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What is a sampler?

Do you know when you go to a concert or even a church and hear an incredible sound that seems to come from a computer? You may have even heard the term "sampler". But if you don't know how it works or how to use it, no problem, read this article.

Understanding the difference

Many people and even musicians, for not understanding the subject in depth end up making some confusions. They confuse the name sampler with other functions belonging to the category, but it does not mean the same thing. There are three terms with similar names and different purposes: sampler, sample, sampling.

  •  Sampler: this can be computer software, a laptop or specific hardware designed to store audio samples. These files have different formats, where they can be in WAV, Flac, MP3, etc. Such audio reproductions are used to "add" a musician to the band. They are widely used by bands that play other artists' music, where most of the sounds are produced by samplers.
  • Sample: this is a term used to refer to the audio file. Well known in music, it refers to small sound clips that are cut from original works or recordings. After that, these files are reused in other musical works, by other bands and artists.
  •  Sampling: Sampling is the process of assembling, recording and reproducing samples. People call it "sampling" a song, which is not wrong, but it is not the 100% correct term.

How it's used

The sampler is a very convenient way to manipulate sounds and thus create new melodies, rhythms and effects. It has come to be used as an "other" musical instrument in many bands. Various musical styles such as pop, hip-hop, dance music, gospel, rock, among others, use samplers in their recordings and live performances. With samplers, it is possible to play with recordings of various string instruments. It is even possible to perform with a single musician, imitating a full band. Currently, it is more common to use some emulation software installed on computers to control samples.