Added: 05-Jan-99 | Author: admin
New price: £ 850 cheapest | S/H price: ??
Reviewed by 'Mindspawn'
OK, here's the skinny on the A3000 sampler from Yamaha. First of all, the unit is not exactly budget priced. Coming in at around $1600.00 US, the A3000 is falling right in the range of several medium priced samplers like Akai and Emax equipment. What do you get for your green? One helluva great sampler! The A3000 starts off modestly enough, coming configured with 2mb RAM, a floppy disk drive, SCSI port (50 pin socket out the back), two inputs in the front panel, a headphone jack, one pair of stereo out jacks, one pair of assignable out jacks, and MIDI in, out, and through. It is capable of being expanded to 128mb of RAM via 72 pin simms. Yamaha also gives us 16 parts multi timbrality and 64 note polyphony. One can add an external hard drive or CDROM, as well as an internal hard disk. There's also an optional I/O expansion board supposedly available from Yamaha (the shop where I picked this one up had no info on when the boards would be in stores), that will add three stereo assignable output pairs, a CD/DAT (S/P DIF) in and out, and an optical in and out.
Alright, so you've dropped your dough on this beast, and you've got no cash left for expansion at the moment. Can the A3000 get it done on its basic configuration? You bet. Yamaha really must have listened to some actual music folk when designing this box. You got your master volume and record dials, decent sized display, five push/twist knobs for various parameter editing and real time control, five mode buttons, six function keys, a command key, an assignable key, and the audition key, all right up front and well layed out. Oh yeah, there's a big black power button there to, but it's off to the far right and is even recessed (ever accidently punch your power off during a show - BAH!).
Moving into the guts of the beast we have an excellent ability to record samples (dry or effected via the A3000), and the sample tuning functions are superb. You grab yourself a mic or hook up a CD player to the front input jacks and you're in business. While very recording setup is very configurable, the recording meters are not available during the actual recording process (least not that I've figured out yet). You can lay on up to three effects during the recording phase if you want (or you can do it after, or even...not at all....). After you've got your sample loaded, you can do trimming and looping, via twiddlin' with the knobs on front. This little feature is awesome. It lets you set your start, end, and loop points, while listening to it. You can loop the whole thing or just a portion. All the samples are assignable to programs and can be set to recieve on any MIDI channel, and you can set up user banks for playing groups of samples. The samples are assignable to keyboard notes, and key ranges are assignable.
From here we take a brief tour of the filter functions. You get six basic filter types with cutoff, gain, and Q/width all adjustable. You can muck around with cutoff sweeps etc., until you go nuts, play with the filter sensitivity, scaling, and EQ. You also get three envelope generators (EG's), that cover amplitude, filter, and pitch. Within these various functions are gobs of adjustable parameters, but if you get lost, one push of the knob and you're back to your sample (a second push of the knob will take you back where you were). With all the LFO's and what not to play with you might be tempted to sell off yer' synth! Once you start adding in the effects and you get "your sound" just so, you can save the effects configuration to a favorites list where you can recall them at any time. There's over 50 effect to play with, everthing from wah and flange to scratch and reverb, and you can use up to three effects at a time in various combinations.
I could go on and on about the techie parts of the A3000, but that's not gonna get across how easy this thing is to use, or how versatile it is. You can literally generate sounds that could be straight from a moog with this thing, yet it's the perfect phrase sampler. Oh, and did I mention that when I plugged in my keyboard and started banging about, with nothing more than the basic sine wave that comes standard in your setup, that in just a few seconds of twiddling I had a really impressive, very FAT, moogish bass thingy happenin.' Sweet! The A3000 can also record sequences, but little else in the way of sequencing - nor is there any MIDI clock sync - works great for "ideas" though. Keep Cakewalk about for the real sequencing chores. Well to really get a feel for this beast go down to yer local goods shop and play it, then buy it, cos yer never gonna be able to do without once you've had it.
Really though, take a listen to the accompanying Real Audio file. It's a little tune called "Rush" that I did on the A3000. The samples are from everywhere: kits, samples from 4 track sessions, a mic bit or two, the Internet, my VCR, etc. I was basically trying to use a wide range of techniques and functions of the A3000 to show it off. The sequencing was done just using keyboard direct to the A3000, with the exception of a short bit of bass stuff that was sequenced from the SEQ 303 software program, then sampled into the A3000 as the A3000 played the sounds. This whole setup will fit onto a floppy, samples and all, with room to spare. All in all, I give the A3000 very high marks. A few grumbles, like the lack of MIDI clock syncronization, etc., but in particular, if you're a creator of sound, or you want a sampler for performances, the A3000 should be tops on your list to check out.
Product Manuals or Files
More choices in this product category from other manufacturers:
Last added comment
Looking for the manual? - Check this page above under the heading: 'Product manual or files' - We might have it!
[back to top]
Total stars: 81 | Total votes: 20