Synth Site: Zoom: ST-224 Sampletrak: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Gas a hobbyist user from Hu writes:
A great value for money, great FX (which as it can be used on the input, can be as an efect unit), the internal resampling function, sample BPM synchronizing (for parameters: Sample start\end, tuning), makes it a must have for low budget users who need sampling... It's MIDI is quite limited, and with strange implementation: the velocity is ignored, samples can't be looped by MIDI, no MIDI out; but many parameters ARE MIDI controllable, like effect parameters-with control changes, and even pad settings are controllable-though on a quite a strange way by setting velocity of some high note numbers. The internal sequencer is basic and good when MIDI isn't available, but when the outboard sequencer option is available it's better for sure.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-01-2001 at 14:55
Plutoniq a part-time user from Australia writes:
I've only had this sampler for a day, so initially I can only say that this machine is a lot of fun, setup to invite creativity within' its unique composition. There is one thing that must be pointed out with its midi. The midi control is limited to "gate" control only over the samples assigned to the pads. Meaning that the "trigger" and "re-trigger" fuctions of the pads will not work from an external midi controller. This makes it really hard to simply trigger loops and "one shot" drum samples from, say, a midi equipped drum machine, you more so have to draw in (in a midi sequencer) a gate lasting the entire sample length.

I'm a little dissapointed with this, as it stops you from using concentional rhythm based midi sequencers with this machine, much unlike my Roland Ms-1 which i owned once upon a time.

If I'm wrong about this, I'd love to know how to enable this function, i hope i'm wrong, or else I guess its limited to being sequenced and arranged within its onboard sequencer, which i've heard has midi timing errors.

Alas, it is a fine machine, i just really wish their was a little more thought & care involved in the midi implementation.


Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-09-2001 at 10:33
squidpop a professional user from landodubya writes:
Ah, tis Cooter Coaltraine of whomm you speak. He had an ear with a fair sized leak. Went with a ol lady name o Alice McPeek. His roland manual caused a gnarltwist tweak. He held the BIG NOTE that we all seek. He's maybe greek or some techno-geek. the techno-geek aswim a creek of MIDI turbulence. Cheeky greeky swore his sounds were virulent. The money spent were heaven- sent. Rage all pent, one gent with a hot red scent. Rent his vent meant to bass lines pentultiment. An eloquent gent, his shit all spent in a tent of repent. Ancy.

Cootos to Mitsi and the betitted red gypsea. He pushed a finger on the note of 3C. Out came a noise like a bunglebeetree. Can't you sea? You ain't me. And I ain't thee. Put us with Cootee, you and me still ain't three. Add us together an we're still up Greeks Creek. Subtract you from me and your left with a geek. Yet speak all the greek albabeak magnifique.

The HR-16 is a mangled old prism, but push the phat buttons, its still got some gism.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-27-2001 at 00:24
digiphallus a hobbyist user from FL, USA writes:
I got mine for $200 with manual/adaptor/useful sampleCD and a 4 meg Smart card. What a great deal! Even the 4 meg card stores ALOT of sample sets! I've recently (03/26/2001) seen someone selling one with an 8 meg smart card for $150, a steal! I'm seriously considering emailing the guy...16 notes of Sampletrak polyphony would be nice. At that price, don't even consider that wretched Roland/Boss unit or Yamaha Su10-with-minijack-plugs garbage for phrase looping! The only other phrase sampler that can compete is the new Korg electribe one, but it costs more.

This little guy gives you plenty of storage space for single hits and would make a great drum machine...sample your hits, sequence them as loops, resample the loop, repeat process. The digital resampling is absolutely it's greatest selling's SOOO easy, 2 button pushes and you're in resample heaven...great for powernoize/industrial. If you resample too many times through effects, though, it does eventually affect the sound quality...not that that's always a bad thing! I've been able to really mutate stuff this way. The editing features are superb, and very easy to use. I don't know why phrase bashers always claim it's next to impossible to edit start and end points on's pretty painless on the Zoom, all you need is a sense of timing...the thing even lets you edit in BPM units! Cool!

You can also use it as a primitive gate by sequencing the source/gate pad at the intervals you want.

All being said, this unit is a phrase sampler, and won't replace a "pro" sampler's usefullness...particularly if you want vast and fast amounts of sample time available, want synthesizer functions, and want to create melodic elements. However, as a phrase sampler/drummachine, it's an awesome creative tool. Even if you never used it seriously, it makes a great toy to fire your imagination...I know it's rekindled my interest in my music.

I agree with whoever said that the effects are more a bonus than anything...think Zoom 505...this won't scare the ASR-X too much, but will just make you want an ASR-X that much more...The ST224 is kinda like Bo Duke to Asr-X's Luke Duke...I guess that makes the Electribe Daisy Duke, and I guess Uncle Jessie is that old Emu thing, and the MPC2000 is BossHog. Don't ask me who Rosco P Coltrane or Cooter are. O, sorry I got distracted. Anyways, some of the FX are good, some not-so-good, and a few are fun but limited in application. Here's my rundown:

GOOD: RINGMOD, REZ FILTER (great for adding a little synth bite to things), LOPASS/HIPASS FILTERS (won't ursurp a moogerfooger, but nice. timesynced lfo's are great), FLANGE (I like most Zoom flange effects), DIMENSION (does exactly what you'd think it would), DELAY (really wigs out when you tweak the time settings... delay time is very limited, tho), REVERB (good, so long as you don't overdo it, unless that's your thing). TREMOLO (one of the better budget fx tremolos I've heard...and syncable of course!)

FAIR: TIMESTRETCH (it you only lengthen/shorten a little bit, it sounds pretty good...too much sounds shitty and stagnant...may be good for those tripped out vocal effects though or odd ambience), EXTREME EQ (I like more control over eq than this, but it can be useful), PHASER (OK, but not great) DISTORTION (works good on some things, sounds sterile on others) COMPRESSION (certainly won't outdue a standalone unit or pedal, doesn't do much really unless you resample through it a couple times or, then you get nice punch! Good for tightening snares), BASS BOOSTt ( limited usefullness, kinda mushy sounding...maybe outside eq would help?) EXCITER (Not too impressive...sounds interesting if you tweak it live and resample though), PITCHSHIFTER (ok, but at this price it's what you'd expect), AUTOPAN (never cared too much for this effect, but does what it's supposed to I guess) POOR: Chorus (weak, fake sounding), LOFI (ok for goofy turntable simulations or lowering bitrate, but on the whole pretty useless) FUN, BUT LIMITED: STEP CRY (Sounds nice, but often intrusive. Does some interesting things to drum sequences when midisynced tho. I like) SCRATCH (fun little turntable simulator, I like using it for pitching tho. Wish it was more of a tapespeed simulator, however, because you can't increase the speed higher than the original sample...guess I'll have to get that kick ass Sony rack processor for that.)

There are a few bad points, but they're hardly obstructive limitations. No midi out or thru, which has been mentioned, so it's a chain capper. The sequencer falls out of line when midisyncing (not a big deal, it's not a sequencer you'd really wanna use too much anyway), the midi features are limited (whaddaya want at this price?), and the effects section is actually pretty damn noisy IMO. Don't know why, as the convertors are supposed to be 18-bit, but it is. Not a big deal in my situation, because I make industrial/hypnonoise, but keep it in mind. The 32Khz sampling rate is also noticeable, which isn't to say it's bad... just of course not as pristine as 44.1khz.

All in all, a power buy. Great bang for the buck, as usual with Zoom. Very tempted to get another one of these at the prices they've been going. Rating reflects price vs. power.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-26-2001 at 21:06
rucchi a part-time user from USA writes:
I just picked up a sandisk imagemate smartmedia reader($45.00), and I will say that this has completely reknewed my interest in the sampletrack. It allows me to edit all of my .wav samples in soundforge 5.0 and then import them into the ST-224...I would definitely recommend a smartdisc reader if you own this takes it one step closer to the big boys samplers...rucchi

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-21-2001 at 18:30
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