Quad Zamp 1.0 (freeware) from Canadian software developer Les Productions Zvon (www.lesproductionszvon.com) is a sample player with a variety of unusual features geared primarily to percussive sounds. The VST plug-in for Windows (developed in SynthEdit) comes in single- and multiple-output versions. The multiple-output version has four outputs and is available only in conjunction with Les Productions Zvon's sample packs, which are all worth a listen. The Prepared Rhodes, a John Cage style mechanical preparation of a Fender Rhodes electric piano, is among my favorites (see Web Clip 1).
Quad Zamp has four identical Multi Wavplayers, each consisting of three WAV file players. Each WAV file player has its own page of controls, and individual players can be turned off to save CPU cycles. WAV file playback is triggered by MIDI notes between C2 and B2, and the same note can be assigned to different WAV files if desired. The Multi Wavplayers have a fourth page of controls for tempo-synchronized randomization of playback start position, direction, and pitch.
Each WAV file player has an AD (attack-decay) envelope for pitch, and an ADSR envelope for amplitude (Quad Zamp has no filters). Samples can be played in forward or reverse order and set to loop or play as one-shots. Handy x-y controllers, which are always visible on the control panel, allow you to set each WAV file player's level and pan position.
In addition to the one- and four-output versions of Quad Zamp, Les Productions Zvon has an even simpler sample player, Zamp 1.2, which is also free. Zamp 1.2 consists of a single Quad Zamp Multi Wavplayer, but it has an ADSR pitch envelope, monophonic and legato modes, and portamento. Zamp 1.2 also has the Quad Zamp randomizer.
All of these sample players are basic, and therein lies their charm. In spite of their simplicity, however, you can create lots of unusual sounds using either your own WAV files or the Les Production Zvon libraries.