It’s a big one. SampleTank 4 is upon us and the fully maxed out version offers over 8,000 sounds and 250GB of samples. That’s one heck of a download.
SampleTank is the original workstation software synthesizer specialising in a broad selection of sounds, covering all genres wrapped up in a simple 16-part multitimbral interface. When it was first released I used to describe it as a software Roland JV1080. These days you could see it as a software Yamaha Motif or Korg Kronos – multi-purpose, multi-timbral, polyphonic powerhouse of a synthesizer. Version 4 brings it bang up to date.
But it’s come a long way from being just a library of sounds. The newly designed sound engine lets you dig into the sounds further than ever before. With the sample library as the basic building blocks you can fiddle with envelopes, modulation and choose from 16 filters to craft the tone. A huge modulation matrix lets you route all the modulation sources to parameters and individual instrument elements.
There are 4 new player tools that animate your sounds. An Arpeggiator, Strummer, Phrase and Loop Manager offers all sorts of melody manipulation and pattern creation. You can use them to generate more loops and grooves than ever before.
There’s now a complete console mixer giving you full mixing control over the various parts and gives easy access to the comprehensive collection of effects. There are now 70 effects in SampleTank 4 derived from Amplitude and T-Racks and all manipulable via the modulation matrix.
SampleTank 4 can do all the layering and splitting that live performers could need. A dedicated Live Mode focuses on the management of a live set with instant changes to how things are setup right in your setlist.
I have no problem in calling SampleTank 4 an awesome sound source, because that’s surely what it is. However, it’s not a heavenly place for your synthesizer enthusiasts, it doesn’t have that kind of approach to detailed synthesis. It’s a massive sound source and groove station and the only difficulty you’ll have is in deciding which sound to use.
SampleTank is available now starting at €99 for SampleTank 4 SE, €199 for regular and €299 for MAX.