Synth Site: EMU: Ultra Proteus Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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greg a professional user from netherlands writes:
I have had the ultra proteus for ages.First of all i do not think that it can compete at this time and age with the new romplers or even the next generation of emu products. However i never used it as such (refering to the acoustic samples..) and this is the reason i've kept it.

It lets you mangle samples in a way no other synth can(with the exception of kurzweil and vsynth nowrdays). Besides the filters which are indeed beyond count (380 i think )the fnction generators are amazingly complex and i've never seen them replicated anywhere else. It's not only that they allow you to loop or jump between the envelope stages under specific conditions , it's the fact that each stage can choose from an amazing library of responces. So you can have a linear , logarithmic, chaotic or whatever (they are close to 100 )curves for each stage of the envelope. Then you have the option to scan the entire or part of the sound library and have this as your main sample. With this option you can create atmospheric sound effects that are quite unique.

The negatives : quality of acoustic samples the effects suck time consuming and here lies for me the problem with emu's filters.Since they are very complex they do not work with all the sound material you put through them.Thus it takes a lot of time even for someone like me who have used it for ages to select the proper filter.

I used to own also a morpheus but i ended up selling it since the ultraproteus was infinetely more usefull mostly because of the more varied and bigger sound library. Nowrdays emu have a software sampler that has a lot of the proteus mangling options. Still though they didn't use the function generators which is quite unfortunate.

I am giving it a 5 because although a 20 year synth module it can still suprise and be useful. On the other hand romplers by roland, korg, yamaha, alesis of the time are pretty useless now.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-06-2011 at 03:52
Lisko a professional user from Bulgaria writes:
I have mixed feelings about this unit: its acoustic samples are the most digitally sounding samples I've ever heard. I have to soften all of them with filters but maybe that's the point. On the other side, there's really a legion of filters there; however, don't be amazed so much by the quantity, there are many that just slightly different; many of them not tweakable enough; also, many of them work right only with certain samples. The piano samples are very artificial; so are the basses. but I really like the analog waves(they could really sound warm and moving), most of the strings (not for their realism though), the alien sounds, reeds and brasses. With the proper combination of filters and a midi faderbox you could really make your performance living and colorful. In fact, its modulation matrix is the best. 9 assignments for realtime control, plus 9 for note-on control. It aslo has 3 "function generators", sort of a EG where the transition from one point to another depends on conditions you set. It's really abstract, but if you assign these generators to filter morph or pitch, you could really sound faraway from rompler playback creating patches strange and realistic at the same time. Not so intuitive to program, anyway - especially step-by step programing on a two-line display. Needless to say it's good in evolving psychotic textures with midi control; but it's also good for some solo instruments.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-30-2007 at 20:56
gareth from uk writes:
Bit of a classic in the making. Acoustic sounds are ok but not really up to Roland standards(but what is) but this ain't about acoustic sounds its about filters and lots of them. spend some time with this unit and you won't regret it.available at bargain prices

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-25-2007 at 12:15
Bruno a hobbyist user from Poland writes:
First of all - if you look for a rompler with good acoustic patches, forget it. Get a P2K or maybe any of this family with Protozoa/ZR-76 ROM. Ultra has 8 MB ROM, so it won't impress anybody in the matter of acoustic emulation.

However, this machine is hard to compare with anything else (in spite of Morpheus). It has the biggest collection of Z-Plane filters! Also features Function Generators - typical for early 90's E-mu architecture. Yes, P2K uses four layers per voice and it has better (and more) waveforms, but you cannot use features like ROM sweeping or reversing waveforms.

Don't expect some Korg/Roland shwimmers. This unit is not a twinkle-little-star-pad-generator. It has unique sound profile, priceless for people looking for unusual soundscapes, oriented towards ambient textures - useless for many others. In the days of CoolEdit it can be too tedious for sound designers, but I would recommend it as a good start point (source for sampling and transforming).

Definitely not a "bread-and-butter" machine, despite the P1/2/3 sounds selection. Rather useless for rock and pop, suitable for electronica, can be useful in emulating _some_ effects of acoustic instruments.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-19-2005 at 06:17
a professional user writes:
Actually the dude got it backwards....pass on the older Audity 2000 and go for the newer Proteus 2000 which is way superior in features and OS. I wont go into details, but this brings us to the UltraProteus. I would definately pass on the UltraProteus too and go for the newer line of synth like the Proteus 2000. There is simply no comparison. The Ultra Proteus is an EMU dinosaur with very little ROM ...only 8MB...and its not expandable. The Proteus 2000 comes with 32MB of ROM and is expandable to 128MB of ROM. That's pretty much nuf said if you ask me. The UltraProtues is like a souped up Morpheus but cannot even come close to the Proteus 2000. Stick with the newer emu rack modules and you wont regret it. Get these "older" ones like the Ultra Proteus and you will be selling soon to replace it with the newer stuff once you figure it all out. And best of all, the price difference is very little.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-26-2004 at 05:30
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