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How to turn a laptop into a sampling workstation?


Guest Tam o' Shantie
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Guest Tam o' Shantie

I have a laptop, with a headphone output and USB connectivity.

If I purchased this

26538.jpg

What else would I need to turn my little bastard into a MPC type workstation?

I can picture a bit of software that will play samples at the touch of a rubber usb-connected button, but is there anything that will do this as well as sequence samples, which costs little or no money and is suitable for low spec machines?

THANKS!

EDIT - seems like the item actually comes with software that might do this very job, has anybody used it?

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for little or no money/processing power, pure data (if the bundle isn't up to scratch)- i made a really simple sampler/MIDI interface(sends midi and audio out to any other programs) one (no sequencing, just some switchable infinite feedback delay lines for kicks) for a punchbag trigger thingy (that i will finish soon!) - you could make your own program up or nick other people's with not really that much effort at all.

looks like a quality bit of gear.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

that is basically a set of triggers and some knobs and sliders. it has midi in/out and usb connectivity that can replicate midi. i want a program that will let me assign samples to each trigger, pitch shift them or whatever, and sequence them into beats. i have a vsti host so it' just the vsti i need.

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What about Native Instruments battery?

DrumLoops-Battery.jpg

The original version (current is battery 3) should run on an old machine, and is probably very cheap to buy if you don't know how to download torrents...(ahem)

You just drag and drop samples to the cells (and you can multiple samples to a cell and control which is triggered by setting velocity ranges) as well as an easy "learn" function for assigning the pads to cells. Pretty dope the kids tell me. I have the maudio trigger finger which is very similar, and i always planned on doing this sort of thing, but felt like abit of an idiot using it after a while, didn't see the point in using a computer to cut up samples and then triggering them with a unit when i could use said computer to sequence the samples into order and never have to press any buttons. That's when i decided it was time to pick up a set of drum sticks again.... ?(

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

OK these all sound good, but i'm unsure about where the sequencing comes in? is there a program where i can program a beat using keys/pads, and then loop/edit/sequence it afterwards? looks like the older versions just get dropped and only the new version's for sale officially.

decided to give the mpd24 a miss, and picked up this for half the price

Oxy8v2.jpg

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OK these all sound good, but i'm unsure about where the sequencing comes in? is there a program where i can program a beat using keys/pads, and then loop/edit/sequence it afterwards? looks like the older versions just get dropped and only the new version's for sale officially.

decided to give the mpd24 a miss, and picked up this for half the price

Oxy8v2.jpg

All these plugins run in a vst host (such as ableton or flstudio), and its the vst host that you do the sequencing in. You add an "instance" of the plugin and map the samples to your keys, then you can jam away and hit record at any time to record a midi sequence. Then you can go back and edit/copy/tweak it, record another sequence over the top of it while its playing and so on...

tbh those akai pad controllers have had mixed reviews, particularly the fact that they use circular sensors in the pads so the corners of the pads aren't sensitive. I was going to buy the mpd16 until I noticed it only weighs 90 grams and read reviews where people were talking about supergluing it to the desk to stop it moving around all over the place...

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

my oxygen thing arrived today and it looks fucking great. can't believe how cheap it was for the solid feel and weight of it. will have to hook it up at home to see if it works, mind.

it came with a copy of ableton live 6 lite, anyone know how limited the features are on this?

also, what spec is generally required for running this type of app, i have a p3 750mhz & 512mb of memory on the laptop - what tends to suffer first when running on less than ideal spec?

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also, what spec is generally required for running this type of app, i have a p3 750mhz & 512mb of memory on the laptop - what tends to suffer first when running on less than ideal spec?

If you're just using the laptops built in soundcard, you could have noticable latency problems, i.e a delay between hitting a key and the sound coming out, sometimes you can help it by installing a different driver...

If you start running out of cpu power/free memory the audio will start to stutter and break up as it buffers. Multisampler plugins are generally not very cpu intensive, but if you start to add in soft-synths and vst effects eventually you will get stuttering/broken audio.

Best way to find out is just to try it and see what happens ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

What is the latency figure you are currently getting with the onboard audio ?

Have you tried asio4all (google it) ?

I'm guessing with the spec you mention your latency will be > 35ms for non ASIO drivers

Not sure that processor spec, even with a replacement audio device, you will get your latency under 20ms, so really depends how much real time work you wanted to do with it, or how well you can adapt to the latency lag..

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