Looking for my $100 Fairlight.
February 19, 2006 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a decent, cheap software sampler for Mac OS X.

After recently acquiring a couple of older synths, a mixer and a MIDI patch bay, I'm finding myself wishing I had a basic sampler. With a PowerBook with plenty of HD space and RAM, I figured that a software sampler would be cheaper and beat the pants off of any hardware sampler. Now I'm not so sure.

I'm looking to do the following:

* Waveform editing and looping (with forward-backward looping ability)
* Standard effects (LFO, reverb et al)
* Bank/keyboard assignment of samples
* Low-latency MIDI playback of sample banks on arbitrary channels

That's it! One wouldn't think that would be too tough. I'm not really interested in pre-made sample banks, so a sample *player* won't do -- I'm looking to do my own thing.

I'm aware of samplers like HALion and Kontakt and the ones that come with Reason that do this, but those apps all cost $400 or more and I start to wonder if I should just save some money and get a used S5000 instead. I found VSamp and PolyPhontics, and the combination of those two comes really close to doing what I want for about $100, but maddeningly, I can't seem to do forward-backward looping with it.

Any help?
posted by I EAT TAPAS to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Crystal VST has everthing you need I think, but you'd have to do waveform editing in another piece of software. And you'd have to have a vst host as well.
posted by bigmusic at 10:02 AM on February 19, 2006

Here is a good source as well!
posted by roguescout at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2006

well, this is only a partial answer, as i'm not sure about the low-latency MIDI playback. a good open-source app for waveform editing and multi-track tinkering on the macs is audacity. sampling might be accomplished by recording through this app and then figuring out a way to make each sample playable on-command (there's got to be a way, no?).
posted by garfy3 at 2:37 PM on February 19, 2006

There's bound to be several such apps in this list.

Musolomo comes to mind first, don’t know if it does the forward/backwards thing, tho.

Good hunting!
posted by dpcoffin at 3:01 PM on February 19, 2006

Could you be a little more specific about what you want to do?

Do you just want to trigger samples "live" from a keyboard or other controller? If so, I'd pick up a second hand S3000XL or similar.

If you want to do sequencing and / or other synthesis and control, well you're going to need a host. If you don't need multitrack audio recording, then Reason is well worth the cash.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 6:50 PM on February 19, 2006

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