Your favourite sampler workflow

Given all the hype around the new TE sampler, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of classic samplers on YouTube. The early MPCs and the SP1200 seem to have a magical balance between sound and straightforward workflow (and not too many features). In your experience what is your most enjoyable workflow on a sampler and why?

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Koala Sampler on the iPad. You just hold down a pad and you’re sampling. It’s so fast and immediate, I never feel held back, or have to figure out how to do something.

For me it’s the very best way to get an idea started, and it exports to Ableton.


my sampler work flow:
in 2008 spend two years sampling all casio and yamaha analog toy keyboards into korg es1 mk2, then put in drawer to ferment until lockdown 2020 then open drawer and pick up where you left off…


Not my top top, I don’t think I have a top top fav thing as things keep changing and I like that, but when I had an old Akai sampler, I loved resampling anything and everything in all kinds of ways. Manipulating audio is a favorite hobby. I also love sampling things at really low volumes to take advantage of the narrow 16-bit headroom, and that would result in nice, hissy and pretty crunchy stuff.


Best: Renoise - very quick to sample/resample, great sample editor, great chop feature, tracker effects for realtime sample mangling, near hardware workflow for sequencing using computer keyboard.

Of my two hardware devices that can sample (DT and MC-707), DT takes the cake when working with samples, but mostly for it’s sequencer and synth capabilities using samples as oscillators.

Koala is best on iOS/Android, I just don’t enjoy using touch screen, even with such a nice interface as Koala’s.


I like the samplers where you can sample, and also make music with those samples.


Owned every era MPC and the MPC Live is my favourite, closely followed by the MPC1000 with JJ OS.

If anyone ever recreates the feel of the early Ensoniq samplers I owned but with a modern twist, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat.



The Roland MV-8800. It has a more straightforward workflow and UI than MPCs (at least the modern ones). The fact you can connect an external VGA monitor and optical mouse helps a lot there, too. It’s the real “DAW in a box”. I think the sampling workflow on the 404 MK2 is great as well, minus all the button combos.

For software, definitely Koala.


The mv-8800 has been the only music device I wanted to throw against the wall because of the interface. It is beyond terrible. The experience was so bad that since then I refuse to use digital Roland music devices.

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First off, in terms of power and capability, I think Ableton’s Simpler/Sampler takes some beating (Push 2/3 can give a hardware feel to it too, but I feel more efficient with keyboard and mouse tbh).

In terms of overall ‘best’, meaning a combo of power/flexibility and enjoyability… hands down the modern MPC (Live 2 and MPC X in my case).
I love the process with the MPC… whether it’s direct importing of samples, or plugging in sound sources (turntables, synths, drum machines, mics, etc) and getting going… it’s an experience/workflow that beats everything else.


I’ve been a hardware sampler user for a couple of decades, but actually think Serato Sample (in Logic for me) might actually have the quickest workflow. The ability to quickly find the key of the sample and get all your samples in tune is such a great feature.


Digitakt for me, because of extremely fast workflow…but, if Digitakt had more memory, polyphony, stereo, and more effects, that would be a sampler to kill them all for me.


That hasn’t been my experience, but I exclusively use mine with an external monitor and a trackball which help a lot. I definitely wouldn’t enjoy it as much otherwise. And I have modified some of the internal components to make it more enjoyable to use. This thread should probably be renamed “Favorite Sampler Workflow”. :stuck_out_tongue:

With that said, I think it’s one of the best sampler “workstations” out there when combined with the MIDI capabilities and its linear arranger (of which it’s literally a handful of devices with one). It’s not the most inspiring sampler workflow I’ve used, mind you. For something like that I would probably say the Digitakt.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that when/if the Force arranger is brought over to MPCs, it’s possible I’ll sell my MV and get an MPC X. I do really like the modern MPCs for sampling, but I wanted a standalone arranger, and I have some issues with the Force. I think most people would probably be better served by them, however, as they’re more modern devices, and faster to use.

‘How do I describe an MPC without saying ‘MPC’?’ :grin:


Depends on the project. I like alot of different sampler workflows for different reasons.

Lately I’ve been preferring to cut down as much screen time as possible so Software, iPad/iOS apps and newer MPCs have been used sparingly.

SP-404mk2, Roland MV-1 and EP133 KO2 have been getting the most love. If KO2 can hold up durability wise it’ll probably be my permanent diving board for ideas from now on.

Did anyone mention the Rytm? :thinking: If not, my vote goes to Rytm. I would vote Digitakt if it had pads or a keyboard. Elektron should really do a polyphonic sampler in the form of the Digitone Keys!

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SP-404Mk2 is my fave for sampling. It’s fast and flexible (mic, line, guitar, usb-c) inputs.

Just press ext, hit record and you have your sample



Once you have a sample and want to do something interesting with it, the SP404 (MK2) isn’t great but when it comes to straight up sampling it’s unbeatable. The resampling workflow is stupidly easy, even without the skipback function.

Close second: Koala.

Yeah kinda, modern mpc’s are kinda convoluted too much, but I would gladly take a jjos mpc1000 with modern fast ram/storage, and modern effect algos :slight_smile:

MPC 1000 with JJOS is so good.
You can pair it with external effect pedals. I use strymon big sky.

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