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  EMT-10 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: Late '80s  Specifications
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Anonymous (infonaut@earthlink.net) writes:
Interestingly, the EMT-10 was designed by Yamaha as an add-on for the Clavinova line. The sound quality is not as high (relatively speaking) as that of the Clavinova's non-piano sounds (which can vary themselves in quality). Basically, the EMT-10 is a very overpriced unti - I bought it in (I think) 1989, when it was being closed out by the local music store, for $300.00 US, because back then it was actually hard to find a realistic sampled piano for anything like that price - plus, the human sampled choir was another similar boon. Nowadays (1996) though, there's no need to get a whole separate piece of hardware just to get a couple of sounds; any General MIDI module will have the same sounds as the EMT-10, plus many more, for roughly the same price. For a basis of comparison, I have a Roland SC-50 (Sound Canvas), and while the EMT-10 sounds compare favorably with that, a couple on the SC-50 are better (a couple worse, e.g., "Aah Chorus"). So, my advice is, only buy this if somebody's selling it really cheaply (I'd feel suckered if I paid anything more than $75 US for it today (1996)). ALSO, be advised that the EMT-10 does not respond to MIDI data such as expression, or pitch bend! This is a big problem, and again limits the usefulness of the unit HUGELY. Basically, I now use it only for the Chorus sound, and as a backup for either the Bass sounds or the piano sounds, in case my other two MIDI modules are over- loaded, and I need to free up channels/polyphony/multi- timbrality (it sure is nice to dump your keyboard parts to another module, since they hog polyphony - esp. on the SC-50, which has low polyphony (28 notes?)). The EMT-10 has another STUPID design element - it will only receive on either ALL midi channels, or ONLY ON CHANNEL 7. To get the unit to respond to ch. 7 only, you must TURN ON THE POWER WHILE HOLDING DOWN THE GREEN BUTTON ON THE BOTTOM-LEFT CORNER OF THE UNITS FACE. Pretty stupid design.

Simon Beck (sbeck@cfp.co.uk) writes:
Yamaha's EMT-10 half-rack-sized module was one of a series introduced in the late eighties to complement Yamaha organs and the Clavinova series of digital pianos. There was also an FM preset sound module and a digital reverb unit available, all much cheaper than comparable stage- or studio-targeted gear. Not surprisingly, resourceful rock musicians latched onto this pretty quickly, and the EMT-10 in particular became an overnight success.

Although by the standards of the Alesis NanoPiano etc. it is a bit dated, a second-hand EMT-10 still represents excellent value for money. In particular, the String and Choir sounds have a warmth and depth to them which few other instruments seem to be able to produce. Four switches on the panel subtly alter attack time and timbre for all the sounds. The limits of eight-note polyphony can, rather ingeniously, be overcome by purchasing a second module and setting one to respond to even notes only and the other to odd ones! Any of the non-bass sounds may be played in a preset (F#) split with any of the bass sounds. The polyphony is split 2-6, and only one MIDI channel is used for both sounds. The range can be transposed +/- 2 octaves, +6 semitones, -5 semitones and fine-tuned sharp or flat. Various MIDI parameters can be changed via the front panel, but make sure you get a manual with the module, otherwise you'll never work out how! Also there is no backup battery, so you lose all your s! ettings when you switch off.

A word of warning: the EMT-10 was never designed to go anywhere near rock musicians or their natural habitat. The box is lightweight and made of copiously perforated bent tin with a flimsy plastic front panel. Mine is held together with gaffer tape, and that's after only playing in function bands. If you want to use this on stage, get a rack-mount kit for it!

Comments About the Sounds:
Piano1 - pretty servicable Piano2 - no adv. over Piano 1 Elec. Piano 1 Decent Rhodes sound Elec. Piano 2 no adv. over Elec. Piano 1 Harpsichord - OK, but no great shakes Guitar - pretty good, and basically usable Strings - not very convincing (pretty lame) Brass - suitable only for flowerly "baroque trumpet" type effects (high trills, florid parts) Choir - Despite noticable sample shift points every fifth 1/2 note or so, the choir's the best sound in the unit, and I like it a lot (very full, and the high voices really sound like women, the low voices really sound like men (sometimes it all sounds androgenous) Bass: Upright (accoustic) Da*n good bass sound, good for jazz stuff Bass: Electric Again, really good bass sound. Bass: Slap Fairly convincing slap bass.

and Gérard van Kalmthout for the pic

Links for the Yamaha EMT-10
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