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The E-Synth By E-mu
The Best Of All Worlds!

   If you were in New York for the AES Show, chances are good that you were among the thousands of attendees who saw and heard a stunning demo of the new E-Synth 64-Voice Keyboard from E-mu Systems ($3995 list). Essentially, E-Synth is an E4 class sampler combined with E-mu's amazing new DMS technology — that stands for Digital Modular Synthesis, by the way — all in a 76-key, semi-weighted keyboard that offers impressive expansion capabilities, tons of high quality sounds and a wide array of real time controllers. For those of you with keyboard controllers to spare, E-Synth also comes in a compact rackmount version ($3595 list).

   At the heart of this instrument is the afforementioned Digital Modular System which provides users with 64 digital six-pole filters, 32-voice layering and

E-mu's E-Synth Synth, sampler and music workstation all in one killer package
E-mu's E-Synth Synth, sampler and music workstation all in one killer package

128-voice velocity switching, plus easy-to-use (and understand) virtual patch-cord architecture. And with 16 MB of ROM-based sounds built-in (expandable to 32 MB), you've got a great starting point for any synthesis functions. Sounds pretty interesting so far, right? But it gets even better when you realize that E-Synth also has all the sampling power and flexibility of the entire E4 sampler line. E-Synth even ships with four megs of RAM (expandable to 64 megs), a standard SCSI interface (for connecting to CD-ROM drives or external disk drives, etc.) plus two CD-ROMs jam packed with over 400 megabytes of killer sounds. A full set of DSP tools let you quickly and easily personalize any of these sounds. Of course, stereo sampling is fully supported, and you can combine your own sounds with the onboard sounds, then resample the results to make brand new sounds that are uniquely yours. E-Synth even comes equipped with a PC or Mac-based preset editor by Emagic — a really nice touch — so samples can be edited right on your computer.

   If that were all, E-Synth would already be a great value, but there's more: See E-Synth also provides a user-friendly (yet immensely powerful) 48-track, linear-based sequencer with loop-record features. It also sports cut, copy and paste functions plus quantize with swing and input quantize, track sort and a very neat graphical interface. E-Synth can also play back MIDI Type 0 or Type 1 files. What's more, the E-Synth keyboard version is also a versatile MIDI controller. Each of the instrument's 1,256 RAM presets (yes, 1,256!) can be split into endless MIDI zones, each with its own key and velocity range. Plus, each preset can send a program change, volume or pan command on all 16 MIDI channels to other MIDI devices. Along with its preset controller features (four performance realtime sliders, Thumby button, pitch and mod wheel, programmable foot switches, etc.), E-Synth also offers you a nifty built-in arpeggiator and instant split/layering capabilities.

   Sean Wilhelmsen, a product manager at E-mu Systems states: "Because there are so many automated tasks and loads of ingenious synthesis tools, E-Synth is limited only by your imagination. It provides the complete package: synthesizer, sampler, workstation." Sean, as it turns out, is obviously a master of understatement. Hey, E-mu has a 25 year history of building cutting edge products at prices musicians can actually afford. Building on that tradition, the company has made E-Synth completely expandable and upgradable with such useful features as 128-note polyphony, 8 and 16 MB flash memory and 8 to 16 balanced outs (rack only). Did we mention audio specs that include 20Hz 20kHz frequency response and a signal-to-quiescent noise ratio of 107dB (that's impressive)?

   By now, you should be imagining all the incredibly creative things you could do with an E-Synth of your own. If you're not, maybe you'd better call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for the full rundown on this amazing new instrument's complete capabilities and your special (and exceptionally affordable) Sweetwater pricing. If that still doesn't do it, well, you might want to check and make sure you still have a pulse…

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