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Research Project

Hi,
My name is Paul Grant and I am a current final year student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
I am currently working on a research project which looks at the history, current age and future advances of samplers.
Thinking more towards technological advances such as sound quality, accessibility and ease of use I want to ask you where do you see sampling heading in the near future? What do you see as the current limitations of sampling and what potential advances could become possible?
I really appreciate your time,
Thanks,
Paul Grant
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  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for posting. Good questions!

    First of all, congrats on your accomplishments at LIPA.

    I don't speak as an official representative for Akai Pro, but I have quite a bit of personal experience and passion for music technology and I love discussing it.

    I suppose it would be good to identify the common homonyms for the word "sampling". I see two different major versions:

    -Recording all of the notes/output of a particular instrument in order to recreate it and playback with a MIDI controller of some sort. Some would consider this "multi-sampling".

    -The more common definition; taking hits or small phrases from pre-existing material and using a sampler, likely in the MPC tradition, to remix or re-arrange it. You know... the kind with all the copyright violations :)

    Let me know if you'd prefer to discuss one in particular. For now I'll just aimlessly expound.

    To get down to fundamentals, sampling is really just another word for recording. To me, the modern function of sampling was defined when non-linear (digital) recording became possible. Basically once you were able to store audio in a digital memory, access any portion of it immediately, and edit/copy/paste it without permanently destroying it (like you would with tape), you were "sampling".

    I only limitation I see to sampling is the storage and CPU capability of your machine, and how much detail you decide to go into, particular when multi-sampling a real instrument. When considering anything beyond that, can we really still call it sampling?

    The next technological step has somewhat happened already, but didn't seem to take off; "Re-Synthesis". Essentially, taking an audio sample and having software "assimilate" it and then recreate it in a form that can be more freely manipulated by algorithms.

    My favorite way to leverage sampling or non-linear recording is so I can play the role of musician/composer and producer/engineer by myself. I find it very hard to effectively be in the state of mind of the player and the listener at the same time.

    So, I find myself just hitting record on a DAW or to a reel to reel and playing an instrument with no real direction for long periods of time; just let the ideas come naturally like a musician should. Then, I shut off that part of my brain and turn into the producer, combing back over the recording and finding ideas, chopping them up, re-arranging them, etc... Essentially, I'm sampling myself.

    I haven't really answered your questions at all. Let me know what you think.
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  • Hello Dan R,
    Thanks a lot for your response, you raise some very valid and interesting points.
    I am aiming to cover both areas you mentioned, but I think in the current age of software samplers it is more to do with 'multi-sampling' per se.
    Thanks again,
    Paul.
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  • My pleasure to help. Thanks for considering my speech. :)

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
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