"Be sure to pick up Marcel Blum's Soundplant... files are triggered with virtually no latency... offers a refreshing alternative."
-Electronic Musician Magazine, Download of the Month
"There's an excellent piece of software called Soundplant that allows you to transform any Mac or PC into a custom soundboard."
-CNET, How to play sounds using a computer keyboard
"Love your product, as a sound designer for theater it is absolutely indispensable in creating reactive and dense sonic imagery to enhance live performance."
-Jim Fourniadis, director, producer, actor, & owner, The Dark Room Theater, San Francisco
"Soundplant is a pleasure to use, and I'm grateful for your innovation and support over the past few years. You should reach down and pat yourself on the back, Soundplant was used by me during production of Inception which was awarded an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing."
-Ed Novick, film production sound engineer
"The new version is a gorgeous and robust improvement. The layout design alone is just beautiful, and the new features are superb and very impressive. The reverb is excellent in every way, and helps give the sounds a warmth that makes them sound that much more "real". The keyboard response is better. Soundplant is one of the most valuable tools for music making that I have ever used."
-Tom Furgas, composer and artist
"I use Soundplant for all of the sound FX playback from my Mac for Top Gear Live. I think that it is brilliant."
-Gareth Davies, Head of Audio, BBC's Top Gear Live
"In an era of bloated software, Soundplant is squeaky clean - we love it! 100% Astro-Certified!"
-rock band Man or Astro-Man?
"With Swedish Television (SVT), I've done the Olympics where we of course used Soundplant live to the whole world. Without doubt the most used 'playback program' in TV work over here, with great success."
-Mattias Dalin, EUROSOUND mediacrew ab
"Your program is amazing! I use it all the time in my work as an audio engineer for corporate events, and it works flawlessly every time. For example, I used it when I did John McCain's victory speech in the NH primary - Soundplant triggered both his recorded intro and the "Johnny B. Goode" outro that went live over national television to millions. Cool stuff!"
-Alan Starr, Technical Director/Audio Engineer
"I can vouch for the extreme stability of Soundplant--it just sits there and works, even on a very low spec machine... hundreds of random effects per show over a six week run, and not a single hiccup in 5 years of use."
-Bobbsy, AudioMasters Forum
What is Soundplant?
Soundplant is live performance audio software that turns your computer keyboard (yes, your QWERTY keyboard) into a versatile, low latency, multitrack sample trigger and playable musical instrument. It allows the assignment of sound files of any format and length onto virtually all keyboard keys, giving you hours of instantly-playing random access audio at your fingertips with no extra hardware needed. Use Soundplant as a performance, presentation, or installation tool, as a drum pad, as an educational aid, to mix together tracks in realtime, trigger sound effects or background tracks during a show, create music or loops, sketch sound designs, make beats, and give new life to old sounds - all via an input device you've been practicing on for as long as you've been typing. Because it's a standalone software sampler that uses your own samples to create custom soundboards, Soundplant is an infinitely flexible electronic instrument limited only by the variety of sounds that you feed it. An easy to use interface provides drag & drop configuration of each key, including options which control the way each sound is triggered along with several lightweight non-destructive realtime effects. Playing sounds are displayed with a progress bar and track time, and you can even trigger sounds with Soundplant hidden while using any other program.
- 72 keyboard keys can be used to trigger sounds, with very low latency
- drag & drop sound files onto keyboard keys for quick and easy key assignment; click & drag to move or copy sounds from key to key
- plays virtually all sound file formats in existence, including .wav, .aif, .mp3, .mp4, .m4a, .aac, .flac, .wma, .alac, .wv, .ogg, .snd, .ape, and many many more, even audio from video files like .wmv, .mov, .avi, .divx, .mpg, .flv, .3gp, etc.
- 'background key input' allows Soundplant to receive key hits while minimized or hidden — trigger sounds with global hotkeys while using other audio software, typing a document, playing a game, or doing anything else in any other program, with optional use of Ctrl & Alt/Option combos
- 32-bit floating point mixing and up to 96 kHz output for ultra high fidelity
- 256 sound channel polyphony, allowing for dense soundscapes and complex virtual instruments — mix tons of sounds at once
- *new* playlist queuing for flexibly triggering multiple sounds with a single key, allowing playing in sequence or shuffled, or all starting simultaneously in sync, or building playlists in a realtime 'wait-in-line' mode by pressing keys to queue sounds as needed
- *new* ASIO support on Windows
- *new* many optimizations including faster sound file loading & decreased CPU usage
- direct internal recording of Soundplant's output, *new* in 32-bit quality
- sound output device selection, with *new* universal support for multichannel devices
- sounds play entirely from RAM to avoid disk use during playback, for best sound quality and lowest latency
- launch an unlimited number of Soundplant instances for even more flexibility to output to multiple audio devices, gain more 'banks' of sounds and greater polyphony, and record multiple tracks simultaneously
- realtime volume, panning, pitch, reverb, lowpass, resonance, and LFO effects for each key
- randomization settings on effects for richly varying sound playback
- unlimited sound length — fire off short effects or play huge hours-long tracks with equal ease
- playback activity logging for time-stamped documenting of tracks played
- customizable sound triggering, allowing for looping, overlapping, restarting, muting, pausing, and fading, controlled by secondary key press or by key release
- displays full playback progress info for up to 12 tracks at once
- 'simple' view mode for larger keys that you can click or tap to play like a virtual cart machine, perfect for touchscreen devices or less advanced users
- onscreen keyboard keys are highlighted as they play and can be custom-labeled & color-coded, *new* now with 18 colors to choose from
- waveform display, with click-to-seek for quickly jumping playing audio to any point on the waveform
- pitch adjust allows microtuning to the 100th of a semitone and a 10 octave range — plus, easily auto-assign the same sound to multiple keys at varying pitches to create playable instrument scales
- trim sounds to start and end offset points with precision to the 100,000th of a second — plus, easily auto-splice pieces of a sound across multiple keys (for example, to extract individual drum sounds from a breakbeat)
- support for cue points in .wav and .swa files — easily set playback offsets to cue points defined in any audio editor
- *new* contextual interactive help
- compressed sounds decompress on loading rather than during playback, unlike most players, for lowest latency and minimizing disk & CPU usage during playback for best sound quality
- a true live performance program that continues playing even while changing settings, loading and unloading sounds on the fly, and configuring multiple keys simultaneously in realtime
- works identically on Windows or Mac
- saves and loads keyboard configurations as .keymap files, which are fully cross-platform compatible and can be easily transferred between different computers with the handy 'save keymap with sounds'
- includes several options for minimizing CPU and RAM usage for performance tuning so that it can run well even on older computers — Soundplant can give new life to that dusty old laptop you thought you'd never use again
Soundplant is not a synthesizer, plugin, editor, or sequencer, but it is way more than a media player. Soundplant was designed to do one thing and do it well: to trigger sounds from the computer keyboard with maximum speed, efficiency, and ease of use. Users love its rock-solid stability for live event use, its simple one sound per one key metaphor which eliminates the usage complications of many other software samplers, its versatility for handling sounds of all types from short effects to full length songs to hours-long mixes, and its ultra-optimized use of the computer keyboard with lowest-possible latency requiring no extra hardware or MIDI.
Now in its 18th year of existence, Soundplant has won multiple awards, and its users include the BBC on shows such as Doctor Who and Top Gear, National Public Radio on shows such as A Prairie Home Companion, Oscar-winning sound mixer Ed Novick on films such as Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Moneyball, the NFL, Disney, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS, and Turner Broadcasting.
Soundplant is not very demanding for basic use and can run on virtually any Windows or Mac computer made in the last 8+ years; for optimal performance, a multicore processor and 4GB of RAM are recommended. Your built-in cheapo soundcard will work fine, and so will any add-on professional quality audio interface. For optimal display, minimum 1124x667 screen resolution is recommended.
Windows version runs on Windows 10, 8, 7, & Vista; Win 7 or higher & 64-bit recommended
Macintosh version runs on macOS 10.13 High Sierra down to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard; 10.9 Mavericks or higher recommended
Here is a complete list of all new features added in v.45:
- playlist queuing, supporting presaved playlist sequences triggered by a single key, or realtime "wait-in-line" chaining of queues via multiple key presses, or starting multiple synced sounds with a single key
- ASIO support on Windows for lower latency and outputting to ASIO-only devices
- output recording quality improved to 32-bit
- 'fade out all sounds' function via Ctrl+Shift+Backspace
- improved support for HiDPI/retina displays
- faster sound file loading, improved by as much as 50%, especially for long sounds
- decreased cpu usage & RAM footprint and other optimizations & efficiency improvements
- 6 additional key color choices & a new cleaner look for onscreen keys; support for custom RGB key colors in manually edited .keymaps
- universal support for secondary output channels on multichannel devices
- contextual interactive help
- animated indication of sounds fading in & out in Channels Meter
- 'view mode' setting persists after quitting
- improved stereo waveform display showing separate left (top) and right (bottom) channel audio data
- 'animated key glow'➔'on unless looping' option added in Preferences
- 'key appearance'➔'3d' or 'flat' settings added in Preferences
- 'remove registration' function added to unregister an installed copy of Soundplant
- reset Preferences by holding ctrl+alt+shift at program startup (useful as a failsafe)
- .keymaps store last selected key
- bug fix: Mac: in certain situations Soundplant crashed when plugging the headphone jack or waking the computer from sleep
- bug fix: Mac: problems when running as a non-admin user
- bug fix: certain keys not triggering on European and Japanese keyboards
- bug fix: audio output device selection failed on some CJK language systems
- many other minor bug fixes
- dropped Windows XP support