Samplers - the forgotten synthesizers?

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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piRoN
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Post by piRoN » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:36 am

I use my Prophet 2k pretty much purely as a synth. It's too hard to ignore those lovely filters, especially when you've got the option of using them in stereo. And for a 12-bit sampler it's surprisingly clear and uncoloured, so there's not much point using it for grungy sampling.

The Akai S3000XL I use largely as a straight sampler because the S3000 family filters are notoriously bland and plasticky. Plus it's got the most memory so it's usually tied up in workhorse duties. You can use it like a synth, but it never sounds particularly good.

The Ensoniq EPS I use more as a wierd sample mangler, the filters aren't all that interesting, but there's plenty of oddness that makes up for that. It's far more unpredictable than any of my analogues, that's for sure.

The Roland S-50 doesn't even have real-time filters, so I can't use that as a synth...

And the Akai X7000 I use for more textural stuff, making things sound like they're coming out of a battered old reel-to-reel.
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Post by tallowwaters » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:57 am

piRoN wrote:
And the Akai X7000 I use for more textural stuff, making things sound like they're coming out of a battered old reel-to-reel.
someone in a town 30 minutes away had one for 40 bucks on craigs...i was too lazy to go buy...
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Post by Dane_Xoth » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:59 pm

Used to do this on my DJ-70II. I'd draw the waveforms in Wavelab and ship them thru MIDI. (I'd buy ReCycle for this , but they've dropped H/W support, WTF?)

Didn't delve too deep into it though. I'm getting 2 S-760's shipped from London, one has the video upgrade. I've also got 3 Zip drives, an Optical (sysquest) drive and some Harddrives which i hope to fill. :)

Passed on a S-330 recently, and i'm kicking myself.

Missed my X7000, it had the 'Drum Trigger' in put on it. Loved the crunchy sound for hip hop beats.
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Post by OriginalJambo » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:19 pm

Sure is - just nabbed an E-mu Emax II for £60.

Seems almost nobody is interested in hardware samplers - I think it's safe to say that the ease of integration that software samplers like Kontakt, Halion and Gigastudio offer probably accounts for this.

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Post by Architecture » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:02 pm

I just bought a Akai S1000 with 18megs and a new screen for 140 USD, and on top of it I bought 3 8meg memory cards for 250 dollars, which is a steal for what they go for singlely.

I'll probably sell whatever ram I don't use or change out, but I can't say for sure. I just might buy a S1100, you never know :wink:

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Post by hageir » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:57 am

Architecture wrote:I just bought a Akai S1000 with 18megs and a new screen for 140 USD, and on top of it I bought 3 8meg memory cards for 250 dollars, which is a steal for what they go for singlely.

I'll probably sell whatever ram I don't use or change out, but I can't say for sure. I just might buy a S1100, you never know :wink:
I've got the s1100 :)
just got a few weeks ago..
Too bad it only wants SCS-1 (Centronics)
What do you guys who have a s1000/s1100 use for storage?
It didn't want to recognize my ZIP drive (I had a parallel -> SCSI-1 adapter)
I've also got a SCSI-1 outboard harddrive but the disk is broken :(

can you use ZIP with the s1000/s1100?

*edit* just googled+RTFM :)
yes, I guess I blew the SCSI ID procedure!!
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Post by Architecture » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:34 am

Zip disk AFAIK are the medium of choice with the S1000's. There are also memory card to SCSI deals that people use too.

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Post by hageir » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:25 am

Architecture wrote:Zip disk AFAIK are the medium of choice with the S1000's. There are also memory card to SCSI deals that people use too.
It's not working :(
I can't find the drive nor format it..

Any tips?
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Post by Architecture » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:41 am

you said that it was the parallel version of the Zip Drive? That could be the reason why its not working.

Im gonna have to look into this one further.

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Post by hageir » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:49 am

I found this, it says ZIP drives are useable..
http://www.gillescoudert.com/s1000.htm

pretty weird stuff :S
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Post by hageir » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:09 am

Ah, ye olde SOS, always there to save your arse:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_ar ... blems.html
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Re: Samplers - the forgotten synthesizers?

Post by EuPhOnIc » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:42 am

I use my ASR-10 for this particular function. To warm up sounds that sound rather thin coming out of my Motif ES. I've done experimenting with layering and tuning and its really cool what you can come up with. I love the ASR-10 just because of the warmth it add, the character it adds to samples is something else.

So yeah they are in a sense forgotten synthesizers, and ensoniq series had that section locked down in terms of sound quality and depth. It truly is a sample surgeon and the work flow is amazing once you get the hang of it.

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Re: Samplers - the forgotten synthesizers?

Post by Spadz » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:16 pm

I couldn't live without my E-Synth. It's an amazing synth with huge modulation possibilties. The user interface is well tought and, IMHO, there still no synth with possibilities like that. The software version is very clean and is based on the EOS, but the filters are still software and just "too clean" for my taste.
It really depends what you wanna do. I find the classic E4 to be warmer then the Ultras. But just for filters, I miss my EIII a lot sometimes. It does not provide the programming possibilities of the E4, but those fat analog filters just can't be beat by digital ones by a mile.

I did almost fot an S-330 a while ago for cheap. Then I just changed my mind. What I would want now is an old sampler with analog filters. En original EMAX would be nice, but I feel people are asking too much, in the ones I've seen in the past months.
I'll get my chance eventually.
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Re: Samplers - the forgotten synthesizers?

Post by desdinova » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:32 pm

If you can afford the extra media cost, MO is a much better idea than zip disks. More robust, more storage. Many samplers do support them.
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Re: Samplers - the forgotten synthesizers?

Post by aeon » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:35 pm

Image

Above is the internal engine of the Yamaha A5000.

To the left of the red vertical line is the structure per sample. You can layer these as you like. To the right of the red vertical line is the effects blocks and the step-sequencer program LFO. You get these once per program.

The asterisks in the wave modulators for pitch and pan mean that these parameters can be randomized at note-on.

Solid lines are for audio. All paths are stereo. The dual lines out of the VCA mean that each voice can be sent to two places, e.g., effect 1 and 2, or main out and effect 1, etc.

Dotted lines are for modulation paths.

As you can see, many things can be modulated by velocity. That allows for some expressive voicing, if you wish.

The EQ that follows the filter and gain stage is a 1-band parametric that is per-sample.

The section after the sample allows for detuning like a 2-osc synth, phase shifting, and stereoization of mono samples.

Pink is signal flow.
Purple is engine modulation params.
Blue is EGs.
Green is LFOs.
Yellow is MIDI CC.
Orange is FX.

Synthesizer indeed! :D


cheers,
Ian

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