Sampling rare groove from CD versus sampling from vinyl
Old 26th September 2008
  #1
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Sampling rare groove from CD versus sampling from vinyl

Yeah, this one might stir a debate or two:

I'm starting to get into the rare groove thing, looking for those unusual soul/funk tracks that are a little off the beaten path. Thing is, I don't have a turntable, just CD. I'm sure I can get clean results just copying over the uncompressed WAV files from a CD, but should I be looking to snag a USB turntable instead so I can sample from vinyl? Does it make that big of a sound difference when it comes to the samples you extract?

My thing is, it's not like I have the cheese for an SL-1200 MK2 or something of similar quality, and I can't imagine an inexpensive turntable really giving better results than a WAV file lifted directly off of a CD.

Thoughts?
Old 27th September 2008
  #2
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sometimes i like cd's because i dont have to clean up the grime. i'm over the whole crackle in my samples phase.
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Old 27th September 2008
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termtables View Post
sometimes i like cd's because i dont have to clean up the grime. i'm over the whole crackle in my samples phase.
seems to go in circles
like... i'm now back at noisy crackley samples.
Old 27th September 2008
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termtables View Post
sometimes i like cd's because i dont have to clean up the grime. i'm over the whole crackle in my samples phase.
same.

oh -- and i sample everything.

read into that how you will.
Old 27th September 2008
  #5
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Is there any advantage in sampling vinyl at higher sample rates/bit rates than CD, e.g. 96k/24-bit or 88k/24-bit instead of 48k/16-bit? Does this give you more to work with in the original sample before you mix your track back down to CD quality?

Also, are the current crop of USB turntables generally good enough to extract quality samples, or does one need to spend the $400 on a Technics deck to get anything worth using?
Old 27th September 2008
  #6
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There is something going on sonically to the sound of a 200gram vinyl captured on a thorens table through a tube phono pre that a CD will NEVER be able to get to...its rare I get to do it this way tho...
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Old 27th September 2008
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedilaw View Post
Is there any advantage in sampling vinyl at higher sample rates/bit rates than CD, e.g. 96k/24-bit or 88k/24-bit instead of 48k/16-bit? Does this give you more to work with in the original sample before you mix your track back down to CD quality?

Also, are the current crop of USB turntables generally good enough to extract quality samples, or does one need to spend the $400 on a Technics deck to get anything worth using?
With a 12, you're spending all that money because the motor drives at such a constant speed allowing a DJ to properly cue the record and immediately -- and at high-ish resolution -- adjust the tempo of it on the fly (not to mention turntablism, etc). the cheaper turntables are fine for sampling, just make sure you purchase the proper cartridges.

Having a Technic is not gonna make anyone a better sampler unless you're trying to record some cuts or whatnot. As far as recording, the motor has nothing to do with the sound quality.

As far as the whole USB interface thing goes, I have no idea... never used one.
Old 27th September 2008
  #8
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Sampling from CD is a lot easier but depending on the track/genre, you may get more desirable results from vinyl. I would definitely recommend against a USB turntable. I realize that you're trying to do it on the cheap but if you consider a sample like any other element of a track, it's worth investing in a quality signal chain.
Old 27th September 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedilaw View Post
Also, are the current crop of USB turntables generally good enough to extract quality samples, or does one need to spend the $400 on a Technics deck to get anything worth using?
I would actually recommend against the standard Technics decks and to invest in a decent belt driven turntable. 1200s are direct driven and there is a lot of additional noise introduced where there is not with belt driven turntables.
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Old 27th September 2008
  #10
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Originally Posted by Brian! View Post
I would actually recommend against the standard Technics decks and to invest in a decent belt driven turntable. 1200s are direct driven and there is a lot of additional noise introduced where there is not with belt driven turntables.
True with a bad direct drive, not technics though since there is no direct connection between the motor and the platter. The shaft from the motor drives the platter via a big magnet with a air pocket between. And I garantee that 99% of all hip hop ever made is done on a Technics.
(ok don´t quote me on that)

About the CD´s, apart from the sound there are a lot of obscure stuff that isn´t available on CD at all. And oddball stuff can sometimes be found in the dollar bins. Use CD´s while you save up to a TT, doesn´t need to be a Technics but it should be a decent one with a good cart.
Old 27th September 2008
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
About the CD´s, apart from the sound there are a lot of obscure stuff that isn´t available on CD at all. And oddball stuff can sometimes be found in the dollar bins. Use CD´s while you save up to a TT, doesn´t need to be a Technics but it should be a decent one with a good cart.

I agree with this...I mean vinyl has a sound of its own, but more importantly the fact that there are many records still out there that have no CD equivalent...so for 'rare' finds, vinyl is the only way to go.

If you only plan to sample--no cutting, scratching, etc. then you don't need to spend a lot on a TT. For example, I bought a Gemini. Now I know most people say stay away from this brand, but this one is an older "top of the line" model. It has the same features of a Technics (except pitch is +/- 8 instead of 10). The build isn't of the same quality, but it is bad at all (just not a Technics tank). Got it for $37 on ebay (avg. price for this model on ebay is like $50-70) I bought good carts. and a decent phono amp and was set. In all, I spent about the same as a decent USB TT, but I know this is of better quality than those on the lower end.

There are some nice USB TT that cost from $300-400. For that you could get two used technics and a mixer on ebay. My point is be wise about your purchase. Do you need on board pitch controls, quick stop, on-board light, etc. There are many options for someone seeking a good TT for sampling...Btw, i heard from owners that most of the USB TT are fine for sampling purposes...I personally just didn't trust the lower end ones...

IF you do the ebay thing...check the used TT. They are good deals to be had...for cheaper than a USB TT. The main thing is to remember you will need a phono pre if you don't already have one or mixer/receiver with phono input (for grounding purposes and RIAA Eq curve). Whereas, with USB TT you have everything you need to connect to PC and get it cracking...

lots of rambling...hopefully you get my points!
Old 27th September 2008
  #12
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I've never used the USB turntables but I don't think I ever will...

Let a turntable be what it is and an interface what it is.
Its when these pinheads in the marketing departments of audio companies start calling the shots that everything turns (and sounds) shit.
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Old 30th September 2008
  #13
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Another point to keep in mind is that CDs are often mastered (or remastered) with a lot more compression and limiting, which will give you a far fewer options in terms of mixing the sample.
Old 1st October 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filin View Post
Another point to keep in mind is that CDs are often mastered (or remastered) with a lot more compression and limiting, which will give you a far fewer options in terms of mixing the sample.
true info..

but that can work both ways depending on how you will use the sample.
Old 1st October 2008
  #15
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You will be much more please with your drums if they are sampled from vinyl.

The other samples, maybe, maybe not.
Old 1st October 2008
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
You will be much more please with your drums if they are sampled from vinyl.

The other samples, maybe, maybe not.
Funny you should mention that. The question came to mind after I read an online listing for a box set of drum sounds on vinyl.

EDIT: this is it - Paul Nice's Complete Drum Library, a 6LP set over at Fat Beats. I was considering picking this up, but wasn't sure whether it was worth getting the extra gear I'd need to use it.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #17
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cd, turntable, mp3, field recorder...it's all fair game.

great point about shit on vinyl not available on cd.

what bugs me are the cats who proclaim from the rooftops they only use vinyl. ok, you're artsier than me...who really gives a **** in the end? a sample is a sample is a sample.

and i been samplin from mp3s for certain things i can't get in any other form. lemme tell ya it works and you can't tell if you do it right!
Old 2nd October 2008
  #18
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any deck with USB out is going to have shitty converters - there is no margin to put in good ones
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Old 2nd October 2008
  #19
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Originally Posted by cynic View Post
and i been samplin from mp3s for certain things i can't get in any other form. lemme tell ya it works and you can't tell if you do it right!

Yeah man, lots of people far too scared of using mp3s for sampling. Obviously, a 64k stream is going to sound sucky for your main vocal (although...), but mp3s can work just fine.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynic View Post
cd, turntable, mp3, field recorder...it's all fair game.

great point about shit on vinyl not available on cd.

what bugs me are the cats who proclaim from the rooftops they only use vinyl. ok, you're artsier than me...who really gives a **** in the end? a sample is a sample is a sample.

and i been samplin from mp3s for certain things i can't get in any other form. lemme tell ya it works and you can't tell if you do it right!
Well, I think what matters in the end is how good your song sounds. Even low-quality samples can work in a good-sounding song, depending on how you process them. If you think about it, people rave about the 12-bit converters on the MPC-60, which obviously weren't even doing CD-quality sampling, much less 96k/24bit. Seems odd to fuss about using MP3s but praise the obsolete converters on the first-gen MPC...

Has anyone here used the Paul Nice drum library? Any good?
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Old 2nd October 2008
  #21
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because of some "technical difficulties" i have been using mp3's for a minute, seemed ok but... now i got my stuff back and started sampling actual records again...
the difference seems huge, especially on drums and bass for some reason.

i think after a while you'll settle for less or adjust to ok mp3's like kids nowadays play crappy lo-res downloads on their i-pods.
once you hear the real thing again... you'll notice the difference.
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Old 2nd October 2008
  #22
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Yes, and at some time your finnished track containing mp3 will probably be converted again to mp3.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
Yes, and at some time your finnished track containing mp3 will probably be converted again to mp3.
thing is ......i guess i don't sample how a lot of people do anymore.

these days i'm trying to use shorter samples as the basis for my own instrument designs instead of just lifting a musical phrase. you take that approach and a whole new world opens up to you.

you can find a lot of shit in 320 VBR, which sounds decent enough to me. and i'm not even getting into FLAC
Old 21st October 2008
  #24
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There are Cd's that you will never see the vinyl for, vinyl you will never see a CD for and mp3's that you will never see anywhere else. Fact, no matter who you are.
Old 20th March 2013
  #25
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I know a producer who made a track with an mp3 sample.

If the quality is good, and you are able to process it to sound great - nobody will ever really know...

The track is even featured on DJ sets, and they prob. think it was sampled from vinyl.

Nobody will ever know - besides why does everybody follow the old school when it is already 2013 and beyond?

Each to their own - but the technology is here for a reason.

---
Old 20th March 2013
  #26
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Originally Posted by FineDineRecords View Post
Each to their own - but the technology is here for a reason.

---
I like your wit! That's such a profound statement.
Old 20th March 2013
  #27
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In my experience a lot of rare groove CDs have terrible quality... the highs can sound very harsh. I guess that's just bad conversion
Old 20th March 2013
  #28
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I thought I'd weigh in with some real world experience.

I produced a track once using vinyl samples from various sources; Drums from The Ventures, Miami and Detroit Emeralds, Loops from Uriah Heap, The Stylistics, various other bits and pieces...

The track was coming out on a major label and they wanted me to polish it up, so I set about finding every single sample on CD and re-creating the track. Didn't actually take too long, I just made up my REX files (I used to use Reason) to be the same length as the vinyl ones, then just replaced them in the session.

The track came out sounding lifeless, especially the drums. Once all the elements were combined, it didn't even sound any cleaner, re: crackle, noise, hiss etc? I was confused. Needless to say, the old version went ahead

Like somebody said, CDs are often reissued with a modern sounding re-master or in some cases a modern re-mix. They don't have the crunch you get from a vinyl, and often the midrange isn't as nice. Old CDs will also suffer from terrible A/D and just sound bad straight up

When you sample from a 70s record, you're getting an 100% analogue signal, from musicians fingers to pressing plant... It's a no brainer
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Old 20th March 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utters View Post
...I produced a track once using vinyl samples from various sources; Drums from The Ventures, Miami and Detroit Emeralds, Loops from Uriah Heap, The Stylistics, various other bits and pieces...

The track was coming out on a major label...
one track, many samples, big names, on a major label and it actually came out???

sounds sweet, but must've been a while ago.
Old 20th March 2013
  #30
I would gladly sample all sources but analog pitch is something digital devices can't emulate well to my ear. I need to sample my ish as pitched up as possible because 2,5 secs is the longest possible sampling time and i got four of those available. Love the digital pitch down of th SP tho
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