Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Re-Member » Sat May 05, 2012 9:28 am

Ashe37 wrote:
Re-Member wrote:Despite throwing out there that a computer audio program can easily downgrade audio, people seem to keep posting about hardware samplers. Come on people, a sampler is digital and is really nothing more than cheap a*s computer shoved into a compact unit.
Actually, the Mirage (which several people recommended) isn't entirely digital. It uses analog filters. So do the early Emu samplers, and the Korg DSS-1. Part of the lo-fi crunchy quality in early samplers also goes to the quality (or lack thereof) of the DACs used in these samplers, which does impart a character in the sound and which simply using an 8 bit low data rate sample isn't going to reproduce.
I can agree with the difference analog filters can make if you're wanting to do synth type sounds, but he had mentioned wanting something for vocal and percussion samples. As for older DACs... I doubt anyone is going to pinpoint and call out a difference in digital sound degradation after it's thrown into a mix. The analog vs. digital debates are bad enough, don't tell me now that this thread is gonna go into a software lo-fi digital vs. vintage lo-fi digital debate especially in a era of cellphones, iPods, e-books, widescreen televisions, DVDS and satellite radio.

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Ashe37 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:14 am

Yes, different DACs have a different sound to them. Especially when the manufacturer is trying to squeeze every last bit of quality out of a 12 or 16-bit DAC. A 12 or 13-bit sample playing back on an older sampler is NOT going to sound the same as a sample crushed to 12 or 13 bit or resampled at that rate through the comparatively pristine DACs of today. Many of these samplers also had their own digital filters, which can add character as well. The OP obviously wants a hardware sampler. This section of VSE is for hardware samplers, may I add.

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Re-Member » Sat May 05, 2012 11:30 am

Ashe37 wrote:The OP obviously wants a hardware sampler. This section of VSE is for hardware samplers, may I add.
Yeah, and I mentioned three hardware samplers in my first post, one of which is nearly twenty years old. Just throwing out some practical ideas for a fellow industrial musician in case he wants to save some money. It's not like we're dealing with something basic and pure in tone like a square or saw wave coming from a synth; a sample can come from anywhere. For all we know, he could be using a Tiger Electronics Talkboy to record audio off an AM radio broadcasting the soundtrack from "The Odd Couple" which was streamed from a Youtube video captured off someone's cellphone. No one's gonna call him out on not using some old DAC when there's infinite probabilities of what the sound could be and where it even came from.

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Audity » Sun May 06, 2012 8:03 pm

Ashe37 wrote:For all we know, he could be using a Tiger Electronics Talkboy to record audio off an AM radio broadcasting the soundtrack from "The Odd Couple" which was streamed from a Youtube video captured off someone's cellphone. No one's gonna call him out on not using some old DAC when there's infinite probabilities of what the sound could be and where it even came from.
Actually, since starting this thread, I found a Grundig reel to reel handheld tape recorder from 1960's Germany and removed/modded the mic for some nice lo-fi sampling duties :) ...it's AWESOME, not to mention the recorder had all of the original owner's tape recordings on it =D Score one Salvation Army!

I'm still looking for just the right sampler to come my way, but I really appreciate all the feedback and I clearly have some research to do!!
synthparts wrote:Anyway, if you are computer savvy, look into downloading an older version of Audacity (which is FREE). With the older versions, you can save audio as 8-bit 6kHz wav files, so if you have a newer sampler, you can convert audio to be as gritty as possible, then re-convert them back to reload into the sampler.
Reeeaaally?!?! ...Gonna have to try that!

And as far as the filters go, having something like a Mirage with analog filters would be a pretty big deal :) ...Analog filters are so much more pleasing to the ear than their digital counterparts IMO. My goal is to have a rig as authentic as possible to what weas being used back in the 70s and 80s, thus my desire for the few digital pieces I DO want to include to be of the lo-fi, vintage persuasion.

So thanks again! And I retire now to research some of the samplers that have been suggested :)

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by xparis001 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:50 pm

The Tape machine is a good idea too. Front 242 used a tape machine on Geography. If you listen to the track "GVDT" at the 1:28 mark you hear a sample "what's wrong?". if you listen, you can hear them manually spin back the tape to replay it. I eat stuff like that up :)

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by silikon » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:40 am

Lo-Fi. Inexpensive. Extremely interesting. (some assembly required, admittedly - unless you know someone with one, or willing to build for you, and other challenges..)

Where' the party at?

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v2.x is on its way out (some day), I own a v1.0. It's absolutely lo-fi and works wonders on about anything you throw at it. It's likely you'll find someone selling their v1.0 on the forums at that link above, and depending on my disposition I may consider selling mine...
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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:33 pm

Re-Member wrote:
Vintage hardware samplers are redundant. Case closed.
A bit late, but statements like this aren't tolerated in this thread. Case closed.
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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by noisecomm » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:29 am

I liek to use various devices and signal paths when capturing sounds. You can pick up a cheap digital recorder or mp3 recorder and make some great lo-fi recordings. Someone mentioned tape tricks earlier in this thread, I'd look into that and transfer those Dr'd sounds to a more manageable device.

I use an old Roland SP-808 for 'dirty long samples', as it's easier than mixing several tape decks live.
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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Sir Ruff » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:20 pm

+3 for the Mirage. Easily the best bang for your buck in terms of amazing 8-bit aliasing, very nice analog filters and a relatively simple synth-like parameter interface. Even the hex stuff isn't too bad--just use your ears. I mean, these still go for like $50 on occasion, so it's really a no-brainer 8-)
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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Cruel Hoax » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:27 am

First of all, for the gentlehuman who claims that hardware makes no difference in the age of endlessly configurable software and user-selectable samplerate conversion and such:

That makes a certain kind of sense if you are just playing back samples as audio blocks, perhaps bites from old movies or what-have-you, with no human input as to the performance.

But the magic of older samplers begins when you PLAY them. For instance: grab a synth sound. Let's say one of the synths from the theme to "The IT Crowd" - easily sample-able and naked for the first few notes.

Now

Build your instrument in your old sampler, and play a part back using pitch bend. What happens to the harmonics?

Now do the same in a "modern" sampler, software or otherwise, using the same pitch bends. Apply your downsampling to the performance. You see how the harmonics alias, but don't bend?

THAT's the difference that a "vintage" (or any low-throughput sample rate) synth can make to an actual performance (as opposed to a cut 'n dried chunk of audio, which is obviously less fun to play with.) Analog filters are obviously a plus here.

NOW try some drum sounds. Try making complementary compressors (to maximise bit depth) and expanders (to reduce quantization noise on the quiet end) and sample and playback through those. Compare with applying bit reduction to a whole percussion part, and you'll see why the early MPCs and SP12s were loved for the dynamic character they imparted. As a matter of fact, finding the sweet spot of that pre- and post-encode dynamic area is what separates the Roger Linns from the Beat Thang-ers of the sound design scene.

Apologies to Beat Thangers if they are, in fact, accomplished sound design artists and theorists. I used the first "instant gratification rap machine" archetype that came to mind.

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Re: Nice "gritty" sampler for EBM/industrial

Post by Cruel Hoax » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:38 am

And as for synths:

i've had great luck with the DSS-1 (fabulous sound, huge monolithic hardware presence!) In my experience, it works well with most everything: leads, weird pads, bass. Percussion is not as effected as you would think, without use of the filter.

I've got a sweet spot for Ensoniq samplers and the way they downsample. Also, the "rotating output" option, where each note of your synth part rotates between FX1, FX2 and Dry. Great for those of us interested in polyrhythms, or just as an additional source of chaos. I like these for bell or FM-type sounds that benefit from extra strange s**t happening in the upper octaves.

Emu syths seem immune to this sort of grit, and I say this having used an Emax+ and above. Their claim to fame seems to be eliminating aliasing and spurious harmonics, while our interest here is in generating them. Hmph.

Yamaha SU units smash the signal in an entirely different way, losing treble and dynamic range. I find I like putting drums and loops through my SU-10 for the interesting way it squashes them. Also, battery-backed-up sampling! and a universal Sample Rate that affects every damn thing in the sampler, for unexpected results when you load up songs you're not currently using and find them strangely altered!

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