MATRIXSYNTH: E-mu xl-7 (proteus 2000) acting wavetableish

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

E-mu xl-7 (proteus 2000) acting wavetableish


Published on Jan 2, 2017 Mike Perkowitz

I thought this was pretty interesting as most PCM based synths do not allow you to modulate through oscillator waveshapes like on classic PPG & Waldorf wavetable synths. I reached out to Mike to find out exactly what was going on here. Here's what he had to say:

"It's crossfading through 8 different waveforms in succession. The e-mu doesn't let you modulate actual waveform selection, but you can assign 4 different waves to the 4 layers of a patch, and then set up a thing that lets you sweep through them, crossfading from one to the next (it's called realtime crossfade in the manual). in effect, it's a lot like one of the PPG wavetables where it interpolates from one wave to the next gradually. I have it set up so that one of the knobs is assigned to the crossfade position directly. I also have an LFO assigned to the crossfade position, with knob control over the rate and depth. I also have an AD envelope assigned to the crossfade, with knob control over attack, decay, and depth. Finally, I layered two of these patches, with the crossfades set up so that they cover the entire crossfade range with their combined 8 waves, and I chose some metallic, ppg-sounding waves for part of it. it took some meticulous programming, but now that I have a patch set up, it's fairly easy to try out different waves in the 8 positions and to play with different modulators."

I own a Morpheus myself and was curious if this was possible on it. I know, I know, I should know this owning one, and being mr. matrix and all, but I never got around to it. Mike, however, did know, and had the following to say:

"Aside from the filters, the Morpheus is a lot less sophisticated. You can't do this kind of stuff with a Morpheus -- it only has two layers per patch, and it doesn't have a whole lot in the way of interesting modulation, aside from the function generators. http://blog.perkowitz.net/2015/07/06/the-e-mu-morpheus-review-20-years-later/

The proteus-2000 synths are really, really deep, with a very good collection of waves for making synth sounds (especially if you get the XL-1 rom; I'm guessing the vintage rom is great too). The editing is not great, in various ways, and the very important edit knobs don't seem to hold up well, but it can do a lot if you put in the time."

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