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Top 5 DJ Performance and Music Production Hardware Samplers 2017 The DJ Shop Blog

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:01:03 Europe/London

Top 5 DJ Performance and Music Production Hardware Samplers 2017

Hardware samplers provide users with the ability to chop, slice, modify and effect imported sounds. They may not generate sounds themselves, such as a synthesiser would; however they do come with advanced functionality that gave birth to entire genres such as hip-hop, and drum and bass. Either music you have created or already released music can be used with samplers, the latter becoming notorious with hip-hop producers of the 90s.

Today's samplers have evolved to be able to keep up with the fast-paced music production, live performance and digital DJ technology available on the market. We have created this article with our best-selling samplers to give you an idea, as a DJ, Live Performer or Producer, as to how a sampler can aid your performance and push your creative possibilities further.


History of sampling

Early sampling dates back as far as the 1940s with musicians who ‘experimented’ working with Musique Concrète and Electroacoustic music, where the vinyl records or tape loops were manually manipulated. The 1960s saw the progression of music sampling development with the production of jazz fusion and psychedelic rock, in the 70s the popular music genre took on the use of sampling with hip-hop being the main players followed by electronic and disco music, the 1980s saw dance and industrial join the ever-growing trend, followed by contemporary R&B and indie rock.


Best selling hardware samplers

Below we have gathered a list of our top selling hardware and DJ samplers currently on the market. Samplers are a great addition to your setup and can provide hands-on control and add an extra dynamic and layer to your music creating originality.


Pioneer DJS-1000 DJ Performance Sampler

This revolutionary sampler has been expertly designed by Pioneer DJ to perform alongside the industry standard CDJ-2000 Nexus setup. Traditionally musicians and DJs had to bring multiple hardware elements with them when live performance sampling. The DJS-1000, however, negates the need for all the extra equipment without compromising on functionality. Import your loops and samples, and make use of the hot slice to cut your loops down to the 16 pads to perform. Also, the 16 step sequencer allows you to lay down supporting instrumentals, perfect for adding more uniqueness to your sets.

DJS-1000 Video Intro


Ableton Push 2 Live Performance and Music Production Controller

The Push 2 is the perfect hybrid sampler for laying down ideas effortlessly within in your studio setup. It also works extremely well as a live performance sampler. The 64 backlit, soft silicon performance pads allow you to trigger samples imported into your Ableton Live project, play single notes within a soft synth or play chords.  The Push 2 sampler allows you to slice and modify samples live, opening up more creative possibilities. In addition, the endless rotary knobs allow for acute modulation of sounds; this should serve as the control center for your studio.

Push 2 Video Intro


Native Instruments Maschine MK3 Music Production Sampler / Pad Controller

The MK3 is the newest addition to the Maschine hardware range from Native Instruments. This unit is aimed towards producers and live performers rather than DJs. Import your own samples or use the 8GB of expansion libraries included with the Maschine software to compose whole tracks direct from the controller. Create patterns then mix them in real-time with the encoder knobs, and add desired processing. This sampler and pad controller is hypersensitive making the 16-RGB pads ideal for live performance. The MIDI ins and outs also make this ideal for sending MIDI information to external gear. Maschine MK3 is a powerful unit that consolidates a lot of functionality into one controller.

Maschine MK3 Video Intro


Pioneer TORAIZ SP-16 Sampler and Step Sequencer

The TORAIZ SP-16 marks a bold step by Pioneer DJ and ramps up their entry into the music production world. This step sequencer and sampler comes with expertly engineered analog filters, created by Dave Smith Instruments, famous for their Prophet hardware synth series. The SP-16 professional sampler comes with a powerful real-time processing engine. This means whenever you make use of the effects parameters, such as time stretch, pitch bending, and amp envelopes, you get ultimate responsiveness.

Toraiz SP-16 Video Intro


Akai MPX8 Sample Pad Controller

The MPX8 is the smallest sampler on this list and brings with it traditional sampler and trigger functionality. The portability appeal of this unit is an advantage. The two balanced ¼ inch outputs make this connectable to any live performance or DJ setup. Additionally, the ability to import samples via the SD card slot, coupled with the compactness of the device, makes this an exceptional and practical addition to any live setup.

MPX8 Live Video Demo

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To conclude

Overall, there is not one unit that fits just the ‘Sampler’ title, they all feature an additional something e.g. pad controller. Within this article you would have read how each unit is suited to either DJs, Producers and/or used for Live Performances. Whatever you are looking for in regards to adding that extra uniqueness to your sets we have you covered. Adding a sampler unit to your setup may seem intricate at first, however the result you could achieve would be worthy of the initial effort.

Posted in News By

Laura Apps