Alright, first up... here is an autosampled bass through the MPC Live https://www.dropbox.com/s/3lhp7l0eo6uo1tb/S950%20Bass%2001.zip?dl=0
I played the bass sound from my MPC 1k for both analogue and digital outputs to create three analogue and one digital set of samples. This one sample was recorded as E2, and then stretched down to C0 and up to C4. I did a single step sampling through the MPC Live to make this as quick as possible. The sound is technically mono, but the Live records it as 'stereo'. I didn't both to loop, trim, or anything else... so you'll see there is plenty of silence in the higher notes.
S950 Digital 12db
I recorded a bass sound output to the S950 with the 12db boost to get the audio out at a high level. The MPC 1k can output over the coax digital out, and it outputs at 44.1k. This should be the 'cleanest' recording as the audio output is digital, and you should only be hearing the sound that I played with no additional coloring other than from the digital to analogue converters on the S950.
S950 Analogue Clean
I recorded a bass sound output to the S950 through the analogue in with the audio as close to peak as possible without over driving the signal. The MPC 1k output the sound as a 44.1k analogue signal. This should be the 'cleanest' analogue recording that I can get as there shouldn't be any clipping or other distortion introduced. This sample you should be able to hear some coloring from the analogue to digital input converters.
S950 Analogue Soft OD
Similar to the Clean recording I intentionally set the output to be above the peak to get the over driven sound at amount that sounds subtle, but does give it some extra character.
S950 Analogue Hard OD
Similar to the Soft OD, but I drove the S950 Rec gain to max, and here you can really hear the impact of the analogue.
I'll leave my personal take for the audio out and leave it for an exercise for the listener to decide if they like the sounds here. I'd say there is an advantage and disadvantage to each. For completeness I considered taking the sample into the Live and autosampling it, but I think we all know how modern sampling hardware sounds when stretching audio across a keyboard.
Lessons learned so far.
I'm pretty sure that the $13 A/D converter I picked up is operating at 48k/24bit, and the S950 IB-105 operates at 48k/16bit. Sooooo... if I turn the sound down quite low I'm not hearing digital distortion, but I'm definitely going to say it is not very good, and a pain to further manipulate the samples in the S950 to get it louder. I had a good amount of audio recorded this morning for an organ sound I was going to share, but the digital recording is garbage and I was unable to find a way to rescue it. I might try using the MPC 1k as an output source for the experiment with the organ, but the results were absolutely in favor for the organ recorded through analogue this morning. I am not trying to position it as a sure win for the digital input, but clearly there was something wrong.
At the moment I'm torn if the IB-105 was worth it for the digital input, and I'm definitely not going to use it for an external drive. I'll probably need to play with it more. I suspect the analogue input sounds better today mostly because I let the S950 warm up for quite some time, but I could just be hearing things.
For the moment, I'd say the Gotek drive has been a life saver. I knew that the floppy drive was eventually going to give out, and it finally died a few months ago. At the moment I'm not going to bother converting my floppies into virtual disks, but maybe I'll do that later. The memory upgrade definitely runs a close second, going from 9 seconds of sampling to almost 30 is making a bigger difference than I thought. Right now I am mostly recording sustained notes between C2 to C3 for 20 seconds, and then stretching it across the keygroup in the S950 to record from about C0 to C4. The S950 is ignoring notes below C0, and is dropping notes above C4 about an octave below. I don't recall this behavior, but it is very obvious it is happening when recording at a single step on the MPC Live.
That leaves me with the IB-105 board. I'm definitely going to have to experiment with it some more to see if it adds any value to my workflow. As I said before, I'm more interested in getting clean sounds into the S950 and getting the 12 bit effect than I am over driving the content through the Analogue to Digital inputs. However, for the analogue recordings I did today, they really weren't as noisy as I recall... so maybe it isn't as bad as I remember. Plus I will say, the character that the over drive imparts can be pretty great, and you'll miss the opportunity to hear it if you stick to all digital all the time.