Now that the backers are getting them, I think it deserves a thread.
Here’s my first take - it’s a bit quirky, and it’s much more of a songwriting device than a supposed 404 killer. In structure it’s like a Zoom take on a miniaturized Ensoniq ASR, if that makes any sense. Physically, it’s a great form factor for portability. The small mic adaptor on the back also fits a mini tripod stand, so I can angle it on a desk, and it fits in a wooden cigar box or a binocular case. The sound quality is quite good for what it is. It samples cleanly, with a low noise floor, so no complaints there. The pads are nicely velocity sensitive. There are still some convenience things that need to be added (no undo or clear pattern command, for example) but it’s certainly useable as it is right now. Thumbs up for me. I just need to figure out how to not just make four on the floor techno with boxes like this. (Or I need to accept my inner Robert Hood…)
I actually misread that as Robin Hood at first, and immediately started thinking about someone who steals 909 kicks from the rich and gives them to the poor. (“Hey, why did my techno banger turn to ambient all of a sudden?” “See that guy who just left this posh downtown club to a party in the suburbs? He’s Robert Hood, the cousin of Robin Hood, and he took your kicks”)
But on topic, would certainly be interesting to try this out next to the SP404mk2 I have, because the SmplTrek feels way different enough workflow- and feature-wise, but still with a similar enough form factor and "all in one sampler"ness.
I’m with you there. I think I’ll be supplementing the Smpltrek with a portable sound/synthesis source, and treating the ST mostly as a recorder / arranger tool. Maybe a Microfreak? Seems like a good source of sample fodder and a fun controller in a portable package.
On the SP404mk2 you can add stuff while you resample; I’d love to see that on the ST. There was a looper on it at some point that was removed before release and hopefully that will return in an update.
Nice. On my part this was a obscured gripe about the hard quantizing in the ST midi sequencer (there’s microtiming, but it can only be applied after the fact). Your version is much better. But I have the same problem on other devices, so it’s probably me. I wish trackers had more than 24 ticks per quarter note…
Got offered SmplTrek for ~0.6 of asking price and couldn’t resist. Was a bit bummed about track limits (previously it was 1 drum track and 3 instrument tracks) so happy to see the limit being increased. But where SmplTrek started to really shine for me is as a sequencer to my older multitimbral synths. You can have 10 tracks of polyphonic midi and due to inbuilt speakers, audio in and pads for notes entrance you can basically get away with just SmplTrek and Synth and that is it :D. It was really fun to drive Blofeld with it and I quickly managed to do some electroclash beats. The only downside is that I am accustomed to non linear Ableton style sequencing where I can launch patterns on different tracks in separation but still if you want to just create songs without remixing them live it is a nice tool to do so.
EDIT: seeing ~ when updating system I started to wonder, does it use unix under the hood? Does anyone knows more about SmplTrek specs? I am curious how much wiggle room they still have as it would be great for example to see MI Braids being available as track option or other stuff like that.