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Best TurnTable/Chain for Sampling
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CJ1973
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#1
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
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Best TurnTable/Chain for Sampling

Can someome please recommend some ideas for TurnTables/Chains for Sampling old records. For chains, a thought is Turntable through a Preamp to DAW, however, is this a necessacity? Also, are there users out there who sample re-mastered versions of old records from CDs as well or just rip them and open through perhaps Modern MPCs/Maschine and work off that?

Can someone give me a run-down on the whole process and what typical gear is used out there amongst the sampling cats (Dre/Kanye etc).

I am thinking of either getting a Maschine (not looking to fight over Maschine Vs MPC ...lol) or MPC, but more looking into the chain first/tables/needles used etc and perhaps the total costs involved in getting a solid sampling system.

Thanks!!!
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7th January 2011
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I used to sample vinyl through my Technics 1200 going into a cheap $80 Numark mixer into my MPC. I was using a Numark Tony Touch scratch cartridge.

I spent $200 on a Radial phono preamp and honestly didn't hear much of a difference. I returned the preamp and bought a Shure Whitelabel to replace the Numark cartridge. I heard more of a difference in quality with the new cartridge. I think sound quality improves when you upgrade gear that is closer to the sound source. Many sample based producers use simple turntable mixers.

Sometimes if I want a clean sound, I'll sample a CD digitally through spdif. That way I can play it live and chop it on the MPC just like it were a record but it's squeaky clean. The vinyl has more character in my opinion and I have more options in terms of controlling the dynamics of the waveform with the recording level.

Honestly, don't get too hung up on the sampling chain. Focus on how you process these samples in the MP. You hear more of a difference in the way you filter a sample over which type of mixer you used.
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#3
7th January 2011
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Good topic!

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7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
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I recently got a comfortable set up going for myself after much research & questions...

1. Good quality vinyl.

2. Technics SL1210 M5G turntable.

3. AUDIOPHILE Needle. (I found most people recommended scratch needles or DJ club needles. But, top sound quality is in the Audiophiles. I got Shure M97Xe & think it is good but a little bit too dull on the hi-end for my taste. Probably going to try a Grady next.

4. Rane TTM 56s DJ Mixer.

5. Good Mic Pre. (API 512C?) I tend to stick with brighter sounding Pre's when sampling because the records I'm sampling are never bright enough to me & I almost always hi pass filter.

6. Good A/D Converter. (Apogee?, Aurora?)

7. Good cables. (I use monster or mogami.) PLEASE, not Hosa!!! lol.

8. Power conditioner to plug outlet into that can keep ground signal clear & noise free. (Monster?, Furman?)

9. I track my samples directly into Pro Tools for extremely quick chopping & editing. (Tab To transient!!!) Also, like to add little fades & clean things up a little.

10. Then I dump my chopped samples into a program called MPC 187 than creates quick programs for MP on computer.

11. Pop new program on the MP 5000.
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7th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sterling View Post
I recently got a comfortable set up going for myself after much research & questions...

1. Good quality vinyl.

2. Technics SL1210 M5G turntable.

3. AUDIOPHILE Needle. (I found most people recommended scratch needles or DJ club needles. But, top sound quality is in the Audiophiles. I got Shure M97Xe & think it is good but a little bit too dull on the hi-end for my taste. Probably going to try a Grady next.

4. Rane TTM 56s DJ Mixer.

5. Good Mic Pre. (API 512C?) I tend to stick with brighter sounding Pre's when sampling because the records I'm sampling are never bright enough to me & I almost always hi pass filter.

6. Good A/D Converter. (Apogee?, Aurora?)

7. Good cables. (I use monster or mogami.) PLEASE, not Hosa!!! lol.

8. Power conditioner to plug outlet into that can keep ground signal clear & noise free. (Monster?, Furman?)

9. I track my samples directly into Pro Tools for extremely quick chopping & editing. (Tab To transient!!!) Also, like to add little fades & clean things up a little.

10. Then I dump my chopped samples into a program called MPC 187 than creates quick programs for MP on computer.

11. Pop new program on the MP 5000.
Hey Chad

Thanks sooo much for the huge summary! I appreciate it very much.
Seems you have done your hard yards here. All others who have contributed, thanks.! Please feel free to give more thoughts.

I would love to know what the turntable to daw (not including the converter) set you back in terms of $$... just so I can get a good idea of the process if you could care to share that.

I currently do my work on Cubase/PT but also have an MPC60 in there, more as a trigger. However, sampling I typically do by just chopping up the .wav versions of the songs I get from re-mastered CDs, which works okay. But then the sound creation and assigning/programming can be easier if its on a newer MPC or perhaps the Maschine etc..

Qn. Is a mixer of critical importance, especially if the Turntable can go straight patched into a Preamp, where the levels are controlled into the daw?
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7th January 2011
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Hey Clarence. I'm in the same boat as you. At the moment I have no turntable. But my digital music collection is huge and most of my vinyl records are already on my hard drives as well.

So for the most part, I use Ableton Live as my sampler and just sample my digital collection. Although I love vinyl, by the time I'm finished with a song, I don't care much about the differences in sound from vinyl and a wav or even mp3. The sample has been demolished enough that it doesn't really matter to me much.
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#7
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
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Numark TTX (CS-1 CARTRIDGE + carl cox stylus) > Numark DSM06 (generally increase the bass a bit on the 3 band EQ) > MPC 1000 (adjusting the threshold accordingly on record in).

If I am recording a looooong sample or a song in its entirety, I will run from DXM 06 > MOTU 8PRE into Logic.

This is a great thread - I am thinking about introducing either a outboard compressor or tape deck into my chain, so it is interesting to see what others are using.
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7th January 2011
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I use a Numark TT200, Shure SC35C cartridge, and a Stanton DJF-1. That way I can record samples clean or filter them before I sample.
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8th January 2011
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i finally got fed up dealing with vinyl and turntables. i just sample from flac at this point.
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8th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
i finally got fed up dealing with vinyl and turntables. i just sample from flac at this point.
Quality must be great. WTF?! thumbsup
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8th January 2011
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I think that the appropriate chain would depend greatly on what your artistic intentions are for the samples once recorded. For example, would there be much point in investing in a high end phono pre amp and hi fidelity stylus/cartridge etc if you then intend on applying lo-fi plug ins, Low pass filters etc to the samples. When sampling from vinyl I tend to use a Technics SL1200Mk2 via a Vestax PMC-05 Pro II mixer which I find more than adequate for both mine and my clients needs.

If I was recording from vinyl for archiving purposes where the audio quality was paramount I would tend to invest in a high end phono pre etc but for most sample based music I do not feel that this is necessary. Highly regarded sample based artists such as DJ Shadow and RJD2 have produced classic albums with very basic and inexpensive sampling chains.
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9th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd-cd View Post
Quality must be great. WTF?! thumbsup
well, flac is lossless, so it's cd quality, which is fine with me.
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9th January 2011
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I don't know whether or not this is the best way of doing things, but this is how I do it.


Vinyl >

Shure Whitelabel on an SL1200 MK5 >

Allen & Heath Xone 32 Mixer >

Technics SA323 Stereo Receiver (my mom bought this thing in 1979 and gave it to me a few years back) >

Audio Kontrol 1 >

Ableton Live.


Once its in Ableton it gets warped/chopped up like you would on an MPC. Well, it gets warped far better than you could ever do on an MPC so that bit is different but the overall idea is still the same.

Good question, good thread.
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9th January 2011
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Vestax PDX3000 with a Shure 44-7 through a pmc05pro3 and a SPL 9984 'goldmike' to Audiofire12 and into Reaper. I usually record 'one hits' really hot (a bit of clip) because I feel they sound better in the 1k that way. I chop em up into 2 bar loops in Reaper and move them to my MPC CF-card.
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9th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
i finally got fed up dealing with vinyl and turntables. i just sample from flac at this point.
this makes no sense..

how could you ever be fed up with vinyl or turntables?
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9th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
well, flac is lossless, so it's cd quality, which is fine with me.
Yeah, I was drunk and tried to be funny. Guys can you elaborate on FLAC sampling?
Thank you.
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i had a ground loop issue with my turntable(s) that i could never solve which became maddening.. also, i live in the middle of nowhere, in the desert.. finding vinyl here is close to impossible. everything i did find that was interesting was from thrift stores and was generally badly damaged.

with flac, you're not actually sampling it directly. it's a lossless compression format that you extract to wav. i can't say much more than that without getting into trouble from the moderators
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12th January 2011
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my setup

Technics SL-D1 -> Shure M44-7 -> Radial J33 -> 1' XLR's to Mic In On Digital MPAII -> output either In 5/6 on Digi002, or via SPDIF to Digi002.

Noticable clarity via spdif as opposed to line out, and I am looking to replace the cartridge as it's unnaturally bright and a little in the lows, too.
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13th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubhausdisco View Post
Technics SL-D1 -> Shure M44-7 -> Radial J33 -> 1' XLR's to Mic In On Digital MPAII -> output either In 5/6 on Digi002, or via SPDIF to Digi002.

Noticable clarity via spdif as opposed to line out, and I am looking to replace the cartridge as it's unnaturally bright and a little in the lows, too.
Shure M44G's might be worth a try.
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13th January 2011
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Stanton 500 MKII Cart
Technics 1210
Vestax PMC 25
MPC 2KXL

The Stanton cart is just a bread and butter cart ... no Ortofon, but provides me with the sound I'm looking for. Sounds like its been sampled from Vinyl and good enough to drop in a track.

My main concerns were the state of some of the dusty old records I've picked up on the past.

The EMU 1820 has Phono inputs and can be had for cheap these days and was a damn good buy even at retail so if you are sampling straigt to your computer, that is a good option... The latest is the 1616 if memory serves me right.
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10th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl View Post
Stanton 500 MKII Cart
Technics 1210
Vestax PMC 25
MPC 2KXL

The Stanton cart is just a bread and butter cart ... no Ortofon, but provides me with the sound I'm looking for. Sounds like its been sampled from Vinyl and good enough to drop in a track.

My main concerns were the state of some of the dusty old records I've picked up on the past.

The EMU 1820 has Phono inputs and can be had for cheap these days and was a damn good buy even at retail so if you are sampling straigt to your computer, that is a good option... The latest is the 1616 if memory serves me right.

I have settled on a 1210> Radial J33 > Ableton chain. Later i may add a s-950 and then track it straight into ableton. I now need to confirm which cartridge. I want that classic vinyl sound with nice low/mid and character of the age of vinyl preserved.

What is the bread and butter cartridges? I know i know it's probably preference. Is there a standard?
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10th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT1 View Post
I have settled on a 1210> Radial J33 > Ableton chain. Later i may add a s-950 and then track it straight into ableton. I now need to confirm which cartridge. I want that classic vinyl sound with nice low/mid and character of the age of vinyl preserved.

What is the bread and butter cartridges? I know i know it's probably preference. Is there a standard?

Ok it's either a whitelable or audiophile needle like the M97xE. For sampling i think an audiophile needle may be the way forward!
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11th February 2011
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Try it you will like it: GruvGlide HOME


I use a belt drive turntable these days. Direct drive turntables are great for DJing and scratching. A good belt drive will sound better though.

I use a Pro-Ject RPM 6.1. Into a Pro-Ject Tube Box II.




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11th February 2011
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can you explain why a belt would better a direct drive?
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11th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hydrilla View Post
can you explain why a belt would better a direct drive?
Belt drives isolate the motor from the platter. This is why most audiophile turntables use belt drives.

In a direct drive turntable the platter is part of the motor! This usual means the noise and vibration of the motor is translated directly to the record and then the needle. Those background noises supposedly muddy the sound.

To be honest I think the direct drive SL1200 does sounds great. However I prefer the sound of my belt drive RPM 6.1.

I actually have 3 turntable... the RPM 6.1, Technics SL-1700 and a Vestax Handy Trax. Mostly I use the RPM... however I use the other two once and a while to get a different sound. The Handy Trax is battery operated and plastic. It makes things sound hollow and lo-fi... love it!


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11th February 2011
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makes sense, thanks.
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11th February 2011
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atma

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
i had a ground loop issue with my turntable(s) that i could never solve which became maddening..
I thought I had this same problem until I was told that the needle on the turntable is actually a small microphone and there generally is always at least a bit of noise coming thru the thing at all times.
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12th February 2011
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My opinion.....

Any turntable works, assuming you can upgrade the cartridge. You have plenty of options here, I don't want to go into detail but spend atleast $50-100 per turntable. Phono preamp....Honestly, I have compared my cheap DJ mixers to some very sought after vintage recievers known for their phono preamp. I can tell a slight difference but nothing that would take you more than 30 seconds to eq. Then you need an interface that is good enough to record it cleanly, most will do.

I also run it through a mixer as I eq my samples. I would use a standalone EQ but I am content with what I can get out of my mixer and it would cost me the same or more to sell my mixer to get a good eq that is standalone.

At the end of the day, as long as you don't have something really wrong in your chain, you don't need to be that high end (IMO). Recording records through my stock soundcard on my laptop and friend's houses never worked. Cheap cartridges I had laying around when I needed a new needle always sucked. On the flip side, nothing has yet to really "wow" me when we are talking about some high end part of the chain, compared to something decent that works. Yes, it is better, in a small sense of the bat but after mixing, I wouldn't be able to tell.


I guess my point is that you can dump a bunch of money here but just work on getting a solid setup from beginning to end, which includes the actual record.
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13th February 2011
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After many years of sampling from Numark TTXs with Shure M44-7s through Ecler HAK360 DJ mixer directly into my MPC2000XL, I have recently found the best chain for me and my style. My beats consist of 100% vinyl samples from my own collection.

I now have a Technics SL1210MK2 (bought the last new one here) with a classic Shure V15 V-MR cart through a Graham Slee RIAA straight into my Apogee Duet @ 24/96 (sounded clearly better than @ 44.1 in the case of vinyl ripping). I loop up the part I want to sample in Reaper with a little air at both front and end - I do no processing of the sample in Reaper.

Outs of Duet into my pair of GAP Pre-73s
Outs of Pre-73 into my pair of Square State Solid State EQ model One bs. Sometimes I ditch the Pre-73s.
Outs of SSSS EQ into MPC2000XL where I can sample at perfect level (I attenuate or boost at the Pre-73 when needed).

This combined with CMS65 monitors and room treatment last year, and I've never been happier with my sound! And ashamed of earlier beats and mixes... I have to put out some new material soon to show everyone!

No more hum (TTX) harsh no detailed (M44-7) hissy smeary (DJ mixer RIAA, Pre & EQ) sound. Just pure, detailed (V15 V-MR) but phat killer (Pre-73 + SSSS EQ) sound! I really love these EQs for samples btw. I haven't needed to layer my kicks anymore, I get all the punch and lows I need. And snares and hi hats are sweet and crispy sounding. I seriously highly recommend these EQs.
#30
13th February 2011
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And by the way, setting the turntable and cart up correctly (protractors from vinylengine or elsewhere, spirit bubble level gauges, Test Records) plus keeping both records and needle clean (carbon fibre brush before each play, zerodust "everlasting" needle cleaner, sometimes a thorough wash in my Spin Clean system) helps a lot too!


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