Vintage sampler profile/IR

I was wondering about this for some time. It would be not for my use - I am OK with the “no sound” of Digitakt - but just out of curiosity…

I know that the sound of some classic vintage samplers lies not only in the bit/samplerate reduction. It is also combination of converters, input and output stages and other parts in the signal path. It has its own character just like any audio tool from decades ago (old tube amp, rare stompbox…)
So my question is whether someone tried (or just think it is possible) to capture the behaviour of the whole circuit of old Akai, E-Mu, Ensoniq… either via some impulse response (but these are more for reverb and cab sims, right?) or via some profiler like for example Kemper.
There are some plugins simulating old samplers, but I think they are algorithmic… Guitarists playing through these profilers say that it is like playing the real thing.
So just thinking whether it would be possible to play Digitakt through Kemper and sound retro like SP-1200 or whatever… :slight_smile:

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It would be funnier IMO to chase your own sound and use whatever pedal is available that gives you the color you’re after.
EQ, compression, “warmer” analog distorsion & filter, even a slight reverb, there are many tools to tweak your output to your needs.
If it’s midi capable, you could even use your DT to control it :wink:

the pitch algorithms can also be of equal importance, sometimes there are some hidden things going on harmonically. But playing back on something that has it built in gives you a pretty different feel to putting on a master fx imo. Doesn’t stop bitcrushers and stuff from being cool though, just not really quite the same thing.

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Yes, of course it is alwas better to chase personal sound. It is really just hypothetical question for me. I don’t have Kemper or anything like that anyway.

I have a re-amp box for such experiments - I mean “analogize” sounds from DT or even softsynths. But that would be only mono - my pedalboard (for bass) is just six stompboxes in series.
I had ZOIA that was intended for this (including the MIDI control from DT), but sold it recently. Great tool for somebody with plenty of time to learn it, but that is not me at the end. Was using it in that bass pedalboard for some time, but there is slight latency that was annoying while playing in (more or less) rock band…

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one of the key things in the oldest samplers is variable sample rate, something that the digitakt doesnt have. the OT has something similar with it’s “rate” control

this video should give you an idea:

later 90s samplers had fixed sample rates but also definitely have a special sound. i love the ASR-10 and E-64 a lot

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This doesn’t answer your question because it is algorithmic (I presume), but it emulates various old DACs, has variable sample rates, etc.


And often it’s a complete mystery what’s going on inside those things. Like it’s still not quite clear if the filters of the FZ-1 are digital, or analog, or both.

I remember vividly how I failed miserably when trying to preserve the sounds from my FZ-1 in an adequate way, it’s charm was impossible to recreate on the K2000 I had replaced it with. Even though the K2000 had a really powerful engine with different algorithms, and lots of possibilities for dynamic modulation. A pity that complexity is lost to modern samplers like the Octatrack od the Digitakt.

Besides the converters and the sample rate, what created that sound was mostly a combination of the odd pitching algorithm and the very specific filter behaviour. You can’t really print that to a Kemper, because you don’t get comparison of input and output in a meaningful way for the pitching algorithm and for the filter. And even if you do, you’d have to apply that processing to different stages if the Digitakt sound engine, not just to the output.

So modelling is much better bet, I guess you would get decent results with Max/M4L, Reaktor (is that still a thing?) or a modular.

Nice demonstration!

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Nice I was going to link to TAL.

OP- Alternatively to TAL sampler they have a separate TAL DAC plugin which has presets for various vintage sampler emulations, most of the samplers I hadn’t really heard of, which was pretty cool to explore. That said the TAL DAC plug-in has probably all the control you need for this. You could even make your own presets based on the specs of samplers you like.

It’s a great great emulator with a lot of options and I use it a lot, but it’s just a plugin at the end of the day. You might also enjoy picking up one vintage sampler and using it for all of your needs. I prefer not to have that hardware hanging around so TAL works for me.


A sampling job of old samplers converters was done, and it works fantastic, definitely worth it:


what set the E-mu (Emax specifically) apart was primarily their filters – especially the Emax I analog filter. upping new samplers’ filter game would be a big step forward

as an owner of a 2mb Emax II, i hated lowering my sample rate and would have killed just for more memory/sample time. no rose colored glasses about “crunchy” sounds. didn’t want it then or now

Seems pretty dang cool, now they just need to figure out a way to get pitch interpolation on them :+1:

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I made impulse responses of my emax ages ago. The result had nothing of what I liked about the emax … speeding up samples, sampling with a low sampling rate and pitching back down for a grainy halo. What it did capture is the filtering you get from using a low sample rate. Sampling at 16k will filter out everything over 8k as so on. It’s much easier to emulate this in other ways.

For emulating artifacts I’ve been happiest with using sample rate reduction at fairly extreme settings, maybe band passing that and then mixing the result back in with the original sample. This lets you create artifacts that fit harmonically as opposed to something like a SP1200 where each tuning is what it is and you have no control.

Not just bit reduction or sample rate but the AD/DA converter quality too, check out TAL Sampler VST to understand them

Damn, some of you are talking but you don’t even know what you are talking about or you didn’t even tried it lol, there are also clean IR and even Akai/E-mu fx…
Anyway, for those interested for the price you can’t go wrong. Give it a try.

Those IR works better and faster than everything i tried in software once IR are loaded and saved as a preset in Ableton’s Hybrid Reverb but that’s just me.

I am down to try this. So basically you have the IRs in a sample folder where ableton can see it. You open Hybrid reverb and then drag an impulse into it?

EDIt - got them and they are pretty great. I have vintage Akais as well but I think these are a way better option than the emulation plugins I have. I really like how the s1000 sharpens the sound up like my actual s1000 does.


That’s the thing, it’s more convenient. Instant vibe with no need to deal with a sampler building patches, or DAC emulations. Nice resampling tool!

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Totally agree. I still run sounds through my old samplers because i can add eq and saturation on my mixer with fx and inserts. But I don’t want to do that all the time. Plus I can process stereo signals from chords and pads with this and it makes a big difference. Sometimes I don’t want to sample those sounds.