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Sampler/Sample Player Plugin by Image Line
DirectWave by Image Line is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin and an Audio Plugin Host for Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin. It can host VST Plugins.
Can Host
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
AIFF, Akai, Battery, EXS24, Giga, Kontakt, OGG, RCY, SF2 (SoundFont), sfz, WAV
Copy Protection
Key File
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
165 KVR members have added DirectWave to 16 My KVR groups 194 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+15 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 313   311

30-Day: 331; 7-Day: 408; Yesterday: 206

DirectWave is an inline multi-layer multi-timbral sampler, capable of playing and recording samples through real input sampling. All parameters and effects may be automated or modulated through a 16-slot modulation matrix.


  • 16 part multi-timbral, 32-bit VSTi sampler.
  • 128 Voice Polyphony.
  • 128 programs.
  • Unlimited zones per program.
  • All samplerates supported.
  • Realtime SINC-64 point interpolation (HQ Audiophile).
  • Poly, Mono, Legato operation, with glide / auto mode.
  • 2*24 dB 5 mode filters serial or parallel.
  • Flexible 16 slot freely assignable Modulation Matrix.
  • 2 mod. ADSR envelopes, 2 zone-independent mod. LFOs 2 global program mod. LFOs.
  • Automatable loop points, reverse loop points supported.
  • Loop modes: fwd, one-shot, sustained, bounce looping.
  • Automatable sample start offset (available as mod. destination parameters, as well as the loop points).
  • Built-in voice Insert FX with independent settings for each zone: ring mod. samplerate decimator, bitcrusher, phaser. All of them available as destination parameters in the mod. matrix.
  • Built-in send effects: chorus, reverb, delay (with filtered feedback, sync to host tempo).
  • Independent send amounts per zone.
  • Freely assignable 16 stereo outputs.
  • Multi-editor with channel list, mixer, expression, modulation and pitchbend GUI controls.
  • Built-in sample editor with destructive editing (cut / copy / paste / trim functions), loop finding tool, normalize, vertical / horizontal zooming, etc).
  • Realtime sampling / recording of whatever is connected to DirectWave inputs (needs modular host or host with assignable plug-in routing).
  • Record Threshold: sampling input will wait until signal peak arises (-40dB).
  • Built-in VSTi host to easily automate "sampling" of your VST instruments directly into DirectWave.
  • Total Recall operation mode: DirectWave will enclose all the required sample data in the project files created by your host: it creates totally portable projects without worrying about needed sample files.
  • Import: DWP (proprietary), WAV (any), SF2 (Soundfont), AKP (Akai), Propellerheads Recycle, Native Instruments Battery, Kontakt * (nki), GIGA * (gig).
  • Several importing methods: built-in browsing, drag&drop, menu options.
  • Built-in fast library browser list and tree-arranged menu program selector.
  • Zone editor with visual zone arrangement map and list with all zone properties.
  • All program/zone parameters of all channels can be automated as VST parameters.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 4 reviews

Reviewed By KMJoshi
June 26th, 2017

DirectWave has been updated to a vectorial UI, the old problem of "too small to work with interfaces" are gone.

It does get a bit tedious arranging the samples though (all the squinting and hold-your-breath kinda steady mouse movements), but DirectWave gets the job done.

However, it does eat up plenty of RAM. So you need to think of your RAM size. What we absolutely need is Disk Streaming.

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Reviewed By AoPenguix
February 26th, 2016

DirectWave - Image-Line's advanced sampler.

It's simple and easy to use. Has a very low CPU usage. Equipped with 2 filters, 2 LFOs, 2 envelopes and basic effects.

It has built-in unique VST Sampler tool which allows to create wav. samples program from any preset of any VST generator.



  • low CPU usage.
  • awesome VST Sampler tool
  • ‚Äčbuilt-in effects.


  • a little outdated interface.
  • lack of factory programs.

HOWEVER this plugin can also open SF2 and sfz files and allows easy edition of these programs. I got a lot of great instruments thanks to that.

The only thing I don't like is that it allows to load multiple programs but doesn't allow layering them - every multi program is locked to one MIDI chennel.

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Reviewed By Saukar30
August 26th, 2015

This SHOULD be one of the greatest samplers around! However with lack of support, a lot of love has been lost by the users. I want go give another review on the good points since I just came across this sampler recently and it has been updated somewhat. Also, it now comes free with the Producer version of FL Studio.

The sound: Supreme! I know that sampler/vst aficionados will say that all samplers calculate 1's and 0's the same so all samples will sound the same, but I really don't agree. I think everything has it's own flair, and this sampler definitely has a great sound to it. It's like a really glossy clean sound that sounds "sturdy". Not over saturated, not too clinical... but pristine. I hope these adjective translate well with those who read it. The sound of the filters, I agree with the previous review suck, but they don't detract away too much.

Features: Being able to import basic sfz files, rex, sf2s & a variety of other formats (even Kontakt 4 files albeit no scripting) means you can have lots of fun giving your samples a new sound & feel. You can record samples (!! YAY !!!), and time stretch as well. The timestretch is not elastique pro quality, but for something like this you may no really want it to be. The loop points, effects, LFOs, filters, timestretch options & envelopes can be automated per zone or global. There are 3 global effects for your preset: reverb, chorus & delay. You can set up a Direct Wave Bank that has 128 different programs, it's multitimbral, 16 outputs, AND it can sample VSTs! Not too mention, everything is pretty much laid on one screen, so you don't ever feel like you're getting lost. On paper, this annihilates a lot of the competition.

Ease of use: And here is the bad part. Directwave is NOT difficult to use, don't get me wrong. There are just things that don't work well, which is surprising for a VST that has been around this long. Sometimes loading different formats doesn't translate well. DW will freeze if the file is too big. But this is working usually in the 32-bit version. In the 64-bit version, I can get larger files to load a little better, but it still takes a minute. Being that this VST was released about 10 years ago, one would expect some disk streaming as standard. Another complaint is that DW doesn't slice or recognize multiple points in acidized wave files. Being that Image Line has so many tools to slice and dice with (SliceX, Edison, Fruity Slicer), you would think that you would be able to incorporate that into DW somewhere. However, DW only deals with regular samples UNLESS it's a REX file (I Haven't checked Recycle files). With REX files. each slice or region shows independently as a zone in DW, and from there you can treat the zones as different samples. It would be nice to have his applied to other samples that are sliced from Edison or SliceX (with drag and drop from those tools specifically) as well to take advantage of the quick workflow.

As many, I wish that Image Line will really just listen to their customers and either revamp Directwave or take some cues from its versatility and make a new sampler. For owners of FLStudio, it would be a pretty basic statement to say that this is the missing piece that doesn't make FLStudio feel complete. They have at least brought it to 64-bit territory which is a start, but this sampler is begging for much more. For instance, there is no aftertouch or MIDI controls in the matrix. Better filters, maybe additional LFO shapes, more sfz opcodes as well would be great. It's a shame, because ideally this could the main sampler that tweakers could use for making their own instruments that is lightweight with a great sound. There are lots of options available now in this territory, but no one has really NAILED the VST Sampler yet besides Native Instruments. As time goes forth, someone has to come up with what people REALLY want. The groundwork is there! Directwave is almost it, but no one can justify spending money on a tool that its developers do not want to support consistently. Personally, I'll use it as is... but I'm always on the lookout for something better.

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Reviewed By lordvader48
January 8th, 2007

DirectWave is billed as "one of the most complete VSTi samplers" on the market today.

You know what? That claim is 100% true. DirectWave is one of the first of a new generation of soft-samplers that actually SAMPLE AUDIO and do waveform editing. And the difference is amazing. Just download the demo and try sampling some sounds, and you'll see what I mean. Samplers.. need to SAMPLE. DirectWave does!

DirectWave also sports one of the best and most well-thought-out interfaces I have seen anywhere. It's set up so that almost everything is on one page, with a really intelligent and useful tabbed interface. It just has to be seen to be believed. This is how instrument GUI's should be!

DirectWave really sounds great. About the only negative with its sonics I can think of is that its filters are a bit weak. But while others might care about that, I don't. DirectWave's filters are more than good enough for my needs, and DirectWave has really great PER-VOICE (keyzone) DSP effects, comprehensive modulation matrix, and terrific reverb/delay/chorus effects in its "Program" (master) section. The overall sonic results are simply superb, and DirectWave is very CPU efficient as well.

Did I mention the reverb? DirectWave has a really great, dense, "old-school" reverb built in that really sounds great. It makes my samples sound wonderful.

About the only other problem I can discern is that DirectWave's documentation, especially its "online help", is inadequate.


DirectWave is the best "soft-sampler" on the market today. And, as they claim, it is one of the most "complete". At $99.00, it's an incredible value too. I am anxiously awaiting release of the Mac OSX version so I can use DirectWave on my main DAW. Once the Mac version comes out, DirectWave is going to be my main workhorse.

Goodbye, rack of Akai's...
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Comments & Discussion for Image Line DirectWave

Discussion: Active


27 June 2017 at 10:16am

Where do I find this new Version for windows ?

On the image Line site is only the old version 1.6.3.

27 June 2017 at 7:14pm

@ echopark They seem to have been updating their plug-ins in this order: Mac versions first, followed by PC. That's the way it worked with Sytrus for example.

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