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Live Sampler Module?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author Live Sampler Module?
Sandrine
Oh, wew!

OK, yep easy. I like the fader idea too. The RC-505 is a pretty logical approach, very similar in features (except mine has more yukyuk)

Still may go stereo or dual track tho.

I think the MIDI link would be best for linking, but maybe not too. I see the RP-505 can do that, controlling other unit via MIDI. At least play/stop/clock sync is there. Hmmm. Food for thought. Thanks!

-edit-
Nice Kitty! Famous no doubt!
Sandrine
Update:

Yep, I haven't let it slip!

Progress has been made on the design aspects. The display will like be LCD now as the LED (while nice and retro) display just can't port enough information that's easy to read.
There's also the added ability to display things like spectrum analyzer, multiple settings simultaneously, RAM usage, progress in layers etc.

The LCD looks to be the inverted style, thusly keeping a sorta LED feel to it.

Also working out bugs in the user interface.
This module will have so many features it's been difficult to decide what to bring to front panel and what to leave as a secondary access function.

I'm sure there's a "magical combination" just need to find it just around the corner!
Sandrine
Update:

After a few weeks of designing and re-designing, a panel has emerged! I've worked out the new core programming (based on my original MIDI
controlled Sampler built last winter) and it seems stable enough to show great promise as a modular.

Here is a "rough" panel design and while not dimensionally accurate (50U eurorack) makes a good reference for the description of functions etc.
below. The features I've listed are like in a user manual, so is fairly in-depth.

Time Specs:
2 channels @ 48K s/s record/play simultaneously
2 channels @ 96k s/s record or play
6 minutes Record time single channel @48k
3 minutes Record time stereo @48k



Basic Sampler Layout:
The 2 audio channels can function as Stereo Sampling, Stereo FX Sampling, or independent FX Sampler & Record/Play Sampler.


--FX Sampler:--

The FX Sampler Side is to mangle, twist, distort and slice up a sample. There's basically 3 modes to the FX sampler:

1) Record / Play: Record in audio to be modified, like a standard sampler.
2) Constant Record: continuous record so that FX can be applied to audio that has already happened (extremely useful!)
3) EchoFreeFX: This mode is for looping as an echo, so modifications to audio repeat at a given interval (set by trig/gate/button)

Audio recorded into this side of the sampler can be used on the fly in the following ways:

Slicing:
A sample can be Sliced Live by
a) Manual button, Trigger/Gate input. Will slice at each trig or button press.
b) Audio Peaks (tunable gain / back sample time)
c) Sync In Clock, thus defined intervals
d) Divider Slicing. This is done after a sample has been recorded (or accessed to play) A pre-defined number of slices will result.
Up to 120 slices can be created, then accessed via CV (quantized as notes, or as even distribution if set that way) with a gate/trigToggle from a keyboard or sequencer.

Audio Peak Slicing (my previous sampler has this!) has a small pot for peak detection level, but has an AGC that responds to rises/falls in level
rather than just level. A hidden control called "Back" is a set and forget adjustment that sets the slice point a certain amount before the circuit
picked it up. Due to circuit variances, this needs to be setup for drums slices, where timing is everything!

The "Find" knob allows for easy scanning over slices, active when turned. Playback of slices can be 1-shot or looped when gated or triggered.
If only a few slices are created, then CV "notes" above the range will still access slices because they are looped through the range. i.e.
6 slices are created, natively accessible from Note C0 to F0, but F# will play the first slice, as would C5.
*Slices can be played while still recording. If in any mode other than Divider Slicing, the number of slices will grow.
Slices are also MIDI accessible.

MiniLoop:
While a sample is playing, miniLoop can be activated (via GO button, or trigTog/Gate) to loop within the ranges set by Start/Stop pots/CV's or

Position/Size of set that way.
"Start" will define the beginning of the loop, and "Stop" will define the end of the loop, while "Position" will define the beginning of a loop, but

"Size" will define the offset from that point. This is advantageous for maintaining tempo while panning across a sample.
*If miniLoop is active during the playing of a slice, the miniLoop will be "inside" the slice, not the whole sample.

Granulizer:
Similar to miniLoop, but on a much tighter timing scale.
The "Size" knob/CVin controls a range of less that 1mS to about 100mS grain size.
The Gmove/Position knob controls where in the sample to granulize. "Gmove" or grain move, if selected, moves through the sample forward or reverse (+/-) at a rate depending on the knob position, whereas "Posit" just selects where in the sample to granulize.
*Granulizer can be used within a miniLoop or a Slice, during recording (great for hold FX!) and can be altered with "Rate" pitch control changes.

EQ1:
The Sampler module has 2 EQ's. EQ1 is for the FX side when used seperately from RP Sampler Side.
3 bands of the EQ can be adjusted (via knobs or remotely via CV's) to insert before the feedback loop. This can be useful for echo FX mode,
pre-conditioning audio before inserting another module into the feedback (via FBK Send/Return) or just tailoring the FX output.
The buttons feeding each band are to switch the knob/CVin's to control band Frequency & Q settings instead of Gains/Attenuations.
A "DOuble EQ" mode runs audio through the EQ twice, resulting in some amazingly high Q gains/nulling. The button for this is missing from the
panel shown.

Feedback:
The feedback (after EQ) can have an insert to another module before returning to the mix, or can be simply used as a second output to elsewhere.
Only when a plug is in FBK RET does the loop open up. Otherwise the feedback is internal.
A CV input can control the feedback level.

Blend:
This control crossfades between incoming audio and the FX processed output. It can be CV controlled by the Blend input on the RP side of the panel.

To RP:
This is an internal patch that feeds FX audio into the RP Sampler input so it can be recorded there into a loop/layer/echo/sample etc.

Rate:
The Master Sample rate control. This is dual purpose for both sides of the sampler, depending on which "Page" is selected, FX or RP. The rate

control is an encoder, not a knob. When assigned to the FX side, it's more abrupt, while assigned to the RP sampler side, it's quite a bit softer.
The FX Rate CV input only changes the FX side, but can be made to "FM" the RP side if required.
On the FX Side, the CV input can be notes (-5 to +5V) so can pitch a Slice as notes. I've done it, lots of fun!

Reverse:
This button / Trig/Gate (jack missing from panel) switches the sampler into reverse at the same rate was going forward.
The action of this button is programmable to slow the sample to a stop, then rev up to a reverse, slow to a stop etc. Somewhat like a DJ holding/reversing a record!
*If still recording(only), then will reverse from present rec point and then when released, play forward from there, faster to catch up.
*If is in EchoFreeFX mode, then will reverse back into the echo (also that will be recorded/echoed) and jump back to Echo-space position after.

Sync In:
The buttons are supposed to indicate divide/multiply up/down, and assign to FX or RP or Both or neither. Still trying to decide on whether to use

LED's or just have it come up on the display to save panel space.
The FX Sampler Side will use the sync as a "snap" for miniLoop and EchoFree, but not an absolute sync, which allows for overlapping tempos and other fun stuff that this side of the sampler is designed for.


--RP (Record/Play) Sampler: --

Unlike the FX side, this side is more for recording/creating loops, sampling, and layering, using the REC trigger/button/footswitch to control.
Changing trigger mode to "Foot" enables an S-Trig (normally high) input so a standard footswitch can control it.
RP Sampler Modes: LayerFree, EchoFree, LayerSync, EchoSync, Note Rec/Play

LayerFree:
Upon triggering a record, then triggering again, the sampler switches to Play immediately, (or records new layer if set this way by button to left)
Subsequent triggers will "arm" the sampler to record on the next loop start.
This sets up a loop size that can be expanded by 2x, 3x, 4x etc by following layers. Even though no sync is used with this mode, it can command the sync of a piece by way of the user "keeping up", hence "layerFree"

LayerSync:
This is the same as above, but locked to the sync input. i.e. a trigger event (footswitch/button/trig) must happen on or before a sync point
(determined by the Sync in and divider/multiplier on RP side). i.e. A 4/4 beat is the sync. the layer is started via footswitch at the down beat, then 8 beats go by and the layer record is stopped at the 9th beat. The sample layer will continue now indefinitely (if in rec-->play mode). The next footswitch event will add a layer, but at beat 1 it'll start recording. before 16 beats go by, the footswitch is tapped again to end the recording of the
second layer.
Holding the footswitch (this only on button or foot) will stop play at loop point + 1 beat (fast fading as well!)
Tapping the footswitch twice will subtract a layer to the previous layer.
*"Notes" buttons can be used to access play / edit the first 4 layers instantly when in either layer mode.

EchoFree:
The length of the echo is determined by 1st record trigger to 2nd record trigger time, gate time, or footswitch tap to tap time. After that all input is

ignored except a hold on footswitch, which terminates the echo with a fade.
This mode works very well with "canned" music, or another synth/sequencer already playing that has no sync into the sampler, or ambient phrases for long, clear echos. Depending on the Feedback setting, the echo can be used as a delay.
Changing the "Rate" during an echo will produce great results, but the CV input to the RP sampler side only varies the rate by +/- 1 octave. This makes things simpler for FM FX (via LFO) without affecting the loop time. My original sampler has a built in LFO for this.

EchoSync:
Basically the same as EchoFree above, but the triggers are set at a sync point.
*"Notes" buttons can be used while in either echo mode. Any play (green) button will set an echo to "endless loop" (no more recording). Any Rec

button (red) while record into the same echo loop, but wipe the previous echo, as a sort of "clean-up" function. The new echo will begin.

Notes Rec/Play:
The first thing that's noticeable on the panel is the 8 buttons on the right!
In it's most basic form, these buttons enable one to quickly record a sample, then play it back. Tapping the record will start a continuous record that must be terminated by another tap. Holding the record will enable recording until the button is released. The play buttons will act the same way depending on the method of record.
If the record was tapped, then the play tapped will start play, and loop forever, until tapped again to stop. If held, will stop when released.
If the record was held, then the play becomes a 1-shot on a tap, or plays if held and stops on release.
This is a great feature for sampling in drums, or percussive sounds, then just playing them on the buttons.

Advanced "Notes" features:
The "Bank" button, when pressed, will allow selection of a new bank to record to/play from. Press bank then 1,2,3 or 4.
The Notes Sampler Mode can be used to record a whole set (max 120) of samples using the T/G and R/P inputs.
The T/G (Trigger/gate) input will cause a sample to be created and designated a number (0-119) based on quantization of the CV input at R/P.
This is best explained by example:
Plus a keyboard into T/G for gate, and R/P for CVin .
Press Bank Button and select a bank to record to (use red buttons), feed audio into the RP Sampler Side.
Program each keyboard key with a sound by just pressing the keys as long as the sound sample desired.
Now press Bank button and select the same bank as play (green buttons)
The keys with recordings assigned will play back the samples!
*If a trigger input was used to create the samples, then the sample will continue recording until next trigger. (Good for sequencers)

EQ2:
When the page is switched to RP (green) the EQ controls set EQ2. As with FX EQ1, this EQ is set in the feedback loop so has a drastic affect on
layering and echo. A good retro layer/echo decay (high cut, mid-hi cut) can be great for cycling down into new musical phrases.

FeedBack:
This control on the RP Sampler side is mostly an attenuator, but can be controlled via CV.

Blend:
This is a cross-fader between the audio input (RP side) and the sampler's output. It can also be controlled via CV input.

TO FX:
This "send" is an internal patch from the RP Sampler Side to the FX Side. So a long sample can be looped, in sync say, then "worked over"
in the FX sampler side.

---------------------------------

As mentioned way above, the 2 audio channels can function as Stereo Sampling, Stereo FX Sampling, or independent FX Sampler & Record/Play Sampler.
When merged together as FX Left & Right, the FX controls apply in unison, except the EQ which can be set differently on each side.
When merged together as RP Sampler Left & Right, the RP controls apply in unison, including the EQ2 which controls EQ1 for simplicity.
When either side is merged to stereo, the "TO RP" and "TO FX" levels enable cross-mixing from L-R and R-L of post sampled audio.
The feedbacks will both act individually in either mode.

Tap Tempo:
A clock sync can be created using Tap Tempo. This tempo can be used by either side as SYnc input would be, but is overridden by an actual sync input, or MIDI clock stream, which takes over syncOut based on present div/mult sync setting.

MIDI I/O:
All of the panel can be controlled via MIDI CC's. Notes on certain channels can be sent to "Notes", "Rate" (+/- 2 octaves), and slices.
All MIDI controlled audio controls are fast, so can be used for "chopping", ping-pong etc.
Similarly, Gate/CVin's to "Slicer" and "Notes" inputs can be sent to MIDI channels as quantized notes.
Sync In can be sent via MIDI according to present div/mult settings.

Presets:
A "SnapShot" of the panel can be taken any time (one of the nameless buttons!) to be re-called after other things have been changed.
If, after a Snapshot is taken, you want to save it, it can be saved as a preset to be recalled to act as a template in the future.
I'm unsure whether or not to make the presets "nameable" yet.

LCD:
There's still some confusion as to which LCD to use. 20x2, 16x2, 20x4 etc. It'd be nice if it could change color with the "Page" selected for FX or RP samplers.

Spectrum Analyzer:
The FX side will probably have a spectrum analyzer as part of the audio/EQ, so I'm trying to decide based on how useful it'd be outside of "eye candy". The Slicer could take the Bass end for Peak data to slice only on a kick for example.

--------------------------
Probably the dimensions are all off but this is to get an idea of the layout in a general sense.


Price$$:
I promise it'll be a lot less than it's worth! But seriously, competitive with other samplers now available.

DIY?
If it becomes DIY, it won't be entirely. There's a number of IC's that are TSSOP and such, which is outside of the equipment posessed by most DIY'ers.

Suggestions / Questions / Disses
If you are interested and have any questions/comments about this Sampler, don't hesitate to post them here! After all, that is why I'm posting all of this in the first place, to find out what is wanted in a sampler.

Well, back to work
Cheers all!
sammy123
Wow!
Jarno
Mindboggling!
Navs
Flippin eck woah
Sandrine
Is this good?.... or bad? (Said in voice of russian guy from the movie Armegeddon)


Forgot to mention that the PCM53J DAC is off the BOM, with a much better and far less power hungry DAC.
Sandrine
Oops double post
Sandrine
I'd like to simplify/shrink the panel a bit but we're trying to stay away from menu driven selections and multi-mode buttons as much as possible.
Pretty much all of the jacks are required as they can all be used together at the same time.

I know this would be great..


..but it plugs into an MRI so kinda bulky.

Then there's the menu driven way to do it...



lol!
av500
3U is still too big, make a 1U utility panel with a single output jack, labeled "magic"

the rest is pure SW...
Sandrine
This would be another way to get basically the same type of module, but quite a bit smaller. The knobs are encoders and selecting one of the buttons sets the 4 encoders to that purpose.



Encoders are a bit "clicky" but have a real advantage when switching their purpose. They can be fine or coarse resolution, depending on the application.
For example, if the encoder was for a start position of a sample, the speed could change when turned quickly to get you there faster, then turned slowly to find the position. Also each one has a button built in.
mrtweed
amazing work here sandrine. +1 for trying to stay away from multi mode buttons.
Sandrine
av500 wrote:
3U is still too big, make a 1U utility panel with a single output jack, labeled "magic"

the rest is pure SW...


1U hehe, just big enuff for the mounting screws, I guess that'd be a slider then?

mrtweed wrote:
amazing work here sandrine. +1 for trying to stay away from multi mode buttons.

Thanks MRTweed

Yes, multi-mode buttons remind me of programming a digital thermostat. Loose the instruction booklet and you're done!
Tap=A, Hold 1s=B, Hold 2s=C, Hold 3s=D, Hold while pressing button 2 and touching nose on left side=E

I like to try to make things intuitive, problem is that trying out a design over time makes it intuitive with time so it is simple to me, but nobody else.
lamouette/rck
It looks really promising as it is, like the format, and the specs
geecen
Looks very exciting indeed! Though the encoder route is probably no anyone's favourite ultimately, I'm sure most people would be prepared to compromise for a smaller module with a smaller price tag. I look forward to seeing how this progresses!
Eloc
Perhaps it's an option to have a core module with the main functions brought to the panel, and then expander modules for control of additional functions. Though I personally would just want everything on the panel because i'm greedy... for others, economy of space may take precedence.
ObfuscatedVisuals
I am interested in this as well!
geecen
Eloc wrote:
Perhaps it's an option to have a core module with the main functions brought to the panel, and then expander modules for control of additional functions. Though I personally would just want everything on the panel because i'm greedy... for others, economy of space may take precedence.


Kind of like the Mutable Instruments Shruthi vs Shruthi XT. The four encoders under the screen did remind me of the Shruthi approach actually.
Sandrine
geecen wrote:
Looks very exciting indeed! Though the encoder route is probably no anyone's favourite ultimately, I'm sure most people would be prepared to compromise for a smaller module with a smaller price tag. I look forward to seeing how this progresses!

It would save a few HP, and yes be less expensive to build.

Eloc wrote:
Perhaps it's an option to have a core module with the main functions brought to the panel, and then expander modules for control of additional functions. Though I personally would just want everything on the panel because i'm greedy... for others, economy of space may take precedence.


Believe it or not, we came up with this idea at the same time! A simpler (dubbed SimpleSample) machine with hands on controls, then an expansion module with more of the fancy stuff, sync, miniLoop etc.
On the latter, me too applause

Great obfuscatedvisuals! I'll continue with updates.

geecen wrote:

Kind of like the Mutable Instruments Shruthi vs Shruthi XT. The four encoders under the screen did remind me of the Shruthi approach actually.


Wow,I've never looked at the Shruthi before. That's the look I'm going for, except the encoders should have "flat" knobs as that marker bump is a bit disorienting. It always feels like it's about to reach it's limit when there isn't one.
ObfuscatedVisuals
Sandrine wrote:
Great obfuscatedvisuals! I'll continue with updates.


AFAIK there aren't any other sampling modules that work at 16/44.1khz or above so I'm really excited that about that possibility
Sandrine
ObfuscatedVisuals wrote:
Sandrine wrote:
Great obfuscatedvisuals! I'll continue with updates.


AFAIK there aren't any other sampling modules that work at 16/44.1khz or above so I'm really excited that about that possibility


Even better, I'm getting to work on the project now.

Hey, ObfuscatedVisuals, based on your site (pretty mystical gear to me) you may be interested in this project I did 3 years ago.
It uses a code strip (1 frame) to activate loading of songs into a DAW then another to start the sequence. I've used it performing along with a music video and worked great.
I don't know if this has been done before but it's so much fun to use, I just wanted to show someone who may appreciate it.
SDS KeyPadz

It's also a keypad (hacked joystick type controller) to enter codes that will auto load a song sequence into any DAW soft.

Cheers!
ObfuscatedVisuals
Sandrine wrote:

I don't know if this has been done before but it's so much fun to use, I just wanted to show someone who may appreciate it.
SDS KeyPadz

It's also a keypad (hacked joystick type controller) to enter codes that will auto load a song sequence into any DAW soft.


Cool!.. I knew a number of people back in the day who probably could have used something like this to synchronize video playback (using the trigger to start playback via rs422) although it's much easier to get good microcontrollers these days and more importantly lots of information about how to use them thanks to the internet.
Sandrine
I just love using it, especially from a DVD where there's a whole bunch of songs with videos in a row. Great for jamming!


Anyway, a new design has emerged, keeping with Eloc's mention, a primary sampler module, and additional control module option.

We're probably going with this one, unless the 4 encoder gets sudden overwhelming support. Parts are on their way for the prototype (well ok for the encoder sampler too!)

This sampler is very capable on it's own, even though just 14HU.



Alone, it can do the following:
-Operate as a sampler in Layer/Echo/Record-Play Modes
-Rec/Play in stereo
-Vary playback rate +/- 2 octaves
-Feedback internally on both channels, or via send/return on 1 channel (FX side) and internal on the other
-Slice manually or via SLC trigger during record or play or any mode
-Slice via Peak Mode during Rec/Play (R/P) mode
-Play Slices using a CV (SL.V) and SL.PLY gate at any time, even during record/layer/echo or any play mode
-Play inside a sample as Start/End knobs dictate, GranMove/Size, or Position/Size, depending on 3 position toggle switch setting
Play using Play button (toggled play/release)
Play using Play trigger/Gate/Footswitch input
-Play inside a Slice, if slice is already playing at the time, dictated by the Start/End knobs again, but relative to the slice.
-Granulize/move through a sample/Slice if toggle switch is in G-S position with sizes from 1 mS to 500mS without affecting loop/slice play position
upon return. Via button (toggle) or Play Gate input.
-MiniLoop (If toggle switch set to S-E or P-S) over an entire sample (R/P mode), echo size range (present position - echo size), last layer recorded,
during record or playback.
-Change Sample Rate of playback in any mode/slice/gran/play from knob or Rate CV.
-Select an EQ pair to adjust for feedback EQ, thus using only 1 pot, which also selects the band the EQ CV will influence
-RGB LED shows EQ "color" as Low=Red, Mid=Green, High=blue in proportion to -15dB - 0dB - +15dB of each band
-Auto select CV type on Start/End knobs (converting each to attenuvertors when plugged in) from toggle switch. Gmove is +/- 5V
-Auto select Play trigger input type based on T/F/G setting for record. So paired as trig/gate/footswitches (if use 2)
-LED's display sample Rates when at -2,-1,0,+1,and +2 octaves exactly. Intermediate LEDs will brighten, then dim as their ranges are crossed.
-LED's will also assist in setup of Peak Slice Gain and Back adjustments, Slice Loop/playout selection, quantized slice slots, and EQ Band
Frequency centers, mostly set-and-forget stuff.
-Blend control mixes ACin L with Left sampler out, snd ACin R with Right sampler out. A dual wet/dry as one would find on any reverb/delay.
-180 seconds continuous record time in stereo @ 48KHz rate.

The big Rate knob is an encoder. It'll be smoothed and compensated as inverse log so doesn't get steppy on the higher rates. The advantage is finer stepping is possible, and being able to have it reset to a standard record sample rate, then move away from it.

The EQ setting will be assigned to each mode, and recalled when the mode is returned to. (except peak which shares R/P-record-play mode)


With the Expansion Module the capabilities are opened up more:
RP and FX sides can be separate/RP/FX, miniLoop is added, granulizer is on Simple (to work inside a miniLoop), clock sync is added, MIDI is added, Loop out trigger added, Blend is divided into 2 controls, Feedback CV added, Blend CV's added, EQ controls/CV's added for FX side, adds 2nd Layer Mode(rec-->rec), other slice modes (tempo, divide, spectrum peak, VoxRec), RP->FX mix, FX->RP Mix, and RP Feedback control added, spectrum Peak Slicer selection, . LCD screen. 48k/24K record sample rate selection. (so playback range is 6K to 96K, or 12K to 192K), Easy selection of Quantized Slice playback mode (1/120th of CV range with roll-over), Tap-tempo ++

The Expansion module should be about the same size as this, and will connect via a 7 pin interconnect patch.

Both Modules will certainly be firmware upgradeable.

I love this one so much I'm going ahead and building it anyway! Guinness ftw!
meatbeatz
woah nice!
mxmxmx
semantics apart, shouldn't it be "réflexe involontaire"?
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