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In-depth Feature:  EMU Proteus 2000
Albert Potts writes: .

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The Sounds
The Proteus 2000 comes from the factory loaded with sounds, and has three empty slots on the circuit board for further ROM or flash-ROM expansion. This synth excels at a number of different sounds: bass, keyboard, and organ are some of the standouts. The patch selection is mind-boggling and the quality is high. The factory piano is just so-so in my opinion, but you can add Emu's Holy Grail sound card for a much improved piano (more on that later). There are many drum kits and percussion sounds that are useable, but the drums are not editable like they are in a drum machine. The key assignments are pre-determined and unchangeable. While you can get around this by using multiple layers and midi channels to create a drum set, it is still a bit awkward to work with.

If there is any weakness to this synth it is that some types of sounds are not well represented in the factory Composer soundset. In particular, I feel that the orchestral (other than a nice flute), choir, and bell sounds are not up to the level of the best patches. In another example, I was recently on a gig where they needed a screaming distorted electric guitar, and the Proteus simply didn’t have it. There is a patch called "ElectricDis", but it just couldn't cut it, at least not without external guitar pedal type processing (which I didn't have on hand). On the other hand, many of the other guitars in the Proteus 2000 are wonderful. I’m thinking in particular of the patches called “Carlos”, “Cast Teller”, “LA Strata” and some of the mutes and and Jazz guitars. In addition, there are short guitar licks and sound effects like wah-wahs that could be useful in certain songs. So even though there is a huge selection of sounds in the box, there are still strengths and weaknesses to the sound set that you need to be aware of before buying.

In coming up with its basic Composer sound set I suspect Emu focused the Proteus 2000 toward general pop music production knowing that they were going to release high quality orchestral and other specialty sound chips later. The orchestral sounds of the older Proteus 2 are better than the stock Proteus 2000, and are available as part of the Protozoa expansion card. Emu took a similar approach when they released their original Proteus series: the Proteus 1 module was a general grab bag of sounds, and the Proteus 2 which followed it was focused on orchestral samples. Also keep in mind that any Proteus 2000 users who also own Emu Ultra samplers will be able to burn their own custom flash-ROM's, allowing complete control over the internal sound set.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Proteus 2000 page @synthsite
  • read user reviews
  • more Emu Models
  • contact Albert
  • Price Direct from zZounds

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