Sample Katra

Vintage analog synth samples - for creative minds


Sample Katra is a new company offering high quality analog synth samples created to uncompromising production standards. The main aim is to offer the character of vintage analogue instruments, with an up to date feature-set for any style of music or sound-design. It is our preference to lean towards instruments that have been somewhat overlooked by the mainstream in an attempt to bring new and fresh, high quality vintage analog sounds into modern electronic music production.

Philosophy & principles

  • To offer the authentic sound of some cool and sometimes quirky analog gizmos in a convenient digital format

  • Uncompromising sound quality

  • No additional processing or sweetening

  • Sample things that haven't (yet) been sampled to death

We genuinely hope to offer something a little different and bring to you the 'katra' or living spirit of some of our favourite analog synths, drum machines and vintage toys.

Sample Katra
Sample Katra

Sample specs

  • 24 Bit

  • Three round robins for analog nuance (except where otherwise noted)

  • Sustained notes average around 6 - 10 seconds long before looping

  • Ultra short (30cm), high-quality Vovox cable used exclusively to minimise coloration and high frequency loss

Sample Katra

Production values


We take our production values very seriously and pride ourselves on quality and attention to detail. We have gone to a lot of effort to maintain this high standard - from the output of a vintage instrument to the output of your speakers. We want you to know about some of the things we consider before and during the sampling process, to bring you these high-quality samples.

Power


Analog gear relies on voltage to generate its sound. Fluctuating voltage and electrical noise can significantly affect the output, signal-to-noise, timbre and general quality of any electronic analog instrument. Before we began sampling, we installed voltage regulators and a balanced power supply to ensure that our sampled instruments receive full, clean, regulated and balanced power for optimum performance. This was to ensure that we had the cleanest and steadiest power for our sensitive vintage analog instruments.

Cabling & connectors


We understand that cabling and connectors also affect the sound-quality and timbre of any electronic instrument. Its partly to do with impedance (tone and volume loss) and partly to do with reliability. We wanted the best quality cable we could find that offered maximum transparency and truth. For this reason, we chose the Vovox Sonorus cable as the primary cable of choice for sample sessions. Long cable lengths can also diminish the top end. For this reason, we chose 1' / 30cm cable lengths - direct from instrument to the AD converter. That's pretty short. No 200ft of studio cable and/or patch-bays for our sampled instruments.

Adapter-free zone


From the outset, we decided to rule out using add-on adapters for connectivity. This would ensure that we never had any intermittent or 'barely noticeable' signal drops during our sample sessions.

Converters


We wanted a high quality, portable system so we could sample larger instruments that were just plain too heavy and/or awkward to get to easily, using ultra short cables (to minimise top-end loss). For this reason, we chose the RME UCX as our AD audio interface. We consider the RME converters to offer neutral, audiophile, near-reference quality, while also maintaining our portability requirement.

Source Direct Sampling


It was a conscious choice not to insert esoteric (and often desirable) pre-amps into the recording signal path. We wanted to keep the emphasis on purity. We figured there are plenty of fine studios and software available that can colour the samples in a favourable way. Our mission was to offer an instrument’s Katra without it being coloured by a pre-amp. Not that that would be bad, but it was a conscious decision we made early, that we think reflects our general philosophy on sampling.

Last word


Are there better choices for power, cabling and DA conversion? Probably. But we think we've done a pretty good job of maintaining an extremely high quality signal path with sensible choices, informed decisions and attention to detail. We hope you agree.