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.
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)