The SP-1200 was THE drum machine & sampler combo of legendary status among old school rap and hip hop artists from the eighties and nineties. It is similar to today's Akai MPC samplers - it is a sampler plus drum machine. It has limited sampling s...
They ask him what gear he couldn't live without and he replies: "These days it’s so different because really all you need is a MacBook and it’s all there. But back in the day it was Akai samplers S-3000 which is the thing I made my first two albums on. Also I used an old E-mu SP-1200 as well." There is also a picture of him with his SP-1200 here: http://music.newcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/bonobosamplerinwoodsfinal.jpgmore
*Nodfactor* [re-publishes an article](http://www.nodfactor.com/2010/02/07/still-lives-through-j-dillas-last-interview/) from a February 2006 edition of *Scratch* magazine where Alvin “Aqua Boogie” Blanco interviews J-Dilla. Aqua Boogie asks what equipment did J-Dilla start with, to which he replies “I started with the [SP-12](http://equipboard.com/items/e-mu-sp-12-classic-drum-machine-and-sampler) then moved to the SP-1200 and then shortly after that the [MPC-60](http://equipboard.com/items/akai-mpc60), then the [MPC-62](http://equipboard.com/items/akai-mpc60ii), then the [MPC3000](http://equipboard.com/items/akai-mpc-3000) and I’ve been on the MPC 3000 ever since then. I’ve tried other samplers but the 3000 is best for me for what I like to do.”more
"Danger Mouse also loves his vintage E-mu SP-1200 Sampler/ Drum-Machine. The SP-1200 was THE drum machine & sampler combo of legendary status among old school rap and hip hop artists from the eighties and nineties," states [this article](https://digitaldj.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/the-sound-of-danger-mouse/).more
At 3:29 in this video, RZA says, "...I was at Easy Mo Bee's house, we were on Gza's first album and he had a SP-1200, and I'd never seen that in my life never knew what it was. It was 1987 probably." "Took about a year and a half before i finally got ahold of one....so i was about 19 when i got my first SP-1200..."more
In [this Dj Quik interview](http://www.complex.com/music/2012/04/dj-quik-tells-all-the-stories-behind-his-classic-records/born-and-raised-in-compton) with Complex he tells his rise to modern day legend from his humble beginning on the SP and cassette “I got an SP1200 drum machine and a 4-track Tascam recorder, a little cassette recorder. I went from making mixtapes to getting a drum machine and producing my own songs. After about a year on the SP1200, going through different tape formulations. Just listening to the way frequencies in my voice respond to certain tapes, I figured I was in there."more
"The original hip-hop drum machine. That is fat! I'm really into the hip-hop scene, and did a lot of research into the equipment they used to get that real heavy sound. A guy from our record company went to New York and got this for me for my birthday; it was a really good present. It's so nice, just for single drum hits." – Liam Howlett, from a [1996 interview](http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/sep96/prodigy.html) with Sound On Sound.more
"12 Finger Dan & B-Base aka Soulbrotha have carved a niche for themselves as a dope production and turntablist duo from Hamburg, Germany. As close protégés of producer icon DJ Premier, the veteran beatsmiths drop the boom bap filled EP "The Golden Era Isn't Finished", exclusively using the classic SP1200 beat machine." -Promotextmore
What about drum machines? You have a handful… "The EXS24 is my go to for drums but from time to time I'll bring out the EMU SP1200 to sample bass notes. I did actually use my Korg Minipops 7 on the breakdown of one of my tracks because it has pre-programmed patterns. I also love my Akai MPC3000, because it was my first ever drum machine."more
The SP-1200 was THE drum machine & sampler combo of legendary status among old school rap and hip hop artists from the eighties and nineties. It is similar to today's Akai MPC samplers - it is a sampler plus drum machine. It has limited sampling specs: 26.040 kHz and 12-bit resolution. However the dirtiness of that sound is great for hip hop and house music. They say it sounds like "old vinyl"... It features groove quantizing and a disk drive for sample storage. As an upgraded version of the 1985 SP-12, the SP-1200 focused on its coolest feature - sampling. The preset drum sounds of the SP-12 were omitted, leaving room for up to 32 user samples of your own custom sampled and edited drum sounds.
Although this machine was originally released in 1987, E-mu has reissued them again and again due to popular demand. They continued producing them until they ran out of the SSM filter chips they used, around 1998. It was just too legendary to give up as it was THE beat machine for old-school rap and hip hop! In 1997 a final reissued model was released with a cooler looking all-black case. With the SP-1200 it's easy and fun to grab those sliders and tune or tweak your sampled drum sounds all around! It is used by Roni Size, Todd Terry, Freddy Fresh, Daft Punk, Phil Collins, and The Prodigy.