IK Multimedia have always been good at offering free versions of their various plugins and virtual instruments in order to give you a taster of what they can do. It’s a great tactic although the previous free version of SampleTank 3 only had a piano to play with. But now they’ve beefed it up a bit and gone down the in-app purchasing road. Their guitar plug-in Amplitude has had an in-built shop for some time, allowing you to purchase new amp models and effects, so it was somewhat inevitable that this would turn up in SampleTank 3 for purchasing additional sounds.
SampleTank 3 Custom Shop comes loaded with 30 free instruments, 1.8GB of sounds, 81 MIDI patterns and 2 loop kits. It’s been unlocked so that it has the complete editing functionality of the full version. This includes a full selection of filters, modulators, LFOs and envelopes along with an arsenal of 55 studio-quality effects. So in a nutshell rather than being a cut down and limited player of a handful of sounds this is the full-on real version of SampleTank 3 with two handfuls of sounds with the potential to add a whole lot more.
The expansions available in the Custom Shop come from the whole range of IK material including American Acoustic, Neil Peart Drums, Cinematic Percussion, Miroslav Philharmonik 2, Future Synths – there’s currently 24 expansions starting from $29.99. You can also import existing libraries from older IK instruments such as SampleMoog, Sonik Synth 2 and SampleTron so you can get all your IK sounds into the one 64bit interface and take full advantage of the editing and processing. The Custom Shop is the same shop as that used for Amplitude and T-Racks, they’ve simply bolted on a SampleTank tab so you have all your IK product options on one place.
There’s a bit of shenanigans required to get it to work. You have to have an IK account which is where you’ll find the authorisation serial number. If you have SampleTank Free already installed then you’ll also have to run a library updater to sort that out although I’ve found that after the update the sounds appear but they all fail to load. Other sound packs seem to work fine though. After a reinstall and general messing about some of the sounds will now load but most still fail so there does seem to be some sort of glitch going on – ho hum.
Anyway, we always like free stuff and IK have been pretty generous here. Obviously they want you to buy more library and this is a good approach tempting you into their product range.
Get your free copy for VST, AU, AAX and standalone and see if you can get it to work from here: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/sampletankcs/