How do you use your sampler?

I've been playing around with the FZ-10M for the past few days. It's made me curious to see how everyone sets up programs/multi's in a sampler, especially concerning the ability to re-route things like pedals/pitch bend/mod wheels and voices.

Anyone have some interesting tips?

hue Wrote:I've been playing around with the FZ-10M for the past few days. It's made me curious to see how everyone sets up programs/multi's in a sampler, especially concerning the ability to re-route things like pedals/pitch bend/mod wheels and voices.

Anyone have some interesting tips?

I am on a sampler buying spree again, for when I get the urge to go full-on hardware. To answer your question, how I use my samplers depends on the sampler itself, although I tend not to bother these days and have a few software cheats:

In a nutshell - it's all about the sound, and that is down to a few things: the converters, the sample engine, and features.

I use my Akai S612 for colouring synths and pads. The analogue filter and the loop-point slider allow for some nice touches. I would love to do the same thing if I had a Emulator I or II.

Breaks and loops - I love my S1100 - 24-bit internal processing and the sound. Similarly my S1000, although it doesn't have the fx and digital outputs so I use it even less (it's available to a subvert for mates rates Wink ). I've got a S950 and S3200 potentially lined up, but not sure - and the reason is for the converters, and the sample engines: 12-bit for S950 a la MPC60, silky smooth 16-bit a la the MPC3000 for the S3200.
I would love an E-Mu SP1200 for beats.

I work with each one I have differently.
AKAI S5000 -- I use this primarily for drums after I've processed and would be the main workhorse when I work outside the box, I find it's internal midi jitter is quite "tight" when I compare it to the EMU. I don't sample into the unit usually. I prefer to just copy over using AKAI.SYS. I create patches using reaper and awave studio. Then it's a simple matter of copying over USB. Storage is an external SCSI HDD. It's noisy so when I load my samples I shut it off.

EMU E5000 Ultra -- I use this more as a synth, load up waveforms and sounds then resample. Great for bass and pads. When I first got this unit everything was done in this as it was super easy to use. When I started looking at the output though I noticed the drums were all over the place. After much reading, testing and digging I came to my own conclusion that it was the EMUs themselves and if I wanted things tightened up I would need to bring into the box or just live with it. Again I don't sample into this unit when I used it. it has a scsi card and I used Awave studio to transfer very quickly. One trick I had for this that Kasious and I still use is the "blank" preset. You create a blank preset with a sample on every note of the keyboard and assign sample numbers in increasing order without samples (or with). Then when you do the copy, just copy starting at sample position one and it will automatically place the drum hits on each note without having to do it each time in the sampler. Storage is on an internal IDE harddrive. This unit has a great workflow and you can modulate pretty much anything.

AKAI S1000 -- First sampler I ever bought and learned on. Works great for processing drums. Best described as helping drums cut though the mix. I've modified mine to include a CF card reader instead of the standard floppy as I replaced it a few times. Also the backlight's EL invertor blew out and I can't find a replacement that doesn't sound like it's squeeling the entire time the unit is on. I mainly use it to process, timestretch and resample into the box or into another sampler. I was trying to speed up my workflow with this unit by creating patches in Awave and converting to an ISO via ChickenSys translator. *Side note Chickensys translator software is kind of shite IMHO. It does the job but it's a memory hog and the developer has a very "interesting" way of dealing with customers. A quick google search on ChickenSys and you'll be sure to find some interesting threads. However, I personally have not dealt with them other than to purchase the software (For those who know I do have a copy of the CD that people can'd seem to get their hands on)*

AKAI S950 -- I've done some playing with this to only use the S950 and my Atari ST1040. It's great but takes time to build up your library. Until I build it up I've been using this to sample into the unit and add some 12-bit 22hz dirt to lots of things Smile If I want to pitch a break up I'll generally try to do it in this unit and sample back out. I would like to get some more Ram for this unit. I did replace the backlight with a better version that doesn't required an EL-inverter so no squeeling! This is floppy only for me at the moment.

AKAI S3000XL -- I bought this because Paradox uses it for his live setup. It's racked up I've turned it on and not done much with it. I would like to use this for a live setup if I eventually get there as it's a smaller unit.

EMU ESI-32 -- It came with something else. Not worth it to sell. I've heard it has it's own sound but I haven't played with it enough to advise.

I could talk for days about the EMU though as it was one that you can really bend all the rules with. One trick I used to do was map midi controllers to different chords. I could then mash up breaks on the fly. One trick I loved was chopping my breaks and then reversing each hit and then merging them together. So when you hit a note the drum hit would play normal then play into reverse. This is one way to get around the fact that it only does forward looping. Also, you can wire a cord to the sample start position and reverse hits on the fly. (this is the EMU term for the modulation setup)

When Kasious and I did Gabel Kenos it was recorded live in terms of the midi modulation on the breaks and recorded to an old reel-2-reel Smile

I would like to do a video on how I'm using my S5000 today with Awave studio and my workflow but just haven't had time.

And yes, I know I have a serious sampler collection problem. I blame my tech background, part of me just likes tinkering with old gear. Especially when it's broken and I can get it for cheap and fix it myself!


Attached Files Thumbnail(s) "Gentlemen, to bed! For we leave at 9:30- Ish."

@Reximus - quality post! Xyxthumbs
Music critic for the Tally Ho

Thank firefinga. I love talking about this stuff! "Gentlemen, to bed! For we leave at 9:30- Ish."

Reximus Wrote:Thank firefinga. I love talking about this stuff!

I'll come back to this one shortly.

it seems like you've got a good fundamental idea about how voices work within a sampler, like voices within a multi.

Any suggestions on how to utilize something like multi functions in correlation to a program? I'm a bit irked by my S5000's voice board and what I've seen with the FZ-10M's routing options. We've talked about APM before, but I think I'm missing something far more basic.

There seems to be a lot of overlap, based upon re-routing controller functions.

i bought an akai s2000 for £999 (!!!) when they first came out, 94 ish? and i used it for everything, breaks panned hard left, bass hard right

used it for 10-15 years until did the whoel computer thing.

Now got back to hardware im using an mpc1000, whihc i really like, sound isnt as nice as the s2000 (sounds like a pc soundcard imho) but really fast an intuitive chopping, and so much storage !

the sequencer is really good, can loop the 909 and sync the sequencer and chop and tune breaks etc as it runs, very cool. 2 filters per sample/pad.

working with an MPC is fun as you get the sampling and the sequencing. Miss my 2000XL, and the engine was alright. Nearly bought a 3000, but that would be an expensive paperweight, so left it be.

to be honest, I use them less and less the older I get, because I need speed and efficiency. I don't really have the luxury of time to dedicate to them - the irony of 16 year old me using cool edit and a mouse on a break wishing I could just whack it into a S1100 and chop it properly, to me now, fucking with the S1100 all evening and then just going back into cool edit and chopping it with a mouse because its quicker, easier, less painful, immediately available to stick into a project, and bit-crushing it or something to fake the old ways.
I've been ill the last few days, and had some rare time of work, and through the flu was building and re-installing the tower. It's ready to roll, but that would have taken me the best part of a week - two weeks of evenings to achieve normally. That's valuable production time.
I love the warmth of the S612, but I prefer to live without without the pain of sampling, re-sampling, and then back into the PC.

Id say at least half the time now I only really use the few hardware samplers I have really to bounce stuff through for sound design then for actually sequencing ill keep stuff in the box and use either vember audio shortcircuit or N.I Kontakt. I still do the odd tune where everything is done in hardware samplers up to a certain point then I bounce everything down in to the box to mix. Or maybe sometimes I'll have my breaks and bassline and maybe 1 or 2 main pad sounds firing on hardware then everything else running in the box. I guess it depends on how your using the filters and modu or effects in a hardware sampler though, if its some fixed effect that can be applied then bounced and so on, may aswell end up with the final sample in something a lot more user friendly than these old 90's boxes. But if you want to be automating the filters or anything else a lot then theres no choice but leaving stuff in the hardware. Also I find the amp envelope on an s3000xl awesome for some break work even if its a little bit more work setting things up, sometimes I just cant get that same sound with a soft-sampler for whatever reason.