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Looking for a compact sampler.. any ideas?

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone could help.

I'm after a small sampler, something as compact as possible for live use. It doesn't need any kind of sequencing ability and in reality, it only needs to play back samples via external MIDI. I'd prefer to be able to add samples via USB or SD, something modern and convenient basically.

I've seen the Akai MPX8 but it doesn't allow you to spread samples across a range, just playback at a single pitch which is a bit of a bitch because otherwise, the price is good at £70.

So any ideas? I'm not adverse to second hand but ideally don't want to spend over about £100.


Nope, definitely a gap in this market. I don't know why someone doesn't do a DIY sampler kit that streams from SD cards and has basic length editing, normalizing and key scaling/pitching.

Microsampler and ESX are the only ones that come to mind that do what you're hoping...

Good luck!

I thought that was the case. I'd done a fair bit of looking around before asking on here.
Really, it's mainly for drums and I have an old ES-1 that you can load samples in to but it's 32khz and doesn't have much punch to it.
Plus any tonal samples are one shot so no melodies can be played from it.
I've looked over the microsampler before but the filter envelopes are pretty shite. It's essentially a glorified one shot sample player with chromatic spread on the samples.
I've got an Emu 5000 Ultra but it's a bit too bulky to travel around with!


The absolute closest things you might get to what you are after are the Boss SP202/303, but then they have no USB capability (there was a SmartMedia card slot I think - my old SP303 is long gone).
Or, on the price side (£125-175), there is the Roland SP606, which you can drag and drop samples on via USB (512MB internal, plus CF cards up to 512MB). It's sort of MPC500/1000 sized, 16 pads, and very light, certainly more portable than most. Decent enough fx. I'm not really using mine, so I could offload it.
MPC500 - probably get one for £200. 12 pads though, and numerical sample chopping with limited featues.

Have you looked into an Ensoniq ASR-X, that has a built in synth to accompany your samples, and they are really punchy. Ensoniq samplers are my new favourite things atm; if one comes up a standard ASR-X goes for £125-175.

You have an e5000 ultra, so there is no point me recommending anything larger.

Yamaha SU700?

funnily enough, between the 2 of you you've mentioned almost all the kit I've checked out over the last year or so!

Chris, I thought the SP202/303 were purely 1 shot sample players rather than giving you the ability to spread a sample across a range to play externally from a keyboard?
Maybe I'm wrong but that's the reason I'd discounted them really. The 202's pop up for just a bit over £100 all the time on ebay.

All the MPC-type things are a bit large really. Not that in the know of the Ensoniq samplers so I'll check them out a bit and see fi they fit the bill.


ah - I see what you're after now - not quite sure that there is anything portable out there. The ASR-X will probably be too big, it's about the same size as an MPC.
I can't remember much about my SP303, but I think it was one-shot, so not really what you're after. I used to use it with my decks as a looping-tool.

My fingers are crossed that Korg decide to add to the Volca range. The size of them is perfect and they weight practically nothing.
You could get 4 of them, a small FX unit and a small mixer in a single bag.

Would love to see a Volca sampler and a volca FM synth but not sure how realistic that is, or whether it even fits in to the general ethos of the Volca range.

Icon_eek Volca FM!! Hello Acid, that would be wonderful.

I have the sp404sx and it doesn't do sample pitching over a key range, but you could put the right pitched sample on the right pad and play it like that... definitely not a simple task though...

Actually going to offload it as I just don't use it for anything. Some great stuff comes out of it, but it does my head in when I try to use it. Every time I think, "Well, this would be so much easier with my ESX".

Although around 10 years old now, the Yamaha DX200 LoopFactory had 6-op FM and an AWM2 sub-synth / rhythm section. Pretty hard to pick up though.

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