MATRIXSYNTH: E-mu Proteus 2: Does it Hold Up? (1.1 Flute)

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

E-mu Proteus 2: Does it Hold Up? (1.1 Flute)

Published on Apr 2, 2019 Kris Lennox

"Released (almost) 30 years ago, the Proteus 2 was quite the powerhouse of its time. Many know it as 'The X-Files Module', due to Fulterman's use of one of the presets as the 'whistling' instrument from the X-Files theme.

I'm going to do a set taking a look at each orchestral sound/instrument. Good fun as a mini-project - and also serves as a good illustration of the module.

Two videos for flute: this one, plus a slower work (which will be the next video in this set).

RE the flute sound: personally, I'd say for 'standard' flute in a mix, it more than suffices (from a compositional/recording point of view, having sounds such as this is far more efficient than trying to build an appropriate sound on a synth). Granted, we're never going to get Cassandra's Dream Song from the flute sound herein, but again, for its time, I feel the flute tone holds up well. Personally, when I ran the flute through a little reverb, I was surprised at just how well it sounded. By all means share your own thoughts in the comments.

Alesis Micron as controller. I'm also running the Proteus through a small reverb unit (Nanoverb). Aside from the reverb, the sound is of the module.

Music = Bach's 'Badinerie' from BWV 1067. Very popular piece, many recordings available. This allows for a good comparative analysis. I'm performing in the manner of a flute performance (i.e small gaps as breathing points etc) - this gives slightly more authenticity to the sound.

PS this is just a quick sight-read through the score. If giving an 'actual' performance, I'd play through it a couple more times to work on interpretation - but I trust the performance will suffice for the purpose of the video.

As a blind test, would the sound pass as flute?! Worth trying with a friend.

All best


The percussion in the attack is a bit much compared to a real flute. Once you focus on it, it's difficult for it to not take over.

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