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Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 09:17 am:   

I am thinking about buying a sampler to make some dub, any recommendations?
I will work out of my laptop w/ a motu firewire sound card. In the past I created my drum sets in cubase sx using midi and some synth software, now I am thiking about using an external device, any help?
Best sampler for loading wav files or any other format?
BEst module for drum sounds, so I do not have to use a software sythn


Neil C
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 02:37 pm:   

When you mention drums and hardware samplers one immediately thinks of the AKAI MPC range.
The classic MPC 2000xl, and the current mpc 1000 and 4000.
They can all be thought of as sampling drum machines with the added capability of playing back longer samples and sequencing grooves.

Also look at the Boss samplers.

And any of the (not ancient) EMU, AKAI rack samplers that are around for not much money second hand are decent machines. You may have to consider storage (eg zip disks etc) for older machines.

Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 07:16 pm:   

Why do you feel the need to use an outboard sampler ?
What do you think it will be able to achieve for you that a software sampler cannot ?
Same questions regards any drum machine ?

As far as i understand one model of the Akai MPC series was a sought after model, this because it came with a Roger Linn programmed eprom desirable for its groove templates, and reknowned amongst hip hop programmers, also highly sought after and so retains a high price. Other than that i wonder what other real advantage a hardware sampler will have over software, i started off with all hardware but in the last couple of years have changed over to software, with drums i record and edit samples in Wavelab then insert them in NI Battery ( a drum sample player ) this seemed to work fine, many kits can be saved on the harddrive with instant access, and within your recording software you can open as many versions of Battery, with varying kits, as you might need.

Drum modules, i had 5 of them at one time but after a few years i tired of thier sounds, i sampled a few that i liked then sold the modules off. You could check Plugsounds (Hip Hop and Drums & Percussion) many very usable sounds in those, and they are a very reasonabely priced software.

Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 07:38 pm:   

Why do you feel the need to use an outboard sampler ?
What do you think it will be able to achieve for you that a software sampler cannot ?
Same questions regards any drum machine ?

well, mainly is beacuse when i use everything in software: synth, drum, fx, ect. My pc starts to slow down due to too many virtual instrument open at the same time. I do have a pent 4 w/ 2g of ram. I do have plenty of plugins for drum, keyboard and more.NI Battery is very nice software, perfect software for drums (I have it) but then again using it with 20 channels, about 5 more virtual instrument and fx on each channel, the pc will slow down as I continue adding channels.

I am sure with external hardware i will not have that problem, right? Also I am thinking about buying the "Roland Fantom-x6 workstation" (w/sampler function on it). DX6

Any comments? any other samplers or workstations?



Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 01:37 am:   

The way around your problem with overloading the pc with too many virtual instruments is to mix them down as audio, audio should put less strain on the pc`s processor. I tend to run individual midi tracks for hi-hat, snare and kick, you can mix things like percussion together, and maybe drum rolls and crashes to save track count, this will allow you to balance, pan and process (eq / compress etc) as well as add effects to the individual sounds as needed, you can do this for all instruments. I get the feeling (could be wrong!) from what you say that your adding individual fx to each sound, a reverb for snare, a reverb for one percusion, a next one and so on, many reverbs, many other fx, if you`ve got the sounds as an audio track you can setup just one, or two, reverbs and send any ammount of instruments to those one or two fx, again saving processor power.
If you think rendering to audio might restrict later programming you can of course keep your midi program and go back to it when needed, or just as easily you can manipulate (cut & paste etc) the actual audio notes (specifically drums) just as easily as midi notes, just re-render the files afterwards.

Do you have / use an external mixer, or mix in the computer ?

In my own setup i do all the recording, balancing and much of the processing (eq / compression) in the computer but all tracks are output to a hardware mixer (24tr) and major fx for mixing dub (main reverb / spring reverb / delays) are applied with outboard. This setup gives fairly much total recall, with exception to the outboard.

If you do not use an external mixer then you will have to record the audio from sampler / modules into the computer anyway.

Another thought to ease your computer processor is to use dedicated dsp cards, UAD or TC Powercore, they are universally hailed as giving far superior plugins against most native ones, especially in areas of reverb and compression.
Though i am not so sure thier usabilty with laptops as they use a pci slot, i think there is a firewire version of one of them but i also think i read about some problems with it, so some research before hand if you go that route.

Neil C
Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

I don't think there is a sampler that will let you put a different effect on 20 channels. The Akai Z samplers, for instance, can only do 4 effects at the same time.
I can understand your problem (Hugo), I use some outboard sources but I still sometimes reach the limit of my processor. I know that software samplers can eat up resources.
As Boof says a UAD or Powercore or Focusrite Saffire interface will help take the load off your processor in regards to effects. Every user I've read comments by loves their UAD.

Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 06:49 pm:   

I am not looking for a sampler to add fx on 20 channels. I was asking for advice in buying a sampler.
I like your setup. I can record from the sample or instrument to the pc then add eq/compression, edit files and even add basic fx in the computer, all tracks will be send to a mixer for mayor fx for dub. Now, when I am happy with a final product, I guess I could send the output back to pc for final mastering and cd burning.

You are right Boof, I am adding individual fx to each track or sound. I guess I can setup 1 or 2 reverb and then send any amount of instrument to those, saving processor power. How about compression or eq? I do not compress or eq a hit hat or a drum kick in the same way. Each instrument have a diffrent setup for compressor/eq. I am assuming compression/eq fx are not as heavy (processor power) as reverb or other fx, so I could add those on each track, right?

Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   

Yes i think compressors and basic eq`s are less processor hungry, in the case of eq i could even suggest you render certain instrument files with thier eq, again to save power, but maybe not on major instruments unless you`re particularly sure of your choice of eq, compressors i`d leave on insert, myself i`ve never felt the need to compress hihat, it never does anything i like to the sound, and as they`re likely programmed things like levels can be adjusted in your programming. If you have many percussion tracks you could try sending them to a single group and compressing that altogether. I`d also say there`s not a particular need to compress or eq every instrument, getting a good sound first and recording that should mean less use of eq, i have also found that getting the right balance of a sound in a mix usually negates the use of compressor, in my own productions i actually only compress vocals and live played instruments like horns, guitars and percussion, this usually because of the variances in note levels with these, all midi vsti can be levelled easily within the programming, some use of compression can go on some of those though as the dynamics of some compressors can alter the sound in a characteristic and usable way, but don`t think of it as always being needed.

This way of working would be more akin to working with outboard mixer and equipment, that served music well enough for many, many years, i think it still does. The use of computers i think sometimes gets over complicated so my own thinking is to apply some working restrictions, and then utilise the computers complexity when nothing else will do. The thing is reggae and dub is relatively simple music, think back to the masters like King Tubby and Scientist who made some of the best dubs with maybe just one reverb, one delay, board eq, and maybe an outboard graphic, a very simplistic approach, but very effective, thats not to say we do`nt move on and utilise what we have nowadays, just that we know great things can be achieved more simply sometimes.

Neil C
Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 11:08 pm:   

You don't usually need to use a compressor on a drum sample - if its a single sample played at the same velocity each time - it will be the same volume each hit anyway (as Boof said in other words).
I often use Cubase's own track eq's for low and high shelf cuts on sound - it uses virtually no cpu power.
Cubase's own compressor is cpu light. VST compressors in general are not very processor hungry, although they of course do vary.

Johny Bravoabq
Posted on Saturday, July 08, 2006 - 06:10 am:   

Ein Schloss, Ein Wurst, Ein Kopf !abq

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