Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:29 pm
My introduction to music production was Acid, might've been version 2... or 4? I forget. Not really much of a sampler as such... but was definitely the version that came with Acid DJ when it was still boxed software. This was about a year of me bumming around in software, learning about how to manipulate loops, create envelopes, all that fun stuff. The software was quite easy to work with and you could get some fast results...
What really was a bummer for me though was that I really wanted more control of the sounds. I had no idea how to play keys, but I picked up a Korg Triton Studio and proceeded to pretty quickly max it out with the sound chips, memory, and moss board. I still have this synth today, and it is the one I definitely have the most nostalgia for the sound. I spent a fair amount of time sampling loops, sampling to create my own sounds, but I just never really jelled with the sequencer. I tried to love it, but Acid was just so much quicker for me to work with, which resulted in my making loops on the Triton, writing them to CD, and then loading the content into Acid to mess with as loops.
After this, I stared seeing a lot being written about Ableton Live 1.1 and Reason (version 2 maybe?), and I quickly bought both. I almost immediately just got Ableton Live clips, warping, and all that... and Reason was just great for sound design. In conjunction with the Korg Triton, I mean who could ask for more sampling and looping sonic power? This trio convinced me to go cold turkey on Acid, and honestly I never looked back.
I ended up digging deep into the N.I. ecosystem, but ultimately just couldn't hang with Reaktor or Kontakt. I really liked the circuit bending aspect of Reaktor, but Kontakt was like the worst idea of a software sampler to me... it just played content, but had no way to record it. I ultimately fell off the cliff with N.I. post Komplete 5, I got stuck between too many OS/software upgrades and just got sick of the game of things becoming unstable and never quite having it all work together.
I had always been keeping an eye on MPCs, and it was when the 1k black model dropped that I decided it was time to take the plunge. I quickly fell in love with the workflow, especially with how it complemented Ableton Live so well... and just about lost my mind with how effective JJOS was throughout the many releases and updates.
The MPC 1k actually led me into the sampling culture, and got me interested in checking out the S950/S1000. I was able to get these both for relatively dirt cheap at the time, and both gave me a much broader appreciation for how older systems both worked and how to really squeeze what you could out of them with limited sampling time and memory. Seriously, this is probably what informed most of my future thoughts and methodology of music making than anything else. I know a lot of people feel constrained having to work with under a minute of sample time, but for me it just keeps everything so much more in your face and makes it so important to balance clarity with frugality.
There's probably a six year gap or so in my music/sampling timeline... usual stuff... having a kid, and going back to school to get my MBA really made me prioritize things a lot.
I did however see the MPC Live drop, and promptly picked one up soon after it released. Followed by picked up a second hand Mpc X about a year after. Both of these really wowed me for the most part, and barring some of the workflow issues in the new series, and overall lack of polish compared to JJOS, there is so much more power under the hood. This also took me out from only making my own music... whatever that may mean... to seriously thinking about flipping samples more frequently. With the lack of time between family and school, it was an avenue for still being creative, without having to fully commit to the music making process... and has taught me quite a lot.
The last couple of years I went from dipping my toes into Eurorack, to building out some pretty insane sampling power... I won't bother going hard here, because I'm not sure people care much... but it has been an adventure.
I did take a detour into the OP-1, OP-Z, and PO-33... and have to say I appreciate them all... but it's been the PO-33 with the 40 second sample time that has probably inspired me the most... and caused me to seriously dust off the S950 and S1000 over the last year to get back into old school sampling. I can handle all the old school sampling, but honestly, sequencing in modern systems is just so much better for me.