Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler for Vintage Drums

Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler
Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler

Today I found a mint condition Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler at the local used Music shop here in Nagano-city, JAPAN. It came with the original box, 64MB memory card, adapter, and manual. This particular sampler was something I new I wanted to pick up. I posted a video below from a Youtube user called “harlemnightsmusic” who stuffed a Korg ES-1 MKII Sampler with 80s Linn Drum sounds and started recreating some fantastic classic 80’s disco and pop rhythms. I have quite a few LinnDrum samples among a ton of other drum machine samples and thought this would work perfectly for me. I love the 32kHz “Lo-Fi” sound of the ES-1 MKII very much. There’s only 95 seconds of memory if correct, but that should be plenty for making a few kits for playback.

I primarily intend to use Korg ES-1 MKII as a pattern based drum sequencer for me to play along with using the keys. I feel the Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler will be very easy to program drum patterns which could then be easily transferred to other devices if necessary as well. On a side note, I tested the formatting ability on a 128MB smartmedia card and as expected it gave me an error message. Indeed I will only be able to use up to 64MB Smartmedia cards, however, I likely won’t even come close to using that much since the internal memory can only load 95 seconds worth of samples. Currently I am using a 16MB card and that seems just fine for my purposes. Plus I don’t see myself using this for anything other than a drum machine with retro vintage samples in it. For that it’s absolutely awesome and great fun!!

There are quite a few people making great use out of this wonderful sampler on Youtube. I know there are newer updated versions of the Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII, but for the cheap price I bought this for, I’m more than happy with the results.

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Roland GKP-4 GK Parallel Box Score!

GKP-4 GK Parallel Box
GKP-4 GK Parallel Box

This week I scored a Roland GKP-4 GK Parallel Box from Yahoo Auction Japan. It’s rare that I buy anything off Yahoo Japan, but I couldn’t pass up clicking the “Buy Now” for the Roland GKP-4 for $25 bucks. The GKP-4 came with the original box and manual. It’s in absolute “mint” condition. For those that know what this does, it’s discontinued and not an easy piece of gear to find.

The Roland GKP-4 GK Parallel Box allows guitars equipped with a 13-pin GK-compatible pickup to connect to up to four different Roland and BOSS GK-Ready devices simultaneously. The box features separate On/Off switches for each output, plus the ability to turn GK volume messages on or off for realtime volume changes on select devices.

It works sweet too! I really don’t understand why it was discontinued as the Roland US-20 is a nice addition, but shouldn’t be a replacement.

There are other 3rd Party GK devices still available for those interested in something similar, but if you’re a GK Guitar Synth buff and you see one of these….grab it!! It’s awesome! Later I got an email from the gentleman who listed it and he couldn’t believe how fast it sold considering I bought it within an hour of it being posted. I honestly couldn’t believe he was even selling it in the first place!

Yamaha RX7 Digital Rhythm Programmer

Yamaha RX7 Digital Rhythm Programmer
Yamaha RX7 Digital Rhythm Programmer

Yesterday I picked up a “MINT” condition Yamaha RX7 Digital Rhythm Programmer for cheap from a used music store here in Nagano-city, JAPAN. It came with the original adapter and manual. The Yamaha RX7 was absolutely in perfect condition so I couldn’t pass it up. I was originally thinking of picking up an RX5 if I ever found one, but then settled on the RX7 and I’m glad I did. The RX5 is great with the individual outputs, individual mixer, and additional sound cards, but ultimately the Yamaha RX7 will work just as good. I currently have the Yamaha DX7 MKI and DX7IID. The RX7 Drum Machine obviously goes very well with those two synths and it’s fun to create retro 80’s jams now. I actually grew up in the 80’s so not only is it very nostalgic for me, but it’s also satisfying to be able to pick up a lot of this gear in great shape for a great price.

The Yamaha RX7 drum sounds are actually very good with respect to capturing that 80’s sound obviously. It blends nicely with the DX7 sounds and I find it very easy as well to program. Sound Quest also has a software editor for the Yamaha RX7 that can be used to tweak the settings which I find to be very useful. The RX7 can also take RAM4 cards like the DX7IID so any modifications can be saved. Some people complain about the lack of memory, but honestly it’s pretty easy to dump data to and from the computer. Plus for me I usually work mainly in pattern mode rather than song mode. Thus I have plenty of patterns and space to work with. I tend to change up my keyboard grooves over a handful drum patterns rather than program a unique pattern for every single keyboard groove. I also have a tendency to use drum machine patterns as a sort of metronome for practicing complex keyboard parts, so the Yamaha RX7 memory is more than sufficient for that.

The Vintage Yamaha RX7 drum machine is a fun “large” device that works well for creating any sort of drum pattern for practicing your grooves with. If you like the FM digital sound and are a fan of 80’s music like I am, then the Yamaha RX7 will surely fit nicely into your nostalgic music rig. Indeed you likely can get sampled sounds and use a sampler, but the ease of use with programming your own beats and the cheap price tag, make the Yamaha RX7 hard to beat. It’s is a rather large box, but once you find a place to put it, then it’s actually quite nice to have the larger buttons. You can also midi this up to anything and work with the sounds via midi.