Sampler Node

The Sampler Node is a sample-based synthesizer. That is, it plays assigned audio files for notes, typically short recordings of individual notes played on an instrument (like a drum, or a piano). This is ideal for quickly putting together drum machines, or any instrument based on sample recordings.

It supports assigning samples to notes one-by-one, or by assigning a sample to a range of notes, with or without automatic pitch shifting of samples. Additionally, it supports advanced settings for customizing pitch and velocity layers.

Note that, unlike typical samplers, which aim to be standalone units (with a sequencer and playback interface), the Sampler Node in AudioNodes is just the synthesizer part. It needs a melody source to trigger sample playback, such as the Piano Roll Node, the Sequencer Node, or the MIDI Keyboard Node. Connect to an Audio Destination Node to listen to the output (either directly, or through one or more effect Nodes).


Melody Input

A melody to control sample playback.

Detune-Control Input

A control input to control the Detune setting. Like the Detune setting, the signal connected to this input is interpreted as cents: a control signal of 100 will detune notes by one semitone, up.

You can enable this input by connecting to it, or by toggling it from the node properties panel.


Settings are initially hidden, until the first sample file is opened. Once you loaded the first sample, all settings appear.


The Sampler Node holds 1 or more audio sample files, shown as a list. You can add more samples to this list, or remove them from any time. Clicking a sample will reveal additional per-sample settings in a dialog. See the Sample Settings section below.


This is a helper setting to configure the behavior of the Sampler Node UI when you are editing samples. There are 3 modes:

  • Auto-pitch samples to fill gaps
    • Simplified UI.
    • Automatically configures samples so that they cover every note, by pitching samples up/down if necessary. For example, if you have samples for C2, C3, C4, and C5, this mode will make it so that every note is played, by first finding the nearest sample, then pitching it up/down as necessary.
    • Ideal for sampled melodic instruments, such as piano, harp, guitar.
  • Play assigned notes only
    • Simplified UI.
    • Only play each sample when their assigned note is played. For example, if you have samples C2 and C3, only C2 and C3 notes will play.
    • No pitching, samples are always played as-is.
    • Ideal for sampled percussion instruments, such as drums.
  • Advanced mode
    • Customize minimum/maximum pitch for each sample by hand, whether each sample can be pitch shifted or not, as well as min/max velocity.

★ With AudioNodes HD

Applies a detune, in cents, to the output of the Sampler Node. That is, the specified detune applies to every sample. You can control this setting through the Detune-Control input.


The Sampler Node applies an AHDSR (Attack-Hold-Decay-Sustain-Release) envelope to every note played, configurable through a visual editor.

Sample Settings

Each loaded sample has per-sample settings, which you can access by clicking a sample on the Sampler Node’s properties panel:

  • Sample Pitch
    • The fundamental frequency of the sample file (or the note identifier of a percussion sample).
    • For example, if the sample is a C4 piano sound, you should set Sample Pitch to C4.
  • Start /to/ End
    • The start and end position of sample playback in the sample file, in seconds.
    • For example, if you have a single file containing multiple sample sounds, you can use this to set which part of the file should be played. Similarly, you can use these settings to trim silence from the beginning, or the end.
    • The waveform preview updates in real-time as you change these settings.
  • Play Mode – controls how the sample is played, most options should be self-explanatory, but there are 3 noteworthy quirks to this setting:
    • In Once, Reverse and in In Loop, Reverse modes, the Start and End settings are also reversed, as if the sample file itself was flipped before you opened it.
    • Continuous Loop mode is essentially the same as Loop, but instead of always starting note playback at the beginning of the sample (as configured by Start and End), playback instead starts at an ever-incremented offset (looping). This can make some looping sounds more natural, especially if they have more striking features at the start.
    • In Advanced Mode (see above), Play Mode is a set of 2 fields, where the first field controls whether the sample file is allowed to be pitch shifted or not.
  • Min /to/ Max Pitch (advanced mode only, see above)
    • The range of notes for which the sample will play (inclusive).
    • If a note is outside of this range, the sample won’t play.
  • Min /to/ Max Velocity (advanced mode only, see above)
    • The velocity range, within which the sample will play (inclusive).
    • If the velocity of a note is outside of this range, the sample won’t play.


Audio Output

An audio signal with the samples played for each note in the Melody Input.

Technical Details

In Auto-pitch samples to fill gaps mode, or when you enable With pitch shift in Advanced Mode, samples will be automatically pitch shifted, if a sample’s original pitch (as configured) and the played note are different. The Sampler Node does so by simply playing the sample faster or slower, depending on the direction of the difference. This is very fast and efficient, but can produce obviously artificial results if the pitch shift range is large.

Similar Nodes

  • Audio File Node – plays a single audio file, but instead of playing it for individual notes, it plays the audio file as arranged on the Timeline by hand. It’s useful for ambiences, loops, or for any piece of audio you want to crop, slice, and/or arrange on the Timeline yourself.