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Emulator X and CPU Usage

Published: Mon June 14, 2004  News Feed

Emulator X and CPU Usage

Emulator X is a heavyweight software sampler that features the most advanced synth engine on the market, a powerful hard disk streaming engine, and pristine audio quality with unmatched pitch interpolation that allows you to sample and playback sounds at 24-bit resolution and sample rates up to 192 kHz. Emulator X is no sissy sampler. Do you think we would have created it any other way?

So, how does all of this power relate to CPU usage (i.e. am I hosed if I have a slow computer)?

In a nutshell, we decided not to handicap Emulator X by limiting its abilities. Instead, E-MU has created a software sampler that offers an arsenal of innovative tools and unmatched sound quality that makes the most of steady improvements in processor speeds and CPU power. Of course we don\'t expect every Emulator X user to buy a new computer, and we have included several tips below on how to optimize your system\'s CPU usage and maximize your polyphony. You can use all of the suggestions provided below, or just some - remember that every project is different, so try different combinations. Ultimately, when you move on to your next computer (studies show that most musicians upgrade about every two years), you\'ll be dancing in the streets knowing that Emulator X\'s features and sound quality weren\'t compromised to play on that outdated computer.

Great ways to improve CPU usage and increase Polyphony for Emulator X:

  1. Turn High Pitch Interpolation off.
  2. Convert 24-bit samples to 16- bit samples when streaming.
  3. Sample rate convert higher rate samples.
  4. Use 2 or 4 pole filters, or turn them off for presets that don\'t need filtering.
  5. Use less PatchCords. Delete unnecessary PatchCords. Many of the factory sounds use lots of PatchCords, giving you complete editing access from the 16 MIDI control knobs. Great for tweaking, but once you have the preset the way you want, get rid of the PatchCords that aren\'t being used.
  6. Resample. You can turn 50 notes of polyphony into 2 stereo voices. Definitely one of Emulator X\'s best features. Another result of re-sampling your own drum grooves, pad washes, intros, synth leads is that you have new samples to tweak and play off of. You can now filter the section differently, copy it and reverse it, re-trigger it on the up beat; the possibilities are limitless. You can also re-sample using the hardware-accelerated PatchMix DSP effects.
  7. Render your MIDI track to a stereo audio track in your software sequencer. Many software sequencers allow you to convert your MIDI track into a stereo audio file. Playback that 24-bit Grand Piano solo with Emulator X\'s lushness and then render it to gain back polyphony.
  8. Play your samples from RAM, turn streaming off.

Use fast hard drives when streaming. Try Raid configurations for amazing results.

Remember, software is dynamic. You can have the same preset playback different ways depending on the song. If you\'re using a Proteus Composer X preset and the filter is wide open and there\'s no resonance being used, turn the filter off. Every bank can save its own presets and samples, so you don\'t have to worry about compromising that preset for future songs.

In conclusion, with power comes responsibility. E-MU\'s has designed Emulator X to give you unparalleled power, and we hope that some of the tips above will help you optimize your setup and get the most out of this amazing desktop sampling system.

 
 
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