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Standalone HW device for ambient/drone (sampler+synth) 500€
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Standalone HW device for ambient/drone (sampler+synth) 500€
eph3merol
Hi! I love static-noisy drones with deep bass, but also dark ambient.

My actual workflow involves direct recording from several sources (kastle/volca/t-resonator) into Cubasis2 (iPad), manipulating with fx, and export to soundcloud. [s]https://soundcloud.com/eph3merol[/s]

(I'm also planning on getting the new SOMA Ether).

Problems:
    I'm afraid that the amount of pocket synths and ipad vsts is blocking me from even starting (paradox of choice).
    The setup time to get everything ready to register is sensible and usually I only have evening times.
    I have not enough room on my desk to keep everything "ready to go".


Therefore! I'd like to go minimal, one device, to learn to master, that woud allow me to:
    - record and manipulate samples
    - play like monosynth
    - allow me to compose a song
    - apply delay/reverb effects
    - allow me to keep it "ready" on my desk (or that I can play on my couch).


1. Is the Digitakt my best bet? (if I can find one used for good price)
2. Any alternative, ideally at a lower price point?

Thank you!
fac
I don't have any cheaper alternatives, but I think that the Noise Engineering OP-1 or the Elektron Octatrack may be exactly what you want.

Alternatively, you could replace the iPad with a looper pedal and maybe a delay/reverb pedal. Build a small pedalboard with carrying bag so you can leave everything connected and just zip it closed and stow it away when you're finished. I'm pretty sure you can fit a kastl, volca, t-res and couple pedals in a small case.
chvad
Doesn't hit the price but the Synthstrom Deluge hits all these points and more.
h4ndcrafted
Sounds like the perfect sampler would be the sp404a ,sx


As understand it has massive sampling time , and while a lot of limitations m would be a perfect drone recorder and effects machine.

Of course there is only one effects engine so you would have to resampling a lot , but I believe this would be a lot of fun to use and very instant, as well as being portable.

This rigged up to a multi fx unit/ pedal and a versatile mini synth could get you a hell of a lot of mileage.

I’m no stranger to the SP range of samplers, and they are generally a lot of fun and inspiring to use. I’m planing on buying a 404a myself for the fun factor alone.

New £390 second hand £280
Pro tip, people like the vinyl sim on the original version, but you want the sd version , quicker.
I might get hold of an sp808 to run things through, because the effects engine is stellar and you can automate them with a little digital 16 step sequencer.

The sequencer is 99 steps long woah for each pattern
rowsbywoof
Beautiful track there eph3merol. I think your thought process here is pretty much the main rub I have too. Lots of great sound toys, but getting everything talking and getting into a good head space to play is difficult and is the main reason I do a lot of stuff in chunks. I’ll be working on an album and just trash my area, get into a good flow, but eventually I need to reclaim space and the constant setup and tear down became crazy draining.

I've fixed some of that by racking effects and things I use frequently and wiring them into a couple Firefaces so all I need to do is plug in a usb cable, flip a couple power switches, and my compressors and effects come to life and are ready in my DAW. I’ve also created external effects For everything in Live so I can drag and drop hardware for sends like it’s a VST. That helped a lot. Not having to worry about cabling or routing was a game changer.

I still don’t have enough space, so now I’m hunting for a better desk, and that might help, or it might just clear up more space to fill, but the funny thing is that before I got things setup I was convinced I just didn’t have the right equipment and maybe just adding this or that will solve the problem. Now that I have easier access to stuff my current challenge is just making what I already have easier to use.

I think that would be my only advice. Honestly, it sounds like what you have is working for you. This is really good stuff. Maybe it would help to focus on your workspace to see if it solves your workflow problems.
eph3merol
h4ndcrafted wrote:
Sounds like the perfect sampler would be the sp404a ,sx


As understand it has massive sampling time , and while a lot of limitations m would be a perfect drone recorder and effects machine.

Of course there is only one effects engine so you would have to resampling a lot , but I believe this would be a lot of fun to use and very instant, as well as being portable.

This rigged up to a multi fx unit/ pedal and a versatile mini synth could get you a hell of a lot of mileage.

I’m no stranger to the SP range of samplers, and they are generally a lot of fun and inspiring to use. I’m planing on buying a 404a myself for the fun factor alone.

New £390 second hand £280
Pro tip, people like the vinyl sim on the original version, but you want the sd version , quicker.
I might get hold of an sp808 to run things through, because the effects engine is stellar and you can automate them with a little digital 16 step sequencer.

The sequencer is 99 steps long woah for each pattern


Thank you! I'm checking out the 404 and I'm getting very interested smile
eph3merol
rowsbywoof wrote:
Beautiful track there eph3merol. I think your thought process here is pretty much the main rub I have too. Lots of great sound toys, but getting everything talking and getting into a good head space to play is difficult and is the main reason I do a lot of stuff in chunks. I’ll be working on an album and just trash my area, get into a good flow, but eventually I need to reclaim space and the constant setup and tear down became crazy draining.

I've fixed some of that by racking effects and things I use frequently and wiring them into a couple Firefaces so all I need to do is plug in a usb cable, flip a couple power switches, and my compressors and effects come to life and are ready in my DAW. I’ve also created external effects For everything in Live so I can drag and drop hardware for sends like it’s a VST. That helped a lot. Not having to worry about cabling or routing was a game changer.

I still don’t have enough space, so now I’m hunting for a better desk, and that might help, or it might just clear up more space to fill, but the funny thing is that before I got things setup I was convinced I just didn’t have the right equipment and maybe just adding this or that will solve the problem. Now that I have easier access to stuff my current challenge is just making what I already have easier to use.

I think that would be my only advice. Honestly, it sounds like what you have is working for you. This is really good stuff. Maybe it would help to focus on your workspace to see if it solves your workflow problems.


Hey thank you so, so much for the compliments on my music, it's probably the first comment I get on the internet wink

Regarding the workspace, I already set up a suitcase with a pedalboard, but it's not efficient everytime to plug it back in, rewire stuff, and so on. I even got a Boredbrain Patchulator to help with that grin
Fallen_lassen
TE - op Z maybe.
Technologear?
I agree with rowsbywoof, that track you posted was good, don't change your setup so much that you can't pull that off again. Having gear plugged up and ready to go really is helpful when possible but the stages of setup might be part of your creative process. Your sense of paralysis at the start is normal when creating music that often sounds very different after post processing and many passes or layers. If you get stuck, just 'have a jam' and keep an ear out for good sounds to sample. So...
Yep, get a sampler. For your style I too suggest the 404. I have a Digitakt but find it best suited for short percussion sampling, not loops (although it can do that, and I really like it's interface). It makes me want to complicate the source material. I think you need the 404 bounce down vibe. This would strategically limit some of those options you listed, to keep your material and vibe in tact, and avoid more option paralysis.

Finally, my big hardware store sells these really big low wide plastic storage boxes with lids designed to fit under the bed. Have you considered that for your gear to be connected up semi permanently?
Good luck
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