Fast Nerd ⏩Facts

Sampler system libraries are a fascinating area of research, especially the early releases like Fairlight CMI or PPG Wave. Check out Fast Nerd ⏩Facts for more!

In today’s money to purchase the complete Emulator II Factory library would cost $8,638.21!!

Sampler system libraries are for many a fascinating area for research. Especially when considering the early releases like the Fairlight CMI or the PPG Wave. Perhaps it is the tactile nature of physical storage media, the ability to hold literally each sound in your hand, the clicks and whirrs of the drive as it reads the data. This is aside from the preservation value that they present, where they can be physically catalogued and safely stored.

Image shows an Emulator II sampler diskette from the article: A-super-custom-E-mu-Emulator-ii-rack!! courtesy of

The original drives for the Emulator II were manufactured by a firm called Shugart. In fact, it might be hard to believe today with our use of thumb drives and cloud. But in its heyday Shugart were shipping up to four thousand of these drives per day!

Released in September 1976 the original SA-400 mini floppy drive – to distinguish it from the 8″ floppy disks had a typical loading time in the Emulator II of approximately 21 seconds. That is from “off” status to sample load and play.

Xerox went on to acquire the Shugart Corperation in 1978 for $41 million!

You can find a growing list of articles and entries under Fast Nerd ⏩Facts. For example, in the article The Art of Discovery we take a look at the mail order option for the EII library that existed back in 1984, we balance the cost of its completion against the average wage of the day. Something else? How about the origin and innovation that accompanied the theme tune to Doctor Who?

Also, under Fast Nerd ⏩ Facts you can read about the work of the University of the Arts London and their digital archiving mission.

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