Samples From Mars 360 From Mars MULTIFORMAT
One of the Earliest Multi-Sampled Synthesizers
The 360 Systems Keyboard is a rare, sampled-based synth made in California in the early ’80s, featuring real strings, flutes, brass, electric piano, basses, guitars, percussion, and more. Sharing similar components (EPROMs and an analog filter) as some of our favorite vintage drum machines, it’s no wonder the 360 is as punchy as our favorite samplers, and as silky as our vintage synths.
So why then, have we never heard of it? Because, despite its grandiose vision to be a smaller and more portable alternative to the Mellotron, the 360 ultimately missed the mark for commercial success. Only 200 were made, and as a result, its epic sounds have gone largely unused…until now!
Adding External FX
Once we’d covered our bases capturing all of the presets cleanly, we experimented with processing some of our favorite patches – the goal being to create an inspiring, alternate version by introducing external processing and modulation.
Keeping almost everything in the chain vintage, we reached for our Otari tape machine to re-pitch and pan the strings, adding Space Echo and H3000 chorusing. We even ran the electric piano patch through our trusty CS5 synthesizer, which allowed us to filter and add a nice tremolo effect.
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- 37 total 360 patches, organized into 7 categories
- 20 original Factory clean patches
- 12 clean patches with additional 360 filtering, vibrato, and chorus
- 5 patches externally processed through Moog MF103 Phaser, Yamaha CS-5, Otari 1/4″ Tape machine, H3000 and Space Echo
- Classic vintage and orchestral sounds: Strings, Flute, E Piano, Clav, Trumpet, Saxophone, Timpani and more
- Brass & Woodwinds, Keys, Strings, Guitars, Bass, Stacked patches and Percussive instruments
- 2,065 24 bit WAV samples
- WAVs are trimmed, looped, named by note, and mapped to various samplers
- WAVs feature mapping and looping metadata, for easy drag n drop into unsupported samplers
- Recorded cleanly through an API 1608 console to Apogee Symphony Conversion
- Modwheel parameters and FX routing on all software instruments
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