I’m ready to purchase a piece of gear that would be the centerpiece for my setup. I believe it would be best to explain what my current setup is and what I do:
At the moment the Digitakt is my centerpiece. I run samples into my Digitakt and use the Moog Matriarch for accompaniment. A Mellotron is used from time to time as well.
I was thinking of purchasing an AR2 for drum duties. This would free up the Digitakt to be more melody focused.
I was also thinking of purchasing the SP2400 for melody duties. This would free up the Digitakt for just drum duties.
I’m curious as to which machine you would choose. Why? Pros? Cons? Baseless opinions? All are welcomed.
I’d say both the AR and SP are suited to drums more than melodies, particularly because of the pads - unless by melodies you mean hip-hop style chops of small melodic loops. Sampling on Rytm is not as good as DT, because of the latter’s extended pitch range, higher sample start/end/loop resolution, and extra filters and LFOs added since the 1.30 update. AR’s main advantages are the analog sound engines (if you like designing your own sounds) and the analog filter, overdrive, etc etc. If I was in your position, I would go for the SP for a fresh workflow.
I do use hip hop style chops for melodies. 30 secs is as far as the samples go on the Digitakt anyways.
Same deal on AR. Not sure about SP
Edit: found this bit from a review of the SP:
You can sample directly into the machine in real-time (total 21 minutes in 12-bit mono ); you can load samples from an SD card (1TB max), USB stick or drag and drop WAV files into the sampler from a computer via USB Mass Storage Class mode.
Its no longer called the SP2400 ii was renamed S2400 a while ago
Ive got mine coming in the next 2 weeks.
Im mostly a keyboardist and would loop Prophets/Moogs etc into it for melodies plus some ambient textures and vinyl stuff. Timestretching is coming at the end of the fall so chromatic mode will be great for melodies.
I love the AR2 too but its limited in its sampling compared to the S2400. If you just want a drum machine then the Digitakt will be good enough.
I owned the DT and now have a Rytm. I would say the DT is far better equipped to be the brain of a setup, because it’s superior in MIDI.
I only have a Rytm and a Minilogue XD, but if you want a larger setup in the future, I would not put the AR in the middle (just use it as the wonderful drum machine/sampler it is).
Was the name change for legal reasons? Always thought the SP workflow looked fun using the faders for everything and I’d love to give it a go but it would be superfluous to my setup and it’s a bit pricey
No. Dave Rossum the cofounder of Emu systems gave it the green light no problem there. It was just so people didn’t think it was a straight up clone of the SP1200 which it isn’t.
I think for workflow it cant be beat. You can have a unique dope hip hop beat or whatever up and running in minutes. It was designed for instant gratification.
Tough call, but looking at what‘s on the horizon for the S2400, e.g. timestretching (not real time, though) and the fact that they might become hard to come by for a while, I‘d rather get one of those for now. Maybe you can score a cheap 2nd hand AR, if you want both.
I am saving to buy the S2400, I always wanted an EM-U SP1200. It produced "JUST GIVE THE DJ A BREAK " and pretty much put Miami bass on the map. The TR-808 gets all the credit, but the SP1200 was the machine used to make the amazing bassline in DYNAMIX II "just give the DJ a break " using a sampled tr-808 bass drum. The Sp1200 was also used for all the early WU-TANG CLAN beats too.
For me there is no other option I would consider, especially with all the amazing one shots that are available with my Roland cloud membership.
The S2400 is like the SP1200 on steroids. And they are available for around $1600 used… I love the fact hardware is coming back. I owned a few groovebox, drum machines, and synths over the years and recorded along side Ableton, but I never could afford to buy a true OG equipment. It great to see the company’s making clones that integrate new tech alongside the oldschool analog.
The DT is superior in midi but AR has song mode so you can use it to drive the DT’s brain.