HERE is my Ableton Live version of my favorite sampler, the undisputed king of sampling, the E-mu SP 1200. What makes this thing so great? It is raw, gnarly, perfectly made, aggressive yet smooth. I have been wanting an SP 1200 all my sampling life, I have had an SP 12, MPC 60, all the boss series, s950, MPC3000, MPC2000 and am waiting for the SP to one day venture forth to my studio [update… I now own my very own SP1200]. While I wait [update: no more waiting] I thought it was worth my time creating an Ableton version of the SP. There are other versions of SP 1200 emulation on the internet but I really do think this one comes very close. I have spent a large portion of my working week sound designing a couple of Ableton Racks that are fun to use and inspiring. You can download the Ableton Live Pack (for Live 9) HERE .
If you are already an Ableton boffin install these 2 Ableton .adg files and get to it: LC1200 .adg
- Thanks to Leon D for the loan of his SP 1200 -
There are 4 steps to make this system work, there was no way of making this successful in one process. I have left some audio in the session file to help give the user some clues as to how this is supposed to be used.
1: Load the audio you want to manipulate into the [Process Sample] track. Try pitching the sample up 5 semitones if you really want to get busy. I recommend using minimum 16 bit 44.1khz file rates but it really doesn't matter what you process.
2: Record this in to [Re-record Sample] track.
3: Drag this processed sample to the drum rack in [LC12000 Drum Rack].
4: Re-pitch, cut up, mangle your sample! Remember if you are re-pitching and you really want to make it sound close to an SP make sure you turn warp off on all the samples.
Controls I have assigned to Macros are:
1: Left, Stereo or Right of audio file.
2: Input gain of audio file going into the sampler. Make sure the file you are processing is coming in nice in hot but not charcoal.
LC1200 Drum Rack
1: Output options modeled on the SP 1200's outputs. There are different filter amounts applied to each output stage. My layout may seem confusing but output 7/8 is the first option because they are the un-effected outputs of the SP 1200. Outputs 1/2 are the most heavily effected and also has an adjustable envelope amount. I couldn't completely emulate the 1/2 filter as Ableton doesn't have a filter Audio Effect where you can adjust the filter attack without adjusting the dynamic envelope.
2: Compression blend - I have applied a subtle compressor to the output of this Rack. Apparently the master out of the SP 1200 has some magical compression so I applied some of my own magic to the Rack.
3: EQ on and off. I had to put a final EQ stage on my Drum Rack as it didn't sound right without it. I feel like this EQ is pretty darn close to an SP 1200 or at least the unit I used for my analysis.