Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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balma
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Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by balma » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:07 pm

A lot of producers have replaced their hardware samplers by software....
why?

I still loving hardware samplers. Is the kind of instruments that I have digged the most. From Yamaha, Emu, Akai, Roland, I've tried to learn the most from them


Wich features will make you buy a hardware sequencer?
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by Hugo76 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:05 pm

balma wrote:Wich features will make you buy a hardware sequencer?
Variphrase technology and ease of use. I will probably be buying the successor to the Roland SP-606 sampling workstation - it probably won't feature Variphrase, but considering the 606 and 555 it'll probably be one inspirational and fun piece of kit.

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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by nathanscribe » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:13 pm

Call me old fashioned: the sound is the main thing.

I'm not interested in plenty of memory, tonnes of features, or even the interface - if I like the sound, I'll get over all that.

Other than that, price and scarcity might stop me. Otherwise, I'd have a Fairlight by now.

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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by balma » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:18 pm

1. HUGE memory storage

I hate so much those samplers, that have great features but you can have only 100 seconds or less of sampling capabilities. that goes against creativity and sound variety.

2. Analog filters or at least vacuum tubes like the electribe ones.
The sound of those tubes is definitly great. Thick sound

3. sampling at 8,12,16 and 24 bits.

4. VARIPHRASE of course. I have 3 Roland samplers: 2 SP 808 ex, well, this is the biggest and the best sampler of all the SP series, BTW, there is one of these at $250 on EBAY! And a V synth.

The SP808ex is a fantastic tool for editing. Is the perfect sampler for beat loops. copy, paste, chopping, it's instantaneous, you have a clipboard sample, where you can cut it hiperfast, duplicate it, slice it, is simple perfect.
But it has no variphrase, and no sample edition. No envelopes, or filters. Pitch change is absolutely useless. Even the pitch button got stuck for lack of use.
SP808ex can sample 1 hour from factory. Stereo samples.
And it can sample at 32MHZ and 44 MHZ. the problem, is that you can't have both at the same time. Must choose one when formatting the zip disk.

The V SYNTH, is a fantastic tool for mangling samples, and spread them over the keyboard without losing punchiness... but it has a short memory, and despite its beatiful user interface, it's tedious to edit them


5. A nice effect section. Samples, since they are frozen corpse sounds, come to live with a layer of effects over them....

6. Fast edition functions, copy, paste, organization, and OBVIOUSLY, since the PC helps a lot on .wav files, a good integration with a PC. At least, I demand USB.

7. Possibilities of samplin not just 1/4 analog inputs, but OPTICAL is a MUST. We need the highest quality possible when sampling. Optical input, and also at leas RCA DIGITAL, must be integrated.

8. Possibilities of sampling more than one source at the same time. So, you can connect your instruments, and record them, two or three of them at the same time at least. And the result, must come on a multi recording. I mean, after stopping the sample, you'll have two samples recorded.

9. Decent poly. At least 64 poly would be great.

10. Nice mangling features. fast reverse, linking the start point with the LFO, or clock quantizers... decent envelopes, noise and pink features, and a VA included to ring with the samples.



Those are my requirements. IMHO with these requests done, software samplers can go to h**l....


I think that these features are not big request. A sampler of this kind would not cost more than $2000

the SP808ex, can sample 1 hour, has 350 effects, has a beatiful edition system, can sample 2 inputs at the same time, it even has a VA!!!!, and beatiful step sequencer to change the effects parameters. The effects unit of the SP808ex is amazing, beatiful, original, top quality, but is so good, that you can have only 1 effect loaed. SP808ex is very near from my expectatives of the perfect sampler, but has a poor polyphony (4 stereo).
Has a library of 1024 locations, but can choose only 16 at the same time, has no variphrase, and no sample edition. horrible pitch change, and a noisy drive....
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by Yoozer » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:04 am

balma wrote: (lots of demands)
The more you try to cram into the same box for a low price, the more likely you'll be to end up with a laptop.
I hate so much those samplers, that have great features but you can have only 100 seconds or less of sampling capabilities. that goes against creativity and sound variety.
No, it doesn't. Arguably, it can make you more creative because you have to deal with limitations.
5. A nice effect section. Samples, since they are frozen corpse sounds, come to live with a layer of effects over them....
So a CD - which is, after all, nothing but a long digital recording of sound - is a "frozen corpse", too? Of course not. Liveliness is done with recording multiple zones and velocities. It's only frozen when you try to stretch a single sample over the entire length or do not use techniques like round robin (for which Kontakt has very nice support).
6. Fast edition functions, copy, paste, organization, and OBVIOUSLY, since the PC helps a lot on .wav files, a good integration with a PC. At least, I demand USB.
Obviously, a PC with a big monitor and a mouse plus a keyboard is vastly superior to edit, copy, paste and organize, compared to anything you try to cram into a smaller (rack-based) machine with a tiny screen.

Give it a monitor output and a mouse input - whelp, that's the S330 - and you're back at a PC again. It's not like newer samplers use special memory or harddisks.
We need the highest quality possible when sampling. Optical input, and also at leas RCA DIGITAL, must be integrated.
Exactly what are you going to sample then?

A microphone will still be analog. So you can convert it to a digital format. Then what?
8. Possibilities of sampling more than one source at the same time.
There's no point to this when you can have an audio interface that does several tracks at the same time.
decent envelopes, noise and pink features, and a VA included to ring with the samples.
You're trying to cram too much into a single box again.
I think that these features are not big request. A sampler of this kind would not cost more than $2000
I think you're looking for a Radikal Technologies Spectralis.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by harness » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:22 am

nathanscribe wrote:Call me old fashioned: the sound is the main thing.

I'm not interested in plenty of memory, tonnes of features, or even the interface - if I like the sound, I'll get over all that.

Other than that, price and scarcity might stop me. Otherwise, I'd have a Fairlight by now.

I agree, although there is a line I draw on functionality. An Akai S950 sounds better than my S3000XL, but the feature set and rack space was a deal breaker to me.

I have Akai, E-MU, and Yamaha samplers. All my sound sources end up in a sampler.

Still want to try a Roland S760, but there is nothing in my rack I would bump out to make room for it.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by CS_TBL » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:10 am

Depends on your musical style. No matter how fat, juicy, analogue, meaty <fill in> you think hardware samplers sound, just wait until someone asks you to write convincing orchestral music. There is no way in heaven, h**l or on earth where a sampler with 64-256MB memory holds up against a streaming sampler with multiple variations of the same notes, multiple velocities, multiple articulations, note transitions, mic positions and even complete phrases if you want to. While technically not limited to software perse (all you need is a harddisk), I just don't see it happen in hardware. Such a sampler would likely be much more expensive than a PC that does the same and more, causing people to move to PC's, causing hardware samplers to increase in price, causing more people to choose for a PC, ..snowball! It's simply economy, whether you like it or not.

If you don't need all this, and if 64-256MB is more than enough for you, you may choose any hardware sampler. I still think you're missing out the things that modern DAWs give you, but alas.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by Dj Pound » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:31 pm

A fully loaded MPC-3000
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by TrondC » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:29 pm

V-synth

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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by JSRockit » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:32 pm

Without hesitation? No sampler... with a bit of hesitation... Korg ESX-1 and a E-mu SP1200.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by shaft9000 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:43 am

i think all my samplers lack the feature "hesitate", whatever that does.
or are you talking about load times or something, i dunno....maybe i'm just thick :dontknow:
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:30 am

I agree with a lot that's been said here. My spin on this is that it really does depend on what kind of music you're into making. In my opinion if you're into electronic music then in many cases you'll get much more use out of a sampler that more closely resembles a synth ie. it has a highly coloured sound feeding filters with good modulation capabilities. A tool which positively encourages you to play and make your own sounds rather than loading up the latest wizzy 100Mb slab of someone elses sampling efforts.

I get tired of people forever suggesting that you must have tons of memory and ultra high quality converters. This whole ultra high quality thing seems to carving the soul out of electronic music. In fact, the only place I can see for such gratuitous memory usage is in orchestral sample playback. These solutions are great for playing back massive slabs of sample and setup to intelligently crossfade between a vast array of multisamples. This is exactly what is required for orchestral emulations BUT where this all falls apart is that, unless you are a true sampling guru, you're never going to make complex multisamples like this from scratch - nor are you likely to want to either. In other words - these are not samplers at all - they are simply massive ROMplers with a sampling capability. This totally goes against the grain for creativity where, in many cases, less is more and a simple UI makes all the difference.

So... considering the above rant; If you are into making electronic sounds from scratch from small, often one shot samples, I'd recommend one of the hardware samplers that were known for their synth like nature.

My suggestions are: (as long as they are for a sensible price!)

For amazing transposition capabilities and superb modulation:

E-mu EIII, EIIIX or EMAX II - are easy to use and sound great.

For the wonders of lower resolution into real analog filters with good modulation capabilities:

E-mu EII - sounds brilliant but only a 2 octave transposition range - amazing sample libraries and tweakability!
E-mu EMAX I - more reliable than the infamous EII but a thinner sound.

(both of the above are partly responsible for the DM sound)

For short samples into analog filters with stack and arpeggiator functions:

Prophet 2000/2002 - superb filters (more analog sounding than EII) but has a very frustrating UI.

For me the issue with most of the earlier AKAI samplers is that they are poor when it comes to moulding sounds. The S900/950/1000 sound great with percussion but sadly lack decent crossfade looping and don't have resonant low pass filters.

I have owned all of the above over the years so I admit that I am vintage H/W biased but I'd hope that my suggestions are at least based on experience.

The later H/W samplers were basically embedded PCs and therefore I wouldn't bother with them - they are also worth nothing and hence make a poor investment in the long term.

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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by Spadz » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:30 pm

One vote for you here Hideaway.

But...
Do you consider E4s a PC? I have one, and it sounds really good and pretty warm.
It doesn't beat the real EIII in fatness for sure, but for synth like programming, it kills.
And it kills a lot of synths as well. The modulation possibilities in these things is just crazy.

That is THE unit I would buy again if it got stolen or something, personally.
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by Dj Pound » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 pm

HideawayStudio wrote: For me the issue with most of the earlier AKAI samplers is that they are poor when it comes to moulding sounds. The S900/950/1000 sound great with percussion but sadly lack decent crossfade looping and don't have resonant low pass filters.
Totally agree with you on that. And too some degree Akai still hasnt changed a bit in regards to sound modeling options on some of their newer samplers. Than again, Akai it seems never really focused on analog modeling style knob twisting when it came to the design of most of their sampling boxes, a feature/design I wish they would of integrated into their machines!

After seeing Ferris Bueller for the umpteenth time again, just yesterday. Im jonesin' for an EMULATOR II :mrgreen:
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Re: Wich sampler will you buy without hesitate

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:39 pm

Spadz wrote:One vote for you here Hideaway.

But...
Do you consider E4s a PC? I have one, and it sounds really good and pretty warm.
It doesn't beat the real EIII in fatness for sure, but for synth like programming, it kills.
And it kills a lot of synths as well. The modulation possibilities in these things is just crazy.

That is THE unit I would buy again if it got stolen or something, personally.
No - the EIV is not an embedded PC - it's really the last in the line of the traditional Emulator series and it's a fine piece of kit which is now great value for money. The EII and the EIII are now becoming very expensive to buy. For me, though, there was some magic lost with the newer models. I played with an E64 for a bit, which is very closely related to the EIV, but decided to let it go. For me the last great Emulator was the EIIIX. The last hybrid beast was the EIII and is still an amazing instrument.

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