AUTECHRE ON ENSONIQ SAMPLERS Sean: "We use modified software on the sampler for live work. We found some nerd in America who writes interesting software." Rob: "We were then able to take the sampler input and convert it to a thru for a start. Then we were able to use the software to write our own effects in the EPS." Sean: "It's even better than the [newer, more powerful] ASR-10. You can select samples independently from the sequencer, which means that as the sequencer is running you can select your sample and edit it, turning it into a synth really. It's already got a decent OS in there, but it's really easy to modify as well. Rob: "It's really only the American manufacturers, Ensoniq and Emu, that turn their gear into synths and not just sample playback machines." Sean: "The EPS is just like using the Prophecy really. Everybody beats on about how smart the Prophecy is but we've been able to do that with samples for years. Much of the multiple LFO routings and the assigning of controllers to modulate controllers and so on, we can do on the EPS -- setting up quite elaborate patches on it really quickly. It's weird that Ensoniq is getting ignored in preference to Akai, which admittedly is a tighter more accurate sampler, but it still lacks a lot of scope for exploration, you can't really do a lot with it. With the EPS and the ASR-10 we're still finding things, like changing aspects of effects that you're not supposed to be able to alter." Although when you originally bought the EPS you obviously didn't know what you know now. Sean: "No, we bought it because we got a good deal." Rob: "And it had on-board effects. We thought, 'it's only got two outputs but then it does have effects -- f**k it, we've only got this much money'. Before that the only sampler we had was 1.4 seconds worth on our Boss delay, so anything on top of that was a luxury." Sean: "By necessity we've struck up a good working relationship with our samplers. The only current sampler that we would get, knowing what we know now, is probably the Kurzweil. It's the only thing that I've used that intrigues me. Rob: "Emus as well, they seem to have a lot to them." Sean: "Just in terms of the editability if you put a sampler into a synth you know you'll be buying all those synth facilities, whereas if you're just buying a sampler then that can be limiting. I think a lot of manufacturers still see the sampler as being limited in those respects, which is bullshit, considering the amount of DSP chips that they pack in there. There's so much you can potentially do with them."more
The Rza talks gear he used in the past at 5:10, saying, "...when we switched and he gave me the Eps i started making two bar loops, 4 bar loops..nobody wasn't doing that. So it was the Eps that turned me on to that, and he traded with me, and i fell in love with the Eps i din't care about the Sp-1200 anymore.."more
This first "version" of the EPS is quite remarkable. Besides all the standard possibillities that any other workstation had at that time, like built-in sequencer, variable sampling rate, sample editing, filters etc, the EPS has some cool extra features. One of them is the option to control the sample starting point and loop position by using the pitch wheel. (now stop reading for a second and imagine the possibillities it creates when using this "live" on a vocal sample. It's like "scrolling" through the words...!) Another one is loading new samples while playing instruments. You can also "Stack" instruments/layers or assign different samples to certain regions on the keyboard. And how about those magical "Patch Select Buttons"? This might all sound pretty dull now but back in 1988 it was pure science fiction. Almost forgot to mention that the Ensoniq DSK-8 sample library is compatible with the EPS. Think of sounds used in the early house classics like; "stacked strings" on Rock To The Beat, or the "piano" on Strings Of Life and the "brass hit" on Love Can't Turn Around. The standard internal memory of 512 Kb could be expanded with the optional "4x memory expander" to 2.1 Mb in total and was totally worth the investment. Beam me up Scotty!
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