With the EWS64 L/XL series, in 1997, TerraTec released a sound card which offered far more audio and midi
features than any other PC sound card hitherto available. Even now, there aren't many cards with comparable
features, making the EWS64 a rich sound source for every PC musician, even today.
Additional notes to the different available EWS64 releases you'll find
However, due to its complexity, the EWS64 can be very difficult to understand and control.
Here you'll find a wealth of information that will make handling the EWS64 a little easier:
Cubase 5 users should test my home made
mixer maps and the script file for the default soundset GSSBK320.
Forget factory presets, utilize the oscillators, filters, LFO's and envelopes of the EWS64.
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C/O 2002-2012: Werner Ogrodnik (Cologne, Germany)
- EWS64 XL
Most of the information on this web site (especially on the 'advantages/disadvantages' pages) refers to the
XL version, revision 1.2 (see
paragraph 6, below). It's what I use myself and can recommend it wholeheartedly.
- EWS64 L
This version of the EWS64 is exactly the same as the XL version but without the 5 1/4 Inch front panel
containing the digital I/O's, MIDI connections and headphone socket. Without this front panel, only one
MIDI in/out is available via the game port and it's cable.
The L version is a good choice if you can live without the second MIDI connection, the digital I/O's
and the headphone socket or if you plan to upgrade to the XXL version with Micro Wave XT hardware synthesizer
5 1/4 inch module.
- EWS64 Digital
This version of the EWS64 is exactly the same as the L version with an included 'DigitalXtension R'.
The disadvantages of the 'DigitalXtension R' I've described at chapter
EWS64 S, further information to this sound card you'll find at chapter
- EWS64 XXL
The XXL version of the EWS64 is the same as the XL version but with a different 5 1/4 Inch front panel.
This front panel, in addition to the XL panel, includes the 'Micro Wave XT' hardware synthesizer
(with the same sound chip as the original).
It's the most expensive EWS64 version but also the one with the most possibilities. Features of the
'Micro Wave XT' aren't detailed on my home page as I have no experience of this particular model.
- EWS64 S
Technically, the S is a cut down version of the EWS64, the primary disadvantage being the poorer
quality D/A and A/D converters. This card also doesn't include many I/O connections -
no second MIDI in/out, no digital I/O's and no headphone socket.
An expansion module, the 'DigitalXtension R', includes one digital out (coax or optical) and one digital in
(coax or optical). Unfortunately, the 'DigitalXtension R' can only be used with 44,1 kHz so you can't export
or import digital audio using DAT recorders with 48 kHz.
Terratec didn't provide any W2K/XP drivers for this sound card, only for Windows 9x.
The internal routing is also different to the L/XL/XXL-Family: An internal 'Mix Bus'
(useful for records) is not available, and you can't route the Codec-Mix to Out-1.
Also you can't specify the volume for Out-2 directly (via EWS64S-Controlpanel) -
this is only possible via "Virtual Channels Setup" (for audio tracks) or
MIDI controller #94 (front/rear) for EWS synth MIDI tracks.
The EWS synthesizer is the same in all EWS64 soundcards. The sample memory of this EWS64 version is expandable
with 64 MB too. My home made mixer maps also work with this EWS64 model.
Despite the limitations above, the S version is still a powerful instrument.
- Additional notes on the EWS64 L and XL versions
The L and XL versions are available in three different hardware revisions: 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2.
Second-hand buyers should ideally look for the '1.2' revision only - earlier revisions have some hardware
defects like no soft-clip, troubles with the digital I/O, sensitivity to particular EDO RAM modules and they
can't be used with Windows 2000 or XP.
Note: The revision number is printed on the EWS64 ISA card itself.