KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

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UncleBibby
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KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by UncleBibby » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:46 pm



It's a keyboard that lets you record sounds, add effects to them, and then map them to the keys! In other words, you could record yourself singing a single note, and then use that sample on every single key on the keyboard (it can automatically change the pitch to fit any note on the octave). It even comes with a Gooseneck microphone! I found a place that sells it for $270 in Canadian dollars, but can anybody here tell me if I should buy it?
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Tommy Creep
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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by Tommy Creep » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 pm

I was tempted by that recently, got a Miniak instead, it looks really cool though. A bit overkill for what I would use it for though.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by UncleBibby » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:39 am

http://www.petermobeter.com/post/739602 ... ith-my-new

I finally got my Korg microSampler, and while it's not very easy to make music with, it's really fun to use! I hooked it up to my computer via a USB cable and made this simple song. I hope you like it! It's called Cruel Thang.

EDIT:
http://www.petermobeter.com/post/743264 ... on-my-korg
Here's another one. It's called Hawk 'n' Haul.

EDIT 2:
http://www.petermobeter.com/post/760522 ... on-my-korg
Here's another one. It's called Whiskey Basket.
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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by WMRhapsodies » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:23 pm

Mm...I'm actually thinking on trying to exchange my Miniak for one of these. I'm plenty of VA synths right now (so many for iOS), and find myself much more comfortable with the Microkorg sounds and interface actually. My only experience with a sampling keyboard so far is with the much lovely and surprising Casio SK-1: Even at that very low quality, playing a sample from your own voice, the DS10 or the monotron is big fun.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:46 pm

This guy uses it a lot (live) :



Unfortunately you can't see, but I was at this show and took a look at his gear afterwards.
I think he samples a lot of soul/rnb voice snippets and slows them down and stuff...

Sounds great.
soundcloud.com/auxpulse soundcloud.com/ds10dominator

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Hey. Cool. I've been mulling around getting one of these. Uncle Bibby: you say you got one of these for $270 Canadian? That's a great price for one of these new. Where did you get it? L&M?
From reviews I've read and demos I've seen it seems pretty cool and I love the idea of hardware samplers (actually hardware anything...). It's drawback seem to include the unfortunate facts that it isn't really handy for chromatic sampling. You can't easily load sampled keyboard banks into it - like your favourite rhodes or mellotron sound. I guess you could individually assign a mellotron note to each key but that is inelegant and time consuming (I'd still do it though). Also it appears you cannot mute the input as you are sampling which seems like a big oversight for a device that seems so performance oriented. One of the big pluses is that it samples in 24bit which is rare in a hardware sampler.

Nice tunes Uncle Bibby. I noticed some non-zero crossing clicks at the beginning of some of your samples and wonder if - like some other samplers - there is a provision to "auto find" the zero crossing point. I know some people view those clicks as an accepted artifact of sample based music but I like the option to avoid them sometimes. You could always edit the sample first in your DAW anyway. Yes so where did you buy it for $270?

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by UncleBibby » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:05 pm

Syscrusher wrote:Hey. Cool. I've been mulling around getting one of these. Uncle Bibby: you say you got one of these for $270 Canadian? That's a great price for one of these new. Where did you get it? L&M?
From reviews I've read and demos I've seen it seems pretty cool and I love the idea of hardware samplers (actually hardware anything...). It's drawback seem to include the unfortunate facts that it isn't really handy for chromatic sampling. You can't easily load sampled keyboard banks into it - like your favourite rhodes or mellotron sound. I guess you could individually assign a mellotron note to each key but that is inelegant and time consuming (I'd still do it though). Also it appears you cannot mute the input as you are sampling which seems like a big oversight for a device that seems so performance oriented. One of the big pluses is that it samples in 24bit which is rare in a hardware sampler.

Nice tunes Uncle Bibby. I noticed some non-zero crossing clicks at the beginning of some of your samples and wonder if - like some other samplers - there is a provision to "auto find" the zero crossing point. I know some people view those clicks as an accepted artifact of sample based music but I like the option to avoid them sometimes. You could always edit the sample first in your DAW anyway. Yes so where did you buy it for $270?
I think Long and McQuade is where I got it, yeah, but when I got it, they said it was discontinued, and that was quite a few months ago, so I bet it's really hard to find now...

About the chromatic sampling: If you record one note of a mellotron or rhodes or basically any one sound, you can make it pitch-shift it for every single key on the keyboard just by switching modes. No need to assign it to every key or whatever.

Also, I don't really care that much about those clicking sounds which is why I didn't get rid of them, but you can actually alter when the sample starts really easily with one of the knobs. This could be used to find a starting point that doesn't make a clicking noise.

Finally, the microSAMPLER does come with a program for importing sounds and even banks directly from your computer onto your microSAMPLER. I couldn't figure out what file format it uses for the banks, but the sounds are all WAVs.

HOPE THIS HELPS!
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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:28 pm

UncleBibby wrote:
I think Long and McQuade is where I got it, yeah, but when I got it, they said it was discontinued, and that was quite a few months ago, so I bet it's really hard to find now...

About the chromatic sampling: If you record one note of a mellotron or rhodes or basically any one sound, you can make it pitch-shift it for every single key on the keyboard just by switching modes. No need to assign it to every key or whatever.

Also, I don't really care that much about those clicking sounds which is why I didn't get rid of them, but you can actually alter when the sample starts really easily with one of the knobs. This could be used to find a starting point that doesn't make a clicking noise.

Finally, the microSAMPLER does come with a program for importing sounds and even banks directly from your computer onto your microSAMPLER. I couldn't figure out what file format it uses for the banks, but the sounds are all WAVs.

HOPE THIS HELPS!
Thanks! I'm pretty tight with the guys at the local L&M so if there is one in the system in Canada they'll find it for me.
Sometimes sampling clicks bother me other times not - sometime it's just a welcome glitchy part of the music. Good to know there is a dial to adjust sample start time. Cool.

As far as the pitch shifting goes, with mellotron samples they can get pretty short that way because they can only be a certain length to begin with so pitch shifting can be problematic. Also the cool thing about a mellotron is that it preserves the timbre changes that an instrument has across it's range. Pitch shifting won't do that. That's why mellotron samples come in banks of pitches. ie: Flute C1,C#1,D1,D#1 etc. Delay times in a sample can get screwed up that way as well. Sometimes the pitch shifting option works fine while other times...

Thanks for the info Bibby! Very helpful.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by WMRhapsodies » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:07 pm

In that case I think you could still record a sample for every key, don't you?. And play like if it was a regular keyboard while you were actually tiggering individual samples (but you may need a whole bank for that one single instrument...)-That's actually how a mellotron works, isn't it?-. Am I wrong, UncleBibby?.
Last edited by WMRhapsodies on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by Syscrusher » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:21 pm

WMRhapsodies wrote:In that case I think you could still record a sample for every key, don't you?. And play like if it was a regular keyboard while you were actually tiggering individual samples (but you may need a whole bank for that one single instrument...)-That's actually how a mellotron works, isn't it?-. Am I wrong, UncleBibby?.
As far as I understand the Korg Microsampler to work, I could individually load a sample to each key but that is time consuming - not soooo bad though. I have sample banks of several mellotron instruments and most hardware samplers and almost all software samplers allow you to load in an instrument bank in one shot. Not so the Korg. However that seems like a small minus for all the pluses this machine seems to offer. The inability to mute the input seems worse because it directly impacts live performance, but again, that could be worked around with the appropriate bussing on a mixer.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by WMRhapsodies » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:13 am

Ah, ok. You could still download the software editor if you still want to check it out before buying the unit. The sample packs come with a .msmpl_bank extension, so I guess is in fact a proprietary format.

http://www.korg.co.uk/support/downloads ... ler_dl.php

But I agree with whatever the minus are it seems a pretty interesting and versatile machine...and, well, I just love little toy-like keyboards. Big ones somewhat intimidate me...

An I've just ordered mine! :) for 199€ as used unit from a big spanish store (they say it's new but the box is not in good shape), which is pretty much the money I expect to get from the Miniak. I'm happy!.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by Syscrusher » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:59 pm

Just ordered mine from Long & McQuade. There's none in stock in any stores in Nova Scotia so they're bringing it in from out of province. Same price as Uncle Bibby got it for: $270 CAN new. That's pretty good!

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by WMRhapsodies » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:31 pm

Ok, my Microsampler arrived yesterday and now I feel like my brain is about to explode. The keyboard is much better than the (first) Microkorg, despite of being the same size. Really pleasant. The screen not so much, but the keyboard shortcuts help a lot. It's way easier to operate than I thought!, I was afraid I get frustrated.

Some good facts about MIDI implementation (MIDI is that thing that never seems to work as anyone may expect, but in that case the surprises are pleasant). The pattern sequencer transmits MIDI data, so you can use it to sequence any other MIDI devices (it holds 16 patterns for each of the 8 banks, and up to 99 bars long each!). The Microsampler transmits/receives two channels simultaneously, one for "sample" mode and one other for "keyboard" mode, so you can use it as a two track pattern sequencer, or use the Microsampler as a drum machine while sequencing an external synthesizer. Nice!.

About controlling the Microsampler from an external keyboard or some other MIDI interface, the "sample" channel only triggers the 37 keys/samples (if you move to lower or upper octaves you will get no sound), but the "keyboard" channel responds to any octave, velocity and pitch wheel data as well, so you can use any sample as an instrumental voice and play it with some other larger keyboard, or at least one with transpose buttons and a pitch wheel.

About the music, I made some horrible but fun-to-make random microsampling…But I'm not as interested in remixing music as in use it as a sort of background looper/sequencer/drum machine. I did some interesting experiments just sampling a few Microkorg sounds. Since the keys below each sample are set automatically to pitchshift mode, I sampled an arpeggio for the lower keys, some bass sound for the middle and some fx on the top, so I can easily play and record some background loop for to play along with the "keyboard" mode…And later sequenced it all with the iOS version of Tenori-on: so much gear to kind of replicate the DS10 auto-sampling synthetic drum tracks, haha…
Last edited by WMRhapsodies on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: KORG MicroSampler (Does anyone have one of these?)

Post by WMRhapsodies » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:50 pm

And two amazing videos for to enjoy:






And some tricks about using it as an audio-looper:




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