Sooner or later as a producer, you’ll want to start sampling. Sampling is one of the most-used techniques music producers use to recycle old songs and bring them new life.
If you really wanted to, you could just sample mp3s and music off CDs, but that wouldn’t be as authentic. There is nothing quite like sampling off an old vinyl record.
One of the biggest advantages of sampling old records is that you can pick up a crate of abstract music, that no one really listens to anymore, for a couple of bucks. With sampling, the creative possibilities are endless!
So now you just need a quality record player.
Some questions you’ll probably be asking when looking for a record player is: “What is the cheapest price I can buy a decent player for?”, “Should I buy a direct-drive or belt-drive turntable for sampling?”, or even “How do I connect a turntable to a computer?”
I’ll start by answering a few of the questions. Whether you purchase a direct-drive turntable or a belt-drive turntable is completely up to you. You won’t notice any difference in sound quality. DJs prefer direct drive turntables because they are more suitable for scratching. For that reason, I would recommend choosing a direct-drive turntable if you are interested in recording scratching sounds.
There is a huge price range when buying turntables. The lowest-priced turntable I included on this list is around $100. The highest price turntable on this list is over $2000. With either one of these turntables, you’ll be able to learn sampling. The $2000 one will just sound better and have a much higher quality build.
In this article, I’ll be going over 5 of the best turntables for sampling. If you have any questions regarding turntables or sampling, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below!
#5 – Numark PT-01
The Numark PT-01 is a belt-driven turntable. The biggest advantage of this turntable is it’s price. You can pick one of these up for about $100.
The PT-01 is very easy to set up and doesn’t require you to download any drivers. There are 2 optional programs that come with the PT-01. You’ll get EZ Vinyl Converter 2 and EZ Audio Converter. These programs are both Mac and PC compatible.
An interesting feature Numark decided to include with the PT-01 is it’s ability to be powered off batteries. It requires 6 D cell batteries. Of course you can power it by the traditional AC adapter(which is included).
This turntable is 100% portable. Not just because of the batteries. There are fairly loud built-in speakers attached to the PT-01. This might be a bit extreme, but if you have a battery-powered mpc/sampler, you can do vinyl sampling on the go!
The PT-01 can be connected to your computer through a simple usb cable(which is included). Getting started with the Numark PT-01 is just a matter of plug-and-play.
Despite the low cost of the Numark PT-01, it provides a lot of value. Surprisingly, this record player gives you a very nice sound. If you are new to sampling records, this will be a great place to start.
#4 – Audio-Technica AT-LP120
For a bit more than double the price of the PT-01, you get more features, a better sound, and a better build quality.
So let’s first talk about the AT-LP120’s build quality. This record player is built really well. It has a cast aluminum platter that spins nice and smoothly.
An awesome feature about the AT-LP120 is that it has an internal phono preamplifier. When you connect the turntable to your computer using the usb connecter, the sound will be amplified loudly and clearly.
The AT-LP120 is a direct-drive turntable. It has a very durable motor and operates with high torque.
You have multiple options when changing the speed of the record player. You can set the record player to 33, 45, and 78 rpm. This allows you to sample multiple different record types.
For software, you get a copy of Audacity. Audacity will help you record vinyl records. It will work on both Mac and PC.
The sound quality of the AT-LP120 is quite nice. It produces a crisp sound quality, great for sampling.
#3 Pro-Ject Debut
Pro-Ject is like the Apple of turntables. The first thing you’ll notice about this record player is it’s clean, sleek design. It has a flat, black paint-job. The tonearm is made out of a strong carbon material. The platter even has a nice feel to it. It feels nice and heavy-duty.
It’s worth noting that the Debut is belt-driven. You have to make the decision on if this will bother you or not. Although it’s a belt-driven motor, the Debut’s motor is very smooth and won’t cause any problems in most cases.
Of course the Debut wouldn’t be on this list without killer sound quality. Every genre of music sounds phenomenal on the Debut. Many audiophiles have purchased the Debut solely for it’s sound quality.
#2 – Numark TTX
For just a little more than the Pro-Ject Debut, you can purchase the Numark TTX. While Numark is a company known for budget DJ controllers, their turntables are quite different.
Many producers who sample tend to use Numark turntables. While they are by no means Technics, Numark turntables are an excellent choice for both hobbyist and professional producers.
The TTX has all of the expected features that a turntable should have. It even has usb connectivity. With just one simple connection, and zero downloads, you’ll be ready to go.
A unique feature on the TTX is it’s torque direct-drive motor. It is what Numark claims to be “the first adjustable ultra high torque direct-drive motor.”
The pitch control on the Numark TTX is superb. It gives you a very wide control on how fast or slow you play a record.
#1 – Technics SL1210 M5G
It’s no surprise that Technics scored the #1 position on this list. You will always hear well-known producers and DJs boast about how they love their Technics and can’t live without them.
The SL1210 is a great Technics turntable that will cost you less than $2500. It has a classic, sleek design with a nice metallic black finish.
The digital pitch fader has nice blue LED indicators next to it. It allows for an accurate control over a record’s speed.
With the SL1210 MSG, you will also get a dust cover and a slip mat. Just like all of the other turntables on this list, you’ll get a usb cable for connecting to a computer.
Overall, all of these turntables are a great option for any producer getting into sampling. The best turntable for sampling depends on your budget and what you are willing to invest into your music career.
Which Turntable on this list is YOUR favorite?
Let me know in the comment section below!
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