Emu - Emulator X

Yesterday, the first of October, it was my birthday.
-Happy birthdaaaay to mee… happy birthdaaaay to meee-
And I received a EMU - Emulator X… and a E-Keys 49 MIDI keyboard as a “mass-gift” … :w00t:

Now… I have no problems in understanding how to use a keyboard… but I can’t really say the same about the Emulator X.
I installed these two misterious cards in my case, connected to each other… now what? Is this a soundcard? A videocard? It makes coffee?
I strongly suspect that’s a soundcard, I admit, but just because the cardboard comes with “waveforms” drawn on it and because no other device would use a 1/4" jack in/out
looking on their site hasn’t helped much since they define that a “Desktop sampler” that leaves me totally cold.
I tried plugging front and rear of my Cambridge Soundworks ( :( )into their LEFT and RIGHT 1/4" analog output (and had to stick an adaptor on the mini-jacks) but all I obtained was a very clear but totally bass-less sound. I tried opening that small striped icon in the tray and a huge screen full of wonderfully crafted knobs came out… After some seconds of “What this does?” the sound went away and I’m not able to have that back not even with the “restore default” operation…

I’m sure there is some fellow Renoiser onboard able to enlighten me about this misterious device I’ve been blessed with.
What do I have in my hands? What the hell am I supposed to use it for?
How do I listen to a freaking mp3? What do I need the huge config screen for? What do I need all those rear ports for?
I’m totally clueless.


hmmm… looks like a pretty nifty little device :)

Sorry, don’t actually know much about it myself, just did a quick Google search.

you are joking or what? R T F M ;)
emulator X is a full featured software-sampler (like gigastudio, kontakt, halion etc.) and a professional soundcard (E-MU 1212m) with superior soundquality (digidesign d/a a/d converter chips) is included in the package. be happy …

Alex! True… I saw you posting about EMU…
wouldn’t you please help me out on this? (both email or this same forum)
As you can see… no, I’m not joking, I simply have no idea on how to use it.

Something deeper than “RTFM” would DEFINITELY makes me feel happy :lol:
The manual starts going like “Emulator X allows quick and easy creation of multitimbral setup on up to 32 different MIDI Channels” and I just wonder what the hell is talking about… please remember I have NOT bought myself this… I received it as a birthday gift, as a surprise… and I am surprised indeed.

ok Parsec no problem … what do you want to know ? ;)

you never tryed VSTi’s and VSTi-samplers? … the basic of soft-samplers you know from Renoise… there are samples and there is the possibility to map these samples to single keys … it’s the same in EmultorX :) but with thousends more features … try to install the included sound-cdroms and play around in Renoise with EmulatorX …

the mixer of the 1212m is really comfortable … you have 32 ASIO channels and with the mixer (PatchMixDSP) you can add/delete these channels, insert hardware fx and so on …

maybe write me an email for help or look into this forum … www.productionforums.com

… or VST channels ;)
“A multi-timbral synthesizer is an instrument that has the ability to play 2 or more different sounds at the same time.The number of multi-timbral parts refer to the number of different sounds it can playback simoultanesly.So 16 part multi timbral means the instrument can recieve MIDI data on all 16 different channels and playback 16 different patches(ie sounds,instruments).This is sometimes confused with polyphony,wich refers to the number of notes it can playback at a time.Most of the earlier synthesizers were monophonic which means they can only playback one note at a time.”

I do know what a VSTi is… but the word “VSTi Samplers” makes no sense to me.

You serious? I can’t even hear no mp3 how am I supposed to “play around”?
I opened Renoise… but what should I do - where should I look to “do something” with EmulatorX?
As far as I see Renoise seems not affected at all by the presence of this device… except for the presence of a new ASIO voice (audio config tab)

there are (VSTi-)synthesizers and there are (VSTi-)samplers …

EmulatorX is available as standalone-app and VSTi … i hope you know where you can add a VSTi as instrument in Renoise!?

the PatchMIX DSP (E-MU Mixer) is your new windows mixer!!! and now you have not only wave-in, wave-out … now you have up to 32 wave-out-channels (ASIO) and you can use this channels in renoise … configurable with the PatchMIX DSP and within Renoise on every track (look at the track dsp-tab and the routing option).

EmulatorX is an instrument - and it’s not so simple like in Renoise to add a mp3 or wave-file to get it sound … hunderts of ready to use sound-cdroms are available with hq sounds (like a real piano) for different samplers (e.g. AKAI) u can convert these cd-roms for use in EmulatorX …

something from the web:

What is a sampler?

At its most simple, a sampler is an instrument that records and plays back sounds. It uses the piece of audio and instructions you give it to alter and reshape the sound. Even the most basic sampler will do a lot more than this. It should (at least) be able to play the loaded sample at a different pitch to the one it was recorded at. That means that any audio sample you use can be played back on a higher or lower note – useful if you want to fit a vocal into the key you are using, for example.

What else can a sampler do?

This really depends on the model you have and the spec of the instrument. Features to watch out for are: RAM amount, effects, filters, number of outputs and time stretching/pitch shifting capabilities.

Should I get a software or hardware sampler?

Software sampler are cheaper than hardware ones. The most respected ones at the moment are Halion (Steinberg) and the newly arrived Kontakt (Native Instruments). Both are a good option if you are on a budget, but it is worth bearing in mind that they can demanding on your CPU. A decent spec PC is a must if you want to get a lot out of them.

The current trend seems to be software samplers. The advantage here is that you can use a variety of audio sources to manipulate Wav files are no problem to use and some software sampler also let you use import other formats such as Akai samples. The downside (and this goes for most virtual instruments) is automation. It can be quite tricky recording a smooth filter sweep or volume change with a mouse unless you have a hardware controller.

Hardware samplers tend to be more expensive and there are many to choose from. The advantage using hardware is that all the processing is done on board so very little CPU is taken up during operation. Some samplers come (or can be fitted) with various expansion boards. This means that you can achieve some incredible sound manipulation as well as trigger multiple sounds at the same time routed them through different outputs.

Thanks for your efforts Alexander :)

Yes, I know how to… but as I told you there is nothing pointing to EMU-stuff in the VST-instrument list, at the moment.

The only writing about “wave” was in the first default set I’ve seen… which I was unable to bring back. Anyway I don’t really know what rear port is linked to what slider in the PatchMixDSP… Actually the only port I could recognize and use is the “Big-jack” ( called 1/4" Analog in/out ) that I can reach by adapting the “Small-JacK” to it. But I wasn’t able to find no control making reference to that analog output…

Wave out… channels? …ASIO?? :blink:
I don’t see 32 outs on the rear of the sound card! And… all I know about ASIO is that it’s something that has to do with a certain “latency” people speaks about on Forum from time to time.
About the “Samplers” part…
I know what an hardware/software sampler is. I just don’t get any meaning by putting the word “Sampler” together with the word “VSTi”. VSTi is what “generates” a sound from zero because it has oscillators inside. A VSTi sampler “generates” a sound starting… from samples? What’s the difference then between loading a sample and loading a vsti sampler with the same sample loaded inside? Aren’t samplers made for people that does not know about Renoise? :lol:

I didn’t meant “I can’t load an mp3 in EmulatorX”… really, I -JUST- want to launch winamp and listen to some music.
Is this possible with this… device… mounted on my pc? I guess it MUST be possible, otherwise you wouldn’t call it a “xcellent sound card”…
I will probably learn how to master all the extra capabilities of this device by taking my time… but in the meanwhile I would really like to use its -basic- capabilities as a normal soundcard :lol:

if EmulatorX isn’t in the list … you have installed it in the wrong directory maybe or try RESCAN VST in Renoise … on my c-drive all plugs are in Programs/Steinberg/VstPlugins …

in the PatchMix DSP you have the possibility to load default-sessions … try one of this … for normal wave-playback (e.g. for winamp) you need the wave L/R channel strip

at the rear there are 2 1/4" L/R IN & 2 1/4" L/R OUT … all 1/4" are MONO (left&right seperatly)

the 32 channels working internal - hardwarebased … normaly in stereo-only mode renoise mixes all tracks to a master signal … now this can be done within your soundcards hardware and the comfortable PatchMix DSP … at the end you get only a stereo-master too but the quality in mixing by softwareor hardware is different.

VST is only the technology to connect sequencers and instruments…
before the first tracker was born there were hardware samplers and synthesizers … connected via midi-cables to keyboards or hardware-sequencers … now there is VST or Rewire.

you are right there is no basic difference Renoise & VSTi-sampler but the sampler-technolgy in tracker stands still since 15 years (except the bit-rates). VSTi-samplers have e.g. the possibility to map different samples for different volumes of one note - that’s important to reproduce natural sounds like pianos or real drum-sets … and more things for sound manipulation and the possibilties in Renoise in sampling are really basic in comparison to EmulatorX or other Samplers. listen to the sounds of the included cdroms for EmulatorX!!!

you need a WAVE L/R channel strip in your PatchMIX DSP this is the basic for normal playback via all application e.g. Winamp or Renoise in DirectSound mode. … it’s written in the manual how you add such a channel strip! ;)

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the whole thing… and then had a good rescan of the VSTi dir with Renoise. Now I can see two new elements in the TRACK/DSP tab, under the VST Efx list… I’m talking about “E-Delay compensator” and “E-wire”. Just to be sure, I tried this on both my stable 1.281 and the new Alpha6 …but there is nothing else…
I just wish I’m not missing anything… what is the exact name used by the emu-stuff when it pops up on your list?

Ah… By reinstalling I obtained the “wave” stripe back… and with it, I had the bass-less sound back too. It actually play… but everything sounds like going through some plain highpass filter with no reso :huh:

Parsec … i said EmulatorX is an instrument … must be added under instrument settings ;) … the fx won’t work in Renoise … see 1.5 bugs (and the EmulatorX isn’t included on the driver cdrom … it’s an x-tra cd … have you installed EmulatorX?!)

hm bass-less sound … you have pluged 2 mono 1/4" cables in the OUTPUTs - (left&right)??? … and connected to your AMP?! … if you plug a stereo 1/4" in the only one OUTPUT maybe the sound is only one channel (left&right) and sounds bass-less

Ok, after installing EmulatorX now it display among the VSTi list :D

No, I tried… it play both channels correctly… I played some of the mods I converted for Nectarine into wavs… and they have TOTAL stereo separation… they play ok, except for this weird sound.
I tried having a look at some DSP influencing the playback… deleted anything similar in sight but the sound is still bass-less. :(
About the cables… I have a Cambridge Soundworks 4+Sub ( <_<)
There are two inputs on the sub: fron and rear. When only a single stereo source is provided (you have the “rear” jack unplugged), the sub automatically delivers a crossed sound to the “rear” speakers. My idea was to feed a mono signal to each, left and right analog out on the audiocard, to have back the full stereo range… inverting cables, if you’re right, should result in having only the bass frequencies playing… but this does not happens… only the stereo positions gets inverted as you would expect.
Note that a couple of good studio speakers is on top of the “to get” list.

Note: Recent pessimistic idea was that the subwoofer had just broken or something similar. :rolleyes:
I tried feeding him with the line from another pc and it works with no problems… so the speakers are ok…

good morning Parsec ;)

hm …i don’t know exactly what’s wrong but i think the reason is a wrong connection to your active-speakers … how it sounds bass-less? like a telephone?! ;) … is there a possibility to adjust the bass via a pot on you amp+speaker system …

you need such a cable to connect your 1212m to a normal hifi-AMP:

if you use this

to connect LEFT or RIGHT to your normal hifi-AMP or active-speaker THAN it’s possible that you only hear bass-less sound … because the outputs of the card are a little bit special … more about maybe later but you MUST use monophonic jack plugs for a normal “to cinch” or other “hifi output”

Morning Alexander :P

Exactly. Low frequz are sound like being cut or totally reduced… high freqz they seem to be working ok…

I don’t really understand what a “a pot” means… but yes, there is a small knob to set how “reactive” the sub must be on bass sounds… but when I put it up to the max it still doesn’t sound correct… normally I had to set it very low because of being too loud…

hmm… I see what you mean. The cables I’m used to plug in the sub are not mono… so I should buy myself something with 2 “male” MONO big jack… ending in a small stereo jack… ok… I’ll let you know as soon as I get one… but at this point I’m quite confident that this should be the problem…
I’m looking forward to discuss with you more usefull matters about the EMU than mere technical troubleshooting… ;)

the 1212m in&outputs are for pro-use too. (something special ;) ) you can use balanced and unbalanced jacks (see this: http://www.electronics2000.co.uk/data/pinout/jack.htm) but if you plug a stereo jack in the outs of your 1212m, the card “thinks” it’s a balanced connection (for pro use in mixers or on stage). and this could be the reason for you bass-less sound … maybe!

Now that’s interesting… I’ve tried sending out the line to a small guitar ampli via a normal mono cable and it works! :)
Of course it’s only one channel… but the bass sound is there :P
This is definitely putting an end to the riddle… now as soon as I manage to get the whole system running I’ll be back with more appropriate questions :)
Thank you Alex! ;)

:blink: ok :D