Wow... EML!

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otto
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Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:30 am

So, I got my first EML synth. Wasn't totally sure what to expect. I know they are supposed to sound kinda weird experimental labish, whatever. I'm actually kinda blown away at how different this synth is. It just responds and sounds so different to any other synth I've had. I feel like I discovered synths for the first time again. It does have a very raw primitive electronic sound. It reminds me a lot of Raymond Scott's electronic music as well as the early BBC and soundtracks made using basic oscillators and tape. Real f**k cool!
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by RobotHeroes » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:35 am

Which one did you get? A 101?
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:23 am

It's a 500
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by adhmzaiusz » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:10 am

Yeah'

EML got a very awesome sound, love the multimode filter in them
‹‡›

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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:53 am

When are we going to start that Pere Ubu cover band?
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by code green » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:08 am

cool--congrats! have fun and post samples soon!

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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:14 pm

tallowwaters wrote:When are we going to start that Pere Ubu cover band?
I used to own modern dance or whatever it was called but I have to confess I barely remember what Pere Ubu sound like. If I remember correctly Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys were previously part of the same band that split… or something like that?
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:47 pm

Yeah I need to get my computer set back up so I can record again.

I can see that the EML sound wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It tends to lead you down the path of sound exploration that leads to the creation of robot beeps and bloops, deep space drones and 50’s-60’s B-movie soundtracks more-so than creating a fat moogy bass line. The more “straight forward” bass and lead sounds tend to sound like something off of a childs science program from the 70’s.

It probably wouldn’t be most people’s primary mono but if you’re are looking for something that truly sounds different, but oozing with vintage vibe, this is it. It has 3 ¼” outputs “hi,low,headphones” it also has an external input through a preamp into the mixer that can be run through the multimode filter and VCA. Like a minimoog, you can route the outputs back to the input. Routing the hi output to the input does some amazing stuff.
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by Scories » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:59 pm

Interesting. That must be my type of sound! ;)
Are they hard to find?

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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:29 pm

It looks like there were 2 variations of the EML 500. I have an early model. The later model added a couple features including oscillator sync which would be nice. The other feature I haven’t deduced yet but they have 2 additional switches, one for the sync located under the oscillator section and another switch under the filters. I’d love to be able to add the extra features but information and documentation on EML synths in general is quite rare, so I’ll probably leave it as is. I’ve read they only released 300 or so of the 500 models so I probably shouldn’t be moding it if it is indeed that rare.

The 500 appears to be similar to the 401. The obvious differences are the 401 has more patch-points and is more “modular” whereas the 500 is a built in keyboard model similar to an Arp Odyssey. While not semi-modular the 500 seems to have some significant advantages over the 401 such as ADSD envelope control as opposed to AR, a noise source and S&H (which is amazing). The 401 appears to be a scaled-down 500 that is patched out to be used with the 401 sequencer (would love to have one of those for my 500)…

Here are a couple pictures I found showing the 2 different versions:

The first picture is the early version you’ll notice it has 2 less switches than… Image

… the later version
Image

Somehow these look smaller in pictures than they actually are. I could almost fit my Virus Polar inside of the EML.
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:46 pm

wow... funky. The LFO waveshape selector method is wacky-don't think I've ever seen that many waveshapes! reminds me a little of the Cat (the "bender" slider at least)-I guess that and the 500 were both following ARP's design. Weird that it only has one envelope... but having that multimode filter should make up for it!
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by otto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:14 pm

Sir Ruff wrote: reminds me a little of the Cat (the "bender" slider at least)-I guess that and the 500 were both following ARP's design.
Sort-of. The Cat was obviously very influenced by the Odyssey, inside and out. EML realized that the Odyssey and Minimoog were very popular and wanted a piece of it, so they put their own internal designs in a package similar to those synths. The internals designs of the EML stuff is much different, they took a totally different component/design path. The Arp is more similar to moogs than the EML is to either. The envelope style might be borrowed or inspired by the Minimoog. I guess what I was trying to say in the first post is that the behavior and sound of the synth is so different compared to the other synths that EML stuff is truly unique as opposed to a variation on the same theme.
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by Micke » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Congrat's on the EML 500, Otto

I always think of Devo when someone mention this synth. They're just about the only famous band I can think
of at the moment that used to use this synth live and in the studio.

Image

Here's a brief excerpt from an interview with Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Casale that was published
in the Aug 1981 issue of Keyboard magazine:

How do you feel about the EML?
Mothersbaugh: That turned out to be a valuable synthesizer, I bought it about three-and-a half years ago.
Pere Ubu uses a bigger EML, a patchable one. But it's almost impossible to get this keyboard to scale, so we
couldn't use it for anything until we found that it makes the best mortar bomb explosions and V-2 rocket
sounds*. It's got a great filter, and the envelopes are great too.


How did you do the whip crack sound in "Whip It" (from Freedom Of Choice)?
Mothersbaugh: That was on the EML. We had to mess around to get it.

* these two sounds can be heard on "Race Of Doom" and "Through Being Cool" respectively.
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:42 pm

otto wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:When are we going to start that Pere Ubu cover band?
I used to own modern dance or whatever it was called but I have to confess I barely remember what Pere Ubu sound like. If I remember correctly Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys were previously part of the same band that split… or something like that?
Eh, f**k Rocket from the Tombs.

Pere Ubu's Terminal Towers is one of my favorite albums.
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Re: Wow... EML!

Post by space6oy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:48 pm

otto wrote:So, I got my first EML synth. Wasn't totally sure what to expect. I know they are supposed to sound kinda weird experimental labish, whatever. I'm actually kinda blown away at how different this synth is. It just responds and sounds so different to any other synth I've had. I feel like I discovered synths for the first time again. It does have a very raw primitive electronic sound. It reminds me a lot of Raymond Scott's electronic music as well as the early BBC and soundtracks made using basic oscillators and tape. Real f**k cool!
nice. where'd you find it?

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