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Best sampler for 90's trance?
Old 23rd February 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Best sampler for 90's trance?

My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today. Such as Oliver Lieb or Man With No Name.
So far i have a Minitaur, SH-O1A, MAM MB33 Retro and a Midiverb 2.

Equipment im definitely getting:

Quadraverb 2
Ensoniq DP4+ (Everyone seems to have used this back in the days)
Acess Virus B
JP8080
Roland JD 990
+ some more cheap rack synths

Most producers back in the days seems to have been using Akai or EMU samplers, which one would you recommend?
Any other outboard effects you would recommend?

This is the type of sound i want to come as close to as possible:
Old 23rd February 2019
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today.
TAL Software
Old 23rd February 2019
  #3
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
Quadraverb 2
Don't get the Q2, the 1 was the one widely used at the time. I was in the same boat as you and read the 2 sounded too clean. Anyway, got the Q1 and never looked back.

How are you sequencing the MB33? Via the PC or hardware sequencer?
Old 23rd February 2019 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
Don't get the Q2, the 1 was the one widely used at the time. I was in the same boat as you and read the 2 sounded too clean. Anyway, got the Q1 and never looked back.

How are you sequencing the MB33? Via the PC or hardware sequencer?
Thanks for the tip man! Im sequencing via PC
Old 23rd February 2019
  #5
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will you really find the Quadraverb that great? the MidiverbIII (simpler) is
a lot easier to use with more user presets, less time spent with the LCD,
once you have a few favourites set up. just my opinion, i've never got into
the Qvb that much. has a fckn huge power supply, as well
Old 23rd February 2019 | Show parent
  #6
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
will you really find the Quadraverb that great? the MidiverbIII (simpler) is
a lot easier to use with more user presets, less time spent with the LCD,
once you have a few favourites set up. just my opinion, i've never got into
the Qvb that much. has a fckn huge power supply, as well
True, but I forgot about the power supply immediately after I screwed the QV into my rack. I don't have a MV III but I do have the MV IV and have only used that once since getting the QV.

That said, can it do anything software can't? Probably not, but I do love it nonetheless.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #7
ff0
Gear Nut
 

You've got a lot of synths in that list - what are you doing for drums?!
Old 23rd February 2019 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
True, but I forgot about the power supply immediately after I screwed the QV into my rack. I don't have a MV III but I do have the MV IV and have only used that once since getting the QV.

That said, can it do anything software can't? Probably not, but I do love it nonetheless.
you'll have to tell me what you think of the MV IV. i figured that would be
like an updated quadraverb, with easier midi (and the nice big display).

tbh i preferred the MV III purely because it was so easy; set and forget.
i was only after the general stuff anyway at the time. i still have the QV,
btw: it cost a fortune back then i got this idea in my head it was the
thing to have. i really do have a negative thing about that f'n power supply,
though... to the point of thinking about buying that adapter cable for
regular 9vAC - that big thing is 20VA, if i can remember what that means.
thing is, i also have a Datadisk, so that's another massive PSU (god knows
why, for that thing, ought to be able to run off 9v 500mA, something like
that.)

what do you think of the TR-08?
Old 23rd February 2019
  #9
Gear Nut
 
steve.lindqvist's Avatar
 

I would say an AKAI S3000XL was quite common in the old techno / trance days. But at the end of the day producers just used what was common (just like today). This includes mostly E-MU, AKAI or YAMAHA rack samplers.


Old 23rd February 2019
  #10
Oli
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Oli's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today. Such as Oliver Lieb or Man With No Name.
So far i have a Minitaur, SH-O1A, MAM MB33 Retro and a Midiverb 2.

Equipment im definitely getting:

Quadraverb 2
Ensoniq DP4+ (Everyone seems to have used this back in the days)
Acess Virus B
JP8080
Roland JD 990
+ some more cheap rack synths

Most producers back in the days seems to have been using Akai or EMU samplers, which one would you recommend?
Any other outboard effects you would recommend?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
Don't get the Q2, the 1 was the one widely used at the time. I was in the same boat as you and read the 2 sounded too clean. Anyway, got the Q1 and never looked back.
I was thinking the same thing. I have a QV+ and QV20 (similar to the QV2). The appeal of the QV was the character, kind of thin howly resonant verbs. IMO, they don't work well on every source. I love the sournd on some thin/clear sounds, such as 101, 202, bassstation, Nord Lead, or FM leads. Alesis effects after MV 2 or QV were higher fidelity, but had less interesting character. These days, fidelity is very easily and cheaply accomplished. Use the old Alesis kit for the character. QV20 is fine for delays etc, but its one of many options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
will you really find the Quadraverb that great? the MidiverbIII (simpler) is
a lot easier to use with more user presets, less time spent with the LCD,
once you have a few favourites set up. just my opinion, i've never got into
the Qvb that much. has a fckn huge power supply, as well
QV is cheap and cheery, and has its own sound. A DP/4+ can cover a lot of other effects really well, and sound great doing it.

Regarding the DP/4+, it is cleaner than the DP/4 or DP/2. I think the DP/Pro may be cleaner again, but not used it. However, if you're using the Alesis kit, you may be thankful for the reduced noise compared to the older DP units. Generally for dirtier or band limited effects units, I would only use them on an effect send, not as inserts. I found them too dirty for that. Back in the day, one had to really struggle for fidelity, and it's not good for lo-fi to be your only option.

The DP/4+ is a good sounding and versatile box. I wouldn't go looking for more effects units immediately. That should be plenty to get started with. The virus has good effects too. However, others to consider may be Sony DPS-V77, TC Fireworx, Kurzweil KSP8, old lexicon like PCM 70, whichever Eventide you can afford, etc

The producers you listed did use some reasonably priced gear, but high end gear as well. Software can be a great way to bridge the gap.

I personally never loved the JP-80x0 synths. They can be used to to good effect of course. Filter is really steppy on resonant sweeps, and the Supersaw era was really a shift in the scene towards commercialisation.

You might want to consider a System-8, maybe selling the SH-01A. It does a decent Jupiter 8. IIRC, Lieb used the Jup a lot in early work.

For samplers, look into the Roland S750 and S770 as well. Very capable, great sounding samplers. I think the E-mu Ultra samplers are more versatile than the early Akai gear. Some people made whole albums with one sampler (they were also very expensive back then). BTW, the S1100 has a really nice sounding verb, though not versatile. The Yamaha A5000 et al can also be used as a capable effects rack, but is slower and probably more work to use than the E-mus. The Akai's probably have the best timing for percussion. E-mus weren't so good for precise timing of rapid fire individual hits, and producers often used short sequenced sections (loop slices etc) instead.

Do you have a mixer in mind? Have you seen these?





Mixers can be fun.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today. Such as Oliver Lieb or Man With No Name.
So far i have a Minitaur, SH-O1A, MAM MB33 Retro and a Midiverb 2.

Equipment im definitely getting:

Quadraverb 2
Ensoniq DP4+ (Everyone seems to have used this back in the days)
Acess Virus B
JP8080
Roland JD 990
+ some more cheap rack synths

Most producers back in the days seems to have been using Akai or EMU samplers, which one would you recommend?
Any other outboard effects you would recommend?

This is the type of sound i want to come as close to as possible:
Dont forget the Atari computer and Mackie mixing board.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today. Such as Oliver Lieb or Man With No Name.
So far i have a Minitaur, SH-O1A, MAM MB33 Retro and a Midiverb 2.

Equipment im definitely getting:

Quadraverb 2
Ensoniq DP4+ (Everyone seems to have used this back in the days)
Acess Virus B
JP8080
Roland JD 990
+ some more cheap rack synths

Most producers back in the days seems to have been using Akai or EMU samplers, which one would you recommend?
Any other outboard effects you would recommend?

This is the type of sound i want to come as close to as possible:
Sampler wise I would go for AKAI S6000

If you can afford it an analog mixer - mackie 8bus or Soundcraft ghost come to mind....

Also Nordlead 2, Novation Supernova and Waldorf Microwave or Q are great!
And of course a good drum computer....TR-909 or a good clone would be a great move but I understand that comes really down to how much money you can afford.

Last, a really cool compressor for your kick drums! Focusrite Green series did the trick on all my records lol
Old 23rd February 2019
  #13
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ModularOverkill's Avatar
 

If you're trying to use the actual gear that was used, that's one thing, but if you want a similar sound using more modern gear, that's different. I'd argue you need to focus on drums in there, and get a TR-8S to solve for that. If you want to go pseudo-vintage, a DrumStation or AirBase would get you there.

For a sampler, most producers in cleaner electronic music used whatever was available, primarily higher end Akai (S5/6K or Z4/8) or EMU E4, but I'm sure plenty used whatever was on hand.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #14
Deleted 80b9b09
Guest
Hello. I've got a close friend who had several hits in the nineties and continues to be a successful trance producer to this day, and have to say it simply wasn't about the gear.

It's about the melody and the writing of the track.

The rest is simply there to realise the above. Not inform or inspire. Just tools.

Having said that:

Nord Lead 1
Juno 106
JV-1080
Akai S-series samplers

...that was pretty much the brunt of it. Through a Mackie desk.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
My goal is to make trance as how it sounded in the late 90's, away from the clean and polished sound from today.
You can buy the equipment that was available back then.
You can recreate the studio that was available back then.
You can meticulously study the methods used back then.

What you can't do - and this is the problem with any kind of attempt at revival - is recreate the general atmosphere of back then. Or, if you're doing this after having experienced that time, regain your youth.

Quote:
Most producers back in the days seems to have been using Akai or EMU samplers, which one would you recommend?
E-mu for the filters and synthesis, but Akai for tighter timing: that said, anything that will consume .wav files will do the job.

Arguably, you can use a software sampler here, or if you insist on hardware, get something modern like a Digitakt or something. Samplers were used for drums, effects, vocals and beats. Just don't use any of the modern features; but you won't get bonus points for making things difficult for yourself.

Quote:
Any other outboard effects you would recommend?
What you have is already pretty generous. You might want to add an Alesis 3630. Use effects as sends and use them sparingly.

Quote:
This is the type of sound i want to come as close to as possible:
A lot of the sounds in there weren't from analogs; they're from romplers like the JD and JV series. The kick in that track reminds me a bit of the Novation Drumstation that had an on-board distortion effect that could go up in 16 steps.

Here's a few pointers:
- very modest sidechaining (if even any at all)
- no ridiculous multiband compression
- automation should be kept simple - snare rolls, slow filter opens, but no crazy stuff.
- manual automation of the mixing desk. You only have so many hands.
- tracks only have a few effects or none at all (and effects were used for units that didn't have anything on-board).
- virtual analogs with limited polyphony and multitimbrality.
- no audio multitracking or rendering. What comes out of the stereo buss of the mixer is recorded on DAT, CD or Minidisc (and these are not like tape, so unless you're a masochist and you like DAT tapes killing themselves, need to make a lot of silver coasters or enjoy the underwater compression sound of ATRAC, just use whatever records digitally) and that goes to the mastering engineer. If you need to do this, respect the limitations of your sampler, because that'd usually do the job.

Any synthesizer with MIDI was worth more than anything that only had CV/Gate or needed to be sampled. A Juno-106 was more effective than a Juno-60. All Moogs before the Voyager didn't have MIDI, so if they were used, they were usually sampled. An SH101 was nice and cheap, but again; sampling would turn it into something that could use MIDI. 303s were din-synced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutilatedlip View Post
Hello. I've got a close friend who had several hits in the nineties and continues to be a successful trance producer to this day, and have to say it simply wasn't about the gear.

It's about the melody and the writing of the track.
It was and it wasn't. We were poring over the folders with the Novations, Nords and JPs and dreaming of what sounds those could make, but we had to work with an AN1x. A Virus B was eventually purchased and it was an insane amount of bang for the buck - and it sounded good, too.

We had an S2000 that was used to load a bunch of 909 drum sounds from the web, vocals, and a few sampled breakbeats. It required a boot floppy - very annoying. We were dreaming of more memory and easier file management and a bigger screen so you could see what you were doing.

Even an MC303 had a pretty decent kick - and it was easier to let it do just that than to try to compose anything on it. The DAW was a MIDI-only version of Cubasis (nowadays it would've been called "lite" or "LE").

If you could already afford one of those, doing the rest of the not-so-important sounds and atmospheric/pad stuff with romplers wasn't so bad.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #16
Deleted 80b9b09
Guest
In short, your average DAW is far more capable than any 90s hardware you can lust after.
Old 24th February 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
Pretty sure that the S3000 was most common for trance, but the artists the OP named aren't really commercial acts, so I wouldn't be surprised if they used different gear..

BTW, you don't really need much more than 1-2 VAs, a sampler, and a ROMpler to fill out arrangements. That setup would cover plenty of ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
We had an S2000 that was used to load a bunch of 909 drum sounds from the web, vocals, and a few sampled breakbeats.
Yes! That was a game changer. No more sad ROMpler kicks and claps, thanks to the beauty of the 28.8K dial up connection and all the generous people who sampled their gear and uploaded wave files to the 'net.
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
We had an S2000
what do you think of the S2000 ? is it not supposed to be the same as the
S3000xl if you have the 8-out board ? just with small LCD and different
encoder ?

i was wondering if it might be interesting as an alternative to S3Kxl,
without having all that information on the big LCD, more like a 16bit S950.
see them so cheap it's a joke.
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #19
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depulse's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
what do you think of the S2000 ? is it not supposed to be the same as the
S3000xl if you have the 8-out board ? just with small LCD and different
encoder ?

i was wondering if it might be interesting as an alternative to S3Kxl,
without having all that information on the big LCD, more like a 16bit S950.
see them so cheap it's a joke.
Stay away from the S2000 if you are not into pain and suffering. The S3000 and other Akais and Emus with graphic screens are so cheap there is no reason to go for the lowend Akai models.
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse View Post
Stay away from the S2000 if you are not into pain and suffering. The S3000 and other Akais and Emus with graphic screens are so cheap there is no reason to go for the lowend Akai models.

yeah you're right... that was just a bit of nostalgia...
no room for one anyway. i'm thinking of something like an mpc1000.
a few outputs, wav loading, much more memory. but it seems like it would
be a different trip, more of a drum sampler? what do you do for something
you want to map out over a keyboard ? i heard of JJOS but not feeling
inspired to research that in detail - what about stock mpc1000 ?
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
what do you think of the S2000 ?
A nice doorstop or heavy rack filling.

Quote:
i was wondering if it might be interesting as an alternative to S3Kxl,
without having all that information on the big LCD, more like a 16bit S950.
see them so cheap it's a joke.
The S950 is special because of the way it transposes samples; the S2000 isn't.

I have a love-hate relationship with samplers - they're amazing tools and deserve far more respect as the important centerpieces of 90s studios (as opposed to fawning over all the analog synths that were still cheap back then), but there are better ways.
Old 24th February 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 

yeah i think i have that reasonably in perspective; had a 900, then 950,
then 3000xl with eb16, and then went PC. main interest then was memory
time. now have an EMU ESi4000 turbo because it was cheap, compact, and
mangles sounds pretty well. don't much like programming it though. what
a shame they didn't give it sysex, and that it uses proprietary file format,
rather than wav. - got it more as a rompler really. and then there's the
ES1 which can serve as on-the-fly, but the SM card thing isn't great.
so some sort of MPC seems easiest. not going to go for any more of those
huge rack things. great as they were. the s950 is still a lot of fun, and
i think the s3kXL was well-designed, and i liked the clean sound of it.
spent so long in front of it though, and i'd just about got the hang of it
when the ease of PC samples came along. you can grab any audio you want,
mash it up, do whatever you like with it, use it.
Old 24th February 2019
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsapo2001 View Post
Dont forget the Atari computer and Mackie mixing board.
I thought of that as well, turned out it wasn't that way in reality.

Oliver Lieb: YouTube

Warning(!): Above video might come a bit heartbreaking for those who thought old school trance was made on a cheap equipment. It wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
Such as Oliver Lieb
Oliver used S1000 series sampler. And maybe a few more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamienoble View Post
Quadraverb 2
MW II way better choice. Everyone had back one in the studio back than. And it has way way better sounding reverbs. Ask Marshall Jefferson if you don't believe me. He has 9 of them.
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #24
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 80b9b09 View Post
In short, your average DAW is far more capable than any 90s hardware you can lust after.
I record onto 4-track cassette then record into DAW then add a tape plugin because the modern tape plugin sounds much more like tape than a tape
Old 24th February 2019 | Show parent
  #25
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
you'll have to tell me what you think of the MV IV.
Not much TBH. That's not to say it's bad per se, but it has zero character or mojo. I tend to use it for delays and the QV is typically used for verb on kicks. It does that acid techno dirty kick so well. However, the pre-delay isn't very long so I might then reach for the MV if I need it to be 1/8th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
what do you think of the TR-08?
I love it but am unable to comment on how it compares to the OG. I mainly use it for hats which I then sample so I'm not too concerned over timing idiosyncrasies etc.
Old 23rd March 2019 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
MW II way better choice. Everyone had back one in the studio back than. And it has way way better sounding reverbs. Ask Marshall Jefferson if you don't believe me. He has 9 of them.
Did you mean MV II (as in midiverb ii) - you wrote MW but not sure what MW means.
Old 23rd March 2019 | Show parent
  #27
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01rsa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
S2000...A nice doorstop or heavy rack filling.
I wouldn't use one to create my own programs but they're less than 100$ and still can load S1000 samples library (and that's THE 90's samples library if there's one), that's easily available without stealing anyone since there's no market for S1000 CD Roms in 2019.
Sorry Yoozer, I like all your contributions but I wanted to keep it real.

On the other hand I think 90's are the years of samplers+vinyl hunting+analog synths revival because of the ****ty sample libraries (Roland was good but expensive and not popular) and nobody really cared about the sampler as long it was a (expansive) sampler they could manage to work with..
Basic users went Akai while beatmakers went Akai, MPC or sp1200 and musicians Ensoniq or Kurzweil. Film composers had piles of Roland samplers (good library...very expensive set)

Last edited by 01rsa; 23rd March 2019 at 04:12 AM..
Old 23rd March 2019
  #28
Gear Maniac
the S3000XL is great (have one myself) but the S2000 isnt quite as useless as people say... there are mods for it out there that really mess with its sound. never seen a modded 3kXL....

Circuitbenders - Akai S2000 sampler modifications
Old 23rd March 2019
  #29
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NawSon's Avatar
 

I have an S3kxl with full memory and the filter card that’s basically in mint that I’d be down t sell. I believe I have the original box and manuals and everything else as well. I even turned the backlight off when I wasn’t using it lol
Old 24th March 2019 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by NawSon View Post
I have an S3kxl with full memory and the filter card that’s basically in mint that I’d be down t sell. I believe I have the original box and manuals and everything else as well. I even turned the backlight off when I wasn’t using it lol
id buy that filter card off you for the right price.... its the only thing I dont have in mine at this point.
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