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Best Sampler VST

Best Sampler VSTs

If you’re in the market for a sampler VST, stop whatever you’re doing, put down whatever you’re holding and spend 5 minutes to read this article because it’s the most important article you can read on the best sampler VSTs. You should be well informed on the best sampler VSTs in 2023 so you can make the best decision financial and creative investment for your music career. In this article you will learn:

  • The Seven Top Notch Sampler VSTs 
  • How to Properly Utilize These Specific Samplers for Out of this World Effects
  • Little-known Tips for Music Producers to Make their Samples Sound Amazing

This article will leave you feeling confident that you have the right knowledge to make an informed decision on choosing the right sampler VST for you. 

Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.  


If You're Curious (or just in a hurry):  



Sampler VST Pros of Sampler VST Cons of Sampler VST Purchase Ranking Out of 5
πŸ†Serato Sample
  • Fast
  • Powerful
  • Easy
  • Multiple Modes
  • No included sample library
Check the price of Serato Sample ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Fast
  • Incredible worflow
  • Great bundle of software
  • Hardware interface
  • Expensive
  • Requires hardware to really use
Check the price of Maschine  β­β­β­β­β­
  • Unique
  • Creative
  • Cutting edge features
  • Not a pure sampler
  • A little complicated
Check the price of Rhtymiq  β­β­β­β­
Arturia CMI V
  • Great presets
  • Retro tone
  • Highly Customizable
  • Cool look
  • Complicated
Check the price of the Arturia CMI V  β­β­β­β­
Reason Mimic
  • Multi-mode
  • Flexible
  • Great onboard effects
  • Can't tempo-sync sample
  • Limited choices for auto slicing
Check the price of the Mimic  β­β­β­β­
  • Huge preset/sample library
  • Lots of modulation options
  • Can't chop samples
Check the price of the CR8  β­β­β­β­
  • Free
  • Straightforward
  • Can't chop samples


Before we dive into the best synth plugins, though, we've also put together reviews of other types of synths that might be more what your looking for. If these types of plugins are more up your alley, then go check them out. Everyone of these can help you up your music production quality.


πŸ† Best Sampler VST – Serato Sample πŸ†


Without beating around the bush, let’s start with the crème de la crème of Sampler VSTs – Serato Sample. It’s hard to find something better than this if you want to work in the box, and would be my number #1 recommendation. For features, easy of use, and price, Serato Sample is easily at the top of the best sampler vst plugins.


Note: Serato Sample is frequently on sale - if you see it for less than $99, grab it!  


This nifty piece of software comes locked and loaded with awesome features such as a Random mode if you’re after a bit of chaos in your sample. There’s also ‘Pitch ‘n Time’ algorithms which allow you to stretch your samples and shift keys at the drop of a (hi)hat. There's a reason that Serato Sample has become the industry standard virtual sampler.

It's a stupid simple sampler whose beautiful interface focuses on letting you quickly finding great sounds in your samples and chop them.




Serato Sample’s advanced algorithm also allows you to quickly discover the best 16 samples in your track and chop them up as you see fit. Just drop in one of your favorite audio files and use the find samples function. It actually has a ton of sample slots, so you can search for even more sample points if you're feeling bold!

If you want to elevate the whole experience, you can even take a single sample and map it across all keys on your controller to play it like a synth. The possibilities are endless. Overall, the Serato Sample is hands-down one of, if not, THE best sampler VST on the market.  


Pros of Serato Sample

  • Fast
  • Simple
  • Sounds great
  • Easy to use
  • Elegant
  • Multiple modes


Cons of Serato Sample

  • No sample library included


πŸ† Best Way to Chop Samples – Maschine πŸ†


To chop your samples efficiently, you need a high powered machine; or should I say, Maschine! Corny jokes aside, Native Instruments hit it out of the park with their new production system called Maschine. This tool is unmatched when it comes to chopping up your samples like a pro, but costs more than just standalone software.

Maschine has a heavy duty 96kHz/24-bit built-in audio interface with USB-powered hardware giving you total control of the audio and the flexibility to slice/shape your sample fluidly and precisely at the highest sample rate. It's great for all genres, from electronic music to hip hop.


βœ… Check the price of Maschine


Maschine comes fully loaded with integrated software and hardware systems including an arranger, mixer, sampler, FX and a built-in audio interface. This generation of Maschine comes with Native Instrument’s other flagship offering which is Komplete Kontrol. Komplete gives you the keys to 50 GB worth of effects and instruments. 




Mashine is built for speed which is crucial for effortlessly producing beats, samples and melodies. The 16 touch-sensitive multi-color pads emulate the feel of the thick drum beats they produce. This means that Maschine excels at mapping its built in drum machines to different pads.

These pads also serve as a piano in Keyboard mode or a pitch automation tool in Step mode. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced beathead, the Maschine by Native Instruments should be on your radar if you’re serious about chopping your samples like a pro. 

Maschine's combination of midi controller, digital audio workstation, sound effects, step sequencers and powerful sampler make this the top choice for live performance. However, if you're going to use Maschine for live performances, I recommend you check out Maschine+, which is specifically designed for standalone gigs (so you can leave the computer behind).


Pros of Maschine

  • Unprecedentedly easy workflow
  • Fast and smooth
  • The best tool for programing beats
  • Bundled software


Cons of Maschine

  • More expensive than pure software
  • Need room for the hardware


Most Creative Sampler VST – Rhtymiq


The eccentric name of this sampler VST is fitting because the Accusonus Rhythmiq is coincidentally the best sampler VST on the market in 2021 for sheer creativity. This tool gives you the power of an infinite library of beat variations at your fingertips which can all be adjusted to your liking with an easy twist of a virtual knob.


βœ… Check the price of Rhtymiq


Rhtymiq is your new drummer – we bet he’s a lot more cooperative than your current one! We'd also bet he keeps better time. The Rhtymiq bear assistant will analyze your beats and cleverly suggest world-class variations. 




Don’t be intimidated by the cutting-edge AI technology – in the end, it’s all controlled by you! You can even save these beat variations and tweak them to your liking by adding fills, breaks and build-ups by utilizing built-in functions such as Silence, Reverse and Arrange all without stopping the music and your flow. And that's the power of artificial intelligence! Plus, it's compatible with a lot of the main audio formats, so you can go wild with any sound source.

All in all, the Rhtymiq offers an exciting way to perform your beats and offers a unique suite of functionalities which is why it tops our list for creativity in the sampler VST marketplace. You'll find yourself creating unique sounds before you know it, making it a must for any sound designer!


Pros of Rhtymiq

  • Super creative processing
  • AI help
  • Totally unique chopping tools


Cons of Rhtymiq

  • It's not a "pure" sampler
  • Not that good for straightforward chopped beats


Best Vintage Sampler Plugin – CMI V


If you’re looking for a classic vintage sampler, look no further than the CMI V by Arturia. The CMI V is a near identical reincarnation of the Fairlight CMI – the first digital sampling system commercially available in the music history. The Fairlight CMI was used for countless mega-hits from the early MTV-era.


βœ… Check the price of the Arturia CMI V


From Peter Gabriel to early hip hop, you can hear this timeless synth everywhere. While it was complex and slow to use at the time, Arturia have kept the best bits of the Fairlight, while modernizing the workflow.




The physical design of this beautiful piece of equipment is right out of a sci-fi movie which any self-respecting keyboardist in the 1980’s would’ve paid an arm and a leg for. This complete workstation gives you access to 10 digital instruments at a time allowing you ultimate control of layering, mixing and splitting your track. If you're looking for that lo-fi sound, its got the ability to lower the bit-depth and sample rates.

The CMI V emulates one of the first hardware samplers, and also comes loaded with 300+ awesome presets from individual drum kit hits to keyboards to get you going along with a library of sounds used from countless hit tracks. And anybody who knows VST plugins knows that Arturia is one of the best in the industry.

All in all, if you’re looking for limitless creative options in a uniquely designed vintage workstation, the CMI V by Arturia is for you. If you're looking to get that lo-fi sound, check out some more of the best lo-fi plugins.


Pros of the CMI V

  • Nails that vintage sample sound
  • Loaded with tons of great presets
  • Great look
  • Very powerful


Cons of the CMI V

  • Complicated
  • Not great for traditional sample chopping


Best Value Sampler - Mimic


In Reason 12, Reason Studios added Mimic to its line of built-in Reason instruments. Now that Reason 12 can run as a plugin inside of any DAW, you can use Mimic as part of your workflow. It can be a great deal, because Reason 12 includes a DAW and tons of other great synths, effects, utilities, and samples.

It's actually an even better value, because Reason includes 10 different samplers, allowing you to chop samples a bunch of different ways!

What is great about Mimic is that it includes three different modes for manipulating samples. First you can use it as a pitch based sampler and play chords, melodies, etc. You can choose from multiple pitch-shifting algorithms, so you can preserve the timing of the sample while shifting the pitch.




Second, you can use it to take a sample and chop it into a bunch of different slices. These slices can then be individually triggered create new ideas on the fly. The built-in sensitivity knob allows Mimic to find the transients of a sample easily.

In the third mode, you can take up to 8 different samples and trigger them separately. You can set the start points, pitch, etc of each separate sample.

No matter what mode you're using, Mimic also includes a great collection of onboard effects that are perfect for giving you the classic sound of old school samplers.

This includes:

  • A characterful compressor
  • Fat high- and low-pass filters
  • Bit-crushing

You can read my full guide for how to use Mimic here. And you can find my complete Reason 12 review here


Best Waves Sampler Plugin


While you're cooking up beats, sometimes you need to get creative quickly. The Waves CR8 Creative Sampler takes everything fun and invigorating about sampling, and puts it into a quick, simple work process.

With CR8 you can transform any sound into a rousing playable instrument in a flash - it's the simplest way to:

  • 8 sample up to layers, permitting you stack and blend tests, or split them across your keys
  • 5 algorithms - Voice, Beats, Melodic, Harmonic and Classic - each permitting you to control pitch and time independentlyKey and BPM investigation to get you in order and in a state of harmony with your meeting in seconds
  • Easyily Loop, Reverse, Freeze choices and more, for moment command over your example playback



In addition, you can shape tone and tone utilizing the builtin channels and ADSR envelopes. You can drag and drop up to 4 LFO/Sequencer modulators and 4 ADSR envelopes and assign them to practically any Waves CR control. Plus there's a phat multimode filter that can be modulated by any (or all!) of the modulators!

You can likewise assign modulation based on your keyboard's aftertouch, speed, and mod-wheel to a large portion of CR8's controls, making your samples playable in a responsive melodic manner.

To round it out, it comes with loads of presets and over 2,000 samples! This huge sample library includes great drum samples, instruments and fun one shots. 



Best Free Sampler VST – Zampler


If you’re new to the sampler game or would just like something to play around with for no cost, give the Zampler a shot! This free sampler plugin includes many of the features you would find in any current soft-sampler to sculpt sounds to your liking. For example, in the integrated multi-mode filter gives you access to various types of lowpass, highpass, bandstop, bandpass and more.



Bring the overall sound of your track to life with the modulation matrix and your choice of three LFO’s and ADSR envelopes. Some included effects include a wide range of tube saturation, phaser, delay, chorus, reverb and EQ as well.

You can use this free tool on a Windows or a Mac and it supports multiple sample rates and bit-depth. Overall, there is no harm in trying out the Zampler. In fact, you might find it does the job just fine without the need for another tool! Another good source of sampling free vst plugins is your DAW, as many these days include some form of built-in sampling.


Pros of the Zampler

  • Simple
  • Free


Cons of the Zmpler

  • Not able to "chop" samples


And if you're looking for even more free synths, be sure to check out this roundup of the 61 Best Free Synth VST Plugins!


FAQ Sampler VST Questions


How to Chop Samples?


Assuming you already have the sample you want to chop, you simply and straightforwardly chop up the track where you see fit. Just drop the sample into one of these software samplers, set the sample points, and start experimenting. Everybody has different styles and techniques for doing this.

For instance, you can chop wherever there’s a sound change, drum pause or pronounced transients. Many successful tracks simply chop on the beat. There are endless ways to chop your track and using a sampler VST is the easiest and most straightforward way to get it done. 


How to Make Your Own Samples?


If you do not want to use a canned sample, just create your own! There are a few ways to do this. For starters, you can use an external mic and record a sample. You can get creative with microphone placement and even do things like hitting thick books, knocking on empty boxes, etc. Or you can bounce a virtual instrument to an audio file and use that for the sound source for your sampler.

Or, you can use your sampler VST to create tracks and add layers of effects to dial in the sound you want. You can even recycle parts of your other tracks or songs that have been sitting in your folder. 


Where to get samples?


If you're going to be buying samples, I think that LoopCloud and Splice offer the most value and flexibility. To help you decide which to use, I've put together this helpful post of LoopsCloud vs. Splice. I've also put together a review of the best sites for free loops and samples.


 Are Samplers different from synthesizers?


Yes! Samplers play pre-recorded sounds. Synths create their own sounds. This post digs into the difference between synths and samplers.

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