LILLA is a new desktop multi-timbral polyphonic sampler with 16 voices powered by a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller.
Most musicians buy their instruments in a music store, online or offline in the city. Don’t forget platforms like Etsy. Here, you can find small, passionate, one-person companies offering their synthesizers. Mainly products that don’t make it into major retailers.
But be careful Etsy also has its deep gray areas where you can buy cracked software titles. Back to the good side. Last time I was browsing I found a new sampler from Italy.
LILLA is a polyphonic, multi-timbral sampler. The core has 16 voices, runs at 44.1 kHz, and is based on a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller hosting a newly created engine.
According to the developer, there are three ways to work with the sampler. The first is probably the most convenient option. You put your samples (mono/stereo) on a microSD card and play them.
Besides this, you can also sample audio from an external source via the stereo input or play in real-time with the live audio stream. So, as a live sampler instrument.
The developer says the unit stores digital audio in three memory areas: microcontroller RAM, 16MB PSRAM (volatile), and 64MB Flash memory (permanent). This means working with large sound libraries is not a thing for this sampler. It’s more for “casual sampling.”
However, there is hope for more advanced projects. Thanks to the built-in layering function, Lillian also gives you options to create more complex and rich sounds. Then, you can adjust the playing mode for the samples: once forward, once reverse, loop forward, loop forward/reverse…
In a new step, you can also manipulate the individual samples using classic sample functions like adding an ADSR envelope, changing the length, or using digital effects. The latter includes a multimode filter, LFOs, delays with feedback lines, and more.
LILLA is very accessible. It has a color screen, 27 knobs, and ten buttons to tweak sounds on the fly. That’s a lot of hands-on controls for a sampler.
There is no detailed look at the backside. From the available information, I know that it has TRS MIDI and a stereo input for sampling.
At first glance, it is an interesting project from a new, small developer. The features are not groundbreaking now. Deep sound design features, such as granular synthesis, chopping, etc., are missing. It’s, however, a little hands-on sampler that has the potential to grow. I hope that it will get more features in the future via firmware updates.
Lilla Audio Sampler is available now for 390€ + shipping from the developer’s Etsy shop. It’s designed and assembled in Italy.