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Connect your
Emu Sampler
to your PC

How to set up SMDI Sample Transfers over SCSI

Propellerhead ReCycle 2.0 (Macintosh and Windows)  Loopists, groovists, samplists! A new world is about to open up before your very ears! New and improved ReCycle 2.0 solves all your groove related problems — and lets you get truly creative in the process. Tweak: Recycle does more than send single samples.  It can take a piece of audio material, for example, a drum loop, and will slice it into hits.  In the Sampler, each slice becomes a single sample and you can arrange these in presets and trigger them from midi. 

SCSI Gear for your Sampler is HERE




How do I get .WAV files from my computer to my ESi or EOS Sampler? I get asked this question all the time so I am going to answer it in full here.   I have to say as a disclaimer that if you use this information, you do so at your own risk.  This is not hard to do.  However, for any SCSI chain to work you need to make sure that each SCSI device has to have its own unique ID and that both ends of the SCSI chain need to be terminated.  You can read more about IDs and Termination is my Surviving SCSI Hell Article.  

Why should you want to connect a sampler to the PC, anyway?
There are 2 very cool things such a setup allows:  1. The fast transfer of Wave files from your PC to the sampler over the scsi cable.  This is often called SMDI, and it is incorporated as a feature in Sound Forge (full version) and Wavelab, also in Recycle and chicken system's Translator.  2. The ability for your PC to capture an image of your sampler's hard drive.  This allows you to burn custom sample cd roms.

The following procedure works with e-mu samplers from the ESi 32, esi2000, esi4000, e6400, e4, and all the Ultras.  I recommend using esi OS 3.02 of the esi series or EOS version 4 or above.  Note: If you are using EOS 4.7 AND have SCSI hard disks formatted with FAT32 on your computer, you should NOT attempt a PC/Sampler Connection via SCSI. If your PC is not using any SCSI hard disks (formatted in FAT 32) then all is OK with 4.7.

This procedure works for me with Win98se and Windows XP.  It will probably work on Win 2000 and ME too. Sorry, I have no info on connecting Macs. 



1.  Get a SCSI card and install it in the PC.  I suggest using well-known cards like those made by Adaptec, that are appropriate to your operating system.  I use an Adaptec 2606, which can be found in the sidebar.  Install the card like any other hardware device. 

2. Get the appropriate cable.  Carefully observe the SCSI port of the Card.  The Adaptec 2906, for example, uses the DB25 connector (looks like the large serial port connector).  The emu samplers use the large Centronics 50pin connector which you can look at by viewing the back of your machine.  (For ESi 32 users that do not have a SCSI connector on the back of your sampler, you can purchase this add-on card from e-mu.

3.  With the power off on the PC and the sampler, connect the sampler to the PC.  You are advised not to hot-swap SCSI devices. Note that after changing IDs and termination, you might have to reboot the machine(s).

4. Boot the sampler

5. Boot the PC

6. Windows "plug 'n play" will find the sampler on the SCSI chain as an "unknown device".  You might think you need to install a driver here, but you don't.  An alert box will come up 8 times.  Let windows search for an appropriate driver all 8 times and let it fail all 8 times.  This might take a long time, so be patient.  If you do it right you will only have to do it once. 

OK lets take this step by step.  The following applies to win XP.  You boot the computer with the emu and all its drives already on.  The first thing you will see is the "New Hardware found" alert coming from the system tray.

Eventually, the following box comes up:


Just click "next".  Keep the radio button "Install the software automatically" ticked.  Do not click the advanced button.  Ok, now Windows will search the system directory looking for drivers but won't find any.  Then it will give you this alert.



Success!  While the alert box says it can't install the hardware, in fact, it has.  Do NOT click "back".  DO check that little box that says "Don't prompt me again to install this software".  Got that?  Make sure the box is checked. Then click Finish. 

Are we done?  Not yet.  You have to go through this 8 times.  Yes, dude, EIGHT TIMES, and its the same each time, exactly the same, do not do anything different.  I know you feel like your are in some infernal infinite software loop, but you are not.  This is the way it works.  If you do it right you will never have to do it again as long as you don't change SCSI IDs.  (If you do change the sampler's SCSI ID you will have to go through this again.)

In the end, in the device manager, you will see the 8 entries for the sampler under a tab called "other device".  Do NOT try to install drivers.  Do NOT delete these items.  Windows needs these to communicate to your sampler.  Even though Windows does not know what they are, your SCSI card and your sampler DOES recognize them and use them.  The following pics are of my setup with my E-5000. My Esi-32 setup looks similar, except it says ESi 32 instead of Emulator IV in theses boxes.



7. Get an application that supports file transfers over SMDI.  Two popular applications are Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge and the Propellerhead's ReCycle. Steinberg's Wavelab also works.  Following instructions that come with each application, set up the application to transmit and receive files to and from your sampler.  See the pic below of the Sound Forge Configuration window.

8. Test the connection.  Load a standard wave file into the application.  Transmit it to sample 001.  Check the sampler to see if it arrived.  Play it on the keyboard.  It should sound exactly the same.  Now try the process in reverse.  Request sample 001 from the application.  You should see a window open with that sample.  Compare it to the 1st sample you sent over.  Again it should be exactly the same. It is normal to hear a "chirping sound" for (lack of a better term) during the sample transfer. 



Need a SCSI card?  Here's two that many people use on the Emusaic list.  I use the Adaptec 2906 with my e5000  The prices at Amazon are low and you can count on them for speedy service
Adaptec 2906 PC or Mac  Get price

If your sampler or computer crashes during this operation, or more likely, the transfer stops mid course you should:

1. Re-check IDs and Termination on EVERY SCSI device, including any SCSI cd rom, CDRWs, ZIP drives that may be buried in your computer. 

2. Check all SCSI cables inside and outside the computer and sampler.  90 percent of the time, this is the problem.

3. If you are using Windows 98se, make sure "auto insert notification" is turned off in the Windows device manager for any SCSI CD Rom devices that are connected to your computer.  If you are on Windows XP, select "properties" of the SCSI CD ROM device and go to the "AUTOPLAY" tab.  Select either "Take no Action" or "Prompt for action"

If none of this works, see my article on Surviving SCSI Hell

For MORE EMU related pages
please go to my EMU Resources Page

TweakHeadz Emu CD Roms

Emu Format Sample CD-Rom  The Mystik Garage 

My Classic Emu Sample CD-Rom Ice Kold Tekno

My EOS ONLY CD Rom the Post-Industrial Cyber Depot

Summing Up

That's about it.  Once you have this set up, you will be transferring samples back and forth between your emu and your computer and digging the benefits.  To make presets on a PC you need SoundDiver by emagic. It handles all the sysex editing chores while sound forge handles all the sample transfer and editing chores. Together they make a great and complete system for your emulator. That's how I make my cd roms.

Best of Luck in your musical endeavors

Want to Discuss this Article?  Go to this topic at Studio-Central


Sound Development and Sampling

INDEX of Sampling And Sound Development
Secrets of Sampling
Using your Hardware Sampler Creatively
How to Burn a Sample CD Rom
Surviving SCSI Hell
Resources for Emu Hardware Samplers
Connect your Hardware Sampler to your PC
Emulator X2 Soft Sampler
Working as a Sound Developer
Build your own Soft Synth with SoundFonts
Downloadable Sounds at zZounds
Field Recorders
Audio for Video and Film
Review of Sound Forge
Tweak's Sample CD Roms
Tweak's Synth Patches for Select Synths
Convert your ESI banks to EOS
Zoom H4 Review
Samplers Price List


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