Sonicware LoFi-12 XT, retro sampling groovebox, last two days on Kickstarter + free case

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Sonicware melts the LIVEN LoFi-12 and SmplTrek elements in the new LoFi-12 XT, a portable, 8-track sampling groovebox with creative features.

The last two days of the Sonicware Sonicware LoFi-12 XT Kickstarter campaign have begun. It ends on November 6th.

As a thank you for the support so far, Sonicware is giving every Kickstarter backer a free exclusive case for it (reg. $79). 

Sonicware LoFi-12 XT case______________________________________________

Article From October 24, 2023

The portable ELZ_1 was the first digital Synthesizer from chief developer Dr. Yu Endo and the young Japanese company Sonicware. The debut had a difficult start and wasn’t an instant hit. Success came with the affordable LIVEN series and later with the SMPLTREK groovebox.

The LIVEN Lofi-12 sampler is one of the most successful LIVEN. But it has weaknesses like limited sample time or available tracks. That motivated Sonicware to continue the lo-fi engine to new horizons. The result is the Lo-Fi 12 XT.

Sonicware Lofi-12 XT

Sonicware LoFi-12 XT

LoFi-12 XT is the big brother of the LIVEN LoFI-12  with an advanced, mature feature set. Visually it is a SMPLTREK black edition, but inside, it hosts a redesigned and developed retro sampling engine. This familiar look is due to a lack of resources (components…), says Sonicware. 

The core features a 12kHz/24kHz 28-voice sampling engine with a 12-bit sample mode. It transforms any sound into a pleasant LoFi sound, reminiscent of 12-bit samplers from the past. Each sample is mono, can be up to 300 seconds (5min) in length, and thus has 75 times more than the LoFI-12. 

It supports seamless SD card sound streaming with the possibility to exchange samples on the fly. You can have up to 64MB (256 samples) in each project, but you can store as many samples as much as the SD card capacity.

Alternatively, you can sample in via the audio input, built-in microphone or via USB. This means you can sample sounds directly from your smartphone or computer.

Sonicware LoFi-12 XT

Sample Manipulation & Sequencing

Imported samples can also be adjusted in real time. This includes sample chopping/slicing, perfect for using individual slices with a track. Then, you can work with a multimode filter, a sweep envelope for the pitch, AR envelopes (filter/amp), and two LFOs per track. 

The LoFi-12 XT sequencer has eight tracks on which you can record samples. Both unquantized and step recording is available. With the PAD mode, you can also use the hardware’s 15 velocity-sensitive pads as a keyboard for chromatic/scale play.

Sonicware also added creative sequencing features like parameter locking and different retrigger divisions via the D-pad (8th to 64th notes). A project can have 128 patterns and 16 songs in total. 

Once recorded, you can fine-tune your tracks with an effect per track. It offers 20 different effects, including chorus, vinyl noise, wow and flutter, distortion, bit-crusher, and more. In the final stage, you can finalize your tracks with a send delay, reverb, and a master compressor.

Further, it offers a unique mix-tape feature that continuously captures all your performances in the background. Five modes to choose from (LoFi quality of a micro-cassette tape…). Even without the record button pressed, the hardware records until it is switched off. Like the capture function in DAWs (Ableton Live…).

Sonicware LoFi-12 XT


For its compact design, the LoFI-12 XT offers a good set of connections for the outside world. It starts with a power supply input with an on/off button. Next is a stereo input/output on four L/R 6.35mm mono sockets. The inputs are compatible with various signals (line, guitar, mic…) and a 5-pin MIDI interface (in/out). Of course, a headphone socket is also onboard.

Remember, you can stream your audio in and out of the unit via USB. So you can record right in your computer or smart devices without an audio interface. Sonicware ships the unit with 1000+ samples from legendary drum machines sampled by BullyFinger.







First Impression

At first glance, it’s a neat portable sampler. A downside is the limitation to mono samples and the somewhat small OLED display. The remaining features are convincing and offer a lot of flexibility. 

You can now support the Sonicware LoFi-12 XT product and project on Kickstarter in various early-bird offers. The standard black version is available in a super early bird offer for $379 (100 units), and the retro color version for $399 (100 units). More units will then be available in an early-bird offer for $399 and $429. Shipping will start in April 2024 and the regular price will be $559. 

More information here: Sonicware 

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