SamplerBox – drop-and-play sampler

Massive thanks to Clive for babysitting this blog (he’s been both writing and editing) while I was away. Any relaxation I was still feeling from the vacation evaporated the moment I saw my inbox. It was good while it lasted.

Regular readers will know that my favourite Raspberry Pi projects are often the musical ones. So I was really pleased to find a message from Joseph Ernest at SamplerBox bobbing up among the top few hundred emails of that inbox this morning. SamplerBox is an open-source, sub-€99 sampler in a box (hence the name), and it’s beautifully simple: drop samples onto the SD card, hook up a MIDI keyboard, and you’ll end up with something like this:

SamplerBox has more than 128 voices of polyphony (which sounds like way too much until you consider things like sustain pedals on pianos), and can load sample sets up to 1GB. Plus, it comes in a really cute laser-cut wooden box.

Setup’s as easy as…Pi.


This isn’t a project to buy: it’s open source, and made for you to build. Which is something I’ll be doing as soon as Joseph’s finished his instructions – I’m already scoping out boxes. Thanks Joseph!




Andy avatar

In 1851 my great-great-grandfather was an organ-builder in Liverpool
Maybe with this I can start to follow in his footsteps.

Liz Upton avatar

Back in the (very) dim and distant past, I used to do editorial work on a magazine called Early Music Today. There were a few companies who used to advertise with the magazine whose business was selling kits to build your own harpsichord/virginals/spinet – if I had even the smallest amount of confidence in my ability to build things out of wood without recourse to laser cutters or milling machines, I’d love to get one. This is a nice substitute for the cack-handed, I feel.

Kevin Hainsworth avatar

Was that magazine related to ‘Lute’ which I recall as being the goto publication for anyone interested in buying pre-loved early musical instruments.

Liz Upton avatar

No, actually; it was published along with Opera Now, Music Teacher, Classical Music and The Singer (now sadly defunct). I was deputy ed on few of them, and used to write for all of them – what feels like a lifetime ago!

John Young avatar

what a great idea I can use lots of the bits I have got already but the enclosure seems a bit more of an obstacle for cutting.
I can`t wait for the full instructions to build and programme

joseph avatar

Making instructions (first version) are now published:

It will evolve with more details, but it’s already possible to use it to build a SamplerBox :)

Steve Foster avatar

Welcome back again Liz. I think Clive did a good job in your absence. He even posted something on a Bank Holiday Monday. I wouldn’t want you to miss that post, amongst everything else you are catching up on :-)

My son’s into MIDI on his Mac and I’ve just bought him a Pi2, so I can see us following up on this project. Thanks for passing it onto the Blog feed.

Liz Upton avatar

Thanks Steve. Believe me, I was WATCHING HIS EVERY ONLINE MOVE from my holiday eyrie. Bank Hol Monday was a particular joy.

Clive Beale avatar

Oooh … I have an M-audio midi keyboard that’s not been used for ages. Going to open it up tomorrow to see what I can do with this to hack it to make a standalone synth. (A Pi-a-Synth. Sorry.)

MalMan35 avatar

What is the second tune he played? I really liked it.

Liz Upton avatar

I think it’s something he’s improvising.

joseph avatar

Just improvising :)

Orla Leay avatar


I am a member of a coderdojo class and we were wondering if you could help we have purchased 4 raspberry pi latest version and we are trying to teach the children the potential of the raspberry pi and its capabilities.
We were wondering if you could let us know if possible were we could acquire the latest raspberry pi educational manual so we can give the children a copy to reference weather the are at the club or for home use so they can also learn about how to set up and use the raspberry pi as our classes are free.
We are trying to help the children to learn about code and data etc so that we will have coders of the future.
If you don’t have the Education manual for the pi could you directed us to who might be able to help us.

Regards & Thanks
Orla Leahy.

Liz Upton avatar

Head to the top of this page and click on “Resources” – everything you need is there. If you want to dig deeper, click on “Help”.

joseph avatar

Thanks a lot @LizUpton and others for your nice comments!

I have now published a first version:
There’s a ready-to-use image for RaspberryPi2:

Beta testing welcome!
According to some emails, there are already a few happy users :)

Björn avatar

It would be so cool to make a device like the Teenage Engineering OP-1 on the Raspberry PI with open source. This is clearly a first step!

Marek avatar

Hi.Look`s nice, but will it work on my MODEL A ?

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