UltimateSoundBank Emulation One
USB's Emulation II scored four stars back in March of this year, and now it's joined by a virtual realisation of its real-world predecessor, Emulation One, mimicking E-MU's classic Emulator and Drumulator samplers within the free (but powerful) UVI Workstation ROMpler engine.
"Featuring over 200 sampled factory patches from a "fully restored unit", Emulation One is relentlessly nostalgic"
Featuring over 200 sampled factory patches from a "fully restored unit", Emulation One is relentlessly nostalgic.
From acoustic and electric basses, through 'digital choirs', a range of acoustic and electric keyboards, some... shall we say, spiky orchestral strings, and an entertaining series of brass and wind instruments, to a small set of synth sounds, some splendidly weird effects and some lovely bells, it's all pretty crusty compared to the big, beautiful sample libraries we're used to today - but that lovingly captured digital crust is what Emulation One is all about.
The interface replicates much of the original hardware's functionality, including the resonant LP/HP/BP filter, which sounds ace. Phaser, Delay and Reverb effects are onboard, as are amp and filter ADSR envelopes, a phat unison mode and a decent-sounding overdrive section. (UVI Workstation's full complement of 'under-the-hood' effects are also on hand, of course.)
"Drumulation One, in particular, still sounds amazing - punchy, warm and wholly relevant"
Drumulation One gives you eight tracks of 16-step sequencing, with sounds from its 200ish-strong library of kicks, snares, cymbals, toms and percussion instantly interchangeable via drop-down menus. Each one can be tuned a long way up or down, with high- and low-pass filters available, but that's all you get in terms of shaping.
Obviously, Emulation One and Drumulation One are both incredibly old-school, sonically, but the latter, in particular, still sounds amazing - punchy, warm and wholly relevant - and we could easily see it finding a place in the drum library of any urban producer.
Great digital sounds, particularly on Drumulation One.
By no means essential for everyone.
Emulation One also sounds great, although more work would be required to bed its idiosyncratic but utterly lovable tones into the modern mix - unless an overtly retro sound is your goal, in which case it becomes even more of a winner.
Recommended Hard Disk Space (GB)
RAM Required (GB)
Emulation One, mimicks E-MU's classic Emulator and Drumulator samplers within the free (but powerful) UVI Workstation ROMpler engine.