September 27, 2005

Okay, this is silly...

by Chris Randall

I'll readily admit that I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to sound-generating equipment. I'll happily spend 3 hours trying to get an SE30 running UpBeat to sync with my main Nuendo box, so I can get it to make its special hi-hat fills on some ass-down shitty 80s digital drum machine, when I could easily do the same thing in about 4 minutes with a sample directly in Nuendo.

In that light, I've been eyeing the Yamaha TX16W sampler for quite some time. These things are cheap as hell, generally going for $75 to $100 on the 'bay, and with good reason. They are generally accepted to be the single most unfriendly instrument every conceived by man. The operating system makes so little sense, it might as well be throwing text on its tiny screen in cunieform or some other language that only 4 people can read.

However, this translates in to "challenge" to me. One of my hobbies (at least that's what I call it; most other people consider it a sign of obsessive/compulsive disorder) is getting obsolete or unusual operating systems to run on modern computers. (Or vice versa.) I can, to the dismay of people I work with, wax poetic on BeOS for days. All this translates in to an unseemly desire to have a sampler that no one else likes.

On paper, it seems like a powerful instrument, for its time. It's a 12-bit sampler (which is 4 more bits than the holy land, but 4 less than anything that sounds remotely good.) Hardware samplers have pretty much been obviated en mass as a result of the emergence of the DAW, so they're _all_ cheap. But this one has something about it that I can't put my finger on. I personally can't stand Yamaha gear. Every Yamaha product I've ever owned could fit nicely under the descriptor "asserific." I'm under no illusion that the TX16W is any different.

However, it does have one thing which most older samplers don't have: an alternate operating system, in the Typhoon2000. This is a free replacement OS for the TX16W, that adds a few features, and makes it almost bearable, I'm given to understand.

Well, time will tell. I'm this close to picking one up. We'll see how it all works out.




Sep.27.2005 @ 8:19 AM
I had one for quite a while. Typhoon is really a superb little retrofit. The filter still stinks, but the converters on that thing are miraculous. I've since switched up to an Akai S5000, and while I like it a lot more, I really miss the sound of the TX. Mellotron samples sounded great, Clavinet was tight and punchy, drums kicked ass. If you don't mind having to load the OS and samples from a floppy over and over, get one. Just remember that there is no battery-backed ALWAYS have to load EVERYTHING from disk.

Sep.27.2005 @ 3:54 PM
Suit & Tie Guy
while i preface this by saying i'm glad we both hate Yamaha gear ...

i'll keep my trusty S5000 kthx

btw, why don't you get something really easy to use like a Mirage?


Sep.28.2005 @ 1:56 AM
the harvestman
The Typhoon OS was written by the same guy that did Reason's "malstrom" synth, probably one of two software synths that I've used long enough to record with.

The funny thing about the TX16W is that it was heavily pushed over the Sequential Prophet-3000 that was acquired by Yamaha around the same time, despite being a very inferior machine. One wonders exactly how much the design of the A-series was influenced by the P3000 technology...


Sep.28.2005 @ 11:01 AM
Chris Randall
Ahhh. The P3K is the most fattest of all samplers. In my ideal non-DAW studio, it would be the centerpiece. One of the many sad stories when the American companies started to give way to the Japanese ones.





Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.