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SampleTank 3byIK Multimedia
 SampleTank 3 by IK Multimedia is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
SampleTank 3
SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3 SampleTank 3
Product SampleTank 3
Developer IK Multimedia
Price (MSRP)
$249.99 / €199.99
Type / Tags
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Instrument(s)    
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
3.7.3
 
- Released
System Requirements
Windows (64-bit)

Minimal: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB of RAM, Windows 7, or Windows 8. 34 GB of hard drive space. Requires an ASIO compatible sound card.
Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): VST 2, VST 3, AAX.
 
3.7.3
 
- Released
System Requirements
Mac (64-bit)

Minimal: Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.7 or later. 34 GB of hard drive space.
Supported Plug-in formats (64-bit): Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3, AAX.
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include
SampleTank
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionOnline Activation (Challenge / Response)

SampleTank 3 has been rebuilt from the ground up: it has a completely new sound set, fully redesigned easy-to-use interface, new sounds with true-to-life "round robin" and multiple articulations, a new patterns player with MIDI patterns, new effects derived from AmpliTube and T-RackS, a new loop management feature, new filters, a new Live mode and much more.

Sounds:

  • Over 33 GB of included sounds.
  • Over 4,000 new instruments with 21 instrument categories covering a span of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.
  • Over 2,500 drum, percussion and full construction-kit loops played by world-renowned artists.
  • Over 2,000 MIDI files in all categories.

Software:

  • Completely redesigned interface with 3 main environments: Play, Mix and Edit that retain SampleTank's ease-of-use and fast operation.
  • 16 channel multi-part Play interface with easy layering and an integrated MIDI player and mixer.
  • All-in-one sound Edit page with 3 sample engines (including formant preserving pitch-shifting and time-stretching engines), 10 filter types and 8 macro controls per instrument for quick multi-parameter editing.
  • "Round robin" and multiple articulations that are triggerable via key switch, modulation wheel or velocity.
  • Multi-channel mixer-like Mix interface with 5 insert effects per channel, 4 stereo effect returns (with 5 insert effects each) and a master channel with 5 insert effects that allow for up to 30 effects per instrument.
  • 55 high-quality integrated effects, including 22 new effects for mixing, mastering and more creative applications derived from IK's studio-grade T-RackS and AmpliTube production software.
  • New Live mode lets you organize sounds for setlist and song for instant recall during performance.
  • Accurate 3D renderings of instruments for easy identification and recall.
  • Available as standalone and 64-bit plug-in for AAX, VST and Audio Units platforms on Mac OS X and Windows.
  • Compatible with all previous "Powered by SampleTank" sound modules and sounds (can import all previous sounds and Combis).

New Sounds

At the core of SampleTank 3 there are now over 33 GB of professionally recorded and hand-crafted samples. There are over 4,000 instruments in 22 instrument categories, which means "you'll have access to every acoustic, electric and electronic sound you'll ever need". SampleTank 3 also includes over 2,500 drum, percussion and complete groove loops, and over 2,000 MIDI patterns. From Jazz to Rock, from Pop to Funky, from EDM to Hip-Hop, from Dubstep to House.

New Interface

SampleTank 3 retains the ease of use and quick workflow of its previous versions with its new 3 main environments: Play, Mix and Edit. Featuring an elegant and uncluttered design, it lets you start making music in minutes. When you need to dig into its powerful new features, all the controls you need will be there, just one click away.

New Sound Engine

SampleTank 3 sports a brand-new, CPU-efficient software engine with dozens of new features. Give your sounds a live-played organic depth with "round-robin" and multiple articulations, shape your tone with 10 types of filters — including emulations of some of the most iconic analog filters of all time — and tweak your samples using its 3 unique sampling engines (including the formant preserving STRETCH and pitch-shift/time-stretch engines). Plus for quick sound editing, 8 easy-to-use pre-programmed macro functions can be pulled up at any moment. The new Live feature lets you organize your sounds by setlist and song with smart sound loading for instant recall while you are on stage performing.

New MIDI Engine

The new SampleTank 3 built-in MIDI engine – combined with the thousands of included MIDI patterns – lets you quickly build rhythmic grooves and tracks directly from your workstation and easily sync them with your DAW. You can now load up to 128 MIDI patterns for each of the 16 parts, with extensive control over intensity, transposition and quantization — play them all from your keyboard or effortlessly drag them to your DAW and keep working from there. Plus you can mix and match patterns and loops and sync them together seamlessly to build your groove.

New Effects

The new internal multi-effects selection now contains 55 high-quality effects with 22 brand-new effects derived from the analog-modeled algorithms and convolution technology found in AmpliTube and T-RackS plus brand new effects developed just for SampleTank 3. There is also a new 16 channel mixer-like interface with 5 insert effect slots per part, 4 stereo FX returns and a Master Channel — each with 5 effect slots. Up to 30 effects can be applied to a single SampleTank sound for a spectrum of creative sound design possibilities.

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 3.00 from 3 reviews

Reviewed By robogone
October 24, 2014

Sampletank was always one of those tools that I only used for the libraries that were ST only, but didn't own it - until now. ST3 has been touted here and elsewhere as a huge step forward, and I think it is.

The first thing that struck me about it is the size of the library - 33GB, which covers a very wide range of instruments and sounds. The GUI has been improved slightly, and for the most part is user-friendly, relatively intuitive.

As with any sampler, the sound libraries are the most important thing, and IKM has done a pretty good job at providing some high quality samples. The EDM and band side of things is covered quite well, and there's a relatively complete set of orchestral instruments too. Some of the orchestral instruments sound good in part of the range and more obviously sampled in others. For example, the solo strings don't always sound perfect, but I am impressed with the sounds of the ensemble strings; and some of the brass instruments don't sound quite right at the high end of their range, but are good in the lower register.

What is very impressive is the integrated MIDI player - you can select an instrument, then a MIDI pattern on the next tab, and play a particular MIDI pattern by pressing the key it is assigned to - very useful for things like drums and bass lines.

One thing I would like to have seen is slightly better naming conventions for some of the instruments and their parent folders, but overall the organization of instruments is good, and it make it easy to find a sound that you need.

A point to note is that this is now a 64-bit tool (Yay!), but there is no longer a 32-bit version. Not a big deal for most people I think, and personally I have no problems as I've gone completely 64-bit.

In summary, I think this is a damn good upgrade from ST2, and with different versions at different price points available, worth considering.

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Reviewed By Andurian
August 2, 2014

I've had this just long enough to get a good feel for it, so I thought I'd give my thoughts.

First, this has excellent sounds. They sound natural, not thin, and they fit into a mix well with the softsynths I use (Harmor, Sytrus, Crystal, and most of the NI products). There's an excellent, though imperfect, variety. Though this won't replace most special purpose packages, it will serve as an excellent place holder until you are sure you need them. And, at least in my case, most of the time I expect I won't.

Second, as someone who owns Total Studio 3, and hence lots of sampler-ish synths from IK, I find it quite nice that I'm able to import them all into one interface. In my perfect world I'd be able to categorize every sound sample and I own in a more user-friendly version of something like Massive's interface, and be able to choose from all the sounds of one type from a central resource. This can't do that, but it does move in that direction.

As a final thought on the positive side, the interface of ST3 is incredibly much improved from previous versions. The ST2 XL interface was painfully tiny on my 24" 1080p monitor, and god help anyone who tried to view it on a laptop screen with even higher resolution. ST3 is neat, clean, and quite readable. Enough so I'm betting even on a 17" 2560x1600 resolution laptop it would still be usable.

The MIDI seems clumsy in many ways, and I wish it could be polished. And I wish it supported sf2 and sfz files. That doesn't seem like too much to ask. Or nki files, which *is* too much to ask. ;)

Oh, and it's 64-bit only. I use a 32-bit DAW, so I have to use it bridged. Not the biggest problem in the world, but a minor annoyance.

I got this for $99, and it was a steal at that price. In a world where you can get Komplete for $400, however, I'm pretty skeptical about the fact full retail is $350. But if you can get it as an upgrade, or on sale, definitely go for it.

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Reviewed By italo808
July 29, 2014

UPDATE: ok, I have read the KVR forum on this product after still being underwhelmed by it...I get it, I get it: all this thing is is a sample player with limited/marginally useful editing capabilities. It has Band-in-a-Box pre-set/non-user editable or definable pattern playback that I guess provides a bed to play on top of. I dunno...well, actually, I do know: my Korg M1 from the Legacy Digital Edition blows it out of the water. At least with that one can change the samples & do quick and easy MIDI learn assignments (my two major gripes with ST3)...the only thing I find crappy about Korg M1 Legacy is the small font and poor choice of color which creates difficultly to read the graphic elements.

Let me clarify myself for the readers and record:

What part of ST3 DOES get a 10/10 review? that would easily be Peter - IK Multimedia...he's a real trooper: pro-active, tireless, engaged with the community...he's an asset to IK Multimedia.

I am positively impartial to the fact that IK Multimedia is an Italian company too.

...ok, that is where my kudos end...all the things I have wrote below still hold in my opinion and everyone is entitled to one I guess.

I am glad at least 3/11 people to date have found this review useful.

(the previous reviews below have elements omitted as I feel I come across as venomous/harsh towards this product...I truly am NOT)

UPDATE: nothing has changed from what I have wrote below sometime last year (2014)...well, i take that back, things have changed: they added a wonderful little store inside their product so you can spend money on their presets...Bogus.

one more thing to add to this update: Sampletank takes SO long to load a Multi (let's say)...why?

OLD REVIEW:

Punchy sounding (thanks to the 5 insert effects slots per part)

-I wish I could drop my own MIDI files into it to trigger the sounds rather than the pre-made stuff.

-I wish I could load my Soundfonts into it.

-I wish I could mute/unmute the 16 parts within a performance scenario...cannot do this as it seems the mutes only respond to whichever MIDI channel I am currently on: if I am on multitimbral part 1 then the mute for that channel can only be controlled via my external control...and so on.

-I wish that the MIDI learn mode would stay on until I determine when I done assigning things...it seems it is only on for one assignment at a time.

well, those are my gripes and I would hope these seemingly simple negatives could be addressed in the next revision.

the sounds are good and sit well when in the mix with my arsenal of killer softsynths (omnisphere, blue, spectral, zeta2...to name a few)...

it is what it is: a rompler and it holds up extremely well for me.

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SampleTank 3

Average user rating of 3.00 from 3 reviews

IK Multimedia
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