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  Emax-II Sampler At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1992  Specifications
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John Silveria II writes:
Andrew Cross : (E-Mu) With the Emulator III, E-mu Systems established the professional standard in digital sound reproduction. Now E-mu introduces the Emax II 16 Bit Digital Sound System, a new family of instruments and peripherals that exploit our latest generation of custom VLSI technology to offer true Emulator III sound quality at a substantially more modest price.

Available in rack-mount or keyboard form, Emax II is both a professional 16-bit sampler and a powerful synthesizer utilizing E-mu's Spectrum Interpolation Digital Synthesis.

At the heart of the Emax II is the same custom digital audio technology found in the E-mu Proteus, described by Electronic Musician magazine as "the cleanest, clearest, quietest electronic instrument I've ever heard." The Emax II is designed to reproduce sound with a dynamic range and lack of noise and distortion approaching the theoretical limits of the 16 bit data format. Its proprietary pitch-shifting technique allows virtually distortion-free transposition of samples and synthesized waveforms over a full ten octave range.

Emax II combines user sampling and the extraordinary realism of sampled sounds with the creative power of digital synthesis. Spectrum Interpolation Digital Synthesis, first introduced in the Emax SE, is E-mu's user-friendly implementation of additive synthesis. Spectrum Synthesis allows the creation of a virtually limitless variety of dynamically evolving timbres, without the tedious and time-consuming programming usually associated with additive synthesis. In the Emax II, Spectrum Synthesis has been enhanced to take full advantage of the 16 bit data format and the Emax II's faster and more powerful central processor.

Designed specifically for the reproduction of true stereo samples, Emax II's 32 audio channels are configured as 16 stereo voices or 16 monophonic voices with true stereo chorusing. 32 custom digital lowpass filters provide "analog-style" timbre control with the reliability and consistency of digital design. 18-bit DACs (Digital to Analog Converters) for each of the Emax II's eight programmable polyphonic outputs (configured as 4 stereo pairs) provide the user with increased dynamic range and a unique user adjustable headroom function to maximize dynamic range for any application. In addition, integral sends and returns for each output allow the addition of external effects units without the need for a separate mixer.

Emax II also offers true 16-bit DSP (Digital Signal Processing) functions including Digital Sample Rate Conversion, Digital Pitch Conversion, and Transform Multiplication- a sample by sample processing of two digital sounds which result in one new and unique sound. MIDI Analyzer allows you to view real-time MIDI information. Emax II also provides a "scratchpad" multitimbral MIDI sequencer. With its Super Mode function, you can transfer compositions from external sequencers directly to the Emax II, eliminating the need to carry a separate computer or dedicated sequencer.

In keeping with E-mu Systems' position as the leader in sound library support, Emax II provides immediate access to the industry's most extensive sampled sound library. In addition to being able to read and play all original Emax sound disks (including Optical Media International's "Universe of Sounds" CD-ROMs), Emax II arrives with its own large (and ever-growing) selection of 16 bit stereo and mono samples digitally transferred from the legendary Emulator III sound library.

To support a wide range of applications and user requirements, Emax II offers a variety of system configuration and expansion options. Its internal memory may be increased to a total of 8 megabytes and a very quiet and rugged 40MB internal hard disk drive is available for fast load times and convenient mass data storage.

For further flexibility, a SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) port offers additional storage and performance capabilities. Macintosh compatible storage devices including the new 600-Mb Optical Re-Writeable drives as well as E-mu's own RM45 (a rackmount 45 MB removable cartridge hard drive) and HD300 (300 MB rackmount hard drive) allow extremely fast data transfer and convenient archival data storage. To take maximum advantage of its SCSI capabilities, Emax II includes a powerful disk operating system that allows access to multiple drives and provides a backup and restore function with user- configurable automated backup routines.

For the dedicated Emax II programer, Alchemy, by Blank Software and Sound Designer II, by Digidesign will offer powerful, graphic editing programs for the Macintosh computer.

Standard version (rack or keyboard) has 1-Mb internal RAM. A "Turbo" version is available with 4-Mb of internal RAM plus a 40-Mb internal hard disk drive.

Comments About the Sounds:

(Thanks to John Silveria II for this info.)

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