One question I get asked frequently by musicians looking to get into producing their own music is this:
“Where can I get good sounding virtual instruments (VSTi’s) for free?”
Now, if you search Google for this answer you may end up on one of many other pages offering you 200 or more free downloads. But lets be honest, you don’t need 200 downloads. You only need a handful of great sounding free virtual instruments built by companies with quality products.
I know what you’re thinking, Cakewalk (known as Sonar for a while) is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), not a virtual instrument. But what you might not know is that Cakewalk by Bandlab includes 4 free studio instruments that can be used in any DAW.
By themselves these instruments are fairly raw but with a little processing from something like Softube’s free Saturation Knob and some eq and delay you can get some really great sounds.
Check out Cakewalk by Bandlab for more details.
If you think this is great, we’re about to turn up the heat with these next two.
Spitfire Audio Labs is a collection of free libraries for their free VSTi plugin. Each library is created by Spitfire Audio for the general benefit of people who make music everywhere. You may have not heard of Spitfire Audio before because they focus on scoring tools for film. Spitfire’s virtual instruments, including the free Labs instruments, are all meticulously sampled from only the best sources.
In addition to being free, the instruments available from Spitfire Audio Labs are fascinatingly user friendly and instantly usable. You will spend very little time tweaking presets and start making music right away.
Here are some of our favorite Spitfire Audio Labs free virtual instruments:
Check out Spitfire Audio Labs for more details.
Spitfire Audio is continually adding new instruments to this collection. We like to check back regularly for new high quality free VST instruments.
Everyone knows that Native Instruments is one of the largest producers of VST instruments with major hits such as Massive and Kontakt. What a lot of people don’t realize is that they offer a free production suite – Komplete Start.
With Komplete Start you get immediate and free access to 18 instruments and effects that are beyond what anyone needs to create a hit song. The only limit is your creativity. Here are the included free virtual instruments:
In addition to these free instruments, you also get Komplete Kontrol and 2 free VST effects plugins:
When it comes to top shelf sound and ingenuity, this free softsynth pack from Native Instruments is as good as it gets – especially if you are producing modern or electronic music.
Check out Komplete Start for more details.
If you are new to home audio production, you may be most interested in Bandlab’s Cakewalk – as a DAW with free VSTi’s. But if you’re not new to this or all you need is some free VSTi’s keep reading.
If you want stunning and creative sampled instruments, go to Spitfire Audio Labs for best-in-class sounds and usability. While these instruments are fantastic, they may or may not suite you. But chances are, you will find something you will love.
Lastly, if you are an electronic or hybrid music producer, you need the Komplete Start free production suite from Native Instruments. NI is a legend in their field and you would have to be crazy to turn down a deal like this – high end, or what we call top shelf, soft synths for free!