Sonicware’s SmplTrek is a battery-powered groovebox for on-the-go beatmaking

You can use the sampler's built-in mic to capture audio pretty much anywhere.


Sonicware has stepped into the portable sampler space with its SmplTrek device. The battery-powered groovebox features a built-in mic that'll help you create samples wherever you are. The SmplTrek also lets you add samples from your phone via USB. There are dynamic mic, guitar and line-level inputs as well, and you'll be able to store samples on an SD card.

You can auto-slice samples and assign them to pads. Curiously, the SmplTrek has 15 velocity sensitive pads rather than the standard 16. You'll be able to edit samples with a waveform display and they can be matched to the key and tempo of a song, Sonicware says.

Each song can have up to 16 scenes. Each of those has 10 sequencer tracks, including ones designed for loops, drums, instruments, one shots and external MIDI. The SmplTrek will allow you to mix down a song using mastering effects before exporting it as a single audio file. What's more, if you connect the groovebox to your phone or PC, you can livestream your music.

The sampler comes with 30 effects included. That's a respectable number, though until we're able to try it for ourselves, it's unclear how good those effects are. The SmplTrek also offers more than 500 sample sounds and north of 100 drum kits out of the gate, so even beginners will be able to start piecing together songs right away.

Sonicware is running a Kickstarter campaign for the SmplTrek. It has blown past the funding goal of just under $39,000 by taking in over $458,000 in pledges so far. At the time of writing, there are a few units left as part of the Kickstarter Limited pledge, which will allow you to secure a SmplTrek for around $300. Sonicware expects to start shipments in October. The company has a solid track record with delivering on crowdfunding campaigns, following its successful LIVEN 8bit project.

It remains to be seen how well the SmplTrek works in practice. At the retail price of $429, it'll be in the same range as portable samplers from more established names, such as Novation's Circuit Rhythm and Roland's SP-404MKII.