounted synth and sampler modules. In 1989, the Proteus was the first rack-mount module E-mu produced, and it was a huge success for the company. The Proteus 1 is an economical one-space module consisting of your basic rock and pop sounds. It has 4 MB of sounds from the EIII library such as samples of pianos, organs, strings, horns, guitars, basses, drums, Latin percussion, and more all at your fingertips. The Proteus offers professional features such as full 16-part MIDI multitimbrality, 32-voice polyphony, 16-bit ROM samples, six individual polyphonic outputs and extensive editing and modulation capabilities. There is also E-mu's RMidiPatchS that allows direct real-time control of over 40 parameters for keyboard, midi controllers, internal LFOs and envelopes. It has been used by Astral Projection, Pet Shop Boys, Vangelis, Genesis, and Information Society.

E-mu Proteus 1 Pop/Rock Image

Proteus 1 Pop/Rock

E-mu Proteus 1 Plus Orchestral Image

Proteus 1 Plus Orchestral

The Proteus 1 model was expandable with an additional 4 MB of orchestral samples (from the Proteus 2), making it a Proteus 1 Plus Orchestral. This gave you 4 MB of Pop/Rock sounds plus 4 MB of Orchestral sounds - 384 patches total! Presumably, when the Plus 1 Orchestral came out, the original Proteus 1 took on the Pop/Rock label to make it perfectly obvious what sounds each Proteus 1 model came loaded with.

E-mu Proteus 2 Orchestral Image

Proteus 2 Orchestral (1990)

In 1990, the Proteus 2 was released which is identical to the Proteus 1 in most every way except that it has 4 MB of purely orchestral sounds - the same sounds from the Plus Orchestral ROM card, which also happen to come from the EIII library. This was the first time really high quality sounding orchestral sounds could be had in a dedicated sound module.

E-mu Proteus 2 XR Image

Proteus 2 XR (1990)

The standard Proteus 1 and 2 could be upgraded to XR versions (extended RAM) as well. These doubled the RAM and memory up to 8MB, adding another 192 of user patches (128 preset / 64 user) for a total of 384 patches.

E-mu Proteus 3 World Image

Proteus 3 World Instruments (1991)

The Proteus 3 is identical to the previous Proteus models except that it features an ethnic World set of sounds. It's full of 16-bit samples (4 MB expandable to 8 MB via an XR upgrade) of shofars, flutes, celtic harps, tablas, tamburas, banjos, didjeridoos, bagpipes, etc.

E-mu Proteus FX Image

Proteus FX (1994)

A Proteus FX module is also available. It features sounds from both the rock pop and orchestral modules. It also adds two digital effects processors with reverb, delay, chorus and more. Surprisingly, the FX surpasses other Proteus models in many ways but it is also the least expensive model! It features 8 MB of sounds standard, and up to 512 patches. But what it doesn't have, is six polyphonic outputs. Just your basic stereo L/R(mono) output.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a E-mu Proteus? 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.

43 Visitor comments
July 8, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
These mods still kick a lot of sonic rear......
July 8, 2013 @ 5:26 pm
The E-MU company now officially Creative Labs property has to come back out with some new hardware synths and modules. I mean the user interface is so easy to use and the sounds they created were so natural sounding back in the days. Id say you better grab these legendary modules up before they all disappear they are still so useful, and I don't see creative with any future plans for releasing any new hardware no time soon.......
June 14, 2013 @ 9:31 pm
The Proteus 1/16 bit multitimbral was the original model. After E-mu released the Proteus 2 and 3 models, they renamed the Proteus 1/Pop-Rock to make it clear which was which. Therefore, the Proteus 1/16 bit and Proteus 1/Pop-Rock are the same exact unit. All three of these units have solid synthesis capabilities lurking within them, so don't stop with the presets!
May 22, 2013 @ 3:58 pm
I picked up a Proteus/1 on a whim (it was cheap,) curious but not really expecting to like it as I'm more a synthesizer man than a ROMpler fan. But man, this is some glorious '80s cheese, with a few sounds (particularly the electric basses) that are really actually quite good. The sample set's a mixed bag, with some stuff that's good on its own and some dead weight that's really only useful for layering onto a different sound, but there's enough to work with that it's hard to be too critical of the less useful stuff. Presets are mixed, too, but there's some fine ones.
May 8, 2013 @ 8:44 pm
Just got a E-Mu Proteus/1 16 Bit multi-timbral and one Proteus/1 Pop Rock on ebay one for 27 and another for 35, I loved, sounds for the 80's, perfect for what I want.

Those are the same or have any diference ?
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Rated 3.47 (308 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 32 Voices
  • Oscillators - 4 MB of ROM based 16-bit samples (expandable to 8 MB); 125 waveforms
  • LFO - Yes
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - None (FX Module has 2 digital effects processors: Reverbs, chorused and delays)
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 192 patches (64 user programmable); up to 384 on XR modules; up to 512 on FX module
  • Control - MIDI (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1989 - 1995

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