Confirming speculation generated by a teaser post earlier this week, E-MU co-founder Dave Rossum has announced an official re-release of the SP-1200 sampler.
The Rossum SP-1200 sampling percussion system is a faithful reproduction of the sampler it's based on, with a few key enhancements made "where they were compatible with the original design." Rossum has replicated the electronics - analog and digital - as accurately as possible, retaining many authentic components and creating a sampler that authentically reproduces the sound and feel of the vintage instrument.
The original SP-1200 had an unmistakeable sound, characterised by audible aliasing and imaging artifacts produced by pitch-shifting samples. In an effort to preserve the gritty sonic character of the original, Rossum has retained the 12-bit linear data format and 26 kHz sampling rate found in the 1987 version.
Now for the updates. Rossum has integrated a new memory card storage system that expands sampling memory to the maximum limit that the original sound engine can handle. Users can now work with samples of up to 20 seconds, twice the 10-second limit of the original unit.
The SP-1200 comes packaged with a 3.5' floppy disk that's loaded with modified software that allows users to import vintage SP-1200 disk images in the .HFE format, transferring sounds and sequences from the original units to the reissue through a standard MIDI cable.
In response to demand from SP-1200 users, Rossum has added sample monitoring capabilities. Users can now monitor the output of the machine's input filter and amplifier through dedicated monitor output TRS jacks. Rossum has also redesigned the power supply, adding a power brick with an XLR-style, locking connector that, in conjunction with the four-layer circuit boards, brings down the noise floor and reduces the chance of unwanted interference and hum.
One component that the designers couldn't replicate was the original SSM2044 analog filter. In it's place, Rossum has produced a new SSI2144 IC filter in partnership with Sound Semiconductor, which reprises the same analogue circuit in order to maintain the sound of the SP-1200's original filter.