MPC Samples – NT S950 Volume 1

I spent about six hours yesterday recording off samples from my Akai S950, and auto sampling them into my MPC Live mk2. Near the end I think I was starting to get cross eyed. Anyway, if you’re interested, I have posted the samples below, and then will get into the details after the break.

This is MPC X/Live/One formatted… though the samples are 44.1k/16-bit mono, so should load into plenty of samplers. I considered converting this stack into a MPC Expansion, but gave up on the app for now. Maybe later, when I figure out the steps to create previews… and apparently it wants sequences for each program *shrug*. I watched a few videos on YouTube, and read Tutor’s Complete Guide to MPC Expansion Packs but got the impression that you might need to use the MPC Software in order to do some of these things more effectively.

I tried to record most of this in as hot as possible without introducing distortion (digital clipping is blah) and I didn’t use any FX other than what is in the S950. If you want to play chords you’re likely going to need to drop the master volume down a bit. Also… I tried to get the S950 to output from C0-C5 as much as possible, but sometimes the key groups fought me a bit on this, and I just moved on. All of the programs should be spreed from C-2 to G8… but I may have missed getting this to work for a few.

Overall notes for the auto sampling:
* Should play from C-2 to G8
* Sampled C0 to C5 in most cases, with a stride of 4
* Generally 16 samples per program
* Only one Sample Layer at velocity of 127
* Converted Stereo samples back to mono

The pack contains 594 samples, across 39 programs, which breaks down to:
3 Accordion
4 Bass
1 Brass
2 Flute
6 Guitar
1 Harmonica
1 Horn
2 Organ
3 Piano
1 Recorder
2 Strings
14 Synths

Workflow wise, it went something like this:

  • Load a program on the S950
  • Check what the playback range was (Pad B9 is C0 and Pad F5 is C5)
  • If C0 or C5 didn’t play correctly, then try and fix it in the key group on the S950
  • Check the levels to make sure we aren’t over driving the signal
  • In auto sampler name the program to record, and set record time and tail, then do it
  • Trim the samples as best as possible, I mostly did this by ear
  • Do a quick check on the program to make sure it plays the scale properly
  • If Scale was messed up on the C5 or lower sample, reduce the number of key groups
  • From main, go to Program Pencil, save current program

If I do this again, I’ll definitely consider if I want to try and created looped content again… though I passed on it this time because it’s kind of a pain. I probably should have spent some time in the Program menu and dropping the overall volume so there is room to play chords, and maybe having the amp envelope release be a bit longer so that it doesn’t stop quite so quickly. Of course, many of these things are to taste anyways, so I’d hope anybody using these samples will make the changes that they need to get the program to react the way that they want it to.

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