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Hardware sampler with good synth engine with character sound but inconvenient and unintuitive to use
At the time I was doubting between an Akai S-Series (which was the industry standard at the time) and the E-mu Ultra-Series which does have a better synth engine and has it's own sound and character thanks to the build-in filters and FX.
I was hoping to prepare and maintain my sample library on my computer and transfer it to my hardware sampler to be able to perform without a computer. Unfortunately I did not yet find a convenient way to achieve this. Dumping samples over MIDI is just too slow and over SCSI is not an option anymore nowadays.
Additionally navigating through the menus is not very intuitive. I must admit, I never did actually read the manual but on the other hand, my car costs 100x more and is at least 10x more complex and I never had to read its manual. So not really intuitive to use. I did try to find an easy editor but never found one that was actually any good.
I'm still holding on to it for the moment (as selling it would not be worth it) and might look into buying one of these SD kits one day and hope someone will build an editor (or I might have to find the time to read the exhaustive manual).
Filters, effects and DAC are all have a unique signature that has yet to be done in the plugin world
I have an upgrade one of these with a usb caddy drive for fast transfer of sounds - It is nice to work away from the computer screen now and then. It has a sound of its own that has yet to be done in the plugin world.