Most Creative Samplers

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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Yoozer
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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by Yoozer » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:14 pm

If you can perform the trick with several samples and have the outcome (and the originals) all readable (E-mu has a proprietary format) you can probably write an (offline) algorithm for it.

Even the timestretching isn't that much of rocket science - it's just copying grains of samples and letting them overlap; the less you have to worry about pitch, the rougher the result will sound, but the easier the algorithm is.
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HideawayStudio
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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:57 pm

chordmemories wrote:I need to get one of those damn things huh. I just need to figure out which organ is close enough in price.

I don't have an answer to this one myself but the ones I would be most curious to mess around with are the Emulator II, any of the EMAXs, the DSS-1 (FILTER!), and the A5000. One of my favorite albums was made almost exclusively with a Juno 106 and one of the 3000-series Akais...
My spin/rant on this one... If you like cruch with suberb midi timing and absolutely bomb proof (with the exception of the backlight!) then nothing beats the old Akai S950.... but NO resonant filters... perfect for fast/tight percussion - and still popular today in some circles.

If you like crunch with lovely warm, real analog, filters then I highly recommend the EMAX I or possibly the SCI Prophet 2000 or 2002 - or if you are really lucky... an original EII or EIII (please note - both are HUGE and neither are considered particularly reliable). Also note that the 12 bit EMAX I is a VERY different beast to the 16 bit EMAX II. The Roland S-330 is nice too - it is 12 bit with rather nice digital resonant filters but with a very cool monitor output and mouse input for driving composite video monitors - floppy only though.

My personal favourite (for an oldie) is the EMAX II turbo for seemingly making anything sound nice sampled across the keyboard. The transposition filtering on this thing is great and they feature some of the finest digital resonant filters of the time. Despite their tiny displays both EMAX I & II are easy to use. The modulation matrix is very good too - you can hook any RT controller to any parameter - eg. mod wheel AND lfo AND velocity in varying degrees to filter cutoff. The II's have SCSI interfaces and seem to be very reliable (with the exception of the LCD backlight!). That said they are 16 bit, warm silky smooth - but not crunchy. They are far more like synths than samplers - superb for pads, filter sweeps, orchestral sounds etc but not great for percussion as the midi timing is a little sloppy.

I've been rather dissapointed with a lot of the newer hardware samplers. To me after S1000 AKAI somehow lost the plot - their samplers had no character - which I suppose is fine if you don't want to colour the sound. All of the early Emu samplers were marvelous and somehow far more -musical- up to the EIIIXP but again the magic was lost after that. I think that far too many thought that bolting huge amounts of memory and adding more and more features would somehow make the difference - IMHO this just makes them less accessible and less creative - a sampler should be a breeze to use and positively -encourage- you to make samples! - Lets be honest - most these days use a sampler to playback other peoples samples! Is playing the latest multi gigabyte slab of orchestral samples creative?? Why did my MPC-4000 need 272Mb of RAM - thats 28 minutes of sample time!
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by tallowwaters » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:26 pm

Sounds like somebody needs a V Synth.
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chordmemories
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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by chordmemories » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:33 am

thanks for the informative post, hideaway.

and yes, i may need to sell a kidney and get a v-synth!

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CS_TBL
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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by CS_TBL » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:00 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:Lets be honest - most these days use a sampler to playback other peoples samples! Is playing the latest multi gigabyte slab of orchestral samples creative?? Why did my MPC-4000 need 272Mb of RAM - thats 28 minutes of sample time!
Multi gigabyte orchestral samples are perhaps not 'creative', but do they need to be? They should just sound for what I'm using them for: virtual orchestration. And in this context, no classic (non-streaming) sampler is going to beat that.

As for your 28 minutes: that's a case of being mislead by numbers larger than the mind can cope with. 16.7 million colors (24bit color) sounds like a lot, most people can't imagine that 16.7M colors are really required. However, if you explain these colors using 256 shades per color element, then things become much more clear at human levels. Same for samplers: people can't really imagine 28 minutes of note-per-note recordings, because apart from sampler-RAM this never occurs. People counting for 28 minutes also is something few -if any- people can do without getting bored. 28 minutes will therefor always sound like a lot. If, however, you're going to analyze what the 28 minutes would be used for in context of acoustic instruments, it may show that 28 minutes isn't much at all. A single sustained note of a harp, violin ensemble, trumpet, younameit, would easily be half a megabyte (assuming some quality libraries). At an average of 30 notes per instrument this would already be 15 MB. Multiply with 2 (dated figure, these days it's more) for two velocity levels, and we're at 30MB. That's for one articulation. For strings I can imagine there would be sustain, tremolo, halftrills and wholetrills, 30MB x 4, so to say, that's 120MB already. Add like 20MB for short strings stuff like staccato and pizzicato and we're at 140MB already.. or about half your sampler. Have violins like this one, and cellos like this one and this '28 minutes' is suddenly home to only 2 instruments! The figure '2 instruments' sounds a whole lot less fun than '28 minutes', doesn't it?

Of course, it all boils down to what kind of music you make with a sampler, for orchestral mock-ups you may be better served with a streaming sampler. Anyway, the math still makes sense for sampled synthetic sounds, although they may have less articulations/playstyles and may need less sampled intervals. To give you an impression: I've recorded/exported cymbals from FM8, with 6 relevant notes and 11 velocities. 262MB. Why do I sample FM8? To save precious CPU time. The cymbal FM sound was brutally heavy on the CPU, in sampled form it's as heavy as a sample of a doorbell.
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meatballfulton
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Re: Most Creative Samplers

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:01 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:
chordmemories wrote:Why did my MPC-4000 need 272Mb of RAM - thats 28 minutes of sample time!
Because people hate having to edit loops?

I've got over an hour of sample time in my Motif ES...never tried to use it all.
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