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EMU Command Station
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author EMU Command Station
windspirit
Just got an old EMU command station. I really like the sound of an old EMU proteus my friend lent me but I wasn't really digging the interface, saw this for sale at a good price locally and snagged it. Aside from a couple of videos on youtube I don't see much out there about this synth, was surprised not to see a thread about it.

Anyone else here have one of these badboys? Despite being a bit clunky and limited it is clearly a very powerful device. Im still wrapping my head around a few idiosyncrasies but the ROMs and the filters sound nice.

If anyone has some tips for this thing I would appreciate it.

Oh also I got the yellow one grin.



http://www.vintagesynth.com/emu/xl7.php
sutekina bipu-on
I actually have one of these in the mail, but the Mo Phatt one not the XL1 based one. Tell me what you can do with the USB on it if you mess with it?

Supposedly the unfinished 4.00 beta OS for the ASR X Pro which i have used was the basis of the Command Station OS. I think it should be very similar when I get it, but i have never used one.

I just sold my Mo Phatt module to get one of these for $200 so i will come back with ideas when i get it.

sound wise, those modules got super deep and had some of the best filters for their time and they don't sound at all dated today - unless youre just using presets.

This guy still uses the MP7 for all his production and his shit is all very good soundin. Crazy because most of his channel is workout vids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZEkjMGlW7w

oh and can it do 96k over spdif???
tIB
Never had one but was always tempted due to its billion arpegiators. Use them!
sackley
I had an mp-7 and added the xl-7 rom years ago. There was a very active yahoo group as I remember.
CF3
Super powerful. The only downside is the tiny screen. The synth engine is actually really good. Filters sound nice. Highly underrated. My partner in crime has had one since new and is a legit expert. I let him have my whole ROM collection to put in his Command Station (I really like that World Expedition rom). One of these days I'm gonna pick another one up. You can get them for crazy cheap.

EDIT: Editor for the Proteus series, including the Command Stations
http://prodatum.sourceforge.net
crawling wind
Some good info here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-elect ronic-music-production/942396-e-mu-command-station-xl-7-mp-7-pk-7-prot eus-2500-tutorials.html
GovernorSilver
windspirit wrote:


Oh also I got the yellow one grin.




Me too. The ROMs in mine are the default one (Xtreme Lead or something), Proteus Drums, Vintage Collection, and World Expedition.

There's something about the filter that's in a pad preset that I've been unable to recreate in VA synths; something beside the obvious (Z-plane filter vs. VA filter).

I've criminally underutilized mine, as there are a ridiculous number of LFOs, LFO types, mod sources and destinations, etc. And yeah ridiculous number of simultaneous arpeggios with generous number of steps in user-program mode.

Good FAQ here: http://tarekith.com/assets/CommandStationFAQv203.htm
GovernorSilver
crawling wind wrote:
Some good info here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-elect ronic-music-production/942396-e-mu-command-station-xl-7-mp-7-pk-7-prot eus-2500-tutorials.html


balma is the man. I keep finding his posts, forgetting to bookmark them, then losing them.

Thanks for posting!
RustyO
CF3 wrote:
Super powerful. The only downside is the tiny screen. The synth engine is actually really good. Filters sound nice. Highly underrated. My partner in crime has had one since new and is a legit expert. I let him have my whole ROM collection to put in his Command Station (I really like that World Expedition rom). One of these days I'm gonna pick another one up. You can get them for crazy cheap.


^^ Seconded.

I'm a bit of the fan of E-Mu; both their Samplers and their Romplers... I've got, um, lets see now...

An E-Synth Sampler, MP7 Command Station, 2x Orbit 3's and 14 Roms... ( 3x Beat Garden | MP-7 | Orchestral Session Vol. 2 | Pop Collection | 3x Techno Synth Construction Yard | Vintage Collection | 2x World Expedition | 2x X-Lead ) eek!

I used to have another pair of Proteus 2000's; but sold them off a year or so ago as it was starting to get silly...
Zon
I regret letting mine go. I really liked the pads and the sequencer was amazing. In the end i found them a bit too clunky and tedious to program.

If i find one for a good price i will probably pick one up again though, sequencing my ultra sampler with it was a blast.
mmp
These are my favorite ROMplers because of the filter. With all four slots loaded, they are a powerful tool.
abruzzi
It’s my core sequencer at the moment, and it’s a pretty capable sequencer for the way I work, though there are a few things it misses. The sound engine is, like all the various Proteus 2000 based modules, pretty darn nice. I have a PX-7 (the silver one) with both orchestral, world, and drum rom. I’m considering swapping the drum rom for something with some good synth waveforms like, the TSCY, beat garden, or maybe just the XL.

I have it in a little setup controlling a FS1R, Wavestation SR, Ensoniq MR rack, and Morpheus. And a Mopho X4 as the keyboard.
RustyO
abruzzi wrote:
I’m considering swapping the drum rom for something with some good synth waveforms like, the TSCY, beat garden, or maybe just the XL.


Protean Drums [9066] ? I might be interested in swapping for that.
windspirit
CF3 wrote:
One of these days I'm gonna pick another one up. You can get them for crazy cheap.


Most of the ROMs I see for sale are $150 +, how much are you seeing them for?

For me the most confusing thing that I am experiencing with this synth is that the quick edit menu doesn't appear to do what it is saying exactly. When I alter the filter knob, no matter the preset and no matter which filters I have selected, the knob seems to act as a high pass where turning the knob counter clockwise removes the low end and makes the sound very quiet. Not only that but returning the knob to fully CCW usually leaves the sound colored until I reload the preset. Anyone have any idea why this is happening?

Also I havent quite found an easy way to clear all of the data on a step. It would be great for live grid sequencing since you need to scroll through all of the notes to find ones that have been used and recording new notes using the keyboard simply overdubs the data that is already in the sequence.

Finally I am wondering if there is a way to do per-step glide?

Loving this thing, been reading through the gearslutz thread and man there is a ton of info in there.
CF3
windspirit wrote:
CF3 wrote:
One of these days I'm gonna pick another one up. You can get them for crazy cheap.


Most of the ROMs I see for sale are $150 +, how much are you seeing them for?


I meant the actual Command Stations. The ROMs are crazy overpriced to be honest. In some circumstances, you can actually get a whole Command Station for the price of a single ROM card... it's nuts.
Saw a XL-7 recently on my local Craigslist for $150!!!! eek!
On the flipside, I was looking for another World Expedition ROM to put in my E4XT Ultra...$269 on eBay cry Dead Banana
anselmi
CF3 wrote:
windspirit wrote:
CF3 wrote:
One of these days I'm gonna pick another one up. You can get them for crazy cheap.


Most of the ROMs I see for sale are $150 +, how much are you seeing them for?


I meant the actual Command Stations. The ROMs are crazy overpriced to be honest. In some circumstances, you can actually get a whole Command Station for the price of a single ROM card... it's nuts.
Saw a XL-7 recently on my local Craigslist for $150!!!! eek!
On the flipside, I was looking for another World Expedition ROM to put in my E4XT Ultra...$269 on eBay cry Dead Banana



some ROMs will cost you a kidney...some of them are highly in demand and hard to find, like the protozoa, the (ensoniq) ZR sounds and one from Rob Papen that I can't remember the name
CF3
anselmi wrote:
some ROMs will cost you a kidney...some of them are highly in demand and hard to find, like the protozoa, the (ensoniq) ZR sounds and one from Rob Papen that I can't remember the name


Most definitely. I've had the majority of them over the years. Never paid anywhere near what they're going for now. In fact, in some cases I would just buy the rack module and take out the ROM, but ppl caught onto that long ago and already robbed all ROMs out of the racks. Still can find a few here and there if you're lucky.

My favs are:
World Expedition (Planet Earth)
Vintage Pro
Ensoniq Project
TSCY (Rob Papen, Orbit v3)
Beat Garden (was in Orbit v3)
Protean Drums (PX-7)
Sounds of the ZR
Protozoa

The regular Xtreme Lead (XL-7) is pretty good too. Even the Mo Phatt (MP-7) one has really good drums and percussion. I'm just not gonna pay $250+ for a single ROM ($150 is the top end for me). I'd rather buy a Command Station already loaded or be patient. Plus I've got all the ROM data (raw samples and presets) saved on my Ultra sampler drive (doesn't include alot of the filter types you get in the Command Stations or the Arps, etc)
abruzzi
RustyO wrote:
abruzzi wrote:
I’m considering swapping the drum rom for something with some good synth waveforms like, the TSCY, beat garden, or maybe just the XL.


Protean Drums [9066] ? I might be interested in swapping for that.


I’m not sure I’d get rid of it. I have a Proteus 2000 that I’d probably throw it in. I might consider a swap for the TSCY though.

The ROMs prices on eBay and similar are generally absurd and are a few sellers that leave their ROMs listed for years, and other sellers matching prices. I’ve acquired all my ROMs by either waiting for more reasonable listings, or buying units with installed ROMs.

The cheapest are the Composer (Proteus 2000), XL1, and Mo Phatt, all of which frequently show up for $100-$150 because they were in the most common sold synths. At the other end are the two orbit ROMs—Beat Garden, Techno Synth Construction Yard—the Protean Drums, World, and Vintage Pro. They can occasionally be found for low $200s, but usually are higher.
justin3am
I had an XL-7 with Protean Drums and Beat Garden. Paid $220 at a pawn shop in 2008. I loved that thing. The encoder started acting up after a while and I ended up with an Octatrack. I kinda miss the flexibility of the sequencer now. I got some crazy shit out of that ugly fucker.
windspirit
windspirit wrote:
For me the most confusing thing that I am experiencing with this synth is that the quick edit menu doesn't appear to do what it is saying exactly. When I alter the filter knob, no matter the preset and no matter which filters I have selected, the knob seems to act as a high pass where turning the knob counter clockwise removes the low end and makes the sound very quiet. Not only that but returning the knob to fully CCW usually leaves the sound colored until I reload the preset. Anyone have any idea why this is happening?


If anyone has an answer for this I would appreciate it.
bonso
In no particular order:

    Obtuse.
    Powerful.
    Ugly as sin.
    abruzzi
    windspirit wrote:
    windspirit wrote:
    For me the most confusing thing that I am experiencing with this synth is that the quick edit menu doesn't appear to do what it is saying exactly. When I alter the filter knob, no matter the preset and no matter which filters I have selected, the knob seems to act as a high pass where turning the knob counter clockwise removes the low end and makes the sound very quiet. Not only that but returning the knob to fully CCW usually leaves the sound colored until I reload the preset. Anyone have any idea why this is happening?


    If anyone has an answer for this I would appreciate it.


    I don't know what specifically is happening in your case, but it is a misconception to see that grid of 16 as editing the preset. As I understand it, its like 16 MIDI CC knobs. Those CCs override the preset value, but don't change the underlying value in the preset. The command station has 50 possible filter types and different ones can be set for each layer. When turning the filter cutoff knob one layer may have a highpass and another layer have a lowpass or something else entirely. So as a result, the actual outcome of twisting the knobs may not be predictable unless you know how the preset is setup.

    From page 36 of the manual:

    "The labels (Filter Cutoff, Filter Q, Filter Attack, Filter Decay, etc.) printed on these rows show how the factory ROM presets are programmed to respond. (The controls may not exactly conform to the front panel labels depending on the preset.) You can change the way a preset responds to MIDI A-P messages from the Preset Edit menu (PatchCords). The knobs only generate a message when you move a knob to a new value. The current value jumps to the new value."
    windspirit
    Thanks for the response, I get that there are different filter types which is why it is confusing to me that on all of the factory presets this quick edit knob appears to behave the same way...
    SouvlakiPlaystation
    I had one of these for a while and regret selling it. You can get pretty deep with these if you want, and as others have said they're definitely underrated!
    WaveRider
    I had the orange one, I was in love with this thing until I realized that the timing sucks when playing a few busy sequences
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