E-MU XL-7
E-MU XL-7

Groove Machine by E-MUView website

Users' review: Average mark of 4.5/5 for 7 reviews

E-MU XL-7 : FP User's user review

10 (10/10)

Characteristics 9/10

The features are tremendous. 16 track sequencer suitable for live use, great sounds, very hands on tactile control. Every single knob and button can be assigned to your liking if desired. Almost every menu and editing feature is never more then 2 button presses away. The box features 2 midi outs, 4 audio outs as well as digital audio outs. There is only midi in however and the command station can only sequence 16 tracks at a time despite its 32 track capabilities. Effects are limited usually to the machine as a whole, but can be overcome with the use of the filters much of the time. It also features a usb plug, which only has limited functionality. I think it was added merely as an after thought by EMU

Price paid: 500 USD

Utilization 9/10

Initially the box is very intimidating. its quite heavey and well built, and the manual is well over 260 pages. more then 300 with the many addedums from OS updates. The manual is very easy to read, and once its read through opeation is a breeze. The command station was designed for live use, and succesds at it. Features are merely a touch away and everything can be done with two hands. Things can be touch at times with the smaller lcd screen, but due to almost everything being labled and accessable through the triggers and knobs navigation does not need to rely on reading the lcd screen.

Sounds 10/10

Overall the sound quality is very nice. The XL-7 is a rompler, which provides both flexabilities and limitations to the sound making capability. All of the standard waveforms are there including some variations on them called "Audityxxxxx" (insert your favorite wavfrom into "xxx". Since the wavforms are samples, not DSP or analog they sound quite good, but not exact. Unless your going for a classic saw rip or something similar however one will not know the difference. there is also quite a collection of other noises, hits pads, samples and such suitable for electronic music. Each patatch in the XL-7 is saved independantly, and you can use any sample in the box to create patches with up to 4 layers per voice. Each layer can be routed, and patched through various key ranges on a keyboard to create evolving sounds. There is also an extensive patchord system which allows you to rout ANY paramater to modulate any other paramater. This goes way beyond any simple LFO routing. To add even more to this you also have the delicious z-plain filters which make EMU gear so famous. up to 12 pole filtering capabilities with EQ, distortions, Wahs and much more. Of course the classic LPF, HPF, BPF are included as well. the only problems arise that since the routing is so deep the sound can often times get out of your control. a sound maybe modulating or changing, and you just cant figure out what is affecting it. you'll be scrolling through patch-chords and filters and cant figure it out sometimes.

Overall Opinion 10/10

Very well built. its an aluminum or steel casing. the sides are black plasitc, but I have not had any problems with them. They are easily removeable to rack mount the command station. Repair is easy as the machine opens up nicely and is easy for a user to install new roms if desired.

I love this thing with all my heart. They are sadly now discontinued. Buy one if you can. It is the heart of my live Pa project and is equally powerfull in the studio. Owning anything discontinued always draws envy. The bright yellow casing always drasw people's attention to the stage or in the studio. The "wow" factor certainly is present. The flexability is quite remarkable. The power of a synth, but with the added features of layerable and mixable sounds. As a standalone midi sequencer in and of itself it is probably one of the best around, and can be the heart of anyone's studio if they want it to.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: sup909 ( 8-, 2004)