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Euro Sampler Shootout: 1010 Bitbox VS Assimil8or VS ER-301 VS...? Modular Synthesizers
Old 19th April 2018
  #1
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Euro Sampler Shootout: 1010 Bitbox VS Assimil8or VS ER-301 VS...?

I’ve been oscillating between the Bitbox, Assimil8or, and ER-301 for a while now, and as the eurorack sampler market is growing I’m sure I’m not the only one who is struggling with this. All three samplers have serious advantages to each other, and I switch between all of them for different reasons and still feel like there might be some killer eurorack sampler I just haven’t seen yet that would settle it for me. Mind you, I’m aware that the ER-301 is far more than just a sampler module, and if it were more readily available I’d already have one or be waiting for one to ship...being essentially a modular within your modular is awfully enticing. But, at the end of the day, I’m still sitting here without a capable sampler in my modular, and that makes me GASsy.

Bitbox: looks very easy to use, and is pretty readily available for cheap-ish. As an Ableton Live user it looks very easy to integrate with my existing workflow and knowledge. On the downside, fairly limited options for CV input and sample mangling.

Assimil8or: purely as a sampler, this seems to scratch all the itches. Extremely versatile and informed by decades of work by Dave Rossum. Alternatively, not an inexpensive module, and pretty new on the market so still lots of unanswered questions.

ER-301: the granddaddy. The sky really seems to be the limit with this one, and I have yet to see a bad word said about it. But infrequent production runs and delays and shipping from Japan (customs/fees in the States maybe) put a bit of a damper on committing to one.

Maybe something else? There’s so many new modules being unveiled daily that it’s entirely possible there’s some new hotness I’ve totally missed.

Very interested in pros/cons for any of the above, or other suggestions. Personally, I’m really looking for something that can provide the sample mangling options of something like the Octatrack to get really creative with sounds, without being tied to something like the Octatrack sequencer, and euro seems like the last battlefield outside of software.
Old 19th April 2018
  #2
In only know one (Bitbox) and only vaguely know that is it is new to me.
It is very easy to use. I think for me, the sample mangling is going to be through other modules. So Bitbox gets the audio into my modular system, then I route it out of the module through my system.
I'm 100% happy with that.
I think the cv-ability is pretty good. There are a ton of input jacks on the front.
The firmware seems to be evolving too. The latest, to 2.0, was a major leap in features.
Old 19th April 2018
  #3
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
I am finding the actual sampling process to be very important. Especially in a modular system where you have all kinds of sources available.
I don’t have the other modules mentioned, but a lot of other hardware and software „samplers“, but I have to say that bitbox is by far the most quick and easy way to sample stuff. Sampling beat synced loops and using them right away is dead easy for example.

And if you have a Beatstep Pro, sequencing bitbox via a single 1/8“ TRS MIDI cable is very nice.
Old 19th April 2018
  #4
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subdo's Avatar
I don't know why I'm in this thread. I already made my choice to go outside of euro for sampling. But here I am...
Old 19th April 2018
  #5
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void23's Avatar
There's never a "delay" in shipping for the ER-301, the maker just flips between making ER-101/102's and the ER-301. When the maker sends a delivery date, it's either spot on, or ships early. Also, there were no additional costs associated with my order, that warning is directed mainly towards EU customers.

I bought the ER-301 for a sampler, which it works great as. Thanks to the community surrounding the ER-301, I also have an E-350, Music Easel, Space Echo, Morphagene, and high quality Reverb. Additionally, if I ever run out of VCAs, function generators, filters, or need another simple VCO or noise source, I've got a next to unlimited amount available to me in the ER-301. For example, I've got a full "analog" style drum kit that I patched together for easy recall on the ER-301; FM'd sine wave kick, noise-based and filtered snare and hats.

If you're interested in live sampling, there were some huge improvements in the last couple of weeks with the inclusion of a clock sync'd looper along with my request for clocked sync'd sample playback.

I haven't played with the others on your list, but you're spot on in that if you can live with the build schedule, you can't go wrong with an ER-301.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Giving this a bump as I assume there have been a few updates in the last year... just came across a cheap(ish) bitbox and wondered what the current candidate was for "best sampler" in euro...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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I sold my bitbox after about 6 weeks of owning it from new. It's the only module I've ever sold. It wasn't for me. Too much messing around in menus trying to load samples. The display/GUI seemed very basic/unfinished and needed more polish. Simple OS quirks started to annoy me like not being able to touch the screen to load the sample, it forces you to scroll with the knob to select etc.

What annoyed me most was that 1010music, while having 3x seemingly unfinished firmwares for bitbox,fxbox,synthbox decided to go ahead and create some lighting controller spiroscope type firmware rather than polish up and flesh out their existing ones. Updates trickled out slowly for each firmware in a round-robin type way and and added simple things that should've been there at launch rather than anything worthwhile.

Don't get me wrong, if bitbox hits the nail on what you want it to do then jump on it as it's a great device. For me, it just fell short on features on just about everything and I didn't want to hang around waiting a year to see if some future update made it usable.

IMO the device is under powered and I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or so nothing much has changed regarding the firmware and the whole thing is dropped as is for a future more powerful revision.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 
TMT75's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
I sold my bitbox after about 6 weeks of owning it from new. It's the only module I've ever sold. It wasn't for me. Too much messing around in menus trying to load samples. The display/GUI seemed very basic/unfinished and needed more polish. Simple OS quirks started to annoy me like not being able to touch the screen to load the sample, it forces you to scroll with the knob to select etc.

What annoyed me most was that 1010music, while having 3x seemingly unfinished firmwares for bitbox,fxbox,synthbox decided to go ahead and create some lighting controller spiroscope type firmware rather than polish up and flesh out their existing ones. Updates trickled out slowly for each firmware in a round-robin type way and and added simple things that should've been there at launch rather than anything worthwhile.

Don't get me wrong, if bitbox hits the nail on what you want it to do then jump on it as it's a great device. For me, it just fell short on features on just about everything and I didn't want to hang around waiting a year to see if some future update made it usable.

IMO the device is under powered and I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or so nothing much has changed regarding the firmware and the whole thing is dropped as is for a future more powerful revision.
Thanks for sharing.

I have plans to put a sampler and some related stuff in a little skiff in front of my 9U rack. I loved my OT (no regrets selling it though ) and can’t wait to play with samples (and sampling) in my eurorack.
I have enough space to put the sampler in the rack, but I want to keep these two ‘instruments’ seperated from each other, only connected through cables .

About the bitbox:
I thought the last few updates made the Bitbox worth buying it....
The big screen and menu diving are the cons for me, but I can live with that as long as the sampler has his own housing (makes sense to me at least ).

Alternative?:
I was thinking of the 4ms sampler as an alternative but only 2 tracks and it seems it seems to have its quirks too. However a new update is coming up. And cheaper than the bitbox.

The Rossum sampler and the ER-301 are too pricey for me. If price was not an option I would go for the Rossum sampler. The ER-301 seems very cool too, but to me it is more a modular in the modular...like the Percussa..

Last edited by TMT75; 4 weeks ago at 06:52 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Derp's Avatar
Bitbox owner here. It's a little menu-heavy, but considering its capabilities, that's a small impediment. It's a really smart module.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Harvey Specter's Avatar
 

I did the same thing, got fed up of waiting for what seemed like obvious things to include in a sampler.

The hidden limiter drove me nuts on main outputs, concept was good but felt like it was becoming abandonware at some point..... having been on the forum it looks like he’s finally done some updates.

Could make a great looper but the transposition of samples sounded ropey, but then I have particular tastes for sample transposing (think old school samplers).

Menu diving through dials drive me crazy when the touch screen solution was right in front of you.

Looper phrase sampler yes..... even as a fancy way to play back lfo’s For cv yes

Sampler meh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
I sold my bitbox after about 6 weeks of owning it from new. It's the only module I've ever sold. It wasn't for me. Too much messing around in menus trying to load samples. The display/GUI seemed very basic/unfinished and needed more polish. Simple OS quirks started to annoy me like not being able to touch the screen to load the sample, it forces you to scroll with the knob to select etc.

What annoyed me most was that 1010music, while having 3x seemingly unfinished firmwares for bitbox,fxbox,synthbox decided to go ahead and create some lighting controller spiroscope type firmware rather than polish up and flesh out their existing ones. Updates trickled out slowly for each firmware in a round-robin type way and and added simple things that should've been there at launch rather than anything worthwhile.

Don't get me wrong, if bitbox hits the nail on what you want it to do then jump on it as it's a great device. For me, it just fell short on features on just about everything and I didn't want to hang around waiting a year to see if some future update made it usable.

IMO the device is under powered and I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or so nothing much has changed regarding the firmware and the whole thing is dropped as is for a future more powerful revision.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Specter View Post
having been on the forum it looks like he’s finally done some updates.
Looks like they've already updated the hardware and licenced it out for VST manufacturers to use. Firmware not compatible with the Bitbox or Toolbox 1010music versions.


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