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Thread: Dumb Sampler Questions

  1. #1
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    Could someone please explain the basics of samplers to me? What does keyzone mean? how do you make them make sounds? what exactly do they do? do you load audio samples into them? do you trigger sounds from within them? how? using what? a basic sampler 101 in basic terms would be great if anyone had the time. Here I am, having produced a whole EP, and I dont know how to use a damn sampler. :confused: Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers!
    ~Tor

    www.mp3.com/toraudio

  2. #2
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    Tor,

    I was going to start with Keyzones but I'll go even more basic - sorry if this is a bit below what you need, but it's the only way I can explain it.

    A sampler works by playing back a piece of digitally recorded (sampled) audio.

    When you hit a button, or send a midi-signal into the sampler it will play back the sample.

    On posher samplers it is possible to set a different samples to play, triggered by keys on a midi keyboard. For instance you could have a Kick drum on C1 a snare on D1 and closed hats on F#1 (that's how I set my kits up).

    However it is also possible to have the same sample played across a range of keys. For instance you might sample a piano and take the C3 F3 and A3. You could then set the sampler to play the first sample (C3 from the piano) on C3-E3, the second sample on F3 - G#3 and the last sample on A3 to C4. This process is known as multisampling and is one of the ways that people try to get samplers to sound like the original source. The ranges of keys that you set up (e.g. C3-E3) are your keyzones.

    Hope this explains clearly enough.

    If you've got anymore specific enquiries just fire away, it helps keep me sane at work answering questions like this.

    KasioRoks

  3. #3
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    good post Kasio.
    Whyyyyy why mm big monkeeee pie. Donkeee go pieee-yieeeee.

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    Thanx Kasio, that was a good post.

    So if you assign a sample to A1-G1 for example, does each key play the sample at a different pitch?

    What if you dont have a midi controller? for example the sampler in reason, would you trigger the sounds using the computer keyboard? Do samplers come with sequencers, so you could draw the samples in? What other things can you do with it? for example when you hear a sample all chopped up in a track, how is that done within a sampler?

    Thanx for the time, guys, I'll get this one eventually.

    ~Tor

    www.mp3.com/toraudio

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    Originally posted by Tor
    So if you assign a sample to A1-G1 for example, does each key play the sample at a different pitch?
    Yes. So you can make Barry White sound like a chipmunk. It kind of works like this. You sample something (let's say C3 from a piano) and tell your sampler - the original pitch for that is C3. Then you assign that sample to a particular keyzone (as I described before) - almost certainly the notes around C3 in this case. Then when you play a D3 the sampler plays back the sample, but pitched up 1 whole tone (as opposed to a semitone). However it also plays back the sample faster in order to do this, which is how you can Barry White to sound like a chipmunk as he gets higher and faster. {Note that this explanation does not apply to the Roland VP9000 which supposedly automatically applies timestretching and formant altering to samples to allow them to be accurately mapped accross a whole keyboard range - that's what they reckon anyway}

    Originally posted by Tor
    What if you dont have a midi controller?
    I presume that you are talking about a controller keyboard and not something that sends out continuous controller information like a phatboy or a controlfreak. To be honest the same theory applies, in your sequencer you draw on the notes, which is analagous to playing them on a keyboard - albeit very slowly. You still need to set your keyzones and so on just as I described before.

    Originally posted by Tor
    for example the sampler in reason, would you trigger the sounds using the computer keyboard?
    To be honest I know nothing about Reason so I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess as to whether you can use your computer keyboard to trigger notes or not (I guess you're asking whether you can use your computer keyboard to 'play' the samples in real time like you would if you had a hardware sampler and a midi keyboard) someone else can probably help out though.

    Originally posted by Tor
    Do samplers come with sequencers, so you could draw the samples in?
    Some do, like my E-mu E5000, but I've never used it so I've no idea how good/easy to use it is. I use Cubase for all my sequencing. The MPC from Akai and the Yamaha Rs7000 are sequencers with samplers built in - but again, I don't know what either of them are like. I'm sure if you use the search function on this site you'll come up with about 500 posts on them though

    Originally posted by Tor
    What other things can you do with it?
    With a good sampler the world is your oyster. They can do so much it's scary. For instance all that filter disco stuff - my e-mu can do that (beautiful filters). All those romplers that make everything from Orchestra sounds to drumkits to techno keyboard noises - my e-mu can do that. Mashed up sonic Big Beat, Fatboy Slim craziness - my e-mu can do that. d&b loops, just chop 'em up and play them back. I like samplers, if you can't tell. I don't want to get into a 'hardware vs software' debate, personally I prefer hardware but plenny people have made the move over to software.

    Originally posted by Tor
    for example when you hear a sample all chopped up in a track, how is that done within a sampler?
    Well there's the easy way which is to get hold of a granular synthesis program (I think there's one called granulator) and play around with that until you get something you like. Or the hard way which is to chop up your sample into loads of bits by hand (which is pretty easy but takes a while) and then put all those new bits onto different notes on your sequencer and play around until you get something you like. Sounds like you want to get hold of a sampler and just get going.

    KasioRoks

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    Hey Kasio, Damn that's some great info for me, Thanx a lot, you've inspired me to do some research on prices for these things. Great stuff.
    ~Tor

    www.mp3.com/toraudio

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    the easy way

    If you have a computer, you could get Propellerheads' ReCycle software. It automates the chopping-up process, and sends all the chopped samples AND the associated programs to your sampler over SCSI or USB. Originally designed for chopping up drumloops, but gives some great results on other material as well.
    www.breakserial.com

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    good point lo-fi, i forgot that ReCycle could be used for this application, nice!
    PLEASE HELP FP BY CLICKING ON

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