Free music stuff!

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Spitfire Audio regularly release free instruments in their LABS series. The latest just dropped, and I'm downloading it as I type this. They're quirky, occasionally weird, but frequently inspiring. You need to install the Spitfire Audio app to get them, but it won't cost you anything.

And while you're at it, fill out their questionnaire and in two weeks' time the Spitfire Audio app will let you install the BBC Symphony Orchestra "Discover" package. An entire symphony orchestra in your DAW, for free. If you write stuff using MIDI instruments, this is an essential addition to your collection.

Pianobook is an interesting repository of sampled instruments. As the name implies, they started out by collecting different pianos but they've expanded to a bunch of other stuff now. Mostly available in Kontakt format but with a bunch of the same packs also available in the free DecentSampler format.

Surge is a previously-commercial synth that was made open-source and has had a ton of cool stuff added to it. For some reason it still defaults to the old-school visual appearance but there are more modern-looking skins available from the menu once installed, and it has a ton of presets.

MT Power Drumkit is probably still the best free acoustic drumkit plugin:

But for a slightly different vibe I've been enjoying the Organic Calfskin Kit (free, but you have to register):

DEXED is a free emulation of the Yamaha DX7 that's so good, Brian Eno uses it.

2getherAudio's "Cheeze Machine 2" is a fun, free synth:

Native Instruments offer a bucketload of stuff in their Komplete Start package, which is free (worth doing just to get a free copy of Hybrid Keys, IMO):

Pendulate is a monophonic version of Newfangled Audio's groundbreaking "Generate" synth, and it's free. Great for really aggressive, fat synth bass sounds.

Matt Tytel's "Helm" synth is bloody good, too:

And if you have the full version of Kontakt:

I second the recommendation for Pianobook (which is a superb resource)

The folk at Klang in Cologne regularly issue free instruments, too:

Ivy Audio's massive "Piano in 162" sampled Steinway Model D is gorgeous, specially after you drop reverb on it

Rigid Audio's "Perception" isn't free, but until the end of June you can pick it up for $7. It's amazing.

I was about to post about MT Power Drumkit, but I see that @Vom Vorton has that covered nicely. And @headfirstonly has nailed the rest. Here's a "plus one" for Rigid Audio's "Perception". It's fantastic value at $7!

On the effects side, Valhalla DSP has several outstanding and reasonably-priced ($50 USD) reverbs, and on the no cost side, offers the super-fun SuperMassive for absolutely free!

On the synth side, U-He, in addition to its top-notch paid synths, offers several terrific totally free synths, like my personal favorite, the oddball Triple Cheese.

IA's picture

@Vom Vorton
Have you tested Addictive Drums free version?

Even the free pack is pretty damn great.

@IA I haven't, I'm pretty good for drums at this point, but sounds like another excellent resource for this thread!

Good golly, the riches, the riches... Biggrin

Charlatan is a fairly simple, yet powerful synth:

How about all of the old De La Mancha plug-ins, later released as freeware? Afaik, oscillators in these synths were custom-coded.

I'm gonna be spending all my time fiddling not writing! :o

The collected works of the late genius, Günther Hager (HG Fortune), can be found here (well, most of them):

There are also some experimental patches for the synths here:

Günther made these available for free before he passed away in 2014, simply because he wanted people to make music. Smile

I'll second @Dragondreams's posting of the HG Fortune Synths. They're the backbone of my sound & so amazing. He is a developer that is greatly missed.

For those of you who (like me) are a fan of Frippertonics, there's Elottronix XL that's a Frippertonics emulator by Elogoxa. He also has a number of other really cool free VSTs - especially his Cosmo Girl II & Sun Ra synths:

See You In The Shadows…

IA's picture

Oh and in addition to Addictive Drums 2, nobody talked about Vital yet?

It's a free wavetable synth. Haven't tested it much, but they say it's as capable as Serum.

@IA I use Vital quite a bit. It's really good.

It's been around for a while, so it doesn't get as much attention as the new kids on the block, but let's show some love for TAL's lovely noisemaker synth:

The nice people at Full Bucket Software have a big collection of free synths. I can't afford to tumble down the rabbit hole of hardware modular synthesis, but ModulAir is great fun to play with and learn the basics:

They have also recreated several of Korg's early polysynths from the late 1970s:

Always have to throw in a pitch for the Klanghelm freeware. I use the paid stuff regularly, but there are two compressors and a saturation plugin that are all quite good and cost nary a cent.

Thx everyone. Im going to have a little look then put most of these to one side for a later look or 50/90 will just disappear, but then i am going to have some fun.

IA's picture

No one mentioned klang yet?
Free Kontakt library every month: