Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

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tomorrowstops
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Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:40 pm

All I want is:

- The ability to load my own drum machine samples.
- A set of pads.
- Standard midi in/out connections.
- Multiple outs; at least 4.
- The ability to play/record basic sequences (beats).
- Standalone piece of hardware.

I don't need any of the fancy performance jazz that the million dollar units seem to boast (Octatrack, Machinedrum, Tempest).

Just picture a Linndrum, 707, or DX functionality, able to load user sounds. Without coding eprom chips.

BONUS feature would be a full fledged multitrack midi sequencer.
Last edited by tomorrowstops on Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by groy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:17 pm

If smartmedia cards are ok with you sounds like a korg es-1 / esx checks them boxes, right?

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:44 pm

Interesting, hadn't ever looked at those! Not bad options. I wish the ES-1 had multiple outputs like the ESX.

What else?

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by Chewy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:42 pm

"DJ in a box" - that's a little insulting to those units, considering what DJ actually means...
Those units are nice, versatile samplers and drum synths/machines, they're not simple CD/audio players.
They are expensive, and I don't own any for that reason, but they're not "DJ gear" unless "DJ" has somehow become synonymous with "(electronic) musician"

Anyway, ES-1 is nice, I have one myself. Nice and cheap, with a good amount of effects and sample edit functions, plus the awesome, dead simple to use TR style sequencer. ESX-1 is also a good choice, adding tubes and other features, plus the use of an SD card if you get the SD version. And speaking of the electribes, the newly released Electribe Sampler may also be one to consider (the name is weird, since it's the newest, some just call the new ones "Electribe 2," which would have made more sense).

Another thing I just noticed after writing the Electribe section above - title says sample playback. Do you just want a machine that can only play back your samples, or an actual sampler? (sampler - one that can both actually do the sampling [record the sounds] and [with most units] play them back) I would highly recommend just getting an actual sampler, and most, if not all, my recommendations will be actual samplers (that can also play them back, only a couple old samplers ONLY did recording).

There's the Akai MPX16, which is fairly new, and only $200. No sequencer, but there's a digital filter, envelopes, etc. There's also the earlier MPX8(SD?) that can only play back samples from the card. I don't think MPX8 has MIDI, but MPX16 does. And of course - there's the whole Akai S series of rack samplers, some of which you can get fairly cheap, although they don't have pads (S20 does, though!), and the MPC line.

And you can't forget Ensoniq. They have released several samplers over the years. If you want one with pads, there's the ASR-X and ASR-X pro, which do have a good amount of editing features and sequencers.

I think for the rest, I'll just list them (there's lots more I'd list, but I'll try to keep it pads only):

Akai - aforementioned stuff; MPX8/16, S20 (S20 has a sequencer)
Boss - SP series (SP-404SX can use an SD card, I believe SP-202 is the only one without a sequencer)
E-mu - SP 12/1200 (expensive), Drumulator 2 (I think)
Korg - Volca sample (only playback, have to use iOS app to load samples, kinda lame for that reason)
Roland - MC-808, maybe MC-909, SP series
Yamaha - SU series, RS-7000

Those are what I can think of at the moment

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by Sexor » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:57 am

Chewy wrote:
There's the Akai MPX16, which is fairly new, and only $200. No sequencer, but there's a digital filter, envelopes, etc.
Stay away from that one. It has a firmware flaw, still unfixed since its release, which cuts the beginnings of samples away randomly. The "Tshh" of a Linn snare becomes "shh".
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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by somebedroomdj » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:03 am

Roland MS-1 checks all of those boxes and will only cost you around $50-75. Nothing fancy but a nice little sampler.
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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by monolith » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:08 am

Chewy wrote: E-mu - SP 12/1200 (expensive), Drumulator 2 (I think)
The Drumulator 2 doesnt really exist, it became the SP-12.



I highly rate the ES-1 but also wish it had more outputs.

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by Chewy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:08 am

Sexor wrote: Stay away from that one. It has a firmware flaw, still unfixed since its release, which cuts the beginnings of samples away randomly. The "Tshh" of a Linn snare becomes "shh".
I thought I heard about that, should have mentioned it, thanks for bringing that up
somebedroomdj wrote:Roland MS-1 checks all of those boxes and will only cost you around $50-75. Nothing fancy but a nice little sampler.
Yes, good suggestion, if tomorrowstops wants a pretty simple one, that could do the job at a very low price
monolith wrote: The Drumulator 2 doesnt really exist, it became the SP-12.
Hmm alright, I could have sworn there was a second version of the Drumulator itself that could sample, but I'll take your word for it

Btw, I don't know why I put the SP-404(SX) in the Boss section, that one is Roland. Some SPs were released by Boss (SP-202, SP-303, SP-505) and some by Roland (SP-404. SP-555, SP-606, SP-808)

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by pflosi » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:32 am

Considering your other thread and the thoughts expressed there, I really think a MPC is the way to go... Ticks all the boxes and the 500 and 1000 can be had for cheap (as said in the other thread, make sure not to buy a blue MPC1000 but a black one).

Cheers!

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by tomorrowstops » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:52 pm

Chewy - I was just messin with the DJ-in-a-box comment. All of those machines look pretty sweet and probably better described as soup-to-nuts electronic music production workstations. Or something like that!

Anyways, I good paying attention to the word Playback. I am indeed just needing playback capabilities. I don't need this box to sample, although I realize 99% of these boxes do that.

I looked at the new Akai box as well, but then started reading about those bugs.

I need to look at Ensoniq more in depth and that MS-1 box looks interesting. Stereo outs only though...

I think another must is going to be multiple outs, at least 4. I usually mess around with my drum mix pretty heavily. I'll add this to my original post.

And yes, Pflosi, the MPC is still on the table. I think what got me off that track was reading a thread about alternatives to the MPC in which Stabfrenzy chimed in with his experience switching from an MPC to an Octatrack and how the quality of sound was night and day. I've read other places too that the audio output of the MPC line is a little less than desirable. I mean, I had one, and at the time didn't really notice. But that was a while ago, with younger ears. If I go MPC, I'll go with a black 1000 (what I had) because I forgot the 500 only has stereo outs. The 1000 only has 4 outs, and the 2500 has what, 8? Gonna have to think about that...

Keep the ideas coming guys!

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by supermel74 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:17 pm

tomorrowstops wrote: The 1000 only has 4 outs,
4 assignable outs in addition to the stereo outs. If you need at least 4 outs I think the MPC 1000 is the closest thing to what you're looking for without spending a lot more money.

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by pflosi » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:23 pm

Yeah it kinda is six individual outs if you want it to be... Or any stereo combination basically.

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by tomorrowstops » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:32 pm

Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot it was in addition to the stereo outs. That might be enough then. I generally keep my drum stuff fairly simple voice wise, anyways. Not to mention I'm running out of inputs on my interface!

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by tomorrowstops » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:55 pm

Pflosi, why not the Blue MPC1000's? Isn't the only issue pads? Which can be replaced easily for like $40? Or are there other concerns?

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Re: Super Basic Hardware Sample Playback Machine

Post by ninja6485 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:38 pm

tomorrowstops wrote:Chewy - I was just messin with the DJ-in-a-box comment. All of those machines look pretty sweet and probably better described as soup-to-nuts electronic music production workstations. Or something like that!

Anyways, I good paying attention to the word Playback. I am indeed just needing playback capabilities. I don't need this box to sample, although I realize 99% of these boxes do that.

I looked at the new Akai box as well, but then started reading about those bugs.

I need to look at Ensoniq more in depth and that MS-1 box looks interesting. Stereo outs only though...

I think another must is going to be multiple outs, at least 4. I usually mess around with my drum mix pretty heavily. I'll add this to my original post.

And yes, Pflosi, the MPC is still on the table. I think what got me off that track was reading a thread about alternatives to the MPC in which Stabfrenzy chimed in with his experience switching from an MPC to an Octatrack and how the quality of sound was night and day. I've read other places too that the audio output of the MPC line is a little less than desirable. I mean, I had one, and at the time didn't really notice. But that was a while ago, with younger ears. If I go MPC, I'll go with a black 1000 (what I had) because I forgot the 500 only has stereo outs. The 1000 only has 4 outs, and the 2500 has what, 8? Gonna have to think about that...

Keep the ideas coming guys!
It depends what you're looking for in terms of sound quality. Generally with samplers, not only are the lo-fi aspects of samplers typically unproblematic, but they tend to be generally desirable! I hear that the mpc 1000 is relatively transparent for the most part, so if there are any improvements in sound quality to be had by switching to the OT, considering the price difference; you will pay through the teeth for them - if they're even aspects that you will find desirable at all. The 707, lindrum, and dmx are all VERY lo-fi sample playback machines compared to something like an mpc 1000. Consider also that MPCs are frequently used in professional recordings, and often as the sole instrument. And AFAIK, wasn't stab frenzy using an mpc2500xl before switching to the OT?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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