Here’s an updated roundup on some of the best VST instruments that are available for free download.
Orion Sound Module. Free.
Orion Sound Module contains almost 100 instruments, all built using public domain samples. As such, the quality varies between patches, but there are some fine sounds onboard. Access them using the arrows in the upper corners of the display or by clicking the instrument name to reveal a large menu.
DSK AkoustiK GuitarZ. Free.
A cool VST for any beat making program that supports VST plugins like FL Studio. You get 4 acoustic guitars, amplitude envelope, fine tuning, stereo spread, portamento, three effects (flanger, delay and chorus) and velocity response.
String Thing 2. Free.
String Thing 2 is a plucked string virtual instrument with advanced controls and filtering to create a more natural tone. Features include a variable bandwidth filter, improved impulse, string and body model, various controls for tonal quality and reasonable CPU load.
Syntar is a VST plugin for FL Studio and other beat making programs. This VST instrument allows you to make Sitar type sounds which give off a very ethnic style to your music creation. The Sitar is an instrument often used in classical Indian music. This is a great plugin for music producers of all kinds of genres and will surely generate beautiful sounds of your own.
Continuous Velocity Piano is based on spectral morphing. Eliminating the need for many bulky, discrete sample layers, spectral morphing technology produces continuous, spectral variation by processing only a single baseline sample velocity. Using the baseline as a starting point, the spectral morphing filters then dynamically interpolate frequency characteristics, which can then be continuously morphed during and after musical notes are played. The result is far greater musicality with over ten times the amount of dynamic expression. Another benefit is that instruments are much smaller in memory consumption, yet with greater playability and realism. The Piano is a KAWAI grand piano, 7’4″, residing in Electric LarryLand Studios, Austin, TX.
DVS Saxophone. Free.
DVS Saxophone is a spectacular VST released by Dream Vortex Studio. This free saxophone VST was designed for expressive playing while carefully paying attention to the way velocity and pitch bend effect the filters. Additionally, the reverb has been configured to compliment the saxophone sound. You can hear the VST being used in a beat at http://samborouge.bandcamp.com/track/floating-in-blue-2
Ample Sound Ample Guitar M II Lite. Free.
Ample Sound’s Ample Guitar M II Lite can be used to create astonishingly realistic guitar passages in virtually any style. At its most basic, it makes for a good means by which to do a bit of convincing finger picking. Load it up and have a play using your MIDI keyboard or controller of choice. Try to play dynamically for the best results.
Etherealwinds Harp II. Free.
Recorded completely from the ground up in an eight-hour session, this might be the most complete lever harp library in existence. You’ll get chromatic sampling of a 34-string lever harp @ 44.1/16 with 2 velocity layers and 2 round robins. As a bonus you find a selection of harp effects and vocal phrases in the download. Available as VSTi (Windows, Mac), Audio Units, and SFZ, here’s the download links: