E-mu SP 1200


E-mu SP 1200

The SP 1200 was THE drum machine & sampler combo of legendary status among old school rap and hip hop artists from the eighties and nineties. It is similar to today’s Akai MPC samplers – it is a sampler plus drum machine. It has limited sampling specs: 26.040 kHz and 12-bit resolution. However the dirtiness of that sound is great for hip hop and house music. Users say it sounds like “old vinyl”. It features groove quantizing and a disk drive for sample storage. As an upgraded version of the 1985 SP-12, the SP-1200 focused on its coolest feature – sampling. The preset drum sounds of the SP 12 were omitted, leaving room for up to 32 user samples of your own custom sampled and edited drum sounds.

Although this machine was originally released in 1987, E-mu has reissued them again and again due to popular demand. They continued producing them until they ran out of the SSM filter chips they used, around 1998. It was just too legendary to give up as it was THE beat machine for old-school hip hop!

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