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A sampler is an electronic or digital musical instrument which uses sound recordings (or " samples ") of real instrument sounds (e.g., a piano, violin or trumpet), excerpts from recorded songs (e.g., a five-second bass guitar riff from a funk song) or found sounds (e.g., sirens and ocean waves).
A sampler is an electronic musical instrument that is similar to the synthesizer. What a sample does is that instead of creating sounds from scratch however, a sampler starts with more than one recording (or " samples ") of different sounds added by the user, and then plays each back based on how the instrument is configured.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samplers (instruments).: Pages in category "Samplers (musical instrument)" The following 50 pages are in this category, out of 50 total.
- Manufacturers and Models
- Software Samplers
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Prior to computer memory-based samplers, musicians used tape replay keyboards, which store recordings on analog tape. When a key is pressed the tape head contacts the moving tape and plays a sound. The Mellotron was the most notable model, used by a number of groups in the late 1960s and the 1970s, but such systems were expensive and heavy due to the multiple tape mechanisms involved, and the range of the instrument was limited to three octaves at the most. To change sounds a new set of tapes had to be installed in the instrument. The emergence of the digitalsampler made sampling far more practical. The earliest digital sampling was done on the EMS Musys system, developed by Peter Grogono (software), David Cockerell (hardware and interfacing) and Peter Zinovieff (system design and operation) at their London (Putney) Studio c. 1969. The system ran on two mini-computers, Digital Equipment PDP-8's. These had a pair of f...
Usually a sampler is controlled by an attached music keyboard or other external MIDI controller or source. Each note-message received by the sampler accesses a particular sample. Often multiple samples are arranged across the keyboard, each assigned to a note or group of notes. Keyboard tracking allows samples to be shifted in pitch by an appropriate amount, typically in semitones and tones. Each group of notes to which a single sample has been assigned is of...
A sampler is organized into a hierarchy of progressively more complicated data structures. At the bottom lie samples, individual recordings of any sound, recorded at a particular sample rate and resolution. While a common sound to sample is a musical instrument being played (e.g., a pianist playing a piano note or an organist playing a pipe organ), a sample could be any sound, including "non-musical" sounds such as a typewriter clacking or a dog bark...
Many samplers work as described above: the keymapping system "spread out" a sample over a certain range of keys. This has side-effects that may be desirable in some contexts, such as speeding up or slowing down drum loops. However, the higher and lower-pitched parts of such a keymap may sound unnatural. For example, if a harpsichordis sampled in its lower register and then the samples are moved up to very high pitches, the high notes may not sound natural and authent...
Computer Music Melodian
Computer Music Inc. was started in New Jersey United States in 1972 by Harry Mendell and Dan Coren. The company was established to develop and market musical instruments based on computer software. The Melodian developed in 1976 was based on the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8 computer and hand wired D/A and A/D conversion and tracking anti-aliasing filters. The Melodian was first used by Stevie Wonder in the "Journey through the Secret Life of Plants" (19...
The Synclavier System was an early digital synthesizer and sampler, manufactured by New England Digital. First released in 1977, it proved to be highly influential among both music producers and electronic musicians, due to its versatility, its cutting-edge technology and distinctive sound. Synclavier Systems were expensive – the highest price ever paid for one was about $500,000, although average systems were closer to about $200,000 – $300,000. Althou...
Fairlight Instruments was started in Sydney, Australia, in 1975 by Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie. The company was originally established as a manufacturer and retailer of video special effects equipment. The Fairlight CMI or Computer Music Instrument, released in 1979, started life as the Qasar M8. The M8 was handwired and legend has it that it took two hours to boot up. The CMI was the first commercially available polyphonic digital sampling instrument. The origi...
In the 1990s and 2000s the increases in computer power and memory capacity have made it possible to develop software applications that provide the same capabilities as hardware-based units. These are typically produced as plug in instruments – for example, using the VSTsystem. Some such samplers provide relatively simple sample playback facilities, requiring the user to turn to other software for such tasks as sample editing, sample recording, and DSP effects, while others provide features beyond those offered by rack-mounted units.Harry Mendell. "Computer Music Melodian interview on NPR 1980!" (audio). soundcloud.com. I am interviewed on NPR for inventing the first digital sampling synth
A sampler is an electronic or digital musical instrument similar in some respects to a synthesizer, but instead of generating new sounds with filters and oscillators, it uses sound recordings (or "samples") of real instrument sounds (e.g., a piano, violin or trumpet), excerpts from recorded songs (e.g., a five second bass guitar riff from a funk song) or other sounds (e.g., car horns, sirens ...
In music, sampling is the reuse of a portion (or sample) of a sound recording in another recording. Samples may comprise elements such as rhythm, melody, speech, sounds, or entire bars of music, and may be layered, equalized, sped up or slowed down, repitched, looped, or otherwise manipulated.
A sampler is an electronic musical instrument closely related to a synthesizer. Instead of generating sounds from scratch, however, a sampler starts with multiple recordings (or "samples") of different sounds added by the user, and then plays each back based on how the instrument is configured.
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