Free instruments to use in your DAW

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If you install the Spitfire Audio app, it instantly gives you access to their LABS series of VST instruments. They release new ones every month, and they're weird and eclectic and a great way to inspire your muse. There's everything from a lap steel guitar to whalesong, from the atmos of London tube stations to characterful cellos. The latest one dropped last night. It's a sampled Solina String Machine (the real thing was used by Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd and New Order, to name a few), and full of swirly goodness:

Click on their "Or free" banner here, fill out a very simple and non-intrusive questionnaire, wait for two weeks, and the Spitfire Audio app will also install their BBC Symphony Orchestra "Discover" package for free. It's a brilliantly designed piece of software and if you've ever wondered what it would be like to arrange music for a full orchestra, this will start you on the road to finding out.

cts's picture

@headfirstonly - I just received my email for the BBC orchestra and I'm pretty stoked to get started with it BUT am I understanding you correctly that I would have to fill out the form again to take advantage of the free instruments?

@cts Nope. So long as you've signed in to the app, you should be able to download and install all the LABS plugins.


thanks for the post! Just took a look at Spitfire. Will download app once I get home! Looking forward to seeing what they have!


Some more good free stuff here:


Just had a listen to the sinefactory samples!! Those are impressive!! They might not be so much in my hands! LoL!!

Too good! Can't wait to start tracking! My last big work deadline is Fri and might bleed into Monday... Then I have to get the recording motivation jacked up for some fun work after work!!

Thanks HFO!!

Seems this promotion is still on, years later. You do need to sign up for the site, which is also free (unless you already have an account).

50+ Drum Machines - Regular Price $1,179.66 reduced by 100% - i.e. it's a free download.

See You In The Shadows…

...if anyone is still using 32-bit VSTI, the HG Fortune synths are available for free:

Thanks Chris. Spitfire looks enormous, with plenty of keyboards to try out too.

There's a new LABS plugin available, as of last night: Ondes Musicales. Rather splendid, and I'm just about to put track number fifty together with it...

Ableton are currently offering electronic copies of Dennis DeSantis's book "Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers" in pdf, mobi and ebook formats for the very attractive price of completely free. I've downloaded it, and there's a lot of really useful stuff in it. If you prefer a physical object printed on dead trees, they can sell you one of those instead.

Tried to download on my phone, got download error... Will try on the laptop later. I'm currently struggling with electronica, so that book sounds useful. Thanks!

I downloaded it and paged through the first bit... it seems geared more toward general songwriting hangups rather than electronica etc., But I haven't read the whole thing, yet.

When you get to page 35, there's this, on deadlines:

"If you find self-imposed deadlines to be too “soft,” try having someone else assign the deadline for you, with the requirement that you show them the work at the end to ensure accountability. Or engage in a collective challenge, such as February Album Writing Month ("

1/3 through that book. It's been semi-helpful, but a bit hit-or-miss for me personally. I expect that'd be true of most readers. Still, it was free, so semi-helpful is still great value! Biggrin