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A sampler is an electronic musical instrument that uses stored audio signal samples, generally recordings of existing sounds, and plays them back at a range of pitches.

An early form of sampler was an instrument called the 'Mellotron' which used individual pre-recorded tape loops, one under each key on the keyboard. Mellotrons required a lot of maintenance, but had a characteristic sound that was used on many 1970s records by groups such as Yes.

The emergence of the digital sampler made sampling far more practical, and as samplers added progressively more digital processing to their recorded sounds, they began to merge into the mainstream of modern digital synthesizers.

As of 2002, most samplers use mostly digital technology to process the samples into interesting sounds.

(the earliest samplers: examples)

(sampling and hip-hop: DJ-ing)

(techno and other dance music)

see also: sampling (music), sample, remix

A Sampler is also a handstitched piece of embroidery used to demonstrate skill in needlework and mastery of a range of stitches.

See Sampler (needlework) for more information.

In a similar line, a Sampler Quilt is one where each quilt block[?] is constructed using a different pattern.

See also: Pressed flower craft which shows a sampler made using real flowers and petals.

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