Review of SampleScience Player – a 200 instrument rompler (VST / AU)

Review of SampleScience Player – a 200 instrument rompler (VST / AU)

Introduction
SampleScience have introduced SampleScience Player, a 200 instrument rompler from SampleScience available for Windows (VST) and macOS (AU)in 32 and 64 bit versions. It is available from the SampleScience website.

Background
SampleScience Player is a big rompler. It used to be free but due to the high bandwidth required for distribution it is now priced at $20.  The sample library has been compressed in FLAC format to limit the size of the plugin which occupies about 4gb of hard drive space.

There are 200 sounds in a number of categories including basic, bass, brass, chips, drums, keys, orchestra, percussion, sound design, strings, synth, vocals, wind and world. There are also bonus mastrcode pads.

All of the included sounds are either public domain, CC 3.0 with attribution or made strictly for music production.

Download and Installation
The download link is embedded on the page above.

One point I noticed, the minimum specs are stated as 8Gb of RAM and an i5 or better. My spec is a dual core pentium with 4Gb of RAM and it has run perfectly well so far.

Overview
As well as the 200 sounds, the SampleScience player also has a linear ADSR, Multi-LFO, low/high pass filters, velocity amp range controls and glide in mono voice which give further additional sound shaping options.

The interface is easy to navigate, the top section has the low / high amp ranges and main pan and volume settings. There’s also a central control panel detailing the LFO wave, source and destination, filter type, velocity curve and voice mode. There are also details of the author and licence details.

gui_top

The next section is a picture representing the sound and additional controls for some sounds i.e. drums and chips which is shown below.

gui_chips

The lower section has the ADSR, LFO, Filter Reverb and glide controls and a keyboard.

gui_bottom

Included Sounds
There are a huge number of very usuable sounds available. These sounds are very usable in their own right but the additional controls let you shape them further and you can of course use additional effects to shape and define the sound further.

There are some sounds that I especially like –

‘chips’ – a selection of 8-bit sound effects and lead / bass sounds;

‘basic’ – contains rectangular, saw, sine and square waves from a Doepfer A-110 modular and saw, square and triangular waves from a Yamaha CS-15. These are deep and a bit edgy at times;

‘keys’ – a varied selection of acoustic piano, electric piano and organ sounds with great character;

‘mastrcode pads’ – These are a bonus and are described as ‘a collection of pads sampled as chords for that old school early jungle/techno feel’. I really like these, an excellent range of very atmospheric sounding pads suitable for many different styles of music;

‘sound design’ – This is an excellent inclusion because you’re getting sounds from some superb SampleScience plugins such as Cinematika, Nostromos, Pastoral Tones and Vortex;

‘synths’ – a varied selection including EA-1, Mopho and DX-21 type sounds.

The drums section is also an excellent inclusion, there are acoustic and electronic kits including samples from some unusual or rarer machines than you don’t typically see. These especially lend themselves to further processing / shaping.

Conclusions

Although no longer available for free, this is still a very good value plugin.  There’s a huge range of very usable sounds across a number of different sound categories. One point to bear in mind is that some of the sounds have been designed by SampleScience to be used only in music production while other sounds are CC 3.0 with attribution so all sounds are good for music production but you need to check that only the public domain sounds are used for any sound design projects (commercial or not).

The sound quality is generally very good considering a lot of the samples are public domain. It’s a very usable plug-in but clearly is not going to compete with more commercial romplers – some of which are very expensive it has to be said. It’s difficult to say anything negative but there are a couple of points to note. There are reportedly some tuning issues with some of the samples and the release control has a bug that specifically affects MacOS where there is long tail with a very short release setting instead of the expected short release. That said, these are planned to be addressed in a future update.

I’ve used SampleScience Player extensively on ‘oblique coherence’ embedded above.

‘so called progress leaves me cold’ was created using Scaler to create the chord progression, 5 instances of SampleScience Player processed using SphereDelay, Blackhole (Eventide), mini filter V (Arturia), Cryogen (Glitchmachines) and SphereDelay. I’ve also used a sample from Urban and Suburban sample pack from Boom Library.

‘oblique coherence’, ‘bricks’ and ‘posters’ were recorded live in Usine Sensomusic Hollyhock 3. The chord progressions were created in Scaler and I’ve used SampleScience Player with SphereDelay and SpecOps (Unfiltered Audio); Synthmaster 2 (KV331 Audio) with SphereDelay and Blackhole. I’ve recorded quotes from YokoOnoBot on twitter processed in the joggle sampler with SphereDelay and also processed in the Grain MicroLoop sampler (using automation of speed and gain parameters) with SphereDelay. I’ve also used Type A (AudioThing) and Litote (Inear Display) with automation on the master channel.

‘disengage’ was created using 3 instances of SampleScience player processed with SphereDelay and Blackhole. Samples from the biomorph pack by Glitchmanchines were processed with SphereDelay and Blackhole.

‘fractured memories haunt my dreams’ was created using RapidComposer and four instances of SampleScience Player processed with SphereDelay, Blackhole and Octavox. The chord track was duplicated and processed with SpecOps.

‘drawn to the stars’ was created using RapidComposer and five instances of SampleScience Player processed with SphereDelay and Blackhole.

‘old houses’ was created using RapidComposer and six instances of SampleScience Player processed with Blackhole, SphereDelay and Octavox.

‘affirmation’ was created using Scaler for the chord progression, Synthmaster One processed with SphereDelay and Blackhole, three instances of SubBoomBass2, one processed with SphereDelay. A background sample from the Urban and Suburban sample pack by Boom Library.

All songs mastered using Ultrachannel (Eventide), Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Elevate (Newfangled Audio) and Stage (Fiedler Audio).