Yamaha SU10

Yamaha SU10 Image

The SU10 is a very compact and portable sampler and sequencer. Best suited for the on-the-go musician it ultimately is a note-pad for musical ideas. It has a maximum of 4 simultaneous samples polyphony, 11.64 to 44.1 sampling rates, 54 to 19 seconds of sampling time (respectively), stereo input/output (using one-eighth inch mini stereo plugs), 4 songs with up to 100 events in each and a maximum of 48 samples can be stored. The 12 key-pads are not only used for editing and programming, but also for triggering samples stored within any of the four banks (bank a, b, c or d).

For professional use these specs are just not good enough. Its overall sound quality is questionable. However it features some pretty cool tricks that may interest DJ's: a ribbon controller that can be used to filter the samples cutoff, alter pitch, reverse, scale, crossfade, hold and scratch samples. It features a VCF type filter with 3 resonant settings and a bandpass, highpass, or lowpass shape. It can even be used to filter an external sound source. Unfortunately the filter is 'sketchy' and prone to crackles, distortion and noise. Filtering external sounds have extremely low output too.

The SU10 won't replace your real sampler nor should it be considered a professional sampler but it does have its place. If you can handle the limited sampling specs and very poor filter then the SU10 can still provide you with hours of fun and entertainment, but that's about it. It has been used by Jimi Tenor, Autechre, and Scanner.

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18 Visitor comments
The Beep
March 19, 2009 @ 8:37 am
Just got mine for 60€ via ebay.
i hooked it up to my mpc2000 via midi. i did that because triggering the samples of from the yamaha is not accurate and theres no quantize. im cool with that for the drums, but not for loops. also theres a little noise when you dont hit the buttons properly. sounds cool!
i noticed its volume isnt quite that big, but the triggered snares and bassdrums sound SO crips in lo-q setting, much like an SP12. Loops are cool too, but the effect section is not very usable. the filter is applied to the whole master signal.
recording on the su10 is easy, but it lacks bpm settings, quantize and pretty much everything. but as a sketchpad for sampling, slicing and getting ideas on the go its just awesome.
if you want something like a poor-mans portable basic-SP12: get this baby. for serious use it lacks: polyphony, memory, effects, etc...everything. but as a mobile extension to your mpc its GOLD.
October 6, 2008 @ 8:58 am
I somehow view this as a poor's man portable SP-1200. I seriously love the way it turn samples into four sampling rate, mainly the extra long mode. It kinda bring the old sounds back. It almost anything I wish from a portable sampler.
Joshua Y
September 23, 2008 @ 6:01 am
It's use as a sampler is quite limited, but I've kept it for the ribbon controller if nothing else (it can be assigned to any MIDI cc you choose...controlling cutoff frequency on an external synth for example by "touch" can produce some unique effects....)..
Otherwise, it's basically a customizable sampled drum-table... horribly limited memory capacity by today's standards....The filters aren't the best but they can be "bad" in a fun and unique way....as a live sample playback device it could be somewhat useful (with an attached Midi sequencer calling the shots).

Fun machine, but if you're seriously composing music or doing sound design don't expect it to make your life *much* easier...
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Rated 3.67 (297 Votes)

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  • 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 - 4 simultaneous samples max (in mono)
  • Sampler - 11.64KHz to 44.1KHz (19 to 54 seconds)
  • LFO - None
  • Filter - Digital Hi / low / band pass resonant filter
  • VCA - None
  • Keyboard - 12 key-pads
  • Memory - 48 samples max
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1996

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