There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to live
performance-oriented samplers for the iPad. Designed by Marcos Alonso
and aptly named “Samplr,” this app cribs the design aesthetic from
Teenage Engineering’s oh-so-cultish OP-1, melds it with a broad array of
sample manipulation tools, and delivers a user experience that's both
quirky and intuitive.
Samplr's seven performance modes cover a lotof
sonic ground, since each mode is extremely “playable” regardless of your
experience level. Here’s an aerial view of the engine:
Slicer works like Propellerhead ReCycle, breaking your
sample into rhythmic chunks based on a grid that ranges from
quarter-notes to 32nd-notes—or user-editable slices of any size.
Looper lets you adjust multiple audio loops, from the same
sample, in real time, All loop points and volume are controlled via
multi-touch, so the more fingers, the merrier.
Ebow (my personal favorite) allows you to define a loop
length, including very small loops, then scrub that loop in any
direction over the sample. The end result is evocative of ’90s-era
time-stretching, especially when used with vocals.
Tape mode provides control over the playback speed of the loop via the horizontal axis, both forward and backward.
Scratch mode—another really cool and playable feature—does
exactly what its name says, letting you scrub and scratch the sample
with your finger. Between Tape and Scratch, your “analog” bases are well
The final two modes—Keyboard and Loop Player—work more traditionally, with their names indicative of their features.
Samplr’s effects include Korg Kaoss-style implementations
of essential processing tools like distortion, filter, amplitude
modulation, delay and reverb, all of which are nicely implemented and do
Since its initial version 1.0 release late last year (this
review was first based on 1.0, then updated to reflect 1.2), Samplr has
grown by leaps and bounds. The most notable addition is Audiobus
support, which means that Samplr can be integrated into complex
inter-app iOS setups. What’s more, the developers added the ability to
record your own audio directly into the app via the iPad mic or
resampling its own output. They also assure us that CoreMIDI
connectivity for external keyboard controllers and such is “top
priority” for the next update, so it's obvious they're paying close
attention to their customers’ requests.
All in all, Samplr is shaping up to be an impressive
sampling resource for the iPad. While we still love Jordan Rudess’
SampleWiz (reviewed Aug. ’12) for its fun features and CoreMIDI support,
Samplr is a very cool companion app that will clearly appeal to audio
Seven performance-oriented sampling modes. Intuitive
interface lets you manipulate audio data by touching it. Interactive
effects make great use of multi-touch. Audiobus support.
No CoreMIDI support at this time—but it’s on the way.
Bottom Line: A unique approach to sampling that makes great use of multi-touch.
$4.99 | samplr.net