Sonicware’s Liven Lofi-12 groovebox takes you back to the gritty days of old-school ‘80s samplers

Sonicware has added another product to its Liven range of grooveboxes: the Lofi-12 is designed to emulate the sound of old-school samplers.

Promising to “turn everything lo-fi,” this has a 16-bit/12kHz/24kHz sampling engine and a 12-bit sampler mode that’s inspired by ‘80s and ‘90s hardware such as the E-MU SP-1200. So, if you’re after that crunchy vintage sampler sound, you should be covered.

Each of the 128 sample slots offers up to four seconds of mono sampling at 12kHz or two seconds at 24kHz. You can trim stand and end points, adjust the pitch, reverse the playback, filter, use LFO modulation and more.

Samples are automatically mapped to the Liven Lofi-12’s keyboard so that they can be played at different pitches. You also get 80 suitably gritty lo-fi sounds to get you started.

There’s a 4-track 64-step sequencer, too; you can switch sounds for each phrase or step so that you can combine multiple sounds in a single song. You can save up to 64 patterns, sub-divide steps and use parameter locking to record knob tweaks into your patterns. There’s also a Laidback knob that can be used to delay the start of the selected sound when you’re creating those off-kilter ‘drunk beats’.

11 types of track effects are joined by six reverbs on the master output. Cassette tape and vinyl simulators can be applied at this stage, too.

Audio I/O comes on 3.5mm jacks, and there’s also MIDI and sync I/O. The Lofi-12 has a built-in speaker and can be powered either by six AA batteries or an AC adapter (not supplied). 

Find out more on the Sonicware (opens in new tab) website. The Live Lofi-12 costs $239 and is available now.

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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