Quality of samples: SynthMaster Player, ThumbJam, BeatHawk, modstep, ... and others

Beside KORG Gadget and the DAWs Cubasis and Auria Pro, i have several Apps with some amounts of sampled content.

SynthMaster Player
modstep (only drums)

I tried to get a feeling for which of them has the best content, but i cannot realy decide :-(

How do they differ, qualitywise?

As background, my interest is mostly in those area:

Acoustic Drums: Best seems to be DrumPerfect Pro?!?
Acoustic Pianos: Best are Colossus Piano, then iGrand, CPM Grand Piano or KORG Module
Acoustic Guitars: Any "Best"? Are my existing Apps "good enough"?
Acoustic Strings: Any "Best"? Are my existing Apps "good enough"?

Somewhere in the future, i will sure buy those "best" versions ...
But right now, i would like to stay with my existing Apps for sampled content.

But SynthMaster Player, BeatHawk and Auria Pro also allow to buy more samples - either additional stuff, or better quality.
ThumbJam and modstep do not offer additional content.

But which one i should use and possible buy more samples from?
Which of them has the best samples?

Any idea?


  • 19 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • Well ,if you need synth sounds, SynthMaster provides great presets. Simple ;)
    For BeatHawk , the beauty of the packs is that you can make complete songs without the need of other apps . Meaning faster workflow .
    (I use modstep for midi only and don't have ThumbJam app.)

  • Somewhat related- I found it interesting how much more "hi-fi" Seekbeats drums sound than other apps, but Figure's drums sound richer and punchier. Both seem to loose something when you cut-n-paste into another app; must have something to do with mixbus?

  • It's all in the ear of the beholder, so to soeak. I love what I hear from ThumbJam and BeatHawk, and ditched Sample Tank 'cause I never used it.

  • My plan was, to stay in MIDI as long as possible and only finally sample audio with whatever sources / synth.
    And this should be as good as possible ;-)

    But then Thomas, you heard differences between local playing and playing over MIDI?

    I will try to test this later

  • @tja said:
    My plan was, to stay in MIDI as long as possible and only finally sample audio with whatever sources / synth.

    In this case, use Beathawk. You can quickly sketch out ideas in the stand-alone, and load multiple instances of it into Cubasis/Auria/AUM/ as AU if you run out of instrument space.

  • My favourite piano on iOS is ThumbJam's 'Upright Piano'. Especially with a bit of compression and saturation from AUM..

  • I compared the output of some simple MIDI notes I wrote in Cubasis:

    I loaded the file in Gadget and created a WAV 16 bit 41k file

    Then I played the same MIDI in Cubasis and let Gadget run as IAA, also 16 bit 41k.

    Both file were exported to AudioShare:

    They differ!!!!!

  • You can see that when comparing the visual representation in AudioShare.

    In Blocs Wave you can see it better....

  • Now.

    This is not what I expected.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017 Vote Up0

    I tried to do the same with Auria Pro instead of Cubasis, but was unable to find a way to feed the MIDI to Gadget :-(

    Will try BeatHawk now, locally and from Cubasis

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017 Vote Up0

    BeatHawk cannot read MIDI files, as it seems :-O
    Also something I did not expect.

    I need to stop myself from saying something rude.

    A music program without the ability to import and export MIDI files is.... useless, IMHO.
    You can dabble around, but cannot reproduce things and such.
    Nothing for reproducable output, archiving work, sharing work, and so on.

  • I am not sure, how to best compare locally created audio with audio created over MIDI from another App.

    I expected both outputs to be totally equal, which does not seem to be true.

    Due to automation not fully transported?!?

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017 Vote Up0

    Finally managed to control and record Gadget from Auria Pro...

    But the results are completely different:

  • Clearly, I do not understand some big part of all of this :-O

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017 Vote Up0

    Anyway, the topic was about quality of sound samples.

    I did some check with 11 tracks.... Will upload them, as soon as I manage to output multiple at once from Cubasis or from AudioBus ;-)

  • Honestly they don't look that different to me, but do they actually sound different? If so that's weird.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017 Vote Up0

    I would expect them to be totally the same!
    But they are full of little differences.

    As Thomas wrote above, that may mean Apps produce different sound when run by themselves or when run from some other App.

    But then, I am to new to this - one explanation would be, that some parts of the automation may not transfer in this way. Or different defaults at volume.
    Or, bouncing audio is just a bad idea, which could also be true.

    I don't know :-(
    But I don't like it and will later try to find out more.

    I have no App to compare frequencies more detailed - and cannot find one in the App store, just for live sampling not for audio files.

  • Anyway, I was high jacking my own thread ;-)


    11 different, short Pianos examples created from my Apps.
    All of them normalized in Cubasis for better comparison.

    Which one do you like?
    Which do you not like?

  • I added a zipfile with all 11 samples, and upload it here too:

    4 MB

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