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Is the SP1200/12/Emax really that much better/diff than MPC60/S950 Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 24th February 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
Is the SP1200/12/Emax really that much better/diff than MPC60/S950

I have an MPC60 & S950 (also had an S900 and Mirage in the past). Never used/owned an SP/Emax.. but are they really that much better or different? Or is it all hype and hearsy and not really much of a diff? I know and am pretty sure it'll be better in some ways than 16bit or soft samplers; but comparing another 12-bit machine (an akai) to an SP/Emax might be marginal, no?

I always think about and dream about owning an SP/Emax...but would it be even worth it to buy it, spend, learn another piece of gear and also take up more space?

Anybody here that has owned both an MPC60/S9*0 and SP/Emax??? If so, your opinion?
Old 24th February 2012
  #2
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooddude View Post
I have an MPC60 & S950 (also had an S900 and Mirage in the past). Never used/owned an SP/Emax.. but are they really that much better or different? Or is it all hype and hearsy and not really much of a diff? I know and am pretty sure it'll be better in some ways than 16bit or soft samplers; but comparing another 12-bit machine (an akai) to an SP/Emax might be marginal, no?

I always think about and dream about owning an SP/Emax...but would it be even worth it to buy it, spend, learn another piece of gear and also take up more space?

Anybody here that has owned both an MPC60/S9*0 and SP/Emax??? If so, your opinion?
I think they sound rather different. I've not used an Emax/Emu, and I mainly use the MPC 60 for sequencing so I don't have much of an impression of its sound.

Compared to the s950, they SP1200 has more artifacts when playing samples at different pitches.

Then they have a different approach in their filters and this is another reason why they sound so different. The SP has an analog LPF on each output, each with different cut off and envelope settings, but the settings are fixed. You choose an output to get your desired filter settings.

You're familiar with the 950's more flexible filter options and its tone

Then there's sample rate differences - the 950 goes up to 48kHz, the SP has a fixed sample recording freq of ~26kHz.

But you're asking more subjectively how it sounds... If you want to send me some little audio files I can sample them on the SP and record the results.. for you to compare with your hardware...
Old 24th February 2012
  #3
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Better is subjective, but different is a fact. To cut a long story short, I would

get it if new gear inspires you to make new music. Or you get bored of your

equipment. Otherwise the 60 is great machine. Sorry, I only have a little bit of

experience with the 950. None with the emax. I own the 1200 and I am not

getting rid of this thing anytime soon.
Old 24th February 2012
  #4
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 ton splash View Post
Better is subjective, but different is a fact.
I've owned a 60, an S900, and an emax. I also spent a year on my friend's SP12 back in the mid 90's. While they all have their differences, those akai's sound similar to one another, as do those EMUs. Between the brands, they're as different as an 808 and a 909.
Old 24th February 2012
  #5
Gear nut
 

Both are great sounding, Im a 60 guy myself, but owned a 1200 at one point. The 60 excels in Deep Mid range hits (kick drums), but cuts off the high frequencies easily... The 1200/ Emu excels in what the 60 lacks, sound great w/ high range percussive instruments. Snares, high hats, crashes, etc... In general the 1200 sounds more like a real drummer because of this IMO.

I sold my 1200 awhile ago mainly because the 60 does so much more, its a ridiculous midi sequencer. I just couldn't justify an sp1200, with the amount they fetch for, and how big it is (especially just to trigger a few drums). I would definitely get an Emax rack over a full blown 1200 if you already have a 60. But if you got the cash, then try out the 1200, it may be your calling. You'll def be able to resell at same price you buy one for.
Old 24th February 2012
  #6
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Thread Starter
Hmmm...maybe I'll trade my maxed S950 for an Emax. Would this be a good idea? I already have 12-bit akai; thinking the s950 can be redundant and an Emax would give me close to that SP sound.

Btw: is either the Emax or maxed out S950 worth more than the other??? ...I can't tell by the such diff ebay ending prices which fluctuate soo much (I once saw an S950 end at $700, lol...same goes for the Emax..and at other times I see both ending much lower at $200)
Old 24th February 2012
  #7
Gear Addict
 

the 950 offers more and is more flexible. the 60's sampler is very bare bones. If you use the 950 in your music and have learned it then selling it for the emax will be frustrating. Honestly just make music with what you have and stop worrying about what your gearlist looks like. Get an SP-12 turbo if you just want the emax for drums and such, much easier to use than the emax, better for drums.
Old 24th February 2012
  #8
szf
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Old 24th February 2012
  #9
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmo View Post
the 950 offers more and is more flexible. the 60's sampler is very bare bones. If you use the 950 in your music and have learned it then selling it for the emax will be frustrating. Honestly just make music with what you have and stop worrying about what your gearlist looks like. Get an SP-12 turbo if you just want the emax for drums and such, much easier to use than the emax, better for drums.
The 950 has the following features over the EMAX:
alt (fwd-bkwd) looping
timestretch
more flexible layering/keymapping

The EMAX has the following features over the 950:
resonant (and real analog) filters
arpeggiator
better specified LFO and envelope
more modulation sources and destinations
comprehensive Sysex for remote editing (I used a Kenton)
spectral (additive) synthesis and convolution with the SE upgrade

The EMAX is by far the more flexible of the two, and I'm probably forgetting a few things...

Its also easier to use than the S950 IMO. I find it weird that people consider the S9xx easier to use. I found it to be exactly the opposite. Although I won't deny there's a learning curve (there is with everything...), the manual is on the front panel for goodness sake...
Old 24th February 2012
  #10
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....
Old 24th February 2012
  #11
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by szf View Post
Emax is not as solid for triggering drum sounds via midi vs 950 .. so you might find it a step down in that regard.
]
+1
Emax timing sucks, not good for drums.
Emax I always sounded brittle to me, without punch.
More a lead or pad kind of machine.
Never owned a sp, but the mpc's are really tight.
Old 24th February 2012
  #12
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Thread Starter
...lol...ya... I think i should just keep my S950, since learning yet another new piece of gear will just add more time & frustration in making a new song.

There's nothing bad about it at all anyways, it actually sounds really nice to me and I don't think it'll sound that much diff; afterall, it's 12 bit too. And, it's mint condition and also has 4x more sampling time than an emax (great for edits or longer/more loops).

I'll just stick to what I have for the mean time (for now, lol), be happy with what I got and keep making songs.
Old 24th February 2012
  #13
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I believe that is a wise decision.
Old 25th February 2012
  #14
mp3
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Wise indeed. We'll be here to feed your inner slut whenever you need it buddy lol.
Old 25th February 2012
  #15
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For those with an SP-1200...any suggestions about what kinds of samples to put through each output?
Old 25th February 2012
  #16
szf
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Whatever sounds good! It's down to taste, but when using pitched down kicks I often put them though the tom output (1) .. otherwise 3.
Hats though 5/7, snare I leave on 4. If you're sampling a loop always try outputs 1/2, those filter the most and sound pretty cool on most things.
Old 29th February 2012
  #17
HipHop Creations
 
The Others's Avatar
 

The sound you get from the 12 turbo and 1200 is amazing and they are very easy to use I sat down with the manuals to both and was good to go on both in about 3 hours. If you have the cash try it and see if you like it.
Old 29th February 2012
  #18
szf
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Not only easy to use, but FUN to use, as drum machines I rate them far above any mpcs, no fiddling around with 'tracks' .. just really immediate, funky, beautifully designed machines...

One nice thing though is to use the pads on your mpc when in record mode on the sp.. the mpc pads give much more fine tuned velocity.
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