Ideal Features for a Modular Sampler?

Since there has been recent discussion about modular samplers, I figured that I should ask here about what features modular users would expect from an open ended sampler. I have been working on a modular sampler in the Reaktor format, but I am now at a point where starting from scratch may be a better solution. Any feedback about what you look for in a modular sampler would help me flesh out what parts of the new GUI should be emphasized. Since arranging the GUI is the least fun part for me, I would really like to get it right the first time.

I’d say that Euro is a very hands-on and real time format. Therefore I’d expect that a sampler would be much like that. So I’d expect it to be quite clever, decent loop detection and start/end positions, ping pong looping, time stretch, pitch shifting, being able to scratch through the sample forwards and backwards.

I’d leave stuff like filtering, bit crushing, etc for other Euro modules.

But obviously that would be quite computationally intense for a DIY unit.

I agree with what 6581punk said. Those features would be great for a “phrase” sampler.

Wouldn’t it be cool though if the sampled sound could be played polyphonically? My idea is that the sampler in the polyphonic mode in real time maps what ever is being sampled over a couple of octaves. Ideally the sampler has it’s own midi interface that can handle polyphony. So you plug in your sequencer/keyboard to the midi port and then you can play the sampled sound (which is being updtaed in realtime if you want) polyphonically over a few octaves. The sampler would need a really low latency. Maybe the Bela-project is perfect for this?

No Samplelength limit is very important to me and easy filestructure and upload on the SD-card/USB-Stick!

crossfade ping-pong looping would be great… fast way to loop and play pads, just like in the Renoise tracker.

if todd “the glacier” bailey would get his shit in gear, we wouldnt be having this discussion… :stuck_out_tongue:

Last time it took 3 years :wink:

Right now I am making a Reaktor block, not a piece of physical hardware. Sorry if I got anyone excited over a potential DIY sampler. I just thought that I should clear that up. I do appreciate the input as I have a better idea of what people would like to do with samples.

@6581punk: Scratching is actually a feature I have been considering implementing. Mostly based on this.

This would also be a major reason to keep the current accumulator that Michael Hetrick used as the math is just prettier. I should have added mouse to phase accumulator position a while ago for ease of use anyway.

I also think that pitch shifting would be better left to an external block. It can be very CPU hungry. It would also fit better for adding polyphony like @Modularmind suggested as this block could just have it’s own midi input. There is also a frequency shifter block in Euro Reakt, so that can be used in a pinch.

@loowfizzz: Since this runs on a computer, there are no limits to the sound length. It already has drag and drop support. However, that means that you have to use a computer. There are 16 individual samples/loop points per patch, and you can save 128 patches in Reaktor per bank. So there is also no real limit to the number of samples you can store. Of course, it is monophonic much like cutting together a single tape reel.

@acidhouseforall: What is the advantage of ping pong looping? I’ve never had a real use for it. Compared to a well looped sample, it just never sounded as good to me.

altitudeshiftr: Where the party at?

I got sick of checking the WTPA forum.

Ping pong looping can work really well, especially with short loop lengths.

@audiohoarder: on some sounds you can get a better loop with ping-pong + xfade and you can get it way faster than tweaking a simple forward loop. Say you want to loop a complex sound like an evolving pad: without ping-pong and xfade you would have the find the start and end positions to have a smooth loop. That’s tedious. No such need with ping-pong+xfade, you can set approximate loop points.

I think calling Todd a glacier is unfair.

Glaciers will be finished soon.

It could be based on The Akai S612.12 bit, 32K, One sound at a time and always velocity sensitive. a low pass filter, maybe more? Start/end sliders – with c/v control – and the tearing, glitching mess of noise that comes from dragging the sliders back and forth either manually or from cv.SD card storage. Lo Fi sound mangling in the modular format.
cheers Risome

It would be a sample based oscillator. There’s not much point putting envelopes, filters etc. onto the device when you would use external filters and modulation.

Better tell Braids that :slight_smile:

It has a VCA, not an envelope, LFO etc.

The point is, you want to maximum the number of real-time and CV controls on the panel, not have to have numerous modes or knobs which would get unused on many set ups.

It keeps costs down too.

@risome: While I am not a fan of the S612 itself, the feature set does translate well to a modular format. With the scratching implemented, it can do a decent impersonation of the horrible clicks and pops of the S612. In fact, this sampler does everything an S612 can except for the overdubbing of samples. While it is missing that feature is does much more as well.

@6581punk: Yep, it is an oscillator for sure. I have made external filters and sharpers to be used with it like a general purpose ADC simulator and an emulation of the EPS filter.

Anyway, all of the features are implemented, I just need to work out a display bug or two then figure out why the sample slices aren’t resetting the phase accumulator when the sample changes anymore.

@TheSlowGrowth: Is that really ideal?

If people want to get true polyphony out of this thing, they will be a bit disappointed at just how much work it will take.I think that midi on mini-jack woudl have been an ideal addition as I have this odd feeling that most people will not have 8 sets of CV/GATE in their rack. However, you can also use a saw oscillator run into the “scrub” CV input to get the same chromatically pitched result. If you have 8 saw wave oscillators/ LFOs on hand. Or you can use other wave shapes to get different timbers from the same sample.

Ignoring the fact that Assimil8tor has 8 channels, the current version of my Reaktor sampler does everything this does and more. Since the 8 channels are separate, there is nothing stopping you from loading up 8 channels of my Reaktor sampler. I can also say that it is missing a few features that would help with integrating more interesting modulation possibilities, but a hardware module can only be so big.

If anything, this being announced is making me want to write a better manual for my sampler.

Anyway, my prediction on cost is 600 to 700 USD.

I’m not saying its ideal - I just stumbled upon it and thought it might be useful input to this discussion