Astonishingly, it's been a full decade since the decidedly mixed bag that was SampleTank 2 landed on our desktops, so we've been expecting great things of its successor, having learnt of its impending arrival a few months ago.
Released at the end of last week, ST3 packs some pretty impressive numbers, boasting over 4000 multisampled instruments within its 33GB soundbank - that's around eight times the size of its predecessor (and 16 times the size of the original SampleTank) - as well as more than 2500 loops and 2000 MIDI files.
The instruments are divided into 21 categories, including Acoustic and Electronic Drums, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Piano, Brass, Ethnic, Voices, Synth Lead/FX and Synth Pad - you get the idea - and up to 16 of them can be loaded at once.
World of 'Tanks
As you'd hope after its ten year hiatus, SampleTank's interface has been totally overhauled and now spans three pages, the first of which, Play, facilitates instrument browsing, layering and splitting, "quick adjustments" and live performance setup.
The Mix page enables in-depth mixing of your 16 instruments, complete with five insert slots per channel (each accessing a roster of 55 effects modules, 22 of them based on processors from T-RackS and AmpliTube) and four Return Channels.
And last but clearly not least, the Edit page gives access to the synthesis engine at the heart of SampleTank 3, which features three playback engines for optimal pitchshifting and timestretching of various source sound types, ten filter models, two LFOs and two AHDSR envelopes.
While the relevance of SampleTank's old-school sound module' approach could be considered even more questionable in today's limitlessly flexible music production environment than it was ten years ago, version 3 looks to be a truly immense step up from v2, so and we're really looking forward to checking it out. It's available now in VST, AU, AAX and standalone formats for â¬239.99+VAT/$349 from the IK Multimedia website.