Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
116 posts since 1 Apr, 2007

Post Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:33 pm

Hi. i was hoping to get some recommendations for a sample/drum vsti for playing my own drum samples. I am willing to pay something, but preferably not as much as the big players (Geist, Battery). More like the $50 range.

I did mange to find a couple of these, but they all made a critical mistake: loading a sample involves a windows dialogue each time, which is just KILLING for the creative process and trying out different sounds. After the fourth try I am bored with doing this. So I need something that will cycle through samples in a target directory with a single click, as the song is playing. That is the killer feature I am looking for.

For the rest my requirements are pretty straight froward. About 8 slots will be fine, preferable with a pitch control separate outs for each.

I found some browsing the KVR database, but many seem quite old and are no longer available (Poise and Twitch come to mind).

After googling for some days, it seems to me that this is harder to find than I thought. With so many drum sample libraries available, I am beginning to wonder what you guys use to play them with.

Thanks! Using Reaper.
Last edited by Wittenberg on Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The more you learn - the less you understand

27 posts since 8 Mar, 2009

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:10 pm

You need drag & drop sample player
Select sample from reaper's media explorer
then drag & drop to this vst

User avatar
246 posts since 4 Feb, 2017

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:25 pm

XO from XLN Audio. On sale next week.

1447 posts since 11 Aug, 2012 from omfr morf form romf frmo

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:27 pm

I will tell you how I got to my current solution and why and perhaps it will save you time, energy, and money. I am now using XO to find samples and build kits. Once you reach a certain size/number of files, traditional folder hierarchy, no matter how organized and fine-grained (I had eventually built something not unlike Hornbostel-Sachs) is simply inefficient. For reference I have 1M+ samples plus symlinked plugin/sampler loose samples. Of those, about 27% are drum one-shots (including round-robins/velocity multisamples).

I segregated and organized them manually into folder structures and browsed with Resonic Pro. Like I said, this is inefficient for creative flow. Resonic is still my primary browser for auditioning and cleaning in a sequential manner, nothing is faster. It's perfect for clearing the garbage from downloaded new packs, and cleaning up stale stuff from your existing library (make sure old projects have a copy of all audio media it uses so you can safely clean your library moving forward). Its database and search is very fast.

Then I got Sononym. Sononym can differentiate between one-shots and loops, and automatically categorizes samples by all manner of sonic aspects. It's amazing and it's my primary sample finder. Between the similarity algorithm and filtering, it finds that needle in the haystack. However, it is a general sample tool, and I wanted something specific for drums.

So enter Atlas. It's specific to drums, you can use it as a drum rack, it uses a cluster map algorithm to navigate samples by similarity but I still find myself doing more random clicking than I'd like. It's got some processing built in but nothing like Battery or Geist. But it's in active development and they are going to add a sequencer. It's on sale right now at a very reasonable price. Some people find this workflow good enough and I'm looking forward to how it develops.

XO rolled out a little after that and it was finally on sale the first time this month. It'll be on sale on Black Friday and I think the sale price is very worth it. It's a full drum machine, you've got 8 slots with sequencer lanes and solid processing with 2 internal sends and individual outs. There are two patterns, A and B which you can chain in different ways. This is important because it works together with building the kit.

You can start with one of many good preset kits, preset patterns, then search and audition new samples via the cluster map or by similarity scales as the pattern plays. This way you can hear it in context. You are encouraged to experiment, since all changes are non-destructive until explicitly committed. The pattern explorer has a lot of useful presets and the sequencer workflow is so fast. Drag up and down for velocity, drag for rolls, drag rolls across to span steps. You can make your own presets to customize it to how you work (and to your library).

This guarantee of experimentation and exploration is maintained the entire time. Navigating the cluster map shows a fading history trail. Liked that sample you heard about maybe 6 samples ago but don't remember where it was? There's a history list you can travel back through.

Now two patterns doesn't seem like much and I agree. It's enough to build a kit and get a really good feel for how it works together, and in context of the rest of your song, which I find extremely valuable. Once you're happy, you can export it in many ways. You can export raw samples, processed samples, raw tracks, stems, beat as WAVs or MIDI. Drag and drop to wherever you need it. Personally I'm bringing loose hits into Battery and Geist 2 especially if I want round-robin and multisamples. Geist 2 can import the MIDI but usually I drop it straight into my DAW for further sequencing. If you're a loop type person you can go nuts. Of course, you can also create more patterns (it's so easy) and export those. It's simply creative fun from the moment you open it.

Also want to point out ADSR's Sample Manager as an option. It's free and it's not as polished as the commercial products (of which some companies are pinning their entire fate upon) but it's in active development and immediately useful. It had trouble ingesting my library and it never finished but they may have addressed that since then. You might want to give that a spin as a baseline functionality that you may find satisfactory enough.

If you've got a smaller library then something like the aforementioned Reaper media explorer database is very good. You can tag files with keywords then search on the filename, tags, etc.. But I think auto-categorization makes its value evident very quickly since tagging and organizing takes a significant amount of work. If I had to do it all over again today? I'd go straight to XO and I'd be done.

2603 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:41 am

Wittenberg wrote: ...they all made a critical mistake: loading a sample involves a windows dialogue each time, which is just KILLING form the creative process and trying out different sounds.
Try iZotope iDrum.

When you load a sample, the other samples in the same folder can be selected via the little up/down arrows, or alternatively by clicking the sample name, which will open a dropdown menu for direct-selection of all samples in the folder. (In other words you need to go via the browser only once unless there are no other samples in the folder youve last selected a sample from.) Switching samples in that manner is 'on-the-fly', i.e. you can create a pattern, play it, and switch samples while the pattern is playing.

Additionally iDrums browser window has 2 things added which a 'normal' Explorer browser window does not have.

1) Preview. If enabled (checkbox) this will trigger a sample when you highlight it with the mouse. You can use this to audition samples directly in the browser window without actually selecting/loading one into the plugin. If you dont want to use the mouse you can use the UP/DOWN arrows on the keyboard instead to audition them one-after-another in alphabetical order. (They will be triggered when highlighted.)

2) Audition Sample In Place. This works just like Preview, only it will temp-replace the sample in a running pattern, so you can hear it 'live' in context with the rest. When youve found a sample you like, just click it and it will become the new sample for that track permanently. To keep the original sample, just exit out of the browser.

As to number of tracks, i think you can pretty much have as few or as many as you want. (I.e. there isnt a fixed amount of tracks you have to work with, you can add/remove as you see fit.) When you click the 'i' button you get all the available track-options such as trigger key, MIDI channel, output channel (8 stereo outs are available), choke group, pitch, decay, HP, LP, and even Bits from 4-bit to 32-bit.

Could be exactly what youre looking for, so cant hurt to give it a try.

User avatar
311 posts since 21 Jan, 2015

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:56 am

Algonaut Atlas – – currently on sale for $49

116 posts since 1 Apr, 2007

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:42 pm

Thank you all for your kind and elaborate replies. I asked my question and then got caught up in something else, so my reply is a little late.

I will consider XO or Atlas, but they seemed to be aimed at finding a sample, but then you still need to load the sample of choice into the instrument that will do the actual drumming in the track. That seems like an overkill for the amount of samples I have.

iDrums was a great suggestion and indeed came very close to what I was looking for. It is, however, out support. I managed to download it form the archive page, but with no serial to buy for it I am not sure how I will get it to work.

Sitala, however, seems to hit bullseye. It flips through samples in a folder with a single click and then has the basic amount of tweaking and multiple outs. And it is free too. So thanks @BJCLUL and thanks eveyone else for helping out.
The more you learn - the less you understand

1054 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Browse-friendly Drum sample player for own samples

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:59 pm

in Nerve you can either scroll through the samples in a folder, or randomly jump to any sample also.
Sitala looks nice, I'll get it just for a change.

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