Z-Plane synthesizer module

The E-mu
Morpheus was an innovative machine at the time of its release in 1993.  The big news was the introduction of its "z-plane" filters, that had the capability of "changing smoothly their function" over time.  This translates in superb synth sweeps, sci-fi swoops, alien soundscapes, human voice emulations, and lots more.

The Morpheus contains 8MB of 16-bit samples as the starting points for its sounds.  There are 197 (!) filters to choose from, and many of these are truly phenomenal.

There are three banks of 128 sounds, and an optional data card.  The hyperpresets allow you to stack or split up to 32 sounds in a patch - very powerful.  A bit hidden in the MidiMap there are also 28 effects, including reverb, delay, chorus, phaser and flanger.  Other features include three sets of stereo outputs, user definable alternate tuning, and extensive MIDI implementation.


The star on this machine are undoubtedly the 197 filters.  It is possible to get thousands of "sonic colors" from them, and if you have experience with other classic E-mu modules, it is easy to navigate the editing menus, even with a small two-line display.  Some of the filters allow you to program vowel-like sounds, and morph vocal formants in real time.  There are many variations of comb filters, and even a few that add overdrive/distortion to the sound.

This is still a very interesting instrument and if you have the time/inclination for tweaking, you will have a lot of fun editing this synthesizer.  Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams, and this module will certainly make you do that with the sounds it's capable of.


E-mu Morpheus audio demos in mp3

Here below are the Morpheus' on board demo songs:

Demo 1

Demo 2

Demo 3

Demo 4

Bank 0 (I'm running the synth in "dry" midimap effect mode so that you can appreciate the filters in their raw power)

Stream all mp3 examples below


Patch name with audio demo My comments
000 Mph-Z-Synth Superb motion synth pad, exquisitely auto-panned.  First great impression of the Morpheus filters.
001 Real-PnoVibe Classy, romantic grand piano.  The modulation wheel morphs into vibraphone-like.
003 Pad-Strings Nice string ensemble
006 Ld-Grunge Dirty solo synth.
007 Atm-RaveGruv Excellent, punchy techno drum set, with auto-groove on selected keys.
008 Voc-Why Fantastic vox emulation preset!  I remember being impressed with this preset at the time the Morpheus came out.  Can't beat those E-mu filters ;-)
010 Mph-KlavKlip Realistic, useful Clavinet
012 Mph-AirStrg Beautiful, breathy string-synth ensemble
015 Mph-RhyOfLfe Stupendous, sweet vector-style preset
038 Cmp-Cookin' Nice split.  Fat, analog sounding lead
043 Pad-SynthMph Different. Nice.
046 Pad-Leslike Cool Hammond organ patch with Leslie speed controllable via mod wheel.
051 Bass-FatSawz Huge synth bass!  Perfect for many genres.
054 Bass-Grindge Superb bass for electronica!
060 Gtr-SntaCrz Realistic, fantastic acoustic guitar
065 Gtr-Guitarzn Very good strat with effects
069 Gtr-Pick It classic Martin acoustic guitar
070 Ld-Sync Lead Mega-modern techno synth lead
077 Ld-HoohZayr Different.
080 Atm-Astralix Very charming, warm, soft synth pad
081 Atm-Nova Arp Shimmering sci-fi synth, very good.
082 Atm-Mosaic Another excellent moving synth.
083 Atm-LunarArp Take on the classic Pink Floyd sound from "The Dark Side Of The Moon".
086 Atm-KotoBrth Very good.
088 Atm-Movie Spacious, ominous
091 Voc-AglHeart Beauty.  Serious beauty.
095 Voc-OzBoiz Superb!  Techno-Alpine yodelers
100 Drum-House Classic house sounds.
101 Drum-Skritch Nice combo drums+scratch
110 Sfx-SonikSyn Pleasant mayhem!
111 Sfx-NoiseBnd North Pole base.
113 Sfx-S-H Excellent sample & hold patch.
114 Sfx-Hemloc Incredible, out worldly patch, perfect for movie scoring
120 Tek-Omatika Cool.
122 Tek-JavaTea Another phenomenal out worldly synth-pad/ethnic patch, perfect for movie scoring
126 Tek-KrazyRom Nice, very nice :-)


Bank 1

Stream all mp3 examples below


Patch name with audio demo My comments
000 Mph-Morpheus Superb synth pad.
002 Cmp-ElecPno Classic FM piano.
003 Pad-BallHvys Nice morphing pad.
010 Mph-PhatSky Very digital and glassy.
015 Mph-SethySax Accurate sampled sax.
019 Mph-SynBrass Characteristic synth brass.
020 Real-Amb.Pno A little gem.  Classic Brian Eno / Harold Budd style ambient piano.
022 Real-UpRight Nice jazz upright bass.
024 Real-Mute Me Typical muted trumpet.
025 Real-StrgBrs Nice, fluid, moving string pad.
026 Real-PopBras Gotta have brass...
027 Real-Vibes Superb vibraphone, realistic.
028 Real-DblBari Nice - if a bit digital.
029 Real-Flute Realistic.
035 Cmp-HotJazz Reminds of Chick Corea's tone during his "Electrik" phase.
038 Cmp-Snowfall Superb patch, it really conveys images of snow falling.
042 Pad-Oasis Classic Roland D-50 style pad.
043 Pad-EpicMmnt Definitely and epic moment...
044 Pad-WrdBeard Typical Korg M1 style pad with percussion loop and choirs in the background
049 Pad-FunkShun Fonky fonk
051 Bass-Deep I hope your speakers go low enough so that you can hear this.
057 Bass-MyPulse Digital good.
058 Bass-SawBass Hyper-percussive bass/bass drum.
059 Bass-EmuMod Emu modular?
069 Gtr-FuzzTone Okay.
070 Ld-JuprSynth Filtered synth (Roland Jupiter?)
073 Ld-JazzSynth Very jazzy synth lead.
075 Ld-JXTouch Inspired by Roland's JX-series.  Responds to velocity well.
077 Ld-Whofs Fabulous ethnic patch, different and intriguing
080 Atm-TwitPink Great sci-fi synth
085 Atm-AirFlnge Classic digital filter sweeps
087 Atm-FoolsWtr Excellent ambient synth, useful for many genres!
089 Atm-AirWaves Full and jingly.
100 Drum-NeuJacq New Jack Swing drum set
111 Sfx-BeanMach Weird loops
120 Tek-LeadMeOn Nice overdriven lead synthesizer
121 Tek-Woofer Typical detuned digital synth
123 Tek-FX Very '90s
124 Tek-Poundage Woody bass


Bank 2

Stream all mp3 examples below


Patch name with audio demo My comments
000 Hyp-HootTube Sensational hyper preset with bass, harmonized brass and lead splits.
003 Hyp-MoodTxtr Gorgeous setup with fantastic string ensemble and deep bass
004 Hyp-MostBass Full analog bass
011 Hyp-Mill Set Nice
017 Hyp-Stringed Full, dramatic ensemble
018 Hyp-Trance Superb setup
041 Hyp-InDaFunk Highly resonant
047 Hyp-BrthySyn Very '80s and cool!
049 Hyp-BigMama Definitely BIG
057 Hyp-IDentaFi Another spectacular bass & synth pad split
059 Hyp-BaddJazz Very nice 1950s jazz combo
073 Hyp-Time Pad Very cool crazy pitch ambient synth
079 Hyp-Def Ear Aggressive and cool
082 Hyp-Vowlngrs Superb filtered vox pad
086 Hyp-AsianSmr Outstanding... just outstanding.  Asian Summer... beautiful.
088 Hyp-Vox Vex Synth vox vectors
092 Hyp-InADream More like in a nightmare...
096 Hyp-Combiner Full and gluey synth
110 Hyp-DrumPile Nice hip-hop kit
113 Hyp-Dream'in Curiously reminds of the "What The" preset on the Roland Alpha Junos/MKS-50
115 Hyp-Chaos Fantastic - well, the Morpheus excels at pads like these.


E-mu Morpheus specifications


Year of release: 1993
Polyphony: 32
Sound generation method: PCM samples
Preset memories three banks of 128 plus data card
MIDI: in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: data card
Sequencer no
Arpeggiator no
Effects yes


E-mu Morpheus pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



E-mu Morpheus manuals

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E-mu Morpheus review with sound demo