Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Hugo76 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:03 am

Yamaha A4000 is a great sampler. I used to have one, but couldn't afford to keep it. Sound, filters, effects, modulation - all were top notch. Actually I've considered getting hold of another one (or the A5000) to use as an effects unit.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by FrankenZappa » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:05 am

The Elektron Octatrack looks to be a fun alternative to soft samplers, might be worth a look If you got deep pockets.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by localilocano » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:38 pm

Yea but once the octatrack becomes a hit ableton will need to work harder to get people to upgrade to version 9. Akai will need to make a competitive mpc. Roland needs to make a more competitive mv and mc series. Plus vintage samplers will drop 20-25% of current value. It might cost a lot in the begining but the consequences will be desired for everybody.


FrankenZappa wrote:The Elektron Octatrack looks to be a fun alternative to soft samplers, might be worth a look If you got deep pockets.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Boba JFET » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:51 pm

I like old hardware samplers. I personally own a Mirage, an Emax II, and a DSS-1, and I wouldn't at all mind getting a couple more old beasties. However, I also completely understand why the dedicated hardware multisampler market died. There just is no competition when you look at the capability, flexibility, integration, and memory/storage capacity, and price/performance ratio of softsamplers. In studios, these things will always win out. The phrase sampler market (which is obviously not what anybody here is talking about) is alive and well because those devices are optimized for live performance, a market segment which still embraces hardware.

I like that things are the way they are. Software really is the future and if you want to do new things to your samples, the computer is the place to do it. All that stuff about the computer being a static environment is bullshit. A laptop is a lot more friendly for jamming with your friends and moving about than is a rackmount hardware sampler with a tiny alphanumeric LCD screen.

That said, there is also something rewarding (at least to me) about working with archaic, outdated stuff and a lot of these samplers also sound really good and characterful in a way that software doesn't achieve. To me that's the only appeal of working with hardware multisamplers, because the rest of it sucks. I can respect that different people might have different ways of working which, but it's silly to expect the market to cater to their esoteric habits and desires when they are in a clear minority. I'm left-handed, and it would be like me bitching that everything in the world is designed backwards from what I want.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by diezdiazgiant » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:29 am

i am not trying to be a troll as i love samplers.

but... didn't read ANY of the posts other than the original and i've just got to put in my vote that i love soft samplers. with a good soft sampler and a series of good controllers you can design an array of interfaces that suit you for various facets. i don't miss data entry via a shitty jog wheel, nor do i miss RAM restrictions or especially the restrictions of a hardware interface. i don't miss having to shell out nearly a f**k grand every time akai or some other company came out with a new sampler that has the same f**k interface but its new features will only work with new guts
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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Ashe37 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:48 am

localilocano wrote:Yea but once the octatrack becomes a hit ableton will need to work harder to get people to upgrade to version 9. Akai will need to make a competitive mpc. Roland needs to make a more competitive mv and mc series. Plus vintage samplers will drop 20-25% of current value. It might cost a lot in the begining but the consequences will be desired for everybody.
Will the 8-track Octarack put pressure on unlimited-track Ableton? Doubt it. (Even "Ableton Intro"- the current LE version- has 64 audio tracks and unlimited midi tracks) The largest CF card the Octarack can take is 64 GB. Most laptops come with 300 GB or larger hard drives, and that's assuming you don't add an e-SATA drive of 1 TB.

All Akai would have to do to make the mpc more competitive is set it up to stream samples from CF, instead of using RAM.

Roland doesn't have a 'current' MV or MC- both models are being blown out and are listed as discontinued.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Roberto » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:13 am

Just my tuppence ha'penny, for what it's worth ;)

I am a big hardware fan but have realised that most things are going software and with good reason too. Personally, I think that we would all be best served by some proper hybrid systems that use the best of both worlds.

However, that said, I still have my hardware samplers (Akai S6000, Akai Z8, Akai MPC1000 & Akai MPC500) and for any sampling work, the S6000 is where it all starts for me. I know that I can build an instrument in the Akai that can then be translated into most other formats with consummate ease and little adjustment. The thing is, the S6000 is a REAL sampler, not like Kontakt or it's ilk (I'm not picking on Kontakt!). These are sample playback and manipulation devices. They do that job VERY well. But for a single device that can actually sample, manipulate and program within the same single environment, the hardware sampler cannot be beat.

I know of many sample developers whose output is mainly in the software formats but do all their actual sampling in hardware (virtually all with Akai's).

I do miss the days of good, old fashioned hardware. It's immediacy and reliability are still unmatched but the power of some of the software out there today is undeniably good and cannot be ignored.

I have only found one software sampler that gets very close to the "good old days" and that's E-MU's EmulatorX2 or X3. A proper sampler that samples and does things in that tried, tested and familiar way yet employs many modern traits. It's just a shame that it never really caught on and that development ceased beyond X3.

Maybe it's demise says something about the "I want it now, I want it easy and I want it as cheap as I can get" culture that we have today?

If only Akai would consider doing something? A software/hardware combo, perhaps? Plug-in-able software that utilises a hardware audio I/O and control surface? Hmmmm.... ;)

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by DaBigC » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:23 pm

Hey, Folks. I just joined vintagesynth's bb a couple of days ago. I just took a look-see and found the "Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers." I have an Ensoniq ASR-10. I can remember all those lovely evenings when the ASR-10 and I would sample, compose and lay it on tape. What a different world now. I am also left-handed and don't expect the world to turn on my dime. The saddest thing to me is that the machine is willing but the O.S. is weak. A couple of folks (G. Geibler and G. Hiltje) tried to keep up with it, but... No demand, no supply.

So I've bought an iMac. I'm sure I will run into you folks as I migrate away from PC's and into Mac's. I'll thank everyone in advance for your advice and comments.

By the way, I still have the ASR 10. It's still at 100%. I could never let it go...

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Yoozer » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:01 pm

Roberto wrote:The thing is, the S6000 is a REAL sampler, not like Kontakt or it's ilk (I'm not picking on Kontakt!). These are sample playback and manipulation devices.
But they don't need to sample. When you get down to it, the main reason hardware samplers offer wave-editors and a way to record incoming signals is because there was no such way to do this with an external device - a computer. It didn't make much sense either to separate these duties, because a device that only played back samples already existed. It's called a rompler.

Admit it: editing files in Wavelab with a big screen and a mouse is dozens of times more convenient. If you don't want to admit it - OK. The mouse and monitor hookups of various vintage samplers will bring that point home for you. Fairlight found that out. PPG found that out. Roland found that out (S-series).
It's immediacy and reliability are still unmatched
Mapping and programming is everything but immediate unless you remember all shortcut keys by heart. Its size and rack ears mean that in almost all cases you'll sit in front of it in a rather awkward fashion, unless it's nearly in your face.

I drag, select 20 waveforms, already named correctly (which took only a minute, as opposed to turning a data wheel a million times) and I drag 'm in any software sampler. It immediately makes the (correct) assumption that I'd like each of 'm to span a key. Drag, drag, done. What is the honor in doing this on a small screen, doing your best to wear out the buttons?
Maybe it's demise says something about the "I want it now, I want it easy and I want it as cheap as I can get" culture that we have today?
The later samplers are computers - with older hardware and a tiny display. Computers are cheap. You're not mourning about the demise of the old 286 SX-25 - and you shouldn't either, because everything that came after it was faster, better, harder, stronger. Perhaps you could mourn the software that ran on it, but an emulator solves that problem, too.

There's something to say about having crystals and lowpass filters and all kinds of juicy circuitry to transpose things down, and that's all good and great, but that's the Emulator II age. An S5000's only unique point is its D/A conversion, its tranpose algorithm (which, by the way, is of course limited in accuracy because the device has a polyphony/processor speed tradeoff) and the filters (and those are better on an E-mu anyway).
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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by CS_TBL » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:54 pm

Yoozer wrote:What is the honor in doing this on a small screen, doing your best to wear out the buttons?
It was the age of using 1..5 single sustaining notes of a flute across the whole keyboard, not the 6 velocity levels + 6 articulations for each key there are today. The problem in this thread is 'objectives'. If -from today's point of view- simple instruments are all you need then you can do these with both HW and SW. However, if you require extremely complex and large instruments, then sampling, managing and editing such an instrument on HW is like whistling the national anthem while eating a banana, while your partner tortures your jack plug with hot wax.

The question in this thead shoudln't be 'what do you like most?' but 'what are your objectives?'.
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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:50 am

The question wasn't 'what do you like best' until the last few posters made it into such. The question shouldn't be about objectives either... As a matter of fact, I believe the original question was the actual title of the thread until a bunch of people that think they have all the answers for all the other people made it into something else.
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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:20 am

Also, the original question was asked over three years ago. I think it might be time to let this one go, pretty much every point of view has been covered ad infinitum.

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Roberto » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:05 pm

Yoozer wrote:When you get down to it....blah, blah, blah...</snip>
You really didn't get my post, did you ;)

And to clarify, sampling should be done by the ear, not by the eye; the S6000 has a detachable panel so no staring at a big rackmount; I can drag & drop using ak.sys; and stating three things as a "unique" point defies the meaning of the word unique ;)

As has been said, forget the format, forget the technology and concentrate on making good music.

That is all :)

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by Boba JFET » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:05 pm

Roberto wrote:And to clarify, sampling should be done by the ear, not by the eye
I disagree that sampling should be done by the ear and not the eye - good sampling requires judicious use of each. For example, monitoring levels is something that should really use the eye as well as the ear, you often want to use as much of the dynamic range available as possible without clipping (although admittedly this is less important with devices sampling at higher than 16-bit resolution). Also, when sampling by the ear it's nigh on impossible to tell whether there is 5ms of silence in front of your drum hit that one didn't truncate because the truncation was done by ear - that's one of my biggest sampling pet peeves because it can really mess up the timing of a beat when some drum hits (but not others) have a sort of built-in latency.

One's sense of hearing is definitely and obviously important to the sampling process, but I can think of lots of little issues that have been solved by visually examining my sample data or some visual feedback thereof (an FFT display, etc.).

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Re: Rant about the lack of modern hardware samplers.

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:35 pm

Yeah, I found my eyes a very important part of the process when looping on my Emax II: 0008902 2765443

;)
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