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i see it comes with some instruments but it's not wildly exciting. are there many free third party instruments that play in sampletank? i use mainly RTs but sometimes fill in with midi tracks and i've got some quite nice sounds that seem ok in a mix so i'm not minded to spend a lot to get more new sounds.

what's the advice? or is kontakt a better way to go?

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There is some cool stuff in Sample Tank 4.

For free, what do you have to lose?

I have some of their paid stuff including synths and there is more in there than I would ever use.

No, they don't use third party, but their own stuff is great.

Even with free you get their effects racks which are AMAZING. You can only use them with Sample tank instruments but the sound quality is superb.

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Originally Posted By: Bob Calver
i see it comes with some instruments but it's not wildly exciting. are there many free third party instruments that play in sampletank? i use mainly RTs but sometimes fill in with midi tracks and i've got some quite nice sounds that seem ok in a mix so i'm not minded to spend a lot to get more new sounds.

what's the advice? or is kontakt a better way to go?


I have the free Sampletank but I rarely us it. Not because I think it is terrible, it is not-it has some good sounds, but because I have a ton of Kontakt patches and that is my go to program for sounds.

The free Kontakt Player does accept many third party patches. You just have to carefully read the third party's information to see if it will play in the free version or if you need the paid version of Kontakt. All of the sites I have been to have indicated what version you can use. All of the versions that work in the free player will also work in the paid version so if you upgrade you will loose nothing. The main difference between the two versions is that in the paid version you can change many parameters in most all patches whereas in the free version you are stuck with what they give you. I have had Kontakt for many years and the only time I go to change a parameter is so I can use my wind controller on patches that are not set up for a wind controller.

Asking what is better Sampletank and Kontakt is like asking what is better a Chevy or a Ford. Both are good programs and cars.

I hope this helps and good luck.

{edit} PS, why not DL both and see which one you like the best. All it will cost you is a little time and maybe you will keep both.

Last edited by MarioD; 07/11/22 11:52 AM.

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There is next to no third-party content for Sampletank. There is some great stuff in there however.


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Absolutely worth it. Unlike Kontakt with its free and paid versions, every version of SampleTank uses the exact same sampler/player—only difference is the amount of content. The CS (free Custom Shop) only includes 4GB.

But that's not the real reason to download. There are samples folders all over the internet, many are free; others are donationware and often point you to lameware like that $9.99 AudioLayer sampler.

Example: This guy wants a $1 donation for the best set of Schoenhut toy piano samples I've heard.
Schoenhut toy piano samples

Save your $10 and use a full featured sampler instead. Here is a video on how to create an instrument from samples in SampleTank 4. Easy peasy.





I own SampleTank Max and also Komplete Ultimate Limited Edition and use both.



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I would add to what Mario, Byron and Mike said with this:

Kontakt-based instruments provide some REALLY cool stuff (to me) in the area of orchestral, ambient, textures and so forth.

But for workhorse synths and commercial pop sounds, ST4 is a beast. At least to me. When I am ready to rock, I go to Sample Tank. Pure and simple.

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Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran
Absolutely worth it. Unlike Kontakt with its free and paid versions, every version of SampleTank uses the exact same sampler/player—only difference is the amount of content. The CS (free Custom Shop) only includes 4GB.

................................



In all due respect I believe the free Kontakt Player and the full version of Kontakt use the same sampler/player. The only difference between them is that you can not get into the inner workings in the free player while you can in the full version.


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Originally Posted By: David Snyder
..............

But for workhorse synths and commercial pop sounds, ST4 is a beast. At least to me. When I am ready to rock, I go to Sample Tank. Pure and simple.


That is good information. I may have to look into ST4!


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Originally Posted By: MarioD


In all due respect I believe the free Kontakt Player and the full version of Kontakt use the same sampler/player. The only difference between them is that you can not get into the inner workings in the free player while you can in the full version.

In other words, they’re not really the same. It doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t download Kontakt Player but once one owns Kontakt, it’s unnecessary.

Going back to the original question: Is the free version of sampletank worth downloading?

Yes, it is.

Downloading ST4 CS and KP will put you on email lists. Both companies offer deep discounts on additional libraries from time to time. I use a different email address that I check only once a day to keep that marketing deluge out of my normal business.


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Yep.... I faced this years ago.

I hadn't bought Kontakt yet and so I downloaded the free Player and used it. There's a lot of samples available to use with the free player.

Once you buy the full player, the free player becomes unnecessary at that point. Many of the 3rd party vendors make their samples compatible with the full version. So be sure to check before you buy 3rd party sample libraries.

Sample Tank is from IK media and I don't have too many things from them. But I'm thinking it's pretty similar in function to the Native Instruments synths. (regarding the free vs paid versions)

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You will be thinking all of that right up until the second you play the Sample Tank synth "Prog Dream."

Then you'll see how it all goes down.

Trust me.

smile

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Although both IKM (SampleTank etc.) and NI (Kontakt etc.) run sales and discounts, I'll stick to IK for this one.

I had bought Miroslav Philharmonik CE at a sale price and downloaded the CS versions of ST2 and Amplitude to get the freebies. Philharmonik runs in its own player or SampleTank.

A few years later, IKM emails me an offer saying that if I bought/upgraded to SampleTank Max, I could get another of their premium instruments free. STMax included a few already so I decided to check it out—a bit pricy but it contained a number of VIs that I wanted including the Alan Parsons Imperial. Ok...

A few days later, GuitarCenter.com sends me a sale invite. I check it out and STMax is available for $299. !?!?! I double-check with IKM and all I have to do is register my purchase to be eligible for the freebie. So, for $299, I bought STMax and chose Miroslav Philharmonik II ($499 retail) as my freebie on registering at ikmultimedia.com.

STMax included ST3. I was on MacOS High Sierra at the time and everything worked great. A few months later, I had to update the OS to Mojave for another app and ST3 gave me major grief.

So, I contacted IKM Support and they said I would have to update to SampleTank 4. Really? I just bought (and bla, bla, bla…). Not only that, STMax still included ST3 so what upgrade path were they talking about?

I was not happy but I downloaded ST4 CS to see if it would work and that's when I discovered THE PLAYER IS FREE. Not only that, everything in my STMax and MP II bundles ran great — and still did when I purged ST3 from my system.

Instant free upgrade! Support should have told me this, of course, and I blasted them (gently) on their user forum for not letting me know this.

Since then, when the $99 upgrade to Total Studio and another inexpensive upgrade to Total VI came along, I rang the bells both times. I will never use everything I own, of course.

The Alan Parsons Imperial VI is the main one my wife uses. Although there's a Bösendorfer in the living room, it's rare that we record it anymore. She has discovered the convenience of VIs and as her engineer, I appreciate that.


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The way to get IK Multimedia stuff is on Black Friday or one of their group buys.

For Kontakt, the trick is to buy a Player library that qualifies you for the crossgrade price and then wait for one of Native Instruments' periodic 50% sales.


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Originally Posted By: Byron Dickens
The way to get IK Multimedia stuff is on Black Friday or one of their group buys.

Pay attention to resellers. They often offer prices unavailable at IKM

Quote:
For Kontakt, the trick is to buy a Player library that qualifies you for the crossgrade price and then wait for one of Native Instruments' periodic 50% sales.


Yes. Developers pay a license fee for a library to rin in Kontakt Player (not a requirement if full version of Kontakt is required). Downloading Player puts you on NI’s radar.

Reseller deals often match but never undercut NI pricing — doesn’t mean you won’t go there if you have someone you like or can pay over time with 0% interest . Sweetwater or GuitarCenter credit cards offer such deals from 4 months to 3 years depending on the purchase.

Unfortunately, NI’s last 50% sale ended June 30. The current sale is now 30% off through July 31.

Generally, NI offers the 50% off deal twice a year except when there’s a version upgrade (Komplete 12 to 13, for example), when they wait over a year. Now that they are partnered with iZotope, Bitwig, PluginAlliance and others, no one knows how this will play out in the future. With K13 not being Apple Silicon Native except for Kontakt, many are expecting K14 soon. I’ve no problem running over Rosetta 2 while waiting for the 50% sale on upgrades whenever that happens—I’m mostly using Kontakt anyway.


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