Video: Pioneer TORAIZ SP-16 Sampler First Look

Pioneer DJ’s hybrid sampler/sequencer, the TORAIZ SP-16 has been one of the most anticipated product launches of the year for DJs and producers. The TORAIZ marks the first time that Pioneer has built a standalone unit designed for live production/performance. DJTT contributor Stu G got an opportunity to check out the unit last week – watch his full overview in today’s exclusive first look video.

Hands On With The TORAIZ SP-16:

First Impressions

The Toraiz SP-16 Sampler by Pioneer DJ and seems at home both in the studio and at live gigs. For a stand-alone unit, the possibilities and applications of this unit are very impressive.

There are many features that really stood out on this unit, so selecting only 3 became a compromise of highlights; I found the following to really shine.

  • The unit is COMPLETELY STAND-ALONE. Not having to connect to a computer was fantastic. After spending a day sampling and chopping some of my favorite vinyl breaks, I brought the unit to a studio session in the evening and had 16 scenes of inspiration ready to add to the track. For live performance, it was great to perform and test new Ideas. I had a new track sequenced out on the SP-16 but wasn’t sure about how long the break and drop should be or in what order was best, I brought the unit to a few gigs and was able to test out some different variations and see what was the best for a solid crowd response.
  • The 7-INCH TOUCHSCREEN was really impressive. It allowed access to everything the unit can do, and the way the menu screens are set up you never have more than a few layers to get to every functionality. A touchscreen highlight is the browser window; a text search option that allows you to instantly find the samples you’re looking for. This text feature, along with the “track” function button under the pads allows you to load all 16 tracks/ pads extremely quick.
  • The DAVE SMITH ANALOG FILTER sounds incredible with some of the smoothest low and high pass sweeps you can find on a filter. The “Drive” knob will give anything you pass through it a solid boost of warmth, punch, and analog goodness. One trick I found in the studio was running my basslines and drums out of the DAW and into the SP-16. Then, setting the SP-16 track to “thru” and passing the audio through the Analog Filter and back into the DAW, the drive knob gave each track an extra warm and punchy presence in the mix.

One thing that I felt could be improved upon was the amount of effects that are available. Currently, there are only four effects. The included effects are very high quality and hopefully Pioneer will have firmware updates that bring over all the remaining effects off of units like the DJM900NXS2.

Quick Jam On TORAIZ SP-16

With the SP-16, there are many applications. For live gigs, the ability to have 16 loops all time stretch in real-time is incredible. You can have full songs composed of one shots, melodic instruments, and top loops and everything will playback quantized regardless of the tempo. This, along with the Link cable, makes integration into a Nexus DJ setup quick and flawless.

For production purposes, the SP-16 was great from hip hop and pop, to house and techno. Having a portable, stand-alone unit to bring to record shops and chop samples on the fly was inspiring. Pioneer’s execution of concept of the Toraiz shows that a standalone sampler can perform great in live and studio environments without a compromise of capabilities.

What do you think of Pioneer DJ’s first foray into production gear?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Order the SP-16 in the DJTT store here – in stock & ready to ship

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