Help with used Emu Emax 1

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Help with used Emu Emax 1

Postby Uncoat » Tue May 06, 2014 4:28 am

Hey all, i have a Emu Emax that i picked up at a goodwill a few years back. When i got it it did not come with any disks. When i first plugged it in, it not only powered up but let me go through lots of different banks for synth sounds, drum hits and audio sample librarys. these all worked and played the sounds and let me edit and save minor changes. When i tryed to sample though, it would not sample for more then a second or so. I didn't have any disks for it so I left it alone since i have computers and other synths/samplers to mess with. The other day i decided to give it another go since a friend gave me some of the old disks it takes. This time when i turned it on, it just said "searching for disk" or something like that and did not load anything.. After reading up on it i found that it is not supposed to work with out a disk? I have since purchased a OS disk off of ebay and im making some progress but it seems to be alot different then when i first turned it on a few years back..

So im confused as to why it would load all the banks of samples and synth sounds and such when its not supposed to? Or do i miss understand something? It also seems the disks my friend gave me wont format.. They are the older double density Memorex 2s2d disks but maybe i need something else? Maybe someone could help me straighten all this out..

Thanks,
Nick
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Re: Help with used Emu Emax 1

Postby HideawayStudio » Tue May 06, 2014 1:45 pm

Uncoat wrote:Hey all, i have a Emu Emax that i picked up at a goodwill a few years back. When i got it it did not come with any disks. When i first plugged it in, it not only powered up but let me go through lots of different banks for synth sounds, drum hits and audio sample librarys. these all worked and played the sounds and let me edit and save minor changes. When i tryed to sample though, it would not sample for more then a second or so. I didn't have any disks for it so I left it alone since i have computers and other synths/samplers to mess with. The other day i decided to give it another go since a friend gave me some of the old disks it takes. This time when i turned it on, it just said "searching for disk" or something like that and did not load anything.. After reading up on it i found that it is not supposed to work with out a disk? I have since purchased a OS disk off of ebay and im making some progress but it seems to be alot different then when i first turned it on a few years back..

So im confused as to why it would load all the banks of samples and synth sounds and such when its not supposed to? Or do i miss understand something? It also seems the disks my friend gave me wont format.. They are the older double density Memorex 2s2d disks but maybe i need something else? Maybe someone could help me straighten all this out..

Thanks,
Nick


The error message means the unit is try to find a valid drive and has failed to do so.

Sounds like your EMAX has a hard disk fitted internally which may have subsequently failed. There is no way you could have booted up and run through banks without an internal HD if you don't have any floppies.

A boot floppy is only required on these machines if you haven't got a HD or have no OS copied over to it.

In the NVRAM settings (Master - Special menu) you can configure the EMAX series samplers to boot from a particular drive.

Rather like a PC.. the first drive to autodetect is always the floppy drive so if your HD has died then if you can get hold of a boot disk then you can boot from floppy.

When the unit was working, could you hear a whirring sound? There are no fans in the EMAX series machines so any noise, other than the high pitched noise the backlight invertor makes, has to be a hard disk unit.

If so - is it making any noise now?

The 12-bit EMAX is a very desirable vintage synth with genuine analog filters. The 16-bit EMAX II is higher spec and still very nice but has digital filters (which sound very good considering their age).

Either way - it's definitely worth fixing up..
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Re: Help with used Emu Emax 1

Postby synthroom » Tue May 06, 2014 2:32 pm

Yeah, it would have to have a hard drive in it to work as you described. I don't think the original Emax could take a hard drive, so perhaps yours was upgraded at some point, or it's an Emax HD or Emax SE HD?

I have and Emax II and it's pretty easy to take to bottom cover off and look inside to see if there is a hard drive inside.

PS - I'm in Portland if you need more help.
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Re: Help with used Emu Emax 1

Postby Uncoat » Tue May 06, 2014 5:22 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions. I cant recall if it made noise when i first used it.. I want to say it did make more noise and doesn't now.. When i opened the bottom before i posted here it definitely looked like there was a hard drive and a disk drive present. Would there be any way to recover what was on the hard drive? Is it possible it is a loose connection or something? Im guessing replacing the HD is fairly simple. Synthroom i may take you up on that. When i get back from work i will take another look inside and check on the model. hopefully its a fairly easy fix.
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Re: Help with used Emu Emax 1

Postby synthroom » Tue May 06, 2014 6:02 pm

Replacing the HD is easy - provided you find the right kind. It will be a SCSI drive, so that's not something you will find at your local computer shop. I've got a SCSI drive I bought for my Emax II but I'm sure it's too large (storage wise) for the Emax I.

It could be a power issue that's not allowing the drive to start - hard to say at this point.

Look on the serial number sticker on the Emax and see which model number it is. Also post which OS disk version you have.

Does yours have a SCSI port on the back? If so, I've got an external Zip drive we could hook up to it as a replacement for the internal drive.
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