Analog sampler?

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.

Re: Analog sampler?

Postby vicd » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:41 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I just like the idea of mechanically or electrically recorded sound. For me, at least, it's not about some sort of superiority (obviously, the fidelity is likely to be terrible), but rather the novelty.


Slightly offtopic, but take a look at http://chrisharrison.net/index.php/Rese ... icBarcodes

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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby MarkTwo » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:59 pm

Phollop Willing PA wrote:Mellotrom is an analogue sampler. Just replace the tapes as needed (takes a couple of hours to a day)


Hi! Switching tape frames takes me about one minute. Replacing the tapes on a frame takes me about two hours.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby madtheory » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:06 pm

gridsleep wrote: Any recourse into digital storage would degrade the analog nature of the signal.

Not necessarily, although there are plenty of flawed digital systems. If what you said was true, calculators, computers, satellites and pretty much all medical technology wouldn't work.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby moremagic » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:03 am

MarkTwo wrote:
Phollop Willing PA wrote:Mellotrom is an analogue sampler. Just replace the tapes as needed (takes a couple of hours to a day)


Hi! Switching tape frames takes me about one minute. Replacing the tapes on a frame takes me about two hours.

how about recording a new set? ay, theres the rub
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby cornutt » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:45 am

At one point Alan Parsons had a gadget called a Projectron, which as I understand it was a sort of tape-loop-based sampler. It was used on the "I Robot" album.

There did used to be analog hard-disk recording systems. They were the basis of television instant-replay systems of the 1970s and early '80s, before video digitizing hardware became practical. There was also a system called Electronic Still Store that a lot of TV stations used in the '80s which stored photos in analog form on disk drives.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby madmarkmagee » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:22 am

Anyone every heard of a laser disc? They were analog? Could you record and store analog samples optically?


Stab Frenzy wrote:The reason we use digital samplers is because it's a method that works, really well. Why try to reinvent the wheel just so you can say 'this sampler is analogue'? Analogue doesn't mean better, I wish people would learn that. There's heaps of really terrible sounding analogue stuff out there.


Insert obligatory post about the superiority of vinyl. :lol:
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby madmarkmagee » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:27 am

Kind of what the op was getting at. Doing it with lasers.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby cornutt » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:06 pm

madmarkmagee wrote:Anyone every heard of a laser disc? They were analog? Could you record and store analog samples optically?


As I understand the Laserdisc format, it was an analog system in that the size/depth/whatever of the pits was determined in an analog manner. However, it was a quantized system -- it broke the signal up into pixels, so what came out wasn't a continuous waveform. With video, that's sort of the way it works anyway, so this was not a problem. However, if you used that method for audio, you would still face the problems of aliasing and eliminating the clock signal from the output (just like a BBD analog delay). At that point, you might as well go digital.

Also, searching for a track on a laserdisc takes a long time because of the way the tracks are banded. Admittedly a better format could fix this. But it would still be difficult to make it work polyphonically -- I think you'd basically need a disc and a laser mechanism for each voice. If you want to keep the pitch shifting in the analog domain, the disc motor has to be variable-speed and able to accelerate and decelerate rapidly.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby Nannerfan » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:05 am

speaking of Laserdisc... a more odd format was C.E.D.

Analog audio and analog video.
Has a nice weird "warble" effect when it messes up/skips..
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby cornutt » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Nannerfan wrote:speaking of Laserdisc... a more odd format was C.E.D.

Analog audio and analog video.
Has a nice weird "warble" effect when it messes up/skips..


Yeah, that was an oddball. It played with a mechanical stylus in a spiral-cut groove, just like a phonograph record. But the groove was un-modulated -- the signal was embedded in an aluminum layer under the vinyl, and the stylus had a capacitive pickup at its tip that sensed the embedded layer. There was a lot of mechanical fussiness that went into doing searching and skipping because of the necessity of rapidly lifting, moving, and replacing the stylus.

In manufacturing, they had a lot of trouble getting the embedded metal layer lined up with the grooves. I've read that the rate of discs returned as defective was over 50%.
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby rhino » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:29 pm

One last thought on this:
If we are talking a sampler with useful features including polyphonic playback, looping, truncation, etc. then a mechanical system would be unlikely to work due to the time needed to re-position the "head" (or other reading/writing element).
The best method I could think up would be a massively long BBD - maybe in sections with buffer amps inbetween.
This would actualy be an array of stepable sample-and-hold stages with seperate output lines for each one.
Each output would have a FET gate to a common line - the off-on state of the FET controled by a digital CPU.-The audio sample would be clocked into the array and "frozen". The cpu could then scan the stages thru the FETs and the clocking of these FETs would allow start/end truncation and looping.
As with DRAM, the array might have to be "refreshed" to retain the charges in each stage from fading.

Think of it as a "regular" digital sampler with each RAM word replaced by an analog charge in a memory cell capacitor.

OR, get a well-trained parrot.
"A thing may seem impossible...until it's done."
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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby foodeater » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:56 am

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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby gmeredith » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:15 am

Any analog delay is an analog sampler, in essence, it simply doesn't retain the samples.

Yes, there are analog samplers, based on analog delay chips. I have one. It's an electronics kit similar to this one:

http://www.elecfreaks.com/2215.html

My one is older than this (about 1999 I bought it) and it states in the instructions that the chip recording is an analog process, not digital - I will try to find the instructions. I built a doorbell out of it that you could record six different doorbell "chime" messages - most of them were Bugs Bunny cartoon samples, or "Lurch" from the Addams family saying "You rang??? :lol:

The quality is very analog delay in quality - somewhat muffled but not grainy like a low sample rate digital sampler - a lot smoother, like a tape recorder.

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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby gmeredith » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:23 am

I think this is the one I have here:

http://experimentalistsanonymous.com/di ... corder.pdf

It states in the beginning:

Invox’ proprietary analog/multi-leval storage technology
is implemented in advanced Flash non-volatile memory
cells, each of which can typically store more than 256
voltage levels. The APR9301 stores and reproduces voice
signals in their natural forms, eliminating the distortion
that is often introduced by encoding and compression.


So I guess that means analog storage as opposed to digital storage and AD/DA encoding/decoding and aliasing filters.

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Re: Analog sampler?

Postby MarkTwo » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:08 pm

moremagic wrote:
MarkTwo wrote:
Phollop Willing PA wrote:Mellotrom is an analogue sampler. Just replace the tapes as needed (takes a couple of hours to a day)


Hi! Switching tape frames takes me about one minute. Replacing the tapes on a frame takes me about two hours.

how about recording a new set? ay, theres the rub

Now THAT will take a while. You either e-mail mellotron.com your files and get a tape set or mount a conversion kit for 1/4" and record your stuff on a reel to reel like Radiohead does. A cool but time consuming project.
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