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Over the next 2 monthâ€™s this 5 part series will offer a stack of gear porn including torrents of sampler footage shot at Peter Gabrielâ€™s Real World studio over the summer. Thereâ€™ll be in depth interviews with musicians, producers, engineers and tea boys from studios across the Globe (OK, mainly USA and UK), which include new faces as well as some of your favourites from the Top 20 Greatest Synths.
And, of course the Professor is back and as crazed as ever, this time offering us his slightly unhinged and twisted take on the World of Sampling.
We also feature a â€˜series within a seriesâ€™ called The Art Of Sampling. Narrated by Kate Parker, this series will portray how decade by decade sampling has reshaped and restructured musical composing leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the 20th century.
And what better way to start a series than with one of the greatest hardware samplers there has ever been! The Emulator series; and in particular, the Emulator 2.
5. The Emulator 2
Dave Rossum and Scott Wedge developed the Emulator range by introducing memory sharing DMA (Direct Memory Access) chips to the sampling circuits. This improved the efficiency of the memory and reduced the cost of a sampling system. The ground breaking Emulator 1 released in 1881 was superseded by the much improved Emulator 2 in 1984. This state-of-the-art system represented the pinnacle of affordable digital sampling. Infact no other instrument cost what it cost and did what it did and the Emulator became the industry standard for the first wave of sampling artists, musicians and producers in the mid 80â€™s.
Its 8 bit samples were complimented by analogue filters and the editing features included manual and auto looping, truncating, reversing, splicing and velocity switch cross fading.
The later Emulator 2 + HD even included a 20 MB hard drive and artists like Bowie, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Depeche Mode, Paul McCartney and the Pet Shop Boys all invested in these new Emulator systems.
Well ahead of the game, E-mu released the Emulator 3 in 1987. This offered 16-bit sampling at 44K or 33K and 4MB of RAM expandable to 8 Meg and was the forerunner to the sampling systems we use today.
E-mu went on to develop innovations like the 1U Romplers that became so popular in the early 90â€™s. Nowadays, the E-mu name offers a guarantee of quality in their software developments, although their finest hour was undoubtedly the Emulator range and itâ€™s terraforming effect on the World of sampling.
And to think they were going to hand the whole idea of memory sharing over to Dave Smith at Sequential Circuits. Sequential Sampler anyoneâ€¦Anyone..?
We hope you enjoy this new series and can join us for episode 2 in a fortnightâ€™s time. Weâ€™ll be featuring another groundbreaking piece of hardware as well as more Art Of Sampling from the 1970â€™s and 1980â€™s.
See you then for the Top 5 Greatest Samplersâ€¦EVER! The series will be made up of a combination of editorial suggestions and the choices of the people we interview. The 'chart' format is used for entertainment value and is not based on scientific evidence.