Shortcircuit 2
by Surge Synth Team
4.5 / 5     (33 votes)
Shortcircuit was created as a reaction against the ongoing trend where software samplers are being designed with the primary intent of library playback.

It is intended for people who, like us, consider a sampler to be a musical instrument in its own right, and not just a way to emulate other instruments. It has been a very high priority to make sure that adding and editing individual samples is as fast and logical as possible.

The sample hierarchy in shortcircuit allow you to place samples directly at the highest level of the multi, without having to deal with instrument hierarchies and patches. Want to add a sample to your song? Just drag & drop the sample into shortcircuit and you're ready to go. Samples can be put in groups for multi-sampling and kit-building, but the complexity is only there when you need it

Sound quality is of highest concern, and shortcircuit uses very high-quality interpolation to ensure that your samples sound as good as the source material, regardless of the pitch you play them at. All filters & effects are calculated at the precision required for them to sound the way intended and oversampling are used when required to prevent aliasing.

Shortcircuit was designed to sound great, all other concerns have been secondary. But don't take our word for it, download 'shortcircuit free' and find out for yourself.

Each voice in shortcircuit features two filter-slots, and the selection isn't limited to the traditional pick. In addition to the regular lowpass/highpass/bandpass/notch & peak-filters and variations thereof there is an array of filter algorithms (not strictly filters in the traditional sense, but called so because of their location in the audio path) including distortion, parametric/graphic/morphing equalizers,bit-reduction/decimation, gating, limiting, slew-rate distortion, ring-modulation, frequency shifting and phase-modulation (better known as FM). The selection even includes analog-style oscillators that you can mix with the sample.

User interface

  • Streamlined user interface for fast editing at the sample-zone level.
  • Fast editing of multiple zones.
  • "In context"-sample preview.
  • Extensive drag & drop support (onto the keyrange-view or the list-view).

Sample/Intrument import

  • RIFF wave-files (.wav) (8/16/24/32-bit & 32-bit float, mono/stereo at any sample rate)
  • AKAI S5000/S6000/Z4/Z8 .akp banks (partial)
  • NI battery kits (partial)
  • Soundfont 2.00 (partial)
  • Propellerhead Recycle 1 & 2

Sampler engine

  • High-quality sinc interpolation
  • Oversampling used when needed to prevent aliasing
  • Double-precision float math (64-bit) used where it matters (IIR-filters).
  • Single-precision float math (32-bit) used elsewhere.
  • Supports any sample-rate.
  • Max polyphony per instance: 256 voices
  • Multiple outputs. (max 16 mono AND 8 stereo-pairs per instance)
  • Nunerous supported sample-playback modes.
  • 2 filters / voice (28 types)
  • 3 stepLFOs / voice. Doubles as 32-step stepsequencer and wavetable LFO.
  • 2 AHDSR envelopes / voice
  • Powerful modulation system with the ability to modulate itself. Destinations include envelope-times, loop-points in addition to traditional destinations.
  • Group LFO
  • Group modulation routing.
  • Group effects. (2 effects / group) (7 fx types)
Mr. Pro Jul 15 2022
(5 / 5)
Jul 15 2022
Best sampler ever. We're looking forward to using the 64-bit version (y)
manDrako Oct 28 2022
Oct 28 2022
I think if they migrate to the 64bit version, if not in urgent case, may cause the same problem as a program that was made, originally, in 32 bit, and gradually migrating, the 64bit version has not as many funcionalities as the 32bit version, the same may apply in that plugin.
Vitaly Nov 16 2022
Nov 16 2022
wikter Jan 23 2022
(5 / 5)
Jan 23 2022
Shortcircuit -XT is on the way for the next year. It's a Surge Team workinprocess plugin. VST3+AU+Linux
zack Jan 08 2021
Jan 08 2021
Does any know how to automate shortcircuit 2 parameters from daw host?, In ableton I tried the configure button, does not seem to work
k0rrid0r Jan 14 2021
Jan 14 2021
You need to send MIDI CC to shortcircuit 0-15 and then the green "controllers" will start to move and respond to the cc values you send to 0-15. make sure the device you use to send cc with also share the same midi input number with shortcircuit. Once you have this set up you then route the controllers within sc to things you want to be automated.
Simon1 Dec 09 2020
Dec 09 2020
Does this work with Cubase 10.5 Pro?
wikter Jan 23 2022
Jan 23 2022
Yes, but you need a bridge for 32bit plugins. Soon Steinberg won't allow for VST2 to work.
wikter Oct 02 2020
(5 / 5)
Oct 02 2020
Where's the version 1.1.2? It seems totally blown out of internet. I've got backups with older versions too, but it's be great to be able to download online.
Reticular Dec 20 2020
Dec 20 2020
hey man, here it is, thanks for the info btw, i really like old boring looking GUI for most plugins i use ;)
wikter Jan 29 2021
Jan 29 2021
Thanks, I found it by my own and updated some comments in KVR, but anyway it's great to see an answer here.
seven Jun 24 2020
(5 / 5)
Jun 24 2020
Cool and nice
Mato Dec 26 2019
(5 / 5)
Dec 26 2019
Great sampler.
steve Nov 21 2019
(5 / 5)
Nov 21 2019
This takes time to understand and realize the full potential of what lies within this genius. Drumkits can be made. But where this beast shines is with its musical potential. Its an instrument in its own incredibly, amazing, diverse and unique instrument! One of the best displays of programming in the digital music realm...and it's free!
Digital Rules Nov 18 2019
(5 / 5)
Nov 18 2019
A Timeless Classic Sampler! I truly hope Claes will release the source code one fine day.
Ike Oct 08 2019
(5 / 5)
Oct 08 2019
One of the best sampler plugins ever developed (for creative and intuitive sampling). I hope that one day just like Vember Audio's Surge synth this will become open-source and will be further developed (64 bit version please!!)
Cranky Apr 14 2019
(2 / 5)
Apr 14 2019
This plugin is unnecessarily complicated. I managed to figure out enough for my own use within ten minutes but this could have easily been designed to be more user-friendly. However, the spec is somewhat deceiving because it does not have sixteen outputs, but actually has only 8 stereo outputs, which is particularly disappointing.
Anonymous Nov 28 2018
Nov 28 2018
Maybe I'm the slow kid in the class: but I have no clue how to get this thing to just spread a one shot wave into different notes and play them.
Anonymous Feb 22 2019
Feb 22 2019
Me too, incredibly ermetic, for me impossible to use.
ctho May 19 2019
May 19 2019
Simple, just hover over the top or bottom border of the orange box of the sample on the note and hold left click to drag across the keys
Reticular May 13 2021
May 13 2021
This is true, snapping onto border spreads the file over other notes. Thx!
Darko Oct 28 2018
(5 / 5)
Oct 28 2018
Absolutely brilliant sampler! Man it would be so awesome if Vember Audio would opensource both versions of Shortcircuit!
TOM EP Jul 14 2018
(3 / 5)
Jul 14 2018
@VST 4 FREE .. I <3 your definition of Short Circuit as I have this VST already. For some reason SC2 doesn't work at all with FL, or Ableton... But SC1 does. SC1 is just as good... SC2 comes power-packed with more features and also seems EVEN MORE straightforward than SC1, which can be a bit confusing even after nearly a year of using it. But I LOVE Short Circuit...NOT ONLY THE 80s CULT CLASSIC "I am Johnny #5!" haha but this is EXACTLY what I desire to use and whenever I hear the term "Drum Sampler" this is what I think of... Exactly well-said.
Sam May 06 2018
May 06 2018
How do I export/drag out the sample into the piano roll>
(5 / 5)
Dec 02 2017
I've been using Short Circuit since it was commercial. It is the best sounding software sampler out there in my opinion, largely thanks to the filters, which are the closest thing you'll find to the sound hardware in any "virtual" sampler. I own a number of EMU samplers, so I am quite familiar with their unique sound and the nuances of the Z-Plane filters, and I've found that I can get a great EMU-style sound out of the filters on Short Circuit .
Bildawl Nov 23 2017
(5 / 5)
Nov 23 2017
I've been using this for about half a year, and this is honestly one of the best samplers out there, and I'm not saying this exclusively to free ones. This VST is an absolute lifesaver and I use it frequently. I honestly don't even know why this isn't 5 stars.
DJ-STEPS Oct 18 2017
(5 / 5)
Oct 18 2017
The Power!
profqua Sept 26 2017
(5 / 5)
Sept 26 2017
Enjoying it very much but after a lot of work assigning keys and adjusting pitches I cant figure out how to save my work!
Mike "viruzzz-kun" Malkov Jul 22 2017
(4 / 5)
Jul 22 2017
It does the job! A bit frightening at the first glance - many controls, but everything is on its place and pretty intuitive though; excellent sound quality, nice design, 8 stereo outputs. A sampler I was looking for. The only disadvantage - can't be controlled via automation.
josefino Mar 11 2018
Mar 11 2018
Yeah, neither v1 did it :( That's a pity because it's a very complete sampler.
wikter Jan 29 2021
Jan 29 2021
Of course it is, you just have some Controllers that you must assign to modulate from the config page. Limited, but easy.
wikter Jan 23 2022
Jan 23 2022
I forgot to mention that the controllers receive MIDICC from the host, altough they're shown as plugin parameters
THE DUDEMan Oct 03 2016
(5 / 5)
Oct 03 2016
Super eazy & totally Funky...
Bird Oct 22 2015
Oct 22 2015
Is not detected in Studio One 3 of Presonus on Win 7 64 bit.
ctho Feb 15 2018
Feb 15 2018
that's because it's a 32bit plugin, you need jbridger to allow studio one to see it
tommip Feb 27 2015
Feb 27 2015
I can't load samples in cubase le ai elements 7... do any of you know a solution?
Quetzal Mar 14 2015
Mar 14 2015
I've tried, it can be import into el7. unzip/install it's done, open El7, a project, Device/update your plungin... and f11 (it has work by this way (as usual infact)
Rando Sept 23 2014
Sept 23 2014
Are you able to save your Kits and if so how?
Debrione Apr 19 2014
(5 / 5)
Apr 19 2014
What you can't see from the image is the pad mode which has 4x4 pads exactly like an Akai pad layout. I use an MPD18 which hooks up to this like it was made for it. Use the A/B/C selector on the MPD18 to switch between pad banks and who needs an MPC or Ableton.
Frankie Dec 15 2013
(5 / 5)
Dec 15 2013
This one is great. Worked very well with win7-64bit.
Anonymous Apr 22 2013
Apr 22 2013
Question: how's the compatibility with patches created with the previous version of Shortcircuit?
Dude Dec 06 2012
(5 / 5)
Dec 06 2012
Thank you for building this !!!!!! I totally agree that most samplers give you no creative freedom at all !
Wikter Apr 04 2012
(5 / 5)
Apr 04 2012
The elder brother of one of the best virtual samplers ever created