Have your samples and play them...

Arachne Software
Go to Arachne Software's Home Page

ArcFS archive
Download the SampleManager module
(ArcFS archive)

Updated 15/11/2000 to version 0.22

ANT Fresco Friendly

Valid HTML 3.2!

What is SampleManager?

SampleManager is a RISC OS relocatable module which plays digital sound samples. It works on any computer running RISC OS 3.1 or greater (the vast majority of Acorn 32-bit computers in use today), with any processor from a humble 8MHz ARM 2 to a state-of-the-art 233MHz StrongARM 110. Full use is made of 16-bit sound playback hardware if it is fitted, but SampleManager works equally well on 8-bit systems.

Feature list

  • Supports up to 32 stereo samples playing at once (depending on the power of the computer and the type of sample).
  • Plays samples direct from a filing system with sophisticated buffering.
  • Plays Microsoft WAVE files (currently only PCM ones, which are the most common) directly using a single SWI or *-command, and when double-clicking on a WAVE file.
  • Performs full linear interpolation when playing samples at playback rates which differ from their own rate, significantly improving sound quality
  • Allows playback parameters, such as speed, volume and balance or stereo position, to be altered during playback.
  • Copes seamlessly with the hardware playback rate being changed whilst samples are being played.
  • Plays mono or stereo samples, allowing mono samples to be panned across the stereo field, and for the balance of stereo samples to be adjusted.
  • Currently supports linear samples in either signed or unsigned 8-bit, 12-bit padded (i.e., 4 unused bits in each sample), and 16-bit samples, with more formats to come...
  • Fully supports both 16-bit and 8-bit equipped machines.
  • On 16-bit machines supports (configurably) mixing with the output from the 8-bit sound system.
  • Allows several applications to use the sound system at once, without having to worry about channel numbers and channel limitations.
  • Written in high-quality, hand-optimised ARM code.
  • SampleManager is compact. Currently just under 10K, it is hoped that the module will never exceed 20K.

Forthcoming features

SampleManager is still very much under development, although it is already a very useful module and has just been cut onto 25000 CDs. Here are some of the planned additions, not in any particular order.

  • Support for the SharedSound module, so that SampleManager can play samples at the same time as ESP's software MIDI synth, PC Cards, Replay 3, etc.
  • Support for many more sample data formats, including:
    • Archimedes 8-bit mu-law format
    • 12-bit packed linear data
    • Common log-based formats
    • Other formats that are requested...
  • Support for playing samples from memory; either directly from passed buffers, or in cooperation with user synthesis routines.
  • An interface for add-on modules to provide support for alternative playback hardware, such as Computer Concepts' Eagle card.
  • Support on 16-bit machines for configuring the playback rate. Currently SampleManager always uses 44.1kHz on these machines for full CD-quality sound. In many applications this will be overkill, especially if none of the samples are actually CD-quality. Allowing users to configure the playback rate will release more processor time to other tasks, whilst only slightly reducing the quality of playback.


There are three types of licence available for SampleManager. These are:

  1. Private use licence - free
  2. Freeware or PD licence - free
  3. Commercial licence - negotiable fee

For the full licence details, see the file 'Licence' in the archive containing the module. Updated 15/11/2000 to version 0.22


If you have any comments on SampleManager, or any ideas for its further development, please let us know.

Comments? Mail the Webmaster...

This page was last updated on 6/8/98.