Sampling Valve Sound

Ive just loaded a library of snare hits into my electribe in the hope of resampling back into renoise the same library with the valve warmth added to it,turns out when i sampled back into renoise there is very little difference in sonic quality (certainly no added warmth),Im totally new to hardware,maybe theres something nooby or misunderstood in the method of what im trying to do,can anybody offer any suggestions?Also the tube gain was up full and the valves had been running for about an hour b4 hand so they were nice and warm,i ran out of the elctribe and back in tru my rme fireface,into renoise.

Right, i now have a fight with my neighbors about the noise it instantiated while i thought i could take a relaxing shit-pose on the toilet with this peaceful song playing out loud through the hallway.

Nice,i hope theyre really pissed off and think its shit :yeah: any thoughts on the valve question though?

Hmm, interesting… What type of input on fireface? Hi z? Or balanced?


The user manual might specify, either a Hiz or balanced in…

Or you have a bypass valve switch on?

Maybe… I’m just guessing

There is no bypass switch,the manual doesnt specify between balance or hi-z but im sure balanced is fine,as ive chopped up more of the samples i do notice subtle differences,they really are miniscule and the sonic quality and character i was expecting the valves to impart on the samples has been HUGELY disapointing.In some cases i actually think certain samples had better quality b4 being passed thru the unit.To anyone out there thinking of buying an electribe i STRONGLY recommend you not to,it is hugely impractical and cumbersome,the internal memory is shit and the valves are virtually useless.Btw i bought this electribe years ago when i barely knew a thing about music production,i pulled it out recently to run stuff tru the tubes (big huge waste of time) im going to sell it and use the money to get myself an emu mk ultra 4000 sampler,at least il get some digital crunch out of that…So if anyone wants to buy a big red fucking piece of shit let me know.

You won’t get much out of Electribe valves unless you overdrive them. Nor valves in general. The valve saturation effect is subtle at best, it’s like mild compression is barely audible, except it improves the mix slightly. And for digital crunch you don’t need any hardware, computers are just as digital as the sampler and can crunch your samples just as well.

The valves in the Electribe as stock are famously crap as well. I know I have read threads on which it is recommended to replace them with and the few I know who own one have done so.

Also, as Suva says, to get much real warmth you’ve really got to drive right into saturation/distortion. Just playing cleanly through a valve at normal levels isn’t going to do that much to the sound.

Here’s a thread comparing stock and a recommended replacement.

The valves were overdriven to the maximum allowed and im aware of the subtlety of character valves impart on sound,but honestly the results i got amount to essentially nothing.Im shocked and appauled at your second statement,the old school samplers are renowned for the grit and dirty character and im sorry but running d16 or psp plugs to emulate the sound just doesnt work as well.The emu ultra 4000 in particular i have my sights on.I mean come on if your telling me you can get the sp-1200 sound by using plugs i just have to flat out disagree.They merely try to emulate the chips character using code.The best lofi sound i have gotten so far with plugs is from 112db morgana,which is actually fairly decent.

Yeah im already aware of that and also that thread,i may decide to swap out my stock tubes for something more exotic.

All audio equipement (be it transistor, valve, digital, or any other technology) is mainly designed to carry the sound signal as cleanly as possible. The difference between using a tube and transistor pre-amp actually SHOULD be very sublte. If it wasn’t, it would mean that probably one of them is broken, or badly designed.

It becomes quite different when you start overdriving the pre-amps. However, it’s hard for me to say how the tubes in Electribes are used and how much control is given to the user in terms of gain they get. Korg, like many other companies nowadays, seems to put valve tubes into all sorts of equipement that often don’t really need it. It gets installed in an exposed manner and it looks nice, but I fear it might be pure gimmickry. What you really want is some proper piece of valve equipement, a pre-amp, a compressor, but one that is really based ona tube circuit. The fact that you cranked the gain up as much as you could on the Electribe doesn’t mean it was enough to get the signal distorted.

One of the reasons I haven’t bought Electribe yet is because of those tubes. It feels to me that the tubes make the device weaker, and add quite a bit to the price, yet serve no practical use to me when I blasting loud beats through a crappy PA most venues come with. I’d prefer my hardware to be solid metal without any glass parts. :D

I love the tube sound if you get the right bit of kit and carefully selected tubes. I shop here:

Do your research. Geartslutz is a great place to check first. Be prepared to spend big to get the big-time sound.

I got a focusrite platinum penta compressor,the fattest most warm sounding compressor ive ever heard,it really is great,i just need a bigger space to set all my gear up.As for korg gimmicky,its a complete gimmick…But just the electribe in general is a totally useless expensive piece of crap,i cant rate it badly enough,i hope someone sees this and doesnt buy one,that would make me happy.I will have to investigate valves more in depth…

thanks for that!

Tubes are really nice stuff, but the sound is hard to contain digitally.
It would be worth the trouble if you record the output to tape or vinyl.

I think you’re looking at only one possibility of many. Certainly tube overdrive is a cool sound - and usually that’s the guts of a power-amp colouration which you can easily capture by mic’ing speakers. You get loads of colour that way. High quality sampling with the right preamp would nail it.

Tubes can be used quietly too - under-driving them has a characteristic quality as well. I use this in mastering all the time. Very clear, broad and open sound - with the added bonus of analogue behaviour.

I own both electribe emx and esx. Emx is a total worthless crap and thank God I’m selling it right now. However, I run audio of a completed track through electribe with cranked up tubes, and it makes some difference, most often it really sounds a little warmer and crunchy. But it does not make big difference if used on single sounds like snare, lead or something like that. As for Toybox: electribe has a shitty compressor effect that works only for snares for me, but it snaps them really cool. Try it.

I’ve got an EMX-1, which I replaced the tubes with a pair of ECC-803s Gold Pins from EuroTubes (highly recommended btw):

While the EMX-1 (or the ESX-1 for that matter) don’t have explicit tube gain-stage bypass, you can achieve this by routing your instrument to output 3/4 (this output bypasses gain-stage as well as effects kit). I rather enjoy my EMX-1, and would recommend to anyone interesting in exploring audio – it’s very ‘entry level’, and some of the effects are pretty weak (I’m lookin at you, reverb!), but overall was an extremely fun and educational addition to my studio. I did end up pitching my ESX-1 because I prefer the ridiculous software samplers out there (and, after having switched to Renoise … well, you know the steez).

I’ve found that while I do loose a bit of the warmth when recording through my Korg Zero-4 interface, my favorite use for the tubes has been to gain up (farther than I typically would) a synth part (or a couple), solo’ed, and record that. It’s not an excellent example, but the one example I do have is the last thing I actually ‘completed’:

This thread and threads like this really confuses me. I know there’s a giant pro-analogue movement going who swears that digital is the devil’s work and anything analogue sounds divine and celestial… But why would a sample sound better after it has been re-sampled through an analogue unit that doesn’t process it? Wouldn’t the only difference be convolution of the unit’s impulse response and noise? :unsure:

/e I guess the unit is still digital, just with vacuum tubes, but still.

I wouldn’t even bother doing this these days…there are plenty of plugins around that can get you that analog “valve” sound. Check out the new NI tube series, Soundtoys, or Cytomic plugins.