Redmatica Autosampler 2 for creating Multisamples

Redmatica Autosampler 2
Redmatica Autosampler 2

Not too long ago I discovered Redmatica Autosampler 2 for the Mac and I have to say it’s been the greatest piece of software I’ve ever used and still use now. Currently I’m running Redmatica Autosampler 2 on Mac OSX Lion with an FA-66 Edirol Firewire Device attached and it autosamples both hardware and software instruments with near perfection. Unfortunately the company Redmatica was bought out by Apple and the software is no longer available. Although there are rumors it may be integrated into a future release of Logic Pro. There is another fantastic program too in the Redmatica product line called Keymap Pro 2 which I don’t happen to have but I wish I did. My fingers are crossed that I can find it someday real soon.

Basically with Redmatica Autosampler 2, you can autosample sounds up 128 patches to be exact all while sitting back sipping on a cup of coffee. Of course you have to get your preset or template settings right, but once you’ve got that configured, you’re set. The patches are then exported to a variety of formats of which I primarily use ESX24. From there I use Chicken Systems Translator 6 for Mac to convert the ESX24 patches to Akai S5000. From there I can load these into my MPC4000, MV8000, etc for playing. There is no direct export to SF2 or Akai format, but with ESX24 and a number of converters out there, this is not an issue.

Redmatica Keymap Pro 2
Redmatica Keymap Pro 2

Right now I have Emulator X3 connected by midi/audio to the FA-66 Firewire Audio Capture Device which is connected to my MacBook Pro running Redmatica Autosampler 2. I then usually have to lower the volume a slight bit on the PC because Redmatica Autosampler 2 triggers samples at a pretty high velociy/volume which can slight distortion. This is completely removed if you lower the volume a tad bit. I also AutoSample using dry samples and then later do my tweaks on my MPC4000 or hardware of choice. Of course one can sample how they like, but I find dry sampling to get excellent results.

With Redmatica Autosampler 2 you can adjust sustain, autoloop, and auto name your Wav files. It’s simply fantastic at how well the software works. It took me about 15 minutes to AutoSample an entire 128 patch bank of an old E-MU Proteus Sample set which I then had running on my MPC4000 connected to my Roland A90EX controller. This was WAAAAAY faster and MUUUUUCH more accurate than using any converting software out there and building the patches manually. Redmatica Autosampler 2 is THE BEST option out there, but unfortunately again it is no longer an option at the moment due to the closing of Redmatica.

Are there alternatives? I’m not sure, but I’ll post an update if I find any that work as well as Redmatica Autosampler 2. If I can find an old copy of Redmatica Keymap Pro 2 to purchase, I’ll certainly post more info about that as well. I hear KMP Pro 2 ( Redmatica Keymap Pro 2 ) is very good too, although I don’t have any experience with it. Redmatica Autosampler 2 works well as is and does what I need to do for my sample projects, but it would be nice to checkout Keymap Pro 2 one of these days.

Here is a video of Redmatica AutoSampler 2 in action.

Yamaha A3000 Editing and Importing Sounds

Yamaha A3000 Sampler
Yamaha A3000 Sampler

Recently I installed a new internal SCSI Flash Card Reader into my Yamaha A3000 Sampler Version 2. You can find the card info here: SCSI Card Readers

The SCSI Card Reader works very well and I have it currently set to SCSI 0. I have also removed the original Floppy Drive and have not needed to use a Floppy since the removal. I also have attached a made in Japan I-O Data CD-RW Drive to SCSI ID 4. This also works excellent for loading up Sample CDs. I found Akai and of course Yamaha CDs to load up well. EMU CDs are difficult and I first need to convert them to Akai format to work.

I have had this Sampler since 1998 or 1999 and really didn’t find much use for it at the time although it was very popular to have here in Japan. I found a great deal on a used A3000 V2 and had to pick one up. Adding the CF Card Reader and finding an effective CD-Rom drive have really opened doors now with the Sampler and I’m finding some renewed interest with it. I particularly like the framework of Partitions, Volumes, Banks, and Samples when working with the A3000. The effects or reasonably good and I find the memory to be ample when working with Multisamples especially with Synth and Drum sounds. For straight up piano and rhodes sounds I continue to use my Fantom XR or Yamaha ES Samplers. I think for Analog Synth Emulations for example, the Yamaha A3000 works very well. Sonically it’s pretty powerful and easy to trigger.

I started out using the popular software bZone 1.0 for editing programs, banks, and samples on the A3000. I also used Adisky for importing Wav files and creating Yamaha A3000 CD-Roms. These programs were installed and running on my trusty old Windows 98 computer which works great. I was able to setup everything and it ran “reasonably” well, but ultimately the setup had too many bugs and froze on me way to much to really get anything done on the Yamaha A3000. SCSI on the A3000 is slow, but my goodness nothing is slower than buggy software and frozen computers. So I researched other solutions and found an alternative that works far better “for me”.

Basically now, I use Extreme Sample Converter (ESC) to convert other format Sample CDs such EMU into Akai format. I then use Translator to import the converted Akai files and create an Akai Disk Image. Nero is then used to burn an Akai S1000/S2000 disk to later import into the A3000. It works very well! I then simply do my editing on the Yamaha A3000 itself because quite frankly it’s faster than using any software editor solution I’ve found. When I say faster I also mean it’s 100% bug free and never freezes.

I also use Awave for identifying the Root Notes, Pitch Values, and Key Ranges of the original patches from other Sample CDs as well for reference. It works great. I also use ESC ( Extreme Sample Converter ) to audition sounds directly from the computer. When I find EMU sample programs I want, I simply create a new custom Akai converted disk. So, using the computer to audition multisamples and find what’s worth tweaking on the A3000 saves time as well. Unfortunately there is no “all in one” software solution. ESC is good for auditioning and converting between formats. Translator is good for burning to a particular CD-Rom Format. Awave is good at providing quick details of how a multisample is mapped, plus it provides great tools for resampling if required.

Below are some brief notes of how I import various program/voice files such as Akai, Roland, and EMU into the Yamaha A3000 V2 Sampler.

Importing EMU Disks of all kinds.

1. Load EMU III Disk into Extreme Sampler Converter.
Source Format = EMU 3/4, ESI, Emulator
Destination Format = Akai S5000, S6000

2. Create an Akai S1000/S2000 Virtual Disk in Translator and add the presets From ESC.

3. Burn the Akai img to CD-Rom with Nero.

4. Turn on your Yamaha A3000 and load up the CD-Rom. It should show you the Partitions and you can select the programs from within.

5. Import the programs/voices you would like which will import the samples into banks and map them.

In the case of EMU Sample Disks I always have to tweak the following for each sample:

a) Key Mapping ( Use Awave or ESC to determine original key ranges )
b) Root Note ( Usually correct )
c) Pitch adjustment occasionally. I turn fine to “0” and adjust coarse as needed.
d) Loop Points may need to be adjust on a sample or two. It’s easy actually and off only by a fraction.

6. Add 1-3 effect blocks depending on what you think the multsample needs. I usually add EQ first.

7. Save the Program to a partition/volume on your CF Card.

Importing Akai Disks of all kinds.

I find “unlike” with EMU disks, I can pretty much import Akai disks without any problems. If I do encounter a problem, I just run through the steps I wrote above. Importing Akai disks into the Yamaha A3000 V2 is pretty easy and trouble free. Note that if you “convert” from another format to Akai it can cause more problems such as with EMU to Akai as mentioned above.

Importing WAV Files.

With WAV files I found burning them into Akai format to work the best. I could import them into a bank very quickly in bulk and then assign key ranges on the A3000. It found it to be very fast and effective. Way better than bZone … waaay better!!

I know there are other Sampler Hardware Solutions out there. I also have a Roland W-30, S-330, S-760 Sp-606, Sp-808, and Fantom XR Samplers. Plus I have a couple of Korg Triton and even a Yamaha RS7000. I primarily am into MultiSample hardware units rather than loop phrase samplers though.

I find the Yamaha A3000 pretty intuitive, easy, and fun sampler to work with ONCE you figure out your own best workflow. For me, I think using the conversion software packages out there along with good ole’ fashion manual button programing to work very well with the Yamaha A3000.

I’ll update this article with more info as I dive in further to the Yamaha A3000 V2.

Roland W30 LCD Backlight Replacement

Roland W30 LCD Backlight
Roland W30 LCD Backlight

After the success of my Yamaha SY77 “Cool Blue” LCD backlight replacement, I decided to see if I could upgrade a few other of my old keyboard if possible. Today I found a Roland W30 “White” LCD replacement backlight for a great price $26.00 on Ebay. There are other options around, but most are asking for $50 or more which I think is a bit much.

The great thing about this “White” LCD replacement, is that it should brighten up the Roland W30’s green LCD considerably. Note that this LCD backlight replacement can also be used for the Korg 01W and Wavestation A/D. I find myself playing in a lot of dark places and with the Roland W30 having a brighter display it should be more fun and less headache to work with. One BIG problem that will still exist is the power converter noise or hum in the Roland W30. I completely eliminated this whine from the Yamaha SY77 by replacing the LCD unit altogether, but I have yet to find the proper replacement hardware for the Roland W30. Until then, this White LCD Backlight replacement I bought from Ebay should suffice regarding the brightness of the display.

Once I receive and replace the Roland W30 LCD display, I’ll post some photos of before and after. As far as I know I simply need to desolder a couple of pins and the solder in the new replacement LCD sheet. Probably the most difficult or time consuming aspect will be taking apart the Roland W30 to access the LCD display. That was an all day job with the Yamaha SY77…laugh. Nonetheless, it’s kind of fun actually. Nothing beats the raw smell of those old vintage keyboards and synthesizers when you crack open the cases. Yeah right!

Enjoy! – Jim

UPDATE #1: Here is a video found on Youtube of someone replacing the old Korg Wavestation A/D backlight with a new “white” version similar to the one I purchased above. This video will show you the difference roughly of before (green) and after (white). It’s much brighter you can see. Awesome!

Yamaha A3000 Multisampling Fun

Yamaha A3000 Sampler
Yamaha A3000 Sampler

Last week I dusted off my old Yamaha A3000 version 1 sampler and was surprised to find out how well it worked with multisampling. I remember shelving the unit a while back namely because I had issues with looping, midi, and a few other things that happened to be fixed or improved with Version 2. I never got around to upgrading it, but I recently discovered that despite the fact that it’s a version 1 Yamaha A3000, it actually works extremely well with multisampling. Nowadays I say leave looping to the likes of the newer Akai MPCs, Roland SP Groove boxes, Soft Samplers, or anything current. However, with multisampling, I think the Yamaha A3000 still has a lot of life left even if it’s still version one. Something tells me also that multisampling was probably the A3000’s primary function in the first place. and unless you were interested in that, you pretty much sold or moth balled the sampler.

Currently I have the Yamaha A3000 V1 maxed out at 128MB of memory which is plenty for most multisampling tasks. Attached to the rear SCSI is a zip drive which works to store the samples from memory and loads them rather quickly. I usually import my WAV files from the PC and using either the Floppy Drive or Zip drive works well with for this. I use Sony Soundforge to save my WAV files to Microsoft PCM format for easy importing. The on board effects are decent and applying the samples to the keys is easy enough. Triggering the samples via a midi controller works perfectly and you can do velocity cross fades and some layering as well. In fact with regards to multisamples, the Yamaha A3000 is actually pretty easy to use. Looping on the other hand is best done “from” version 2 and upward although it still can be done with Version 1.

Lately I’ve enjoyed using such hardware samplers as the Roland W-30, S-330, and S-760. When you compare the Yamaha A3000 version 1 to those samplers you start finding out that the A3000 is pretty competitive. In fact in some cases it’s an upgrade so it’s been really fun. I also have a Roland SP-606 which works fine for working with loops. It syncs well with the Yamaha A3000 if required. Honestly, I’m not into that much looping really so some hard core loopers may require more in features than what I currently use.

It’s always good to hold on to old gear as you never know when you might need it again in the future. Actually if I think about it, I don’t think I was able to sell the A3000 version one in the first place so perhaps that is why I really kept it…laugh. However, with my recent interest in working with multisampled instruments and synthesizers, I’ve found the Yamaha A3000 version 1 to be a more than capable and rewarding hardware sampler. So far, it has been getting the job done beautifully. Perhaps one of these days I’ll upgrade to either the A4000 or A5000 when I see one, but for now, my A3000 has a new life with multisampling and it’s super cheap on Ebay right now!!

Roland S-760 Digital Sampler in Japan

Roland S-760 Digital Sampler
Roland S-760 Digital Sampler

Today I managed to locate a used Roland S-760 Digital Sampler at a remote used music shop near Nagano City here in Japan. The unit was in excellent condition and it had the manuals, but no disks. The gentleman at the counter said it was junk and I said to myself “Are you kidding?”. He sold it to me for $35 because he said he couldn’t get it to work without the disks. I wanted to say if he had heard of the internet at all, but instead I slapped down the cash and walked away with a fine Roland S-760.

At home I found some english manuals in PDF format from Roland and then later found the System OS 2.24 disk needed to fire it up. Sure enough, the Roland S-760 started up beautifully and I was all ready to go. I even noticed I had the OP-760-1 board in the back and the memory fully expanded at 32MB. Amazing!! I still don’t have a Roland MU-1 Mouse yet, but I did manage to install SoundDiver for Windows which has the Roland S-760 and S-330. I connected the Roland S-760 to SoundDiver and everything worked great!

A friend of mine had several Rhodes samples which I loaded into the Roland S-760 and they sounded fantastic! I then connected an MO Disk Drive to the SCSI on the back and saved the samples to an MO disk. I also saved the system, but I am not sure if you can boot off an MO or other drive with the Roland S-760 yet. I know you can with the Roland W-30. The MO drive was very quiet and fast when both saving and loading files I thought. So after I boot up the S-760 using the Floppy, I can then load up all the different Rhodes Performances rather quickly.

It’s been a fun couple of weeks. I never thought I could score a Roland W-30, S-330, and S-760 all for $200 in near mint condition. Indeed I have to work with SCSI and older gear, but the sound quality is really really good. I also find it a lot of fun playing around with older gear as well as someone who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s just amazing at how little people will take for this stuff here in Japan. If you check out the rest of my blog, you’ll notice all of the great deals I’ve been finding lately.

Check out Synth Japan forums for more discussions.

Please check out the comments below for updates on this post.

Roland W-30 Music Workstation Found!

Roland W-30 Sampler Workstation
Roland W-30 Sampler Workstation

Yesterday I picked up a “mint” condition Roland W-30 Sampler Workstation from a used audio shop here in Nagano City, Japan. The W30 was in mint condition with all the manuals, system disks, and sounds disks. Not only that but the manuals and disks were practically not even used as they were in pristine condition…amazing! Also included was the KW30 SCSI kit manual and floppy disk. Inside the chip was indeed installed. A case was also included. The entire package I bought for $80 which I thought was a great deal considering the KW30 chip was installed with all accessories. The manuals were in Japanese of course, but I can read Japanese so no problem there.

At home I was able to scrounge up an old 4.36GB SCSI hard disk which I was able to connect and sure enough, the Roland W-30 was able to communicate with the HD. I then was able to format the HD which took about 30 minutes and it indeed formatted to max capacity of 80MB. I then tested saving and loading various sounds and everything worked very well. I also tested an IOMEGA 250MB Zip drive with a 100MB zip disk and the Roland W-30 would not communicate with it at all. Some have had success with the Iomega Zip 250 drive, but from my experience it doesn’t work. I saw a Fujitsu 100MB SCSI Zip drive at the same used audio store for $5 bucks so I’ll probably pick that up for testing. I’ve heard that SCSI 100MB Zip drives will work fine.

The Roland W-30 boots fine with the Floppy Drive, but since I had the Hard Disk working I thought I would try to boot from the HD. This did not work despite following all sorts of instructions and trying different methods. After research and testing, it appears I need to find a different HD that can boot the W-30. Although my HD works for saving and loading sounds, it does not work as a boot drive.

I also was successfully able to tape the left hole of High Density Floppy Disks and format them as DD disks without any problems using Windows 7 Professional. I used the Sdiskw software to then load and create sound images from sources on the internet. I was able to establish a very simple workflow to transfer soundsets found on the internet to the Roland W-30 using the Sdiskw software. The only issue however is that I have yet to find a way to load and transfer WAV files. Most likely though I will simply sample directly using the inputs of the Roland W-30. The computer drives me crazy with regards to music and so far the Roland W-30 has been very simple to work with on it’s own.

Why did I buy it? The price was a bargain for this popular 1989 Keyboard Workstation. The sound is really ( I mean really ) good with the right samples and their is some functionality you can’t get on some of the newer samplers to date. For my purposes, the Roland W-30 is a real gem. For example I found a great Hammond Sample today and it was a blast playing that on the Roland W-30. Yes, the memory is limited, but honestly if I want backtracks I just use my SP-606, Roland X Series, or Korg Triton to do that. I basically wanted a keyboard that I could sample sound bites and then have fun editing and playing them expressively on the keys. There is so much you can do with the keyboard, sequencer, and editing functions.

The Roland W-30 is such a joy to play. Everything on my W30 works flawlessly and the condition is mind boggling. Somebody must have just locked this up in their closet for the past 20 years. Japan is such a great place to find used vintage gear I must say.

As I discover new uses and techniques for the Roland W-30, I’ll be sure to post comments to follow-up this article. Right now I would like to find a Hard Disk to book the Roland W-30. I would also like to have a Zip drive that works as well. With that said though I do have an HD that is saving and loading sounds. Plus my Floppy drive works great with the possibility that I might pick up a backup drive from Route66. I also would like to find a work flow for loading my own wav files from the computer, but for now I’ll just record direct. That should suffice for now and it might even be the best and fastest way to do things.

Stay tuned for more updates and feel free to comment or email if you have any specific questions about the Roland W-30 Music Sampler Workstation. I am so glad I bought it!

Does the SD Card HxC Floppy Emulator work on the Roland S-330 and W-30 Samplers?

Roland S-330 – YES!
Roland W-30 – YES!

Check out Synth Japan forums for more discussions.

Sampler Triggers Arppegiator Sync for Roland Juno 6

Roland Juno 6 Synthesizer
Roland Juno 6 Synthesizer

Today I successfully managed to trigger and sync my Roland Juno 6 arpeggiator with my Yamaha RS-7000 Sampler Workstation. AWESOME! It works beautifully and the timing is very tight and doesn’t have any problems at all. I sampled a positive pulse sound and loaded wav up with the Yamaha RS-7000. I then used the Sequencer to create a pattern of pulse beats. After that I connected a cord from the headphone jack of the RS7000 Sampler to the Trigger Sync Jack (In) of the Roland Juno 6. I turned on the Arpeggiator along with the hold button and presto …. the arpeggitaor was triggered flawlessly. You have to turn up the volume on the RS-7000 all the way too so that you get at or above the 5V mark.

The Yamaha RS7000 Sampler is perfect for me because I can also sync with Midi and have any other drum machine, sampler, synth, etc. play in time with the Roland Juno 6. Sweet! You can also program different patterns among a few other things on the Yamaha RS-7000 so that you can get some really cool Arpeggiator arrangements for the Juno 6. After searching around the internet I could find very little if any information, so I was quite thrilled to find a solution so easily and quickly. Now I don’t have to waste money on a Roland TR-707 or TR-626 for simply triggering the Juno 6 or creating patterns. The RS-7000 does it all and more.

Thus getting the Roland Juno 6 in sync with my other gear is now completely solved. Saving patches is the only minor glitch, but that is actually proving to not to be a big problem because I can pretty much program the sounds I need rather quickly anyway. It’s also fun to just be plain different whenever I do a song each time because it adds variety and I can come up with new fresh ideas. The Roland Juno 6 is a fantastic synth and for the price I paid $90 including manual and hard case, I really feel like I’m in Synth Heaven. Much fun indeed!