Sample-based synthesis is a form of audio synthesis that can be contrasted to either subtractive synthesis or additive synthesis. The principal difference with sample-based synthesis is that the seed waveforms are sampled sounds or instruments instead of fundamental waveforms such as the saw waves of subtractive synthesis or the sine waves of additive synthesis.

Before digital recording became practical, instruments such as the phonogene (1950s) and the Mellotron (1960s) used analog tape decks to play back sampled sounds.

A more flexible sample-based synthesis design allowing the user to record arbitrary waveforms to form a sound's basic timbre is called a sampler.yamaha_ry30.jpgsakata.jpg