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Anyone used an Alesis Sample Rack as a Phrase Sampler/Playback Sampler?

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 11:32 pm
by translucencecs
Hi all - unnecessarily long question that may or may not have an even longer answer...

I'm almost entirely hardware-based (although I tend to manipulate samples on a PC before uploading to a hardware sampler, purely for convenience). However, although I have the big, "traditional" samplers nailed in my rig (Roland Fantom XR and EMU E5000 Ultra), I (additionally) have a need for a down-and-dirty sampler that literally just plays multiple individual phrase samples straight back, with no particular need for chromatic scaling, etc.

...But I'm struggling: I have an Akai MPX16, and the MIDI implementation is shitty, I have two Yamaha SU200s and two Zoom ST-224s, and the memory on all of these is hugely restricted, and I'm now running out of solutions.

However: I just stumbled upon the Alesis Sample Rack, which seems to be fairly unlimited (within reason) on sample memory, and also seems to have a pretty good MIDI implementation. But it's heavily marketed as a (live) drummer's tool. BUT it *looks* like it *should* fit the bill - straight, clean sample playback, triggered over (reasonably flexible) MIDI, with no frills and multiple samples assigned to a single program.

Anyone have any experience of using one of these In the context of a straight phrase sample playback unit? No need for looping or clever manipulation - all I need is multiple *LONG* samples in a single patch/kit/whatever you care to call it - cheaply and cheerfully... Will this do it without any unexpected baggage?

Re: Anyone used an Alesis Sample Rack as a Phrase Sampler/Playback Sampler?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:06 am
by blueknob
Our drummer used their SamplePad to not only play unique drum sounds, but also had a sample that was about 30 seconds long of a poem. The only problem was, being a drummer he'd hit the pad a few times which then would trigger mulitple versions! noisey.

Re: Anyone used an Alesis Sample Rack as a Phrase Sampler/Playback Sampler?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:18 pm
by salwa
I know it's not answer to your question, but have you tried Roland Sp 404? It streams samples from card, so card is the limit. As for MIDI implementation - it depends on what you are trying to achieve, every sample location is tied to one note, playing that note on attached keyboard or sequencer fires the sample. Pretty simple thing.

Re: Anyone used an Alesis Sample Rack as a Phrase Sampler/Playback Sampler?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 pm
by translucencecs
Thanks guys!

@Salwa - I haven't tried a SP-404, although I have had an SP-505, and it felt a bit too overcomplicated to achieve relatively simple results when I tried to control it externally - partially because I got caught up with unwanted sequencer triggering when my main sequencer sent a "Start" command, and the actual MIDI implementation generally confused me.

That said, I'm aware that the 505 and 404 are different beasts, so it's definitely an interesting suggestion. Do you happen to know if the 404 can be used as literally just a "dumb" sample playback module (circumventing the internal sequencer, etc., and just triggering one-shot samples on MIDI note-on messages?

Re: Anyone used an Alesis Sample Rack as a Phrase Sampler/Playback Sampler?

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:30 am
by salwa
translucencecs wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 pm
Thanks guys!

@Salwa - I haven't tried a SP-404, although I have had an SP-505, and it felt a bit too overcomplicated to achieve relatively simple results when I tried to control it externally - partially because I got caught up with unwanted sequencer triggering when my main sequencer sent a "Start" command, and the actual MIDI implementation generally confused me.

That said, I'm aware that the 505 and 404 are different beasts, so it's definitely an interesting suggestion. Do you happen to know if the 404 can be used as literally just a "dumb" sample playback module (circumventing the internal sequencer, etc., and just triggering one-shot samples on MIDI note-on messages?
That's the only way I'm using it. Basically my live setup is built around Kawai Q80EX. SP404 is connected to one of the Kawai's MIDI outs and contains long (thank God for streaming from card) samples (drum tracks). Sequencer triggers one note, drum track fires up and we're done. I'm using original SP404 (not the SX or A version), but I think this will work with the newer versions too. On the sidenote - I don't think I've used 404's internal sequencer more than once (I just wanted to know if it works at all) - it's rather simple and not very flexible.