Sampler [sound sampler] (Fr. échantilloneur; It. campionatore)
- Hugh Davies
[sound sampler] (Fr. échantilloneur; It. campionatore)
An electronic musical instrument which has no sound of its own, but whose sounds are entirely derived from recordings. The term is borrowed from the technique of analysis that forms part of a digital recording process, in which sound waveforms are sampled in minute slices (typically between 40,000 and 50,000 times per second). The earliest such digital samplers were constructed during the 1970s. The term has recently been additionally applied to earlier analogue instruments based on any form of recording mechanism, of which the best-known is the magnetic-tape-based Mellotron; other less well-known analogue sampling instruments date from the 1930s. A digital sampler normally contains the following features for editing sections of stored samples: transposition (sometimes by means of a built-in or external keyboard), looping, reversal, insertion and removal. Since the mid-1980s self-contained ‘black box’ samplers without keyboards have been manufactured, often optionally linked to a microcomputer for ease of editing samples, while during the 1990s, with increased computer memory and storage capacity, this also became possible entirely within microcomputers....