My first and third albums (Excerpts from The Prince and Ganz Andere) along with numerous dance projects, installations and several commissions relied heavily on the E-MU E64, the first version of what became the E6400. (I still have the original box, it says E64, Model: 6400.) So, thinking I was all hip and tech savvy, when I purchased the E-MU, I also purchased a Fujitsu MagnetoOptical SCSI drive. This featured read/write optical discs that could hold 230 MB (approx 217 after formatting). It was on these discs that I stored all of my E-MU information.
Recently I decided I wanted to revisit the musical material, and realized: Where am I going to get a machine that not only has SCSI (version 1) but would even see the Fujitsu, let alone read E-MU EOS format and translate it for a software-based sampler. To shorten the story, I knew my friend Rand Steiger had used the E6400...and then I ran into him at a concert and he put me BACK in touch with Trevor Henthorn and Joe Kucera (friends of mine!). After some twiddling with the drive, Joe and I were able to get a server in Studio A at UCSD to see the E-MU formatted MO discs (hint: don’t set the dip switches to Mac, but to PC/UNIX), but not mount them, so we decided to burn an image of the disc...and then Trevor used a PPC program* (sorry, won’t work with OSX 10.7) called CDXTRACT to both mount the disc image and translate them into a format of choice, in my case Kontakt. After all the fiddling with one of the last SCSI machines in UCSD music to see the MO drive, burning images of nine discs and translating took less than an hour in total.
And they sound fantastic, if I may say so.
But let this serve as a warning, Mac’s with SCSI are (of course) obsolete and it is probably not long until the only one you can find is in a museum, or buy one on Ebay for $374,500. So do the transfers now, don’t wait...I feel I got lucky having knowledgeable friends with access to quickly obsolescing technology.
*Note: It seems that Translator from ChickenSys works on OS 10.7.4, but I only tried the demo so YMMV.