Did Pioneer And Dave Smith Instruments Just Come Up With A Game Changer?

Dave Smith Instruments and Pioneer team up to create the Toraiz Sp-16

As a traditional musician now fully immersed in the digital producer/DJ realm with an eye for live performance, it would be a flat-out breeze to buy a laptop and just trigger samples in Ableton, but what fun is that?

If you've ever tapped out a house-shaking beat on an Akai MPC, you know what I mean. There's just something to be said for being able to tweak samples with surgical precision while bombing the room like an OG without being interrupted by the "Ding" of a new like on Facebook or the arrival of junk mail in your in-box.

So, with the idea of ditching the traditional guitar/bass/drums/verse/chorus bullshit for a live-in-the-box groove-based approach that blurs the line between production and dance floor, Artist and DJ, my dream instrument would be an Electribe-style groove box with tasty presets and f/x that are tweakable along with an on-board step sequencer and 8 individual outs that operates as standalone hardware, but also plays nice with your DAW.



For years, many have dreamed of the day that such a device would arrive and many big names have promised tasty hardware capable of standing on its own, but, time and time again, the finished product required a PC or laptop connection in order to function (MPC Touch, anyone?).

Elektron's Octatrack, with its endless, albeit convoluted sound manipulation capabilities, is a godsend to anyone with the time necessary to overcome the learning curve, all the while hopeful that some other piece of gear doesn't arrive and immediately reduce the Octatrack to a $1250 paperweight.

It's bound to happen right? I mean, we're sooo close to seeing Akai, Native Instruments, Korg, or Roland finally deliver the goods.

Ah, but wait, what have we got here from the fine folks at Pioneer?

Seems the new Toraiz SP-16 is Pioneer's ambitious first venture into music production. Of course, they weren't alone, they had some assistance from Dave Smith, whose Prophet 6 filters have been seamlessly integrated with the SP-16's seemingly endless sampling capabilities and 8GB of on-board memory.

Is it the answer to our musical prayers, you ask?

We wouldn't know. If the SP-16 is ultimately proven to be the long-awaited answer to our 21st Century space age musical dreams, the $1500 sticker price would be worth every penny, but if it isn't, that's money put to better use elsewhere.

Like food, for instance.

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