Best Sample Player for polyphonic playing

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
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Halion for playing OneShot samples chromatically is like using and atomic bomb to open a locked door.

Cubase´s sampler tracks should work.

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It’s been a challenge to figure out what the OP is actually asking, but I THINK it’s essentially this:

For melodic loops, is there a sampler that can pitch shift (WITH time stretch) as cleanly as Halion, but costs less?

I’ve used most software samplers at some point, but that kind of usage is so far removed from what I do with them that I wouldn’t know what to recommend.

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I would recommend TAL-Sampler for the following reasons:

* Very budget friendly -- Only $60
* Has stretching and transposition algorithms, as requested by the OP
* Uses only Serial number copy protection
* The developer has a great reputation for quality and supporting his products well.
* Works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

It meets the OP's needs and yet only costs very little.

Added note: If you can wait a year or so, there will be an open source solution in the form of Shortcircuit-XT.
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

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MTorn wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 6:46 am For melodic loops, is there a sampler that can pitch shift (WITH time stretch) as cleanly as Halion, but costs less?
I don't know about Halion, but I thought Kontakt 5 already did as much as I'd ever want.

TBH, the cleanest will always be offline pitch shifters, because they can use larger buffers.

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audiojunkie wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 8:15 am I would recommend TAL-Sampler for the following reasons:
I'm guessing TAL Sampler won't do what the OP wants. The time stretching algorithms are very rudimentary and old school. Exactly what some people want, but far from artifact-free.
The new (-ish) granular engine in TAL is quite nice, but again, quite a different thing.

If the OP has Logic Pro, time stretching in that sampler isn't terrible.
Or if he/she has Reason, the sample player device called Mimic will probably do a good job for this.

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I use Kontakt, and have not tried this yet, but it has a ton of 'features' and is free. So worth a test. The tutorials/demos are p.a.i.n.f.u.l.l.y long-winded for my taste, but this one shows you how to load your samples and save it as a patch/instrument. Good luck.

https://youtu.be/_qBTSKe6EOs

https://soundpaint.com/pages/free-engine
I'm not a musician, but I've designed sounds that others use to make music. http://soundcloud.com/obsidiananvil

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audiojunkie wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 8:15 am Added note: If you can wait a year or so, there will be an open source solution in the form of Shortcircuit-XT.
I forgot to mention, as it stands now, Shortcircuit XT will not have time stretching. At least not in the first release.

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MTorn wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 1:14 pm
audiojunkie wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 8:15 am Added note: If you can wait a year or so, there will be an open source solution in the form of Shortcircuit-XT.
I forgot to mention, as it stands now, Shortcircuit XT will not have time stretching. At least not in the first release.
Bummer. 😕
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

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HAL76 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 3:56 am Halion for playing OneShot samples chromatically is like using and atomic bomb to open a locked door.
Yes... :-)
This is the reason, why I'm look for other alternatives.

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MTorn wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 6:46 am It’s been a challenge to figure out what the OP is actually asking, but I THINK it’s essentially this:
For melodic loops, is there a sampler that can pitch shift (WITH time stretch) as cleanly as Halion, but costs less?
Sometimes it is indeed difficult to describe the topic ;-)
To loop/play single samples (spread them e.g. about 10 keys) sounds in the results different between all the samplers even the most sampler have pitch and time stretch.
My benchmark belongs to all the so far tested samplers is Halion, which is indeed to expensive to use it only for sample playing. Halion has a build in feature, that the spreaded samples sounds over e.g. 10 keys (up and down) always "naturally" than the original sample.
All so far other tested samplers sounds mostly "strange" beginning by playing keys up or down.

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audiojunkie wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 8:15 am I would recommend TAL-Sampler for the following reasons:

* Very budget friendly -- Only $60
* Has stretching and transposition algorithms, as requested by the OP
* Uses only Serial number copy protection
* The developer has a great reputation for quality and supporting his products well.
* Works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux
Thanks for advice. I will have a look on the TAL-Sampler.

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Thanks for this. I will have a look on it.

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Bladerunner1962 wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 1:28 am Sometimes it is indeed difficult to describe the topic ;-)
I think what you had forgotten to mention was that you were taking about the quality of the time stretch function.

Since the beginning of time, all samplers have primarily changed the pitch of the sound by speeding up and slowing down the speed of playback, like a tape recorder. All sampler can do this well, with very few artifacts - they sound nearly identical to other samplers when doing this.
If at all possible, consider doing it this way - not only is playback much cleaner (but yes, faster/slower), but it’s also MUCH less CPU intensive.

To prevent higher/lower pitches from playing faster/slower, complex time stretching algorithms have to be used (not all samplers offer this). They vary greatly in how clean/natural they sound, and the results also vary hugely depending on what the original sample sounds like.
Personally, I never use any time stretching on any sampler. Even the best algorithms sound pretty crap to me, and my poor old computer would bog down very quickly under the CPU load.

As somebody mentioned earlier in the thread, if you can use non-realtime time stretching/pitch shifting (by processing the raw sample), results are generally much better. And as a bonus, CPU usage is kept low.

What DAW are you using? That’ll tell us some more about what options you have.

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MTorn wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 6:52 am
Bladerunner1962 wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 1:28 am Sometimes it is indeed difficult to describe the topic ;-)
I think what you had forgotten to mention was that you were taking about the quality of the time stretch function.

Since the beginning of time, all samplers have primarily changed the pitch of the sound by speeding up and slowing down the speed of playback, like a tape recorder. All sampler can do this well, with very few artifacts - they sound nearly identical to other samplers when doing this.
If at all possible, consider doing it this way - not only is playback much cleaner (but yes, faster/slower), but it’s also MUCH less CPU intensive.

To prevent higher/lower pitches from playing faster/slower, complex time stretching algorithms have to be used (not all samplers offer this). They vary greatly in how clean/natural they sound, and the results also vary hugely depending on what the original sample sounds like.
Personally, I never use any time stretching on any sampler. Even the best algorithms sound pretty crap to me, and my poor old computer would bog down very quickly under the CPU load.

As somebody mentioned earlier in the thread, if you can use non-realtime time stretching/pitch shifting (by processing the raw sample), results are generally much better. And as a bonus, CPU usage is kept low.

What DAW are you using? That’ll tell us some more about what options you have.
I'm interested in knowing this from the OP also, because Reaper has a fantastic, high quality pitch shifter built in. That said, there simply aren't many options available. I'm currently thinking that TX16Wx may be the cheapest option he has available. But I also agree that non-realtime may be the necessary way to go because of the need for inexpensive options.

One possible option that hasn't been mentioned yet, is through using Polyphone and an offline pitch shifter to take the one sample and render better pitched samples, and then load and create soundfonts with Polyphone. There are several free/cheap options for Soundfont players that would work. Maybe a bit more manual preparation would be the price of doing it more cheaply than Halion.....

I'd be interested in your @MTorn opinion on what is the best in this case. I too have been looking for the same thing as the OP. The main reason is, there are lots and lots of available single Wav file samples out there (especially on FreeSound), but very few availabe multisamples. The only way I've figured I could get the quality I want from samplers like Tal-Sampler and the like is to do offline transposing and stretching through extremely high interpolation of the samples for each note. Something like 512 Sinc or higher off line interpolation should be able to take a single sample and allow the creation of a multisample set that requires no real time stretching or transposition.

I've thought over and over how cool it would be to have a specialty sampler tool that allows you to automatically import and loop a single sample, and then, it automatically does an off line batch render of the single sample and time stretches it and transposes it with extremely high interpolation algorithms to create a full multisample sound set that can be imported into any sampler. I can see how it can be done, but I couldn't program myself out of a wet paper back to save my life. Done with a high enough off line interpolation algorithm, I know that this could be done. We just need someone to write it. :D
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

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I too had that thought! If you could specify the upper and lower transposition limits, and an interval (all the semitones, every other, etc), and then the offline processor would spit out WAVs for each. In fact, I suggested it for Shortcircuit XT, but they didn’t seem too into the idea.

I’m not a Reaper user, but I understand that it’s highly scriptable. Perhaps it can be done that way?

In most cases though, a stretched single sample doesn’t sound much like a proper multisample.

None of the samples I use are loops or phrases.
For my (way too big) sample library, most are multisamples I’ve collected over the years. But I also have a ton of single samples. Those typically have a sustain loop (some smoother than others), and have been carefully set up with filters, envelopes, etc, to make them as playable as possible. In many cases that works extremely well.

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