When I was first asked to augment a kick sample on a mix - my first thought was to choose one of the big hitters already out there. As I'd never had to completely replace sounds en mass before, I wasn't really interested in dropping a huge amount of money just for one job. A quick google led me to the small Swiss company apulSoft.
Upon finding the website (listed) the first thing I noticed was the price €35.
Secondly - a quick peruse over the feature list (not all listed);
powerful multi sample modes with dynamical sample selection and crossfading
prev/next sample buttons to scan through folders.
Triggers mono & stereo samples by analyzing audio signals.
Drag'n drop support for aif, wav & sd2 sample files.
Looked like it was exactly what I was after.. But first, an explanation of the features;
Choosing the input of the plug-in can come in the from of a gate, loop or trigger mode. An input gain is also included for increasing those weak transients. A side chain filter can be included when using the gate function giving a performance boost to the accuracy of sample triggering on a noisy track.
Next, your choice of sample can be a Gate - a loop or One Shot.
Auditioning samples in other software also used menus or selections however apTrigga allows for navigation within your sample library's folder, all started by a drag 'n drop process. A session of mine resulted in 25 kick hard velocities - so auditioning all of the kicks only took 24 clicks of the mouse.
Using the multi-sample function allows for reduction in the "machine-gun" effect that occurs when using a small base of samples with repetitive retriggering. Having the option to use the multi-sample based on velocity took this a stage further, allowing me to use samples taken from the session (and others) to create a custom resample element per drum.
The usual feature of stereo or mono compatibility with samples I rarely use - but a stereo room kick sample can really liven up a dry kick without any additional reverb from a bus. Having complete control over the relative level of that sample in relation to the other samples used means that there is never the lack of control in the resulting sound.
Finally, the output section gives control over the points where the velocities cross, fades between velocities, dry and wet mix. A nice little feature here (especially considering the price) is the ability to switch off the multi-layer samples and use one of the other types of sampling:
Dynamic, Sequence, Random, Stack, Dyna-Stack and Random.
My personal choice is the dyna-stack where samples can be stacked but still retain their dynamic feel. Often, if the session is asking for an augmentation - then loading up 4 samples of similar velocity means I'll end up using Random. Keeps the sound I'm looking for but randomising the sounds. Handy.
Try the demo and see for yourself, but if you're looking for a quick and easy to use sample replacement tool - check out apTrigga. The sound quality is excellent. I've found no bugs in the two years I've been using it. It's used on 40% of sessions now, simply because of the flexibility and excellence.
Probably not the best for those who want to replace every hit in every session, but absolutely worth the money for jobs where the drums aren't completely spot on.