Written by 7:44 pm Sampling

Point Blank’s Guide to Sampling: History, Development & Techniques

Five Best Software Samplers

Native Instruments Kontakt 5

The daddy of modern soft sampler, Kontakt from Native Instruments is in its fifth incarnation and still seems to gather steam with each new release. The library it comes bundled with is immense but as a sound design tool Kontakt is nearly unparalleled. Capable of multi-sampling, chopping up breaks and even pseudo granular synthesis, it’s not hard to see why this multi-timbral beast is so popular.

Ableton Live Sampler

Available only in Ableton Live Suite, the imaginatively named Sampler instrument is the closest thing to Kontakt that that is native to Ableton users. Live’s latest update (9.5) Ableton oversaw an upheaval of the filter algorithms, including many analogue simulations added. Unlike its younger sibling Simpler, Sampler allows pendulum-like looping, multi-sampling, key zones and all the modcons expected with a high performance sampler.

Togu Audio Line

TAL Sampler Something a little different, Togu Audio Line’s “Analog Modelling Sampler” comes bundled with the traditional features found on most sampler but also comes with some neat sample engine emulation that closely emulates some of our favourite sampler from bygone eras, and at £55 this won’t break the bank. Combining sample rate and bit-depth reduction with jitter and hiss, a meaty filter and onboard EQ, reverb and delay, this is a fine addition to any studio.

Sample Magic Stacker

While not technically a straight sampler, Sample Magic’s Stacker aims to be the last drum sampler you need to buy. Best suited to working with drums, the sampling capabilities allow fine-tuning of pitch, phase, pan position and sample start point but where it gets interesting is the layering. Like Logic’s Ultrabeat and other drum computers, we can stack the samples with carefully tuned oscillators and even sequence within the plug-in! For what it does it’s unparalleled.

TX16Wx Software Sampler Last on the list is another vintage emulation sampler. Some of the features it boasts that impressed us the most are two assignable LFOs per voice, tempo detection and a handy bipolar step sequencer but where this really excels is the price: free!

Sampling is only one aspect of what you’ll learn on Point Blank’s online Music Production and Sound Engineering Master Diploma. With modules in production, engineering, composition and more, it’s one of their most comprehensive courses –  find out more about Point Blank’s courses in LondonLos Angeles and online. Don’t forget, you can also book a space on one of the studio tours.

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