Interview: From Sampleism/Kontakt Hub to Loot Audio
Loot Audio is a new company, born from the merger of Kontakt Hub and Sampleism, two renowned outlets for boutique sample library and plugin connoisseurs.
The platform (currently in public beta) sells over 1000 Kontakt Instruments and over 5000 Sample Packs, all under one roof. They also sell presets for your favorite synths and plugins from a hand-picked selection of manufacturers. They also offer exclusive bundle deals and over 250,000 individual loops, samples, sound effects and field recordings that can be downloaded directly (no subscription necessary).
I was a user and a fan of both Kontakt Hub and Sampleism, and I’m excited to see a new chapter of this story (I’ve already added Loot Audio to my bookmarks!). It felt natural to ask Glyn Lloyd, the mastermind behind these three companies, to tell us more about the merger and to give us a glimpse into the exciting future of Loot Audio.
- Over the years, Sampleism and Kontakt Hub allowed me to find some inspiring products and libraries (check out this article to see some of them). Would you tell us more about the reasons of the merger?
G.L: In the past, Kontakt Hub sold purely Kontakt instruments while Sampleism sold a selection of other different products (Sample Packs, Plugins, Presets). Firstly, I realized that our products were not neatly categorized on Sampleism, so I wanted to try and find a way to give each major category a distinct section for people to explore. Plugins, in particular, were mixed in amongst all the other products, so they were often difficult to find. I decided that if I was going to start rebuilding Sampleism, then it made sense to do Kontakt Hub at the same time and bring them together. I hope this will make things easier for our customers.
We now have sections that contain everything in one place. For example, you can find all Kontakt Instruments here and all plugins here. There are big buttons on the homepage that will take you straight to each section, and we also have a Quick Browse button that you can open on any page to perform searches and access each section.
- What are Loot Audio’s biggest selling points, and what are the benefits for both developers and users?
G.L: I believe one of the biggest benefits is that we have everything in one place. This benefits both developers and customers as they do not need to keep track of things over two sites. We also offer 3% cashback for every purchase made. So, whenever you purchase a product from Loot Audio you earn Credits, which can be used to get money off future orders.
- On your home page, you use the word “curating.” I find that it can be an interesting keyword for a possible new approach. When browsing audio software-related stores, I often wish there was some quality editorial curation, a real guide for the customer – and not just a boring list of products. What are your thoughts on this?
G.L: I agree, and that is the reason we decided to set up our own blog. We feature specific brands and products on the blog and showcase some of our favorite products and releases here.
One other tool we have set up is our filtering and playlist tool. Customers can filter products in many different ways to find just what they are looking for and then add the product to their Playlist. Using the filter menu, it is possible to filter products in various ways:
The Playlist can be used to keep track of large lists of products and listen to demos. Click the 3 dots and add a product to your playlist as shown:
The Playlist is basically similar to Spotify and can be used as an online audio Player.
We still have plenty of work to do on the Playlist, though, so expect to see it improve over the coming months.
- I’m just curious: are you a musician as well? If so, please tell us more about your musical experiences and how you got into the music business’s software side.
G.L: I am a musician, but it’s always been a hobby for me. I released a few records a few years ago and used to DJ and run some independent club nights, but it was never my main profession. Previously I was a packaging designer for many years. I have developed dozens of Kontakt instruments either by myself or in collaboration with other people over the past 5 years. I’ve always been fascinated by sampling, and when Kontakt first came out, I studied it closely and started to build my own small-scale instruments with it, purely for experimental purposes. But, it quickly became apparent that there were hundreds of people doing similar things to me – building small, creative, and often quirky little instruments. I decided it would be a good idea to reach out to those people and bring them together and offer them a place to sell and promote their creations. This is what spawned Sampleism.
After just a few months, I was approached by many people who wanted to sell more than just Kontakt instruments, so I expanded the site to include many different formats, and it quickly grew. Today we have over 1000 Kontakt instruments, over 5000 sample packs, around 500 preset packs, and much more. A few years ago, I decided to start selling plugins, but there was never a dedicated section on the site to effectively promote them. That is part of the reason for building the new site – So we could categorize things neatly.
- Last but not least, Loot Audio’s website is currently in beta. When should we expect to see the final version, and are you working on some new features?
G.L: I expect we will be able to come out of Beta early next year. There are numerous improvements and new features currently being worked on. We still have a lot of work to do around the site, and I’m excited to reveal the improvements asap.