Understanding the Sampling Feature on Arranger Keyboards

In an earlier blog, I had explained the sampling feature of electronic keyboards. Certain high end arranger keyboards like the Korg Pa-900, Pa-4X, Yamaha Tyros-5, Roland EA-7 etc. have sampling features with different capabilities, depending on the model and company. 

Arranger keyboards with sampling features offer a programmer the opportunity to use the PCM for creating audio-based styles, thereby enabling audio loops in addition to just creating the sounds. 

The sampling feature is “sampling memory” dependent, and each sample consumes memory depending on the size of samples. Hence, memory capacity of a sampling keyboard is a crucial factor in ensuring optimum functioning of this feature.

Pa-900 & Pa-4X from Korg offer the sampling feature to the utmost capability. For e.g. an audio loop import on the rhythm loop will create an audio based sound by slicing/chopping and assigning them on different keys of the keyboard like a factory drum kit. At the same time it also creates a hidden groove file which can be imported in style creation as MIDI notes to create an audio-based style. This is a very important function for tweaking the tempo (BPM) in real time while using them depending on the requirement of a song during the performance along with other accompaniment tracks in sync.

Kindly refer to the below Youtube link to understand the process. Though it is created on the Korg Pa-3X, the process is same on the Pa-900 & Pa-4X.

Audio loops can also be assigned on Multipads directly but doing so will not allow tweaking with the tempo (BPM).

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Commonly compatible audio formats for importing samples are .wav, .aiff, soundfont and AKAI (in some cases). 

The correct use and implementation of this feature can produce amazing sounding localized (Indian in our country) content which will in turn enhance the performance of a keyboardist.

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