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sampler recommendations for an all hardware set-up
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Author sampler recommendations for an all hardware set-up
mayyammay
Hi -

I'm looking for some help with my set-up. I have lots of hardware (some vintage, some modern, and euro too) and I am looking for a way to integrate some sort of sampler in to my set up. I want to use hardware to make noises/sounds and use the sampler to record, mangle sounds, and compose mini sequences to be triggered (?). Currently, I just mess around using a sequencer, patchbay and mixer. I don't use or own a DAW either.

I want to have an integrated studio where it's easy to capture cool individual sounds or sequences from any device and then mess around with those captured sounds. Any insight or sampler recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
3hands
I have a couple hardware samplers integrated into my hardware system.

I love the Akai s700. It can get incredibly lofi, but it’s also highly useful as an only sampler for more hifi things, though keep in mind it’s only 12 bit.

For my serious hifi stuff, I have the Akai S1000 which is still one of the best samplers (IMO) ever made. And they can currently be had for a song.

Best of luck!
Funch
I would recommend getting a gently used Korg Triton rack. In addition to a sampler, where those sounds can be integrated into existing factory sound sample patches, it features analog inputs that allow access to the excellent FX section.
mayyammay
3hands wrote:
I have a couple hardware samplers integrated into my hardware system.

For my serious hifi stuff, I have the Akai S1000 which is still one of the best samplers (IMO) ever made. And they can currently be had for a song.



Can you share your sampling workflow?

How easy or complicated is it to edit samples in the S series?

Funch wrote:

Korg Triton rack



How easy or complicated is it to edit samples in the Triton?

Also, I have been reading about the modern Elektron/Akai options and researching Ableton, too. Anyone have any thoughts about using a DAW for sampling vs hardware?
kineticturtle
Yeah the Octatrack is made for this kind of thing, but the learning curve is STEEEEP. If you can get through that, nothing will do the job better.
jimfowler
I've bought and sold the following Akai machines:

Akai S5000 (3 times!)
MPC3000
MPC4000
MPC5000

and every time I end up coming back to Sampler in Ableton for it's flexibility, fidelity and immediacy/ease-of-use. I've stopped trying to find a hardware equivalent at this point. Lots of people seem to get along just fine with old hardware samplers but I think the good software samplers are at once more capable AND easier to use. Sampler's interface just makes plain sense to me...from a UI standpoint I think they nailed it.
Funch
mayyammay wrote:
3hands wrote:
I have a couple hardware samplers integrated into my hardware system.

For my serious hifi stuff, I have the Akai S1000 which is still one of the best samplers (IMO) ever made. And they can currently be had for a song.



Can you share your sampling workflow?

How easy or complicated is it to edit samples in the S series?

Funch wrote:

Korg Triton rack



How easy or complicated is it to edit samples in the Triton?

Also, I have been reading about the modern Elektron/Akai options and researching Ableton, too. Anyone have any thoughts about using a DAW for sampling vs hardware?
the triton is a deep machine with two very thick manuals to learn. As far as editing the samples it's not that hard once you learn the architecture of the machine.

Used they are around $400 but there's so many features. unfortunately the samples can't be stored in the machine memory and have to be reloaded every time you wanted to use them in a patch. Floppy drive that can be switched with a USB memory stick Drive. Old tech stuff.
MatttheKat
I suggest the octatrack also. While the learning curve is steep, you could do what your looking for with it fairly easily.
DiscoDevil
Pioneer SP-16
tehyar
"use hardware to make noises/sounds and use the sampler to record, mangle sounds, and compose mini sequences"

Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digitakt. Like the Octatrack, it's also designed to do this, but without the aforementioned steep learning curve (or at least a dramatic reduction in it). It's what I use to do this, and it makes the process a ton of fun.

I'm not attempting to degrade this into another Octatrack vs. Digitakt thread, I just thought it was worth a mention. hihi
kineticturtle
tehyar wrote:
Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digitakt


Oh yeah of course - I just haven't played one so I didn't think about it! Definitely a great option.
IanEye
Digitakt is mono playback on the samples.
CF3
jimfowler wrote:
I've bought and sold the following Akai machines:

Akai S5000 (3 times!)
MPC3000
MPC4000
MPC5000

and every time I end up coming back to Sampler in Ableton for it's flexibility, fidelity and immediacy/ease-of-use. I've stopped trying to find a hardware equivalent at this point. Lots of people seem to get along just fine with old hardware samplers but I think the good software samplers are at once more capable AND easier to use. Sampler's interface just makes plain sense to me...from a UI standpoint I think they nailed it.


I agree in principle, but.....
Everytime somebody starts a thread about a “hardware sampler” set up inevitably somebody pops off with the “just use a soft sampler, they’re better” recommendation. And I don’t necessarily disagree (at least for the UI), but the real issue with that is... What if you use a HARDWARE SEQUENCER? It’s a mess trying to line up “track delays” on soft samplers to sync properly with your existing hardware.... especially with drums that need to be dead tight. So yes, if you use Ableton or another DAW For sequencing, then by all means, use a soft sampler. They’re incredible. But for the rest of us that actually sequence with hardware, it has to be a hardware sampler. For sanity sake.

Actually the Akai S5000 and MPC4000 are great choices. Both machines natively support wav file. They both can do a legit “multi mode” with up to 32 channels of midi. Both have a good size RAM (256mb for the S5000, 512mb for the 4000/Z4/Z8). Good amount of polyphony. Super good timing. They’re both relatively inexpensive. And most importantly they sound punchy and full with no weird artifacts on the high end, even when stacking multiple programs.
DeanG
I use a Bastl Microgranny for sampling on the fly. It is lo fi however, which I happen to like. I have also used a Roland Aira Scooper module which is great if you are working with a single live sample. I think it is 10sec recording. Unlike microgranny it has cv control, plus a very useful virtual modular within, so it can be reconfigured to function differently or as an independent synth module via an app.
ElTonerino
IanEye wrote:
Digitakt is mono playback on the samples.


Not quite. Digitakt only supports mono samples, but plays them back in stereo (with panning, reverb, delay)
mayyammay
[quote="CF3"]
jimfowler wrote:
What if you use a HARDWARE SEQUENCER? It’s a mess trying to line up “track delays” on soft samplers to sync properly with your existing hardware.... especially with drums that need to be dead tight. So yes, if you use Ableton or another DAW For sequencing, then by all means, use a soft sampler. They’re incredible. But for the rest of us that actually sequence with hardware, it has to be a hardware sampler. For sanity sake.


Yes, this is what I have been thinking about. Every time I start to researching DAW options, and in particular DAW sampling, it seems like it is a nightmare to sync with hardware and hardware sequencing. I'm glad you called this out since I periodically convince myself that I need a DAW. On the surface it looks so easy.
mayyammay
ElTonerino wrote:
IanEye wrote:
Digitakt is mono playback on the samples.


Not quite. Digitakt only supports mono samples, but plays them back in stereo (with panning, reverb, delay)


I have been wondering about the Digitakt as sampler. I have a Digitone and have found it extremely easy to use and was wondering if the same was true for the Digitakt. I have messed around with an Octatrack, but found it confusing...
mayyammay
[quote="CF3"]
jimfowler wrote:
Actually the Akai S5000 and MPC4000 are great choices. Both machines natively support wav file. They both can do a legit “multi mode” with up to 32 channels of midi. Both have a good size RAM (256mb for the S5000, 512mb for the 4000/Z4/Z8). Good amount of polyphony. Super good timing. They’re both relatively inexpensive. And most importantly they sound punchy and full with no weird artifacts on the high end, even when stacking multiple programs.


I have looked at a S5000, but wondered about the ease of use and how easy/difficult it is to edit samples.

I am visual learner so sometimes lot's of menu diving is difficult for me...
mayyammay
tehyar wrote:
"use hardware to make noises/sounds and use the sampler to record, mangle sounds, and compose mini sequences"

Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digitakt. Like the Octatrack, it's also designed to do this, but without the aforementioned steep learning curve (or at least a dramatic reduction in it). It's what I use to do this, and it makes the process a ton of fun.

I'm not attempting to degrade this into another Octatrack vs. Digitakt thread, I just thought it was worth a mention. hihi


Thank you, I was wondering what role the Digitakt plays in folk's set ups. Sampling vs sequencing vs drum machine, etc. To me it seems weighted on the sequencing and drum machine side, but maybe I haven't properly researched sampling with the Digitakt.
mayyammay
Also, is anyone using the ER-301 for sampling? If so, what are your thoughts?
DiscoDevil
Let me reiterate - Pioneer SP-16. Ignore the ridiculous marketing and awkwardness of the product. It's not a perfect product but for ease of use and your needs, I think it's worth taking a look at.
tehyar
mayyammay wrote:
tehyar wrote:
"use hardware to make noises/sounds and use the sampler to record, mangle sounds, and compose mini sequences"

Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digitakt. Like the Octatrack, it's also designed to do this, but without the aforementioned steep learning curve (or at least a dramatic reduction in it). It's what I use to do this, and it makes the process a ton of fun.

I'm not attempting to degrade this into another Octatrack vs. Digitakt thread, I just thought it was worth a mention. hihi


Thank you, I was wondering what role the Digitakt plays in folk's set ups. Sampling vs sequencing vs drum machine, etc. To me it seems weighted on the sequencing and drum machine side, but maybe I haven't properly researched sampling with the Digitakt.


The specific way I've been using it the most? My buddy records some noodling on his 0-coast, sends me a wav. I use the Digitakt to hack it up into percussion and tonal bits using granular synthesis (just narrowing down the bit of the wav to play back to any tiny bit of waveform), craft some quick heavily morphing patterns. It's a ton of fun seeing just how far from the original content it can get.

edit: That's not saying I don't also record my own sounds. smile

Also, I don't actually think of it as a sequencer at all, and I often forget it can slave midi stuff. To me it's a synth instrument. I think of the patterns and sequences as being the same sort as the stuff in my Pro 2.
Monotremata
mayyammay wrote:


Can you share your sampling workflow?

How easy or complicated is it to edit samples in the S series?



The S series wasn't fun at first hehe. But neither was my ESI-4000. Once I figured it out (I had a real language problem deciphering what was meant by 'samples', 'presets', 'zones', etc.), it was pretty easy to set up and get going but the front panels are still kinda irritating. I eventually started using Recycle and sending loops and patches to them over SCSI, and would adjust any settings I needed to there.

I keep thinking about getting another though. I miss having the hardware for it, and I still REALLY want one of the EMU E4XTs, but Ill have to go check out the S5000/6000 now. I had an S2000 and it wasn't much fun considering it was stock and had very little RAM in it (DIMMs were hard as hell to find in the early 2000s...)
bobbylandry
[quote="mayyammay"]
CF3 wrote:
jimfowler wrote:
Actually the Akai S5000 and MPC4000 are great choices. Both machines natively support wav file. They both can do a legit “multi mode” with up to 32 channels of midi. Both have a good size RAM (256mb for the S5000, 512mb for the 4000/Z4/Z8). Good amount of polyphony. Super good timing. They’re both relatively inexpensive. And most importantly they sound punchy and full with no weird artifacts on the high end, even when stacking multiple programs.


I have looked at a S5000, but wondered about the ease of use and how easy/difficult it is to edit samples.

I am visual learner so sometimes lot's of menu diving is difficult for me...


I find the S5000 and S6000 miles easier to navigate and do stuff with than any other sampler I've used. I don't know if that's a universal feeling, though.

I wish my Yamaha A5000 made more sense cause the effects are cool. The Yamaha TX16W sounds awesome but even with the Typhoon OS I don't enjoy working with it. I also LOVE the Roland S-330 and find it easy to get around on but it's older and really limited so isn't good for all situations.
hw408
I started with s3000 and then moved to z8.
z8 was great but i rarely see it mentioned over the s series for some reason.

The akai software really made it easy to set up programs, keygroups, bring in wav files from other places, compared to s3000 which was a pain in the ass I thought. I am not sure if that software works on win10, its been a while.
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