Looking for a hardware sampler to

Hello YouWhoReadThis !

I’m looking for a hardware sampler (or at least sampler player) to :
1. Play a bunch of samples live, like movies’samples, and I’d like to have quick access to, at least, 64 samples (for example to play phrases word by word).
This is the main function I’d like. I don’t need pad sensitivity (but hey, why not ?).
I’d also like to have easy access to usual paramaters : lenght, speed,…
(repeat & bit crusher if possible)
2. (optionnal) effects
3. (optionnal) live looping
4. (optionnal) small form factor

I prefer the hardware to be really good at 1. than to be ok-ish at 1. 2. & 3.
Do you have an idea ? :smiley:

I’m not sure if the Circuit Tracks can do this…
Maybe the 1010 Music Blackbox + a keystep (that I already have).
I don’t think the Deluge do this…
I know that the Octatrak is quite good at this game but I used to have one and it’s just too much for me ^^

Thanks !

( sorry for my english, I’m french :stuck_out_tongue: )

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This gets a fair amount of love I think


Circuit Rhythm perhaps? :slight_smile:

Within the Elektron range, I think either Model:Samples or Digitakt should also meet the requirements

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Model:Samples has 6 tracks, Digitakt 8, so it’s not easy to access to 64 different samples quickly (to play them in live). There are workarouds but… not very user friendly.
The circuit is a good option (if it’s easy to have one sample per pad, I’m not sure about that).
Thanks :slight_smile:

SP-404MKII is a solid choice.


I use an SP404 MK2 for a similar purpose. I tend to trigger longer samples such as textures, vocals and effects on the fly and un-quantized to my other hardware.
10 banks of 16 samples per project so i tend to use one bank per track, and they can be pretty long samples.
I also occasionally use the octatrack sequencer to trigger percussion samples and free up tracks on the OT, which works very well (although no CC controls).
The built in effects are great, but are not per sample (whole mix or can be seperated into 2 busses and 2 master).
No live looping but ticks all of the other boxes.


dont forget about this guy
30 voice polyphony and all that

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Microgranny as a left field suggestion?

6 pads with 6 banks, so 36 sounds can be played quite easily. You can store more but it would be a bit fiddly to organise recalling more sounds, especially live. Samples can be verrrry long (hours apparently). The bitcrush effect is really nice. You can mangle the sound with granular control. But it is monophonic.

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1010blackbox will do this.
you need to be willing to do some setup, and to not be a crankypants who poo-poos the blackbox because Aaron at 1010 maybe didn’t have your exact use case in mind when he programmed it.

every blackbox Preset (PSET, basically a song/program/project) has 16 PADS.
each pad can fire off 1 sound/sample, OR it can be setup as a multisample pad.
When you use setup a pad as a multisample, each sample is a note.
When you do mono samples or multisamples the trig type can be gate or trig (one shot… I think - I can’t imagine multisamples not doing trigger… but I’m not sitting at the blackbox right now).
So yeah, you can fit dozens upon dozens of one shots into a single PSET.
This is why I bought the blackbox in the first place. However, now I use it for lots of different things.

Whether or not you can get to 64 samples, I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure there’s a numeric limit to the number of samples you can load into a single PSET, and that number is definitely less that 88. it might be as high as 64.
If the samples are particularly huge, you might not get to 64 because there’s limit to how much sound storage is allowed per PSET. not sure the actual limit is documented.

blackbox also supports program change over midi, giving you reasonably fast access to additional PSETs. blackbox program changes are famously NOT instant, and not guaranteed to be “musical”. One who’s resourceful and not a plaintive pessimist can get a lot done in a single PSET.

I also have a keystep. the ease with which you can change midi out channel on the keystep is a bonus with the blackbox, if you want to organize your one shots onto different channels. If you read the blackbox docs, you’ll be fine.

I usually do midi over din. blackbox has a USB device port, but I don’t remember if it lends enough juice to power the keystep or not. Blackbox gets flaky if you try to power a device that draws too much power.

koala sampler is software that runs on hardware that will do this so easily.
I have an old iPhone that I never traded in that is basically my hardware koala sampler… (in addition to the phone I carry, which is my phone, that has koala sampler on it.)


Doepfer minicase with expert sleepers disting Mk3 and midi breakoutbox. Multisample algorithm is an option.

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the polyend tracker could be what youre looking for. its got 48 pads, a sample can go on each one as long as you dont max out sample memory which is admittedly limited. the only thing it cant do from your list is live looping. if you arent planning on sequencing those things its definitely doable in a live scenario. still doable with sequencing but things could get a little hairy in there.

in fact the polyend play may be even better for your purpose now that i think about it but i havent looked into that too much

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I have a Circuit Tracks, and if I’d need more sample tracks, I’d get the Circuit Rhythm again.
Such joyful to use pieces.

An overlooked feature is that you have separate rows of buttons (actually pads that make no noise) for the tracks, for the sequencer steps and the sample pool.

So there’s no menu diving and no guessing “are those buttons now my keyboard, the sequencer steps or my sounds or mutes or …”


The Roland SP series in general is basically tailor made for this job. The 404SX or A can be had for good deals now. The 555 is pretty cool take on them too but then the storage is CF based and the price has crept up on those. You can drag and drop you samples with the drivers or sample in with the effects engine on the older ones. Seriously hard to beat all that in single package given your use case.


MPC One or Live 2 would be your best bet.

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Just a heads up on my beloved SP-555. I got rid of mine because all the drivers are outdated and so you can no longer sample through the USB, which was super handy for an extra input.


The correct and unbiased answer from me as well.

I have one, and while I love its charms, reliability and build quality are not necessarily among them. Mine will just spaz out at times and seems to corrupt SD cards constantly. But what it does well it does really well.


I never did use the usb input myself but I believe the sample management portion has been updated though? I may be wrong as my old laptop was quite old and that may be why I could still use it. I’ve not bothered to look with my new laptop.

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If I didnt already have a ton of other gear, Id get a 404 mk 2. They look loads of fun. Sound pretty damn good too.


Same issue for both drivers (Software/ USB Streaming) I am on Mac tho. But i did a bunch of research and there was an unofficial update Windows Driver workaround by a dude named Korakios.

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