The ubiquitous presence of ‘lo-fi’ electronic music techniques for the last few years has oversaturated the style. In the thread here there is a subject that isn’t being directly discussed but has been mentioned. While the original post had to do with converters, which samplers incorporate, sampling as an art in itself has a role here.
The thing is, I am very interested in sampling my euro rack. The idea that I could make a kick, snare, hats, etc., then sample them and patch my rack in other ways, but then be able to use the samples I just made is one thing I want to be able to do. The thing is though, I want to be able to sample on the fly so that creating and then sequencing drums could be performative. I think it would be pretty cool if someone synthesized their drums for a set in a few minutes then started sequencing everything. Not all modular samplers can sample on the fly though. Some only allow you to load onto an SD card, then play.
I also have pretty much maxed out my case. While the elekron Digitakt seems like a great unit, at one point I was looking at the Bastl sampler that came out a few years ago. Here is the specs:
- monophonic mono sampler
- microSD card (storing + recording samples, storing presets)
- 6 sounds with full adjustments storable in a preset at once
- 60 presets in 10 banks (6 preset per bank), stored as .txt files on microSD card
- wav sample playback from microSD card (mono, 22050 Hz, 8 or 16 bit, two letter file name)
- 8-bit 22050Hz wav recording via line input or onboard microphone
- hold button
- sample rate (tuned or free run)
- start, end position with repeat, instant loop
- granular settings: grain size and shift speed (positive or negative)
- amplitude envelope attack and release
- MIDI Input – responds to note, cc and clock (synchronize loop and grains)
- MIDI side chain envelope restart
Also a video:
I had a Teenage Engineering KO! I even 3d printed my own case.
But I found the workflow bothered me. It felt like it was close to the fun of Korg’s Gadget DAW, but too quickly led to getting stuck in repetitive loops. The sampling also seemed finicky and syncing with my equipment at the time was just not what I was looking for.
So I am hesitant to consider a ‘neat’ sampler instead of a full featured unit like the Digitakt. However, the DIY kit of the microgranny is tempting. I got a new soldering iron for Christmas.
It is monophonic though. That’s problematic for arranging drums; which is one of my issues with the ‘lo-fi stuff’. You spend a lot of time programming the machines and fighting their quirks, then you hit some serious limitations you might not have forseen. If you already have your gaps filled with your gear it’s fine, because you are after the ‘neat’ factor. But if you are trying to functionally achieve something, there can be some crushing surprises.
The Lucid converters were not of interest so much for this kind of sampling. But I would still like to be able to do this kind of sampling on the fly.