Monday, October 12, 2009

E-mu Emulator, Contemporary Keyboard 1981

E-mu Systems Inc. Emulator sampler ad from page 9 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine May 1981.

Although this is not E-mu's first ad for the Emulator, I thought it most fitting since today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

This version of the ad contains a photo of an early model a prototype model of an Emulator that included a lighter display panel and a Tune section with only one knob. Late the same year they replaced the photo in the ad with a later manufactured Emulator. The later model manufactured Emulator (in a totally different ad) can be seen in one of my other blog post scans. I'll give you a second or two to go take a look and compare...

Great - you're back. Did you notice one other difference? I saved it for last since the topic is kind of near and dear to my heart...


The Emulator in this ad is sporting an early E-mu logo that included a stylized thirty-second music note and the Mu symbol. You can see a better image of the logo in this Emulator price list pdf from the Emulator Archive Web site. I think this logo might make good tattoo material in the near future.

The Emulator looked great with its clean lines and stripped down user interface. And, best of all, it included a small holder for the 5 1/4 inch floppy disks that you would use to store your samples on. Musicians weren't accustomed to using disks, so having a place to hold the disks right on the instrument was definitely convenient. Unfortunately, the holder couldn't store them while transporting the instrument, and Keyboard magazine writer Dominic Milano creepily predicted the soon to be well-overheard phrase 'whoops - I forgot to bring the disks with me' in his March 1982 Keyboard Report:
"One more thing about the diskettes: Don't forget to pack them up and bring them with [you] when you're taking the Emulator out on a gig, because it won't work without them. We musicians aren't used to thinking about diskettes yet."
I can't tell you how many times I had to drive back home to get my Emax disks after arriving at a gig to set up. Grrr...

Well, time to start preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Gobble gobble.


khoral said...

Deliciously retro

Anonymous said...

I've got a Emulator 1 (working) with over a 100 floppy's.

Close to buying no.15 Emulator 2 too with 200 floppys. A Drumulator and a Mac.

Jammy sod aren't I.... :-)

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