Samplers on ACID

Everything we love about Samplers from E-MU, AKAI, Ensoniq, Kurzweil, Roland, and all the rest.

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#1 2014-11-03 11:16:38

Discarga
Administrator
Registered: 2014-10-31
Posts: 34

What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

I ll start:

First of all, very important to me is that it will take more effort to have your sounds ready to play with. While I appreciate the convenience of the workflow of modern DAW's, the speed and all, this added 'handicap' makes me be more selective right from the start. Do I really want to load this sound and spend a few minutes until it is sampled and ready in an instrument.

Second: it's the sound baby. When working in the box, i spend a hell of a lot of time to get the sounds right, ton's of EQing, compression, etc etc. Often when using hardware, the stuff just sounds better right from the start. I am having enormous trouble to get a drum kit sound as fresh, crisp, firm, and in-your-face as any of my S-Class AKAI's when working solely in the box. To me it seems, the different sounds just blends much better. And the added 16- or 12-bit grit is very dear to me. 

Third: I really do appreciate the engineering of all theses machines. The OS designs, the hardware, there is so much character and profile. A software sampler can never match the haptics of a good old sampler no matter what. Many of the machines I now use on a regular basis, I would not even be able to own when they were the toast of the town. You just can feel that when they did e.g. the S1000 that these machines were very expensive and built to a very high standard.

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#2 2014-11-05 16:02:02

tapehead
Member
Registered: 2014-11-04
Posts: 11

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

I dont know. I kinda get drawn in as soon as i power on my sampler and forget about time... And the time i spend working with machine usually gets way better results than anything else i tried.

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#3 2014-11-11 09:09:56

MadGav
Member
Registered: 2014-11-06
Posts: 18

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

I've returned to my E4K as part of getting a small computer-free rig going, intended for the evenings after working on a laptop all day. It's a nice controller to play on, way nicer than the PCR-30 it has replaced, but that is kind of besides this point wink I also find the keyboard-based workflow hits the mark for evening wiggling, but haven't taken to the sequencer, so there is now a Korg EMX-1 around for those duties.

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#4 2014-11-19 18:46:41

alien_brain
Member
From: Qualia
Registered: 2014-11-15
Posts: 52
Website

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

i find that they have character from yesteryear that we all appreciate and that almost nothing emulates...  although there is something to be said about moving onwards, samplers in the 90s had a lot of charm and robustness that equipment lacks now days.  its like driving your daddys caddy from the 80s.  i also think that if you dont have everything under the sun at your fingertips you tend to be more creative with what you do have.  also its nice to own stuff you couldnt afford back when.  if you use gear like this in sophisticated ways then you get sophisticated results.  its just more funner to do that with an old standard than a new gimmick.

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#5 2014-11-20 18:04:04

Discarga
Administrator
Registered: 2014-10-31
Posts: 34

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

I agree, they have character from yesteryear, but if you use them to produce modern styles, not an ounce about a good sampler is anything retro. Like a Telecaster or a Les Paul, as deadly as ever. I really start to see it like this. It is not crucial to the final result whatever tool you use, but the tool also defines you. No single type fits everybody, e.g. like some guys are typical Les Paul players and you will rarely see them using anything close to Fender.

Akai and Roland can be Fender, Ensoniq and E-Mu are Gibson. wink lol just kidding, it makes no sense..

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#6 2014-11-21 02:39:45

DUBTEMPLE
Member
Registered: 2014-10-31
Posts: 6

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

Generally I swear to software, and a vst-based instrument/mixing-inviroment, with only my piano, guitar, congas, and melodica ass additional sources

But last two years I started collecting some of the e-mu stuff becourse of the filter's and modulation being unique and not recreated in software (E5000-U, P2000, P2500, Ultra-Proteus)

I am working on to see if Proteus VX, Emulator X1, X2, or X3 could do this specific work instead so I could get rid of hardware again on the long term

The "hard vs soft" discussion I foremost consider a "pseudo-discussion" since most socalled "hardware samplers" are basically also software-based, just running in their own OS, like EOS,
f.eks. a digital filter will always be a digital filter, no matter what specific language/os it is written for, as for the converteres, well, pick one :-)

I really HATE: scsi-hell, midi-hell,  small displays, lack of integration, lack of total recall, lack of factory-support, lack of firmware updates etc, and lack of spare-parts for the "old" stuff,
not even old, (but extremely expensive often less than 5-10 years back), I whant to quit that route, at least partly, it's an ongoing fight, haha,..

Also I have limitid space, hate cluttered setups, and need to bring my work with me, living in two countryes, just a laptop would be ideal,..

Some of the other hardware still here:

I have an Yamaha CS6R with some expansions and a Yamaha A3000, none of them tryed out yet, got them traded in for some other stuff, consider keeping the A3000 as an effect, don't
know about CS6R yet. Then there is an defective Yamaha EX5, relatively new, but worthless since repair is not possible. Finally an Ensoniq KS32, an Space Echo, a Behringer Bass V-Amp
Pro, a Clavia Micro Modular, and a Casio PX-110,.. these 5 are definately keepers becourse in one way or the other being unique

Last edited by DUBTEMPLE (2014-11-21 03:13:28)

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#7 2014-11-21 10:10:26

Discarga
Administrator
Registered: 2014-10-31
Posts: 34

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

wink without wanting to be a dick, your post could almost be titled my main motivation NOT to use hardware samplers..

But I totally dig what you are saying, and there is not one studio-lifestyle that is better than another. I found out in the past, I can get the sound I want with whatever tool (well almost), even Fruity Loops. It just comes down to that: I have a great sound the fastest when using almost only hardware samplers. If I want this sound by working just in the box with a DAW, Studio One my weapon of choice, it takes a lot more time, but I can do it as well. If I only had Fruity Loops, it might even take much longer, but still, in the end I'd be satisfied.

There is one point in your post where I cannot agree, that is:

"since most socalled "hardware samplers" are basically also software-based"

I think, here you forget that there is a hell of a lot of analog components in these old school machines, and an enormous amount of engineering put into it to make it sound good (a relative term, I am well aware). The fact that these engineers tried to build an instrument, and not a general purpose DAC for use with a general purpose machine, makes an enormous difference. Software is not just software, as well. SCSI, Midi, and small displays has a lot more to do with when they actually were designed and built. It's a bit unfortunate, but this is the price you have to pay: win some, loose some.

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#8 2014-11-21 17:35:51

philtipping
Administrator
From: Wales, UK
Registered: 2014-10-31
Posts: 59
Website

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

Mine is more a general view as opposed to just samplers, but as a hobbyist with time on my hands I'm with the h/w camp, mainly as a break from working with computers 9-5. Other reasons include:
Learning curves: the overall Window control via qwerty keyboard, mouse, menus etc. is standard-ish but each s/w provider has their own conventions.
Over-complexity: might be an amateur vs professional point, but some s/w has so many features/choices you can't see the wood for the trees.
Agree with Dubtemple's h/w hells, but there are s/w hells as well: auto-updates, anti-virus checks, pop-ups, driver versions, latency, unexplained glitches, fan & disc noise, OS updates forcing s/w obsolescence, etc.
I like the dedicated nature of h/w - you switch it on and it does the job, no distractions... I also peek inside to admire the engineering smile

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#9 2015-02-05 08:08:16

innovine
Member
Registered: 2015-02-05
Posts: 1

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

Discarga wrote:

Akai and Roland can be Fender, Ensoniq and E-Mu are Gibson. wink lol just kidding, it makes no sense..

Makes perfect sense smile   Akai are that bright, spanking, twanging telecaster and stratocaster tone, while E-mu are the warm, dark Les Pauls.
smile

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#10 2015-09-30 15:52:07

WaveTheory
Member
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 2

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

The hardware is the reason why...

One - I have an addiction for hardware...  something about being able to get my hands on it, feel it. tweak the knobs and hear the response...  And, if you haunt the pawn shops and thrift stores as I do, occasionally that amazing find appears (I won't bore you with how LITTLE I paid for the E6400 - the shop didn't know what they had.  I even educated them and they just wanted it gone... Jaz, CD-ROM, discs and all...).

Two - it does sound different.  To my ear, the software e-mu proteus 2000 emulator does NOT sound like my rack-mount P2000...  nor does any software I "play" with sound like my E6400 or my Ensoniq EPS, for that matter.  It may just be my bias, but it's my bias...

So much noise to filter, so little time...

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#11 2015-10-01 14:42:27

Slo.man
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 7

Re: What is your main motivation to use hardware samplers?

Thanks for sharing.

I did several loops between soft with controllers / hardware home studio. I like both in a way, but it seems i'm on the way to almost completely ditch computers from the studio.
I actually sequence on Logic 9 since i was given an old mac and i really like this DAW, but i'm even thinking of buying an old Radar system to record, instead of a soundcard, since that mac is so old. Actually my recorder is an MV8000, when this computer will die it will replace Logic to sequence i think. Very capable machine, and so well built, thought out.

Having sufficient experience with both systems, I must say I now hate endless software/comp upgrades plans, programmed obsolescence, incompatibilities.
I can't feed that crazyness anymore. That disposable world, consumerism, marketing plans.

Ni Kore 2, Komplete 5, Sonar 6,7 > abandoned ages ago by their creator, and so did I in the end.
I really find Maschine or Spark exciting for example and tried them but well, that USB cable is killing me...
It is the umblilical link to that bitchy incestuous mother that only gives you milk when you put a coin in its pussy... sorry for that image but that's how i feel.  :-)

I can't stay connected to Apple, NI or Arturia all my life. It's almost a political, and ecological choice to me now.
I'll not throw anything if it doesn't work, instead i'll learn how to repair it. I buy old, defective gear i like, be happy with it and repair them when needed, if my basic skills allows me to do so.
I bought a dead E-mu SP12 Turbo for 350€ for example, and with very basic skills and some work she is now making music again.

I just love turning knobs too. More than mousing around.
In terms of sounds both are capable, and i can make music on both, but there is definitely some vibe in the instruments i use.

I am a sampler nut too, E-MU EOS sampler is definitely my instrument. I just love how crazy they are. If i had to choose one, it will be it.
I hate SCSI stuff also, yet i have an old PC connected to the sampler for SCSI transfer and editing and it works.
I must say i'm a happy man since i use SCSI2SD in the E4x Turbo, it is an incredible tool now: 16 outs, 2 midi I/O sets, FX board, 4x 4GB hard drives on a single 16GB SD card. It just works, no headaches.

Last edited by Slo.man (2015-10-01 14:51:12)

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