Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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Mister Bill
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Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Mister Bill » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:35 pm

Seems like the sampler industry has gone soft on us.....

Kontakt, Emulator X.....so many software samplers, but it seems new hardware samplers are now in the domain of a feature on expensive workstations or shoddily implemented in drum machines. And perhaps I'm a slight technophobe, but I find the idea of taking a laptop onto a stage scary.

Honestly, I think that it would be real smart (I hope somebody from E-mu or something is reading this) if one of these software only companies would make a hardware "performance box", where one could take a bank from a softsampler (even if it's only a single one, like Kontakt or Emulator X), and upload it to this box to be sequenced or, better yet, played live independent of the computer.

h**l, while we're on the topic of breakout boxes, why not go on and make a full-on breakout keyboard? Take your samples, arrange them into presets with various key mappings, splits, layers and such per preset, and then send that bank to the keyboard, and have the keyboard do nothing but select presets and of course have the keyboard, mod and pitch wheels, aftertouch perhaps, and maybe a few knobs for additional live tweaking. No laptop, no MIDI glitches....just a nice self-contained unit.

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Post by JUGEL » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:39 pm

I love samplers.. there should be more. I don't find computers be a replacement, they just are an enhancer.

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Post by kk994 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:14 pm

Hardware samples dies on their arses because manufacters didn't keep up. For years I was pissed off by the lack of communication between my computer and my sampler. Samplers were cool but a hassle to use. Things like smart cards and USB connections are better than SCSI. Jesus SCSI was another pain in the head. 14'000 different connector types and never the one you need. Oh my CD use SCSI 1.3.0.2 narrow wide 31 pin and my sampler uses SCSI 4.2.3.1 ultra wide 611 pins.... oh... no... not again.

Maybe the death of the sampler was the fact that did not move from SCSI quick enough. Also although the later AKAI's had a bigger screen it was still a slow process to just fire a sample in an preview it in a track. I mean until hardware samples can be as fast and intuitive as Ableton they are going to have trouble.

Also in the world of pro orchestra samples...must hardware samples couldn't deal with the sample libraries in any meaningful way. I mean VISTA Pro can hold 128Gb of RAM and then buckets and bucket loads of harddrive space all easily accessible.

The only sampler left really is the performance sampler like the MPC's or the ES-1 or the Roland SP's...

Another problem with samplers was the piss poor effects that cost a fair bit. And then you are stuck with the effects they give you. It's not like you have a choice.

If I could get ableton in a sampler with better quantization I'd be there. Also if you could install a 3rd party DSP card like the UAD's so as you could choose your own FX.

I love samplers but I see the future as being bleak for samplers. At least the way we see them today.

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Post by smallsynth » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:15 pm

for those who've used them then, i've always wondered....

would it be a good idea to take my softsynth sounds and sample them into a keyboard? i am tentative about bring a laptop to a show as well. i don't want to have to mess with it during a performance. does this sample method work well? what keyboard have you used to facilitate it?

-geoffrey smallsynth

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Post by monk_volcano » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:11 pm

i hate to say this (again).. but you guys need to get over your fear of laptops and stop wishing for products that are never going to be made. I'm not trying to an a*s, just saying.

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Post by tallowwaters » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:58 pm

smallsynth wrote:for those who've used them then, i've always wondered....

would it be a good idea to take my softsynth sounds and sample them into a keyboard? i am tentative about bring a laptop to a show as well. i don't want to have to mess with it during a performance. does this sample method work well? what keyboard have you used to facilitate it?

-geoffrey smallsynth
i have been doing this and gigging for a while now... i actually have my roundabout weirdness of computer/sampler interaction down to an art form...i have made dozens of multisamples from quantum64 that reside in my emax2... (i actually think it makes my softsynth sounds sound better)
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Post by Bitexion » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:03 am

Someone, make a Fairlight CMI IV and retail it for $1,000 and I'm all for it :) Of course, it must be backwards compatible.
A sampling CD is no fun, you need the entire experience with a computer, screen, keyboard and a mountain of huge manuals.

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Post by JSRockit » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:45 am

I'd love to have a modern Akai X3700... that would be perfect. In the meantime...I'm ok with my MPC and SP-404.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:48 am

There's still the V-Synth, it doesn't really offer layering and multisampling, but it has a whole lot of cool new stuff.

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Post by diezdiazgiant » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:04 am

well...
your "performance box" could be done easily... you take a computer, set up your templates for your controller and then you tuck the computer away out of sight to avoid the technophobic criticism of using a computer.

in regards to self contained units - well theres the expensive keyboard/computer like the miko from opensource. i forget what its called but theres also some rack mount that gotten some good hype that will run vst's. both of those options are rather expensive, and really only seem worth it though for the gimmick factor that people thumb thier nose when they see anything that looks like it can be used to do thier homework on.


just an idea to throw out there, with a main keyboard that allows you to change midi channels quickly with a compact controller in combination with key/velocity splits you can do alot. you just need to practice and learn your own mappings. just an example within the context of ableton, buy a cheap mpd 16 and set that on channel one and assign pads to control simple utilities like play, record, etc; setup 4 channels and 4 clips per channel and within those confines plan your instruments. like channel 2 would be drums, channel 3 a synth with a bass patch, channels 4-6 kontakt running with a number of different splits with a number of different effects settings and a number of different key samples etc. with all the channels armed, put the keyboard on channel 2, tap out a simple snare on the quarters, once the loop end point is reached and ableton begin to take it from there with the snare, switch to 3 on the keyboard and key in your bassline, move on to channel 4 key that in, go back to cahnnel 2 and over dub more drum parts to add mvoement... you get the point right? with some planning you wouldnt even need to look at a computer monitor on stage doing something like this. it just requires a near OCD level of planning.

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Post by piRoN » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:23 am

monk_volcano wrote:i hate to say this (again).. but you guys need to get over your fear of laptops and stop wishing for products that are never going to be made. I'm not trying to an a*s, just saying.
Because obviously making music on the computer works for everybody. How silly of me not to notice. :?
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Post by crystalmsc » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:15 am

they're not gone, but most sampler have a built in synth these days :lol:
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Post by baschyn » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:31 am

I own doubles of my samplers. EIII, E4, E5000,ESI4000, only one MPC2000XL and V-synth XT. Not much has changed in the last ten years with sampling. Just the legal end. Don't get me started on Creative Labs and E-MU

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Post by tblack » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:48 am

monk_volcano wrote:i hate to say this (again).. but you guys need to get over your fear of laptops and stop wishing for products that are never going to be made. I'm not trying to an a*s, just saying.
agreed. it's the old "i love technology, but only to a certain point" argument
that we see on here all the time.

--i love the technology in my synth but fear the technology in my laptop--

whaaaa?

try kontakt and/or battery. they run circles around hardware samplers and both are pretty remarkable. and stable.
s**t can always go wrong when you perform with any gear.....but using a laptop live is much more
stable than it was even a couple years ago.

the upside of course is that the sampler that used to cost a couple grand now costs a couple hundred.

btw Creative have owned E-mu since 1993... well before the 4000 and 5000 series.

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Post by piRoN » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:17 am

Oh for f**k's sake.

I'm sorry, but I'm sick of hearing these sort of arrogant, ill-considered assumptions from people. So I'm going to say this once more:

THE REASON WE LIKE USING HARDWARE IS BECAUSE WE DON'T LIKE MAKING MUSIC ON THE COMPUTER.

I don't care if it's more powerful, I don't care if modern software samplers blow my gear out of the water, that fact is that I don't like sitting static in front of a computer slowly getting eyestrain when I can be in the studio with a beer and some mates, tweaking bits and pieces, moving around, and embracing the transient nature of it all, revelling in the tactile joys of moving from one unit to the other, and working within a physical space.

And regarding all this utter drivel about 'fear of the technology' and other such c**p... I've worked for several years as a CGI animator and general tech dude in the film industry, can program in C, C++, Basic, and VB, and currently own and operate a pair of self-built editing/animation rigs connected to a four-unit render farm. If I was so terrified of technology I wouldn't have spent over six f**k grand last financial year just to keep my computers competitive in the industry.

Next time you want to pour out your unresearched assumptions at others you might want to try actually engaging in a meaningful conversation with the people you're so happily deriding and find out the truth behind the matter.

But then, I suppose it's considerably easier to simply try and force your viewpoint on others in a forum thread which obviously has no relevance to you or any of your pursuits.

To those who actually have legitimate posts in this thread: As you were, gentlemen.
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