This electronic download version of SampleTank 3 Sample-Based Virtual Instrument from IK Multimedia features over 33GB of sound samples organized into over 4,000 instruments in 21 categories, ranging from acoustic and electronic drums, string and synth basses, guitars, pianos, strings, woodwinds, vocals, percussion, loops, and many more. Not limited to instruments, SampleTank 3 boasts over 2,500 drum, percussion, and full construction kit loops and over 2,000 MIDI files to help you get started making grooves in a variety of styles.
To help you further manipulate your sounds, SampleTank 3 features 55 integrated effects ranging from EQ and compression to guitar amp modulation, reverb, delay, and filters, including many derived from IK Multimedia's T-RackS and AmpliTube software. SampleTank 3's interface is composed of Play, Mix, and Edit environments for streamlined sound selection, editing, and mixing capabilities. The software can run stand-alone and supports 64-bit AAX, VST, and AU plug-in formats.
Need help? Try the INFO tab at the bottom of the Browser, that's where you'll find all the important details for each sound: its description, a list of its assigned controllers and a vivid 3D representation of the selected instrument.
For patterns, switch to the PATTERN tab for a quick way to try out new patterns at various tempos with the sounds you've already loaded.
Looking for something? SEARCH lets you use keywords to find the sounds you're looking for using simple terms like music genres or sonic attributes. For example, if you want a pad sound to fill out your electronic track type "atmospheric," and SampleTank 3 will present you with a tailored sound palette of Instruments and Multis. Now you can get back to the business of finishing your song.
With SampleTank 3, naming, saving and deleting your Multis or Instruments is easy. Just click on the menu icon in the bottom left.
The Part Viewer
The Part Viewer is also where you select the Part to load an Instrument into or to access its Macro controls and insert effects in the control panel at the bottom.
Working with Patterns
With these Patterns you'll always find something that fits. Once assigned to keys you can edit your Patterns to suit the tone of your song by applying quantization, changing the intensity of the Pattern's dynamics or even transposing the Pattern up-or-down. And should you need to take it further you can drag your edited Pattern straight into the DAW of your choice, and it will retain all of your carefully considered fine-tuning.
Once your patterns have been loaded where you want them, you can use the Global Play button at the bottom to start and stop all enabled Patterns simultaneously.
Think of articulations as different playing styles. For example, a violinist doesn't just trigger notes but instead uses a variety of techniques - like Pizzicato plucks, abrupt Staccato bursts and sustained Sostenuto tones - to express a full spectrum of musical emotions. SampleTank 3 lets you apply the same principle to a majority of its sounds. These articulations are easy to use and can be played in a variety of ways: assign them to a specific key, control them with the modulation wheel or simply cue them by playing different velocities. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to acoustic instruments where subtle changes in technique - like finger plucking versus pick playing on a bass - make all the difference.
Layers, Splits, and Multi-Timbral Sequencing
With 5 insert effects and 4 effect sends on every Part - plus additional racks of outboard processors - it's like having 16 different sound modules to play with.
The Macro Panel
As noted, these Macro controls vary from instrument to instrument. For example, on a piano you can control its lid, its harp resonance and the amount of room reverb applied. Or, on a drum kit, you can adjust the volume of each individual drum and cymbal as well as the level of compression applied.
The FX Panel
Click the FX button at the lower right to change the panel's display from the Macros to the FX. Select the Part you want in the Part Viewer above, then click the effect slot to view, edit or bypass the loaded effects.
The Part Channel
Use the 4 send buttons and use the send knob to adjust the send levels from the channel to the 4 Return Channels where you'd typically put multiple instrument effects as opposed to those used on each channel. You can also use the sends to create "groups" for processing with bus processors like compressors, limiters and equalizers.
At the top of each channel strip are the 5 insert effects slots. Click to load any of SampleTank's 3 effects into any slot - there are no limitations other than that of your computer's CPU power.
The effect slots are serial: the first slot feeds the second slot, the second slot feeds the third slot and so on. These effects process only their own channel, just the individual Part and its loaded Instrument.
Use an effect slot to view the effect in the FX Panel at the bottom of the window just like on the PLAY page.
The Return Channels
Typically, the Return Channels are used for effects fed from multiple instruments like reverbs and delays - for example, you can use just one ConvoRoom reverb for your piano, string pad or synth lead. But you can also use the Return Channels as "groups" to process several Instruments together with bus processors like compressors, limiters and equalizers. The Black 76, White 2A and Model 670 limiters and Tube Program EQ are exceptional for bus processing.
This technique is especially powerful with multiple drum channels. For example, put your kick drums on one channel, snare drums on the next channel and toms on another channel. First process them individually with their insert effects and then equalize and compress them as a group for a punchy and aggressive sound that's suitable for any genre. Bus processing helps you "glue" multiple elements together by using common processing on the group which adds clarity and punch to your production. Now you can use it right inside your Instrument before it even reaches the DAW. It's like having 4 additional master channel strips.
The Master Channel
4 of the best analog-modeled mastering effects from IK Multimedia's T-RackS are included in SampleTank 3: the Black 76, White 2A and Model 670 limiters as well as the Tube Program EQ. All of these effects have been modeled after some of the most famous analog studio outboard gear of all time.
The Edit Environment
The Edit page gives you 3 playback modes suitable for all kinds of source material, 10 classic and modern filters as well as all the LFOs and envelopes you'd expect.
3 Playback Engines - The Power of STRETCH
Have you ever tried to sample a vocal only to hear it played back in the upper registers with that dreaded unnatural "chipmunk" effect? SampleTank gets around this problem with its two new engines: The first is PS/TS which stands for "Pitch Shift"/"Time Stretch." This engine works to ensure your drum grooves and kits sound good and punchy - just like they were intended to be heard. The second is STRETCH, which stands for "SampleTank Time REsynthesis TeCHnology." It's there to give you realistic sounding vocals, woodwinds, basses and other organic sounds.
Want to import your own sounds? Use the power of STRETCH to build your own instruments. With SampleTank 3 all you need is just one sample.
Like Having a Time Machine
SampleTank 3 also gives you unique effects. One example is filter overdrive which lets you process your sound by soft-clipping the input to the filter section just like classic analog synthesizers of the past.
LFOs that Sync and Swim
SampleTank 3 also lets you sync each LFO independently or lock everything together with a single click using the Sync button.
The Envelope, Please
Should you not be a drummer, over 700 MIDI acoustic drum patterns are there to help. Let SampleTank 3 lay down the groove so you can jam with ready-to-go patterns like Blues, Country, Funky, Metal, Pop, Punk and Rock. All of these patterns include Intro, Verse, Chorus, Fill and Outro so you can build full drum tracks. And to kick things into high gear, all of these drum sounds can be used with SampleTank 3's new outboard effects derived from T-RackS like the Black 76, the White 2A, Model 670 and Vintage EQ1. With these in the mix you'll get a punch you can feel, a character you can appreciate and a definition you can hear.