Meet the programmers: SampleScience

We catch up with the long-time purveyor of “creativity pills for electronic musicians”

Canadian soundware developer SampleScience - aka Pierre Parenteau - is the man behind a growing array of excellent sample-based virtual instruments, emulating a broad variety of classic drum machines, synths and even games consoles.

We pinned him down and asked him to explain himself…

Tell us how you got started with SampleScience. If you could give one ‘mission statement’ for the company, what would it be?

“15 years ago, SampleScience was the pseudonym for my sample-based electronic music project. With time, it became my company name - interest
in my sample libraries and plugins has always been a lot larger than for than my musical output. People on KVR are also familiar with this name, so I kept it to
avoid confusion. SampleScience’s mission is to provide new inspiring sounds and plugins to modern music-makers. As a musician myself, I’m always seeking new, ‘unheard’ and weird sounds. This is what I’m trying to provide.”

Most of your products revolve around drum sounds… but not all of them. Can we expect to see more drums in the future?

“A follow up of Pastoral Tones is in the works. It’s called Hexagon
Sun, and like Pastoral Tones it’s inspired by the sound of Boards Of Canada. I’m also working on Thales Model II, the follow up of my first successful plugin, Thales Model I. It features computer sounds from the 1950s and 1960s, which are quite hard to find, and require a lot of research and patience.”

We reported on the Orion Sound Module when you first launched it. A free ROMpler for royalty-free sounds – what gave you the idea?

“I got the idea from an Arte television program about patents and copyrights. In the USA, there are companies that specialise in buying patents and suing people that use these patents without their permission. However, the problem is that it limits the access to patents that are useful to society as a whole. So I thought to myself, ‘There are lots of public domain sounds given to the community that I could professionally edit and provide in one convenient plugin’. The concept for Orion Sound Module was born!”

Then there’s Famirom - NES drums! Did you sample the sounds directly from the NES?

“Famidrums is more of a conceptual project; most of the sounds have been computer generated to sound like they were sampled from a NES. To fake the original sounds, I used an accurate NES sound chip emulation and resampled various analogue drum machines through it. Compared to the real thing, there’s no audible difference.”

 What’s next for SampleScience?

“I’m working hard on more elaborate sample-based plugins. Hexagon Sun is taking more time to develop than expected, because I’m using tape machines and real analogue synths as the source sounds to sample. Also, I want it to be big, containing up to 200 sounds. We’ll see how it goes!

“I do love drum machines, so plenty of new conceptual drum machines
will be released in 2017. I’m looking to create the kind of stuff that has never been done before!”

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