E-mu Emulator Sampler User Forum for the EIII EII EI and EIII XP

General Category => EII Technical Issues / Tips => Topic started by: who on June 28, 2017, 04:46:25 AM



Title: What's this???
Post by: who on June 28, 2017, 04:46:25 AM
I would love to have an HD in my Emulator II.  Today I noticed this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DREM-MFM-RLL-SSD-HDD-FDD-Simulator-E-Mu-Emulator-II-HD-8Gb-/302318210544?hash=item466391cdf0:g:BWIAAOSwn-tZGjHQ

Anyone tried this or know anything about it?


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: esynthesist on June 28, 2017, 05:27:02 AM
I heard about it.
It should work with the Emulator-II HD (based on test results I heard about), but I don't have one myself so I didn't test it yet.
You'll also need an Adaptec ACB 4000 SCSI adapter board, which is not included in the DREM package.
In practice it means you need an Emulator-II HD version (which contains the Adaptec board), not a normal Emulator-II or Emulator-II+.
If you have an Emulator-II HD it should be as simple as replacing the actual old hard disk by this DREM emulator.

I think it's an interesting device (although not cheap).
It's possible to save multiple hard disk images (DSK files) at once on the SD card, so with this device and a single SD card the EII+HD can actually have access to multiple "hard disks" (multiple DSK files on a single SD card) each containing 46 banks.
But if I understand the manual correctly, switching between DSK files must be done on a computer connected via USB to the DREM (as opposed to e.g. the HxC for floppy disks which has buttons and a display in the unit itself)




Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: lunatic on July 31, 2017, 11:30:32 AM
That really looks fantastic. Can anyone confirm it is working? I'm about to pull the trigger on this...


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: Elmbeatz on August 01, 2017, 01:22:42 AM
I don't really get it...

IF you have to use a computer to switch between the different HD Images (which sucks, doesn't it?...), what's the advantage of this thing to the 'normal' hxc floppy emulator?

Greetings,
Elm.


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: Wolfram on August 01, 2017, 04:10:27 AM
Well a HD image contains 40 sound banks an HXC image just one.
Loading from HD takes 4 seconds, loading from floppy/HXC 30seconds.

But it seems so that no one tested this drive.


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: esynthesist on August 01, 2017, 07:52:37 AM
Quote
But it seems so that no one tested this drive.
Actually I know someone who is using the DREM in his Emulator-II HD.
He helped the engineer in making the DREM compatible with the Emulator-II/Adaptec ACB-4000 controller.
I'll ask him if he's willing to put a testimonial on this forum.

As Wolfram says, the DREM can at least behave as a normal hard disk replacement, allowing for fast access to more than 40 banks without the need for a computer connected to the DREM. So from that perspective it's a great (but expensive) solution for people owning an Emulator-II HD with a failing hard drive.

But personally I agree with Elmbeatz that it's a shame you need a computer to swap between different HD images. If the DREM would have some navigation buttons and a display (like the HxC does), it would give instant access to thousands of sound banks instead of "just" 46 sound banks.



Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: lunatic on August 01, 2017, 10:34:42 AM
It's a waste of resources, but I might be ending up having 20 SD cards which would be nearly 1.000 banks. I bet you can get 32MB cards for free nowadays if you keep looking.


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: Elmbeatz on August 02, 2017, 03:58:41 AM
I got it now.
This is cool in theory.

But I  think you'll have to be pretty well organized to archive and handle 20 sd cards to find the bank you're looking for.
I guess in the end it's more of a hassle than having just one sd card with all the banks on and let 30 seconds be 30 seconds  :)

But - it all depends on how you organize and structure your "sd-card library", I guess.


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: lunatic on August 03, 2017, 08:59:48 AM
Quote
But it seems so that no one tested this drive.
Actually I know someone who is using the DREM in his Emulator-II HD.
He helped the engineer in making the DREM compatible with the Emulator-II/Adaptec ACB-4000 controller.
I'll ask him if he's willing to put a testimonial on this forum.

A testimonial would be highly appreciated. I'd love to finally have a "silent" EII with a working HD interface


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: esynthesist on August 30, 2017, 07:45:21 AM
As promised I asked the person who's successfully using a DREM in his Emu II for a testimonial.
He's not a member of this forum but he sent me his findings by e-mail, so I can put them on eiiiforum.
Here it is:
Quote
- DREM is a small computer and it replaces the internal HD. With the good brackets it should replace the HD space
- Unlimited number of .DSK hard disk image files on ONE sd card, it's like having an unlimited number of HD drives, much more interesting than the SCSI2SD that allows only for 4 or 7 hard disks online
- A DSK file is an HD image disk containing the software + 46 bank slots
- No need of an external computer to load and save banks: DREM has a vga and keyboard/joystick port to select the .DSK file. External computer is only needed to copy or rename .DSK files
- No need to reset the Emu II when changing the image disk ;)
- Bank Loading and Saving is very fast: 4-6 seconds
- Quiet - no noise
- Very easy to work with it, just fill your image disk ( .DSK ) like folders. E.g. files per family of sounds, so I have for example BASS1.DSK, BASS2.DSK, DRUMS1.DSK, FAIRLIGHT.DSK, MJACKSON.DSK files. No need to fill the 46 banks slots as you have unlimited room on the SD card
- Emu II HD boots from the DREM, but it needs a reset switch. The powering is this way: Power up the Emu II, press the reset switch, the Emu II HD boots and loads the default .DSK image file
- To upload new banks on the DREM, they have to be read from floppy, HXC, RS422 interface or have to be sampled. With the help of esynthesist and a new upgrade of EMXP, it will be easy to take the SD card on a computer and fill in a few seconds the .DSK with great sounds.
- Emu II HD is faster as the software is read only from the SD card
- Emu II DREM can work in a modern studio setup, bank loading is much faster than any Kontakt or computer with plug ins. No need to speak about the sound too...
- Formating .DSK with DREM is not easy as the Emu II needs a defect list and .DSK files don't have defect sectors as an old HD can have. Anyway I will send to esynthesist the good blank .DSK with the latest software. For those who will succeed in formatting, don't forget to save immediately the software on the .DSK if you want to boot from it and have a faster Emu II
- Thanks to Oleksandr Kapitanenko - PortaOne, Inc. This genius worked 2 months every day to adapt the DREM without an Emu II, he only got an Adaptec 4000. He will certainly improve the DREM if we need so.

As he points out, formatting DSK files is not easy, but this will not be necessary because any existing DSK file is sufficient to start using the DREM; formatting is not needed in that case. Once I receive the DSK file, I will put it on my website for download.
As he's also mentioning, I will try to add support for these DSK files in EMXP. I'm not sure yet whether it will be available in the next version (v3.08), because I still have to do some investigations...


Title: Re: What's this???
Post by: lunatic on September 06, 2017, 07:04:00 AM
Looking good, thanks esynthesist! What's up with the reset switch? I didn't quite get what he meant. Apart from that, I am close to buying that thing right away.