History of
Joel Sampson MIDI Source & Five Pin Press

Springfield, Illinois

The principal at Five Pin Press is joel Sampson. Sampson started playing flute in the second grade in Springfield, Illinois. He took up tenor sax and then clarinet in high school. He led a variety of jazz and pop bands at an early age. These include the Gulf Coast Four, Joe Sampson Trio and others. His primary teacher was Leslie Conovay, a top clarinet and woodwind player. While in Springfield he was a regular tenor sax player with the Frankie Leonard Orchestra, a 9 piece big band. He once played with Barrett Deems with the Leonard Orchestra. Deems was Louis Armstrong's drummer and in the movie High Society with the Armstrong. Sampson often doubled on jazz flute and clarinet. He taught himself guitar which he played professionally and taught many guitar students at the House of Music in Springfield.

Sampson attended Springfield College in Illinois as a Woodwinds major with Fred "Fritz" Greenwald. He got a job as a broadcast engineer at WTAX radio and switched majors.

Carbondale, Illinois

joel continued his studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. While majoring in video-cinema production he took music classes in theory, composition, electronic music, jazz and bass. At SIU he worked extensively on a modular Moog systhesizer and a four-track half-inch tape deck. He produced experimental music and radio jingles.

He played bass guitar in rock bands Nigel Fudd and Hard Road. He played through a used 300-watt Ampeg SVT with two sets of 8 x 10" speakers. The previous owner of the SVT was Greg Philbin, bass player for REO Speedwagon, another Illinois band.

Columbus, Ohio

Sampson moved to Columbus to finish a M.A. at Ohio State University. He ran a commercial photography studio and worked as a writer. Musically he mostly played a Fender Rhodes and synthesizers doing single, duo and trio acts. He worked the Holiday Inn, wedding and similar hip venues. He studied jazz piano with Scott Steelman and voice with Michelle Horsefield. He also sang and played flute with the Columbus Jazz Choir. He earned a second Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Dayton.

Dallas, Texas

Joel moved to Dallas to teach Computer Science and Engineering at Southern Methodist University. After a few years there, he started a MIDI hardware and software wholesale distribution business. The company was first called joel Sampson Engineering, but latter changed to joel Sampson MIDI Source. Distributed products included Music Quest and Key Electronics MIDI interfaces, J.L. Cooper hardware and software from P.G. Music (Band-in-a-Box and Powertracks), Cakewalk (it was for DOS back then) and a variety of other music applications all long dead. MIDI Source sold to music stores and a few computer stores. jSMS had trade show booths at NAMM (National Association of Musical Merchants) in Anaheim, CA and COMDEX computer show, at the time the worlds largest trade show in Las Vegas, NV. He did many in-store MIDI clinics, from Cleveland to Texas.

He helped design the LimeLight graphics sequencer and MiniMelodies for DOS with Mike Glass, lead programmer. DOS challenges were great and DOS was short lived.

He also licensed drum books from Hal Lenoard Publishing, and the Instant Drum Pattern series was began and the Five Pin Press company formed. The logo was a MIDI DIN connector (with five pins), a music staff (with five lines) -- clever, eh? The 200 Instant Drum Patterns, 260 Instant Drum Patterns and Instant Rap Patterns proved to be popular and were the first drum patterns sold on electronic disk. Five Pin Press had international distributors in Paris and Berlin. Patterns were sold to Stephen Sondheim, Bill Conti, Stevie Wonder's keyboard player and many other well known composers and musicians.

Five Pin Press also published 101 Instant Standards for Band-in-a-Box. The collection consisted of the best public domain songs available, so licensing would not be a problem for the publisher or user. Some of the songs are square, but most are pretty good.

Today Sampson works as a fine artist (mixed media paintings and digital imaging). Five Pin Press is back up and actively producing music publications. He is also working on a jazz CD. in his Pro-Tools based project studio.