Poise Drum Sampler Plugin By One Small Clue Is Now FREE!


One Small Clue has re-released the Poise drum sampler plugin as freeware. The instrument is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin for compatible DAW software on Windows.

Poise was released back in 2011 with a $49 price tag. Marketed as a clutter-free drum sampler plugin, Poise was praised for its clean MPC-style control layout and unmatched workflow efficiency. You can now download it completely free of charge from the One Small Clue website and use it in your favorite DAW.

See also: Free Beat Making Software

Back in 2011, many industry-standard sampler plugins offered more features compared to Poise, but none of them could match its simplicity. One Small Clue’s plugin provided all the core functionality required for drum programming and beat making in a DAW, without the burden of having to include every possible feature. It has been my go-to sampler for years, and I still use it from time to time, even though my main DAW (Studio One) has a splendid drum sampler named Impact.

Here’s a brief look at some of the best features you get with Poise. Yes, it’s a relatively simple drum sampler compared to something like Battery 4 or Xfer Nerve, but the included features are remarkably well-selected. Poise has sixteen drum pads, each capable of hosting up to eight samples. The samples can be triggered at the same time (great for layering), randomly, using round-robin, or by assigning velocity splits. When triggering all the samples at the same time, you can adjust a micro-delay to each sample to get a more natural-sounding “loose” effect.

Loading samples is super easy thanks to the built-in file browser and full drag-and-drop support. One brilliant feature is loading the next sample in the same directory by pressing the “N” key on your keyboard. Finding the right sample this way is much more comfortable, especially if you have a well-organized sample collection where each folder contains a specific type of drum sound.

Once a sample is loaded, you can assign a sample start and endpoint, reverse it, normalize it, and tweak its volume, pitch, stereo balance, and length. The samples can be modulated using pitch and volume envelopes,  You can save the loaded samples and pad settings as Poise drum kits for later use. It’s also possible to include the sample files with the kit so that you can recall the same sounds on a different computer.

Poise doesn’t offer many built-in effects, but the basics are there. It has a multi-mode filter, a distortion effect, and a ring modulator. You can’t use multiple effects simultaneously. That said, each drum pad can be assigned to a different output channel. By doing so, you get full control over each drum pad in your DAW’s mixer, and it’s possible to apply any number of third-party effects.

From today’s perspective, the user interface is still looking nice and clean. One caveat is that the GUI isn’t resizable, so it might be too small to use on a 4K screen. It still looks good on a regular HD screen, though. The plugin comes with three different skins.

It’s worth noting that One Small Clue hasn’t issued an official announcement about the re-release. Regardless, Poise is definitely offered as a free download from their website. Simply download the installer from the product page and load it in your DAW. You don’t need to sign up for a user account, and there’s no software activation required.

More info: Poise (5.98 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows)

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. Downloaded the demo 2 weeks ago and was quite impressed. Ended up in buying Maschine Mikro MK3 since I decided to go for a hardware device, as well. Otherwise I would have choosen Poise for MPC style sampling.

  2. I LOVE IT! I’ve owned it for quite a det years and it totally hits the sweet spot between functionality and ease of use. Imo ofc. To me it is a brilliant piece of software!
    Only thing missing is standalone. And a few more layers per pad would be nice I guess.

  3. Poise realy is great! I have used it for years and still use it in almost every project. I can totally recomend it!

  4. The lack of clear Freeware tag is disturbing. Is this legal? Is this a dream? Are we in the Matrix? Peanut butter, crunchy or smooth? So many questions. Ah well, too late I downloaded it anyway. ;-)
    Strangely, this being released as free makes it a challenger to Sitala, which was kind of the free alternative to it. Round 1. FIGHT!

  5. Wow.. I really loved Poise, has always been my weapon of choice, and I did not find (still not today) any real alternative, straight to the point, fast, but with nice features. Problem is it tended to crash in the most recent updates, and I discovered very late (it has been confirmed since!) that all samples you throw in it will always have a slight hi cut filter applied to it…

    By the way, there are skins that look more modern that the one you are showing here (which look at bit dated to me :) )

  6. There isn’t any point asking “does x plugin do y better than poise” because poise is so to the point that anything more complicated than poise is a different tool for a different purpose (or a workflow made out of many instances of poise).

    Which is kind of one of the highest praises you can give a plugin in some ways.

    • Yes, when loading the plugin in REAPER with ‘Insert virtual instrument on new track…” Reaper doesn’t offer to build multi-outs in the usual way, but it can be done manually:
      Within Poise: Menu> Outputs,
      then in REAPER FX chain window: select Poise/right click/ “Build multi channel routing for output…”, then right click a pad to choose its output.

  7. Poise rules. I am the creator of the 4-part tutorial on YouTube, using the orange/yellow Limeflavor skin. Thank you Shannon from OneSmallClue for making the world a better place, before Poise was free and especially now.

    -Chris Caulder

    • Hello, I noticed you happen to know somebody by name over at OneSmallClue. If you are the one that made their video on their page, it was great, very informative straight to the point, and everything. This sampler seems really great and lightweight.

      However, I tried downloading it, and it appears that what they have labeled as 32bit installer on their website, is actually a mislabeled 32bit version. If you have a way to contact them, I was wondering if you could let them know. Otherwise, there is some other reason their 64 bit won’t work in my machine, but the install log seemed to indicated it needed a 32bit host, and the default plugins directory it wants to save to is the 32bit one also, so I think that must be the problem.

  8. Unless someone likes to constantly lean towards the monitor, it’s unusable with 1920×1080 screen resolution. After not even two minutes with it, I noticed that my eyes had to work twice as hard to read the font. It reminds me of Korg’s MDE-X effects unit, before they stepped their game up and made resizable GUIs. Decomposer Sitala has nothing to worry about.

  9. Ok my post was deleted without any notification. possibly b/c I provided a link (to a one small clue website snapshot on archive dot org, btw – I wonder if admins ever do read posts they delete).
    Read my comment @kvr about how to get the installers and the factory content. One small clue seems now to be out of service, but in July a snapshot made by the web archive bot got working links.

    • Tomislav Zlatic


      Hello, links are perfectly fine, but every comment containing links needs to be checked manually to prevent spam. I believe that your previous comment is now approved. Either way, thanks for the helpful tips, much appreciated!

  10. Bryce Hamilton


    Hey, not sure if its just me but the download link from the Aug 7th snapshot isn’t working for me, whenever I run the .exe I get a prompt that says “The File or directory is corrupted and unreadable.” If it was abandoned, can someone just share it somewhere?

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