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Why I'm Committing to the Toraiz SP-16

I wanted my first post to be positive, so here we go. Despite several flaws and a few massive oversights, I’ve decided to commit to my Toraiz SP-16. Sampling is my art form and I’ve owned an unreasonable number of samplers in my day including several MPCs, a couple of Emus, and my dearly beloved Electribes. The reason for my commitment to the Toraiz is the sequencer, the sound quality, and the attempt by Pioneer to make a complete, stand-alone instrument rather than another loathsome macbook companion. I think the physical, xox-style, programmable steps combined with the many options to stray from exact quantization is inspiring. The pads feel great, the interface is fairly logical, and the sound quality is pleasing to my ears.

I’m not a delusional fanboy and I’m not paid by Pioneer. My next post will be a sharply worded criticism and exhortation to the designers of this instrument. With that in mind, I would presently like to acknowledge that this is a piece of hardware I believe many artists have been hoping for. Musicians don’t always need or want Apple products and Ableton plugins to make music! The return of analog hardware synthesizers bears witness to this fact and now it’s time for manufacturers to wake up and bring back the stand-alone hardware sampler! Pioneer has taken this truth seriously, I appreciate this fact, and now it’s time for them to finish the job.

Dear Pioneer, think of all the revenue created by the MPC line over the years, a device which (even the biggest fanboy will admit) is made of a cheap, toy-like, plastic construction and a very basic set of editing and sequencing options considering it’s been several decades since the inception of the hardware sampler. With a few basic OS improvements the Toraiz can rise to a status that will cause multitudes of musicians to open their wallets. There are plenty of top-notch DJ products on the market. Now it’s time for the Sampler to rise from the dead and claim it’s rightful throne. Sampling is not about backing tracks and cheesy sound libraries. Sampling is about easily gathering and manipulating audio and being able to do a lot with a little. The process should be unfettered and impulsive from start to finish.

Pioneer: I encourage, nay I command thee, in the name of every classic sample-based song that you were blessed to experience from your childhood ’til this very hour…Finish the job and turn this machine from a strong centurion to an altered beast. Amen.

CJ

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lol

The engineers are always taking the feedback you guys provide and consider all the comments, positive and negative, for future implementation or future products.

Thanks for the posts!

Pulse
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I can not wait to read the following : 

I wanted my first post to be positive. My next post will be a sharply worded criticism and exhortation to the designers of this instrument.

Jessie James -1 votes
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It seems like Pioneer DJ has a well-defined plan for the Toriaz series of products. However, I think it is important for Pioneer DJ to be clear about who these products are for. My impression is that these products are simpler tools meant to complement the DJ in adding live elements to sets, and not meant to be DAW replacements or tailored for the professional music producer.

Being a complete "newbie" to the world of production, I found the ease of use with the SP-16 and AS-1 to be rewarding. These units may not have all the bells and whistles of high-end production equipment, but they certainly offer a comprehensive enough set of stuff for my use, which is overlaying stuff over my DJ sets.

My only "con" with the SP-16 and AS-1 is the lack of coaxial digital output, which is standard on all their high-end equipment, and that the AS-1 doesn't have the same physical form factor as the SP-16 (aesthetic..).

 

Edit: For the Toriaz lovers out there, stop by https://www.facebook.com/groups/toraiz and join!

Tord Forland 0 votes
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"This unit is a standalone hardware sampler and sequencer that allows you to intuitively compose music with a varied range of expression." This is the first sentence of the Toraiz manual. Standalone. Hardware sampler. Not a $1500 DJ Complimentor! I respect your thoughts as a musician but please respect sampling as it's own art form. Those of us on a budget need Pioneer to come through on their word with this unit. I love this machine but it's not truly standalone yet. Pioneer has been very clear about this product and who it's for. It's a sampler. It's for people who sample. There are plenty of other devices to compliment DJ sets and macbook tweak sessions. There aren't plenty of good modern samplers. I won't join a CDJ forum and post that the unit needs a truncate option or a crossfade loop option...because those are DJ tools and I'm not a DJ. "Go, and do thou likewise."

CJ 0 votes
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@CJ : not sure you'll be agree with what I said about the toraiz. But I totally get what you said... Although I'm DJ too as well as musicians/producer. I had also a lot of sampler in my life since S2000 to TORAIZ and a lot in between.

People here, and most DJ of course, are probably satisfied as a sampler (recorder), I feel it's most like a simpler or a Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player I say that regarding slice of course. I think it's probably a result of market studies regarding music composition today as a lot of people only build a puzzle song by fine selecting loops in Sample collection... mostly. it's make sense in that way I guess. But, what is sad is actually not all producers works like that, a lot build there own things from the ground up... and I hope they will give us more liberty in the process of music creation on the TORAIZ itself. For instance Parameter locks is limited, you have plenty of choice in the effects list... I hope they add more destination for modulations, same in the LFO section.

I hope they will gives us the possibilities to EQ + FX1 at least (sorry I repeat myself) and I don't want to resample as those few folks said it's destructive... and I like to keep possibilities for p-locks the EQ and tweaking live as well...

I hope also they find a trick to get at least One pad for more longer material... because it's really hard for me as I love evolving textures but if I would like to keep the TORAIZ I guess I will have to find something for that ... probably... anyway :p

MIDI track to control external gear is a very nice addition before this firmware who give that on the table with few effects giving us a good start list of FX choice.

I feel like it's closed to be exactly what I want just few things to put the TORAIZ more ready in the studio, I feel like the Djing - Live Perfomance part is more Ready... I hope they balance well with next update. Also they really need to think to polyrhythm and other time signature because no everyone create EDM, IDM or whatever 4/4 :)

 Also the fact when you play scale or slice the choke effect resulting of the non polyphonic per pad can be annoying a bit ... of course it disappear a bit drown in a reverb... but of course 16 tracks stereo with 8 stereo outputs and a Pristine sounding is very pleasant to my hears :p 

Jessie James 0 votes
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True, I agree that it's close. You and I are on the same wavelength for the most part. The reason I joined this forum is because I'm excited about the unit, not because I want to trash it. I'll post my specific feature requests later but for now I'm trying to instill in everyone the truth that sampling is it's own art form, and that to call something a standalone sampler means that I should never have to connect a laptop to perform the basics. 90s hip-hop, Portishead, much of modern dance and electronic...this music would not be possible without the almighty Sampler. No, not a DAW replacement. No, not a DJ companion. No, not another crippled plastic macbook accessory. A Sampler. A device that captures, organizes, manipulates, and outputs audio and allows users to perform the functions implied by these operations.

CJ 1 vote
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i truely feel the same way : 

because I'm excited about the unit, not because I want to trash it.

Also true :

that I should never have toconnect a laptop to perform the basics.

 

i will forward to read what's your mind thinking to propose few enhancements to the TORAIZ and I hope they will be things matching the next firmware :)

Jessie James -1 votes
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