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the current state of advanced samplers (not good?)
Old 8th March 2019
  #91
I'm curious how Kontact sounds when you use lo-fi samples. Pretty much anything can at least be "tricked" into playing stuff at lower sampling rates -- there are two distinct things here, sample rate and bit depth -- by speeding up a sample (Audacity is great for this) and then marking its root note higher in the destination sampler. For instance, if I speed up something 4x, I would have its root note be C6 (two octaves up). At a 44.1k sample rate, that will "force" the destination sampler to play it at the right pitch, but at a sample rate of 11.025k.

In my audio example above, I did that and used a DSP function in VAST called "QUANTIZE", which reduces the bit depth. So, if I have a sample that's 44.1k and 16 bits, then I'd speed it up and also reduce the bit depth using that block in VAST. Any other bit-reducer will probably do something similar.

Notice, though, that if you sample something at 11.025k, your effective "max" frequency is 6.0125k before aliasing. By reducing the sample rate you can effectively apply a "brick wall" filter of sorts. However, you may be able to get somewhat similar results with a filter set to a cutoff frequency of 6.0125k and some bit-reduction. It won't be exact, but it'd probably be fairly close. In fact, I'll try that on my Forte and post the results.
Old 9th March 2019
  #92
Gear Nut
 
Zero Crossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
if we're talking hardware;
ehm is't that what the Assimil8or is about?
you can modulate just about everything in it.
Kind of...

The problem with the Assimil8or (or one of the many problems), is there’s no proper crossfade looping.

There’s also no time stretch function (see: tempo synced loops)

No modulation (triggering/toggling) of reverse in realtime.

Modulating the “playhead” is wonky.

The list goes on and on...

It’s a decent effort by Dave Rossum, but compared to something like the E-MU Ultra series, it’s still incredibly basic and missing a ton of sampler features. Same can be said for ALL modular format samplers though. They all miss the mark in one way or another. Believe me I’ve tried them all (yes even the ER-301). Add the cost of even a basic set to that and IMO, modular samplers.... not worth the effort.
Old 9th March 2019
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Crossing View Post
Kind of...

The problem with the Assimil8or (or one of the many problems), is there’s no proper crossfade looping.

There’s also no time stretch function (see: tempo synced loops)

No modulation (triggering/toggling) of reverse in realtime.

Modulating the “playhead” is wonky.

The list goes on and on...

It’s a decent effort by Dave Rossum, but compared to something like the E-MU Ultra series, it’s still incredibly basic and missing a ton of sampler features. Same can be said for ALL modular format samplers though. They all miss the mark in one way or another. Believe me I’ve tried them all (yes even the ER-301). Add the cost of even a basic set to that and IMO, modular samplers.... not worth the effort.
Still loving my Emulator X3 for sound design. And nothing beats Kontakt for killer libraries, I love that one too.
Old 13th March 2019
  #94
I'm in the middle of an aliasing shootout between Akai S-950, Expert Sleepers Disting (as these 2 do not use interpolation) Kontakt standard quality and Kontakt High Quality.

The results might surprise you. I will upload the results once I have the video and audio finished.
Old 13th March 2019
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Crossing View Post
It’s a decent effort by Dave Rossum . . . it’s still incredibly basic and missing a ton of sampler features. Same can be said for ALL modular format samplers though. They all miss the mark in one way or another . . .
I was musing on the idea of putting an Assimil8tor into a Walrdorf KB37, paired with a 1010 bitbox. Do you have a similar assessment of the bitbox sampler?
Old 13th March 2019
  #96
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Specter View Post
I'm in the middle of an aliasing shootout between Akai S-950, Expert Sleepers Disting (as these 2 do not use interpolation) Kontakt standard quality and Kontakt High Quality.

The results might surprise you. I will upload the results once I have the video and audio finished.
don't the outputs on the S950 work at an overall fixed sample rate ? in many cases multi voice samplers with a fixed sample rate can often have to resample back to the base sample rate. e.g. the new sample rates of tempered pitch system don't necessarily multiply or divide back into a 44.1 sample rate. unless maybe if there was some kind of chip which did that at that time. those kinds of details are often hard to find much about.
Old 13th March 2019
  #97
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Crossing View Post
Kind of...

The problem with the Assimil8or (or one of the many problems), is there’s no proper crossfade looping.

There’s also no time stretch function (see: tempo synced loops)

No modulation (triggering/toggling) of reverse in realtime.

Modulating the “playhead” is wonky.

The list goes on and on...

It’s a decent effort by Dave Rossum, but compared to something like the E-MU Ultra series, it’s still incredibly basic and missing a ton of sampler features. Same can be said for ALL modular format samplers though. They all miss the mark in one way or another. Believe me I’ve tried them all (yes even the ER-301). Add the cost of even a basic set to that and IMO, modular samplers.... not worth the effort.
What were the issues with the er-301?
Old 13th March 2019
  #98
Nope no fixed sample rate, 8 x seperate mono sampling engines running at variable rate. It’s the beauty of the thing, everything after interpolates ...S1000 did an ok job but then more modern samplers used cheap cpu non intensive interpolation.

So far the S950 on from C3 to G4 (far as it can transpose at max sample rate) is seriously good in aliasing department compared to Kontakt at standard quality and the Disting module.

It’s taking longer than I thought to do all the video for comparison but I will upload when done.

Forgot to add that I’m using a 20khz to 30Hz sine sweep for testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
don't the outputs on the S950 work at an overall fixed sample rate ? in many cases multi voice samplers with a fixed sample rate can often have to resample back to the base sample rate. e.g. the new sample rates of tempered pitch system don't necessarily multiply or divide back into a 44.1 sample rate. unless maybe if there was some kind of chip which did that at that time. those kinds of details are often hard to find much about.
Old 13th March 2019
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Specter View Post
So far the S950 on from C3 to G4 (far as it can transpose at max sample rate) is seriously good in aliasing department compared to Kontakt at standard quality and the Disting module.
I thought you said the results would he surprising ;^p
Old 13th March 2019
  #100
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Specter View Post
Nope no fixed sample rate, 8 x seperate mono sampling engines running at variable rate. It’s the beauty of the thing, everything after interpolates ...S1000 did an ok job but then more modern samplers used cheap cpu non intensive interpolation.

So far the S950 on from C3 to G4 (far as it can transpose at max sample rate) is seriously good in aliasing department compared to Kontakt at standard quality and the Disting module.

It’s taking longer than I thought to do all the video for comparison but I will upload when done.

Forgot to add that I’m using a 20khz to 30Hz sine sweep for testing.
so are those mono sampling engines combined at a basic stereo output stage. and if so how are they combined. do they have their own D to A's and are passively summed ? maybe it's a different matter if 8 outs are used ? I assume the S900 would be the same architecture ? if true

if the S950 has 8 outs plus stereo pair, it might be worth checking if the individual outs perform any different to the main outs.
Old 13th March 2019
  #101
Quick question for those who really know samplers -- did the older generation of samplers have any compensation EQ applied when dealing with samples at lower sampling rates and/or baked into their circuitry? I mean things like boosting the highs (above 2-4k) or something like that after the D/A conversion step. Since lower sample rates effectively act like filters, it seems like this might be a thing that would be done to try and get back some of the (admittedly messed-with) high-end. I've tried this myself and I feel like it has a more "old-school" tone, and seems like it'd be a natural part of the circuit, a-la the RIAA compensation curve for vinyl records.
Old 13th March 2019
  #102
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Muser's Avatar
when going over the Roland MV over on the ADSR youtube channel some time back, Mike Acosta & Jim Stout reckoned that the difference between the MPC of the equivalent time, could be accounted for by adding EQ on the MV channel. so that at least is a statement implying whatever the difference, it could be one equivalent to an EQ curve.

Roland samplers also often played back with de-emphasis enabled in the D to A though. so a lot of Roland samples and sampling were done with pre-emphasis. that was the recommended way at least.
Old 13th March 2019
  #103
Deleted c985153
Guest
I'm thinking about a new sampler and would love some insight from more weathered slutz. The only samplers I've ever owned have been the electribe 2s and digitakt. Love the digitakt for sound design, among other things, but I knew even before I bought it that it was not the be all end all of samplers.

The takt will stay in my main set up, but I've recently bought a second smaller mixer for a little side piece action and would like a sampler that is more of a full production workstation to use with it. Basically, I want to set up a couple pieces (like tt78 + digitone and some effects), and record loops and one hits into a sampler, then further produce them from there. Ideally, I'd like to complete full songs in the sampler, then export to protools for final mixdown/mastering (3-4 stereo tracks max).

Would MPC Live be the ideal candidate? I've been interested since it was announced, and it seems the firmware is coming together. Force seems like an option too, but the portability and multiple outs on the live are more to my liking. I've also considered the sp404sx, as it seems like a fast workflow, but it's obviously not as feature rich as the Live and only has stereo out.

Happy to hear thoughts and suggestions
Old 14th March 2019
  #104
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I’ve yet to find a sampler that I felt was worth having in hardware, though, if I had the money and space, I’d definitely get a Prophet X and load it up with my own samples and some juicy 3rd party libraries.

These days, my “MPC” is Maschine, though I mostly use it to host other VSTs, like TAL Sampler, and get some knobs. I almost sold it because I wasn’t using it that much, but no one wanted it. Anyway, a used MK1 can be had for peanuts.
Old 14th March 2019
  #105
No stereo samples just 8 x monophonic engines for 8 voice polyphony that can be assigned panned on Left right outputs or mono mix output....or 8 individual outputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
so are those mono sampling engines combined at a basic stereo output stage. and if so how are they combined. do they have their own D to A's and are passively summed ? maybe it's a different matter if 8 outs are used ? I assume the S900 would be the same architecture ? if true

if the S950 has 8 outs plus stereo pair, it might be worth checking if the individual outs perform any different to the main outs.
Old 14th March 2019
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I’ve yet to find a sampler that I felt was worth having in hardware, though, if I had the money and space, I’d definitely get a Prophet X and load it up with my own samples and some juicy 3rd party libraries.
Same here, but I'd get the Waldorf Quantum. Why do you like the Prophet X better? Not looking for a fight, Just curious.
Old 14th March 2019
  #107
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draig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Same here, but I'd get the Waldorf Quantum. Why do you like the Prophet X better? Not looking for a fight, Just curious.
The Prophet X has a helluva lot more memory and a large library of samples. It also has the stereo analog filters. And it has more polyphony.

Fortunately for Quantum owners, Waldorf is doing some serious development on the Quantum. For example, they are working on a memory solution to let users plugin in an external SSD. They are also adding a new Osc type called Kernels which is a 6 operator FM synth in itself. That will be in the 2.0 update. In the 1.3 update about to be released is a new 'dirty' mode for the analog filters plus some good new mod sources and targets and a few other goodies.

More memory, FM and more ways to dirty up the sound have been some of the most requested improvements by users. So Waldorf is really listening.
Old 14th March 2019
  #108
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Specter View Post
No stereo samples just 8 x monophonic engines for 8 voice polyphony that can be assigned panned on Left right outputs or mono mix output....or 8 individual outputs.
maybe when they started switching to stereo samples it began to pose a new technical problem for the previous engine. someone who's familiar with circuit design might be able to shed some light on what might have been going on technically. because if you just simply change the sample rate of a specific voice I would have thought the individual voice would need to be changing its sample clock rate independently for each voice. it could imply an abrupt change in design philosophy between the 950 and 1000. again assuming this is all true and without really knowing a lot about these various design philosophies and available chips of the time.
Old 14th March 2019
  #109
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My main samplers are an Emulator X3 for sound design and Kontakt for huge libraries. (East-west Quantum leap libraries are the best I have)...

So huge amounts of memory is irrelevant to me for a new sampler.

I want something that can make wavetables out of short sounds, (crunchy Microwave style) and that can also do real time time stretching like a Roland V Synth.

Is the Quantum what I need?
Old 14th March 2019
  #110
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Cornish1999's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Pete View Post
I'm thinking about a new sampler and would love some insight from more weathered slutz.

Happy to hear thoughts and suggestions
It won’t be a popular choice on this thread but the Pioneer DJS1000 is a darn good machine. It’s an under the radar production tool imho as people get blinded by the dj marketing hype. You can get pretty deep with it and it’s just so simple and fast. I was searching for some time for a sampler like it. Check out tubedigga vids on YouTube for a quick view of it .
Old 14th March 2019
  #111
Deleted c985153
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornish1999 View Post
It won’t be a popular choice on this thread but the Pioneer DJS1000 is a darn good machine. It’s an under the radar production tool imho as people get blinded by the dj marketing hype. You can get pretty deep with it and it’s just so simple and fast. I was searching for some time for a sampler like it. Check out tubedigga vids on YouTube for a quick view of it .
Interesting, I will definitely take a look, thanks
Old 15th March 2019
  #112
Sampler aliasing shoout Disting, S950 and Kontakt

Ok so here it is, I did an aliasing shootout between:

1: Expert Sleepers Disting Eurorack module that does not allegedly use interpolation to transpose sample playback.

2: Akai S950 sampled at max sample rate 12bit sampler from 1986 that does not use interpolation to transpose samples.

3: Kontakt 6 on standard settings, like every sampler after Akai S950 uses interpolation to transpose samples.

4: Kontakt 6 on perfect settings.

Sample used was a Soundforge export of a 20khz to 500hz sine wave sweep played back on the samplers from C3 Orig key which should give zero aliasing and then transposed on the white keys up to G4 which was as high as the S950 would go at max sample rate.

I also did C3 to C1 tests but the video would be way too long and I got bored of editing.

Bit of an eye opener doing this.

Old 15th March 2019
  #113
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
kontakt seems to have a strange squawk everytime it hits around 1K.

but take into account that the pitch sweep is a pre generated sweep. thats not the same as pitch bending the sample engine to create the sweep. I'd try a fixed pitch sine with a long 14 bit pitch bend midi event coming from the DAW. and also if the 950 has an envelope for pitch you could try a long version of that.

if you fish around in the resources of some synth plugins you have, you may well find a high quality sample of a sine wave in there.
you could probably use sustained pitches that way too. thanks for the post. there's possibly more to be investigated.
Old 15th March 2019
  #114
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NawSon View Post
I know exactly what I’m looking for. All I’ve done for the last twenty five years of my life is look for music. This is why I can’t buy this super tired line every time somebody trots it out.
Uhh, you’re the one who “trotted out” the negative , off-topic generalizations. You must have pretty limited tastes if nothing appeals to you, as there is more music now than there ever has been in the past. I’d make some suggestions based on what you like, but it sounds like you’re not interested in changing / opening your mind about this. Maybe I’m wrong ! Give me a couple examples of things you like and I will do my best to make suggestions .
Old 15th March 2019
  #115
Gear Nut
 

I like tubediggas videos so will have to check out the S1000 one. The MPC live is so close to being good , but I feel like it was made by people who aren’t creative types / musicians, sadly.

I’ve started using ableton a lot more recently, and really love how much you can get done with simpler, or audio files. The different pitch shifting / sampling modes are so deep and yet so simple. I wish something would expand on that concept, or just straight up integrate it into a hardware box.
Old 15th March 2019
  #116
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xled View Post
I like tubediggas videos so will have to check out the S1000 one. The MPC live is so close to being good , but I feel like it was made by people who aren’t creative types / musicians, sadly.
I don't think I'd consider air music group uncreative types. if I criticized them on grounds of creativity it would probably be for creating too much. the envelopes in the old Air Drums and Hybrid plugins are probably my favorite envelopes. I sort of wish they would put those in the MPC as an option. because I think the MPC might be designed more around older type Akai envelopes. I'm assuming this because the MPC is supposed to be able to load MPC1000 files.
Old 15th March 2019
  #117
Quote:
Originally Posted by draig View Post
Fortunately for Quantum owners, Waldorf is doing some serious development on the Quantum . . . they are working on a memory solution to let users plugin in an external SSD. They are also adding a new Osc type called Kernels which is a 6 operator FM synth in itself. That will be in the 2.0 update . . .
Damn! Your post really paints the Quantum a positive light! I hadn't heard of the potential SSD functionality—that's great! (Though, no streaming, right?) It's still the synth which gives me the most GAS. Maybe this Xmas . . .
Old 15th March 2019
  #118
Quote:
Originally Posted by xled View Post
. . . The MPC live is so close to being good , but I feel like it was made by people who aren’t creative types / musicians, sadly . . .
As you know I recently got an MPC Live. Not being familiar with the product or the product category in general, I'm slowly finding out how it fits in my studio. I suppose for someone who's never owned a drum machine, it's a reasonable addition. I'm finding the Live is a more appropriate input device for a few types of sounds (mostly FX) which are more expressively played on pads than on a keyboard or a V-Drum mesh-head.

It seems a capable machine with a lot of features, but for the novice, it's still poses a rather steep learning curve, especially for someone who's use is somewhat different from the intended target market's (i.e., those using it more like a DAW).

I was mainly looking for a sampler to "mess up" field-recorded sounds, but found that Logic already does a lot of sample-mangling as-is. I think Live's unique XYFX are really, really, cool, and find it's one of its most-used features for me (I just wish you had the facility to design make your own XYFX).

If Live is "so close," which features do you think it lacks, keeping it from being "good?"
Old 15th March 2019
  #119
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draig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
Damn! Your post really paints the Quantum a positive light! I hadn't heard of the potential SSD functionality—that's great! (Though, no streaming, right?) It's still the synth which gives me the most GAS. Maybe this Xmas . . .
Well, really it is Waldorf painting the Quantum in a positive light by really getting on it with the ongoing development.

I have no idea of the capability with the SSD in regards to streaming but I doubt it. It doesn't stream from internal memory as is. It will alleviate the problem of having 10,000 possible presets and running out of memory space long before that for the samples that are part of the many presets.

I'm excited for the 2.0 update with the Kernels Osc type. 6 operator FM and an operator can be a wavetable or sample as well as the usual suspects. Each OP has its own envelope and can modulate any other OP and/or itself. And of course that could be layered with a Granular Osc and a Resonator Osc or whatever combination the user chooses.

Waldorf seems enthused to add user requests where possible within the ability of the hardware and processing power. A number of times already a user suggested something and the reply was "added to the list" or "coming in 1.3!"

And of course the Quantum can sample from the audio input or sample itself. So it actually is a sampler. I have yet to try it.

I had trepidation about the Quantum what with all the long months of delays and very little communication from Waldorf. Not anymore obviously
Old 15th March 2019
  #120
Quote:
Originally Posted by draig View Post
. . . I had trepidation about the Quantum what with all the long months of delays and very little communication from Waldorf. Not anymore obviously
Gotcha, thanks for that mini-review. I don't recall if you have one or not, but it's still one of two synths giving me the most GAS, that and a Deckards Dream.
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