Synth Site: EMU: Emax HD: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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ulv a part-time user from Norway writes:
Great sampler, fffat filters - I'm in love!

I had a regular emax keyboard before, but unfortunately I upgraded to an emax hd se rackunit. After a month of happy playing it suddenly broke down on me, and allthough it is in a sense still playable the filters seem to have a mind of their own, cutting and boosting whenever they feel like it. Have anyone experienced this before? Please send me a mail if you know what's causing this!

All in all a great sampler, but not very reliable I'm afraid.. mine ain't anyway.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-02-2002 at 13:06
T a hobbyist user writes:
Hey there,

Well, I was the guy that left a long winded message that the Emax SE is better then the SP-1200. I just bought an SP-12 Turbo a few months ago, and my opinion has changed a little. Long story short, the Emax SE and the SP-1200 are to different machines. I don't think it's "completely fair" to say one is better then the other. Sampling wise, they sound almost the same, that opinion has not changed in my mind. But, you really can't compare the two. One is drum machine, the other a rack mount sampler with filters. The SP-12, being a drum machine, has a super nice "swing" quality to it. I have not heard it with other durm machines before. I still think the SP-1200 is not worth 1500K, but the SP-12 Turbo is a nice price. I got mine for 450.00. I use it as the midi master with my Emax SE. The two together, is great fun. I get a lot of "12-bit" options with the two machines. I use the Emax for it's filters and long samples, and the SP-12 Turbo for the breat beats. 5 seconds is a fair about of time needed to created a complex break beat. The two machines cost me 700 bucks total, half the price of an SP-1200. Again.....a lot of "12-bit" options. But, keep in mind, this only my opinion. The SP-1200 sounds like a wonderful machine. I've thought about spending the money for one, just to have it, but I change my mind do to the fact it cost so much, and if making music is the bottom line, you can get the same, if not better results buy an SP-12 Tubro and an Emax SE.


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-01-2002 at 13:56
T from Seattle writes:
Is the Emax the same as the SP-1200.....well, for the record, they do not have the same sampling engine. The SP-1200 is true 12-bit sampling and the Emax is 12-bit, with 8-bit compression.

I have done an audio test with a sample made with the Emax and SP-1200 without filters, and discovered that there is little to no difference in sample quality between the two. True they do not have the same sampling engine, but they are made by EMU, and they both have that "Emu" sound from the mid to late eighties. Lo-fi gritty, and very unique. Warm and analoge in feel.

If you want to split hairs, the SP-1200 sample was a little cleaner then the Emax. It almost sounded a little bit like lo-fi 16-bit. I think this is due to the fact that it's linear, true 12-bit. Probably Emu's attempts to sound as clean as possible at the 12-bit range. But, again, I'm totally splitting hairs. I have to say again, there is almost no difference between the two samplers.

I would recommend the Emax over the SP-1200 for a number of reasons. The Emax allows you to sample at a range from 10khz-42khz, more analogue filters, up to 52 seconds of sample time at the lowest sample rate, and 12 seconds at the highest sample rate. I often sample at 28KHz, which gives me 18.8 seconds.

Granted the Emax is not a drum machine like the SP-1200, but with midi, you can easily turn it into a drum machine. Simply use a drum machine as your midi outboard device, and you have a sampling drum machine.

So, in short, the Emax is very flexibile, and easy to use. The SP-1200 is great, but it's not a machine with a lot of options, and it cost way to much money.

Buy an Emax, it cost less then 400 bucks in most cases, and it sounds just as good, maybe even better than the SP-1200 in terms of lo-fi gritty noise.

If you are interested in finding out for yourself the difference between the Emax and the SP-1200, goto: They will have a section of the site dedicated to downloading samples created with the Emax, SP-1200, etc. I don't think this part of the site is live yet, but it will be soon. This will help you decide which sampler is best for you.

I think you'll find the Emax is the way to go.....:-)

posted Tuesday-Oct-02-2001 at 03:00
emuarchive writes: has the emax manual for download.

posted Sunday-Sep-23-2001 at 03:43
a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I just got my Emax HD and it is taking a loooooong time to load. Are disks required when the keyboard is turned on? It stop making "booting" noises and is now quiet and showing "loading bank...", is this normal?

posted Tuesday-May-15-2001 at 01:36
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