Apisonic Labs releases Speedrum (€49), an MPC-style drum/percussion sampler plugin. We are taking a closer look at the full version of Speedrum and giving away three free copies of the software to three lucky BPB readers.

Speedrum is the powerful but easy-to-use bigger brother of the free Speedrum Lite sampler plugin which we covered last year. If you’ve ever used the MPC2 or MPC Beats software, Speedrum will look and feel familiar to you.

Akai Professional’s MPC, in its various forms, has played a pioneering role in music production for decades. Stories of the late, great J Dilla turning off the quantize function (or not reading the manual) on his MPC 3000 still inspire beatmakers/producers today.

Dilla wasn’t the only musician to adopt that dragging-the-beat style. D’Angelo went a step further with his “playing drunk” approach to the Voodoo record; starting with the drum kit, each musician would drag the beat behind the last.

I know we aren’t discussing hardware or musical feel, but given half a chance to mention Dilla or D’Angelo, I generally will.

And if you’re searching for an MPC-like sampler for your DAW, Speedrum is well worth a look.

What is Speedrum?

Speedrum offers 32 pads, essential effects, and eight sample layers per pad. Like the MPC, Speedrum starts with a default layout of sixteen pads with two banks (A/B).

The pads are on the left in the default layout, with all effects on the right. If you step out of the default layout, the AB view shows all 32 pads, but only one effect at a time.

Speedrum by Apisonic Labs

Here’s a closer look at the Speedrum drum sampler by Apisonic Labs.

Effects (per pad) include multiple Distortion types, a Multi-mode Filter, Transient Shaper, and Compressor. Volume/pitch Envelopes and Humanize settings for Velocity, Pitch, Time, and Pan expand on per pad sound-shaping options.

Speedrum has the same fast workflow as the MPC software. A browser opens on the right of the resizable GUI, from which you can simply drag and drop samples onto pads.

All pads and knobs have MIDI-learn capability, making it easy to use a controller, like an MPC/MPD or a keyboard with pads. Using a physical controller is sometimes the best way to get the most out of software like Speedrum, especially core pad functions like cut/choke.

The eight sample layers per pad can be arranged with a simple drag and drop functionality, too. Editing each layer includes basic parameters and Lowpass/Highpass filters. You can add a greater level of humanization with layer settings like Round Robin and Random.

A simple Waveform Editor lets you make more direct changes to each sample, like start/stop points, length, Attack, and Decay.

Check out the demo video below to see Speedrum in action:

Speedrum has definitely taken a leaf out of the MPC playbook, and it’s a workflow style that I really like. Even users who don’t have experience with the MPC should be whizzing around this GUI in no time.

It offers plenty of ways to manipulate samples and create unique beats/percussion. More importantly, it does so in a way that everything is clear and easily/quickly accessible.

Speedrum is available in VST, VST3, and AU formats. It is currently at version 1.0.6 which includes the latest bug fixes and improvements.

Speedrum Giveaway

Apisonic Labs kindly offered to give away three FREE copies of Speedrum to three lucky BPB readers. A huge THANK YOU goes to our friends at Apisonic Labs for sponsoring the giveaway! 🥳

To enter, simply leave a comment below answering this question: What is your favorite drum machine?

Only one comment per person is allowed. We will randomly (using a software-based random comment picker) select the three lucky winners on Monday, September 6th.

Good luck and thanks for reading BPB! ❤️

More info: Speedrum (€49)

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