Updated: Jan 20
What’s going on! It’s a new entry! The second to be exact. What do you think of the B(L)og series so far? Well we’re back for Part 2 of The Daydream Sound Studio tour! We’re going to pick up right where we left off. In Part 1 we went through the construction layout all the way up to the first part of the equipment list. If you haven’t read Part 1; it would be best to start there first. Alright before we go forward I want to thank you for spending a moment with me and with that…….. Let’s get at it!
SAMPLERS & OTHER INSTRUMENTS CONTINUED
While rack one is a 60/40 split between audio monitoring and samplers. Rack two is an 80/20 split with samplers taking up the majority of space.
Elektron Octatrack DPS-1
There’s definitely a history with this sampler. I initially had no intention of using it. It just wasn’t on my radar. It was recommended to me as a sampler that I would like. This was in July of 2014. By November of the year I bought one blind. It sat there in the box for awhile. I just wasn’t interested in diving into it as yet. Finally, in December I cracked it open and began to use it. I kinda liked it. Before I got too familiar with it I made an Initial Thoughts review of it on YouTube
I thought it was great for live performance and creating crazy songs but that was about it. It never crossed my mind as a main sequencer for my studio. Fast forward 5 years into the future and look where we are! That very said Octatrack is the main control centre for my entire studio. Everything interacts with it in one way or another. It’s go so many uses that it’s made itself so useful that it became the best choice. It’s got a useful sequencer, arpeggiator, live input audio looper….. I mean I could go on and on about this thing.
Applied Research & Technology P48 Patch Bay
Here’s the little bit of real-estate dedicated to signal traffic in the entire rack. I have personally never dealt with patch bays in my own workspace before. In the past I would usually just wire up the instruments I wanted to use on a per session basis.
Going into the wiring preparation process of the studio I knew A patch bay would save me time getting setup. Turns out its done a whole lot more than that. More on that later.
Alesis 3630 Stereo Compressor Limiter with Gate
Classic affordable wonder compressor. It comes in handy when I need it. It’s also got a little sound to it as well.
Roland S-760 Digital Sampler Truly wasn’t familiar with early Roland samplers until I got a hold of the S-760. It’s got a great tone and an odd structure all wrapped into a 1unit rack space. The monitor that sits on top of the Roland VP-9000 is what I use to look at the S-760’s internal menu. The onboard display has gotten old and pixelated. It’s almost as if Roland knew that it would happen. Its become one of the first samplers I reach for when I’m creating stuff. Great overall sampler! Like the majority of the instruments in here its got a floppy drive for storage. I like it that way. There’s more immediate opportunities when you narrow the space you work in.
Why did I get it in the first place? This one was given to me by a subscriber on YT! It happens every now and then and this time I was blown away! Usually the S-760 requires an optional (and rare/expensive) video/digital card that’s fitted in the back to make it compatible with an external monitor and mouse.
This one came with all of that already installed. I no doubt have the most generous people that support my work online ever!!!
Ensoniq EPSm Sampler
If there was any question as to whether I appreciate Ensoniq samplers just know for a fact that I think they’re superb! The keyboard Classic EPS is the first sampler that I learned on. The one I have now is the rare rack module version. The EPS is the ancestor of the infamous ASR-10. It has a ridiculously open architecture where you can make what you want happen.
There are three things that make the EPS really special though. The first is the variable sample rates that you can choose to shape your sound. At the high end it’s capable of sampling at 52kHz and 6.25kHz on the lower spectrum. That means you’ve got a lot or room to shape your samples. It’s crazy! The second thing is that its bit depth is 13bit. Why? I don’t know but I’m happy that it does! There’s a pretty subtle congestion that happens with the EPS because of it.
Lastly is the output sample resolution. As far as I’ve experienced I haven’t found another sampler that let’s you control playback sample resolution like you can on the EPS (and the EPS16+) What are you talking about in regular English please Yohance? Okay alright! Even if you sample at a low fidelity quality you can still playback that very said sample through a hi-fi digital engine and vice versa! That means more opportunity to create interesting sounding stuff! The EPS is the silent power house in this rack. It lends an otherworldly quality to my music. It’s the space between the audio.
E-MU Systems Proteus/1 Digital Sound Module
Story time! I read an article in Sound On Sound magazine about a composer who wrote music for television. It was a feature on her studio and workflow. I don’t know why this stuck with me but she mentioned that the Proteus/1 was really useful to her. Okay cool. Years later I’m doing research on E-mu as a company. Sure enough I run into some specification notes about the Proteus/1. What I found out was that it’s a sample playback unit aka ROMpler. What’s more is that its internal samples were from the legendary E-mu Emulator III. A really classic sampler.
“Well the Proteus/1 must sound really good then!”
That's what I said to myself in my head. So I filed that thought away for the future. Some more years later I’m moseying about in Long & McQuade, which if you’re not Canadian is our biggest music store chain in the country. I go into the used gear section and guess what I see there chillin, with an attractive price tag. You got it a minty E-mu Proteus/1. I get it into the studio. Fire it up; and when I tell you this thing sound nice. I ain’t joking! That’s why it’s here. It’s great to sample and do all kinds of things to. Despite what it looks like it’s also got a good bit of interesting features on it as well! I use it so much without even noticing.