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Thread: Cheap instrument plugins for teenage beginner?

  1. #1
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    Cheap instrument plugins for teenage beginner?

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    My 15 y.o. daughter wants to start recording the music she makes up. She's a pianist, but she's talked about making it "sound like an orchestra'. Her interests lie in the new-agey sort of music she hears as soundtracks to video games and anime cartoons.

    My experience to date has been all audio-based, remixing old 4-track cassette demos. I haven't yet delved into MIDI tracks and virtual instruments. As it turns out, our DAW of choice, Reaper, is virtually (no pun intended) devoid of instrument plugins. So we'll need to add some instruments for her to use.

    Since this is a learning exercise for a teenager, quantity of various instruments is more important than quality. She doesn't need a hundred subtly different and audibly perfect pianos, she needs "a piano". Same for strings, other orchestral instruments, as well as more modern sounds. We're talking the big 64-crayon box of Crayolas here, not fancy oil paints or pastels.

    Looking at Sweetwater for virtual instrument plugins was s short-lived and discouraging exercise. Day-um those packages are expensive and the add-ons add up fast.

    Where does a cash-strapped Dad look for a big assortment of cheap instruments to get her started?
    "Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone in to the distance. He knows that something somewhere has to break." - Sting

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    i'd start here

    free vsti instrument pluggins Free VST instruments / synthesizer software - VST Plugins - Page 1





    another free way would be soundfonts and a free VST soundfont player .. can get virtually everything you need in a small format (quality varies)


    a player (untested by me) Free VST Plugins: The Best Free Soundfont 2 / SF2 Players...


    some fonts Links to SoundFonts




    googling "free vsti plugins" or "free soundfonts .sf2" will keep you both busy for a long time

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    DSK have loads of free instruments.

    This one has a selection of orchestral instruments.

    DSK Overture - DSK Music : DSK Music

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    Look at something like Acoustica Mixcraft. It has loops, samples and synthesizers. I think it's fairly easy to learn, which helps keep a 15 yo attention engaged.

    My 15 yo uses it to create all his dubstep crap... er, I mean songs.....

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    You could download Native Instruments Komplete Players (free after registration), it has the basics in it, for 50 bucks you could even upgrade to Komplete Elements and get a little more.
    Then there's the free edition of IK-Multimedia's Sample Tank.
    And you can buy one Computer Music Magazine, wich give's you access to a load of free instruments and effect-plug ins. (enough to get you started, unfortunately no piano as far is I've seen.)

    All of the above should give you an abundance of instruments to pick from.
    PC: MacBook Pro 2016 13"// OS: macOS Sierra 10.12.6 // DAW: Studio One 3.5.1 Pro // MIDI: Nektar Impact LX61 // INTERFACE: AudioBox iTwo // MONITORS: Presonus Eris E5

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    DSK have loads of free instruments.

    This one has a selection of orchestral instruments.

    DSK Overture - DSK Music : DSK Music
    +1. I have recorded one of my new album tunes using their cellos as replacement for background keyboards! This is simply awesome! And it's free!

    BTW, the whole DSK free collection is great. I have a bunch of them and have used it more than once with respectable results.


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    For the Soundfonts you also have this vst player
    Download Free Sampler plug-in: Sfz by Rgcaudio
    and when dealing with whole general midi banks you can extract from them the individual instruments you like with this "sf2 splitter" (download next to latest version 1.1) soft,
    Download SF2 Splitter by Tsvetozar
    here are some sf2 (soundfont 2) instruments
    Index of /sounds
    Index of /samples/SoundFrontz
    For piano, a member of the forum has just brought a good one
    Free 520mb Steinway Piano Soundfont

    Soundfonts are the solution if you are not too demanding on sound quality, broke or/and have an older not too performing computer, but it takes some work downloading/choosing ....
    For a paying "ready to go" option, Mixcraft 7 with a load of instruments, is a good option.
    http://www.amazon.com/Acoustica-ACTA.../dp/B00U9XNJ38
    You can use the soundfont piano to replace mixcraft's one which is not as good,
    or use the free "piano one" as a vst, also in reaper of course.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ0UjmmuwLQ

    But if you have a powerfull enough pc, Reaper with the free (but cpu and ram demanding vs sf2), vst instruments mentionned in the thread (Sampletank custom shop, Kontakt 5 player factory library, + UVI workstation with its free instruments pack) would be the best choice for quality sounds.
    Last edited by EricP; 03-28-2016 at 08:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S View Post
    As it turns out, our DAW of choice, Reaper, is virtually (no pun intended) devoid of instrument plugins.
    It is not entirely true. Reaper has plenty of sound F/X plugins although they lack of a proper appeal. As for instruments keep in mind that no one DAW has the obligation of come with some because differently from sequencers such as Fruity Loops (and others) it is not intended to be a composition tool but a recording mixer.



    Although Reaper has the ability of push MIDI stuff, I cannot do it myself because I think it's weird to sequence things in a DAW. Maybe it's just me. Anyway I always prefer to program drums, keyboards and all virtual instruments at FL and then export their tracks as PCM. Not only because the CPU burden, but also for me all the mixing stuff is overwhelming enough to have more than just that on DAW...


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    Buy a copy of Computer Music, maybe its special on the basics of homerecording...comes with a dvd chock full of VSTi's and VST's


    even the online copy give you access to downloading it all
    Quote Originally Posted by jimistone View Post
    you scare me.
    Album My Soundcloud page

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