|Emulator IV : Overview
Power Rack The Emulator IV “Professional Digital Sampling System” was a major step forward in the Emulator story, and a return to form for E-mu Systems. It was announced at the 1994 San Francisco AES Convention, and it shipped in December 1994. The EIV featured 128 voice polyphony and up to 128 MB of sample memory. The hardware was based on E-mu’s latest generation very large scale integration (VLSI) technology, including 128 6th order digital resonant filters, complete compatibility with Emulator IIIx, Emax II and Akai S1000/1100 sound libraries, re-sampling capabilities, load while play function, audition from disk, and graphic wave form editing on a new icon-based 240 x 64 LCD.
Expansion The Emulator IV offered expandability through expansion ports designed to accept a variety of optional upgrade cards available from Emu. The initial EIV was launched with 8 MB of RAM at a retail price in the US of $5,995.
Memory The Emulator IV accommodates up to 128 MB of sample memory via factory or user-installable RAM SIMM’s. A new innovation was the implementation of up to 32 MB of Flash RAM as an option. A non-volatile and writable memory type, Flash RAM allows instant access to samples at power on – this feature is particularly useful for live use. The Flash RAM is expensive though, and the total combined memory size can not exceed 128 MB in the early models.
Reviews The EIV immediately got rave reviews for its advanced features and high quality sound, even though it was a high end sampler.
Baby E64 A smaller and cheaper version of the EIV was introduced to provide a medium cost sampler. The E64 can only expand up to 64MB of RAM and it is limited initially to 64 voices. It also has no expansion slots , unless they are fitted as a factory upgrade.
Keyboard Version A 6 octave keyboard version of the
Emulator IV (the E4K) was announced at Winter NAMM
1996. This was available in either 64 or 128 voices.
Ultra series The Emulator 4 Ultra line of samplers featured updated hardware built around a new Motorola Coldfire processor. EOS was updated, but now came in two versions – Ultra (for the new hardware) and “Classic” (for the older E4 hardware variants). Other hardware changes included moving to internal IDE drives (previous E4’s featured SCSI only), and support for the new RFX-32 FX/mixer card (which started shipping in 2000). The E5000 was a cost-reduced version limited to 64 voices, while the e6400 Ultra was fully upgradable to a full 128 voices. The E4 Platinum was the flagship of E-MU’s Ultra sampler line – basically an E4XT Ultra with almost every option available, RFX-32.