Top 5 Greatest Samplers - Episode 1

The Emulator kicks off the series      01/10/07

No flash plug

   QuickTime (MP4)  | iOS MP4    Windows Media 
12:38 mins
Well, here we are with our latest and greatest (geddit?) IPTV series. And this time it’s all things sampling as we go for the Top 5 Greatest Samplers…Ever!

Over the next 2 month’s this 5 part series will offer a stack of gear porn including torrents of sampler footage shot at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio over the summer. There’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 ‘series within a series’ 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 The ground breaking Emulator 1 released in 1881 was superseded by the much improved Emulator 2 in 1984.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 80’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 90’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 it’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 anyone…Anyone..?

We hope you enjoy this new series and can join us for episode 2 in a fortnight’s time. We’ll be featuring another groundbreaking piece of hardware as well as more Art Of Sampling from the 1970’s and 1980’s.
See you then for the Top 5 Greatest Samplers…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.

  • Emulator X2 Platinum
  • The Professor’s YouTube site
  • Telly Tubby Land…sorry, Real World Studios
  • E-mu systems
  • Marc Doty’s Automatic Gainsay on MySpace
  • Portishead
  • Goldfrapp
  • Richard Termini on YouTube
  • the legendary Warp Records
  • voice over artist Kate Parker
  • Vote for the Top 20 Weirdest Instruments
  • Watch the Top 20 Greatest Synths
  • Simon Power’s Meon site
  • Elliot Simons royalty free music
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off trailer

    More From: TOP 5 SAMPLERS
    Even more news...

    16 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
    beej    Said...

    Excellent! :)

    01-Oct-07 08:32 AM

    Marc JX8P    Said...

    Once again, great stuff. You can see there's a lot of work that goes into one of these. Still, they feel so short... Can we have directors cut versions too? :-)

    01-Oct-07 09:46 AM

    james    Said...

    You seemed to find the idea of a sequential circuit's sampler amusing. They released three: The Prophet-2000, the Studio 440 sampling sequencer and the 16 bit Prophet-3000 that was in development right up to the end of the company.

    01-Oct-07 03:05 PM

    beej    Said...

    And don't forget the Prophet 2002 - the rack mount version of the 2000.

    The display electronics, typefaces and style of the Prophet 3000 was also reused for the Wavestation's interface...

    01-Oct-07 03:21 PM

    Toznik    Said...

    James, I think that was a reference to Ferris Beuller's Day Off? The Teacher....Anyone? ...Anyone? Shoot me down in flames if I'm wrong.But the movie gets a couple of mentions here.

    01-Oct-07 03:45 PM

    dizny    Said...

    Don't neglect Hugh Le Caine and this bad boy!

    01-Oct-07 05:20 PM

    Exsurdo    Said...

    Ok, you guys just sliped in a Kurzweil K250 picture in the Emulator feature (at 1:52). Big, obvious K250 closing in. Dooh!

    Otherwise absoluetly great and very entretaining.

    01-Oct-07 07:27 PM

    tonto    Said...

    Exsurdo... if you listen, the guy from Plaid says the words 'apart from a big KURZWEIL or something...' cue picture of a Kurweil. It's not a mistake... dooh!! ;-]

    02-Oct-07 04:07 AM

    DaveyDee    Said...

    yeah, stop nitpicking, doofus, and enjoy the show! You guys trying to pick holes in things [esp. when they're not there :-] just to show off your little bit of knowledge... get a life!

    02-Oct-07 04:12 AM

    JayOne    Said...

    Ohh Yeah!

    02-Oct-07 10:29 AM

    Albinon    Said...

    Bow! Bow! Chikka Chikka...

    great stuff, sonic

    02-Oct-07 12:50 PM

    pecker    Said...

    i've been working this out and i reckon the next one up will be the Sinclavier

    04-Oct-07 02:59 AM

    Bart    Said...

    When do we get part 2-3-4- ... can't wait !

    15-Oct-07 08:13 AM

    Simon Power    Said...

    Thanks, Bart. The show will be appearing every other Monday right here at Sonic State.

    16-Oct-07 03:27 PM

    FUNKmaster83    Said...

    you ameze every time...

    from the top 20 synths to this... cant wait to see the wierd vids...

    MY da FUNk be with you all!!!

    26-Oct-07 08:43 AM

    mr wilson    Said...

    i hate marc, he is soo fucking annoying!

    30-Jul-08 08:42 PM

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