IK Multimedia SampleTank XL 2.5
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IK Multimedia SampleTank XL 2.5

SampleTank XL 2.5, Virtual Sampler/Sample Player from IK Multimedia in the Sampletank series.

tarrtime 01/22/2013

IK Multimedia SampleTank XL 2.5 : tarrtime's user review

« Overdue for a major upgrade »
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Ik Multimedia software is easy to install, and authorization can be done from the Ik Multimedia webpage. The sample tank library is rather large and is installed from DVDs. It takes a while to install.
One thing that really bothers me about the software is that every time you start up the application, it takes a long time for the software to load. My only explanation is that the software is looking for and making some kind of record for the the location of all the sounds. For many other samplers (Kontakt, Kore, etc) the database of sounds is built the first time the software is opened. Sample Tank seems to essentially build this database every time the application is opened. This is also true when I open it as a plug-in inside a DAW. This alone makes the software almost unusable because every time I open it up I have to wait from 5 minutes for it to load. I usually go make a cup of coffee, what a hassle.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The instruments in Sample Tank are totally 'under-sampled' compared to other comparable software. There are almost no velocity layers in the instruments, and it is obvious that in most cases they just took one sampled note and pitch shifted the note to other notes. The pitch shifting algorithm sounds terrible with obvious artifacts. This is also true of the time-stretching algorithm used for the loops.
The amount of sounds in Sample Tank is extremely large, and along with some of the other expansion packs (Moog, Miroslav, etc.) all the main kinds of music are covered. However, the amount of usable sounds is very low. There are a few 'diamonds in the rough', but they are difficult to find because it is really hard to navigate and find instruments in side the software.
The effects (reverb, chorus, compressors) are all worthless. You would be much better off using effects inside a DAW instead of using the effects in Sample Tank.

OVERALL OPINION

Compared to other samplers available, Sample Tank is like a prehistoric dinosaur. The interface is terrible, and the actual sounds are equally unsatisfying. IK Multimedia has clearly put its resources into developing mobile iOS apps. Sample Tank is less than an after-thought, it probably has no future at this point. It is my impression that there was a large user base, but it must not have been large enough to be continued.

I received Sample Tank when I purchased the Muse Receptor with IK Multimedia software. I do not recommend purchasing it separately. I would not purchase it myself if I had not received it as part of the other product. Unless IK Multimedia puts in some serious work on the software, the most we could hope for is that Sample Tank becomes nostalgic.