Simpler vs Sampler - Everything You Need To Know

All versions of Ableton Live come with the Simpler. In contrast, the Sampler is $99 dollars on its own, or included with Ableton Live Suite. 

So, it’s assumed that the Sampler is bigger and better than Simpler, but what are the actual differences? What can you do with Sampler that’s worth an extra $99? 

Well, the short answer is that Sampler is a multisampler, meaning that multiple samples can be loaded over the range of a keyboard as well as over a range of velocities. For example, if you had multiple samples of the same piano sound in different octaves, you could map them to a range of midi notes using Sampler. Multisampling is a world of its own, but Sampler is cool because it recognizes tons of different multisample formats such as Apple’s EXS format. 

Simpler, on the other hand, is a single sample instrument. This means that one sample is mapped over the entire keyboard. 

Both Simpler and Sampler include similar processing features, such as frequency modulation parameters (LFOs and), pitch envelopes, and ADSR control. Although Sampler definitely includes many more aspects of customization and sound design, they both cover output processing grounds. 

That being said, Simpler is useful when you have a sound that you want to sample by itself. For example, you might want to use a drum hit or a vocal chop that you don’t want to manipulate too much. Simpler makes it easy to turn your sample into a midi instrument, and you’ll find that “easy” is never a bad thing when you are throwing an arrangement together during a moment of inspiration.

A sampler is useful for sound design principles such as multisampling. If you really want to build a dynamic instrument out of an array of audio files, Sampler is the way to go. You also have more control over your sounds because there are more parameters/controls than there are in Simpler. 

So… that’s it!! If you’re just starting out on your sampling journey, start exploring Simpler! It’s a great first step and an extremely powerful engine.

by Maya Wagner

Training Subject
Ableton Live DAW Production Sampling Sound Design Synthesis
Ableton Sampling Sampler Simpler Synthesis
Last modified
Thu, Apr 14th 2022