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Hands on - Akai S1000 digital sampler (part 4)

The trim function is reached by pressing the ED.1 (Edit 1) soft key. The graphic editing helps enormously in finding the correct start and end points...


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Trimming and looping

The trim function is reached by pressing the ED.1 (Edit 1) soft key. Figure 2 is what you will see. The graphic editing helps enormously in finding the correct start and end points. Just move the cursor to the Start and End fields and twist the data knob as necessary. You can zoom in or zoom out on the display to see the waveform better, but be aware that you can only see the beginning or the end of the sample, using the double arrow soft key. When you're done, press the CUT soft key to get rid of the trimmings and release memory for further use. By the way, if you have been sampling in stereo then you will have noticed that it's just as easy as working on mono, and when you trim, although you can only view one side of the stereo at a time, both channels will be trimmed identically.

Trimming is very easy but looping, as with any sampler, is a pig. To be quite honest, I used to find crossfade looping easier with my old S900 than it is with the S1000. I found a combination of settings that worked almost always, but I haven't yet been able to find the equivalent for the more recent model. Press the LOOP soft key and let's go. Figure 3 shows the Loop page. This time the waveform display is split into two with a
graphic on the right showing how well, or otherwise, the loops joins up. The aim is to get the two halves at the same level with the same slope for an undetectable loop, if you're feeling lucky! Here, you can move the end point of the loop (the 'at:' field), and its length ('lgth:'). Notice that by positioning the cursor carefully you can change the values in units, tens, hundreds and thousands etc, whatever is most convenient. Once again, there's a silly feature on this page: you have to set the time in milliseconds you wish the loop to sustain for. I don't know of any application that anything less than forever, or at least until you release the key, will do. Just dial in a value of over 9999 milliseconds every time you want to loop a sample and try to be patient with a company which has got almost everything else right. You will notice that there is a FIND soft key, and this is an enormous help in finding a loop point. It doesn't work on both channels of a stereo sample by the way. Stereo looping is possible, by accurately transferring loop values to the other channel manually, but it's difficult and time consuming to find an adequate stereo loop. Crossfading, unfortunately, is permanent and changes the sample data in memory. I find that most of the time the result isn't good enough, so it's essential to have a back up on disk. I wish it could be retrieved more easily though.

One of the best points of the S1000 is that you can play the sample and adjust the loop points while listening to the results. With simple waveforms that don't need a crossfade loop you'll set the loop points in no time at all with the help of this feature.

By David Mellor Monday May 28, 2012

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