Samplitude - my experiences so far

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35mm
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2017/12/07 04:58:51 (permalink)

Samplitude - my experiences so far

After I bought into the Studio One crossgrade deal I discovered the crazy Samplitude X3 Pro Suite deal which I understand is being extended. I got tempted by that and bought it too. I'll post my experiences so far with it and my comparisons with Studio One that I also have. I hope this may help you if you are still looking for a new DAW to move to.
 
At first sight, Samplitude looks confusing and rather alien to someone coming from Sonar. However, it didn't take much poking around for me to get it setup and start making proper music with it. You get so much with the suite that downloading and installing it all can take a long time. There is an option at checkout to get the content shipped on disks. That may be a good option if you have a slow internet connection. There's 70GB of content just for the Independence sampler alone and on top of that, there are loads of instruments, plugins as well as the Sound Forge Pro and SpectraLayers pro applications. So the deal offers ridiculous bang for the buck.
 
I'll be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the demo but thought I would get the deal because of all the stuff that's included. I'm quite impatient when it comes to demos and unless it grabs me in the first few minutes I tend to lose interest and not try it again. It wasn't until I had bought it and installed everything that I really started to realize what a great DAW it is. I'm really glad I went for the deal now!
 
Samplitude has been around since the early 90's so is mature. It is a pro level DAW with a deep set of features. In fact a very deep set of features. Its editing capabilities for audio are massive and it is a fully fledged mastering system too. The built-in metering and analyzers are phenomenal - they are all built into the interface. You can have up to about 6 visible at once and just right click on one to swap it out. They are well designed and very easy on the eye too. It includes everything from RMS/peak, phase, spectrogram to loudness metering and even a tuner.
 
The first thing I tested was Samplitude's compatibility with my old but trusty M-audio ProjectMix controller because that is only designed to work in certain DAWs (Samplitude not being one of them). I hooked it up as a Mackie device and the faders, channel strips and transport worked fine, but a lot of the other buttons didn't. I then discovered that Samplitude has a built-in controller editor that is extremely comprehensive. I spent several hours creating a preset for the ProjectMix that now gives me more control than it has ever had with any of the DAWs it was designed for. It took a long time to set up simply because there are endless functions you can add to any button, knob or fader and scanning through those functions in the menu is the time-consuming part.
 
In contrast, there is no similar feature in Studio One. My ProjectMix is set up as a Mackie device which gives me faders, channel strips and transport in Studio One, but there doesn't seem to be any way of assigning useful functions to the buttons. There is a basic midi controller setup but that's it.
 
I was expecting the learning curve of Samplitude to be long and tedious and completely get in the way of my creativity, but while I was trying out instruments and digging into how to do this and that, I ended up coming up with a new song and had to switch my attention to developing and capturing that. It had started in Samplitude, so I decided to continue in Samplitude rather than load up Sonar. I created a track, set the midi output to Addictive Drums and a dialogue popped up saying that the instrument has multiple outputs and did I want to have it all on one track or routed to different tracks. I selected to add separate tracks and woosh, a load of tracks got added for me. All I had to do was go into AD, disable the internal effects and set each drum output. That was quick and painless and I had the drums ready to go in no time. I added some synth parts and edited those in the midi editor which was a simple process. Then I started tracking bass and several guitars while building up a mix in the process. The process was actually really enjoyable. I was more in a creative mood than a learning mood so I wasn't going to start looking into really advanced features that may save me from redoing a take, but the software didn't get in my way at all. 
 
I had heard a couple of reports that Samplitude is supposed to be the least buggy, most stable DAW and so far it feels like it is. I haven't had any freezes or crashes so far and despite some parts of it looking like they haven't changed since Roman times, it just feels smooth and responsive. It loads fast too. I think I've been stuck in the Sonar way for too long, but having spent some creative time with Samplitude, I think it's actually pushed Sonar into second place for me. I still have a long way to go with learning it properly but it really seems to be a smooth, powerful, comprehensive system for the whole audio production process. The midi side is far more comprehensive than I had heard it was too.
 
I would certainly recommend Samplitude to any serious DAW user, even if it wasn't on offer. I have a feeling Studio One is just going to join my collection of seldomly used DAWs because it just doesn't go as far and I keep finding things I can't do that for me blocks the creative flow. I'm sure Studio One will suit a lot of people that don't have a need for more complex stuff though. I have had it crash a couple times also.
 
If you are thinking of getting Samplitude, here are some tips;
 
The Magix forum setup is a bit confusing as there is what appears to be a pretty rubbish Samplitude forum in the main Magix customer forums, but Magix also has a pro audio forum for Samplitude and Sequoia which is a much better forum.
 
This dude on Youtube is a long time beta tester for Samplitude and he creates loads of tutorial videos. He's very active and helpful on the forum too.
 
When you first open it up it may not look that intuitive. Little things like trying to work out how to open the mixer etc - that got me to begin with! At first glance, it seems very menu-based, but although the menus go very deep, most things can be done by left and right mouse clicking on different things. There are also keyboard shortcuts as well of course. I really wasn't sure about the interface at first, but I'm now really liking it especially because it's very customizable.
 
There are savable presets for everything. Interface, mixer... everything... except track templates, unfortunately, but apparently that might be coming soon.
 
I hope this post may help. I'm a happy camper for now and if things continue like this, I'm not sure I'll launch Sonar again except to export project stems. I'm gutted it's come to that.

Splat, Win 10 64bit and all sorts of musical odds and sods collected over the years, but still missing a lot of my old analogue stuff I sold off years ago.
#1

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    Ruben
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 05:16:18 (permalink)
    Great write up, and nice to have you in the ranks of Samp users. I was with Sonar for years but moved to Samplitude Pro X after Sonar X2, and never looked back. It does take some time to understand Samp as it is quite a detailed program with quite a lot of configuration options but I find it a very interesting and productive DAW to learn and it seemed to be that for you also. Speaking of configurations, be sure to check out the Birdland skins - Magix used to give free download codes with Pro X3 but I don't know if they still do that. And you also might check out the Magix Samplitude forums, although they aren't as busy as the Cake forums.    

      
    #2
    35mm
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 05:32:46 (permalink)
    Ruben
    Great write up, and nice to have you in the ranks of Samp users. I was with Sonar for years but moved to Samplitude Pro X after Sonar X2, and never looked back. It does take some time to understand Samp as it is quite a detailed program with quite a lot of configuration options but I find it a very interesting and productive DAW to learn and it seemed to be that for you also. Speaking of configurations, be sure to check out the Birdland skins - Magix used to give free download codes with Pro X3 but I don't know if they still do that. And you also might check out the Magix Samplitude forums, although they aren't as busy as the Cake forums.    


    The Platinum skins package is included. None of them seem to have the EQ knobs in the mixer like the stock ones do. I'm using one in the main interface and using carbon in the mixer.

    Splat, Win 10 64bit and all sorts of musical odds and sods collected over the years, but still missing a lot of my old analogue stuff I sold off years ago.
    #3
    Jeff Evans
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 06:20:04 (permalink)
    35mm
    The first thing I tested was Samplitude's compatibility with my old but trusty M-audio ProjectMix controller because that is only designed to work in certain DAWs (Samplitude not being one of them). I hooked it up as a Mackie device and the faders, channel strips and transport worked fine, but a lot of the other buttons didn't. I then discovered that Samplitude has a built-in controller editor that is extremely comprehensive. I spent several hours creating a preset for the ProjectMix that now gives me more control than it has ever had with any of the DAWs it was designed for. It took a long time to set up simply because there are endless functions you can add to any button, knob or fader and scanning through those functions in the menu is the time-consuming part.
     
    In contrast, there is no similar feature in Studio One. My ProjectMix is set up as a Mackie device which gives me faders, channel strips and transport in Studio One, but there doesn't seem to be any way of assigning useful functions to the buttons. There is a basic midi controller setup but that's it.

     
    Assigning any controller fader, switch or rotary encoder to any parameter in Studio One or any 3rd party plugin is actually easier in Studio One than most any other DAW.  It is a little tricky and you are still not fully familiar with that process.  There are plenty of videos on how to do it though.

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    #4
    telecharge
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 06:30:06 (permalink)
    Nice summary. I'm not yet ready to cast SONAR aside, but I can see Samplitude being my backup.
     
    35mm
    I'm using one in the main interface and using carbon in the mixer.



    I haven't checked out any 3rd party skins yet, but I definitely prefer Carbon over the default drab Camo. Carbon is much more cheerful.
    #5
    Resonant Serpent
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 06:56:49 (permalink)
    I found the same. It was daunting at first when I installed this morning, but I just kept working it out. Found myself at work today itching to get back home and do more work in it. I'm keeping Studio One because I use it for the Project Page, but that may change once I get into the burning capabilities of Samp.
     
    I read that Samplitude has the same audio engine as Sequoia, which means it checks for phase accuracies throughout the program. 

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    Larry Jones
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 07:41:46 (permalink)
    35mm
    I was expecting the learning curve of Samplitude to be long and tedious and completely get in the way of my creativity, but while I was trying out instruments and digging into how to do this and that, I ended up coming up with a new song and had to switch my attention to developing and capturing that.


    This is good to hear, and thanks for going into such detail. I am a brand new owner of Samplitude, and I haven't had time to dig into it, but it looked pretty scary. I'm a one-DAW guy -- I don't want to go back and forth among multiple programs; I just want to find a good one that does what I want and learn it thoroughly. I thought that would be Studio One for me, but I bought Samplitude because of the extreme bargain, and now my inner geek is telling me that's the direction I should go. Your post is encouraging.
     
    PS: I haven't managed to register for their pro audio user forum yet. For some reason I can't get the confirmation email. I've used the contact page to get in touch with the admin, but they haven't responded. I'm going to need some help as I get into the program, so I hope I can get this resolved. They won't even let me read the forum without registering.

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    #7
    scook
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 07:54:13 (permalink)
    While you are waiting to get forum access sorted out, these videos may help
    #8
    musichoo
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 09:04:40 (permalink)
    Question, does the plugins locked  into Samplitude? Can I used independence in Sonar or Studio one?

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    Jeff Evans
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 09:19:21 (permalink)
    Yes for Studio One. According to the specs there is a VST and AU version and stand alone so if there is a VST version then yes.

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    #10
    Mesh
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 11:32:21 (permalink)
    Excellent review 35mm. I was very close to getting it, but didn't......after reading your post, I'll definitely keep Samplitube as an option.

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    #11
    mudgel
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 12:10:59 (permalink)
    Check out the intergration of Sound Forge Pro and Spectral Layers with Samplitude. That was something they did in the last Samp update.

    Mike V.

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    #12
    kennywtelejazz
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 13:57:44 (permalink)
    Hi 35mm,
     
    I'm glad to hear Magix extended the deal .
     
    I enjoyed reading your opening post , it was a very good read Loved the part where you went into Creative Mode.
    Those are the moments I live for ...
     
    musichoo
    Question, does the plugins locked  into Samplitude? Can I used independence in Sonar or Studio one?




    Independence free you can , once you acquire a full version of Samplitude you will find that all the plugs and included instruments are locked to Samplitude ...
    To use them in other DAW's will require a serial number that involves you purchasing the intended product ...
    I have some products I purchased to be able to use them out side of Samplitude ...overall they tend to be very expensive ..for some odd reason Magix does not run sales on them all that often ...  
     
     
    all the best,
     
    Kenny

                       
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    #13
    stevethompson
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 15:50:52 (permalink)
     
    Larry Jones
     
    PS: I haven't managed to register for their pro audio user forum yet. For some reason I can't get the confirmation email.


    OK sounds like maybe I should quit clicking the "Resend Confirmation Email" button and watch some videos myself :)
     
     
    35mm,
    Thanks for sharing your experience getting started with Samplitude, looking forward to spending some time wth it!

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    #14
    mudgel
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 18:33:18 (permalink)
    I’m having a serious look at Samp X3 as well. I’ve had it for years and keep getting silly upgrade offers like this one, which I really got for Spectral Layers 4. I got X3 earlier this year when they did a crazy upgrade from X2 to X3 Suite for $149.

    Independence is getting pretty long in the tooth. I got my first copy nearly 10 years ago. At 70 gigs it was a monster. Now my Native Instruments Sample folder is upto 500 Gig with Ultimate 11 and all the Preview samples for my Komplete Kontrol S88. Including Superior Drummer 3 that’s a TB of data. Glad space is cheap.

    Sorry got sidetracked there. I’ve been watching some very helpful videos. I feel much more comfortable with Samplitude but I really want to start using my Raven MTi and only Pro Tools or Cubase/ Nuendo on the Windows platform at this stage and Windows Daw development is taking much longer than anticipated.

    Mike V.

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    #15
    Primetime
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 18:56:02 (permalink)
    Question guys, does samplitude require a dongle...
    #16
    scook
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 19:04:59 (permalink)
    no
    #17
    Primetime
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/07 19:28:46 (permalink)
    thanks
     
    #18
    Maarkr
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/09 14:33:09 (permalink)
    I tried to load the trial version and it would not load.    Don't know what's up with that.  Thing is, I already have Sound Forge Pro and Spectral Layers, so that's not a big deal for me.  I'd like to get this trial up and running, tho, but I still plan to keep using SPLAT until it dies.

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    #19
    mkerl
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/10 10:50:27 (permalink)
    Demo killed Asio-Driver (Quadcap). 
     
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    #20
    35mm
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/10 12:01:13 (permalink)
    It can't kill your asio driver. It doesn't touch it. It installs its own asio driver, but that won't mess with yours. Your software might choose to use it instead. Sonar didn't do that on my system.

    Splat, Win 10 64bit and all sorts of musical odds and sods collected over the years, but still missing a lot of my old analogue stuff I sold off years ago.
    #21
    mkerl
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/10 12:39:05 (permalink)
    35mm
    It can't kill your asio driver. It doesn't touch it. It installs its own asio driver, but that won't mess with yours. Your software might choose to use it instead. Sonar didn't do that on my system.


    Yah, ok, it doesn't kill.  But in Sonar I can't choose my Quadcap Drivers anymore. I see them (grey) but cannot check the boxes. Only Magix. And with Magix drivers I got no sound. Don't know why, at this point (starting just the demo) I don't care about. Once I kicked Magix off of my system, I got my Quadcap Drivers available again, Sonar is fine as is S1 and Mixcraft as well. After nearly 30 years of driver installations, Bluescreens and long nights with endless reboots I'm tired of crap like that. When Magix needs his own drivers for Audio (what for?) it should be able to coexist / cooperate with an existing installation. This is an Absolute NO GO today. 

    Nothing to do but playing (Ch. Parker)
    #22
    scook
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/10 14:33:48 (permalink)
    In order to select a different ASIO driver both input and output must be deselected first. ASIO restricts the host to one I/O driver at a time.
    #23
    mkerl
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    Re: Samplitude - my experiences so far 2017/12/10 21:06:16 (permalink)
    scook
    In order to select a different ASIO driver both input and output must be deselected first. ASIO restricts the host to one I/O driver at a time.


     
    Yes, I know. I did it like that, first deselect. But still can't select the Quad - Drivers. I couldt have tried to restart Sonar after deselecting Magix Drivers, but honestly, I have no patience today for those workouts just to run a demo . . . . on the very first look, Samplitude was not that impressive to me. And the more demos I look at, the more I like Sonar whenever I open it again :) - Just Studio One feels good to me, too. I Like it. Intuitiv, quick, easy, just started to make music from the very first time I open it.
     
    Thanks for your time
     
    Cheers :)

    Nothing to do but playing (Ch. Parker)
    #24
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