Database: SG Lewis on Samplers

“Those old samplers…the audio quality would be degraded through dithering of the audio in the sample, in the sampler, or there’s a natural built-in bit crushing element to a lot of those samplers. Those distortion elements are introduced by feeding audio into a new piece of kit.

So the next couple of [production] steps were decreasing the quality of this audio. So taking a bunch of information out using EQ, over compressing it using OTT (…)

I was reading about the [1980s and 1990s] sampling and it was a case of trying to reverse engineer how sampling back then would sound in 2022—trying to replicate the shortcomings of those old samplers. The irony of it is that we have all this amazing equipment now and we spend a lot of time trying to make it sound shit again. Whether it’s the nostalgia or something about the audio that’s appealing to the human ear (…) It’s the same reason someone uses analog synthesizers or tape machines and stuff—there’s something about degrading the audio.”

SG Lewis


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