Eurorack Sampler Comparison

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mdoudoroff
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Eurorack Sampler Comparison

Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:20 am

Like my handy mixer comparison and sequencer comparison, I’m starting a sampler comparison:

https://doudoroff.com/samplers/

2019-09-24 kicked the DLD back down to the bottom of the page; other corrections
2019-09-22 by request, broke table in two: one for those that capture audio, and one for those that just play
2019-09-19 added (tentatively) Modcan CV Record, Supercell, Microcell and ISD, plus more edits
2019-09-17 added (tentatively) Clouds, more edits/augmentations
2019-09-16 added (nascent) latency column, corrections
2019-09-15 added 4ms DLD; many corrections and details
2019-09-14 added VPME, Doepfer and Ladik modules, ongoing basic corrections
2019-09-13 added Mungo g0, filled in more cells
2019-08-26 super rough first draft

I will endeavor to keep the comparison up-to-date and relevant over the long haul.

Cheers,
Martin
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Orange
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Post by Orange » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:04 am

Cool! :tu:
What about adding max. sampletime/sample length ?

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Post by Jaypee » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:11 am

I know it s not strictly a sampler but since I saw the word 'granular' and since we can play/load samples, maybe you can add g0?

Thanks
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Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:29 pm

Orange wrote:Cool! :tu:
What about adding max. sampletime/sample length ?
Recording length is already in there as a column, and I’ve added more information about file lengths in the storage/file format column. It’s kind of a squirrely topic. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
Jaypee wrote:I know it s not strictly a sampler but since I saw the word 'granular' and since we can play/load samples, maybe you can add g0?
Originally, I put the g0 at the bottom, but for now, I’ve gone ahead and given it its own row.

Some of these modules really blur boundaries—which is cool—but does the Bitbox really belong in the same comparison with Tyme Safari? I dunno.

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Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:39 pm

The Bitbox should also note that it can be 4 individual mono outs as well as two stereo outs. Also, wouldn't really call the Sample Slicer virtual tape. Not exactly sure what I'd call it, but it's sort of in it's own category since it automatically slices samples into 16 clock pulses.
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Post by atte » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:42 pm

The 301 can record 6 (mono-) tracks at once with the 6-track recorder. Inputs can come from the outside or internally or a mixture.

All recordings units + 6-track recorder, record both audio and cv (IIRC), in 48kHz (or 96kHz if you're on the 96k firmware, which I never tried).

EDIT: And it has 16 (not 12) assignable CV ins (A+B+C+D+IN)

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Post by mdoudoroff » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:16 pm

Thanks coolshirtdotjpg and atte: I have incorporated your corrections to the best of my ability.

I’ve also added a new column about clocked recording (one of Funky40’s suggestions), and adjusted the comparison to more clearly present the information about recording.

Keep the suggestions and corrections coming!

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Post by novim » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm

The 4MS STS has End-of-Sample trigger outputs that I found especially interesting when I had one (and that I miss, now that I don't). An obvious use in a dual sampler is to have the two channels continuously triggering each other as they progress through their sample banks. But I particularly enjoyed modulating sample start and length, while using the EOS outs to clock an entire generative patch that expands and contracts, Krellishly.

I'd be curious if any other sampler modules have EOS outs. It's such a creatively useful feature. Fits so nicely with 4MS' clocky line. The STS is also a damned good sampler, btw. Powerful and straightforward.

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Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:38 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:Thanks coolshirtdotjpg and atte: I have incorporated your corrections to the best of my ability.

I’ve also added a new column about clocked recording (one of Funky40’s suggestions), and adjusted the comparison to more clearly present the information about recording.

Keep the suggestions and corrections coming!
Awesome, thanks for all of your hard work. Your cold mac guide is the reason I kept (and grew to love) that module. Cheers.
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Post by mosorensen » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:50 am

Thanks a lot for putting this together along with all your other work for the community.

Disting Mk4 can play 2 simultaneous samples (modes I7 and I8; used to be my drums).

NerdSeq can play 4 simultaneous samples (two tracks, two samples each), and it doesn't do any audio recording (it records CV and midi, no audio). Two mono outputs is exactly right.

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Post by mcpepe » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:25 am

You could expand the non-eurorack samplers with the Synthstrom Deluge. It is a full featured sampler and plays well with modular (2 CV outs, 4 gate outs, 1 clock in)

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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:05 am

you forgot the OG! :cry: http://www.doepfer.de/a112.htm

one could also count the ladik romplay as an option under the "file player".

also could add the analogue systems rs290 which i always wanted to try, and vpme drum voice.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:39 am

Thank you for the corrections and suggestions, novim, mosorensen, mcpepe, and sutekina bipu-on. I’ve tried to integrate them.

I’ve added and defined a new “type”—audio buffer—that I think captures the nature of modules like Tyme Sefari, Sampleslicer and the A-112.

I added the Ladik under duress. Technically, you can replace the EEPROM, but we’re getting close to WMD Chimera territory!

I’ve noted the RS-290 in the “other modules of interest”; I may yet add it to the comparison, but I can think of more than one reason not to.

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Post by ookrsia » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:06 am

This is great!


Noticed two things:

-4MS Dual Looping Delay misspelled: 4ms Dual Loopoing Delay

-4MS Dual Looping Delay link goes to 4MS Wav Recorder, this is the right link I think: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/4ms-compa ... ping-delay



Just curious: I do not have a 4MS Dual Looping Delay so there might be something I do not know about it as a looper, but why does Magneto get to the list and not the Dual Looping Delay?


Edit: As I am currently looking for a certain kind of sampler, one info which would be useful for me right now, which is not in this list is: Can the module play the audio files at different speed (slowed down or streched)?
Last edited by ookrsia on Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Buttons ARE toys » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:09 am

I love this! Thanks for putting in the work.

A few notes for the Reflex Liveloop:

- Sample rate is variable on both recording and playback, so you can record samples anywhere between 48kHz and 1.5kHz

- Max recording time is dependent on sample rate and the max recording time at 1.5kHz is 93.2 minutes

- Recording can indeed be clocked externally

- CV support for sample rate/pitch, slice selection, EQ band level, sample start and end points, sample length and position, granule size and granular playback rate/direction, and stutter mode settings

- The flash board expansion (not a separate module, it's a PCB that connects to the back) includes an 8 slot non-volatile memory that stores pretty much all settings at the moment you save including the recording, slice markers, effects settings, and sequence data.

- In additional notes you could include that it's capable of automatic peak slicing, has an onboard slice sequencer that can output its own clock signal, and the flash expander board also adds full MIDI control via TRS.

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Post by slumberjack » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:02 am

Nice work!

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:12 am

Another day, another update! Filled in lots more details. Thank you Buttons ARE toys for the Reflex info—I knew it was a kitchen sink module, and it was so overwhelming I didn’t even know where to start.
ookrsia wrote:Just curious: I do not have a 4MS Dual Looping Delay so there might be something I do not know about it as a looper, but why does Magneto get to the list and not the Dual Looping Delay?
I omitted the DLD initially because I didn’t think it fit in the scope of the comparison, but now I think it does, so I just added it. Note that Magneto has an explicit sampling mode, and the DLD does not. On the other hand, if I’m going to include Lúbadh, then the DLDs looping, freezing and flexible playback modes seem to qualify it.

I can see an argument that I’ve cast too wide a net with the comparison, and it would be more useful to more people if I ditched the loopers and tape simulators, focused on file players/recorders, and went into more detail.

ookrsia wrote:Edit: As I am currently looking for a certain kind of sampler, one info which would be useful for me right now, which is not in this list is: Can the module play the audio files at different speed (slowed down or streched)?
Depends whether you are looking for simple re-pitching (playing a sample faster or slower), or whether you want to stretch samples without changing pitch like on a DAW. For the former, the only ones that don’t are the ones that don’t have pitch control in the CV column. I don’t know if any Eurorack modules do the stretch-and-preserve-pitch, but the two obvious candidates are the ER-301 and SSP.

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Post by col » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:40 am

Eurotrash_mkII by mxmxmx

Also, it might be worth doing a column for latency, very important for one-shot, drum sample playing.

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Post by Funky40 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:18 am

mdoudoroff wrote: I omitted the DLD initially because I didn’t think it fit in the scope of the comparison, but now I think it does, so I just added it. Note that Magneto has an explicit sampling mode, and the DLD does not. On the other hand, if I’m going to include Lúbadh, then the DLDs looping, freezing and flexible playback modes seem to qualify it.
I would do a own list for the delays honestly.
this could get to confusing otherwise.

there is indeed quite some overlap between some samplers vs. some delays.
the Reflex for example works also perfectly as a delay.


But a clear distinction here could also help for noobs "to make that distinction".
While the DLD works indeed as a looper is the operation still ........quite confusing.


there is in fact a line that could be drawn:
a "Sampler" is recording "what comes in *after* you hit REC" !
The looping delays i have "do freeze the audio that was played *bevore* you hit Freeze".
I´d say that IS a clear distinction ;)


edit: for units that fall inbetween, ...oh well, not easy ;)
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Post by DruidTek » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:28 am

The Load Runner is by Pulse Synthesizers (not Tin Shed Modular) and has 90 seconds of sample length.

Bitbox has 8 assignable EXT CV ins, and each cell is 4-voice polyphonic :tu:

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Post by airfrankenstein » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:42 am

I've had a relatively limited palette of samplers but for me it's important they all have a live recording input : began with a gieskes voice rec 2, then a dopefer a-112, a Ginko synthese sampleslicer afterwards, and currently a 4MS STS. In terms of functions and straightforwardness the 4MS is above the rest and yet I'm not drawn to use it. I find the bank system cumbersome, though nothing obliges me to use more than one bank. And setting start and end points on longer loops is not so easy despite the scrub function.
Ultimately I like the sampleslicer's interface best. Unfortunatel I don't think the maker is in a position where he can offer a better price :
a sampleslicer MK2 costs around 200 euros, while the MK1 can be found at about 150 used, not much of a match for the STS which can currently be had in Europe for about 350 euros and is a dual sample recorder with better resolution.
I had my eye on the squid salmple but watching the demos made me realise what I am actually looking for is a phrase sampler with adjustable start and end points, cv pitch control and an "end out trigger" priced below 150.

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Post by kineticturtle » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:11 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:I can see an argument that I’ve cast too wide a net with the comparison, and it would be more useful to more people if I ditched the loopers and tape simulators, focused on file players/recorders, and went into more detail.
Thank you for putting in the time on this, wow! Honestly when I was doing my search for a device in this region - I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do and I had to cast a wide net myself. This document was exactly what I wished existed at the time. Perhaps it just needs to be sortable?

I wound up with a reflex liveloop, and even now I'm just getting it to do the things I really want, it's nice to see it reflected more completely on the list!
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Re: Eurorack Sampler Comparison

Post by airfrankenstein » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:27 pm

Thanks for undertaking this endeavor mdoudoroff.

to me it seems that you've covered most of the columns. maybe the terms used could be clearer.

memory : volatile/non-volatile in addition to storage capacity
the capacity to recording one sample while another plays

for me a sampler implies the ability to record samples on the fly
as opposed to a sample player

In my ongoing quest for the perfect fit I've concluded, as is often the case with eurorack, that most every device is legit but where they differ is they way they allow you to work with sound material, so the logic behind the engineering as it's expressed through the interface is important. but that won't fit in your comparison...




mdoudoroff wrote:Like my handy mixer comparison and sequencer comparison, I’m starting a sampler comparison:

https://doudoroff.com/samplers/

In these early days, I’m at a stronger-than-usual disadvantage—most of you know far more about samplers than I. Moreover, some of these products remain pretty opaque to me (and to probably many other people).

So:

1) I really need to hear from you what columns should be added/changed to make this comparison more useful

2) I really need to hear from you if you can correct or fill in any of the info in the cells that I haven’t

You can post here or just email me directly (link atop the comparison page).

Otherwise, this is the same drill, and I will endeavor to keep the comparison up-to-date and relevant over the long haul.

Cheers,
Martin

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Post by SyndieBot2000XL » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:47 pm

Very cool list.

I don’t see the Noise Reap ISD Sampler on here: https://noisereap.com/product/isd-sampler/

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Post by Mungo » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:09 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
ookrsia wrote:Edit: As I am currently looking for a certain kind of sampler, one info which would be useful for me right now, which is not in this list is: Can the module play the audio files at different speed (slowed down or streched)?
Depends whether you are looking for simple re-pitching (playing a sample faster or slower), or whether you want to stretch samples without changing pitch like on a DAW. For the former, the only ones that don’t are the ones that don’t have pitch control in the CV column. I don’t know if any Eurorack modules do the stretch-and-preserve-pitch, but the two obvious candidates are the ER-301 and SSP.
The s0 looper section is exactly that, it stretches a recording or loaded file to fit the clock and has a 1V/oct input to adjust the pitch independently.

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