Yamaha A5000Is it a sampler, a synth, or a remix tool? The Yamaha A5000's strong feature set makes it a great candidate for all these applications. First, of course, this is a sampler, and mighty good one. The 126-voice polyphonic, 32-part multitimbral device comes with 128 MB of sample RAM - more than enough for most purposes - and supports Yamaha SCSI CD-R drives, so you can create your own sample CDs. The unit's consecutive-sampling feature greatly simplifies the task of multisampling musical instruments by automatically recording and mapping samples.
Like several previous and current Editors' Choice award winners, the A5000 blurs the distinction between samplers and synthesizers. Its deep synthesis architecture sports three envelope generators and an LFO per sample. At the program level, additional LFOs include a programmable, stepped waveform with depth, slope, and duration parameters for each step.
Furthermore, the A5000 delivers nine different smooth-sounding multimode filters, and you can configure them as dual filters. You also get six independent stereo-effects processors that deliver effects ranging from conventional to downright bizarre. All in all, the combination of sampling, sound design, and remix options made the A5000 the sampler module to beat in 2000.