OK it doesn't have to be the best, but it does need to be able to create sequences that are not necessarily locked to the grid, and it needs to have trigger/pads of some sort to play samples in.
It would be great if it had MIDI in/out compatibility of some sort.
Sound is not the top priority as I can always sample into DAW via 202 or ASR or EPS and export/trigger.
Any ideas? I like cheaper gears really...
I have used an MPC60 and a 404.
__________________ Synths: Yamaha CS-50, Elektron Analog 4 and Monomachine, Chroma Polaris (!!!), Roland SH-1000, Ensoniq EPS, ESQ-1, Asr-10r, MachineDrum SPS-1mkII UW, MBase 01, Roland SP-404sx, SP-808, RE-201 Space Echo, Rode K2 into UA LA610.
dude the 404 does that perfectly, just build your sequences through resampling and there's no grid at all. the sp series in general is probably best for what you're looking for, i've used a mpc 1000, sampletrak, microsampler, and various sps (got a 505 coming in a few days as my 404 went on the fritz and i want more of a 303 sound.)
Besides the pad requirement, your asr10 would do a damn good job at this. If your jonzin for new piece of gear thou, any mpc would do, asrx, Roland sp, even zoom sampletrak
i personally wouldn't recommend the sampletrak for "non-grid" because only having 24 pads and 60 seconds makes it difficult to make sequences without the sequencer. i personally don't make beats using the resample method with it. it is a great sampler though especially for the 70 bucks i paid for it (love the sound.)
Any sampler really....You can always arm your daw to record, and play each track into it. You don't even need midi sync, since you can just edit the wave files on the spot.
Not necessarily the best way, but another option.