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Want to try an older rack sampler, not sure it’s worth it
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Want to try an older rack sampler, not sure it’s worth it

Never used an old school Emu or Ensoniq rack unit. Had a ASRX as a kid, but it was wasted on me as I didn’t understand it.

I’d like to have an old sampler if there are any good ones with great filters, and character for the sole purpose of sampled oscillators mostly. I’d like some decent modulation, as well. My concern is programmability. Knobs would be nice. I don’t expect a Prophet X, which I’ve had, but something that as a few knobs to program with. Ha

Any suggestions?

I already have an MPC Keys, so maybe I don’t even need this, but I want something less clean and more characterful.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
E-MU Emax I, Emulator II - both are full of character, excellent filters. Should definitely give Emax a try. I am 99% sure you will like it's character. It has a very specific sound when transposing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Hmm…knobs means it will likely be either a very early instrument, or one from 1997 or later.

One of the later Emu’s maybe?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
had lots and still got some, been using samplers since the 90s

i would simply advise against it for most people, the workflow f'in sux a lot of the time and the speed too - that is before you get near features

i would instead advise you get something to add character to the existing sampler you have, which in all honesty makes old stuff look stupid - and i say that as someone who does not really favour the new akai because ewww touchscreens wtaf !

however, if you do come join us then feel welcome to the family BUT please prepare for pain, and be sure to tell your household or mrs that you are likely going to be angry a lot of the time and may well be questioning your sanity and choices in life
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 
So I kind of went in the opposite direction and bought an Iridium. It’s got features to dirty it up, and I may add an ottobit jr (biscuit if I can ever find one of those reasonably). I do a lot of resampling through my Octatrack, as it’s sync’d to the MPC. I’ll add some bit crushing fx of some sort to the cue chain, or just use the OT’s lofi effect for now, which I am rather fond of.

Ultimately the goal was a sampler I could have with wide range of synthesis options available in the engine, something the MPC lacks at the moment. Character was something I’ll just have to add.

I just don’t think I could handle the interface of some of the older stuff.

But as far as the Iridium. I love the M, Waldorf really on a roll lately.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
When they were still cheap I found an EPS-16+, S950 and S612 locally and an Emax I via Reverb.

The S950 can sound fantastic but it's laborious to use, not really a fun flow state machine.

The S612 is quick and fun, its limitations might not be too bad for your desired uses.

The EMax - mine, unfortunately is the HD model and has a floppy emulator and I'm baffled at trying to set up new floppies on the emulator with the HD model, but I also don't have access to a Windows computer which apparently would make it easier. Have seriously considered trying to swap a disk drive back in.

The EPS-16+ isn't too bad and can get very characterful reducing sample rate even though it's not really a lofi sampler.

Honestly, though, they're all just on the shelf these days - TAL Sampler's vintage DACs and the S2400 do lofi for me.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooderson ➡️
When they were still cheap I found an EPS-16+, S950 and S612 locally and an Emax I via Reverb.

The S950 can sound fantastic but it's laborious to use, not really a fun flow state machine.

The S612 is quick and fun, its limitations might not be too bad for your desired uses.

The EMax - mine, unfortunately is the HD model and has a floppy emulator and I'm baffled at trying to set up new floppies on the emulator with the HD model, but I also don't have access to a Windows computer which apparently would make it easier. Have seriously considered trying to swap a disk drive back in.

The EPS-16+ isn't too bad and can get very characterful reducing sample rate even though it's not really a lofi sampler.

Honestly, though, they're all just on the shelf these days - TAL Sampler's vintage DACs and the S2400 do lofi for me.
I’m curious- why use the floppy when it has SCSI? Zulu or SCSI2HD are not cheap but it’s so much better. I’d use my FZ a lot more if it had SCSI.

BTW an FZ can do everything an Emax can do, and sounds good doing it too.

With you on the plugins for the vintage sampler sound. My fave is CMIV. If they had a gnarly filter like the FZ I’d sell it
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Df music ➡️
So I kind of went in the opposite direction and bought an Iridium. It’s got features to dirty it up, and I may add an ottobit jr (biscuit if I can ever find one of those reasonably). I do a lot of resampling through my Octatrack, as it’s sync’d to the MPC. I’ll add some bit crushing fx of some sort to the cue chain, or just use the OT’s lofi effect for now, which I am rather fond of.

Ultimately the goal was a sampler I could have with wide range of synthesis options available in the engine, something the MPC lacks at the moment. Character was something I’ll just have to add.

I just don’t think I could handle the interface of some of the older stuff.

But as far as the Iridium. I love the M, Waldorf really on a roll lately.

haha well that didn't take long, fwiw i would say that is the right decision and you can clearly get great results using iridium this way, and you get a mad synth for free

btw i have 2 x OT and when i want extra grit i simply use cue outs to 'flavour' devices and bring it back in - then sample it in and chop if required, the best of both worlds is on tap

as above, i also use TAL sampler or DAC (both of which should be in anybodys arsenal imo) and 2400 if i want 'that' sound
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
It’s not really in the GS spirit to buy modern tools and character plugins is it?

Shouldn’t we all be buying expensive, hard to maintain gear that has workflows that are puzzling, obtuse, clunky and slow?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
flat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpanderbeanz ➡️

Shouldn’t we all be buying expensive, hard to maintain gear that has workflows that are puzzling, obtuse, clunky and slow?
After watching vids of people demonstrating ancient Akai S700s and Roland S10s, I got far more drawn in on what they were doing than on some characterless modern piece of software that has 1 million options that will be long forgotten when the must have 'latest' version appears.

DSS-1 is a nightmare to program, but the character and results are worth the effort imo. I don't really use samplers much, but the old simpler ones interest me far more. Only modern one that appealed to me was the one on the Digitakt, as it was a no nonsense easy to use function.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat ➡️
After watching vids of people demonstrating ancient Akai S700s and Roland S10s, I got far more drawn in on what they were doing than on some characterless modern piece of software that has 1 million options that will be long forgotten when the must have 'latest' version appears.

DSS-1 is a nightmare to program, but the character and results are worth the effort imo. I don't really use samplers much, but the old simpler ones interest me far more. Only modern one that appealed to me was the one on the Digitakt, as it was a no nonsense easy to use function.
They really need to recreate the NJM chip and make some new hybrids!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Akai S9xx -> S3xxx are great. well laid-out, you realise as you use them. not the most exciting feature set of all, but do what they're supposed to.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
On the other hand, Kontakt hooked me with its excellent Emu library importing back in 2005. I've been using it for so long it seems simple and logical to me. It was certainly way nicer than any Akai or Emu I was using in the nineties.

I get great mileage out of its TM Pro algorithm, often with stuff I sampled on a TX16W originally back in the day.

The bundled sampler in Reaper is amazing. It samples off the timeline and you can choose all sorts of transposing algorithms, it can be as grungy as you like. Don't be put off by the stupid name- Reasamplomatic5000

It should work in your choice of VST DAW, although I haven't tested that. Wondering how it would talk to the timeline. I think that is using ARA?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpanderbeanz ➡️
It’s not really in the GS spirit to buy modern tools and character plugins is it?

Shouldn’t we all be buying expensive, hard to maintain gear that has workflows that are puzzling, obtuse, clunky and slow?
Haha, no plugins. I’ve started a new job where I’m glued to the computer all day. I’ve vowed not to spend a minute creating while connected to a computer.

Pedals, though, that’s another story!

As far as gear that’s puzzling, obtuse, clunky, and slow…. Well that’s just too close to the people I work with, so I’m a bit hesitant to invite more of that into my life lol
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
I get great mileage out of its TM Pro algorithm, often with stuff I sampled on a TX16W originally back in the day.
Ahhh yes the TX16W. How could I forgot!

When running a Typhoon it's a kick ass sampler. Plenty of character when transposing down. Apparently has some exotic type of transposition that comes in multiple parts, rather than just one step "resample". No longer remember the details.

But I was most impressed by the A/D section. I had no idea it is so punchy! Have you seen this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ4V...=NuttkaseBeatz

Hilarious to see it even more punchy than the SP1200 which is supposed to be "the shit" as claimed by some rappers. I guess they were wrong. It this test, definitely on par with S950.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris ➡️
Ahhh yes the TX16W. How could I forgot!

When running a Typhoon it's a kick ass sampler. Plenty of character when transposing down. Apparently has some exotic type of transposition that comes in multiple parts, rather than just one step "resample". No longer remember the details.

But I was most impressed by the A/D section. I had no idea it is so punchy! Have you seen this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ4V...=NuttkaseBeatz

Hilarious to see it even more punchy than the SP1200 which is supposed to be "the shit" as claimed by some rappers. I guess they were wrong. It this test, definitely on par with S950.
Oooh, nice test. I guess Yamaha had more expertise in making decent analogue front ends? That's what it sounds like to me at least, it's been overdriven in the test. Nice test even though they did not overdrive all of them the same.

It's quite funny, I used to hate the analogue inputs. I was a digital purist for a while so I usually used the AIFF import and edited on the Mac. I would do it differently now

I did miss the transposing artefacts on the TX16W a bit, after I changed to Emu. But CMIV can do the same, and more. The artefacts are controllable too.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpanderbeanz ➡️
They really need to recreate the NJM chip and make some new hybrids!
Really becoming a fan of Hybrids. On top of the M, I also have an Ambika I’ve been waiting to be delivered for a month now. The SMR4+ model.

I do wish I could run audio in to one of these, but oh well.

What would be ideal is if there was a sampler I could simply route audio through and pitch down in real time.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
I did miss the transposing artefacts on the TX16W a bit, after I changed to Emu. But CMIV can do the same, and more. The artefacts are controllable too.
BTW if you get nostalgia bug you can always install this one as it is free:

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/cyc...y-sonic-charge

No A/D front end magic though.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris ➡️
Ahhh yes the TX16W. How could I forgot!

When running a Typhoon it's a kick ass sampler. Plenty of character when transposing down. Apparently has some exotic type of transposition that comes in multiple parts, rather than just one step "resample". No longer remember the details.

But I was most impressed by the A/D section. I had no idea it is so punchy! Have you seen this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ4V...=NuttkaseBeatz

Hilarious to see it even more punchy than the SP1200 which is supposed to be "the shit" as claimed by some rappers. I guess they were wrong. It this test, definitely on par with S950.
These are more than reasonably priced. What’s it like attempting to replace the floppy drive with a USB emulator, though? Never attempted anything like that.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
FWIW, I find the S950 very easy to use. It has all the basics you need from a sampler and the lack of bells and whistles keeps the interface simple.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus O' Bottle ➡️
FWIW, I find the S950 very easy to use. It has all the basics you need from a sampler and the lack of bells and whistles keeps the interface simple.
Very pricey though
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
VonNaphoven's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Df music ➡️
These are more than reasonably priced. What’s it like attempting to replace the floppy drive with a USB emulator, though? Never attempted anything like that.
Usually it's pretty easy, although it helps if you're a bit of geek and not afraid of troubleshooting, trial and error and Googling. I've done SCSI2SD and USB Floppy emulation on Yamaha EX5r, Roland XV5080 (although that was external) and Ensoniq TS-10. They all still worked after the operation and apart from the EX5r straight away too (the EX5r is a bit exotic in the way you have to use optical drive emulation instead of regular HDD, took me a while to figure out)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 
Many old AKAI's out there with issues like crackling, noisy, no sound, tiny sound, bad RAM, bad screen... not sure if the EMU's had more future proof components, so do your research on what you plan to get and check the most common issues.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonNaphoven ➡️
Usually it's pretty easy, although it helps if you're a bit of geek and not afraid of troubleshooting, trial and error and Googling. I've done SCSI2SD and USB Floppy emulation on Yamaha EX5r, Roland XV5080 (although that was external) and Ensoniq TS-10. They all still worked after the operation and apart from the EX5r straight away too (the EX5r is a bit exotic in the way you have to use optical drive emulation instead of regular HDD, took me a while to figure out)
I’d likely have to find one with the work already done, I’m not savvy.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Xpanderbeanz's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Df music ➡️
Really becoming a fan of Hybrids. On top of the M, I also have an Ambika I’ve been waiting to be delivered for a month now. The SMR4+ model.

I do wish I could run audio in to one of these, but oh well.

What would be ideal is if there was a sampler I could simply route audio through and pitch down in real time.
I do that with a circuit bent korg KP1 and Yamaha Rex 50. They have been modded with variable clock so whatever you put in can be downsampled, the reverb algos get really grainy and long.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yamaha TX16W would be the easiest of all to set up the Gotek since it is an MS-DOS compatible drive. As close as it gets to plug and play. You do not even need HxC as a go between, you can drag and drop AIFF format files onto the disc image on your PC/ Mac.

You can try the sonic charge cyclone plugin version Don Solaris linked to above. It is exactly the same user experience, and plays back exactly the same quality sound as the real thing.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
I’m curious- why use the floppy when it has SCSI? Zulu or SCSI2HD are not cheap but it’s so much better. I’d use my FZ a lot more if it had SCSI.
No particular reason, just that it's easy to use floppies with the S950 and EPS16+ (vs. the confusion I've got with this micro-SD reader) - slow, for sure, but when I pull one of these out efficiency is out the window anyway.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Even back in the day, SCSI drives were easier
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Monotremata's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooderson ➡️
No particular reason, just that it's easy to use floppies with the S950 and EPS16+ (vs. the confusion I've got with this micro-SD reader) - slow, for sure, but when I pull one of these out efficiency is out the window anyway.
LOL for those two in particular, I'd have kept the floppy in it to boot from and went with SCSI2SD for storage. Would be much nicer to load a full 16MB on the EPS in one shot than from 14-15 individual floppy images.

I know the EPS can boot from SCSI but it does weird things like removes your ability to format disks when you do that, and might shut off some other floppy functionality..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
I would recommend looking into an Ensoniq ASR-10 or ASR-X. They're both great machines with lots of character and sound amazing. They're also very programmable, with lots of knobs to play with.

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