Commodore 64 Music in the real world & other related SID stories

Monday, January 09, 2006

12-bit Heaven

Welcome back readers! Now that we are on track again I want to present the E-mu SP-12 as the sampler/drum machine of choice for Commodore 64 music productions... let me just put it in a few words: it uses the 1541 floppy drive as a external storage device and It has MIDI inputs and outputs....

"..The SP-12 comes supplied with 24 drum samples stored in ROM. They are bass, snare, electronic snare, rim, 4 toms, 4 electronic toms, hi hats, crash, ride, claps, cowbell. An additional 8 user sample positions are available in battery backed up RAM for sampling into, but all 32 positions can use sampled sounds provided they fit in RAM memory . The samples are 12-bit linear at 27,500Hz, and there is a full set of sound editing controls on board for manipulating the samples. The machine is highly regarded in Dance and Hip Hop circles, for both its sound and beats.

The base model maximum sampling time is 1.19 seconds (refered to as 1.2 seconds in the documentation). The Turbo model has quadruple this memory providing 4.76 seconds of sample time across 2 separate banks (a sample cannot span a bank). The documentation incorrectly refers to this being 5.0 seconds of sample time, although most factory sample diskettes only use up to around 4.2 seconds of sample time. The SP1200 uses a lower sampling rate of 26,040Hz.

The SP-12 can store up to 100 patterns, 100 songs and has a 5000 note memory (4 times this with the TURBO model). It also has a mono mix output and eight individual outputs, MIDI in/out/thru, SMPTE sync, cassette/floppy disk storage and a metronome output.

E-mu Systems introduced removable storage for the SP-12 by using an external Commodore computer diskette drive. This is a 5.25" self contained unit with its own power supply and a serial interface. It was the best choice in 1985, when 3.5" drives had yet to appear, and an internal 5.25" would have taken up too much room. The diskettes are used to stored samples and sequences..."

I'm devastated... this is too cool.. I mean... the mixer and the 8 individual outputs and it has the word "Cassette" on it...


complete info of the E-mu SP12 at the Emulator Archive

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