VST Plugins I Can't Live Without: Serato Sample

In the second installment of the "VPICLW" series, we're gonna take a closer look at a plugin that a lot of lofi producers who work with a DAW could find extremely handy. Yes, it's a sampler plugin, and here's why I now can't live without it.

It's funny that at first, I have completely ignored Serato Sample, as I initially thought it's something that works with Serato's DJ software they're most famous for. But then, I once ran into that plugin again on a completely random occasion, finally noticing it's actually meant for music production...and I got curious! How good can be a sampler plugin that's coming from a company that mostly develops DJ software?

As it turns out, it's actually really great! Despite not being one of the most beautiful plugins in the world, it took only a few minutes for me to fall in love with it. The UI is fairly straightforward and very easy to learn. You just pick a sample, drag it in, and after a few minutes playing with the sampler's functions, you already know and understand around 90% of what it can do without having to dig into the manual and spend hours of learning all the complicated features. But even though, checking out that manual is highly advised as it contains a few neat things that are not so clear at first sight.

Let's quickly break down of the functions that Serato Sample offers:

  • 32 sampler slots that can be played via the MIDI device or computer keyboard
  • Each sampler slot has its own volume knob, a single LP/HP filter knob, and also the attack and release knob
  • Each sampler slot can be also key-shifted and time-stretched independently (the pitch-shift range is set to 24 semitones and the time-stretch range goes up to 300%)
  • And this is a big one: Each sampler slot can be independently routed into a separate FX slot in your DAW!!! 
  • The sampler can be set to either to play one slot per a key, or to play one active sampler slot in a "scale mode" 
  • You can switch between MONO and POLY mode, allowing you to play multiple instances of the sample at the same time
  • Serato Sample also automatically detects the root key of the sample and allows you to pitch-shift it to another key globally, offering also the option to globally detune the sample completely to your liking
  • And of course, there's the global tempo control. You can choose if you want to sync the sample to the host tempo or let it play at its original speed, you can also tweak that speed using the x2 and /2 buttons or set it manually.
  • You can switch between the HOLD and the TRIGGER mode, changing the behavior of how are samples played and looped.

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Welcome! My name is Pao and I'm the person behind this whole website. Besides making music myself whenever I can, I also write this blog and curate Spotify playlists. Feel free to explore it here a bit - I believe you will find some interesting stuff around ^^