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Decent studio sampler

Member for

21 years 2 months
I'm looking for recommendations on a decent sampler to be used in a studio setting. I'm not a keyboard guy rather a studio owner. I will be using it mainly for flying in backround vocals, drum loops, perhaps some replacement sounds as well. Looking to spend around $400 to $600. Honestly, I don't know a heck of a lot about samplers but it seems to be what I am looking for. Thanks for any info you can provide.


Member for

20 years 9 months

Nate Tschetter Wed, 03/21/2001 - 11:03
Hi Kevin

I'm a bit out of touch with the current hardware sampler market but in that price range I think you're looking at either used hardware or new software. In the used hardware category, look at:

Emu ESI2000
Roland S760
Akai S1000
Yamaha A3000
Akai MPC (whatever it is these days)

I recommend the A3000. It does a lot of cool "loop" stuff.

New samplers have come way down in price. the Yamaha A4000 is around $1495. Other manufacturers have similarly priced units.

For software, just about all of the sequencing/software packages will do what you want and much more. You'll spend a bit on the high side of $600 for any one of them but they'll work.

A few pieces of software exist for the sole purpose of "drum replacement". Check out .

Assuming you have a computer you'll need some sort of gozinta and comesoutta. I heard a few places were blowing out Lexicon Core2 cards for around 2 bills.

Hopefully some others will chime in as I'm not as familiar with hardware as I used to be.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 03/25/2001 - 10:33
Ive heard that while yamaha's samplers have excellent filter, effects(for a sampler) and unique editing tools, the achilies heel is that theyre scsi is dreadfully slow. Reading reviews at sonic state and harmony-central Ive heard people go as far as to wonder if its a bug. I only bring this up because if your time is money that could be a pain.

I recently bought an emu esi 2000. Comparing it to the akai s2000 and s3000 I felt it had a nice edge in filters, polyphany, and the ram it holds. Yet something Ive noticed is that most of these low end samplers are quite old tech. I would really suggest if your in a professional situation maybe shelling out the extra dough for either an emu e5000 ultra or an akai s5000.

The thing about the emu esi's is that while theyre cheap they also run on a different os than emus eos samplers. I think even an older emu's like the 6400 or 4k(not ultra) would have more advanced features and could be found for not a ton of money. The thing is that these current Ultra emus and pre Ultra's all have the EOS operating system wich is the format most emu samples are made in, not esi.

The akai s2000, and s3000 are more punchy, but hold less ram with fewer voices(32/32). There are a lot of sample cd's for akai though.

I frequently puruse [url="deadlink[/url]
I havent made a purchase off it but I guess everybody is dumping their s3000's to get the new s5000 and s6000.
Still, I must add that your budget may need to rise to around $1,000 just to get good use out of even a sampler thats $500 off the shelf(considering ram, storage, sounds, adding effects cards and more outputs).

The esi 2000 has 4 outputs and no effects. It comes with 4 megs of ram.I got mine new for $500. Yet, ill stick another 64 megs in-$100 add a cd rom-$100 and a harddrive- $100 then buy some sample cd's-(ouch, dont ask) and if I was to upgrade with the turbo option for 10 outputs and effects-$400.

So this leaves me over $1000 for a sampler that when booted up says "emu systems copyright 1997". I think for not mush more an akai s5000 could be a nice addition to any setup. theres also the yamaha a4000 with its slow scsi and all.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 06/27/2001 - 17:27
Hey there.
If you have a G3/4 Macintosh, then get soft samplecell bout 400 bucks US.
If you are getting a hardware sampler then buy a Akai s series. Do not buy a MPC.While it is very good for a drum machine( I own one) it sucks for looping & doesnt give very advanced sample manipulation.
Ensonig products have the worst d/a's of any gear I have ever heard.And the best internal routing ever, Damn it!!
Emu stuff is great sounding but has a little trouble with the scsi implementation with other computers. But is great for patching stuff round internally.

Best of luck.