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MIDI/synths questions. . .


I’m wanting to purchase some electronic musical equipment in the next few weeks, though my breadth of knowledge about this stuff is slim. I’ve been reading information on the net, and though some of it helps me out, some of it confuses me. I was hoping some folks could provide some assistance.
What I’m looking to do is buy a keyboard, probably a Korg Karma, and an electronic drum pad, a Roland SPD-20. Not only do I want to be able to play these things separately, but also combine them. This is where MIDI comes into play, with sequencers, samplers, mixers, etc., and it’s got me a bit confused.
First off, what is a sampler? Is a sampler a device which reproduces sounds without needing to be connected to the original source to reproduce those sounds? For example, if I constructed a loop with my keyboard, which was hooked up to a sampler, could I then play the sample back through the sampler without the keyboard being hooked up to it?
What I’m most looking to do is be able to create loops with the keyboard/drum pad combination. For example: I construct a loop with the keyboard, and instead of using the drum sounds built into the keyboard, I want the drum sounds in my loop to come from the Roland percussion pad. So, using the Karma first, I would create the keyboard/melodic line. Then, I would then insert the rhythm track with the pad over top of the keyboard line. Then, I would save the constructed phrase to the keyboard’s disk drive. Now, since the Karma has a built in sequencer, I should be able to recall that specific sequence as long as the two pieces of equipment are linked up via MIDI, right? Since the Karma has the sequencer, it would send out the correct MIDI signals to the pad, yes, and the phrase should play back exactly as I intended, utilizing both the sounds of the keyboards and the drum pad?
I was reading a bit as well about synching up guitar effects, like an LFO, with a MIDI timeclock (MTC) in the sequencer. That effect pedal would need to be run into the keyboard as well, so would I just chain the keyboard, drum pad, and effects pedal together through MIDI? Or do I need to purchase a mixer, running the keyboard, pad, and guitar effects into it, then running a MIDI connection from the mixer into the keyboard? Does running all of these pieces of equipment together slow the signal at all, perhaps not allowing the loop to synch up as supposed to?
Sorry for the length of my questions, though before I purchase anything, I need to understand exactly what it is I need to create the sounds I want, and I can do that only through getting information. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
April 14, 2003 @10:52pm

you defined a module, not a sampler. A sampler can be a module but a synth can also be a module. A sampler is a devise that plays back recorded sounds. So, someone records a guitar with a mic and then loads it and keymaps it to a sampler. check out sweetwater's in sync and word for the day databases for more detailed explanations.
you'll be able to do what you want with the Karma and SPD20 just as you explained them.
you will want everything to sync via MTC. you will also want a mixer because you are going to have multiple audio outputs (from the Karma and spd20) to mix together.
Feel free to call me if you want to discuss it in more depth.
April 18, 2003 @02:47pm