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Samplers, what are they for?


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What do you folks who use samplers do with the damb things? I'm a guitar player of 20 years who is just now trying to learn about synthesisers and samplers etc. I really like the who building block thing with synths, to create wild and wonderful sounds. But what do you do with a sampler that you can't do with a loop or little snippet of audio that can be pasted any where on the track as many times as needed? What is the advantage of shoving an audio clip into another machine, just to get it on the same track in a different way? I understand the uses for drums and percussion, like using a sampler as a sound module. But there must be much much more that i'm missing, or why would Steinberg release something like Halion when they already have the LM4? I also understand sampling off records etc too, but why can't you just cut and paste those things. Isn't it easier and more accurate than trying to play a sample on a keyboard? What am i missing here?
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What you are missing is FEELING. That is what you can put into samples when you play them on a keyboard. If you control volumes (VCA) and timbre (VCF) with velocity, or in other words by hitting the keyboard soft or hard, your music will have more expression. Playing samples on a keyboard is also more SPONTANEOUS and faster than HAND EDITING. It is also more fun. Cut amd paste operations are more like WORK. Dan http://musicinit.com/pvideos.html
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The main advantage is that you can map the samples over a range of keyboard keys and play different pitches of the same sample. You can also layer different samples over a velocity range and produse different sounds with various key velocities. This is in addition to the possibilities mentioned above.

Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

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Another plus: My EMU E5000 has crashed once in about two years - when I was doing something really funky with some imported samples. I wish I could say the same thing about my computer. I power the EMU up and it works - always. It's one less thing to worry about during the creative process. I also don't have the horsepower to run a bunch of softsynths at the same time as all my favorite plugins on the CPU.
Larry W.
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[quote]Originally posted by DRiLoad: [b]saves computer power has good filters you can take it live you can take it live you can take it live you can, pretty much, take it live feels good to trigger things real time while you record, plus it saves computer power and you can take it live[/b][/quote] You know i was thinking that these things would be great for "taking live". But now i know for sure.(that is what you meant, right? That you can take them live?)
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Well I've been using HALion a lot lately. It's extremely cool, because it allows for tricks (like dragging audio from Cubase into it) you can't do with a sampler. But hardware and software samplers really are different. People here have definitely hit on the right concept: a hardware device is more like an instrument, a software sampler is more like a recording device you can trigger with a keyboard. Also, I've never seen a sampler with the looping options (or patch select buttons!) of the old Ensoniq products, which also had that super wonderful polyphonic aftertouch. As it is, I often bounce samples back and forth between Wavelab and HALion so WL can do the heavy editing. Then again, the past few days I've been recording some feedback guitar power chord samples, and can't imagine doing it on the Ensoniq. It involved recording about an hour of performances, cutting them in Wavelab, processing them, importing them into the sampler, etc...each key of an octave was multisampled AND lasted until the guitar went into feeback, so the notes often lasted 8-12 seconds. The total file was about 60 MB. Computers are made for that sort of thing.
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