Samplers, sampling, suggestions for a sample based workflow

Currently this is a typical process for me:

Record stuff -> put it in Ableton/simpler to edit, mangle -> do a a few takes with the Push2 while running the sound through my eyrorack and pedals.

Is there a way to do these things inside the eurorack domain? What kind of sampler module could be good?



Lots of options in Eurorack, from the simple and low cost Radio Music, to more expensive (but more flexible) options like Make Noise’s Phonogene and Morphagene, to the like of the Orthogonal Devices ER-301. Depends on what you want to do, and how deep your pockets are!

This is very much like the way I use my ER-301. Record some source material in, then edit/mangle/wrangle it into something usable or playable somehow. It’s not a cheap option, but it is a very open ended and capable machine.

Thanks everyone!

The ER-301 does look tasty.
Could it be “played” on something like Pressure Points perhaps?

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Oh dear.
This could get pricey :smile:


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There is another sampler called Bitbox that seems fun. I had one very early on, but ended up selling it to fund an ER-301. :slight_smile: They have continued updating it and it looks like it could be an option.


Hi guys,

Do you use samples in your music? How do you do that?

So I’m getting very interested in live sample start time & loop point modulation on pitchshifted samples (eg playing a loop back at +/- x semitones, but using pitchshifting/timestretching rather than simple playback speed modulation, to maintain the timing of the loop.) I also want the sample start point and sample loop start/end points to be locked to tempo sync (eg, 4 quarter notes, 3 16th notes, whatever)

I’m wondering if there is a module that will let me do this in hardware, controlling the start/loop/end points with MIDI or CV.
I don’t care if it is modular or standalone. I currently do what I describe above in max/msp but have always preferred working on dedicated hardware.
Can I do it on the octatrack or digitakt? I owned an octatrack a long time ago but recall sample start time, etc just being an arbitrary time parameter rather than a tempo/clock division.

Obviously if it was modular gear the time / tempo sync would probably be irrelevant, I’d just need the ability to set sample start / loop / end point by cv. Ideally I would like polyphonic sample playback, but I suppose I could manage with like multi-voice/timbral and loading the same sample in each slot.

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This probably isn’t a great answer but it seems like the octatrack would be the best option for this maybe. You can start any point of a sample on any trigger on the grid, even on a micro time scale. You can use slices to pre determine the start positions or just lock it in with the start param knob. Set an lfo to randomize those start positions within a certain range or a stepped or custom stepped/randomized lfo, which can be clocked. Then you can do scale per track for different types of triggering and if you loop the midi out to the midi in with a normal midi din cable, you can set not only conditional playback trigs, but you can trigger flex recording with conditional midi trigs and use the lfos to modulate those cc parameters

I may be missing the point here, but from my rudimentary understanding of what you’re trying to do, it seems like it’s possible. you can also trigger playback chromatically, which will change the speed if you want it to. I find it easier or more fun to look at the octatrack as a modular setup in a box. So while you can’t use cv, you can trigger and modulate pretty much everything, especially if you’re doing the midi loop back tricks

Sorry if this doesn’t help. Kind of seems like basic Elektron knowledge but I assume some people don’t know all of the functions available

In practice, the arbitrary locking lacks precision. You effectively have 7 bits / 128 positions (or 13 bits / 8192 positions if you use the shallow LFO trick). For live sampling, this is probably good enough (i.e. 8 bars’ worth of 16th notes) but for more precision you’ll need to deal with slices, which can be tedious on the Octatrack.

Also worth noting is that when externally setting start position using MIDI CCs, subsequent notes won’t reflect the new start position without a ~15ms delay. Using scenes and controlling the crossfader works much better, but then you are back to 7 bits of resolution, albeit interpolated between the scenes’ start position settings. Plus you sacrifice the loose, immediate fun of morphing scenes with the crossfader.

So I am trying to understand what would be the best sampler to play and mangle live my tracks. I basically want to play with my stems, so no length limitations (and that is why a Digitakt is not for me), a ton of fxs (and that is why a blackbox 1010 is not for me) and I do not want to spend a fortune (and that is why an octatrack or an MPC Live are not for me). Some people told me I should try a Roland SP404, since it has no limitations in terms of sample length and it has quite a few fxs? What do you think? I want to clarify again that I do not need a sampler to create beats but to play back my finished tracks and mangle them and jam with them live. I’d love to hear from anyone who has gone through this particular process.

If price is the only objection to the Octatrack, maybe a used mkI? They seem to go for around 750 USD which I feel is a good value. The headroom is apparently much improved on the mkII, but if you’ll just be playing stems then that’s not an issue.

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agree octatrack is the best game in town as far as a box for mangling/performing effects on live input, bastl thyme looks like it could be good for this too.
must it be hardware though? if you have some midi controllers i’d probably try to put together some combination of interesting effect racks/a set of dummy clip effect automations in ableton and go with that as a much more cost effective option. the effects would likely be of much higher quality than those in the octatrack too.


Maybe look at a norns shield? Timber is a really deep sampler, in particular, and doesn’t need a grid (but would probably need some kind of midi control). The shield kit plus a pi plus an ok soldering iron would come in well below the price of an octatrack.


Would Bastl Microgranny 2.5 be an option? Its great for mangling. The granular tools work as effects (weird delay-like repeats), also has a harsh distortion. You can record live (has input & mic) and work with long files from an SD card. Has midi for beat sync effects and detailed control.


Well, I was thinking about microgranny but I am not sure you could do a full live set with it, especially with complex tracks split over different parts, but I might get one in the future anyway as it seems fun

Yes it must be hardware, I want something compact and go dawless when I perform live. I am not sure about the octatrack because of the learning curve (I don’t know if I have the patience) and it is too expensive. I wouldn’t buy a mki just because there is a mkii around as well :slight_smile:

It seem complicated but thanks

I wouldn’t want to buy used stuff, but that’s just me, and I heard the sound has much more improved on the mkii

I guess it depends on how complicated you want your rearrangement to be, but I don’t think there’s a ton of good options for small, cheap boxes that’ll excel at taking in a ton of stems and giving you a good number of options and controls. if you don’t want to consider used stuff or complicated stuff, that list is probably winnowed to nothing.

it might be worth looking at splitting out some of these jobs (I’m reminded of Jon Hopkins’ laptop for stems + kaoss pad for performance fx set-up). maybe a blackbox + an fx box/chain makes more sense than hoping one thing will do it all.