A SUPER-CUSTOM-Emu-Emulator-II-Rack!!

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Emulator II is a legendary sampler that has been used in countless albums and songs, including New Order’s “Elegia” and Depeche Mode’s “Somebody.” It’s a classic!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

T H A T   S O U N D

Released in 1984 as a successor to the Emulator I. The Emulator II featured expanded capability and a higher bit depth resolution; it became an instant classic. Since its release this big blue beast has featured on countless albums and songs, a few are:

  • New Order’s “Elegia”: most of the sounds
  • Depeche Mode’s “Somebody”: main melody
  • Genesis’s “Mama”: the distinctive drum
  • Tangerine Dream’s “Exit”: iconic choir

Unique for its integration of companding technology and its use of SSM2045 filters

The SSM2045 24 dB/oct analog four-pole low-pass resonant filter boasts a warm organic sound.  Which continues to inspire affection in sampler enthusiasts even today.

New original libraries are still being created nearly forty years later; an example is here:

JMPSynth offers free NEW library downloads!

Liquid stack

A-super-custom-E-mu-Emulator-ii-rack!! like the one pictured might be rarer than a white peacock. But it isn’t the only sampler that yields SSM2045 filter chips; albeit possessing a different timbre:

  • Sequential circuits Prophet 5 (Curtis)
  • Sequential circuits Prophet 600 (Curtis)
  • Oberheim OB-Xa (Curtis)
  • Ensoniq ESQ-1
  • Oberheim DPX-1

Named after Doug Curtis (1951-2007) the founder of Curtis Electromusic Specialties and OnChip Systems. The SSM2045 filter chip has a bright and clean sound. Whilst the SSM2045 of the EII and the ESQ-1 has a warm and smooth character. Visit for further details on their SSM2045!

Life after Eμ

E-MU eventually became a subsidiary of Cre∆tive Technology. Most famous for its SoundBlaster soundcards which were a household name in the 1990s gaming world. After a short series of soundcards bearing the E-MU brand trading of the name eventually ceased.

Dave Rossum the co-founder of E-MU Systems went on to find the company Rossum electro music. They design and manufacture modular synthesis components, with – if you look for it, a firm nod to its heritage.

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Overall, seems to be a reliable and useful source of information for anyone who is interested in sound libraries and sample packs. The website is put together well, with a clear layout and navigation, and a professional and knowledgeable tone. The website is informative, providing honest and comprehensive reviews of various products, as well as helpful resources for sound production.

Online review (October 2023)
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