Emu Esi32 Sampler

Great little sampler, I have 2 at the moment and intend to invest in a couple of ESI2000’s or ESI4000’s.

Upgradable to 32meg this sampler sounds great, but if your intending to have thousands of real orchestral sounds be warned.

32meg these days ain’t a lot. Hence the reason I have two and intend to get more.

Also bear in mind, sampler discs for these samplers seem rare or very expensive.

If you intend creating your own samples then you’ll need scsi and operating system 3.0 upwards.

I got my sampler’s off ebay for about £60 each – one came with scsi Cdrom and one with scsi Zip drive.

Both have Os 2.1.

If you’re thinking of getting one then do a check list.


It’s hard to find for these machines and can cost about £40 so if you can get a machine already upgraded to 32meg.


The operating systems start at 1.4

Seriously it’s worth looking at getting a machine with Os 3 as these are nearly impossible to find unless you get lucky on ebay.

If you’re thinking of using it with your PC then you’dll need Os 3.

Not sure about usage with a mac.


See if the machine comes with some kind of storage. You’ll need it. And it could save you money.

Once powered down these machines do not store anything.

Also if you intend to use with PC or Mac you’ll need a scsi card.

These are quite cheap now but the cables can be quite costly and you have to get the correct cable or it’s foobar.


There are some software programs that work with the ESI32 but from experience they are a lot of hassle and a lot of fiddling is needed to get samples to the machine without a Os upgrade.


So why bother?

Well I’ve been messing around with it for a month now and finally found a Turbo Card with Os 3 on ebay.

So hopefully that will make sample transfer somewhat easier.

During my tinkering I managed to find a few ways to get the samples over to the sampler to create banks.

And it sounds great.

Useful Links:


How to Connect your E-mu Sampler to a PC

EMU ESI-32 Sample Module – Specifications

How to Burn an Emu Sample CD Rom


Chicken Systems – Translator – Works? Well kind of in a round about way – try the free version first – I’ve had it working occasionly – I bought the Emu special edition. Works with akai files and I’ve been able to get samples onto a zip drive – but now the software doesn’t see the zip drive. Debatable wether it’s worth it.

CDXtract CDXtract converts all your sampler CDs (Akai, Roland, EMU, Kurzweil…) and files (Giga, Soundfont, Kontakt, Halion, EXS24…) so that you can use them in your Sampler software.

Awave is a multi-purpose audio tool that reads a veritable host of audio carrying file formats from different platforms.


Seems that you definitely need Os 3 or above to communicate between pc and sampler.

Installed turbo card and updated os rom yesterday and bingo the sampler is finally seen in xp and win98.

Transfer as of yet seems to work. Although am experiencing some hitches.

Will update as I go.

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