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SampleTank free

Sound Module Plugin by IK Multimedia
No Longer Available
SampleTank FREE
SampleTank free by IK Multimedia is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin and an Audio Units Plugin.
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
AIFF, Akai, SampleCell II, SampleTank, SDII, WAV
Copy Protection
Online Activation (Challenge / Response)
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
184 KVR members have added SampleTank free to 17 My KVR groups 200 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+17 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 652   519   641

30-Day: 598; 7-Day: 653; Yesterday: 590

SampleTank free is a full-featured version of SampleTank 2.5, with a 500 MB specially selected samples library. It is no longer limited - you can load multiple instances, it opens ALL SampleTank format sounds, has import functionality, and the ability to create your own user presets.


  • Over 500 MB samples for over 200 sounds included.
  • 16 part multi-timbral with easy layerable/mixable parts.
  • 3 synth engines:
    • STRETCH (formant preserving pitch-shift/time-stretch).
    • Polyphonic Pitch-Shift/Time-Stretch (PS/TS).
    • Resampling.
  • Powerful multi-effects section:
    • 5 insert effects per Part.
    • 5 Send effects.
    • Master effects.
  • 33 built-in DSP effects derived from audio processors like T-RackS and AmpliTube.
  • Part and Master Loop Sync.
  • Can be expanded with: SampleTank 2.5 L and XL sounds and any "Powered by SampleTank" sound modules including Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonik Synth 2, SampleMoog, SampleTron.
  • Can be expanded with any Xpansion Tank 2 sounds.
  • Imports WAV, AIFF, SDII, AKAI S-1000/3000, SAMPLECELL.
  • Available both as a standalone application as well as a plug-in.
  • VST, RTAS, and AU on Mac OS X/Windows.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 3.44 from 9 reviews
SampleTank free

Reviewed By Zig [all]
December 20th, 2014
Version reviewed: Win7 on Windows

I downloaded SampleTank 3 free a while ago and could not get it to work. The Authorization Manager did not work. I then downloaded an updated Authorization Manager as instructed by IKMultimedia. I still could not authorize this program. Let's fast forward some months and I finally got SampleTank 3 free registered. However, the sounds did not show up in SampleTank. I read in forums that many people have had this issue since at least July 2014. IKMultimedia had no solution and merely noted that this was a Windows related issue. I then checked the default path where IKMultimedia's install manager installed the sounds. It installed the sounds in the following path: C:UsersPublicDocumentsIKMultimediaSampleTank. BUT the windows path is actually C:UsersPublicPublic DocumentsIKMultimediaSampleTank3. (Note: there are backslashes in the folder names but KVR's word processor deletes them when saving).

Note: Windows 7's 'Documents' folder is called 'Public Documents'. SampleTank cannot recognize a folder name with a space in it. It therefore deletes the word 'public' from the folder name. Therefore, the program cannot find the sounds. I would say that this is an issue with IKMultimedia rather than Windows. It's a programming issue. I therefore copied the contents into C:Program FilesIK MultimediaSampleTank 3Instruments. Then I went into 'settings' and searched for the folder and that was it. The sounds load.

Another issue was that although Patterns can be loaded and played (since I see the keys move), I cannot hear those sounds.

In terms of sound quality of the instruments that I played, they sound alright. I would't give them anything beyond mildly useful.

Overall, SampleTank 3 free is a disappointment because of the failed Authorization Manager and the fact that IKMultimedia haven't resolved the issue with sounds not loading. This shows that the company does not test their products before entering the market, and perhaps even worse, they haven't resolved the issue which is so easy to solve, namely, install the sounds in a different folder.

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SampleTank free

Reviewed By fizzicist [all]
June 27th, 2012
Version reviewed: 2.5 on Mac

I was sorely tempted to give SampleTank FREE a 10 rating just because it's so incredible that anything this good could actually be free. My first experience with the IK Multimedia's products came when I bought Miroslav Philharmonik, whose symphonic instruments exceeded my expectations in terms of sample quality, ease of use, and overall usability in my mixes. Thus encouraged, I figured I had nothing to lose by trying SampleTank FREE. I was right.

I can't say I like all the instruments, but that's true of every virtual instrument I own, so that's hardly a negative. Actually, I'm impressed with most of the instruments. Right out of the gate, I found great drum kit and bass sounds that were immediately useful in my compositions with little or no tweaking. The electric pianos are just OK, but maybe there are better instruments in the full version. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the vocal instruments (Soprano Ahh), which is remarkably realistic for the right kind of part. In fact, I'd say that the key to using SampleTank (at least the FREE version) is knowing when and where to use the instruments for their strengths.

I was dismayed to find that using multiple instances of the SampleTank plugin for certain instruments produces a horrid crackling kind of distortion (in Logic Pro 9.x, at least). I called the bug to the attention of support, and their responsiveness was most impressive. They expect to fix it in the v3 release.

Overall, I'm sufficiently impressed with SampleTank FREE to buy the full version, SampleTank XL, but I'll probably wait until the v3 release.

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SampleTank free

Reviewed By Andywanders [all]
August 20th, 2003
Version reviewed: free on Windows

I just downloaded this, and all the available sounds from the site, and on my dialup it took AGES..! There's a lot of big files here and it takes up more than 70MB on my hard drive, so if you don't need another piano, don't get one.

Sampletank has been around for ** years now, and I've always been curious about it. So far, I'm very impressed with this beast, it's very easy to set up and browse through sounds. After downloading and installing it you need to register it, but that's fairly painless and straightforward, though I'm not sure why it's necessary.

As for the sounds, well they're generally very good. The bass guitar is particularly outstanding, and very natural sounding. Also the acoustic guitar is very nice, and has a good range - lots of multisamples me-thinks. Get the vocals, they're excellent, oohs and ahhs. And "LA Pad", a very nice rich, milky sounding pad. The congas and bongos are worth downloading too, I find a lot of keyboards/samplers are quite weak in this area, but Sampletank's perc. is very nice. But don't bother with the drums, they're below average and most PC soundcards will have better drums than this.

I didn't think much of the piano, it's a bit too thin for me, but that means it will probably sit well in a busy mix. However, I'm sticking with my Kurzweil for piano sounds. Also the electric guitar is weak, sounds like a cheap, Strat copy, plugged straight in to a mixer channel. Anyone who plays guitar (I do) would hate this sound.

I don't know why synth sounds are included. While they're okay, there are much better sounding free softsynths out there. And I'm very surprised that there's no brass or woodwind sounds, these generally work well with samplers (there is an oboe, but it doesn't sound like one).

The FX are very good too - well chosen and very musical. You can modify the sounds a little using pre-set parameters and different FX settings, but it's not a full blown rompler in this respect - no real filters, envelopes or LFO's.

Choice of sounds is limited to what's available on the Sampletank site, and that's a bummer. These days, there's loads of really good soundfonts out there and I for one, prefer working with them. They're easy to edit, and cover just about every area. If Soundfonts could be imported into Sampletank.... Well..!

I can't see myself using this very much, probably the bass will get an airing from time to time, and maybe the vocals, but don't let that put you off. If you have a fast connection, get it. It just might be what you're looking for, and it's FREE... (Apart from the download time)
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SampleTank free

Reviewed By boum [all]
July 3rd, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.1.9 on Windows

I thought I'd be happy with the free version...but I was so impressed I forked out for LE w/OmniSynth within three days!

Anyway, the instruments: I have never, ever heard two such realistic guitars, the drums are nigh-on perfect (although I think I've got two rim-shots instead of one & a regular snare, but hey...) and the pianos & strings are as you'd expect, but particularly good versions.

You can add four simultaneous effects from a comprehensive list - I'm especially impressed with the 'Lo-Fi' compressor; I 've used it in conjunction with the 'Phonograph' crackle/noise generator to replicate an old 7" single played on a Dansette.

The GUI is fine: five minutes playing around & you'll be familiar with it. The context-sensitive nature means that the knobs' functions will change to suit each instrument. Plus, the online support is great - a dedicated KVR forum.

Great - if you haven't downloaded it already...
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SampleTank free

Reviewed By RWA [all]
June 25th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.19 on Windows

I love this thing! The orchestral-strings, old 4-string bass and piano find a way in almost every track I make. The sounds are fantastic and very natural. The bassplayer of my band couldn't tell I used this VSTi on my songs; he actually though it was the real thing.......

The most important thing about the sounds to me is that they fit into almost every mix. Sometimes a "stand alone" sound kinda drowns in the total mix but these presets fit in perfectly. And although the sounds itself are fixed you can tweek a lot using the effects.

Also a big plus is the stability and low CPU compared to the rich sound it provides.

Ofcourse the amount of presets is kinda limited and the main purpose of this thing is to make you intrested in Sampletank LE,XL etc. Don't forget this thing is free. And it worked for me. I just ordered Symphony Strings which includes the LE-version.

It's funny to see how critical some people are towards these kind of free instruments. Ofcourse they're limited and are not as powerfull as some commercial ones. But it seems irralevent to me to compare a free VSTi to ones that cost $300 to $600. I find it amazing that a great sounding instrument like this is for free.
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Comments & Discussion for IK Multimedia SampleTank free

Discussion: Active
1 July 2012 at 7:14pm

I am struggling to use sample tank! I run ableton on my mac and the samples come out sounding like they wanna kill my ears! Not good! I've read other stuff about sample tank not running well in ableton, does anyone know about this?

take it easy peeps!


10 September 2012 at 8:37am

does anybody know how to connect multiple keyboards to a single sampletank

I'm trying to build a setup based on a single sampletank to play prog rock music ( so I need many keyboards )

I like the sounds of sample tank, but I can't seems to connect more than one keyboard at a time.

is there a walk around? can I make a virtual MIDI bridge? it looks like you can send 16 channels to sampletank. so I guess I need a trick how to re-route all the MIDI keyboards to a single device? I can do that in Linux but not in windows... I'm lost here..

thanks, for the help.

20 August 2013 at 6:10pm

You probably need an intermediary program if you are unable to daisy chain keyboards. In Reaper, you can open multiple MIDI devices on a track and have it pass-through the source channel numbers.

23 August 2013 at 3:09am

Hi frankz00, If you have sampletank working as a plug-in for reaper, can I ask you what file you put in the 32-bit program files VST folder? I tried all the files from the .vpa to the .xrs to the standalone and the .dxi, but Reaper can't see it.

27 August 2013 at 8:21pm

All I have in my VST folder is SampleTank2.x.dll. The .dxi files are system installed and Reaper should list them under the DXi section under effects.

29 August 2013 at 4:35am

Hi frankz00 - I run windows, but I suggest you do a search for sampletank.x. I discovered two or three files I needed besides the .dll to make the thing go. Besides the .dxi, there was a vs something. Anyway, get all the sampletank.x files in your VST folder.

22 July 2014 at 9:52pm

will the free Reg'd version be eligible for the Sampletank 3 Sweetwater upgrade ? I just found out from my sales rep that the ship date is being upped to the 24th and the 23rd is the LAST DAY TO PREORDER !! I was given the free version after I bought SampleMOOG, SampleTRON, Sonik Synth 2 and many expansions for ST & SS. I've called for days and get a recording, I have opened tickets, and so far I've heard NOTHING FROM IK !! thanks very much.

22 July 2014 at 11:49pm

Here's an excerpt from the email sent by IKM yesterday in answer to your question:

  • "This is the final week to pre-order SampleTank 3 for as low as $99.99/€79.99 if you own SampleTank 2 XL or Miroslav Philharmonik full. You can also crossgrade for just $149.99/€119.99 if you own any other paid IK software, hardware or app. Hurry, there are only a few days left!".

SampleTank Free doesn't qualify you for the pre-order upgrade price. You have to own SampleTank 2XL or Miroslav Philharmonik full to get the $99.99 price. But since you own SampleMoog, SampleTron, and SoniSynth you qualify for the crossgrade price.

23 July 2014 at 1:58am

thanks I already own sampletank 2.5.

23 July 2014 at 2:08am

Thanks for the heads up! The color scheme of the original interface was kind of cool, BUT TOO SMALL! I'm sure they got tons of hate mail about this. It looks like they fixed this and it's great they have a MIDI engine now. Maybe my Sonic Synth won't keep crashing now.

23 July 2014 at 3:40pm

thanks very much for this info, I really appreciate it.

Big Busker
Big Busker
22 January 2016 at 2:52pm

I got this a while ago, but IK was brutal about my authorization codes (they told me the one they sent me was "out of date", and did so for the other 3 I requested; excuse you?). Had to really arm-wrestle with them through email to get it to work. OK sounds, somewhat tweakable, some good verb and effects, but I use it mostly as a plug-&-play. Not a go-to for tracks, but for me it's a good sketch pad or when layering with other things (horns, strings, drums, etc). The Rhodes keyboards just miss by about half an inch.

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