Synth Site: EMU: Emax HD: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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TheFace a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I think the guy below Me just had some bad luck. My EmaxSE is built like a tank, and I've NEVER had problems. This is especially encouraging since there is usually heavy smoking and drinking in My studio.

This synth is a godsend for Industrial/experimental noize creators. A little bit too Lo-Fi for techno, but what do I know about techno... The analog filters are filled with character and can really freak out any sample of anything. The arpeggiator is great and lots of fun when using with the 16 track real time sequencer. The keyboard feels awesome too- 5 octaves of chunky keys with a wonderful weight. Responds to velocity and aftertouch as well. Sliders control the parameters (assignable) and OS functions are listed on the front panel so programming is really intuitive and non-tedious. Can You tell I love this thing?:) Also, as I write this review, I still see Emax'es selling on Ebay for $150-$300. This Will NOT last so grab one before They attain "vintage" (expensive) status! look for the later models that came with SCSI standard, that may come in handy although I have no need for it. The RS-422 port is standard on all Emaxes to be hooked up to a Mac for a wonderful time editing on a big monitor. Pick up an old LC or MacII for 20 bucks and WooHoo! Email Me If You need the Alchemy software.

If You're looking for a cheap way to rip loops, sample realistic acoustic sounds, sound like a popstar, etc. This is NOT the choice for You. This is a MANGLERS synth. F&^%d up noises, atmospheric pads, etc. I've had this beast for a year and I'm just now getting around to putting up this review. Newer samplers have alot more features and "power", but this is the most fun I've ever had with a sampler. Unless You find an EIII for cheap, pick this baby up.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-17-2001 at 12:45
Shane Dahl from Burbank writes:
The Emax HD is not too big. It's is alot smaller than the EII. One thing though, it needs to be babied or it will break on you. Some flake shipped mine out and it worked the first day and the next day it wouldnt eeven turn on. I sprinkled Baby powder on its motherboard and wiped its midi ports with a moist towlette and now it seems to work okay. Just be careful and never use the Jason Part 13 disk.

I would just stay clear of the Emax anyhow. It's too much of a pain to take care of. It's like getting a new puppy. They get sick all the time and you have to watch it or it might get hurt.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-22-2001 at 16:32
Mr. me a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Its fun, easy and is not very finicky. I just got it two days ago and haven't really figured out how to sample but its my first sampler so thats not surprising. too big though, i wish i had the rack version.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-22-2001 at 08:33
Calyx93 a part-time user from USA writes:
As an afficionado of early sampling devices, the Emax is (for it's time) a pretty decent sampler. I bought one to supplement an Emulator II+HD since the it's more or less a direct copy of it's older sibling (architecture and all). The lo-fi quality of samples and filtering have already been mentioned. However, no one has seemed to comment upon the fact that like the Emulator II, the Emax forces you to multisample if you'd like to have a sound transposed along the entire keyboard. This may not seem like a big deal, but in practice, it really sucks. Say you want to have a good old Fairlight style sample (oooh) or a simple synth waveform where your root key is is middle C and you want to have the sample stretch up and down the can't! Depending on your sampling rate, the sample might only transpose two or three keys above your original pitch. It will, however, transpose the sound as far down the keyboard as you like. Even the Emulator II defaults to only a three octave span. I believe that E-mu changed this with the Emulator III and Emax II.

I just figured that I'd warn potential buyers of this quirk before they spend their money on one.

Bottom line: ballsy sounds and great synth architecture! great if you want either loops, drums and FX - bad if you have an aversion to multisampling or very little patience. (Get the factory disks or try to find some of the disks from California Sampling Technology's library(now defunct) or Northstar.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-18-2001 at 15:57
D a hobbyist user from usa writes: is great. got the disk drive I needed... after that beast has been sitting around for a couple months it now works! What great sounds.. those analog filters are superb! Bottomless basses... and the interface is far easier than I had ever hoped.. Having never owned a sampler before, this couldn't have been easier.. thanks!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-14-2001 at 11:41
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