The Best Budget Samplers for Music Production
Creating beats from your own sample sets remains one of the most effective music production methods. We’ve selected some of the best budget samplers to get you started.
Whether you synthesize your own drums, cut samples from vinyl, or use pre-created sample packs, a sampler is a powerful tool for manipulating these sounds and building drum patterns and loops that have character and personality.
Choosing the Best Budget Samplers
Some samplers have great sound engines with precise tools for working with digital audio, and may even have features inspired by classic samplers from the 1980s or 1990s.
Meanwhile, others have more groovebox-orientated features with effects and powerful sequencers for building complex arrangements on-the-fly.
Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O!
Need something portable? The PO-33 K.O! from Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operator series battery operated and extremely lightweight. Besides the 16-step pattern sequencer, there’s an internal mic and you get up to 40 seconds of sampling time.
The sequencer provides 8 drum slots, 16 different effects, and there is space for 16 patterns. They might seem rather simple, but the Pocket Operators provide creative immediacy that is often lacking in DAWs and expensive hardware.
Korg Volca Sample 2nd Generation
The 2nd Gen Volca Sample provides quite an extensive range of sound manipulation tools in a very compact size. It provides 8 voices of polyphony and a 31.25 kHz 16-bit sampling engine with 130 seconds of total sampling time.
You can load prerecorded samples, or use the Audio Pocket app for your mobile device to record new ones. The controls are small, but the layout and sequencer allow you to swiftly customize your sounds and start putting patterns together.
Bastl Instruments Microgranny Monolith
It’s not really a “traditional” sampler or groovebox, but the Microgranny Monolith is capable of producing incredible lo-fi textures. It’s a monophonic 22.05 kHz granular sampler that provides recording microSD card via line-in or the internal mic.
There isn’t a sequencer as such, but the sync, hold, and loop functions work across the 6 samples within each patch, and you can store up to 60 of these presets. Overall, the Microgranny Monolith packs plenty of creative power and can receive external MIDI and clock.
Sonicware LIVEN LoFi-12
The LIVEN LoFi-12 may look simple, but it has a wide scope of sound design tools built-in, and the retro-styled 12kHz/24kHz sampling engine has a classic 12-bit mode.
The on-board 4-track sequencer gives you 11 effects per track, and 8 global effects that process the overall sound. What’s more, there are 128 slots for samples and 80 preset Lo-Fi samples included.
The Model:Samples goes beyond sampling and provides powerful song-creation features. The 6 audio tracks can also function as MIDI tracks, so you also can sequence external instruments. In addition, the is storage for up to 96 projects with 96 patterns per project.
The layout is intuitive and the learning curve isn’t quite as steep as the other Elektron samplers. It might be more than you planned on spending on a sampler, but the way Elektron incorporates the sequencer into their instruments makes it worthwhile.
More about the Best Budget Samplers:
- All about samplers
- Thoman’s guide to Grooveboxes
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- Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O!: Teenage Engineering
- Korg Volca Sample New Generation: Korg
- Microgranny Monolith: Bastl Instruments
- Sonicware LIVEN LoFi-12: Sonicware
- Elektron Model: Samples: Elektronauts