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Why is My Hardware Sampler Sounding Better Than My Software Sampler!? Same Samples!..
Old 19th November 2008 | Show parent
  #121
Lives for gear
 
aeonlux's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
2008 is coming to a close, but I still use and love the sound of my Roland S-760 and Yamaha A5000.

They work for me because they make sounds I like. Simple as that.


cheers,
Ian
Old 20th November 2008 | Show parent
  #122
Niv
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by redvelvetstudios ➑️
I would point to the kind stuff that happens on Nine Inch Nails records such as pitching paino part (poorly) just for the effect of it.

try a piano patch with a decent dose of long tail reverb, then pitch that down a 1/2 step - then take that same audio and pitch it back up a 1/2 step. cool effect - sounds wacked out - perfect for NIN, not perfect for Norah Jones...

maybe 15 years ago, meanwhile norah jones has more such experimental elements in her records than reznor.
Old 20th November 2008 | Show parent
  #123
Gear Maniac
 
Shiny Turd's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've been reading this thread...and I still love my e64.

It has character, it does not set back in the mix, something kontakt and exs do.
Sure I'm not looking for the "oh look, it sounds like a real violin" kind of sounds, gotta love the artifacts of those samplers.

But to each its own I guess thumbsup
Old 21st November 2008 | Show parent
  #124
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
i just would like to say that, isn't a sampler... but the ER-1 (electribe) sounds so good and cut the mix

crank the output
Old 21st November 2008 | Show parent
  #125
Gear Maniac
 
adisc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
First of all , don't compare a drum sound recorded in a studio and one of samples ... The difference is huge . The set of studio has a real room . That's why it sounds real and live . Samples are always a speculation and recorded clear separately ...

If u want a beautiful drum but u can't record it live in a studio , use BFD software but u'll need a pro soundscard a/d/a & hardware preamps and comps for a great analog process and if u want more ... Then record it to an analog source like the analog master recorder because it has more power and 0db is a real 0db...

I luv E-mu sampler , but as usual , any thing has great parts and bad parts ... Be a kind of balance and understand what great part helps u the best .

I personally use digital sampler (infinite posibilities) and after that processing with great analog gear and that's it . It rocks .

Don't forget that a real drum recorded in a studio has a lot of acoustic treatments which can't be recorded into the individual samples that we use in a vst digital sampler ...

Because the acoustic space between the drum sounds is the KEY ! thumbsup
Old 18th January 2010 | Show parent
  #126
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Ask yourself this question: when has software EVER sounded as good as hardware equivalents?
ummm in my experience. never
Old 27th May 2010 | Show parent
  #127
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
if you feel a software sampler is PREVENTING you to make good music, then maybe the song is just ****.

also

Old 27th May 2010 | Show parent
  #128
Lives for gear
 
RonT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This is so so funny to me. The problem is simple and straight foward.....Computers are just outright sterile! And this is the way that we want them right? We need to know EXACTLY the way the music sounds ITB and that is the reason we invest in quality D/A converters and monitors.

Most samplers have a sound to them. The Samples do not go through the best DA that money can by and the output analog stage cound have transformers or whatever on them. In otherwords the sounds are getting processes before we hear them. This explains why they don't sound the same ITB.

This is the reason why I re-amp my samples. To give them an analog edge and knock the sterileness off of them. Main thing don't panic becuase with good mixing, you can add all the punch and sizzle you want!
Old 27th May 2010 | Show parent
  #129
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonT ➑️
Most samplers have a sound to them. The Samples do not go through the best DA that money can by and the output analog stage cound have transformers or whatever on them. In otherwords the sounds are getting processes before we hear them. This explains why they don't sound the same ITB.
For 16-bit samplers, differences in aliasing due to differences in interpolation algorithms should generally dwarf A/D/A characteristics. Interpolation comes into play whenever pitch needs to be changed, including stretching across multiple keys, fine tuning, or changes in sample rate (for instance, playing 48kHz samples at 44.1kHz).

Some hw samplers had great interpolation (e.g. eIII/eIV); others, given revealing source samples such as agogo bells (lots of dissonant HF), squealed like pigs (Ensoniq). Generally speaking, better interpolation = more memory reads = more complicated & expensive hw.

The same is true in software, except that instead of hardware cost, the hit is in CPU processing time. Some software samplers allow selection of different interpolation quality, with higher quality coming at the expense greater CPU usage.
Old 29th May 2010 | Show parent
  #130
Spectrasonics
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle ➑️
I would post this question directly to the horse's mouth....Eric Persing of Spectrasonics via Northern Sounds. He has the benefit of being fully in the software domain, and yet he invented many if not most of the sounds you hear inside Roland units. And he was one of the main team members that had to figure out how to actually get those sounds working in the hardware.

If anyone has a take on why you like the hardware better, Eric is the guy who's opinion would mean something. Of course he may not even answer this kind of question, being that his niche is now totally software.
Thanks for the kind words....happy to answer since I've been on both sides of the coin now. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDaddyO ➑️
Apart from the reality that software emulation may never beat real hardware... it might also have something to do with the fact that certain Roland samplers do contain some of the sweetest sounding filters ever built.

I've got an S-760 that I'll never part with. It's like sprinkling 'audio fairy dust' on any signal that passes through it.
The Roland's are indeed the best sounding hardware samplers ever IMHO.

It's not the filters though, because you can hear the difference even when the filters are not in use.

Roland developed a special sample-interpolation/playback algorithm for those units that actually sounds BETTER than what you put into it. Not accurate per se, just really musical and gorgeous sounding....even strictly in the digital domain, bypass all converters and analog circuitry.

Those 700 series samplers are really amazing sound for sure. It was a shame that they never took off the way we had all hoped, because they certainly were very special sounding.

Quote:
Hey dlmorley - A Roland S-750?
Not sure there is a 750?... by chance did you mean a 760 or a 770?
The 750 was the cheaper sibling to the 770 without the built in hard drive....the sound was alsoslightly different, but otherwise extremely similar unit to the 770.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman ➑️
It's the analog electronics.
Only partially, but the 700 series samplers also sound dramatically different without any analog components involved period. Sampling digital input and using the digital output still has the Roland magic, so it's actually in the pitch interpolation algorithms, digital summing and the filter algorithms.

BTW, we did all the sampling of those Roland 700 series libraries bypassing the internal A/D covertors.

Also, the Roland has a unique emphasis/deemphasis thing that goes on too....which really affects the sound in a really nice way.

Quote:
Same reason a 5080 sounds different from a 1080.
No...the difference there is actually easier to explain.

The chip that the 1080 uses is only 8-bit, 30k sample rate companded samples, with LOTS of tricks to hype it up, so it has a really unique sound. The 5080 is actually 44.1k sample rate samples (but still companded).

The 700 series are the only samplers of that era to be truly 16-bit linear, 44.1k samplers.

Quote:
I've had the same conclusion about all this. I'm scoring a film now and have been using all my softsynths. However, when I slot in a track from my Triton or S-760 or 5080 things just come alive. You don't need any blindfold test to verify the difference.
Yes....all three of those instruments have some form of "hyping" going on to make them sound fuller or brighter.

Current software samplers like Kontakt, EXS24, etc have a more accurate, faithful response, so you need to add the "juice" elsewhere to get that type of sound.

We spent a lot of time with Omnisphere and the STEAM engine to make sure it had some of that same hardware "magic" in the interpolation algorithms that the Roland's are famous for.

Honestly though, they all sound really different. For example, the 5080, the MV-8000, the 760 and the 770 all sound really different....and that's just within the same decade of Roland hardware!

Quote:
I'm using alot of Cranesong Phoenix on the softsynths to crunch them up a bit.
Sure...external processing is a great way to go with getting that kind of vibe with any softsynths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont ➑️
Bingo! Every piece of gear has analog stages of circuitry that it passes through (in this case the DA & output stage of the MV8000)... These analog stages color the sound and make things sound different to us. In this case it sounds better, sometimes it will sound worse, but it's best described as "different".
True, but that doesn't explain why there are such huge differences even using hardware completely in the digital domain - thus bypassing all the analog components, A/D, D/A, etc.

There's much more to the design of great digital gear than just the analog components....it's most definitely not all the same. Every host sounds different, every software engine sounds different too.

We spent about 6 months just on getting the sound right on our own STEAM engine for Spectrasonics. I don't think that many software companies do that kind of critical sonic work at the early stages of their engine development.

Even working at Roland, there were very few serious "ears"....in the software development world, I've found it to be even more rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac ➑️
Ive been saying for years that my S750 sounds better than any software sampler, but it goes further than that. There really is something special about the Roland S range convertors.
Yes....again though, it goes far deeper than just the convertors. It's many different aspects that they got right on that one.

I'm happy to see that at least all these years later, people can tell the difference in our hard work! :-)

Quote:
I bought an S750 just under a year after the Akai S1000 arrived and am I so glad I did. I didnt realise at the time it was a far better sounding sampler than the Akai although the Akai has a charm if you like its sound. I bought the 750 because of the mouse and screen which was light years ahead of any of the competition. I could sample a sound, set up a partial and a patch and be playing it within 30 seconds. But theres no denying the S range has something special in its sound and is even more apparent today than it ever was. Oh and the LPF is something really nice. Overall what I liked about this sampler when using the filters was they became part of the sound rather than sitting on top of the sound.
Yep....too bad more people didn't realize how great they were. Otherwise Roland wouldn't have stopped making these samplers and shut down our R&D department here in the US.

The good news that came out of it though is that those of us at the Roland Sampler R&D department that got shut down decided to start Spectrasonics instead....so out of everything closing comes a new opportunity. :-)

Quote:
I cant really use it for the moment. Ive gone totally digital and have tried to plug it in to my convertors but the latency just doesnt make a fruitful excercise when playing multiple channels at the same time.
Yeah.....we can talk all day about how wonderful they are, but 32 megabytes ain't much these days! :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDaddyO ➑️
I would have to go with the Roland S-760. It has a legendary reputation for what are perhaps the best sounding analog filters ever in a hardware sampler.

And while I am not familiar with the later S-770 model, I understand that it also has the same filters plus an improved user interface.
Not quite.

The 760 was the cheaper, cut down version of the 770, but it has more memory and a much improved interface and features.

Sonically, the 770 is king....especially the analog outputs are incredible. The low-end and stereo imaging are completely sexy and gorgeous sounding.

If you like the sound of the 760 (which was a step down), you'd freak out over the 770....

The 770 has hand picked all discrete components for everything, the 760 has more ICs and consolidation in the circuitry. Still sounds great though.

Hope that sheds a little on this mysterious topic I've devoted so much of my life to! :-)

Cheers,

spectrum (aka: Eric Persing of Roland/Spectrasonics)
Old 29th May 2010 | Show parent
  #131
Spectrasonics
 
🎧 10 years
I will also say that as great as the Roland 700 series sounded, there are many sounds we are doing today that are impossible for them to reproduce. (primarily because we are doign 24-bit stuff now and really using that to our advantage in certain types of sounds)

Before someone blasts me down about that controversial topic, I still have every one of the 700 series units, all the Emus and all the Akais hooked up here both analog, passive and digital and I'm constantly comparing resampling stuff through these units....so this isn't just an issue of 24-bit is better because of the tech specs....there are some things 24-bit samples and software samplers can do that the hardware samplers can't even touch....so it works both ways.

BTW....another secret of Omnisphere is that many of the samples in the core library were sampled and resampled through Roland 770s. :-)

All the best,

spectrum
Old 29th May 2010 | Show parent
  #132
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Great to hear this stuff. I have been a 750/770 advocate for nearly 20 years now but everyone said "sure!" and bought Emu E64's and Akai S series instead
They certainly are in different league
I didn't notice a sonic difference between the 750 and 770 but the 760 was certainly not the same sonically.

In any case, good to hear this from the inside Eric. There are 4 hardware samplers I rate as GREAT instruments.
Emulator III
Fairlight IIx and III
Roland S-750/770

The rest can be good, but these 4 are just classic machines each with strengths but my daily machine is the Roland..
Old 29th May 2010 | Show parent
  #133
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Holy cow, thanks so much for chiming in here Eric. The devil is as they say in the details ... and you have certainly provided heaps of those in your wonderfully informative & comprehensive post.

I will now need to acquire an S-770 and check out Spectrasonics.

Kind Regards,
Thom
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #134
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Good Thread. :-)

I run my DAW out of a Mackie Onyx.. If I put my headphones into the Onyx it sounds really Good. If I run the extra outs from the Onyx into the MV8000 and put the headphones into the MVs headphone output,, it sounds excellent..

The MV and other Rolands de-emphasize the outputs... both Analog & Digital.
not sure about the Headphones but I expect the whole unit might reflect the same de-emphasis curve.

I spent a whole week building a custom EQ curve based on the Roland MV emphasis Curve in Logics Match EQ and iZotope 4. I used it on a mastering Job recently.. it was very interesting what it did to the Low end response.

I expect that the 770 pre-emphasizes the input signal.. I expect it will be a little like De-activating a DBX noise reduction system on the outputs of a tape machine after it has been recorded with the inverse noise reduction pattern.. which is a Trick daniel lanois used.
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #135
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I heard those claims about hardware samplers, converters sounding better... especially about AKAIs and EMUs... Do you think I should clean my Yamaha A3000 from dust and give it a try?
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #136
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by anabolique ➑️
I heard those claims about hardware samplers, converters sounding better... especially about AKAIs and EMUs... Do you think I should clean my Yamaha A3000 from dust and give it a try?
I like my A5000. Clean and flexible. Not as 'nice' as my S-750 though
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #137
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A5000 is the best straight-forward sampler I know. Nothing crazy or exceptional, except it is super powerful, very well sounding and a pleasure to use.
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #138
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by anabolique ➑️
I heard those claims about hardware samplers, converters sounding better... especially about AKAIs and EMUs... Do you think I should clean my Yamaha A3000 from dust and give it a try?
Sure.. it will give you an extra conversion sound at the very least. even just using it to I/O.
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #139
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalshim ➑️
A5000 is the best straight-forward sampler I know. Nothing crazy or exceptional, except it is super powerful, very well sounding and a pleasure to use.
Yes, Yamaha's can sound great. I sort of want a Akai Z8 though.. but now my 770 interest is re-awakening.. oh well.. I will stick with my V-Synth XT for the time being.. especially for it's incredible D50. I can get more top class sounds out that that old trooper than anything else so far.
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #140
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalshim ➑️
A5000 is the best straight-forward sampler I know. Nothing crazy or exceptional, except it is super powerful, very well sounding and a pleasure to use.

Yes!
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #141
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Funny thing: I had a very bad a priori upon yamaha samplers, and when I was looking for a sample mixer-player with lot of memory to complete my asr 10, I tried many models more reputed (and expensive) without being sastisfied.

Eventually, I've bought an a5000 for a packet of crisps, just to give it a try. One week after, I tought "what an asshole, it was the right one."
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #142
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Graal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I didn't read through the whole topic, but you might want to check out ALIASING in software.

Hardware doesn't alias.


PS: If you are working in 44.1 - Switch immediately to a higher sample rate - maybe 88.2 - that should be enough.

Cheers!
Old 9th June 2010 | Show parent
  #143
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalshim ➑️
Funny thing: I had a very bad a priori upon yamaha samplers, and when I was looking for a sample mixer-player with lot of memory to complete my asr 10, I tried many models more reputed (and expensive) without being sastisfied.

Eventually, I've bought an a5000 for a packet of crisps, just to give it a try. One week after, I tought "what an asshole, it was the right one."
lol.. yep funny old world.. :D

The only thing bad I knew about the Yams were the slow SCSI load times.
anyhow, you can get replacement floppies now that run 100 virtual floppies from a 128Meg USB drive.. things are looking on the up and up for Hardware.
If they could mod the Midi timing responses on these things.. they would be excellent.

virtualscsi.com have just released a new scsi card and software that alows direct data for some samplers to computer drive. yamaha A3000 is one on the list supported.
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #144
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graal ➑️
I didn't read through the whole topic, but you might want to check out ALIASING in software.

Hardware doesn't alias.


PS: If you are working in 44.1 - Switch immediately to a higher sample rate - maybe 88.2 - that should be enough.

Cheers!
Everything digital alias but...If I understand correctly, youre aiming at better oversampling in hardware converters?
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #145
Lives for gear
 
cjogo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We never moved away from the sampled keyboards in the last 20+ years --- and still stay fairly away from a standalone computer in the studios --

- there's just a sound there ~! We have triple Kurzweils >> 10 outputs each ... going to grave with them I guess
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #146
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I didn't want to write this because I expected people to think I was crazy. But after reading previous posts I don't feel so nervous.

I don't use my roland 760 that much, however, I once recorded a section of a cassette recording for the purpose of looping that section. Amazingly the sample sounded better than the cassette, much better. I didn't think samplers could do that.
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #147
Lives for gear
 
clusterchord's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrum ➑️
Sonically, the 770 is king....especially the analog outputs are incredible. The low-end and stereo imaging are completely sexy and gorgeous sounding.

If you like the sound of the 760 (which was a step down), you'd freak out over the 770....

The 770 has hand picked all discrete components for everything, the 760 has more ICs and consolidation in the circuitry. Still sounds great though.

Hope that sheds a little on this mysterious topic I've devoted so much of my life to! :-)

Cheers,

spectrum (aka: Eric Persing of Roland/Spectrasonics)

hi Eric, first of all i wanna thank you for visiting us here, and second, for bringing us all those incredible sounds over the years, within Roland hardware, and later in Spectrasonics. JD-990 is still one of my all time fav digital synths, after using it 17 yrs.



i have a question: after reading about differences among Roland S-series, i was wondering where does their sample playback module, the SP-700, fit among these.. quality/component wise ? as good as 770, or ..



and also, at this day and age, if i want to use samples i originally prepared and edited/looped in my DAW, i.e. in wav/aiff format, or a sound i have in kontakt format.. what is the best, most practical way to stuff this into S-770/760/SP-700 nowadays ?


i tried using chicken translator a few times for my EOS samplers, but it was hit n miss.. it couldnt convert kontakt format to eos, or anything else. i almost bought 760 and sp-700 at one point, but ability to talk with my DAW i very important to me.



thanks, and best regards
tom


PS dmorley, how do you integrate your 770 with other machines, or your DAW (dunno if youre using one), with file importing etc..?
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #148
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser ➑️
If they could mod the Midi timing responses on these things.. they would be excellent.
True. I've been annoyed once by the a5000's midi timing, but most of the time, even with busy beats, it's ok. No comparaison with, let's say, an asr-x, which is an unworkable midi timing mess.
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #149
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graal ➑️
I didn't read through the whole topic, but you might want to check out ALIASING in software.

Hardware doesn't alias.
It most certainly can and does. With modern samplers (in which DACs are shared by multiple voices), aliasing with sample playback is related to the interpolation algorithm. Such aliasing can be quite audible.
Old 10th June 2010 | Show parent
  #150
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by anabolique ➑️
Everything digital alias but...If I understand correctly, youre aiming at better oversampling in hardware converters?
Converters won't help with the interpolation, which is the main cause of aliasing on playback.
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