The Emu SP1200 was, without a doubt, a milestone in hip hop production (and sampling in general). Working around its 10 second sample time forced producers to be creative, and efficient. Out of these techniques to gain more time, a new sound emerged. By speeding a sample up (for example, playing a 33.3rpm record at 45rpm) and then pitching it back down inside the SP1200, the sampling time could almost be doubled, however if the change was too dramatic, the machine added a unique distortion to the result. It’s hard to describe, almost like a slightly distorted ring modulation.
That was 20 years ago. Now, the gritty side-effect created by the SP1200 is a trademark, and recognizable to lots of producers. Sampling drums and other short sounds into the SP1200 is pretty simple. On the other hand, applying that grit to samples longer than 15-20 seconds can be a complicated process… but worth the time and effort. With the steps outlined in this article, you will see how to perfectly apply this SP1200 grit to a sample of any length and then stitch it back together using Awave Studio.