E-mu/Ensoniq launched its new 64-voice expandable sound module, Planet Earth, at the recent AES Convention in LA. The 1U rackmount features 32Mb of world sounds - 'the designers gathered an amazing collection of authentic rhythms and traditional instruments from around the globe to develop a module with the most realistic ethnic sounds available,' says the company. Proteus 2000 expansion ROMs will expand the sound sets further, or of course you can create your own with E-mu's E4 Ultra Samplers; and the module features E-mu's SuperBEAT Mode too, for looping, latching and triggering breaks and beats.
E-mu also launched the RFX-32 FX/mixer card for E4 samplers - this contains technology developed for the high-end Mantis project, previewed two years ago but discontinued when E-mu bought Ensoniq. OK, when Creative Labs, which owns E-mu, bought Ensoniq. There was also the E4 Platinum Sampling Synth, a new flagship box featuring 128 voice polyphony, 128Mb RAM, 16 analogue outputs, 16 ADAT outputs, two SCSI ports and a 20Gb internal IDE drive. 'The ultimate sound design tool in the world' claims the company - and it could well be right.
All data was preliminary - expect more later in the year, especially at Winter NAMM.