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Microphone Month 2

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sampler advice needed


It breaks my heart but the sampler that I've used over the past 7 years or so, the Ensoniq ASR-X, is nearly dead. As much as I'd love to buy a third one of these used, I'm thinking of moving to a sampler that has a company still running to stand behind it.
I keep going to stores to play with different boxes, and I can't seem to find the right fit (it's amazing that NO OTHER sampler out there has the pads aligned in an octave!! it's so intuitive). So I'm looking for a near-equivilant to the ASR-X in terms of basic features. I'd love some advice .. here are my thoughts on the main things I've looked at:
- Roland MC-808 (box I'm leaning towards most)
Pros: Seems like great bang for buck. Well featured w/ sampler, effects and internal sounds. Faders. Compactflash storage.
Cons: Pads aren't big enough to hammer out beats. Pads aren't velocity sensitive!!! [Maybe hooking up keyboard controller will get around this??]Build quality isn't so nice, epecially on faders. Not enough outputs.
- Roland MC-909
Pros: Expansion cards for more onboard sounds. Huge display w/ waveform editing.
Cons: Low polyphony / RAM. HUGE machine. Smartmedia poor form of removeable memory.
- MPC 2500
Pros: Great outputs. Big pads. Compactflash storage.
Cons: My concern is that (as this will be my main unit) I want to have a variety of internal sounds .. I *need* to have piano and/or synth parts that will map to all the keys on an external controller keyboard without needing to labor over assigning samples to notes. Will sample CDs for this be in a format that would automatically map throughout the range of the keys to a controller keyboard?
I'm not looking for something like the Fantom-X8 -- I need a smaller box that I can pound out beats on as well as attach a controller keyboard to access *the box's* internal synths / piano sounds when necessary.
I can spend up to $4k on the right machine, but I can't seem to find the right one out there. Maybe I'm spoiled from having everything I need in one box w/ the ASR-X, but that's all I want, a box. Thanks for bearing with me here .. I'd really appreciate the help!
Adam Weinberg
c: 347.831.3053
May 19, 2007 @10:20pm

MV8800! It has great sounds, will map patches chromatically without going through a bunch of extra gyrations, best sequencer out of all of the lot, multiple outputs, great FX.
August 25, 2007 @02:32pm

The Boss SP-505 has 16 pads arranged and labeled like piano keys, however they are not pressure/attack or velocity sensitive. It can play your samples chromatically at different pitches accross the range of the pads like on your ASR, and it has a GUI with waveform editor and a sample chopping function, among other things.
While I haven't used the ASR before, from what I've read about it, the 505 probably wouldn't match all of it's capabilities. Click the link above to go to the Web site for it.
November 9, 2007 @04:46am

This may work, since you've got the money. Since you like the pads on the MPC2500 you can go with that. As far as sounds are concerned well, its a samplers so you have to go "sample those". But you can always get the Motif ES rack. That thing is packed with some real nice sounds for just about every genre of music. If you need a keyboard controller just get a M-Audio controller. Bang....everything you need and still under budget.
November 9, 2007 @02:40pm

macsoul70 here. may i suggest buying the fantom xr module and using your asr-x(if its functional for this operation) as a midi controller.actually, any sampler midi input you connect to the asr-x midi output will let you use your current box as a controller. as a sequencer? consider a software sequencer like protools,fl studio,sonar,etc. i hope ths was helpful
March 1, 2008 @10:30pm

Emu makes one of those workstation boxes, I think it's the MP7. You mentioned the pads set up in octaves, this one is also, as well as some great synth sounds, midi capability and exspansion options. Check out vintagesynth.com for more info. and specs
March 26, 2008 @04:01pm