XL-7, Groove Machine from E-MU.

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All user reviews for the E-MU XL-7

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Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 7 reviews )
 4 reviews57 %
 2 reviews29 %
 1 user review14 %
Value For Money : Excellent
Not satisfied with those reviews?
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

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


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.


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.


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)
Tony Hoo10/27/2013

Tony Hoo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A nice Groovemachine"

I do not have this machine, but from memory:

- 1 2 Midi Midi IN and OUT

- 3 pairs of analog outputs on jack 6.35 a main stereo output, and the other pairs for individual outputs, or effects, and are also configurable inserts (in and out!) Or even mixable inputs in machine, but no treatment

- 1 SPDIF coaxial digital stereo output (switchable to AES it would seem) to RCA socket

- IEC connector for the traditional power supply cord

- 128 of polyphony, but there's a quick tip using the preset sounds that mostly use four layers: an agreement to use four fingers played 16 polyphony nothing to him!

There should be more information on the amount of storable sounds and sequences in a little lower Machine ...

- 3 slots will remain free to add some of the other excellent ROM E-Mu

- The sequencer supposedly 32 tracks ...


The use of the machine is very simple.

The manual is a bit big, but everything is clearly explained, with tutorials on the synthesis, etc ...

The screen is a bit tight, but it is enough to show the current settings.

The 16 pots on the left side are multi-functional, and pretty good bill finally. And above all: they send and receive Midi.
They can be used either volume or pan for parts of the sequencer, and then more or less correspond to what is writing to everyone for editing presets.
In passing from one to another of their duties, a red LED indicates lorsue we brought the knob to its current value.

The machine is manifested through LEDs when modified a preset or pattern to encourage us to save in the process, otherwise we lose everything.

I do not think the overwhelming sequencer, and am much more broken than the MPCs, a much more comprehensive and user-friendly.

The pads are not, as one might expect, pads "MPC-" but rather a kind of keys that can sink. Them an octave can work at any time and not necessarily connect a keyboard master, but ...

I've never been to the OS updater that I could use the Command Stations from E-MU.
However, I often quickly reaches the limit of polyphony using only presets, have already saturated the internal memory after just thirty recorded patterns, and even other kinds of bugs. But I may be a bad manager.


The sound is very nice and E-MU.

I got this machine and other Command Stations and repeatedly.

ROMs are all valid for the given style and still have some sounds to troubleshoot.

In this case, I've never used the XL-7 using only the original ROM: B3, Vintage Collection, Protean Drums, and the most general of Proteus, and a number of strings or orchestral, I do not know.

The presets are great starting points, and the pots can often help to quickly do the rest, without necessarily going into the programming of the bike.
Personally, I use such groove machines for just the instant appearance.


In short, a very nice Groovemachine, but that takes a lot of space anyway.

Its controllers are a definite advantage for bosser quickly, but it still has some bugs that make it unreliable for live performances.

Besides this story of power supplies that get cooked one after the other, and without any connection with their place of manufacture, as would have us believe the legend.

So a super ROMpler multitimbral, but may be eternal prefer a more serious sequencer.

And OCCAZ i lvaut better try to find that the power supply has burnt and has been replaced by a more reliable, it would avoid that you loose hands (frustration) and that damage to other parts of the beast, which is always possible.

konD's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

T say any lower.
The effects are of good quality (emu what!) And the edition of presets is trs drives with its four layers.
The squenceur is very well screwed, implementation noon is complte.
I am not 10 because of the screen, too small my taste ...


I use it only as squenceur I control my sampler and synth with. The controllers are directly assignable and rec mode is very practical for the composition and live. You can save your game live with a keyboard line and also the movement of knobs. The last bone also adds many useful features such as xmix (you can mix your tracks in a pattern the other) and the function loop (you choose the length of your loop indpendamment of the total length of the pattern) .
The manual is 300 pages of a paved and it is essential given the possibility of the machine. It is very well screwed.


As I said above I do not use the internal sounds but they are good trs. Originally there orients the map xlead techno and dance music for its ralistes so you revert. C numrique a big synth, by combining the layers you quickly get the big sound. The sound is clean about his trs see too! A lil ass is crgl rack.


I use it for 5 years, my c deuxime I cram the power supply of my Premire. There is a small protocol be observed in the extinction of the machine off with the button with the switch and faade gnral. Finally you unplug the sector.
I test the rm1x as squenceur and are not the emu picture is much more intuitive complte and especially for the components (programming noon rec mode).
Currently I sold it to buy a home mv roland story to finalize some tracks on CD.
Yann Polar02/12/2005

Yann Polar's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Sound quality:

Trs sounds correct, we feel we can beacoup couraging things with this sound module, not just the tek, incursions into the trip hop, electro or soft / hard are possible, the sounds are trs different effect, and the few instruments "sound" are quite ralistes, they are not necessary and not worth the sounds of a DEDICATED ROM, however.

Touch is excellent for rhythm parts, it is recommended that it add a MIDI controller for a reply from VLOC dcente. Effects? Premire a view, they are not falling, and then begins q'y used to, and there comes a time when we can really do without it. The sound is present, powerful, even without using them, even the multiplayer mode makes the full power thanks sounds, and for arpgiateurs (32 simultanment used), the diversity provides good versatility, add filters and this possibility of time rel edition is virtually the DLIR. The filters are empty, Russian, have a single bass line in a filter of TB, to remind you of memories!


Poly 128 REAL, no notes or evanescent truncated during a visit just loaded it is far from the workstation good for one or two sounds together but admit their limits to 16 parts at the same time. (Edit> passages really care for the machine just hangs on the notes with long release time, or the parties arpeggios. Just in genral to remake the party criminalizes removing the note blocking, and it rgl)

I last year, sounds not even called me more than enough even without that "it is ncssaire to touch it, and it may be no worse The edition of a sound is rvlant particulirement complex and confusing (but powerful, is not mprendre). SoundDiver use is almost essential, but I do not know if the ditone of XL t implanted in the log.
(Amended December 25, 2004> are the changes are fairly easy, and extremely powerful, knowing that we can stack four sounds at the same time, synthse of custom settings and filters are multiplied s all, but with a little practice we found it easily. Mention specially for arpgiateurs, superb)
Fortunately, we can act in real time on 16 global parameters of each sound thanks to the knobs on the front. The squenceur is pretty straightforward, once you got used to the recording / edition of squence is fast, once you get used to (same pattern as)

the itty bitty screen does not help the Czech, and that the Achilles heel of the beast: for it against each pattern can easily remix: the panacea when all aralise our patterns and we s'apprte remix, but before you do that is the holy grail, as you be patient and aspirin.
(Edit> Finally, it is not a limiting factor, is limit the unnecessary step, once you play a squence. Instead two small notches (on the LCD screen + r troclair) AIM might have a wide screen the MC 909, it would be much more ergonomic)

Opinion gnral:

report quality unbeatable price (600 euros even on occasion, it's well worth) is an investment for the studio, recording, scne, the communion of the youngest: he will accompany you everywhere and for long. If you can pair the squenceur with a good sampler, you have an almost perfect instrument that CONTRL in real time all custom settings, there's no wiggle is the ultimate weapon for scne, and the sound of the DMOD bte will not be outclassed or before long, you can always add three expansion cards, pls for versatility. With a 808 SP and M1, I use XL for electro, trip hop, electronic rock, dance and tek orientation should not cut all the people that make Autes genres, with a little imagination you can make some groovy sounds nice, although the original ROM of the bte prdispose music on the move;
The XL 7 has the power of a squenceur soft 'but without the ease of use and has sounds that tap into the red without forcing, and in addition they know to be gentle, and the control surface you will CONTRL all your instruments, samplers, sound modules, and even levels in Cubase (CONTRL squenceur without the mouse, you rviez!).

Only problem: the screen, which really serves the machine, the squenceur not as good as what we have rv and color, although it is not lost on scne.

Finally, add the price of PHAT BOY, a YAM RM1X, and expanders ROLAND E MU and you will see soon that this is found in one and the same machine, to look questionable, but dnt power and musicality will not leave you in marble, they may even compound your srieusement Global Warming!


I said everything.


Yes, yes.


Do not insist that Gnant.

Adrnt's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

2 midi out ports, 2 outputs in Stereo + sub hand with the routing capabilities of DIFFERENT channels to the effects, has been plutt well.
2048 512 presets factory expandable by adding cards rom is not bad. As against 512 user presets is a bit tight but hey we can always store them on a PC via midiox I think. Too bad E-loader takes that gives squence.
The effects are not bad (reverb, and delay) but nothing special.
The squenceur is powerful enough damage that the screen is so small when not RVer is not not a software publisher.


I find the game program a little complex as given my lack of experience with MIDI. To use it even when not a mre drink, you get faster by hand.
The functions are accessible via buttons but you still have same dplacer the jog in the sub menu. This sometimes becomes a bit tedious for an amateur of the mouse but you get done.
As for the manual version in English is complte and Retailer plutt good edition of the preset. In pdf (French version) This chapter is limited to the filter section roughly ... a shame because it's the most interresting machine. Complmentaires versions are updated according to the bones you have ... thankfully


I possde 3 cards supplmentaires the original (protean drum, synth and techno beat garden) so I have a lot of choice in my sounds which allows me to adapt my style of music (ambient d & b hardrechno jungle). I miss some sounds may be more traditional and realistic (mostly piano guitar). The sound techno are oriented to the original card and are well suited for techno.
Level effects, there is a choice and routing can CRER good combinations, but must not imagine that this is all (I would have AIM a phaser and a more autowah but good).
For expression faura may be even with a keyboard because the pads when I find personal not even a great, yet it can edit lines sounds quickly enough to a novice of Contents keyboard as me. (Mode plutt step is convenient for me because it can easily dcouper measures) for rendering but can tamper with pattern edit (Veloci pitch, note duration)
I use a lot and low waves. The synths are pretty too. I find that lack of samples of copper and piano.


It's been a year and a half that I use this machine, but I miss the last update of the bone for a xloop I think will be really a plus for the edition of complex rhythmic I think it does.
I prfre are the controllers in real time and sections presets (it is certainly debatable for one owner of analog synth). What I most dplus this must be the failure to use a pattern with riff, and why they are not expected t have a way of recording riffs more convenient (you have to connect the south in the south out of the machine so hello bugs). Personal rm1x before I try and from that point of view it is 16 times more potent (16 plants phrases that can be simultaneously publish in the same pattern without going through the records squence). This is also true that I had never seen on other machines (korg roland). Too bad because it's really great for beginners all the riffs that have to sort but even when there are good phrases. With that I almost forgot how arpgiateur against that by far exceeds my humble opinion the other machines in this range (especially the rm1x). There are several patterns of fashion and 300 arpgiateur in the original map leaving a lot of possibilities APRS we like it or not.
Personal I pay 930 euros in May 2003 and if I had the choice again this will not hsitation.

elektrospace's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Good resolution in sequencer, good filters normal to e-mu!


ASEZA easy to use, the manual, I have not had personal needs


The sound is powerful, beautiful tablecloths, the effects are not too bad Ormis the distortion


I have two years, I am rather satisfied, price quality ratio is the best of all grooves machines but beware of failures, the power supply and not very strong, the individual parts are quite rare or else must have so much time, I am experiencing !!!!!

Backdraft's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Full Trs


Trs intuitive, excellent ergonomics


The sounds are in the spirit trs varis tech-house-electro etc. .... just brilliant but trs well done, big sound for most especially if we go back all in moog filter example! For my part I use flash ram that allow me to sample via an ultra emu and to make my own banks!


I've had eight months and uses it mostly for Live, the sequencer is excellent execussion fast, since the price has dropped it in my opinion the best quality price, with regard to the possibility trs are pro, I had nothing wrong .... if the price of blank Flash, but still the cheapest on the market (400 euros for 32MB against the same price for 8 mo at akai)
Trs trs good machine