How to Burn an Emu-format CDR on a PC

Things You Need to get started:

1. A compatible SCSI CDR machine connected to the SCSI chain inside your PC. A CDRW is ideal as it allows you to do test burns without losing media in the process in case errors occur. I use a Ricoh 6200s CDRW. All bets are off with the new IDE CDR burners. Make sure you use hardware supported by the CD Burning software you use. Note that burning an emu format disk image is different from burning an audio CD or a set of files from your PC hard disks. Stick with SCSI.

2. A removable or fixed disk connected to the Scsi chain that can save banks from the Emu sampler and be accessible to the host computer. A Zip drive works well as do most small scsi hard disks. Note: It is important that the disk capacity not exceed 650 megabytes. While it is possible to use larger drives, make sure they are re-defragmented before the burn as the CDR will only see the 1st 650 megs. For tips from the emulator list on redefraging, click here. A 300 to 500 meg fixed Hard drive is ideal. It is also good (though not required) to have an additional SCSI CD Rom player that is connected to both the PC and the Sampler on the SCSI chain. This allows you to "test" your CDs for compatibility, and it saves wear and tear on the CDR machine.

3. The proper software that will allow you to wite an image file of the scsi drive to the CDR drive and to one of your PC IDE disks. I use the set of utilities called DAO which is freeware and is available at This package includes the following DOS files.

1. Disk2CD This program reads the data on your emu drive and copies it exactly to a CDRW or CDR disc.

2. CD2File This program reads the CDR you just burned and makes an image file of it on drive in your computer that you specify

3. File2CD This program writes from the Image file to a CDR disc.



Setting up the Utilities:

You want to read the docs carefully. It is possible to set up your scsi system to make this very easy. The programs appear to look for the lowest number scsi id as a default. If you have, for example, 3 emu hard/removable drives on the chain, it will try to burn from the lowest ID in the chain. First the program looks for your CDR and if it finds it, it will then look for a drive to write from. It will choose the 1st on it finds.

Tip: Here's my ID setup

ID#0 Emu floppy

ID#1 Ricoh CDRW

ID#2 Maxtor 345 (the drive I burn from)

ID#3 Micropolis 3.9 gig (my main storage drive)

ID#4 NEC generic 8x CDROM player

ID#5 Sampler

ID#6 Zip drive

ID#7 Host computer

With this setup, Disk2CD always finds the Maxtor to burn from. If I turn off the maxtor, micropolis and the Nec, it will burn from the Zip. With my setup, all you have to do is put an shortcut of Disk2CD on your desktop and run it from there. No command lines needed.

The Process:

1. Save your banks you want on CDR to the E-Mu formatted drive. Remember that your CDR directory will look exactly the same, so put them in the order you want the banks, with bank names you will remember.

2. Run Disk2CD and copy the image of the Emu Drive to CDR(W). This is the critical burn, the slowest, and the one most prone to errors. So, you want to leave your PC undisturbed during it. If you use a CDRW you will avoid making coasters.

3. Test the CDRW by loading banks back into the Sampler. You should see all the banks that were on your original drive in the directory.

4. Next run CD2File, which will copy the CDRW image to a standard PC file. The disk image file size depends on how much data is on the drive. Its not always a good idea to make these the full 650 megs because these image files take up allot of space on your hard drive, especially if you plan on keeping backups on your drive. If you are going to make multiple copies of your disc, you will want to keep this file on your drive and burn from it, and not the original source disk.

5. Run File2CD, which will burn the file onto CDR. You can do this as many times as you like. It burns CDRs much faster and more reliably than Disk2CD

6. Test the final CDR on a different CD Drive if possible.


Make a nice cover and enjoy your home brewed Emu-format Sample CD Rom!


Tips and Caveats:

1. Do not format, scan, or optimize the Emu dedicated drives from the PC. Use the sampler to install the E-mu operating system on them. The PC will recognize the drive and will ask you if you want to format it if you click its icon. Always answer no, and remove any icons to the drives from your desktop. Do not install any drivers for these Emu-controlled devices. It is fine if the PC finds them during hardware polling on bootup and installs an entry and drive letter under System Properties. Just leave them alone.

2. Never reboot or boot your PC while there is a disk operation going on with the sampler and its drives. The PC will steal the SCSI bus momentarily during the hardware polling process and you may lose your data and possibly corrupt your drive. Always turn on your sampler before your PC. It is OK to turn on the SCSI drives after the PC boots as long as you are only accessing them from the sampler. However, if you are going to burn an image from the emu disk, the PC must know that the drive is there and powered on. So, it is best to turn on all the devices on your scsi chain, then boot the PC before you attempt to burn a disk image to CDR.

3. Leave your PC alone while it is burning CDRs. Make sure that screensavers, scan disk, or any automated and timed processes are disabled before the burn. It is wise to reboot the computer before a burn to make sure the OS has not accumulated resource conflicts or other errors. Make sure nothing disrupts the SCSI flow during the 1st burn. Make sure "auto insert notification" on all your scsi peripherals is turned off in the Windows control panel under System Properties.


Best of Luck in your Music Making!



Rich's MIDI and Audio Lab

Updated 11/12/98