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E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:21 am
by Jexus
'Ve read a couple of texts on the Web but still want to ask here;

What kind of gear is this, what does it sound like, is it worth 500$ ?

How does it look compared to the other colorful plastic EMUs I also have no idea about?

When I think of these EMUs, Ensoniq Fizmo also gets in my mind.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:08 pm
by Arddhu
Well this bloke gets some interesting noises out of the XL-1. Which is basically the XK6 in a box.

I used to own the XL7 which was the same thing in a groovebox with more knobs. It's basically works like a VA but with heaps of ROM samples for the oscillators. Fair few modulation options, filters etc.
Was quite fun, just I couldn't stand the rubber pads on the XL7. A problem you wouldn't get with the XK6. :)

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:04 am
by dhollmusik
Jexus wrote:'Ve read a couple of texts on the Web but still want to ask here;

What kind of gear is this, what does it sound like, is it worth 500$ ?

How does it look compared to the other colorful plastic EMUs I also have no idea about?

When I think of these EMUs, Ensoniq Fizmo also gets in my mind.
I've just got one, there's hardly any mention of it on the tinterwebs. Here's my first patch:

Moar to come.

By the way I enjoy your demos, Jexus...itching to hear what you do with the Andromeda!

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:36 am
by balma
Jexus wrote:'Ve read a couple of texts on the Web but still want to ask here;

What kind of gear is this, what does it sound like, is it worth 500$ ?

How does it look compared to the other colorful plastic EMUs I also have no idea about?

When I think of these EMUs, Ensoniq Fizmo also gets in my mind.

It does not worth $500. They have the command station/proteus 2500 O.S, but they do not have the cool sequencer, and the polyphony was reduced from 128 to 64. This sucks when using the Z Plane filters (there are 50 different filters to choose from) since some of them are 12 order, and consume a lot of polyphony.

Besides, they are not robust at all. They are half plastic, half metallic, and the keyboard, wich is semi hammer weighted, is too heavy for the frame. Assembled in China, really c**p case.

Actually, is fun you said that they recalls you the FIZMO.

The command stations (YOU should own one) can produce stuff very similar to the FIZMO using the modulation matrix. Even one of the ROMS, the Q ROM, comes with several of the Fizmo transwaves sampled. A small part of the Fizmo lives inside them.

Now the command stations / Proteus 2500, are truly amazing and versatile devices, able to produce a vast diversity of sounds thanks to their great modulation matrix. The mod matrix has around 70 sources and 70 destinations (including LAG processors to smooth, emphatize, merge, reverse or retard signals, pink, white noise and random generators) 36 patch cords can be programmed to your willing, and assigned to midi controllers to tweak them.

I´m preparing a vast review (with sounds included) about the EMU command stations. I own three of these machines, one of them since 2003, and I´m just in love with them. :giveheart:

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:32 pm
by balma

The Proteus series (XK6, PK7, 2000, 2500, command stations) are in some way understimated maybe for the prejuices over rompler synthesis. wich are not considered by many as "serious synths". Maybe good to emulate real instruments, or as workstations, or as a beginner´s synth.

The truth is that their engine provides really interesting possibilities for creating an enormous variety of sounds, and take you very far away when creating sound. Suitable for a lot of musical styles thanks to the flexible modulation matrix section. In my humble opinion, is the synth that captured my attention during the last years, since I feel I can never get enough from it.

There are 50 types of filters, some of them produce really weird effects. Z-plane filters, wich produce variations over time. There are special filters for emulating vocalizations, drones, and several dedicated to basses.

The arppegiator is fantastic. The sequencer allows to play more than 16 arps at the same time, and transmit other 16 to external gear. You can program 100 user arpeggios, very programmable and interactive with the sounds. Each ROM comes with 200-300 different arps. Also, there´s a second arp section named as Master Arppegiator. Each patch can have its own Arpeggio, and with a knob, you can transit from the patch arpeggio to the master one.

And there´s a third arppegio section, wich is a hybrid between a pattern and a regular arp. named as "BEATS section", some of them have 16 tracks, wich can be triggered individually or per groups. Knobs can control bridge and a lot of different variations. Each ROM has 600-700 different beat sequences.

the keyboard versions does not have sequencer. The Proteus and the command stations have a 32 channels, 300.000 notes sequencing section, very flexible, and you can edit almost everything on the fly. You can compress 16 tracks into a single multi track. A whole song can be stored on a single pattern. There are 1024 locations for creating patterns, and you can remix the tracks of them on realtime, recalling any track to the current playing pattern. Functions are very fast, and accessible on realtime. Knobs can switch function, to control patchcords, parameters, external sysex, input notes, velocity, gatetime or pan, each knob acts as a track trigger. This can be performed on realtime.
16 buttons can be used to mute/unmute tracks, to trigger tracks from other patterns, to bring tracks from the BEATs section, or to create pattern maps.
Resolution of the sequencer is 384, and there´s a repeat button wich allows to input duplets, triples, and weird time effects wich are immediately stored in the pattern you are playing. Maximun length of each pattern is 32. But the length can be changed from 1 to 32 while the pattern is playing. Also, you can loop into small sections inside a pattern.

Each patch can layer 4 different samples from the ROMs, and modulate them by separated. Each layer has its own chorus effect.

6 stages ADSR Envelopes are available for each layer, and almost any parameter can be modulated by them. Envelopes can be looped, and each stage can be sync with the MIDI clock.
The MIDI clock values for the ADSR envelopes go from 1/64 to 8/1. Maximum lenght of a Envelope can be set to even 48 measures. If the global tempo of the patch is set to the half, a envelope can transit along 96 measures and then loop again.

Two LFOS are provided for each layer, with 17 different types of waves. Startpoint of each LFO can be delayed, freerun or clock sync and there is a kind of random parameter named as Variation, wich is different for each layer.
A two parameter chorus is present inside the patch edition, and is individual for each layer.

There are 24 preset patchcords for each one of the layers, plus 12 global patchcords wich affect all the layers.
In total each preset contains 108 patchcords to work with.

Each layer, can be routed by separated to the effects section, and also, sent through the individual Outputs A & B individually.

Also, the start of each layer, can be delayed, freerun or sync with the MIDI clock.

The global tempo of each patch, can be reduced to the half, or duplicated 2X.

Finally, there´s a link section, wich allows to add two patches (either user or ROM presets). So 8 additional samples can be layered.

The preset patchcords is a vast and complicated section located available on patch edition mode.

Around 70 sources can modulate/control a similar amount of destinations within a range of -100 to +100
On the possible destinations, you can find most of the patch edition parameters and any other preset patchcord that has been programmed.

So destinations are not limited to the available ones, but also, the patchcords that you created. If you are modulating the filter with a LFO, you can tweak this patchcord, with a knob, or with another patchcord.

Also, if you are modulating a paramater with a knob, the knob itself becomes part of a patchcord, so they can also be considered as destinations.

One patchcord, can modulate another patchcord, so it´s possible to design complex chains of patchcords interacting between them with interesting results.

Lag processors can be placed between a source and a destination, increasing, atenuating, reversing
filtering negative or positive values, smoothing, quantizing or emphatizing the signal sent to the destination.
Also, there is a lag processor that can connect the 24 internal patchcords to the global 12 preset patchcords.

Using this method, you can modulate the gate/velocity of the notes of an arpeggio with the LFO or the ADSR envelopes, and modulate

The parameters of the sequences activated by the BEATS function.

Clock modulators are tempo sync sources, wich can be used to create user LFOs. they go from 8/1 to 1/16, and can be chained to create synchronized variations on the destination they are modulating.

The amount of possible patchcords combinations is vast. A LFO can modulate the presence of any ADSR envelope when it´s affecting parameter, and viceversa.

A LFO can modulate the presence of another LFO, or retrigger it when its LFO curve is on a high or low peak, also, LFO rates can be modulated between them. Noise and pink effect, can be sent to the LFOs, filter, amp, pitch, or even the chorus. Also ADSR envelopes can be used to modulate the chorus.

Effect amounts for each one of the layers, can be controlled by separated by the knobs.

A ADSR envelope´s time flowing can be shrinked or expanded by LFO 1 or 2. Also you can interconnect the ADSRs to interact between them. And control as many parameters you can imagine, at the same time

Several sources can be merged into a single signal, if you send them together through a Lag processor. For example, noise and LFO can be merged and then, sent to the filter.

Random parameters are available on several sections of the edition mode. Each LFO has a random effect (there are 2 LFOS, and 4 layers, so 8 random sources wich work independ from each other) pink and white noise, a random generator for crossfading between layers, and keyrandom 1, keyrandom 2, wich generate different values for each key.

Patchcords, can be modulated with the knobs. Each knob, can modulate X amount of patchcords, there´s no limit for the amount of modulations a MIDI controller can affect at the same time. The amount of presence of each patchcord, determined by a knob, is individual for each one of the layers.

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:44 am
by GuyaGuy
^ Now there's a response--even if it is 3 years after the OP!

I have the elusive EMU Vintage Keys keyboard. And you're right: I wouldn't trust this at rowdy bar gigs. (Not that I do those, but you know...) The neat thing is that you can expand them if you find the ROM cards. Mine came with Protozoa (Proteus 1-3) and the Orchestra card.

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:39 pm
by plikestechno
I had a Vintage one for a bit. The keyboards are of a truly terrible build. You're much better off just buying a XL-1 and using any of your other keyboards as a master.

The command stations are neat but not worth having unless you're looking for a command station/MPC type thing. They're very awkward in studio space unless they're a prominent part. I may have kept mine if I could have found rack ears but they're completely impossible to find and everyone is looking for them.

All that said, even my XL-1 is up for sale right now. I have some other ROMplers I use more and want some dough for other things.

Re: E-MU XK-6 ::: have u ever pwned one ?

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:36 am
by slippast
balma wrote:More...
Wow, excellent post. So I have a PX7 that I've been considering sending to ebay. I've tried to love it but I'm really having trouble. I've only owned it for a few months and have plowed through about half of the extensive manual. Perhaps I need to look at it more like a synth and play it with keys. The pads sort of drive me nuts for creating synthesized sounds, my hand just wants a keyboard; I'll try that and see if it helps.

It seems capable of so much but, like so much 90s gear, it might be overkill. Maybe I'm not patient enough. Your post convinced me to take another look and dig a little deeper for sure.