Zoom ST-224
Zoom ST-224

ST-224, Sampler from Zoom.

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FP User 10/31/2008

Zoom ST-224 : FP User's user review


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It's a damn shame there's no MIDI out (could it really have cost THAT much to add? I've had this open and there's definitely enough space in there) and it's also a shame the pads are not velocity sensitive. If this machine had these 2 features it would have sold by the boatload. More memory would also have been nice, but to me that wasn't as much of a loss as the other features. Having said all of this, it's still a great machine, and more than worth what they can be purchased for these days.

Price paid

US$500 (in 1999!)


Undoubtably the greatest aspect of the Sampletrak - I'm yet to come across a more intuitive sampler, and I must have used dozens.. I took it out of the box and within about half an hour I pretty much knew it inside out. The speed at which you can go from sampling to chopped-up, looped, and assigned-to-pad sounds is unparalled by anything else I've used. The onboard sequencer is average, but more than adequate for sketching out ideas.

The knobs feel a bit cheap, but are solid enough and remove easily enough if any crap gets under them - still going strong 7 years after purchase, and it's been all over the place and subjected to a fair bit of mistreatment and over-zealous use so I can't complain. One LED above a pad went out a few months after I bought it, but I suspect that was due to some mistreatment while loaned to a friend (hmmmm...).. build quality overall is just fine.


For such an inexpensive unit (when it came out, at least) the sound quality is good - 32kHz max sample frequency seems to represent everything I've used it to sample just fine, but then I deliberately avoid using it for any sound with a lot of top-end.. I have other kit for that. What I REALLY like it for is lo-fi drum and loop crunching, for which it excels - when you want a sample to sound cheap, rough and nasty this machine is one of the best ever - at lower sample rates it's sound is reminiscent of the some of the Akai and Roland samplers of the late 80s and early 90s. This is the main reason I've kept it all these years, why I'll never give it up, and why I probably won't bother buying another 12-bit rack sampler again. Oh yeah, and the Resampling option is kicking.


Despite some of the issues I've mentioned above, I love this machine like very few other pieces of equipment I've ever used - over the years I've owned about a dozen or more samplers, and this is one of the only ones I couldn't bear to part with. Detractors will tell you it looks and feels like a toy, and this is EXACTLY what I love about it - it's fun and simple to get into, and just begs for you to play it.. what them fools don't tell you is that it under it's 'My First Sampler' facade there is a proper studio tool with and endless array of applications to a creative user. Gets my vote for 'Most slept-on sampler ever'. I like my MPCs etc, and rely on them enormously to do my thing - but the Sampletrak is a machine I genuinely love. Word.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: alifromcairo (January 2-, 2006)