Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

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Tacowitch
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Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by Tacowitch » Tue May 26, 2015 5:15 am

So, I had a ridiculous stroke of luck recently. A few years back, a friend's dad picked up an Ensoniq EPS 16+ (rackmount version) from a local college, for something close to ten dollars (I think). Long story short, it lived on a floor for a while before making its way to me for free.

So my question is just kind of, "What do I do now".

I'm not gonna sell it, because it was gifted to me and it has musical potential, but I'd like to know what you guys use your hardware samplers for, and what you feel like the advantages over software are. I'm also really interested in the prospect of live playing with this thing, so if anyone has any experience with that, I'd love to hear about it. Finally, if anyone knows any bands/musical projects/whatever that frequently make use of hardware samplers, recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by madtheory » Tue May 26, 2015 6:21 am

The two coolest things about the EPS are:
1. Loop point modulation.
2. Resampling over and over again through the onboard effects.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by meatballfulton » Tue May 26, 2015 12:38 pm

Start stocking up on blank floppies and good luck.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Tue May 26, 2015 2:40 pm

Tacowitch wrote:I'd like to know what you guys use your hardware samplers for
WTF? This thread is already over 10 hours old and I really am the first one to say the M-word in this thread? OK, so be it. Mellotron :) . Plus some of this and a bit of that, of course. I have and got to love a Korg microSAMPLER.
Tacowitch wrote: and what you feel like the advantages over software are.
Easy: It's a hardware instrument :D .

OK, some background info to make this sound less stupid:
I have and play quite a few non-synth instruments as well, ranging from guitar, bass guitar, trombone, sax to "real" (acoustic, that is) drums and percussion, plus a few more. I hate using a computer for playing and recording music (I use a digital hardware recorder for recording, a Tascam DP24).

When it comes to music, I only use the computer for writing/printing my stuff (lyrics, lead sheets, notes), and for mixing/outputting (using Audacity), since that is more convenient.

I have a few softsynths but, to be honest, I hardly ever use them. I'm a hardware guy.
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by commodorejohn » Tue May 26, 2015 2:50 pm

Mellotron, Fairlight, Emulator II...all kinds of good uses for a hardware sampler :)
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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by madtheory » Tue May 26, 2015 5:19 pm

meatballfulton wrote:Start stocking up on blank floppies and good luck.
Oh, good point. Or if you want to make life easier, the HxC floppy emulator.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by seamonkey » Tue May 26, 2015 11:19 pm

Several things I'd like to suggest.

1) pick up a digital hand held recorder like the Tascam Dr-05. You can pick them up on ebay or online stores for under $100.00.
http://tascam.com/product/dr-05/
In the early days of sampling, musicians were creating completely unique sounds by sampling every day sounds around them. A pump making whoosh sounds, or a pulsating motor, a baby's cries, a cat's meow, dog barking, etc.
Take the recorder out into the world around you, and you'd be surprised how once you start listening, you'll hear things in a new way.
Record them for a few seconds and then sample the sound into the EPS. Then you can manipulate the sound and have a completely new sound.
I remember seeing a video of Peter Gabriel using the Fairlight for the first time, throwing something onto the ground while having a mic placed near it, and then sampling the sound into the Fairlight.

My second suggestion would be to visit YouTube, type in Ensoniq EPS Plus and check out how some people use it, and also other samplers can give you ideas as well.

You may find this new world of sampling extremely exciting and rewarding, or you may find it to be a pain in the arse, ho hum, and don't care for the workflow.
If that's so, you can tell the person who gifted you, you're not getting on with it, do they want it back.
If not, sell it, donate it, take the proceeds and buy something or donate the money to a homeless shelter, or shelter for animals. :D
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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by madtheory » Tue May 26, 2015 11:39 pm

seamonkey wrote: by sampling every day sounds around them. D
I use PCM recorder on the iPhone for this. The app is made by Tascam. It's how this track was made (there was this really loud woman on the train):
http://music.madtheory.com/track/chinaphone

I use Kontakt though!

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by seamonkey » Tue May 26, 2015 11:54 pm

Yes, Yes Yes, that's it! Excellent.
Record those annoying sounds that are all around us, and make them musical. :clap:

I'd forgotten about using a cellphone to capture sounds.
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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by Zamise » Wed May 27, 2015 12:22 am

You can also steal parts of other people's songs and remix them with your favorite movie quotes and say you made all 100% of it.
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by supermel74 » Wed May 27, 2015 8:25 pm

seamonkey wrote:Several things I'd like to suggest.

1) pick up a digital hand held recorder like the Tascam Dr-05. You can pick them up on ebay or online stores for under $100.00.
http://tascam.com/product/dr-05/
D
I bought this exact recorder to do exactly what you're talking about :) Hoping to get lots of interesting sounds for the Volca sample.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by blakeq » Sun May 31, 2015 8:43 am

you can pick up some of the little higher end recorders now for not much more than a Tascam Dr-05, for example the Tascam DR-40 can be had for $150ish and has features like 4 track recording, XLR/ quarter inch ins, etc.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by Ashe37 » Sun May 31, 2015 8:45 am

blakeq wrote:you can pick up some of the little higher end recorders now for not much more than a Tascam Dr-05, for example the Tascam DR-40 can be had for $150ish and has features like 4 track recording, XLR/ quarter inch ins, etc.
Used a DR-40 to record instrument audio for my NAMM 2014 vids.

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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by tom Cadillac » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:40 am

The EPS can get a very distinctive sound - also It was used by Autechre because of a beautiful glitch it had (I'v forgotten the exact details). And the world's your sound generator - I once used sampled printing machines into the EPS and got some really musical mechanical rhythmic sounds. If you start getting into hardware samplers one of the best is the Zoom St224 - it is a wonderful performance instrument due to the easy loop on/off control and the effects that an be applied in real time. enjoy!
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Re: Hardware Sampler Question (Mostly just "why")

Post by Silverfish » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:40 am

The question of "why?" seems to come up a lot these days with hardware samplers. For every answer to "why?" you may find ten answers to "why not?".

Here are my big reasons why:

1) The sound. I like that these things go CRUNCH, and they all do it differently.

2) There is value in the process of creating with these things. It takes time and effort to get results, and the results are worth it.

3) Preservation. Save all of the electronic instruments. They are a part of electronic music's cultural heritage.

When I need fast I use a computer. When I make art I use hardware. There is no better sound than aliasing and artifacts. :D

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