16-bit A/D conversion 4x oversampling;
18-bit D/A conversion 64-note polyphony;
16 dynamic filter types;
Sampling RAM: 2MB standard (on board), expandable to128MB;
AIFF (Macintosh) and WAV (Windows) format files „
Okay so i have been given this sampler for free,as a friend is clearing out a load of equipment.So i have had a play (much to my neighbours dismay).So lets see what it is all about.
Right first up my mate has had this since 1998,so it is not a new piece of kit we are looking at.I have done a bit of research and found that you can purchase it for £99.99 on ebay.I do not believe they are manufactured any-more so you will not be able to buy a brand new one.
What is it ???
It is a piece of hardware used in music production called a sampler.You basically run sounds through it and play around with them.It has present sounds built in,or you can hook it up to a mono device and record your own sounds.Yes sounds a bit strange but it can bring uniqueness and originality to your music.I chose to sample the sound of two spoons banging together ,yes sounds strange but bet you have never heard that being used in a song.Once the sound is recorded and mapped into the machine you get to play around with it using many different effects and pre-sets to alter the sound.So my two banging spoons can be tightened up and made to sound like a snare :).Once you have it sounding how you like you can put into a sample bank, which is a collection of sounds and then map them to an outboard keyboard and assign triggers to each key.Basically you can assign the different sounds from the sampler to different keys and play out melodies drum patterns etc.Anyway im going a bit off topic here but that is pretty much how i used the machine.
So is this sampler any good??? Well it is quite easy to use,the interface is pretty much based around the lcd screen which lets you no what parts of the machine you are using and what they are doing.Dies not come with the best manual though it is the size of the phone book and does not really contain any tutorials,the best place to look would be production based music forums that's what i ended up doing as i was having problems saving sounds.But as is always the case with this kind of stuff it is all about trial and error.I recommend you buy an scsi card as this seemed to simplify the process of saving samples.It is quite a fast sampler to work with which makes the editing process quicker,not as many options as software based samplers such as kontakt though.What i liked about it was the hands on feel of it i got a sense of control over my samples as the menus and layout are very easy to navigate through.
Features and Specifications
It has alot of filters to play around with and envelopes fir each sound, using alot of effects does seem to slow it down a little though.The 3 bult in fx sounds can be used together which i am enjoying especially to giving drums a bit of weight. It has alot more features then any other sampler in this price range.The time stretch feature is very fun to use,giving you the option to slow down or speed up your samples.
16x oversampling, 16-bit A/D conversion; 4x oversampling, 18-bit D/A conversion; 64-note polyphony;16-part multitimbral, Dynamic Voice Allocation; Dynamic Filters for each sample (HPF, LPF with resonance, BPF, BEF); Mono mode, Portamento
Analog Input: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz, 11.025kHz, 5.5125kHz; Digital input (only when optional AIEB1 I/O expansion board is installed); 48kHz source: 48kHz; 44.1kHz source: 44.1kHz; 32kHz source: 32kHz; 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 undersampling is supported
Loading and saving during play Direct sample audition by SCSI disk (also from CD-ROM)
3 Effect blocks (54 effect types) and 4-Band total EQ
Easy MIDI Recorder/Player Function MIDI realtime record/play (for quick song sketch); Standard MIDI File format-0 imported from MS-DOS format FD
Rear Panel Connectors
STEREO OUTPUT( L/MONO, R); ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT (L, R); Optional hardware slot x 1, SCSI interface (50-pin half pitch x 1) MIDI (IN, OUT,THRU)
2MB standard on-board; 128MB maximum (72-pin SIMM socket x 4)
Panel Play Function 4 control knobs: Assignable MIDI controller for internal sounds and MIDI out; 6 function keys: Assignable MIDI key on for internal sounds and MIDI out
Sampling Time Maximum Sample Length Mono: 32 MB; Stereo: 64MB Maximum Sampling Time 44.1kHz: 6'20", 55125kHz: 50'43"
Weight 6.9 kg
Dimensions (W x D x H) 483 x 403 x 90 mm (19" x 15-5/6" x 3-1/2")
Taken from the phone-book sized manual
Like i said my mate has had this since 1998 i now have it 12 years later and it still works fine,It looks great to apart from the coffee stains on the top.Some of the knobs on the front are a bit unresponsive, but they have always been like that im told.The unit seems a bit fragile and 2 of the knobs have been replaced,i would not want to lug it around to live performances as i do not think it would take much for the unit to become damaged.So personally i would keep it to studio use only.The other concern is that it would be impossible to get replacement parts for the unit now .I have not had the unit crash on me yet.....
As far as customer support goes i have not had to contact them my mate had to once regarding an upgrade and said they were very good and replied back to him within a few days.
Right as i did not pay anything for it i can not really comment on value for money,so would i pay £100 for it? No i wouldn't as it is to limited compared to the software samplers that are reliable to purchase.It is also a pain in the arse deciding where to store it unless you have an equipment rack the,i personally can not see a real use for it as it does not do anything new.I would only recommend you purchase this if you already have a full on hardware set-up,if you already have a software based studio you will find yourself frustrated at buying a pointless piece of equipment, so i would say this has definitely had its day.