Dahnielson of Sweden snapped this shot of the back of a Proteus 2000, which was a 1999 hardware solution to getting the original Proteus sounds. But if you’ve ever wished you could load those sounds onto your trusty MacBook, pay attention…

Sound modules of yesteryear rarely earn much love today: now that we’re spoiled for choice with soft synths, ROMplers are unlikely to inspire the same passion. Not so with the E-MU Proteus. These rack modules of sounds were virtual candy stores for sound lovers, beloved by composers and musicians for their broad range of perfectly-crafted sound sets. If you’re an E-MU lover, there’s just no real substitute for some of these sounds.

That means the latest news from Cakewalk should get your attention, whether you’re an old Proteus pro or discovering these for the first time:

E-MU Proteus Pack

For a trip down memory lane:
Proteus 1/2/3 modules at Vintage Synth Explorer
Cakewalk actually got the producer of the original Proteus sound set, Timothy Swartz (now of Digital Sound Factory), to do the sound design. The library uses Cakewalk’s Dimension Pro sampler, so it runs on Mac, Windows, VST, AU, RTAS (for Pro Tools), the lot — and supports 64-bit Windows, as well. If you buy a module, you even get a download of the quite-nice LE flavor of Dimension free.

In the lineup:

  • Proteus 2000: Multi-Purpose Professional Sounds
  • Mo’ Phatt: Hip Hop / Urban
  • Xtreme Lead 1: Dance/Electronica
  • Planet Earth: World
  • Virtuoso 2000: Orchestral
  • PX-7: Drums Percussion

Pick any one a la carte for US$79 or get the whole set for US$299.

I’m downloading these now to review them. Since I get to talk about this before the review, I’d love some feedback. Anything you’d like me to look at specifically for the review? Any sound libraries you’re interested in? Or have you moved on from E-MU to bigger and better things? (Or maybe you’d rather eBay some hardware…)

  • Adrian Anders

    Hard to believe that Creative/Emu would be kosher with this considering they have their own sampler/rompler products in the form of Emulator X and Proteus X.

    I would like an A/B of the new soundset with the original hardware to see if there are any major differences, especially when it comes to the more complex orchestral sounds.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Adrian: good idea!

    Hmmm… who has the hardware these days? Holler at me, if so. :)

    An A/B with E-MU's stuff would be interesting, though it's great to have a) Timothy's involvement b) Dimension as the engine.

  • http://kief.net/ Valis

    In my experience the biggest difference between Emu samplecd's used outside of their hardware, and with the hardware, is the sound of the converters. Assuming all features in a given sample program are supported of course, but the Proteus stuff didn't really use massive multisamples.

  • Adrian Anders

    True, my only concern with this collection is with how the samples were generated (that is did they actually come from either the hardware or the original sample material produced for EMU) and how complete the collection is (do they have ALL of the sounds/presets from the original modules).

    I would really like to know how this project came about and how Cakewalk is able to get away with releasing this without E-MU's legal attack dogs breathing down their necks. Notice that nowhere on the Cakewalk site is the official E-MU logo… which leads me to think that perhaps E-MU isn't exactly giving this project their full blessing/support.

    I mean try doing a commercial sample collection like this for the KORG M1 or Roland D-50… you'll get shut-down REAL quick.


  • http://www.cakewalk.com Carl Jacobson – Cake

    Good question. We're totally above the board.

    When Tim Swartz parted ways with E-Mu part of his severance package was the right to redistribute all of the audio content he generated for them, with the right to acknowledge the E-Mu hardware that it was used on. So he took that sample content and then created programs for Dimension Pro with careful A/Bing to the original hardware to make sure it was an accurate represntation of both the sound and the playability.

  • zinoff

    I am sure EMU has already released most of these soundset as SF2 (Soundfont) a few years ago?

    I own at least 2 of them, mo'phat and virtuoso in SF form and while the samples are decent, as the mapping is and so on…

    I own a hardware Proteus 2000 as well what they're missing are at least the emu filter models and the extensive controller patching that came with the "proteus 2000 like" OS.

    I wonder what could be new with this release.

  • http://www.DigitalSoundFactory.com Tim Swartz – Digital

    Just wanted to make sure there are no misunderstandings. As Carl has said above, Digital Sound Factory has an exclusive license agreement with E-MU/Creative to re distribute the original E-MU library in alternate formats. All samples used in the Proteus Pack are the original samples used in the hardware sound ROM’s. We started with these waveforms and built the programs in Dimension to match the original hardware parameters as closely as possible. I produced the original sound sets for E-MU and found we could match most of the parameters in Dimension. We have all the hardware and A/B’ed for over six months! I think we came pretty close. Hope you like it.



  • http://www.chuckivy.com/ ChuckEye

    Any Procussion love? And didn't E-Mu have a B3 unit in the same line?

  • http://www.musicmasterstudios.com/inspirationalorchestralmusic.html Daniel E. Friedman

    Proteus is a name that really brings back a flood of memories. I never bought the product but certainly knoew a lot of colleagues that did. It would be very interesting to hear these sounds again and examine if they still sound as good to me as they did way back then.

  • MagMatician

    Sorry to be late to the party, but I have a few questions: What specifically about the Dimension version of these soundsets is different from the soundfont versions that have been around for years? I bought the Module Mania bundle from Creative in 2001; are these the same samples and mappings from those packages? How does the Cakewalk kits compare to the same soundfont kits on Digital Sound Factory now? Is there an inherent difference in usability between the same samples presented in Dimension and soundfont formats (besides price)?

  • Unknown

    ProteusVX is now available on E-Mu site for free. Enjoy :)

  • Aurensea

    I had the EMU Audity 2000 hardware.  One day it went to sleep and never woke up.  Do you know of a software equivalent of it?

  • JJ188

    Tim Swartz is a sonic wizard. He knows what hes doing and has done a tremendous job with thos incredible E-MU modules and sounds of yesteryear…….

  • JJ188

    Timothy Swartz never fails to surprise me. The man and his team at DSF continually supply both pro and budding musicians and composers a plethora of quality and professionally produced sound libraries in various formats. I being a SOUNDFONT fan have come to enjoy DSF’s latest introductions. Mainly the (Guitar and Basses collection).Excellent! I am hoping that DSF will produce a really good FM collection soon. Good work Tim…