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Not Another Free Plugin Thread

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Thomas
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Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby Thomas » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:51 pm

While many plugin threads have the goal of finding the best free plugins, I thought I'd try something different. Right now, I'm interested in finding the besting sounding virtual instrument plugins, such as orchestral instruments (bass, brass, string, percussion, etc.). I would like to try the the best just so I know what the best sounds like and have a sort of benchmark to compare all the other plugins to (including free). I wasn't too impressed with the sound of some of the included instruments. And I'm making the assumption that most companies offer trials of their wares. I understand that there are good and bad paid as well as free plugins.

I'm looking for recommendations of who has the reputation of being among the best and even used by the pros in their music production. This will help me gauge the market. Now if you know of a free suite that compares favorably with the better paid ones, I (and my wallet) would love to hear about it. :)

Tom
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chibear
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby chibear » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:44 pm

The term "Best" even among the pros is highly subjective. For a start, though, here are some places to look:

http://www.soundsonline.com
http://www.orchestraltools.com
https://www.vsl.co.at/en
http://www.chrishein.net/web/Willkommen.html
https://www.spitfireaudio.com/
As you can see, they don't come cheap, and many come with a pretty steep learning curve.
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Thomas
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby Thomas » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:54 pm

Thanks for those links chibear. You're not kidding about the not cheap part. :) Since all this (DAWs and VSTi s) are new to me I should probably steer clear of the high learning curve products for now as I'm still bogged down with learning the details of Mixcraft. But it's certainly good to know what's out there. I will probably look for the best bang for the buck plugins as well as the free ones. I may very well find out that those are "good enough" for my needs.

Tom
Tom Was Already Taken, Therefore Thomas
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby Mark Bliss » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:44 am

Yeah, I'd say nothing about this is as simple as "what's best" for comparison.
Some may have far superior sounds, but be mind boggling and difficult to use. And the prices of some of these things is quite prohibitive for the hobbyist.
Some win the trifecta. Difficult to use, sound great and are really expensive. :roll:

And there's always the fourth variable. You might not agree or align with what I personally feel sounds good. Or is too difficult to use. Or is priced a bit high for me.

I think its a good idea to ask what others use, and demo them for your self. I am always looking for things that sound good to me, have an interface I find fits my workflow (Generally that means "simple") and doesnt make my accountant anxious.....
And for this hobbyist, that usually means, "sounds passable" "Dirt simple to use" and "Cheap/free"
But I can share that I have also found, use or want some that fail at least one of those tests. :wink:

Since you mentioned specifically orchestral, I would add to Chibears fine list perhaps what I would call a "happy medium" that has a vast library of quality sounds, and acceptably useful interface and while certainly not cheap, isn't in the "upper tier" either. Pretty flexible and broad package. IKMultimedia Sampletank is IMO worth considering. It may or may not be a fit for you. I don't think it offers the detailed accuracy of some of the stuff Chibear mentions, and on the other hand, its probably overkill if you just want to create string pads or background horn parts etc.
Hard to gauge your needs. Its probably not what the beginner starting out needs either though.

Learn to use what you have well, and your specific needs will likely become clearer over time. Try to avoid filling up your computer with stuff you end up not using. (If that's even possible :lol: )
Stay in tune, Mark

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Thomas
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby Thomas » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:40 pm

All good insights, Mark. :idea: Insights that, like everyone else, I must develop over time as I still have to rely on "green ears" for now. This subject at the present seems huge and intimidating to me. Mixcraft alone is enough IMO to keep someone busy for a long time. Throw in the world of plugins and it can quickly get out of control if not handled well. I'm not really seeing demos of chibears stuff to try out, so I've been going after more accessible stuff like that available from Kontakt and your suggestion SampleTank. Although, the free version I downloaded seems to contain only a few pianos and I thought there would be more. Am I wrong on this? Kontakt Player OTOH seems far more generous with the free version on offer.

I would love to be able to pick the cream of the (free) crop and will continue to read suggestions on this forum and also figure out what sounds good to my ear when making comparisons. As for difficulty, at this time, I reckon I don't need any more than necessary. Have you ever gotten computer fatigue overload? I've got a case right now between this and recent (uncharacteristic) computer issues lately. :( But, there's a loty of enjoyment to be had, and that's what I'm looking forward to. :D
Tom Was Already Taken, Therefore Thomas
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Thomas
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby Thomas » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:27 pm

Update!! Poking around the IK Multimedia forum I found a clue that allowed me to solve the missing instrument dilemma. I needed to go to the "my products" area of the website where I found a link for additional instruments, plus another one for an instrument update. So everything appears to be in good order. Good job IKM. :D
Tom Was Already Taken, Therefore Thomas
Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio 64-Bit
Windows 10 64-Bit
AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1 GHz 10GB Ram 7200RPM HDD
Behringer UMC404HD v4.38 interface

starise
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby starise » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:08 pm

Probably the best way to get started in sound libraries that is to pick up Kontakt player from Native Instruments. They have a limited free player that will give you a taste of what the better sample libraries have to offer.
here's that link-
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/samplers/kontakt-5-player/

The payed version of Kontakt has much more capability and a much larger library. If considering that purchase I would look at a product from Native Instruments called Komplete. Komplete includes a full version of Kontakt and tons of mighty fine sample libraries.It ships on a hard drive due to how large it is. You will need to look at you computer specs to make sure it can handle streaming sample libraries. Most anything with 16gb of memory and an i5 on up will do is provided you have a faster hard drive. For HDD 7200rpm is preferable to 5400rpm. If using SSD it isn't an issue.

If the prices scare you, remember that there are periodic sales from NI around the holidays sometime offering 50% discounts. If you download the free version and give them your email, you are set up to get those sales when they come along.

FWIW some of those less than stellar sounds you already have can be manipulated to sound a little better with the right velocities, arrangements and reverb.
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mixyguy2
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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby mixyguy2 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:35 pm

These guys' plugins come to mind generally:

Voxengo
TDR
DSK

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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby mixyguy2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:44 am

DVS Saxophone I also thought was quite good, although somewhat limited.

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Re: Not Another Free Plugin Thread

Postby mixyguy2 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:47 pm

Loopcloud - not technically a plugin but gave the appearance of one so FWIW: apparently something that's a front-end UI to a place on the 'net where you can view, hear, download and upload loops. Despite the name it said "samples" in the desc, which to me are not loops, and despite the "cloud" name I thought it was more of a VST or stand-alone app vs something you HAVE to log into...........wrong on both counts, so I would have deleted it right there but I thought wth, it's installed, let's look...but when I tried to use it, the UI sucked, it said it was downloading but didn't tell me where (let alone give options) and I couldn't find anything, so I said screw it, this sucks, uninstalled.


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