Review: 80s Synthwave Sample Package by Samplephonics


Are you nostalgic for the sounds of the 80’s? If so you might want to check out the loops and one shots in Samplephonic’s sample package 80s Synthwave.

I downloaded Samplephonics 80s Synthwave Sample Package and was very eager to see what it included and how I might use this product.

I just found out and will share my experience in this “80s Synthwave” Sample Pack review.

I’ve always been curious as to what you get when you buy a “Sample Package” from Samplephonics. They release a lot of cool looking products and have a great approach to marketing with attractive looking graphics and lots of freebies.

In fact they even offer 10 free samples from 80s Synthwave.

80s Synthwave is a $50. “Sample Package” from Samplephonics that contains a nice collection of 255 Loops and 159 One Shots. Samplephonics says it is a “retro electro sample pack includes a massive collection of 80s inspired loops”

The product page also says 80s Synthwave has Sampler instruments for Ableton Sampler, NNXT, Halion, Maschine, Kontakt, Motu MachFive, Maschine, SFZ and EXS24.

I’ll just say right off the bat that 80s Synthwave is a great sounding collection of loops and one shots!

More on that later, but let’s first look at what you get with 80s Synthwave.

The 80s Synthwave I have weighs in at 604 MB unzipped on my hard drive.

The Samplephonics product page says it is 630 MB in size, so there is a slight 26 MB difference there.

Oddly enough the zip I downloaded was 617.5 MB in size yet it unzipped to only 604 MB. Usually zip files get larger when unzipped. This one got smaller. Weird.

I’ve always looked at the Samplephonics product pages and found them appealing yet confusing.

I think that is why I had never bought anything. Which one do I choose? Do I get them all?

With this product I was hoping to get past that confusion, yet now that I have finally downloaded a few of their products, I am still confused about a few things.

I selected the “download format” as 24 Bit Wav.

I see there are also options to buy Acidized Wav, Apple Loops or Rex2. I did not get any of those.

I’m a bit confused. I expected that you would get all of the various formats when purchased, but I guess you only get the one you choose to download. So I am still confused there.


So let’s move on to what you get with the 80s Synthwave sample package. You get 255 Loops and 159 One Shots from talented synthwave producer Absolute Valentine.

The loops and one shots are very good quality. They ooze with that oh so familiar 80’s electronic synth band sound. Think Herbie Hancock Rockit, OMD, Gary Numan, Journey (yes Journey) and Howard Jones and you are in the zone that 80s Synthwave delivers.

Messing with the loops makes it feel like Human League is jamming for me inside my DAW! Pretty cool!

And mixing and matching loops from the different folders yields very pleasing results. It’s super easy to use them to make good sounding music.

So in that respect 80s Synthwave is fun! The loops sound good and are fun to play with!

The drum loops and perc loops are standouts and make it really easy to create songs fast. I can see using the drum and perc loops outside of this pack along with other loops or even using them to build songs from scratch.

The sounds are described as sounding like the 80’s by Samplephonics so you might get the idea they are dated and old sounding, but because the production is so clean and good, the loops sound modern enough for me and right up to par with any current day genre loops.

The main Loops folder has individual folders for Arp Loops, Bass Loops, Drum Loops, Perc Loops And Synth Loops.

I had fun playing around with 80s Synthwave and enjoyed the loops.

80s Synthwave also has a nice collection of One Shots including folders for bass, drums, fx and synth.

The Drum One Shots are all nicely organized in folders with a nice collection of claps, cymbals, hi hats, kick, percussion, snare and toms.

The One shot files are also available as pre-mapped sampler instruments for Ableton Sampler, ESX24 and Kontakt.

Now as far as the included “Sampler Instruments” go – they are just basic instruments with no macros or advanced features. There is no GUI Interface with controls to tweak sampler parameters unless you open up the sampler itself.

That is fine for the Ableton Sampler but Kontakt needs a customized GUI.

Also NOT ALL of the One Shot files are available as sampler presets. At least not in my download.

For example – I got 20 synth one shots, but there are only 3 “sampler instrument” presets for Ableton Sampler and Kontakt.

ESX24 however has them all. Hmmm…

I guess since there is no programming or even multi-sampled instruments, you may as well just drag the wav files into the sampler of your choice. Same result.

Halion, MachFive, Maschine, NNXT and SFZ folders were EMPTY. No files period.

Folders for the sampler instruments are either completely empty or some of the files are missing.

It’s a shame they don’t have a custom Kontakt GUI. It would be so easy for Samplephonics to create their own simple KSP Script they could use with every Sample Pack they release, instead of just including a basic Kontakt Instrument with no GUI and controls to modify unless you open up Kontakt itself.

So – if you are buying this sample pack or I assume any sample pack from Samplephonics just be prepared to not be blown away by the Sampler Instruments part of the product specs.

Do you really need the “Sampler Instruments” anyways?

Not really – you could just as easily drag any of the One Shots wav files over into Kontakt and you’d have the same thing.

In my opinion I don’t believe a lot of the people who buy Samplephonics sample packs are buying them for the sampler instruments. It may be a nice selling feature that people see and appreciate, but I bet most people just use the loops and/or one shots anyways.

The real value of 80s Synthwave is NOT the extras included – it is the LOOPS and ONE SHOTS.

The loops are pretty good and that’s what counts!

There is no question that the loops contained in the 80s Synthwave loop package from Samplephonics are very good!

The loops I am reviewing are all .wav files and are all recorded very well and are high quality 24 bit files. The loops are original sounding and are very musical and fun to mess around with in Ableton Live.

LOOP PACKAGES have a different set of criteria for REVIEWS and RATINGS compared to SAMPLE LIBRARIES and VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS.

I’m trying to be fair and assign a RATING for this LOOP PACK that is fair.

I mention this for a few different reasons. Mainly because there are a lot of musicians out there who despise loops and loop packs and think people who use them are cheating.

I understand this and I am not trying to justify loops. I am just saying that when I compare this LOOP PACK I am comparing it with other loop packs.

So – that’s just a little explaining about how I am rating 80s Synthwave and other LOOP PACKS in the future.

I could complain about things in this package that are lacking or rant about this not being something it isn’t, such as a full blown Kontakt Sample Library with Custom Interface with infinite tweaking options – but 80s Synthwave is just a LOOP PACK and as a reviewer it would not be fair in this case to focus on what is missing.

So – is 80s Synthwave worth 50 bucks?

Yes! The loops and one shots are very good. I would prefer more than 604 MB of sound files, but the included files are good!

If you want loops that sound like the 80’s I think you’ll be very happy with 80s Synthwave.

I suggest you listen to the audio demos for 80’s Synthwave and also grab the 10 free samples offered on the “Free Demo” tab at this page.

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