Looking for a sampler

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford, lisa

User avatar
daphnid
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:23 pm

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by daphnid » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:08 pm

Highly recommend an EMU E4 Ultra series, which are very reasonably priced for what they are now. I'd recommend an ASR-10 rack but they've gotten pretty expensive and are a bit less reliable. They sound better to me though.

The E4 is a sound design monster and sounds night-and-day better than contemporary samplers. Excellent at sample mangling. The z-plane filters alone are worth getting it for. And has internal HDD support so you're not dealing with floppies. You can also put the entire Emu and Enoniq sound library in there and have an insane rompler.

SP4 is pretty good if you want something small that uses modern data storage out of the box. It's several leagues below in terms of sound and editing and not really much less expensive.

RichMakeGame
Common Wiggler
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:16 am
Location: Newcastle UK

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by RichMakeGame » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:43 pm

I love my 1010 blackbox. seems pretty transparent, can record and stream very long samples. sequencer needs an update but is workable. not without flaws but still very strong

User avatar
Red Electric Rainbow
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:48 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:42 pm

Roland SP series
TOO FAR GONE

sleestack808
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:45 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by sleestack808 » Fri May 01, 2020 3:41 pm

Im going with loopers. I hate menu diving personally

CRMVMT
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:11 pm

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by CRMVMT » Fri May 01, 2020 3:59 pm

Red Electric Rainbow wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:42 pm
Roland SP series
Yes. It really doesn't get any easier than this. No time stretch or sample playback speed, but there's a pitch shift. Rudimentary sequencer or just trig the samples with midi. You also get a neat effect machine. If you have hundreds of samples that need to be triggered, then I would recommend something else. SP-404sx/a has 10 banks of 12 samples each per a memory card.

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Fri May 01, 2020 8:57 pm

Koekepan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:20 pm
Any recommendations?
What kind of music do you make? Do you use a mixer?

Koekepan
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 540
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:50 pm
Location: PNW

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by Koekepan » Sat May 02, 2020 1:06 pm

Gruebleengourd:

Excellent questions.

For myself: mostly ambient music. More synthesised than musique concrete, but I'd like to add to my sampling capability.

For others: I do movies and game composition, so it's a hugely wide field, everything from pseudo-renaissance through EDM. When I've needed sampling capabilities I've gone heavily software, but I dislike the keyboard/mouse workflow.

Mixer: Yes, I have both a couple of analogue mixers floating around, plus I have a Tascam DP32SD that I use for studio recording, mixing and so on. This effectively has a digital mixer as part of its function.

I also have a performance sequencer already (Social Entropy Engine) and a few linear ones built into my workstations (most notably I like the KORG Krome's one).

User avatar
anselmi
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4326
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Montevideo

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by anselmi » Sat May 02, 2020 5:17 pm

Koekepan wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 1:06 pm
Gruebleengourd:

Excellent questions.

For myself: mostly ambient music. More synthesised than musique concrete, but I'd like to add to my sampling capability.
a granular synth could be great for this, like Borderlands app in ipad

the blackbox do granular this too (single grain though) and a lot of sample based stuff like multisampling, live looping, clip launch and one-shots...have an onboard LP/HP filter, delay and reveb, plus amp envelope.

another great app is Samplr

User avatar
BugBrand
Knowledge of Bugs
Posts: 7417
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by BugBrand » Sun May 03, 2020 4:46 am

You mentioned the electribe - I got one a month or so ago & am enjoying it. It isn't a particularly deep sampler (perhaps comp with old rack samplers) but it has the usual recent korg direct fun inspiration - I have quickly got some very satisfying results out of it! Haven't yet fully integrated it but simply putting my own samples on it and then playing on headphones showed you can quickly have a lot of fun. I'm comparing in part with some of the other korg machines, like the volcas - which I always thought were fun but a bit too limited/small for more than sketching. I think the electribe adds enough to make it a useful instrument - still limited but lots to play with.

User avatar
slumberjack
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:27 am
Location: 44G
Contact:

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by slumberjack » Sun May 03, 2020 7:58 am

I'm in a relationship with a SU700 since almost 10 years. Once again a lot of my data (aka my new live-set) is gone. As soon a I find cash I go for an MPC One which seems reasonable. I really feel deeply frustrated about now. Not only that I just wanted to backup my file after saving - I just tweaked it for 3 hours after i played two live shows (...well streams) with it felt really comfortable with everything and was very very happy. Something happend on while saving to disk was in process. Maybe I will put it now into the studio and use if for production as sampler only and don't rely on it for shows (what is sad because this peace shines on stage).

But yeah the MPC One is a great package with a competitive price if you want a modern device and not hussle around with scsi2sd or floppy2usb.
> WTB ADDAC502 <

www.stefanrudin.bandcamp.com / www.soundcloud.com/stefan_rudin / www.youtube.com/user/slumberknut



Carefully crafted dj set meandering between deep house, minimal and electro.

CRMVMT
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:11 pm

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by CRMVMT » Sun May 03, 2020 8:13 am

I am buying a sampler as well, and just found out there’s no SP-404sx in sight in any stores whatsoever. I guess Roland pulled them back, changed the covers to SP-404A repaint and creeped up the price for something like 50 euros :doh:

User avatar
anselmi
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4326
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Montevideo

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by anselmi » Sun May 03, 2020 1:07 pm

BugBrand wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 4:46 am
You mentioned the electribe - I got one a month or so ago & am enjoying it. It isn't a particularly deep sampler (perhaps comp with old rack samplers) but it has the usual recent korg direct fun inspiration - I have quickly got some very satisfying results out of it! Haven't yet fully integrated it but simply putting my own samples on it and then playing on headphones showed you can quickly have a lot of fun. I'm comparing in part with some of the other korg machines, like the volcas - which I always thought were fun but a bit too limited/small for more than sketching. I think the electribe adds enough to make it a useful instrument - still limited but lots to play with.
wich one did you got?

I think the ESX is the best of all electribe samplers...it packs a lot of functionality with different sample-playback styles in different tracks...you got one-shot, loops with timestretching, loop slicing and chromatic playback
The panel with all the parameters at hand adds a lot to the experience, and the file management is very straightforward. There is a free editor to import samples into the card and then they are instantly available in the machine whith no load time at all
the sequencer is a bit limited by today{s standards but it has 8-bar patterns and song mode...it also record automation with an on/off switch to playback it
MIDI is a bit cumbersome because of NRPN use, but you hardly use it since the machine itself is very capable.

Koekepan
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 540
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:50 pm
Location: PNW

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by Koekepan » Sun May 03, 2020 8:36 pm

At this point I'm leaning towards the MPC One.

The SP404 (in various forms) certainly looks capable, but I don't have an AIRA addiction yet, and it seems that the latest version is definitely oriented to an AIRA way of life.

The blackbox and the SP404 are both within spitting distance of the MPC One's price. Not quite up there, but not far.

The electribe sampler is definitely an honourable mention at this point, especially based on price, but the MPC software bids fair to be much better at things like making sample-based instruments as well as chopping, reversing, repitching, stretching and general madness. A couple of G of storage is a bit chintzy in terms of what you can do with the autosampling function, but it still looks good in this field.

I haven't made a decision yet, but the MPC One does look like both a capable studio citizen sampler, and a studio master.

Plus drawing in automation curves is always fun.

User avatar
chvad
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3340
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:23 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by chvad » Sun May 03, 2020 10:29 pm

Synthstrom Deluge

User avatar
JimY
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:03 am
Location: Middle of Wales

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by JimY » Mon May 04, 2020 4:07 am

Roland are touting the current SP-404 as a voice expansion for the TR-8, but there is nothing AIRA about it apart from the colour scheme. It's good old COSM tech. The original SP404 used compact flash card expansion and compressed audio data (RDAC from the VS/BR multitrackers) - really clunky import/conversion process. The current one uses SD card and can directly handle uncompressed audio and supported by a management app.

What may trouble you is the 12 voice polyphony. This is probably arbitrary due to only having 12 pads (which are just switches - no velocity with them).
All the samples are directly playable from midi (with velocity to volume only) and the highest 4 banks are on the next midi channel up from the selected channel.

Depending on what you want it for, a hidden shortcoming - you cannot pan a sample!

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon May 04, 2020 10:43 am

Koekepan wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 1:06 pm
For myself: mostly ambient music. More synthesised than musique concrete, but I'd like to add to my sampling capability.

For others: I do movies and game composition, so it's a hugely wide field, everything from pseudo-renaissance through EDM. When I've needed sampling capabilities I've gone heavily software, but I dislike the keyboard/mouse workflow.

Mixer: Yes, I have both a couple of analogue mixers floating around, plus I have a Tascam DP32SD that I use for studio recording, mixing and so on. This effectively has a digital mixer as part of its function.
I have several different perspectives on samplers, and my use of them has evolved over time.
When you don't have a lot of gear options, something like an E4 or yamaha A series is very attractive as they have strong synthesis capabilities inside. However, if you already have some nice synths, including poly's doing a high level of synthesis type processing on samples has less mileage. Efx though are always useful, and as such I've kepty my A5k which has superb effects and bussing, and sold on all of the e4 series samplers I had. The A5k is my goto for multisampling vintage monosynths that have no patch memory. There are a variety of reasons for this, but I find it is quick for multisampling into a group, and it has a lot of memory. At least in the context of being able to load up several patches of multisamples. I just record in the notes as long as I need the sounds to be. I don't mess with looping (not the nicest on the yamahas).

Another use I have is supplementing beats made on an mpc60. I have an emax and a eps16+ that I use for this. the Ensoniqs are great for manually chopping beats as it works with pointers rather than copying samples. You can just divide up one sample across the keyboard. The built in efx are great. So I use it for chopped samples loops and one shots. The emax is more limited but has great analog backend, so I typically use that for loops and one shots. It could be used for wavetable hybrid sounds too, but it's a lot of effort when I have other (better) options for that kind of thing. Despite arguing minutea, you can get SP1200 type sound out of the emax of course without the sequencer and groove ( I just seq it with the mpc60).

I have a s950 which I use for some drums and and looping too. Undoubtedly it has a classic sound, and I recognize why they have held their value, but I don't end up using it as much, primarily because the S1000 has become the center of much of my sampling.

I don't know how the S1000 compares with later akais. I know it has a better transposition interpolation algorithm than the others, and I know it sounds really good in the low end, pitched down stuff is very much nicer than other samplers I've used.
It is very straight forward to use once you understand it's workflow. It has lots of outputs and it is easy to integrate into a mixer setup. Hard to find with max ram, but if you ever see one with 32 megs and SCSI and you can hook it up to a patchbay and a mixer, buy it, but be prepared for some time and TLC to bring these up to where they should be. By today it will need a new display or at least backlight, you should absolutely invest in a SCSI2SD or similar for storage (say no to floppy). If you want to hook it up to a computer for editing, you essentially need an older g3/g4 mac with scsi, and an OS upgrade for the S1000, but after that it's pretty sweet with recycle. The sound Ius "CD quality" but it is not dry clean or anemic. It sounds very nice round and transformed. It's not the same coming out as it is going in, but it does retain detail and quality.

I use the S1000 to build up the basics of a track, and then compose from the samples with 8 individual outs going to mixer channels, plus the stereo output. This is old school remixing style production and it is a very productive approach that has been kinda lost as people moved to DAWs. Ableton for example is trying to recreate something like this a box, but while it has so much more resources in terms of memory it is really lacking in terms of flexability and hands on. I canin thei control the S1000/mixer setup with any of my sequencers -- not tied to one like in a daw. I can instantly transpose loops on the keyboard, and play loops into the sequencer by keyboard. Hands on real time adjustment of levels pans efx etc on the mixer.

Most of this kind of thing can be emulated in a daw, and like I mentioned ableton is made to try and emulate this (with the addition of super timestretching) but in practice it is a very different thing to be doing it with mouse and clicks or push or whatever. Using a pro studio sample like the S1000 in this fashion just feels good. You can quickly put the skeleton of a track together and then record live midi takes of your synths whatever. Lots of areas for exploration here. Easy live dubbing.
Last edited by gruebleengourd on Mon May 04, 2020 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon May 04, 2020 10:47 am

quad post for the win!
Last edited by gruebleengourd on Mon May 04, 2020 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon May 04, 2020 10:48 am

double

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon May 04, 2020 10:49 am

triple wtf?

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by gruebleengourd » Mon May 04, 2020 5:20 pm

I guess after all that above, what I want to emphasize is that while sound mangling capabilities and lowfi crunch may be attractive, what there is a lot going for simply for using a sampler primarily as a sampling tool, not way out digital synthesis grains and mangles. Samplers are great tools compositional for putting together tracks and being able to remix material. Sampling your other gear and working in the sampler is very powerful. For relatively straight sampling use the most important features are sufficient ram (32 or ~ 3 minutes stereo 44.1 is a good amount for composition in sampler), some kind of hard disk / sd card storage option typically by SCSI. The number of outputs is more important the number of maximum voices as ideally you should use a sampler with mixer. The hardest factor to know when you're shopping without experience is how straight forward / user friendly the operating system is. One feature that is very helpful that are not always available is rec monitoring while playing back other samples in memory. This makes layering parts really easy.

MoyaMoya
Common Wiggler
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:13 pm

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by MoyaMoya » Mon May 04, 2020 5:47 pm

ASRX both the standard and the pro are criminally underrated.

While the black version does suffer from a bit of timing issues, no need to worry if you'll be sequencing externally.
Polyphony abounds, 16 independent tracks, dual resonant filters, midi in/out/thru
and of course effects from the Ensoniq DP line, complete control over wet/dry
and the ability to pitch chromatically or select from various temperaments easily
kind of a no brainer if you have the space

User avatar
anselmi
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4326
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Montevideo

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by anselmi » Tue May 05, 2020 1:51 am

MoyaMoya wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 5:47 pm
ASRX both the standard and the pro are criminally underrated.

While the black version does suffer from a bit of timing issues, no need to worry if you'll be sequencing externally.
Polyphony abounds, 16 independent tracks, dual resonant filters, midi in/out/thru
and of course effects from the Ensoniq DP line, complete control over wet/dry
and the ability to pitch chromatically or select from various temperaments easily
kind of a no brainer if you have the space
I wouldn´t call them "underrated" beacuse they just sucks.
I know them well, owned them, big dissapointment.

BOTH suffer from timming issues, VERY noticeable ones, clock jumps and glitch when pattern loops, and this problem increases with the voice count...the more notes you enter the worst the glitch is

About the external sequencing, well, if you buy a sampler in this format you want it to be driven by the internal sequencer! It was released to compete with the MPC range, and it could was a strong competitor, but the sequencer and the cumbersome, menu-driven, non-logical UI really killed it. At the time, I was after the MPC-2000XL but hey, this thing had 2 great FX, more than double the memory, great synth capabilities, resampling thru FX, potential wavetables, and even ROM sounds and expansion for more in card format

All this great stuff is shit when you start to use it and have to surf pages and pages with a couple of small buttons, trying to not skip entire sections with the FUCKING encoders that fails all the time...same for the buttons that are stiff and fails 6 out of 10 times if you are not Thor using his Myolnirn.

No sound controls in the panel, so OK, I can use MIDI to control parameters, right?...well, yes...and no, because when the sequencer loops it resets ALL the parameters to their saved values and there´s nothing you can do to fix it.

More thinsg to hate? yes! the """"""pattern mode"""""" ...no matter the number of quotation marks I use it´s not enough to call it...man, the most simple sequencers and drum machines in history had a propper pattern mode and even a song mode too...in this thing you have to make something like a render or...something, waiting to....you don´t know! just wait! to finally play the sequence you already programmed after another one. Yep, sounds complicated and annoying, it is.

So no, I don´t think they are underrated...sounds great? yes, great fx? yes...is it enough to buy one? I don´t think so

User avatar
coolshirtdotjpg
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 4:13 pm
Location: Freedom, NH

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Tue May 05, 2020 4:03 am

daphnid wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:08 pm
Highly recommend an EMU E4 Ultra series, which are very reasonably priced for what they are now. I'd recommend an ASR-10 rack but they've gotten pretty expensive and are a bit less reliable. They sound better to me though.

The E4 is a sound design monster and sounds night-and-day better than contemporary samplers. Excellent at sample mangling. The z-plane filters alone are worth getting it for. And has internal HDD support so you're not dealing with floppies. You can also put the entire Emu and Enoniq sound library in there and have an insane rompler.

SP4 is pretty good if you want something small that uses modern data storage out of the box. It's several leagues below in terms of sound and editing and not really much less expensive.
I had an E4K and thought the same thing, but worried I was just being crazy since nobody seems to think they sound great compared to the early emu. It’s such a beast and easily the best thrift store score I’ve ever gotten.
New video on Prophet 12 Drone Patches:
Prophet 12 Drone Patches

User avatar
daphnid
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:23 pm

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by daphnid » Tue May 05, 2020 4:35 pm

coolshirtdotjpg wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 4:03 am
daphnid wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:08 pm
Highly recommend an EMU E4 Ultra series, which are very reasonably priced for what they are now. I'd recommend an ASR-10 rack but they've gotten pretty expensive and are a bit less reliable. They sound better to me though.

The E4 is a sound design monster and sounds night-and-day better than contemporary samplers. Excellent at sample mangling. The z-plane filters alone are worth getting it for. And has internal HDD support so you're not dealing with floppies. You can also put the entire Emu and Enoniq sound library in there and have an insane rompler.

SP4 is pretty good if you want something small that uses modern data storage out of the box. It's several leagues below in terms of sound and editing and not really much less expensive.
I had an E4K and thought the same thing, but worried I was just being crazy since nobody seems to think they sound great compared to the early emu. It’s such a beast and easily the best thrift store score I’ve ever gotten.
They E4 and ASR don't have the 12 bit grit of an old Emulator or EPS (probably the most underrated, great sounding sampler around), but they are the best sounding "hi-fi" samplers ever made to my ear. They also offer much faster processing and a orders of magnitude more depth. Somehow, the E4XT is still the most powerful hardware sampler I know of when it comes to sound editing. And it makes my Octatrack sound like a toy.

People fawn over those older models because of their legacy and the high character they induce, which is great. I have an S950 and EPS and love them, but they are cumbersome and fill a niche roll.

User avatar
coolshirtdotjpg
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 4:13 pm
Location: Freedom, NH

Re: Looking for a sampler

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Tue May 05, 2020 6:36 pm

No question. The EPS classic is criminally underrated. I’ved owned a mirage, EPS, and EPS 16+, but the EPS is easily my favorite. I do have to correct you on one thing though, it’s not 12 bit, it’s 13!
New video on Prophet 12 Drone Patches:
Prophet 12 Drone Patches

Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”