You are here

IK Multimedia SampleTank 4

Sample-based Virtual Instrument
By John Walden

Parts View allows you to load up to 16 individual instruments into a  single instance of SampleTank 4.Parts View allows you to load up to 16 individual instruments into a single instance of SampleTank 4.

IK Multimedia's newly updated one-stop sample shop is bigger and better than ever.

We last looked at SampleTank back in the SOS August 2015 issue. With its easy-to-use interface and broad, very useable sound palette, SampleTank 3.5 provided a workmanlike virtual instrument that would make a great starting point for those building a music production system. It perhaps lacked the glamour, cutting-edge quirkiness, or sample-editing depth of some more targeted, genre-specific virtual instruments, but the sounds span orchestral to EDM and it ticks the 'jack-of-all-trades' box very firmly. That's not a criticism; simply an observation because, for certain groups of potential users, that's exactly what they are looking for.

IK Multimedia have now introduced SampleTank 4 with new features and new samples. So, what does v4 bring to tempt the music producer looking for that perfect sound source workhorse?

What's In The Tank?

Let's start by confirming that the underlying SampleTank concept remains firmly intact. Alongside the collection of samples, therefore, it provides a sample-based virtual instrument with 16-part multitimbral capabilities, support for multi-layer, multi-articulation, sampled instruments, and playback of audio and MIDI loops (patterns). However, while IK have delivered lots of new features and refinements to the user interface, they have also done a pretty good job of retaining SampleTank's 'easy-to-use' tag.

SampleTank 4 is now available in three editions; SE, the 'standard' and MAX. All use the new front-end but are supplied with different sizes of sound library. For this review, I had access to the fully-loaded MAX version which offers 250GB of samples spread across some 8000 instruments. For the SE and standard versions, those numbers are 30GB/2000 instruments and 100GB/6000 instruments respectively, reflecting their different prices. SampleTank 4 runs as both a stand-alone application (useful for live performance) and as a multi-format plug-in.

Usefully, the IK website has a PDF document that details the content provided in each edition so you can see exactly what you will get. The expanded content offers plenty of 'new for v4' samples including acoustic pianos, bass, brass, strings, guitars, acoustic and electric drums, percussion, synths, voices and woodwinds. Users also get access to some content from earlier SampleTank releases with, again, different selections for each edition.

This is a virtual instrument that all but the most...

You are reading one of the locked Subscriber-only articles from our latest 5 issues.

You've read 20% of this article for free, so to continue reading...

Option 1: Buy and download this single SOS article in Adobe PDF format

  • For less than the price of a coffee shop drink, buy this article now and immediately download the PDF file to your computer or smartphone.
  • Single article PDFs look identical to the printed magazine layouts (but exclude advertisements).
  • Note: Some shorter articles don't always have a PDF version.

Option 2: Buy a great value DIGITAL subscription (or Print+Digital) and open ALL web articles & Full Issue PDFs instantly!

  • A DIGITAL sub can be bought from our online ShopStore and used immediately.
  • It opens ALL premium web articles, plus our Tablet edition App, and now includes your monthly FREE Full Issue PDF download (worth £3.99$5.99 each).
  • Or contact our Subs staff to discuss an upgrade price to add Digital access to your existing Print subscription.

Option 3: Buy & Download TODAY the Full Issue PDF

  • From January 2018 edition, we began selling a FULL ISSUE PDF 'replica magazine' for the cost of a handful of single PDF articles. More info...

Try these FREE sample FULL ISSUE PDFs on us!

UK/EU/World edition: December 2017

UK/EU/World edition: April 2018

North America edition: December 2017

North America edition: April 2018

Published September 2019