In Samplitude’s world, the main multitrack project format is known as a Virtual Project, or VIP. Like a Pro Tools Session or a Nuendo Project, a VIP doesn’t actually contain any audio, but is linked to associated audio files. This clarification is necessary because Samplitude deals with both VIPs and Wave (*.WAV) files as Projects, since the application is equally at home editing single stereo files as multitrack audio projects. Wave files are generally streamed from disk during recording and playback as you would expect, but it’s also possible to record and play audio data directly from RAM as well.

When you start a New VIP, a window prompts you for the path for the VIP folder and some basic information to use as a starting point for the VIP, including the sampling rate and the number of tracks to be automatically added. Once you’ve created a new VIP, it’s displayed in Samplitude’s main window. Since Samplitude can be used for many different tasks, such as multitrack recording or stereo editing, you can choose the tools that are available in the VIP Window by selecting different Workspaces. A Workspace defines what menu commands and toolbar icons are shown in the VIP Window. You get a handful of basic Workspaces by default, and you can build your own if you want to kill the screen clutter.

Another cool feature of the VIP Window is the ability to divide it into two or three Sections, with each Section having its own independent zoom and scroll controls, so you can look at different views of the same VIP simultaneously (a bit like dividing a Word or Excel document). For example, dividing the VIP window into two allows you to zoom in on a single track for editing in the lower Section, while displaying all the tracks in the upper Section. Showing the VIP window in three Sections again splits the VIP window in two horizontally, but the lower Section is this time divided in half again vertically. Sweet.



Recording works as expected, and shows you the length of the recording within the track. Once you’ve finished, you’re prompted to keep or delete the recording, although this behavior can be disabled in the Options menu to speed things up. Your audio file is displayed in the VIP Window as an Object, and each Object features five editing handles.

These let you instantly drag for head and tail trims, fade in and fade out, volume level, as well as to position your audio within the track. Further editing tools are available in the Object Editor, which appears when you double-click an Object.

The Object Editor is split into three pages: Object Effects, Position/Fades and Pitch-shifting and Time-stretching. Object Effects provides all the options you’d expect to see for a channel on the mixer, including inserts, EQ, dynamics, pan settings and auxiliary sends. The Position/Fades page enables you to set the start, end and length parameters for the Object numerically, in addition to providing finer control over the fade-in and -out with a choice of curves.

The final Pitch-shifting and Time-stretching page is particularly cool, providing real-time pitch-shift and time-stretch effects that are applied to the Object during playback. Additionally, the Object Editor offers some housekeeping options, allowing you to change the name of the Object and its color, and offers a duplicate VIP Play/Stop button, along with a Play Solo button that plays only the Object being edited in the Object Editor — most useful.

Audio scrubbing is accessible on a per-Object basis by enabling the Scrubbing Mouse Mode tool from the toolbar. Like other editors, this is more a jog control than a true scrub, and it goes from slow to real time rather quickly as you drag the mouse across an Object. But you can also click on a point and hear a small snippet of audio play at that point, which is useful for confirming that what you see as an edit point on the screen really is the spot you want. In addition, there’s an overall jog wheel as part of the transport that plays all active tracks.