6 Best Sampler VSTs for Music Producers
Musicians nowadays like to try various versions of a track with all the ups and lows of the instrument to create a recreational track. Here’s where the sampler comes into play.
A sampler is a digital instrument that allows the music producers to load in audio recordings, which are here referred to as ‘samples’, and then play them back at various pitches with the help of a MIDI. Technically, a sampler is just a synthesizer that uses an audio file as its oscillator ie.: load in a segment of audio piece and play MIDI notes up & down the keyboard. The plugin will playback the sample at the desired musical pitch.
Most of the popular DAWs come bundled with at least one fully-featured sampler, but to get more out tech, there are lots of paid as well as free third-party variants available to check the effectiveness.
Here are the 6 best music samplers we have curated for you:
1. Logic EXS24 mkII
This built-in sampler plugin by Logic is now on version mkII.
The EXS24 includes an enormous library of sampler instruments, but you can also import third-party sample libraries. The user base of EXS24 is large, so finding sample providers online isn’t difficult. In addition to the native EXS24, you can import other files like SoundFont2, DLS, and Gigasampler files.
The mkII comes with a powerful envelope, filtering, and velocity triggering options you’d expect from a modern, full-featured sampler.
2. Arturia CMI V
This plug-in is a recreation of the legendary Fairlight CMI. The plug-in can run on standalone configuration and also VST, AAX, Audio Unit.
Some of the top features of Arturia CMI V include that it is playable through a MIDI keyboard, 600 samples from the original CMI library, 360 presets sounds made by Arturia’s sound designers, an increased number of track to 10 with a polyphony per track up to 32.
The emulation of the analog filter response and ‘Spectral Synthesis’ are the best features of this sampler plugin.
3. Ableton Simpler
As the name suggests, Ableton Simpler is one of the easiest sampler plug-ins to use in current times. The plug-in is very straightforward and creative yet deep and powerful.
Ableton Simpler is great if you’re working with warped material as it retains those warp marker adjustments when you drop in the clips.
It particularly means that the loops inside Simpler will change tempo alongside the song BPM automatically. Each Simpler mode has its benefits, When you send MIDI notes to Simpler, you’ll trigger the loop.
4. Ableton Sampler
Ableton’s flagship sampling plugin ‘Sampler’ is the higher and better version of Simpler. The Sampler is extremely versatile and combines traditional sampling features with advanced sound design and synthesis. It can handle any kind of multi-gigabyte instrument library which includes GigaStudio, EXS, SoundFont and (non-encrypted) Kontakt.
Some of the best features of Ableton Sampler include Multi-sampler which has third-party libraries or you can create and edit your own multi-samples, Multimode morphing filter, Polyphonic modulation, work on Live Projects, and much more.
5. Air Music Technology’s Structure 2
Structure has an ultra-powerful 128-level multi-timbral universal sound engine that can support up to 8-channel interleaved samples. With this sampler plug-in, you can create complex, rich patches by blending multiple samples and effects.
Some of the key features of Structure 2 sampler plugin are SampleCell, Kontakt, and EXS24 sound libraries, extensive waveform editing and sample mapping, processing of stereo and surround effects of over 20 types, up to 31 auxiliary outputs, MIDI Learn functionality, integrated REX player and LFO support.
6. Native Instruments' Kontakt 6
Kontakt is one of the most popular names in software sampler plug-ins.
The Kontakt 6 library puts 55+ GBs of detailed, creative, and expressive instruments which gives an ultra-large set of options. You can also drag and drop your samples into an instrument’s interface to use your sounds. This sampler also allows you to build your instruments with powerful sample-editing and instrument-building options.
This version of the sampler includes the KONTAKT Play Series which has three new instruments for the KONTAKT library that offer pristine, contemporary sound in a creative and streamlined interface.
Apart from the 6 sampler VST plugins mentioned above, many others can be considered as best. It also depends on the kind of music the sound engineer and music producers like to work with. For music enthusiasts and amateur music producers, these 6 sampler plug-ins are more than enough to practice and learn.