During your time in music production, I’m sure you have or will come across the term ROMPLER.
To put it simply, A Rompler is an electronic music instrument that plays audio samples stored on ROM chips.
ROMpler is basically a combination of the words ROM and sampler, therefore a ROMpler is a “Read-only Sampler”
Rom chips serve as the storage and provides access to the various sounds that come with your Rompler VST.
The rise of cheaper memory chips brought about the rise of hardware ROMplers in the 80s,
Which made it easier to store samples with less expense.
This makes the Korg M1 ROMPLER the best selling of all time.
In as much as technological advancements have made ROMplers less needed,
they are still the best for live performances.
Romplers have been around long which makes them an absolutely great resource when you’re looking to achieve an 80’s crisp classic sound.
so if you’re looking to have a vintage style piano that can replicate the old days, a good ROMpler can be a good start.
granted you will find other great plugins that can offer you better sounding options,
but sometimes the little subtle things will that stand out and appeal to the listener.
most software Romplers utilize an easy to use interface that is fast to use,
which makes it a great tool if you’re producing and need sounds that you can quickly adopt into your song without having to worry about a lot of other variables.
Sampler VST vs Rompler VST
A sampler is basically an electronic or virtual instrument that allows the user to edit samples and create instruments with samples.
Sampler’s may include sounds of real instruments such as piano or saxophone or it may have loops from recorded songs such as a funk guitar excerpt.
A software sampler VST is basically the same as a hardware sampler because it emulates its functionality at best.
the main difference between a sampler and a rompler is that romplers don’t have the ability to record new samples,
that’s why most music makers gravitate towards samplers because of the flexibility they offer.
Is Nexus a rompler?
Yes, indeed Nexus is a rompler.
It is a ROM synthesizer VST plugin,
built to deliver variety in sonic capability.
Is Omisphere a Rompler ?
The developers of Omnisphere say it is not a rompler, but rather a synthesizer,
Because it offers more flexibility as compared to rompler VST’s like Nexus.
Omnisphere allows you to upload and tweak your own sounds, that certainly gives it sampler properties
While we might agree on this, producers on many platforms refuse to consider it a full blown synthesizer because other VST plugins like Serum, allow for a much more diverse and easier work flow.
I’ve compiled a list of the best romplers and samplers of 2020 going into 2020.
Best Romplers of 2021
This is one of my favorite plugins, developed by REFX.
It comes with the following:
2799 sounds divided into 22 categories
2238 multi samples
211 impulse responses
119 arpeggiator presets
52 trance gates and 95 effect presets.
People that used the nexus 2 plugin will testify that it is a great tool and it employs a variety of sounds.
I relied on nexus 2 in the production of beats ever since i got myhands on it back in 2014,
but Nexus 3 has taken my production game to a whole new level.
the nexus 3 is definitely a great improvement from the preious version and it has come fully packed with a wide variety of sounds.
it has been loaded with four macro controls that are easy to use and up to 20 modulation controls
this is definitely a haven for aspiring sound designers!.
the sound quality of the presets is rich and warm providing a great playground for people that don’t like to edit out sounds and would rather have presets at the ready.
The Korg M1 from the Korg Legacy Collection is definitely a great Rompler and worth checking out,
it emulates sounds from the 80s, which makes it the perfect VST to deliver an authentic vintage sound.
The easy-to-use interface of the Korg M1is quick to draw the user in,
Plus the Korg M1 VST sounds nearly identical to the original hardware version,
the plus is that it delivers all the sounds but with less background noise.
most people that bought this plugin will tell you that they got it for the nostalgic vibe it delivers.
I think SampleTank from IK Multimedia is worth mentioning on any list of romplers.
Their latest addition to the collection is Sampletank 4 which is very impressive and consistent,
considering the fact that they introduced their first sample tank in 2001,
since then their product catalogue has delivered realistic sounding samples that leave no room for question.
SampleTank 4 comes with a totally new user interface, and an even newer sound engine to match!
this sound engine comes equipped with a two modes of operation:
Play Mode – Designed for easy writing and arranging, it also comes with a live editor and a mixer,
the live editor allows the user (that has unlimited access to the sound library),
to be able to tweak any sound to their liking.
Live Mode – tailor made for live performances with unlimited access to the sound library.
the sound library includes piano, bass, guitar, loops, organs, ethnic sounds, FX, voices, chromatic, electronic piano and wood winds.
East West Goliath
Me and my team tested and tried out this VST in 2019, and we used it in multiple sample and loop kits,
from my experience it is a great rompler, featuring a vast library of sounds that sound as realistic as the real thing.
especially the bass sounds, they sound impressive and when we sat down to review this plugin for this post, with the team, we were all amazed by how good the bass presets sound.
other instruments sound just as good.
It features over 180 instruments plus over 40Gb of content!.
Goliath is definitely irreplaceable and you’ll come notice this when you use it in your music.
Arturia Analog Lab 4
While you might find a number of forums describing this plugin as not that great,
I think it’s a matter of preference and once you go through the sounds you’ll discover that they are great,
ofcourse every plugin has sounds that are great and not that great.
With Arturia, you’ll have a good after sales support
this makes me confident that the developers of this product are always open to discussion.
the features of this plugin include a live mode panel, that you can use when you’re organizing sounds for your live set,
and a stage view for live performances.
It also has 10 specially integrated effects that you can apply to sounds to make them suit your style,
the search bar also helps alot when you’re looking for any sounds,
plus there are always new presets that you can discover in the arturia store.
Best Samplers 2021
We decided to cut the list short and only list a few of them that are vital so we can drive the point home.
here is a a brief list of the Sampler VST’s we use in our production of music
Massive is a great VST, most producers will attest to the fact that it has a simple interface, easy workflow, flexibility and power.
It is a great powerhouse synth that has wide array of sounds, plus
its architecture features; an unusual oscillator that allows you to morph from one oscillator to another via a dedicated knob.
Plus it has over 80 wavetable oscillators that range from simple sounding vocal effects to more complicated metallic sounds.
It has 11 filter modes and oscillators that can beset to serial or parallel or a mixture of both.
Furthermore, the modulation system of massive is so intelligent and unique,
it delivers a brilliant visual feedback system and a quick and intuitive workflow.
This is one of the greatest VST sampler plugins available today.
It is the ultimate resource for sounds that will have you covered for any particular genre of music.
Developed by Native Instruments,
Kontakt is an industry leading sampler that works as a host for sound libraries,
but also a sound developer that enables the user to also create their own unique instruments.
The full version of Kontakt comes with some default libraries, but there are also third party plugins that are available for purchase that you can utilize in Kontakt.
Omnisphere is known for its diverse and large sample library,
It features pipe, organ, glockenspiel, flamenco guitar, and other real instruments.
That makes this the go to plugin for many new emerging producers.
As far as software synths go, Omnishpere is like the Lamborghini of them all,
You’ll enjoy high quality sounds that you can tweak to your liking,
the possibilities are endless when it comes to this plugin.
This is another plugin that is definitely worth mentioning here.
The Halion is a hybrid synth, that is a provides a great sound creation system.
It features a great, diverse and almost intimidating user interface,
all the features can be learnt with ease.
Halion comes with a large sound library, plus all the modern synth programming tools you need to tweak sounds or basically design your own.
The Wavetable zone has been specifically made for sound designers and it is a great addition by Steinberg.
Plus, the sample recorder is also another great feature that is able to capture anything in your digital audio Workstation DAW.
Arturia Cmi V
The Arturia Cmi V is a great emulation of the very first available sampling system in music history,
this is a completely different sampler vst in that it delivers an all in one workstation,
its architecture is unique and offers 10 digital instruments that you can work with.
The CMI bridges the gap between sampling and digital synthesis,
because you can edit samples available in the cmi to your own liking,
and you can also load up your own samples and edit them too.
Now that you have an understanding of Rompler and Sampler plugins you can try out which one best suits your production style.
I don’ have a particular preference between the two because I use both of them in my production.
Music is all about experimentation,
therefore, this post is primarily to give you the basics of Rompler and a Sampler VSTs.