Synth Site: EMU: Xtreme Lead/XL-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Nik a part-time user from UK writes:
Had mine over a year - If you're lazy the synth sounds pretty average - put some work in - pull some good stuff out - use external effects ( if poss ) also have a nova II and a Nord Lead 3 - prefer these - differnt kettle of fish though pricewise - it's an OK module - can do dance with it with arp's etc need a small paper plant to print the manual - bloody hate PDF CD manuals.

Second hand this module would be a good buy say £300 ish.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-05-2002 at 19:40
kai a hobbyist user from England writes:
I bought the extreme lead about a year ago, with the intention of using it as a more advanced bread and butter synth, i.e not for leads, but for basses and pads etc.

I am definitely not into trance/club/house and all the other types of commercial rubbish which give the rest of electronic music a bad name. So when i tested out some of the presets i was rather annoyed to find them mostly dance orientated, like for instance the cheesy euro synth. the demos are rubbish, unless you'e into making cheesy dance music.

Since then i have wiped the offending patches off, or mutilated them to my liking.. and i realised despite the cheap orange plastic fascia, the "instant dance music"/"groovebox" feel of it (i dont use the superbeats either), this synth has some great potential.. especailly pads, and other thick sounds.. it has four layers of a great number of prefabbed samples, so you can make some sublime pads.. yeah, thats what i like best about the xl1.

As far as the other sounds go.. the basses, i feel, lack meat.. or maybe i havent made a decent one yet.. only a few of the preset basses are good, but they're not very "sub-end" type basses. leads.. ok, actually.. some cool sounds, also some miscellaneous synthy noises, useful. drums - I dont really use them.. superbeats i feel is a waste of time.

A feature of this synth I love is the Z plane filter... there are fifty types! more than just your average band, low and high pass.. you can really change a sound by adding a different filter, which increases the possiblities..

Effects.. Ok.. pretty standard, not too keen on the distortion, but the reverb is ok, although the delay can be a bit annoying to program

What also convinced me to keep this synth, and that it was not simply another "dance module" was the patchcords.. basically they tie different sections of the synth architecture for a certain patch together, a bit like modular snynthesis (but not as versatile).. still this is really useful.

For a while i considered selling the xl-1 because of it's generic dance factor.. but i found that you can customise it to your liking, and you can make some good sounds from it. Remember it is a PCM synth, so dont expect any really extreme sounds, despite its name!!

If you want to hear some of my creations with the synth, then go to Most of the songs on there have involved the xl-1 in one way or another.. the track "Digistella" was made 90% with it.. feel free to send me any comments.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-18-2002 at 12:22
Ohm from Home writes:
yeah, the demos do blow chunks.....why would emu try to sell a machine using such lame demos......that's what demos are for, right? to sell a machine to some idiot, right?....well, if the demos blow chunks, then what idiot will buy it?.....your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps some guy named Dirk would (heheh) -----anyway, just for the syncable arps on this puppy, it deserves a big 5, but the demos are puke. Too bad emu, and some of you guys dont really know what the purpose of a demo is. DUH!! If the demo sucks, its not a good sign. Surely the mfr could have come up with a better "demonstration" of the XL-1's abilities. Heck, almost anyone could have, so what's up with that? ....and yes, Dirk, many of us use on-line demos to check out gear.....why wouldnt anyone?....and if it sucks, well the gear still may be cool, but.......?

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-20-2002 at 20:58
dirk from germany writes:
I like it, great appregiator some of the presets suck, and so do the demos but who needs demos what kind of 'knob' would listen to them or worse use them hahahaha. the nord sounds better and so does a lot of other shit but for the money fun can be had with the damn thing. I wouldn't want to do without it. Just program the fuck out of it and you'll be laughing.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-30-2002 at 19:15
dave a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Great sounds. Awesome drums. Powerful editing. Looks cool. I printed the CD manual out--its a friggin encyclopidia!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-29-2002 at 16:34
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