Do you know of any Macintosh sample editor (preferably shareware) that can communicate with the Roland S50 keyboard sampler, over MIDI? I believe that the original Sound Designer could. However, even if I could find that, I doubt that it will run on a modern Mac! I've also seen a shareware program (I don't recall its name) that could read S50 disks. However, that's of no use to me, since my G4 lacks a floppy drive.
I'd really appreciate it if you could help me, since I'd like to save my samples before I get rid of the old workhorse.
SOS contributor Derek Johnson replies: I was a long‑time Roland S330 rack sampler and W30 sampling workstation user and built up a huge custom library. In fact, I've only recently managed to find the time to complete the transfer of all my samples to my Mac. This task was aided by the software to which you allude: Stefano Daino's brilliant D‑SoundPro, which costs just US$39 to register, yet offers most of the facilities needed for day‑to‑day sampling and editing. Stefano has recently created a new web site for D‑SP, at www.d‑soundpro.com/, in advance of the eagerly‑awaited v4.0 update.
My main reason for starting to use D‑SP was its S‑series compatibility: if your Mac has a floppy drive you can grab the samples directly from the native Roland floppy into D‑SP and convert them to 16‑bit and the sampling rate of your choice. I often have to shift a sample's pitch down an octave or so, but at this point I'm not sure if this is necessary because of the way I created the samples in the first place — I used to do some odd things to save on RAM! I have a G4 in the studio, but luckily a corner is still occupied by an older floppy drive‑equipped Power PC. I made the transfers on the PPC, got them to the G4 via Zip cartridge and burned the lot onto a couple of CDs. Given that you don't have this option, I could suggest that you buy a USB floppy drive (they're cheap), but you may have no other need for it, and I can't actually confirm that D‑SP would work with it, though I see no reason for it not to.
The only other alternative is to use MIDI Sample Dump Standard, as you suggest. How this pans out depends on the number of samples you have and how big they are. D‑SoundPro is certainly SDS compatible, and the manual states that it will work with the S50. I obviously can't confirm the process, but it should be fairly straightforward, if long‑winded. SDS is very slow. Any other SDS‑compatible sampling software, commercial or shareware, should also do the job. Bear in mind that with D‑SP, the transfer of 30kHz samples works best. If you find problems with loop points on transferred 15kHz samples, try converting them to 30kHz in the S50 first.
PC users who have read this far may like to know that there is at least one shareware sample editor out there that offers D‑SP's ability to read native S‑series sample disks. Neuromancer's Sampled is available from many shareware sites (I found it at www.maz‑sound.com/samplers_text_only.html and www.sonicspot.com/sampled/sample...), though the only links I could find to Neuromancer's web site seemed to be dead when I was searching.