Isla Instruments has introduced a reinvigorated version of the classic E-MU SP-1200 sampling drum machine.
The developers have described it as a spiritual successor.
It is aimed at offering ease of importing samples, a dual audio engine, and a lot more.
In this review, we take a closer look at this sampler and see how it performs and what you can expect from it.
Isla SP2400 Review – Updated 2021
Marketed as the spiritual successor to the greatest drum machine the world has ever seen, the Isla SP2400 has been developed to offer the best combination of design aesthetic and sonic characteristics.
It retains the intuitiveness and gratification of the pre-predecessor but adopts hardware of the 21st century.
Let's look at the most prominent features of this beast:
The SP2400 features a sturdy 4-piece aluminum/steel enclosure.
The metal construction ensures the device is durable and strong.
It is built to be big enough to be used on a tabletop and even suits fat fingers.
It also has 8mm thick brushed aluminum sides for great feel and longevity.
Robust ‘Pro AV’ switches and OLED display add to the durability and strength of the device.
It appears clear and bright from any angle.
SP2400 is a drum machine featuring eight mono channels though it can record and play stereo output by linking the seventh and eighth channels.
It also has two phono preamp inputs for turntables.
There are four line inputs as well. You can also find a MIDI In/Out/Thru and Clock In/Out.
The sampler comes with an SD card slot to give easy access to the library.
It provides both regular USB connection for computer and USB host port for MIDI controllers.
The USB also handles up to eight channels of audio when working with your workstation.
There is also a dedicated port for headphones on the front.
The SP2400 sampler is loaded with a 12-bit/26.04khz Lo-Fi Engine which delivers the classic SP sound and a 24-bit/48khz Hi-Fi engine for a more advanced HP mode to suit a wide variety of users looking for versatile music production using the device.
SP 2400 Sampler
The Isla SP2400 sampler is a great introduction in the music instruments industry as it combines advanced features with the emulation of the classic E-MU sound.
With its 12-bit lo-fi engine, it offers some exciting possibilities for music making.
And it also has the faders and pads of the E-Mu layout accessible.
- Mains Powered 100-250V AC
- Stereo recording/playback
- Dedicated microphone pre-amp
- Dual audio engine
- 1-8 pannable channels
- Looper pedal mode
- Record live audio during playback
- Headphone output with independent channel monitoring
- USB device and host ports to connect keyboards, controllers, and drives directly
The biggest advantage of this model is that it actually samples and even has a looper mode.
This feature is generally not available in most equipment.
The recreation is really authentic and the sound is not just because of the bit and sample rate but the signal path and filters.
The SP2400 sampler can use up to 32 sounds at the same time in four banks.
You can also hear a demo of how the samples sound upon changing the pitch.
This sampler has managed to do a great job at the gritty low-fi sound which was a trademark of the SP1200.
Each voice has a digital filter that you can use for some filtering action.
SP2400 Vs SP1200
Holding a legendary status among hip hop and old school artists from the 80s and 90s, the SP1200 was manufactured by E-mu Systems in 1987 to help dance music producers.
It is a sampler and drum machine in one and has specifications 26 kHz and 12-bit resolution.
It was used to produce a ‘gritty’ sound which is quite unique.
The SP1200 has room for up to 32 user samples and edited drum sounds.
E-Mu has released SP1200 due to popular demand among music enthusiasts who want to use the sliders to tweak the sampled drum sounds.
The Isla SP2400 is designed to have the same workflow as SP1200 but includes some modern features to add to the experience.
It is equipped with a dual audio engine to mirror the SP1200’s lo-fi 12-bit audio and offer a hi-fi 24 bit, 48kHz mode to provide more pristine things.
The SP1200 can store up to 100 patterns and songs and 5000 notes for drum sequences.
It has eight individual outputs, mono mix output, MIDI in/out/through.
SP2400, on the other hand, has four individual line inputs, Clock in/out, 8 channels input through USB for working with DAW.
There is also a dedicated mic pre-amp and headphone output.
SP2400 also provides digital filters on every channel.
Isla Instruments SP2400 Price
Isla Instruments is a Florida-based company that creates unique musical tools with precision.
The first product of the company was Kordbot, a new MIDI controller intended to help musicians write songs without any knowledge of music theory.
SP2400 is the second product of Isla Instruments and is in the mass production stage.
It is a drum machine designed for the modern age and combines everything good from the early digital samplers and the benefits of modern digital computing.
The Isla SP2400 is launched for pre-order with a price tag of $949 for those who are interested in giving it a try.
The preview of the sampler was launched back in March 2019.
The interest of music enthusiasts around the world for this product has been overwhelming.