The EMU SP-1200 Sampler

Producer J.Force bangs out the beats, with a whoppin’ 256 KB memory, on the EMU SP-1200 Sampler.

The E-mu SP-1200 is a classic drum machine and sampler released in August 1987 by E-mu Systems as an update of the SP-12, which was originally created for dance music producers. It became famed for its gritty texture and ability to simulate the “warmth” of vinyl recordings.

The SP-1200 became an icon of hip hop’s golden age, due to its ability to make the bulk of a song within one piece of portable gear. This resulted in reduced studio costs and more creative control for artists.


  • 8 voice poyphony
  • 22KHz 12 bit sampler
  • Sample memory: 10 seconds, in four 2.5-second blocks
  • SSM analog filter
  • 100 pattern, 100 song sequencer
  • Sequence capacity: 5000 notes minimum (depending on density of parts)
  • 32 patch memory
  • 8 Touch Pads
  • Inputs: Sample, MIDI, SMPTE/Sync, Footswitches (3)
  • Outputs: Mono mix Individual channels, (eight, programmable. tip = unfiltered. ring – filtered). MIDI out. MIDI thru, SMPTE, Metronome/Clock
  • Storage: 3.5″ floppy diskette


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