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

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ROM Cards
The Holy Grail Piano ROM expansion board

I recently purchased the Holy Grail piano expansion board. While I found the Holy Grail to be a vast improvement over the factory piano, I still don’t feel that I have yet found the true Holy Grail of pianos! To be honest, I have yet to find any digital piano that makes me happy. The best part of the Holy Grail piano is what they call their VMS Process. They've dissected the piano tone into a bunch of individual components and then put them back together again as layers in the Proteus 2000. This means that you can control the components of the piano sound separately. For example, you could create a piano that is only sustain with no attack, or a piano that is only foot pedal sounds. These components really do give a feeling of realism to the piano.

My biggest complaint with the Holy Grail Piano is the actual piano they chose to sample. Its a Kawai 6'9" grand, and I just don't care for the tone that much. For me it is a little overly bright and brittle sounding. At lower volume levels it has a rich beautiful tone, but gets a bit tinny at louder volumes. Having said this, it is still one of the more responsive and enjoyable digital pianos I've played.

The Protozoa ROM expansion board

When I bought my Proteus 2000 Emu bundled the Protozoa along with it, so I got the board by default. The Protozoa expansion contains all the sound ROM’s of the original Proteus series (1, 2, and 3) on one 16 meg board. Each Proteus model is represented by a selection of 128 “greatest hits” patches from the original banks. Emu has also provided a bonus bank of new patches that combine sounds from the three proteus modules in ways that were not possible before.

What was surprising to me about this expansion is how well the Proteus 2 sounds have held up over the years. There are still quite a few useable sounds here, and this board would serve anyone well until Emu releases their upcoming 32 meg orchestral boards. At that point I doubt there will be any comparison between old and new! If you need orchestral sounds right now today then pick up the Protozoa card, but if possible wait for the upcoming orchestral expansion boards.

The World sounds haven’t survived as well, in my opinion. There are far better options out there now. I believe Emu has a 32 meg world expansion board in the works (but I’m not totally sure about that), so you might want to wait. All in all I’m glad I have the Protozoa board, but I doubt I would have bought it seperately.

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

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