Synth Site: Emu: Proteus 2000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.6 out of 5
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Lenti Lenko a professional user from Australia writes:
I own a few Korg and Roland bits of gear and co-run a Midi based studio (as well as teaching piano and organ privately). When this box came out, I didn't have enought leather on the soles of my shoes to get down to my local music shop to try one. BOY WAS I DISSAPOINTED!!!!!!! I'M NOT JOKING HERE! I know that all this about what sounds good or bad is a matter of personal taste and I seem to be the 'odd one out' here when it comes to bagging this instrument. Yes the specs are superb, 128 real voices of polyphony as opposed to the EX5's 'pseudo' 128 notes!!!! Very powerful synthesis architecture with Z plain filters and 6 outputs Etc Etc- But I just couldn't get behind it's sound. To convince myself that I was having a bad day, I went back to the shop a 2nd (and a 3rd) time. (Mind you I didn't do any editing- I would need to take the unit home for that!). The sounds (factory patches) were weak overall- I am very sorry to say this as I have tried to like this unit! They lack the gloss and the 'balls of my Triton or Jv1080. The acoustic pianos are crap, the orchestral strings are more abrasive sounding than those in my 10 year old Korg T3. Mind you, there is a nice selection of drum kits aboard and I reckon you could get some killer (American sounding) synthe sounds with some decent programming. However, I feel that there would have to be alot of extra work to be done before I could really like to use this instrument in any of my projects. I know that the magazines have raved about this unit and that other people on this site are also raving. However, I don't want to sound like an 'arrogant prick' (I AM NOT!) but I no my stuff about Synthesizers and this one simply has not inspired me. I do however congratulate EMU for allowing users to use EMU samplers to make their own expansion boards- GOOD ON YOU! Right now, even though it is very competitively priced ($1,995.00 AUSTRALIAN), I could not buy it!!!!! REPEATING- This is just my personal observation and I will try this unit again and again to see if I can be 'forced' to like it.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-01-1999 at 00:02
polyecho a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I've just got one used for under $600. Wow. It's the best $600 I have spent. I didn't think about getting the p2k as a bread and butter synth when I was considering getting it. I read the manual at and I knew I had to have it.

About the box, it's simply a gigantic monster. 128 oscillators. One patch is consist of upto 4 osciallators, 17types of Z-plane filters, 2 LFOs, 3 envelopes, 12 freely assignable MIDI controllers and 24 patch cords. The modulation is in the modular fashion with operators like switch, lag, random, quantizer, amplifier, sum, etc. Talk about being flexible. The classic filter types of this box sounds really great, although I like how my Micro Modular self oscillates better. But it sounds way better than my JV-1080's and this is not to mention other unusual types of filters yet. (I'm amazed at how fast the MIDI response is when the processor has to this much work.)

The knobs on the front panel are calibratable and can be freely assigned to any MIDI control number and it sends MIDI messages thru the MIDI OUT. Very useful. The fact that this synth programmability is really deep makes it's impossible to do a good editing interface with an LCD, 2 buttons and one dial knob. But still it's not too bad considering not many people will fully utilize this synth's ultimate capability anyway.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-15-1999 at 10:17
Furious Fingers a hobbyist user from US writes:
Don't even really know where to start.

I was looking for a module and some long-hair at the music store recommended this box. My initial reaction was, "Please." (read: heavy sigh)

I plugged in the headphones for the helluvit and started clowning around with it. I listened to 10 patches... TEN patches.. and said, "I'll take it." I kid you not. The sounds are THAT good.

I'll shoot straight here..

Brace yourself...

128 voices, 32MIDI channels, 32MB ROM sounds, 1200 presets, too many banks and multi/combos/etc to even count, realtime knobs to twist on the front that x-mit via MIDI, dead simple OS, extraordinary MIDI response (no discernable lag like MANY, MANY other boxes--cough--Roland JV2080--cough.. ahem), acoustic sounds that rival a lot of the sample CD ROMs available, pianos that sound GREAT (no lie, they're great), basses that thunder so violently that one MUST check gains before launching a bass line riff, too many drumkits to even count (40?), the very best of the Planet Phatt and Orbit ON BOARD, warm, rich, dark, fonky fidelity, multiple outs, great LFOs, oscillators and editing capabilities, and the list just goes on and on and on.

This is no exaggeration. When I first got the box I wrote 4 songs with the first setup I pulled up.. 4 songs. Since that time, I have wrote probably 22 songs with this box exclusively. I'm not attenpting to brag here, but my friends and cult followers (all three of them... heheheh) say my sound is as good or better than Wu, Puff, etc etc etc. No one can believe it all came from this box.... nor can I.

Acoustic, dance, hip-trip-skip-dip-lip and whip hop, Trance, Techno, Rave, jazz, country, rock.. I don't give a damn, it is up to the task.

Now, I haven't even begun to touch on the expansion possibilites. GEEZUS!! The ROMS are starting to show up And what's even more incredible is that EMU Ultra owners can program ROMs for this box. Do you REALIZE what that means? Has anyone really given this some dedicated thought????? Imagine if Roland had left the architecture open for JV development.. or if Korg had done it for the M1... or if-- you get my point, right?

Out of 5, this box is a frickin' 10. I won;t steer you wrong. And for $800 new?????? Are you frickin kiddin me???? I just bought a secomd one used for $500. Gotta love it. Whjat kind of daisy duke ass would sell this box?????? I have no idea.

Primarily I believe it is directed at the beat-driven/electronic crowd, but by no means should you write it off if you are into another genre. Trust me, go play one, it is up to the task. The new Piano ROM is frickin' off the hook.

EMU hit a homerun with this box and as others have said, their competition knows it.. and it must hurt. Wah!

Finally, my ONLY, ONLY, ONLY beef with this beautiful darling is the effects. WHAT in the name of sweet Jesus, Mary , and Joseph was EMU thinking? The effects are great, granted, but OH SO painfully limited. Had they made this puppy a 4 simultaneous effect box, it woudl have been a 15 out of 5.

Oh and one more complaint: why in the name of--- yeah-- didn't EMU give us the latitude to edit each drum sound individually???????? WHY OH WHY OH WHY?????? WHY>????????????????????????? One must sadly edit the ENTIRE KIT (yep, you heard me) to change the timbre of one drum sound in the kit... and for this reason, I still think the JV2080 is probably the better box.. and because of it's multiple effects.But that's just me.

If you want free reign to do whatever you please with each individual sample, you'll want a JV2080 with the hiphop card, techno card, Session card, etc etc etd etc. Because frankly, Roland has THE MOST intuitive editing parameters in the world when it comes to editing an individual sample. And the Roland PERFORMANCE mode is an absolute thing of beauty for multi tim. stuff. It can not be touched.. no way no how.

That's it. YOU make the call. If you just want a tool to crank out tunes one after the other, buy the Proteus 2K. If you want more control over those sounds, buy a 2080. OR, if you REALLY want to have the best of both worlds, buy the a frickin' XP80 (76 note keyboard with JV 1080/2080 engine)*AND* the P2K, and prepare to have at your disposal an arsenal of sounds and editing possibilities that even the most dashing of producers can fathom.

Now, I need to sleep. cuz my fingers hurt and I'm tired.

P2K- PHENOMENAL box. Congrats EMU, you've made a LOT of friends with this box.. and I'm ceratin you've made some frixkin' enemies too :))

Peace, ya'll


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-18-1999 at 05:30
Bruce S. a professional user from USA writes:

The Audity 2000 is more specialized than the Proteus 2000. First, it has sixteen arppegiators, one for each midi channel. Think about that for a few seconds. Sixteen very programmable arppegiators that can be tweaked with realtime controllers on the synth just like the Proteus.

You can do a lot of damage with this kind of setup. The question becomes if you want flexibility and tons of bread and butter samples (Proteus 2000) or if you want to do freaky stuff with a synth that has a interesting sample set and 12 pole filters rather than 6 pole like the P2k.

The sound set is more synth oriented, to some degree aimed at the dance crowd but still with plenty of room for programming and making interesting sounds. From what I can tell it's the same synth engine and effects processing, just less samples and a more stylized sample set (and an 8 or 16mb sample update, I don't remember exactly how big the update is.)

If they continue to have lackluster sales and the price comes down I'll be looking for one. This is a great machine if you want to explore. The Wavestation was a great synth but a sales dud. The K5000S was a great synth and an even bigger dud. The Audity does more with polyphony than either and it's still not selling. It doesn't conform well. Look for it to be a classic but make sure it's something you'll use. Check out the EMU web page, they have a couple of demos from the Audity, they'll give you a good idea of what this box can do.

Again, if you're looking for a great overall deal the Proteus 2000 is it. There's going to be a ton of samples available and plenty of space to add them. The new sound engine and filters are a vast improvement over earlier models and out of the box it's got a lot of sonic potential. Too many organ, piano and bass presets for my tastes but there's a lot of samples to work with.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-01-1999 at 05:56
Richard Downings a professional user from USA writes:
I agree with Malcolmf. The Proteus has a darker, warmer quality to it versus the lastest units available. This is actually a good thing. For now, I believe the Proteus 2000 and the Roland SC-880 are the best sound modules available. I own both, and though both are similar, it is like having an analog and a digital synth. The Proteus has wonderful acoustic instruments, great analog synth and electric bass sounds. The SC-880 shines in electric instrument emulations. While the Proteus has a great selection of drums sounds, the Roland drums are deeper and brighter overall. I perform solo live with midi and Cubase, and use the Proteus to emulate various Saxes, Flutes, Lead Piano lines, Trumpets, and the killer Organs it has. The SC-880 has a built-in computer interface (Proteus does not) and is used as the "Band". I was a little dissapointed in the construction quality of the Proteus, which is why I rate it a 4 out of 5. A lot of us are comparing the Proteus with Roland products. I think it is fair to do so as Roland's emulations are pretty good overall. The Proteus 2000 could be "King Of The Moudules" If the sampled sounds and output quality were at higher resolutions. To prove my point, A / B the Proteus' sounds with the same sounds in a TR Rack, SC-880, JV series, etc. The others cost more for a reason. For analog lovers, buy this and nothing else.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-30-1999 at 14:58
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