“Sampled soundbanks don’t get much more classic than this.” –Computer Music Magazine
“There is old-school digital character on offer here in every one of the 534 instruments… brilliantly retro” – Future Music Magazine
“Rhythmic Robot strike again… it’s these sounds that made the 8–bit Emulator II the mid–’80s sampler we lusted after. The hits and chords still sound immense [and] it gets even better with a great selection of strings. Whether you’re writing ’80s retro tracks or you simply love the sounds of the Emulator II, these collections should prove invaluable.” – Sound on Sound Magazine
‘I’m a fan of this Rhythmic Robot outfit. Using their instruments is like discovering a lost tribe in the digital jungle… pure, but slightly uncivilized.’
– Stephen Hague, producer (Peter Gabriel, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams, Melanie C, New Order, etc.)
ANOTHER 500+ superb sounds from the biggest, bluest sampler of the 80s, brought to Kontakt with the blessing and collaboration of their original publisher, Doug Morton • Vintage EII companding convertors add punch, weight, grain and texture to the classic 8-bit sound • Every key of every patch sampled across the whole EII keyboard – no interpolation means you get the exact tonality of the Emulator II
The Emulator II UOS Library is available in two parts: Volume 1 and Volume 2. If you buy Volume 1, you can get Volume 2 half price. See here for details of this awesome offer!
Volume 2 of the Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds library follows on from Volume 1, adding well over 500 further instruments and expanding the sound palette of the first library hugely.
The emphasis this time is a little different from before, with a wide range of classic analogue and digital synths represented, while brass, string and orchestral sounds are characterised by smaller selections but greater fidelity, rather than the sheer breadth of sounds covered in Volume 1.
The standout patches (to our ears at least) come in the form of synths, keys and solo instruments, while there are some neat left-field choices as well (like Mellotron strings). The synths delve deep into analogue classics, but also take in the then-modern crop of mid-80s digital machines, so you get both DX-style glitter and D50-style movement along with more typical subtractive fare. This expanse of rich synth tones makes layering the patches very rewarding: blending together an orchestral patch with a synth patch nearly always leads to something special happening. A quick tweak of the envelope attack to join the two together and the results are magical – tons of 8-bit grit from the EII, tons of warmth and depth from the sources themselves. This is something we’ve taken advantage of to great effect in the Multis, which cherry-pick some cool starting tones and then go to town on them with everything the interface has to offer. We hope you’ll have a go, too!
Ethnic instruments also get a good showing, with a wide variety of folk patches (including some great harmonicas) as well as indigenous instruments from around the globe – perfect for those Peter Gabriel moments! And to underpin your tracks there are some truly weighty basses, both electric and synthesised, ready to make your speakers shudder. There’s something incredibly punchy and rock-solid about the EII’s bass response which makes these kinds of patches a joy to play.
As always, we’ve gone the extra mile with the sampling itself, and as well as sampling each patch chromatically and in obsessive detail, we’ve also taken care to multi-sample anything that draws on the EII’s filters, so you can be sure of getting the same velocity response on our patches as you would on the original hardware. Hit harder, and on the patches that support it, the filter opens up just like the real thing!
“Volume 2 is slightly smaller [than Volume 1] but still contains over 530 patches in the same categories. It fills in some of the gaps of the first, contributing improved piano sounds, gamelans, a generous dose of African percussion and yet more metal bashing. But for me its best entries are the eerie solo strings, wood flutes, a whole host of other strings (including Mellotron) and a superior selection of vocal samples. Were I forced to choose just a single volume, this one’s strings and choirs would probably give it the edge.” – Sound on Sound magazine review
The icing on the cake is the convolved Lexicon reverb, offering three plates, three rooms and three halls to choose from; period-correct reverb really helps to seat the sounds in a space of their own. Our personal favourites are Plate 3 and Room 2; though of course if you’d rather go dry, you can just hit the ‘Vintage’ button and all effects and modern tweaks will be disabled.
Recreating the Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds for Kontakt has been a real labour of love; here, with Volume 2, we bring you the fruits of six months of painstaking sampling, looping, tuning and editing. We think it’s well worth the wait, and we hope you do too!
Here are the actual statistics of the library, just for kicks:
- 37,238 individual samples
- 25Gb original 24-bit
- 16Gb uncompressed 16-bit
- 8.83Gb compressed .ncw format
- 534 individual instruments, consisting of…
- …21 Bass / 4 Bells & Chimes / 39 Brass / 48 Drums / 46 Ethnic & Folk / 3 FX / 22 Guitar / 47 Piano & Keys / 45 Orchestral / 73 Percussion / 25 Strings / 139 Synth / 22 Vocal
Click below to download a full patch list for both volumes of the EII library:
Emulator II UOS full patch list
Downloading and installing the Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds Kontakt library:
This is a big, big set of instruments. As such, we’ve split it into two parts. Step-by-step instructions on how to deal with them are included in the README file that comes along with the downloads. Please read it – it’s very important!
EII Universe of Sounds ships with a factory sound library of over 540 original EII patches, and also a collection of Kontakt Multis most of which were designed by our good friend Ed Ten Eyck. Ed does sound design for other synths too, so take a look at his brilliant patches here.
michael.topic (verified owner) –
Volume 1 was so good, getting Volume 2 was an absolute no brainer. My music productions are old school, in that I still like a lot of instruments and voices, along with the synths. These samples have just the right flavours to take the listener back to the 80s – a simpler time before the world was quite so intense. Pure escapism, in a good way.
Stefano (verified owner) –
Great volume! The synth section is wide and the sounds brings you right back in the mid of the 80s!!! The brass section is rich, and some harp glissandos are sublime.
Rafael Kasinski (verified owner) –
Like it’s predecessor, volume two of the E-Mu II library is pretty f**king cool. How cool? Imagine Luther Vandross telling you, Sugar & Spice, that you’re the one who brings better love. That’s the level of awesomeness brought to life in the second volume of this sampler’s library.
Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds: Vol 2 sounds exactly like you’d expect Rhythmic Robot’s (RR) products to sound like, which is to say rich, lush, genuine, and fun. In that dept., there’s really not much to add (which speaks volumes on RR’s professionalism). As for the built-in effects and whatnot (the LFO, filter, the verb, etc.), the quality is as good as the samples. Again, exactly what you’d expect from RR.
If you’re looking to use Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds: Vol 2 (or Vol 1, for that matter) to make oldschool-sounding music, all you have to do is get Kontakt going and find the patch or patches that suit you. If not, this library will require (by virtue of its sample’s age) some work. Nothing spectacular, but still, it’s work. The best thing to do is get some proper Kontakt multis going (I’d suggest starting with RR’s factory patches) to find a sound that is full, rich, modern-souding. Totally doable, but it’ll take some time. After that’s done, I’d layer the entire multi (or instance of Kontakt) with some modern synth such as Massive, Serum, Diva or Sylenth. Proper layering and signal processing should get you an oldschool sound that feels perfectly at ease in 2017. Even if you are NOT a fan of the eighties and nineties, the sounds in this library, coupled with a synth like Massive, can get you something absolutely out of the ordinary that sounds quite unique. Kinda like Luther’s voice.
The Professor (verified owner) –
See also this super review of the EII libraries from samplelibraryreview.com:
Rafael (verified owner) –
Absolutely impeccable. The sampling is stellar, of course, and makes everything sound alive, but there is much to be said for RR having taken the time to think through the GUI and make users’ experience that much more pleasant and entertaining. It is HIGHLY recommended that those considering the Emu libraries acquire both of them, batch re-save the lot, and get to know the sounds inside out. Another monster effort from RR, well worth every penny.
James (verified owner) –
Another huge library, complementing Vol 1 but certainly different – more sophisticated, greater sound quality (this is a result of improvements in the original between Vols 1 and 2 – the Rhythmic Robot sampling is impeccable and detailed in both volumes). This is an historic instrument, albeit seminal and in its day revolutionary. In the mid-’80s, this was state of the art and also mega-expensive – so far beyond my means in back then, but now available at a tiny cost compared to then.
Volume 2 adds depth and improved original samples compared to Vol 1, and comes with the same, simple interface making tweaking of the sounds extremely easy. These are sampled sounds from the 1980s, and you can’t expect them to sound as refined as modern instruments in isolation. But when you put these sounds in the mix, their true quality shines through. Layering sounds into multis also expands the possibilities here also endlessly. There is a huge variety of patches; for many of the sounds, particularly the ethnic instrumental sounds, there are few or no modern analogues available, making the library very useful for filling out your mix with unusual solo instruments.
Do use the built-in effects and also other insert effects you have to bring this excellent raw material to life – you’ll find yourself going back to the library time after time. Another exemplary library from Rhythmic Robot.