Is H5 actually a sampler?

Except it doesn’t simulate the process of sampling at all.

Just so no one misunderstands my viewpoint here … I love H5, it is an awesome sound design tool. It isn’t a sampler though. It really doesn’t matter what they call it though. I just think its weird how the meaning has drifted. Might as well call a truck a boat because you can get people in it. Although I guess we called my grandmas Olds Delta 88 a land yacht.

It’s all semantics, really. If the first users of the Fairlight CMI had been given a choice of that or HALion 5, there’s no doubt in my mind that they would have chosen the latter. They would then, of course, have been faced with the problem of how to get sound into it, given that there were no soundcards back then, no internet to download from, no cover discs with gigabytes of samples, well … pretty much nothing in the digital domain.

The bottom line is, old hardware samplers had the capability to “sample” audio because they would have been almost useless otherwise (as an aside, the cost of providing that capability was significant!); now, there’s so much audio in “the cloud”, and so many other ways to get audio into the machine that adding that capability to software “samplers” would be redundant. The only software “sampler” I’ve used that could actually sample was E-MU’s Emulator X – and in the end, I hardly ever (read: never) used that feature.

BUT (as I was made aware by forum user ansolas) if you think of HALion 5 as a performance tool, you want to be able to sample back snippets of what you’re currently playing and use it as the basis for further evolution in realtime; I’m also thinking about how guitarists are currently using loop pedals …

well said- I wonder how many would have the patience of sampling with an Akai S900/950.

the world of sampling has changed! even websites are offering me “cookies” - go figure!

Very likely one will use HALion with a DAW, which generally has extensive digital recording (i.e. “sampling”) and mixing capabilities, rendering a second and the much simpler traditional “sampler” virtually useless. This is probably an important reason why many “sampler” (it felt weird writing it just then, LOL) plugins do not have the actual capability of sampling.

This brings up a very good reason for getting a portable digital recorder for traditional sampling. Nowadays, the portable recorders are much better at recording stuff, than any old sampler. Looking at it this way, IMO, shows what that much sought after sampler part of those workstations really were, a basic recorder!

Like others pointed out, those old samplers needed sampling, because they would have nothing to play otherwise. The complexities of actually sampling and editing on them triggered the birth of straight ROMplers, which also did not have any capability of sampling. Again showing that sampling is not needed per se, as long as source material is available in some way.

In the end, what is truly important with an instrument is the ability to produce sounds that one (and possibly others) like to hear. Most traditional samplers would have a hard time competing with HALion in that respect. :slight_smile: