Sampler Recommendations?

Does anyone have any good recommendations for a simple, affordable (<$500) sampler? I’m looking for something that can both play one-shots and chop loops, sample audio from an external input, and I’m open to something used or new. All I need is something that sits on my desk, records audio coming out of my interface, and can be sequenced with MIDI.

I already have a hardware sequencer and don’t really need this thing to be a DAW-in-a-box, so Octratrack and any of the newer MPC’s are probably overkill, and the Volca Sample, Model:Samples, Electribe 2 Sampler all can’t sample audio so they’re out as well. An SP 404 MK2 would fit the bill, but they’re impossible to find.

I had a MPC1000 with JJOS, which I loved but sold to buy some other gear. I wouldn’t be opposed to picking one up again, but I don’t think I’ll ever use the MIDI sequencer or multi-sampling functionality that makes it so powerful.


used digitakt or mpc one


I thought modern mpc’s would be a DAW in a box too.
I’ve come back from that idea; they can be. If you just use the sampling feautures in a single drum program it’s a rather direct/hands on instrument and a very competent sampler.

Therefore I would recommend you a mpc one, regarding your budget. Try one and you might discover you’ll like it a lot more than you think. It is the sampler equivalent of a swiss army knife :slight_smile:


The Novation Circuit Rhythm and the Roland SP-404 mk2 are both simple desktop samplers at that price point. I haven’t tried the 404 yet but I happily own a Circuit Rhythm.

The 404 would give you stereo sampling and as much sampling time as you want. The Rhythm only samples in mono and has about 2 and a half minutes of sample time per project but would give you a whole lot more control over your MIDI since you’d have access to each track’s parameters, as well as the fx.

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Koala Sampler app for android and its £4. Basically turns your phone into a SP-404. It has full midi functionality over USB, I use it with my digitone via USB all the time. I can sample my digitone directly into my phone and sequence it with the midi tracks or sequence it with the sequencer in koala itself. You can sample any audio from your phone, say your on YouTube, you can sample that straight into koala. Check it out: there are quite a few users on here too, here’s the thread: Koala Sampler App - #43 by Mindseye_robot



Does one shots and chops too.


New electribe sampler, or older ESX electribe sampler might suit your needs. Both are very good. (I slightly prefer the older electribes personally)


I’d look at the SP404 mk2 or the MPC one if you can find it second hand for that price. All the prices went up on MPCs and Elektrons since the supply chain shortages.

I wouldn’t go the SP404 MK2 unless you’re familiar with the workflow. A second-hand Digitakt would be a great option. Have you considered an iPad if you have one?

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Very interesting, I hadn’t considered the MPC at all but if I can find one at a good price I’ll definitely consider.

Aah! I didn’t realize that. I’ll take a closer look.

Koala definitely seems intriguing, I’m curious about integrating it into my setup. If I’m using an iPad can I send audio out and MIDI in simultaneously through the USB-C port?

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Or Loopy Pro. Yes, the USB-C port is bidirectional and multiplexing.


I’d suggest Koala too, no brainer if you already have an iPad you could use.

AUM is a must-have ios music app for routing midi and audio.

Koala is great. I used to use it all the time but since the last update it’s been basically unusable on my phone. I have an Android. It now makes loud noises for no apparent reason.

I say that to say it’s usually a great app but I feel like I just can’t let a discussion of it go by without mentioning how completely annoyed I am with it right now.

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I picked up a MPC Live used for $500 a few months ago. They can be found.

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Yes, you can. Using iDAM, you can send audio from the iPad to a connected Mac over USB. MIDI can go both ways.

You can also use Bluetooth MIDI. And Koala supports MIDI sync, and Ableton Link.


You can indeed, it will receive midi, send audio and also receive audio, all over the usb-c connection simultaneously. Plus all the controlles and fx will respond to CC.

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Don’t think you are going to find a vintage sampler (like the mpc 1000 you sold) for under $500. Reverb has been crazy lately.