The Emulator II project: a little glimpse of the future…

Some really exciting developments on the Emulator II front! We mentioned a while ago that we were intending to create a really comprehensive library of classic EII sounds; something that covered all those go-to patches of 80s music, plus orchestral patches, synths, drums, percussion… the works. Think Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby, Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis…

The thing is, most of the stand-out tracks you remember used sounds that weren’t part of the factory pack. The most revered add-on library for the EII was OMI’s Universe Of Sounds, which came in two massive volumes covering hundreds of 5-inch floppy disks. These were the hit-making wonderpatches that defined an era, and without them, any attempt to recreate the EII’s glory days is going to look – well, a little pale.

Well. We have some cool news.

OMI EII Kontakt Instrument front

We’ve been in touch with the very nice Doug Morton, of Q-Up Arts. Doug sampled and programmed the OMI library in the 80s, and owns the rights to all the sounds; and we’ve struck a deal allowing us to co-develop the Kontakt version of the official Universe of Sounds collection. This means we have access to every single one of those amazing patches… and we’re working through the night to convert them all into Kontakt form.

This means sampling every original patch, note by note, out of a reconditioned and warmly-humming Emulator II. Every single semitone is being sampled, to perfectly preserve the sound of the EII’s convertors and interpolation. Original loop points are being conserved. The results are indistinguishable from the original, and sound exactly as wonderful as you’d hope: huge, powerful, rich sounds, with that magical EII aura that comes from 8-bit sampling and 12-bit companded convertors.

OMI EII Kontakt Instrument rear

Clever UI scripting extends the EII’s original capabilities, but also allows you to revert to ‘vintage compliant’ EII behaviour just by clicking the Vintage button on the front panel. This disables all the modern effects, stereophony and filters, and gives you the true original sound of the EII patch. Or you can push things into sound design territory if you want.

This project is very much a labour of love, entailing a huge amount of sampling. The end result will be a multi-gigabyte library with hundreds of original EII Universe of Sounds patches, plus still more Kontakt variants and multis. Expect a price tag that reflects this sonic treasure-trove: it’ll be expensive by our standards (but still cheaper than some EII-inspired instruments out there that don’t have access to these original sounds 😉 )

Let us know your thoughts. Timing’s not quite clear yet – we’re still working – but we hope this’ll be out by the Summer.

30 Replies to “The Emulator II project: a little glimpse of the future…

  1. Very cool collection. I had the OMI CDS3 Drive for E-mu Samplers hooked up with the Oberheim DPX-1 in the 80’s and used sounds from all 3 CD’s in my studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. A lot of danish productions have these great sounds on them 🙂

    Thank for the reunion!

  2. I bet the “save ferris” button triggers the old “o-h-h y-e-a-h” thing that was so popular in old 80’s movies soundtracks. Done on an emulator by the way. Wasn’t it so cool that Ferris had an $8000 emulator in his bedroom? Along with My (yes it was mine) $5000 Gretsch White Falcon Guitar sitting next to the emu! Hope there’s a giveaway for Vol 1. I’ll enter right away 🙂

  3. Hi Professor!

    I just bought from you at the OMI Universe Of Sound Vol 1 Kontakt library, and I can not extract the files.
    The files are downloaded successfully, and the Stuffit Expander program (Windows 8)
    I opened Stufflt Expander program and copy the first RAR file as described, but nothing happens.
    I tried to unpack WinRAR , but with no success.
    Please help!

    1. Hi Zoltan,
      Stuffit for Windows doesn’t seem to like the partitioned file. Please try again using 7-Zip for Windows – the instructions on the product page have been tweaked to refer to this decompression utility instead of Stuffit, so if you reload the product page, you should be able to see a link to 7-Zip and nice clear step-by-step instructions too 🙂

      Let us know how you get on, and just shout if you need further help.

  4. Hi Professor!

    I would like to ask the OMI Universe Of Sounds V1 will be $ 129.99 in the Rhytmicrobot website? Doug Morton website 129.99$ pre-order.

  5. There will be EII factory preset sounds?
    There are a few favorite voice: THX1138, Synth Hits, Synth Stack VS Trio, Sitar Tambora etc.

    1. This library is the OMI Universe of Sounds collection, not the EII factory library (which was produced by Emu). But a lot of “the” sounds that you remember from 80s hits actually came from this. I’ve put a full patch listing up on the KVR forum post here:

      …so take a look and see what grabs you 🙂

    1. The product isn’t available yet 🙂
      That’s Doug’s website. He’ll be selling the product as well as us, and he’s put it up for pre-order (if you look closely you’ll see it says “available for pre-order”). When we launch it, we’ll also be offering a discount off the RRP, so you won’t miss out on a cent by waiting 🙂

  6. Really looking forward to this! I used to work with the E2 many many years ago and still remember those great sounds!

  7. PLZ hurry 🙂 I can assure you your Scandinavian customer base is growing by at least one guy when this arrives 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  8. All Kontakt instruments should take note….THIS will be how you are supposed to sample!! Can’t wait for this to come out… Especially the FX version!

      1. Probably to get some sick sounds out of it if you have a day off. 😉

        I’m really looking forward to this E-II emulation!

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