The story

I’ve been experimenting with Decent Sampler, gradually adding more controls and internal complexity, and I decided that I had reached the stage where I would make the same mistake that every other beginner sample-creator makes: I would attempt to sample something hitting a piece of metal – and there are a lot of traps waiting for the unwary: tuning, looping, dynamics… and many more.

I found some interesting bits of metal: tiny vacuum flasks of about 200ml capacity. Initial testing showed that they had strong resonances at frequencies very close to C, E and G#, and so I spent some time figuring out how to do 8 velocity layers and then how to edit them, and how to solve the problem of working with short clangorous sounds with no sustain yet that were impossible to loop.

VacuumTap is the result. You have 8 velocity layers to play with, and three different timbres of clang (1, 2 and 3). In addition, there are lots of volume controls, for fast percussive samples (1f. 2f and 3f) and slow sustained sounds (1s, 2s and 3s), and for detuned versions of all of these. Setting all the volume controls to max may overload the output stage, which may be what you want, but I do not recommend it – distorted clangs just sound bad, in my humble opinion.

Additional controls provide attack and release times, so you can have slow, atmospheric sounds. There is limited tone control via a low pass filter with resonance (Q), but it could do with more character. Reverb controls enable you to bury the timbres in an environment, should you wish to – just remember the two rules: ‘Don’t use too much reverb because it will sound like a demo.’, and: ‘You can’t have too much reverb when there’s a picture as a distraction.’


Reviews for VacuumTap

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Now THAT's an aggressive SFX mallet!

    If you are looking for the most ridiculously aggressive and completely unexpected sound, this might be the case. This tap, SLAPS! Like holy cow, it did slap me right in the face! It is sampled really well, and inside you will find tons of knobs for you to play around and shape it as you like. Just lower your volume a little bit because it can be very loud! The swarming addition is also very welcome, it slapps!

    Alex Raptakis05 November 2021
  • Glitch Hop

    While this sound doesn't really fit into the music i make, it immediately made think of glitch hop, and glitchier styles of electronic music like IDM. It definitely evokes a werid vibe. I also think like everything I've heard from this samplist so far that it would work really well in a psychological thriller/ horror genre. Theres a lot of controllability over this sound thanks to the awesome GUI. Different pitches of hits and also things like reverses and swarm type effects. Its also really deeply sampled, the fact that theres 8 velocity layers is really awesome.

    septemberwalk06 November 2021
  • Sounds like bells...

    This instrument has very interesting bell qualities to it, and almost sounds like a church bell, glockenspiel, and triangle all melded together. Of course, the low end has the strong and powerful hits that one would want. In my opinion, the sounds are very "dirty", not due to poor sampling, but rather because of the processing and individual sound of the cups, which can cause the mixes to get a little bit crowded, so this instrument best works in a relatively minimal mix.

    Christopher13 October 2021
  • Metal and clangorous

    These sounds are well recorded, and there's nothing else quite like them. The different bottles along with sustained versions of them provide a wide variety of metal sounds. I'm just not entirely sure where one would use sounds like this. However, just because they're not my cup of tea doesn't mean that you shouldn't try them. You might find them far more useful than I did.

    Sam EcoffSamplist 02 November 2021