Emu Emulator II


The Emu’s Big boy. It was designed by Dave Rossum and released in the eighties.

I’m saying Big Boy mainly for its dimensions and weight. When you see one for first time, you may not believe how big and Heavyweight is, but it is. In the photos, it looks like much more smaller than this mammoth! 🙂

Then, you will be instantly in fall in love for its eighties retro aesthetical and that chick combination of blue and grey. It combines very well.

Emu Emulator 2

Its sound reminds highly to the SP1200, but it’s quite different.

First of all, this device works with 27 kHz and 8-bits, while the Sp1200 in 12-bit resolution and 26.04 kHz of sample rate.

Then, the filter parameters in the SP1200 are different in each of the six direct out (the two latest has not analog filter), but they are fixed and non-adjustable, wile in the Emulator II you can.

After that, the 1200 uses SSM2044 analog filters and the Emulator II works with SSM2045 (24 dB/oct analog 4-pole low pass resonant filter).

I think a good word to define its sound would be creamy. You can appreciate how those AD-DA converters and analog filters have modified the original sound in a nice way.


There are three versions of this model with a few:

Emulator II: with 512 Kbyte of sample memory and 17.6 seconds sample store as maximum. It included a single 5.25″ floppy drive and no hard disk.

Emulator II+: It’s the same but with 1024 Kbyte, so there is 35.2 seconds to store your samples.

Emulator II+ HD: The same model than the + version but with 20 MB hard disk in place of the second diskette drive.


This sampler has a keyboard with 61 keys with velocity & aftertouch. Personally, I don’t like so much the pulsation, but it’s okay. To comunicate with other devices, for doing this, it has MIDI, SMPTE and computer control.

You can control in real time parameters (Lfo’s, envelopes, filters…) with 4 faders, program some drum and sequences kits with its 8 bit sequencer, and then playing some arpeggios with its arpeggiator! (I really like it!)

So, you could make a track easily just with this sampler with great results, as I told you.

There are a lot o sample libraries on the internet, but my recommendation would be recording you yourself your own samples inside as well. It will be super fun and more satisfactory to you.




There are three ways to use this sampler:

-Recording samples through its AD-DA converters. In this case, the sound will be colored to the AD converter too and other things you were using (such as a mixer, other filters, etc). You will have to edit your sampler inside the Emulator.

-Through an old Mac Performer computer and the Sound Designer software. You can edit samples inside the Mac and transfer to the sampler. The sound will be much minus colored because in the chain

-With Awave Studio: with this software you can transfer samples to the EMU or vice-versa.  Remember that in this case, before to do the dump, you will have to have the samples in 27 kHz/8-bits.

The sequencer is really easy to use and where it stands out is  playing strings, bass sounds, and brasses, but mainly in strings.

A thing to consider is if you have, replace the original floppy drive for a floppy emulator, because

If you don’t have any problem of space in your studio, and you are a fan of bands such as Depeche Mode and that unforgettable sound, this is your sample!

By the way, Steve Wonder is the owner of the serial #001.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *