This week’s best sample packs include a beautiful string quartet that you can conduct yourself, a free grand piano with a number of interesting controls, the heaviest of 90s metal drums, and a well-rounded pack of heavy electronic loops.
e-instruments Cremona Quartet
The expertly crafted instruments included here are four of some of the most legendary in the classical music world with two violins, cello, and a viola. Each instrument comes with three microphone positions (close, mid, and far), so you can arrange the instruments according to depth of field. The samples output as multiple channels into the DAW, and everything is perfectly in phase.
There are 20 articulations total, with 3 legato transitions for each. Controls over room noise, vibrato, dynamics, sustain and other playing techniques provide a level of fine-tuning is unique to these instruments. All samples are 24-bit/48kHz and the application runs on Kontakt 6 or higher. At $399 it’s not exactly cheap, but it provides an easy and fantastically authentic sounding way to add a string quartet to your own productions.
Reflekt Audio Tuxedo
This is a free grand hall piano that sounds just as great as it is easy to dial in. You can manipulate the ambience of the instrument, adding more or less to taste. Additional controls over the envelope, filter, reverb, and panning give you every tool you need without having to use extra processing. It runs on Windows and Mac in VST/3 and AU formats. It’s a charming grand piano plug-in, one of the better ones available. And did I mention it’s free?
Ogritone KVLT Drums II
Recreate some of the best metal drum sounds of the past four decades with this heavy kit. The samples are a little more live than other packs might offer, with their aim of honoring the specific sounds of the era with a few tweaks to make them fit into modern productions. The drums have a solid attack and fast decay with a room sound that is dry, making it perfect to add your own ambience to fit the track.
You can assemble your own sound with a number of kit pieces that all provide different tonal options. It’s also possible to load your own samples. For only $75 is also comes with a black metal MIDI groove library. It’s a decidedly heavy pack that includes the best drum sounds of one of metal’s best eras.
W.A. Production Shark Bass House
Great for heavy electronic styles like house, trance, and dance this pack of 51 melody loops in WAV and MIDI formats is a versatile addition to your sample library. Everything you need to get started is available, including drum loops, kit pieces, synth, effects, even Serum presets.
All of the sounds used to layer the loops are included so that you can fuse sounds to create your own. You get kicks, snares, toms, cymbals, percussion shots, arpeggiations, bass loops, chords, and more. Set the tempo and mood with risers, uplifters, downlifters, and impact loops. Everything is royalty free and for just under $20 you get a solid bundle of genre-specific sounds.