Talk:Sampler (musical instrument)

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Please add a section on the evolution of hardware samplers to software.
Trackers (octamed, fastracker, impulse tracker)
Unity DS-1
The list goes on...

Most people have dumped their hardware for software solutions.

What about the layman?[edit]

Please explain to me what a sampler is and how it works in practice. This is an encyclopedia, is it not? (done?, but can still be expanded?)

Agreed, it also needs further details of the Akai range and some inaccuracies in that section correcting. I intend to do this (and update the Thomas Dolby Page which is what should have led me here!) JDM

Comment from someone else: NB! I searched for "sampler" in Wikipedia, believing that an article on the subject would give me an introduction. (done?) However, this was not the case - this article tought me nothing about how a sampler works. Poor work - please fix!

I feel like while this article has some pretty solid technical information in regards to sample rates and such, that kind of thing would be better handled in seperate entries - it's simply too much for the layman, as noted above, and beyond the scope of this general article. Same goes for the mention of wavetable soundcards/tracker software - relevant as a mention, sure, but a complete chronology? not so much. Also this article is highly POVed... i.e. 'gritty punch' in E-Mu section. Tremspeed 08:47, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree. There are terms like 'bits per sample' and 'kHz' all over the article without any attempt to explain how they attribute to the quality of sample playback. Also, some depth into different methods of storing samples (PCM, etc.) would be useful as well as how technology has improved over the last 30 years (ATRAC, AAC and what-have-you). sugarfish (talk) 02:11, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Software sampler section needs fixing[edit]

An interesting article for the most part, but still needs some work, IMO. The software sampler section is highly POVed / unsourced. Here the section I think needs some reworking:

"Unfortunately, most vendors of software based samplers have taken serious shortcuts that limit the potential of these products. For example, most "soft-samplers" lack sample editing, sample recording capability, top-flight DSP effects, and resampling. While these products are significantly easier to use than typical hardware samplers, their ease of use stems at least partially from the fact that their capabilities are nowhere close to those provided by real samplers. The "soft-sampler" term itself is really a misnomer, because in only a few cases do these products actually sample. Soundbank players would be a more accurate and less misleading term for most of these products. For people that require the creative possibilities and workflow only a true sampler can provide, there are fortunately some real software samplers available."

"Unfortunately" is an inherent opinion. In this context, words such as "most" and "top-flight" are inappropriate unless you have some sources to back these claims up. "Easier to use" than hardware samplers? Possibly, but this is an opinion. Do we have a source such as a survey of professional musicians? "...only a true sampler... some real software samplers..." etc, etc... ???

Regarding the term "soft-sampler" being a misnomer, I happen to agree, but this is somewhat subjective, as there are no "official" definitions on which to rely. The phrase "only a few cases", is probably inappropriate unless a source citation can verify this.

A term I've heard more often used than "soundbank player" is "Rompler", a combination of ROM+sampler. Again, this should be presented as an alternative form, not as an authoritative definition, IMO.

I can't speak for all the software products listed, but Kontact is clearly mis-labeled as a "soundbank player". It certainly has the capability of creating original sampled material - the entire point of a sampler. Kompact, however, is a good example of a "soundbank player".

Jboer 02:04, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I totally agree with the comments about softsamplers (or whatever we want to call them) - the current section is biased and miseleading. I moved from hardware to software samplers in 2000 - from an Akai S5000) to (then) Emagic's ESX24 - and I don't have any idea why that should be concidered to be less than a sampler - you sample a sound and throw it at the sampler and play it to your hearts desire. That's what I did witht he S5000 and that's what I do with ESX24 (rev.II). I do agree that there's much "rompling" going about - the attraction to (and fascination of) sampling your own sounds is perhaps on the decline, but I don't think the technology is to blame here.

I also agree that the Software Sampler section is heavily biased. More accurate than only two categories, you could draw soft samplers into three major abilities: sample playback, instrument/preset creation from samples, and sample recording.

- Those which have only sample playback abilities could most accurately be called "soundbank players."
- Those which can play back samples and create instruments/presets from samples recorded elsewhere I think can still be considered samplers. If you record audio in your DAW or waveform editor (see note below) and can drop those samples into your sampler to create a new instrument/preset, I think that qualifies as a "sampler." This category constitutes the majority of soft samplers.
- Those which can do all three are samplers which most closely mimic hardware samplers. However, I don't think that the existence of this third category means you have to exclude those in the second category from also being samplers.

  • Given the fact that many software samplers are used as plug-ins within a DAW or sequencer host application, the ability to record in the sampler itself is less important because you can record in the host and import into the sampler. You can look at it either way -- either the soft samplers are lacking a feature, or they are streamlined for the production environment they are generally used in. I think to paint all soft samplers that do not have the ability to record as deficient is as misleading as not mentioning the difference exists at all.

Of particular interest is the fact that in the description of a sampler at the beginning of the article it mentions sample playback and manipulation, but not sample recording (indeed, a mentioning of recording samples can hardly be found at all throughout the article). So why is such heavy emphasis given to the recording of samples in the Software Sampler section? (Pushing the products that can record, perhaps?)

So, I think there is a significant difference between soft samplers which do and do not record and this should be noted in the list of samplers, but I think the bias should be addressed. I think "soundbank players" needs to be limited to those which do not allow the user to create their own banks/instruments/presets. 16:26, 19 September 2007 (UTC) Josh

I agree with all the comments above, today software samplers are much more powerfull than hardware samplers; also, halion, ableton sampler and kontakt are real samplers and for the rest, I don't know them, but taking all the biased and wrong information, it wouldn't be strange that some of them were real samplers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:53, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, had a go at balancing this section118.33.245.156 (talk) 16:37, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Akai S-nnnn Details[edit]

As a one-time owner of the S950 I know that many of the features of the S1000 first appeared on the S950 - timestretch, crossfade looping, etc. Some of them may have been on the S900 too. I'm sure by the same token that there are many other inaccuracies in this article. It would be great if someone would do the research and fix these issues. Also, there is a lot more detail to the Fairlight section that would be of interest, and there are some key dates that I would like to see. Dates make an encyclopedia useful, in that you can learn about the first of something, or the first time something happened, etc. sugarfish (talk) 02:06, 8 December 2009 (UTC)


I think someone needs to clean up the list a bit. Both Roland and Akai have long list. It's not consistent from one list to the other. -- (talk) 12:10, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Which list are you referring to? Piano non troppo (talk) 12:25, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Hybrid synths[edit]

In the historical overview section the Kawai K series is named in a list of hybrid synths. While later models may be hybrid, the 1987 Kawai K5 (first in the 'K' series) was not. It relied entirely on additive synthesis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Genres associated with samplers[edit]

There's a few genres that often make use of samplers (hip hop, industrial, etc.) It would be good to mention these genres in the article -- could someone familiar with this help out?

I think this info would most likely fit in the opening section to be consitent with the guitar and drum kit articles.

MrEricSir (talk) 02:10, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

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