Poise is the BEST mpc style drum sampling software available


You know I’m always looking for the best tools, that get out of the way and let you work.

One of my gripes with the current choice of drum sampling software is their inability to understand how simply we want to layer sounds.

Many folks just want to drag a sound to a pad, then another, and another, and have instant access to each layer to tweak and create new composite sounds.

Unfortunately, many of the products out just don’t get that. Most make you go deep into the keymapping setup to layer sounds on the keys, or they don’t allow layering at all, or it’s so complicated you just say forget it and just play each sound on it’s own, layering “in sequence”!

Enter Poise…from an independent developer one small clue…someone who, like me, must have been fed up with the current crop, bloat, and “just don’t get it” operation of the majority of software drum samplers out now.

What we need is something ย that’s simple, cost effective, lean, clean…and to the point.

So what is Poise?

In my mind, poise is the drum sampler we’ve all been looking for.

Poise is what I would make if I could write software….

Poise is a simple, 16 pad drum sampler that lets you quickly add layers, manipulate the layers, and come up with new sounds.

Poise is NOT a sequencer. ย You can NOT sample into it.

from the site:

Direct, straightforward, no frills and no bloat! Poise aims to make working with drum samples quick and painless, allowing you to focus on making music.

sounds good to me, so good I had to keep it under wraps until I could actually SHOW you what it did. ย It’s not new, it’s been around, but I just found out about it and I know many of you will love it, because I get the same questions from folks looking for an easy drum sampler that let’s you layer your drums quickly and tweak each layer.

Why I think Poise “gets it”

Why do I think it’s the best? Let me list the reasons.

  • It’s easy to layer sounds, just drag them onto the pad, and a layer number will appear in the window
  • layers can be played in round robin, layered, or velocity switching mode
  • You can have up to 16 outpus, enough to send each pad to it’s own track in your daw if you want
  • It’s easy to setup to work with your midi controller
  • You can have note on or oneshot mode for your samples
  • It has mono mode, so you can get down like on your hardware, making pads cut each other
  • You also have “cut groups” so you can set pads to cut each other off
  • You can link pads… so you can quickly layer multiple sounds just by linking the pads together
  • You can save your own kits quickly
  • You can tweak aeach layer on a pad separately or together
  • you can use wav, aiff, or mpc snd format sounds
  • It’s lean and cpu efficient
  • It’s 49 bucks

What about the interface, is it easy to use?

Very easy, very clean, very straight forward, and very intuitive.

It has everything you need to layer and play with your samples, and nothing you don’t.

No sequencer screen that you won’t use getting in the way.

No complex menus of keygroups and mapping to mess with.

16 pads, each with 8 layers, knobs to tweak each layer/sound…and not much else.

right-clicking on a pad let’s you access things like note on/oneshot mode, or mono mode, pad linking, etc.

It’s really simple, and everything you would try to do naturally, it just does it…this is the way a simple drum sampler should be…not a bunch of bells, whistles, and balloons.

So you really like it huh?


This plugin is 5 subs all the way around in my honest opinion…I could hardly contain myself when I found out about it.

Try it and tell me it’s not what you’ve been looking for. You can layer, edit start and end points of samples, send each pad to it’s own output in your daw for simple tracking….tweak each layer, save your kits….really what else do you need in a drum sampler?

I honestly, so far, can’t think of anything I would change about it. It does what it needs to do…allow quick playing and manipulation of samples.

check it out at One Small Clue, download the demo, and see for yourself.

let me know what you think of course, leave a comment below.


  1. Yo,

    That is the sickest drum sampler I have ever seen. I just got Sampla from Sonivox and it’s the closest to simple out their besides Poise. Poise is still worth it I’m going to get it. Just a side note for people who can’t play chords Sampla has a mapping feature were can assign chords to a pad.

    • they aren’t even close, beat thang virtual is an actual beat machine with sounds, fx, and a full sequencer. it’s really it’s own little environment for making beats.

      Poise is a vst plugin, it requires a host to run it in, and it doesn’t sequence.

      they are two different tools in my opinion

  2. I beta tested Poise (still do) for the developer (Shannon) and your right strangely enough it stands alone by it self in simpliciy and functionality. When I’m not using BPM its Poise all day.

    • Yeah man, Shannon is cool peeps and I agree, it’s alone. I think bpm/maschine are different because they are really their own sequencing environment and allow you to do everything in their program if you wish.

      this is a simple device that fits into most daw workflows…and does what ya need.

  3. That VST is pretty sweet! Very simple interface and looks like it would be real easy to tweak my drum samples with (love the round-robin feature) and I’m glad that it is a vst and not a standalone app because my workflow is tied primarily to my DAW so this works for me. And the price it right too!!! I’ll have to pick that up.

    Thanks for the heads up man.

    • yeah man! it’s very simple and moves seamlessly into any daw environment that takes vst plugins. I really like how quick and simple it is. I have a lot of drum samplers, but this is what I wished they operated like.

      He’s still developing it so it will get better, but right now it’s already dope in my opinion.

  4. all i got say is sold good lookin out keep up the good work oh , will you be doing any brass or horn section reviews soon i could really use some input on some real good sounding stuff holla a ya boi

  5. Looks Cool / Nice review
    But I guess I show my age in saying I think the hands on-(Hardware) is much better. I have not used it but I have a MPC2500 w/ JJOS and it is untouchable in my opinion…

  6. saintjoe you are a breath of fresh air man im really glad i ran into your site! i love the updates,but yeah this is very dope! & for the price excellent too!

  7. I’m like you Joe, I got Battery, Guru, Live Drum Racks etc. While Poise doesn’t do anything these can’t, it sure cuts to the chase quicker. I remember using the beta demo awhile back, but this one has a much nicer GUI. Truth be told I was gonna get it but just forgot all about it. I just went to get the demo, but got the bandwith exceeded message. I think your review might have something to do with that (haha)
    I hope you find more independent software like Poise to feature here as these small developers usually ‘get it’ like you said. Also they’re going against corporations so they need the exposure.

    Thanks for another solid review.

    • Yeah man…when I saw it, I KNEW many folks like me would love it.

      I mean, those other apps are cool, for what they do. But if I got my drums already and I just want to layer quickly…this is the tool. It’s just so simple to come up with new sounds.

      Not even drums, you can use it for loops, riffs, chops, whatever… I’m lovin it.

      Man…I didn’t mean to get his bandwidth limit! I hope he’s getting some customers out of it too!

  8. Dope review Joe! Software looks pretty fresh man.
    You could totally assign your outputs to how u see fit, set your click track, press record and just track directly into your daw, then mix your joint later. Pretty cool man.


    • whasup teck…nah you can’t use this with Reason, you need a vst host like flstudio, ableton, sonar, cubase, reaper, etc.

      Maschine is dope, I love it and I’m an old mpc head…I also plan on rockin with the beat thang hardware once it drops…I think they are two different tools, one you can take with you the other requires the computer.

      if you’re trying to decide between Maschine and beat thang virtual it depends on what you want to do. The prices for btv is definitely attractive, but Maschine has that hands on feel that many hardware cats like myself crave.

      I have both, and use them for different reasons, btv gives me a different vibe than when working in other apps. That said…I don’t think anything on the market at the moment is really touching Maschine.

    • No doubt…I do use drum racks, but have you ever tried to quickly layer a sound in lives drum racks? It’s not as quick as this, they layers aren’t setup the same. If you just drag a sound onto another it will replace it.

      That’s why i think this one is simple but useful. It would be dope if drum racks worked the same way, because they are pretty useful already.

        • Tried it out, it works pretty coo…it’s still alot of steps involved to get in and tweak your sounds. You gotta alt + drag, then open the device chains, not bad…but definitely not as quick and simple as Poise. But it’s def good to know that tip for ableton, may have to do a video on it.

          I just like how you can just drag stuff into poise pretty much without even thinking about it or having to remember any keystrokes to do it, and it automatically layers it for you. The settings for each layer and everything is all right up front, no menus to expand or anything.

          It doesn’t do anything revolutionary, it just does something we love, in a simple way.

          drum racks are still dope tho in their own way, you can do some freaky stuff with em.

          thanks for the response yo, gonna have to explore some more.

  10. This is the truth man!!!!I just bought it a week or so ago and i been on it real heavy.Thanks for putting everybody up on it Joe.Plugin of the year!!!!

  11. *Update* The Demo only allows you to run one Poise at a time.. and you also can’t save your drum Kits with the Demo. After a few weeks.. I had to break down in buy it.. its ease was a hit in improving my workflow. Thanks again saintjoe!

  12. Oh!.. FYI everyone.. You can record in a track within your DAW and drag your sample directly into Poise.. Talk about EASY INSTANT SAMPLING… In Reaper it is control + alt while dragging into Poise…

  13. i’ve been using and testing poise since 2008. i vouch for this review’s accuracy and enthusiasm. the developer is one sharp dude.

    poise is great standalone, but i love using it as an extra daw based-layering tool for my mpc.

    probably my favorite VST plugin, ever.

  14. guy who makes music · Edit

    i would love it if an AU/ Audio unit came out and im pretty sure many other mac/ logic users would love to buy it if that was the case. please i beg you to make an Audio unit version of this, it looks awsome beyond any imagination!

      • @saintjoe, I need something like this for a mac!!!! i have Battery but because of my set up i cant use it..(white screen) native instruments problem..Im in no position to completely update my set up because 2 of my plugins wont work..By they way they are legit copies!!! I really need something like this asap or like the free computer music 202 they used to give out..any help would be appreciated!!!

  15. I tried the demo and the demo is already generous, but it’s clear this software is really really fun and easy to use. It reminds me of what I like about hardware drum machines, but with all the advantages of software.

  16. Just updating everyone.. There is a beta of Poise out now that has some nice new features, such as midi mapping of the start and end loop points … etc. Check it out!

  17. yo st. joe can u do the 16 levels pitch shift on the poise and also I really need
    you to do a review on a similar product sonivox pulse comes out nov 1st check out the vids at sonivox’s web site

    • @Echo, poise is 50 bucks, how much is reason? lol…and poise is a vst, reason isn’t, we are really talking about two different products totally.

      but it’s all good ๐Ÿ™‚ Reason is cool too!

  18. Hi everyone and Thanks SaintJoe for all the useful info. Just downloaded a Demo Poise and I have no Sample editor, is that correct or have I got a bug ?
    Also, after reading the manual I find no info on regards to make a PAd Loop-play a sample ( as in non stop playing or continoous One shot ?)

    thanks indeed

    The GG. FranceJ

    • It’s only a vst and not really made to chop samples though you can adjust start/end points of the samples. If you’re looking more for something to chop samples checkout Maschine, BPM, or Geist

  19. Hi, SaintJoe, I’m back in the drum sampler search again. I’ve tried Geist (kinda liked v1 but not v2).
    I’ve tried Poise. While I like it’s ease of use, I still feel some sort of “lack” due to the absence of some features.

    Here’s my breakdown:
    I’m a Reaper user (reasons: CPU efficiency, customizability, VST bridging, great layered midi editing, great community of scripters [only 2nd to Ableton’s Max4live], it’s pretty sterile in regards to workflow philosophy, etc.)
    I believe you know all of that about the DAW already, and that it is also very lacking in regards to instruments. This requires me to look for 3rd party instruments, effects, and tools, but that’s cool.
    Sometimes, 3rd party plugins is the best way to go when it comes to focused engineering, although tight integration with the DAW might be a factor (e.g. Reaper + Poise vs. Ableton’s Drum Racks or FL Studio’s Sampler/Step Sequencer).
    Anyways, overall, I like Poise, but it does seem a little antiquated. There’s no window resizing, no note repeat, only one effect can be used on pads, etc. Overall, it’s great but it could be expanded to be even better.

    Do you have any recommendations for folks like me, who like the ease usage of Poise, but desire the in-depth features of
    similar tools (like Geist and Battery)?

    I’m going to be trying Battery soon. I don’t know why, but I’ve kinda stayed away from it throughout the years.

    Much thanks


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