E-mu SP-1200

E-mu SP-1200 Image

The SP-1200 was THE drum machine & sampler combo of legendary status among old school rap and hip hop artists from the eighties and nineties. It is similar to today's Akai MPC samplers - it is a sampler plus drum machine. It has limited sampling specs: 26.040 kHz and 12-bit resolution. However the dirtiness of that sound is great for hip hop and house music. They say it sounds like "old vinyl"... It features groove quantizing and a disk drive for sample storage. As an upgraded version of the 1985 SP-12, the SP-1200 focused on its coolest feature - sampling. The preset drum sounds of the SP-12 were omitted, leaving room for up to 32 user samples of your own custom sampled and edited drum sounds.

E-mu SP-1200 Image

Although this machine was originally released in 1987, E-mu has reissued them again and again due to popular demand. They continued producing them until they ran out of the SSM filter chips they used, around 1998. It was just too legendary to give up as it was THE beat machine for old-school rap and hip hop! In 1997 a final reissued model was released with a cooler looking all-black case. With the SP-1200 it's easy and fun to grab those sliders and tune or tweak your sampled drum sounds all around! It is used by Roni Size, Todd Terry, Freddy Fresh, Daft Punk, Phil Collins, and The Prodigy.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a E-mu SP-1200? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

39 Visitor comments
July 30, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
replace the floppy with this:HxC SD Floppy Emulator ----> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMu_-IlyR_U
April 8, 2012 @ 12:48 pm
Dj Krush used also an SP-1200 with an akai S-1000 !
September 30, 2011 @ 5:42 pm
SP1200 is a musical icon, do you know the official book is realeased this year ? www.sp1200-thebook.com
joe cain
August 5, 2011 @ 8:31 am
this 12 bit sampler is the one , on its own or combined with the akai s-950 , u got that classic boom bap sound right there , this is one piece of equipment that i will never ever get rid of , if your lucky enough to own one of these then you know how amazing they really are , these machines are going for more and more money these days , if your looking for one of these and you see one , get it, if you dont like you will always be able to get your money back for it , look at it as an investment.
donald thump
July 22, 2011 @ 9:46 am
i juv my sp1200 that has a personal doctor (bruce forat cuustom work)i got a black case the last of 2 at guitar center in1997 it feels brand new after forat fixed everything but i use my mpc60with custom 3.2 brain(mpc3000) alot but the sp1200 has better smpte chasing lockup and it is punchier than everything except a oberhiem dmx
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Rated 4.15 (448 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voice
  • Sampler - 26.040 kHz, 12 bit sampling; 4 2.5 second blocks (10 seconds); 256 KB memory
  • Patterns - 100
  • Songs - 100
  • Keyboard - 8 Touch Pads
  • Memory - 32 patches
  • Control - MIDI, SMPTE
  • Date Produced - 1987 - 1998
  • Resources & Credits
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