Updated: Nov 6, 2021
One of the single most influential instruments in music as we know it, and one that perhaps you've never heard of, just got re-issued in (almost) all of its original glory. If you have heard some of the rumors circulating the web over the past few days, then you may know that Rossum Electro-Music; the company founded by the man behind the mighty SP-1200 sampler, Dave Rossum, announced today the reissue of the iconic sampler.
These new units are made to recreate the design and circuitry of the original SP-1200 as close as possible, with both major and minor improvements made starting with a new, more modern and sleek black paint job. The old fluorescent display has been replaced by RGB LED's, and a new function that allows users to customize not just the brightness of the display, but also the color.
Perhaps the most important component of the SP-1200, the memory bank, has been updated to integrate seamlessly with the operating system, allowing users to move between folders and files using the arrow buttons and display. The new SP-1200 now uses an SD card, but also comes with a 3.5" floppy disk that uses modified software to allows users to import disk images from an original SP-1200 via a MIDI cable. The new Rossum SP-1200 also has the ability to now sample up to 20 seconds, double the original time.
The company also states on the website that it has incorporated a highly requested feature, the ability to monitor the output of the SP-1200’s input filter and amplifier at the mix output, and has redesigned the power supply with a new power brick that features a locking, XLR-style connector, that is supposed to work with the layered circuit boards to lower the noise floor and reduce hum and interference.
Apparently the only thing Rossum was not able to truly replicate, was the original SSM2044 analog filter. Instead, Rossum collaborated with Sound Semiconductor to produce a new SSI2144 IC filter, which retains the original analog circuitry, and therefore the sound of the SP-1200's original filter.
As for the sound in general, perhaps the most striking quality of the original SP-1200 was the character of the low fidelity of its 12-bit, 26.04 khz sampler, which has been preserved intact. Rossum states on the website that: "The unmistakable character of SP-1200’s authentic, original pitch shifting and its audible aliasing and imaging artifacts are preserved identically".
The Rossum SP-1200 is available for pre-order via the company website, for a price of $3,999.00. It is expected to begin shipping Spring of 2022. You can read a much more in-depth explanation of the SP-1200 and all its features, by going to the Rossum Electro-Music website.