Synth Site: E-mu: Esi-4000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5
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Lasertrancer a professional user from Germany writes:
The EMU 4000 Turbo is one of the best sounding device. The noise is warm, the filter variability is great. It is really Hi-Fi but retains his own sound. At the beginning it is a bit difficult to handle, but if you use it more often, the workflow will be better. The LCD Display is a weak point, it tends to loose contact. The FX Section is really good, nearly like outboard FXs. Especially the Flangers are very very good! The Trigger Buttons are very nice to play and I especially like the EQ Filter. The first thing you have to do if you buy it, add a zip and exchange the floppy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-20-2005 at 18:35
Mike Everett a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I still haven't been able to explore all avenues of this sampler, but I've covered a good bit of ground with it. It's definitely a nice peice of equipment for the price range. I wouldn't say it blows away the competition, but I'm very satisified for the price I paid for it.

I have the turbo expanded model maxed out at 128 megs of ram. Filters aren't half bad either. I was expecting worse, more digital/thin sounding, but the 24db and 36db low pass filters with the Q up can scream pretty well. 19 types of filters.

Envelopes are nice, efx are ok, could be better, but they're not bad, and that's what we have submix/efx sends and rack mounts efx units for anyhow.

I have to say overall the OS setup is very logical and very nice. The editing tools are good, although for a few of them I wish there was a way to preview them, although suppose there is an undo feature... but still...

I was possibly planning on getting a Yamaha A4000, but was never able to. Although I think the A4000 probably has some features up on the Esi-4000, I think they're fairly close, and Em-u's circuitry and sound quality is superb.

For anyone looking for a mid-price range sampler, I'd say definitely give this one a look over, depending on your applications, and the price you get it for, you probably won't be disapointed. I used an MPC2000 as part of my setup for a while, and minus a few features, I like the feel of the Em-u quite a bit more. And if you don't absolutely need the MPC's sequencer and 2 midi outs, it's worth paying about half the price for the ESI.

Now for a list of my complaints: -Lack of ping pong looping ability, only forward loops. -lack of direct support for .wav samples -no midi sysex support (altough with creative realtime control assignment you can get around this... ie assigning pitchbend to cutoff filter, and recording pitch bends in the sequencer) -the fact that things like pitch change and compression of samples(compressor, not time compression, although time compression too of course...) are not real time, and the sample must be processed -no resampling of samples run through efx, etc. -real time tuning of individual samples are limited to +/- 100 cents and no more, if you want more, you must process the samples (non-realtime as stated above) -lack of support for zip drives in any of the PC based wav/sample conversion/managment programs I've been able to find (if you have zip drives in your PC/Esi and no SCSI card too bad...) -lack of realtime control knobs on the front panel -OS speed for processing is so so

Overall though I would say this is a very nice instrument, and has made my setup, which is still in its infancy, incredibly more versatile. Although my complaints list seems large, they are minor things, and are easy to get around, and I would probably have a similar list for any sampler in this price range I've used.

The sound quality still blows me away. Like I said before, I'm usually not let down by Em-u's circuitry and components. I'd defintely suggest some sort of mass storage, and probably finding this thing used with the turbo expansion if you can. (although you'll still be able to do quite a bit without it, you'll just need to rely on external efx a bit more)

All in all I'm having loads of fun playing with it, and all of its features. And with 128 megs of ram, zip drive, scsi, and turbo expansion for $600 (didn't pay shipping either) I feel it was well worth my money. If anyone is considering this sampler, I'd say go for it, maybe look at the Yamaha A4000, it seems a little more user friendly with certain features... but the ESI you can usually find cheaper, and it's still amazing.

Primary and secondary layers (each with its own sample) for each key was a nice touch, and the routing ability of efx, envelopes, and dynamic processing, etc. is a very complex.

-Mike

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-01-2001 at 00:51
shane a part-time user from indiana writes:
i just got one of these a week ago and its already very easy to use to me.. i was doing my sampling on a mac with unity but there is something about sofware sampling that i just don like, so i made the move to hardware.. the esi 4000. it has an extremely easy to use / figure out without the manual OS and so far it has been very stable. its my first hardware sampler (other than an old eps but that doesnt count) and so far i love it! the manual is even good!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-10-2001 at 21:42
Martin a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
After purchasing this sampler, I asked myself: Why didn´t I buy a sampler in the first place? Ok, I love the knob-turning-making-sound on vintage gear but this sampler really made different in our music. Easy to handle, easy to get new sounds, easy to make new sounds. After a bit of reading, late at night, in that fine book of joy that came with it. 64 voices are just enough for me since I do some kind of minimal electronic music, but I can understand the people wanting more. 128 MB of max is quite good to. I´ve 64 in mine and have never run out of memory. I would like to have the FX-board, but that will come when I´ll get the money. The EMU webpage on other hand seems to lack information and espacially update infos on this gear, or is it just me staying up to late, getting tired?

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-10-2001 at 20:05
Paul H. Kim a part-time user from Cambridge, MA writes:
I just picked the ESI4000 Turbo w/ zip/SCSI for 550 from a guy who was obviously high on crack or something. My eyes popped out of their sockets when i saw this ad. And no, i didn't buy a stolen item b/c it was in his rig, and he was selling everything.

Anyway, i got the ESI4000 running in less than an hour. Loaded up the ESI-Win SCSI software, and i AM KICKIN PHAT PHAT BEATS easier than before. I used to use Gigasampler, but oh my, the headaches of using that!! Sound quality is great, FX are great, but you can't preview/audition the FX, sound editing is superb, perhaps a bit hard to comprehend the full potential. I hate that,,,,when the potential of results from a piece of hardware is limited by my low IQ... But the interface is easy enough.

I would have to point out that the ESI4000 is done justice if you use a zip drive instead of a floppy. Depending on the amount of use, this speeds things up MAJOR...Also I think SCSI is absolutely mandatory....it'd be almost unusable without it.

I would also say that it is defintely outclassed by the new Yamaha A4000, but the affordability of the ESI more than makes up for it. Besides, the ESI Turbo option def, puts it close to par to the A4000(exept for maybe polyphony).

This is a great machine. Another testament to the success of hardware, and failure of Software(re:gigasampler)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-02-2000 at 23:05
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