2 - Picking up an ESi-4000

Author: sgeorge, Posted on: 13 January 2020 09:20

So I had been angling for an E-MU Ultra Sampler for ages, and within my budget and feature requirements, was not finding.

After a while I did see an tricked out ESI-4000 Turbo for peanuts, so why not, for just messing around lets give it a go! After some minor haggling, here it is.

So, what have we got?

  • ESI-4000
  • Turbo Card
  • Fully expanded 128mb sample memory
  • Latest EOS3, 3.02

So, what is the ESI-4000? All it really is, is an audio sampler. Record samples, manipulate them, play them back via midi.

This can be seen as the last iteration of E-MU's "Emulator III" series of samplers.

There are three models in the ESI series, ESI-32, ESI-2000 and ESI-4000, but for all intents and purposes there are only two you need to be aware off;

  • ESI-32 has 32 notes of polyphony
  • ESI-2000/4000 have 64 notes of polyphony.

Thats it. They can all handle the same amount of ram, inputs/outputs, turbo card etc, but the ESI-32 cant be upgraded to have 64 notes of polyphony.

So if you want to buy one, either the ESI-2000 or ESI-4000 are fine, as internally they are identical.

I believe when they shipped out, the ESI-2000 had a 3.5" floppy disk and less memory than the ESI-4000.

The TURBO card is a neat add-on that can be very helpful.

You can see it provides digital IN/OUT options as well as an FX send/return and two more analog outputs.

Taking a look at the PCB, we can see the source of most all its functions, the famouse E-MU 8000 chip from the SoundBlaster AWE32 cards.

The Sub Outputs 2 + 3 are weird. They are stereo jacks, rather than mono like the rest of the unit. I can understand they did this for space, but its a pain to have to use Y splitters to treat them like everything else.

tags: Audio, E-MU, EOS3, ESI-4000, Sampler


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