I recently ran across an article with a great idea of adding punch to drums (or anything) by processing the audio through an Akai S-900 in realtime. Check out the article out here. I have an equally cool old sampler you can do the same thing with, the Korg DSS-1.
The sound that you get when you sample into the Korg DSS-1 is great. I didn’t realize how much the sound was being enhanced (to my ears) by running audio in, rather than importing .wav files until after I got Tom Virostek’s awesome upgrade. The imported samples (many of which had already been processed in the box with EQ and Compression) didn’t sound as punchy and lightly saturated coming out of the DSS-1 than they did on my DAW. The DSS-1 was playing it back pretty much un-adulterated. By comparison, when I sampled the same samples into the DSS-1, they got that nice low-end punch / compression/ saturation.
To setup the keyboard:
Plug a mono cable out of your interface into the DSS-1’s audio in. Use an auxiliary output on your audio interface (output #3 to avoid a feedback loop) to feed the DSS-1. Plug the keyboard back into your audio interface/ speakers so you can hear it.
On the DSS-1 press the Sample button. Choose the Sample frequency you want to use. It has 16kHz, 24kHz, 32kHz or 48kHz. Hit Enter on the next screen to select Total Time, which has no effect on this process. Then hit Enter on the next screen to select Sample Number, which has no effect on this process. Then, hit Yes on the next screen to select Auto-Map Keys, which has no effect on this process. Finally press the number 2 to get to the audition/ realtime level setting screen. Adjust the level on your audio interfaces output channel to taste. If you drive the DSS-1 it will distort. You may like it as much as me, but since the DSS-1 has no input level control you need to control it before the signal hits the DSS-1 input.
That is it. You can use the DSS-1 like an effect processor. I find that it can add a good amount of low-end punch and weight. Here are a few audio examples so you can check it out.
Here is a quick demo of it. I show the sound comparisons and waveform comparisons: