The RX1200 plugin could be the closest you’ll get to having an E-MU SP-1200 sampler inside your DAW

Released in 1987 and famed for its crunchy, lo-fi sound, E-MU’s SP-1200 is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential samplers in history. In fact, it’s still highly sought-after, but if you can’t afford a second-hand original or creator Dave Rossum’s $4k 2021 reissue, Inphonik is offering a ‘next best thing’ alternative in the shape of the RX1200 plugin.

As you’d expect, the RX1200 is all about that sound, promising to put the SP-1200’s unique sonic signature into the hands of today’s producers. The 12-bit resolution, 26.041kHz sample rate and SSM2044 low-pass filter have all been carefully emulated, as has the aliased pitch tuning. At the front end of the signal chain, you get an input amp emulation, too.

Although the RX1200 has the same look as the SP-1200, Inphonik has made some changes to the interface and workflow, simplifying things a little to make it more accessible. The focus here is on sample performance, experimentation and happy accidents: you get four banks of eight pads, and you can move the faders to tweak note tuning, volume and the decay envelope. There are eight assignable outputs, too.

The SP-1200’s dialling numbers, system functions and internal sequencer have all been removed, the theory being that your DAW has all of this stuff covered off, anyway.

There are also some notable improvements, though: unrestricted sample length, support for stereo samples and a visual waveform sample editor. Plus, you get 900 samples and 50 presets, with the promise of more to come.

In other words, the RX1200 gives you all the best bits of the SP-1200 with none of its limitations. That’s the theory, anyway.

The RX1200 is available now for PC, Mac and Linux in VST/AU/AAX and Reason Rack Extension formats. It costs $29/£26/€29.

You can also buy it in a bundle with Inphonik’s RX950 plugin. Released in 2018, this emulates the signal path of the Akai S950 sampler. The so-called RX Bundle costs $39/£35/€39.

Find out more on the Inphonik website.

Inphonik RX1200

(Image credit: Inphonik)
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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