"Best Free VSTs of 2013"

Yeh thanks for the link.

Already have the voxengo stuff but will try the others.

Native Instruments is giving this away for free until new years eve. Just downloaded it, not had a chance to try it out yet.


Bookmarked foolomon - I’ll check them out. How did you manage to cause some controversy? It was almost like the old days with Paul Woodlock etc. :laughing: Bring it on :smiling_imp:

Some of these are demo’s

That’s how I roll. Heh.

I’ve only downloaded Swatches and think it’s pretty neat. Philter would have a ball with it, in my opinion, because the presets are geared toward the techno genre.

I also checked out the KVR Audio Developer Challenger results for 2012. There were some that looked interesting but I only downloaded the Strings VST that was so highly lauded there.

I was completely unimpressed. The stock nki’s in Kontakt are much better sounding - not surprised really since they are sample based, but that can cause difficulties in their expressiveness - and I can only imagine what a dedicated string library like EWOL sounds like.

Does anyone have any practical experience with Session Strings who can tell me what the difference is between the Pro and non-Pro versions?

Simply put, SSP is about 10 times larger than the earlier release. And you can hear that the sound is MUCH more accurate and defined. Mind you that this is a small chamber strings group and not a symphonic string section, so it has to be used accordingly.

Also a crucial difference is that the original product only gives you one section of “generic” strings, which means no divisi, no violins, violas, cellos, basses, just a unified “string patch.” Might work for background “pop strings”, but it’s not very credible when the strings are exposed or they play more complex lines. Furthermore, SSP comes with a lot more articulations, round robin layers, expression layers etc. Finally, it comes with a lot more automated patterns (including the option to program your own), although I’ve never been a fan of those (IMHO they still sound mechanical), so to me the latter is a moot point. But then again, some people believe it’s actually SSP’s best feature. As usual, your mileage varies.

SSP is still NOT competitive with the best strings libraries on the market, but, to be fair, it’s not as expensive and it’s not meant to be used to recreate classical music on a computer.

P.S. How is your question on-topic? For someone who blasted me (and most likely reported me) for allegedly going off-topic, your post comes off as mighty hypocritical (neither SS or SSP are free VST’s.) But hey, I answered your question anyway, and wouldn’t even have made a fuss out of it, if you didn’t attack me before. Peace.

You are correct - it isn’t on-topic. I asked the question because NI has a $25 e-voucher on its web page with the free VST so I was thinking of expanding my library. Since the OP was really about expanding my library (though not worded as such) I made the internal connection without it being obvious to the readers. My apologies.

Also, I didn’t report you. I don’t think I’ve reported anyone on this site ever.

Like I said, it’s fine with me. I think that it’s quite silly to talk about “off topic” in a section of this forum that is basically dedicated to chatting about music in general. So, I will not bother you again with “off topic” if you promise to do the same with me.

Fair enough though, for the record, I was complaining about your desire to simply be snarky instead of actually adding to the content of the thread. Whether it was off-topic or not, to me, was inconsequential.

My post wasn’t meant to be snarky. I just warned that checking out lots of VST’s (especially the free ones, most of which are worthless) can lead to an enormous waste of time, which usually comes at the expense of making music. And I clearly said that I was once guilty of that. Cautionary tale rather than snark.

Yes! the TDR feedback compressor is great on the 2bus!

Maybe you should go play on a busy road.
Just an idea.

I used to get download and use as many free vsts as I could but it made my daw unstable and I couldn’t open any old projects :open_mouth:

I’ve been on a quest for a few years now to actually reduce the VST/VSTi ‘clutter’ on my DAW. I’ve been steadily purging various 3rd party plugins, having a bit of a purge as it were, and now with Cubase 7.5, Jamstix 3.5 (coupled with Steve Slate Drums 4), and NI “Alicia Key’s” Piano - I actually have everything I need and I am determined to rigorously resist the urge to indulge in stuff I don’t need even if it’s free! And the reality is that I’ve barely scratched the surface with some plugins and VSTi’s. I could easily spend the rest of my days just getting more familiar and more expert with the bundled stuff. Now, that’s not to say some of those listed plugins and others aren’t any good… it’s just I don’t want or need them and I don’t believe that unnecessarily clogging my system up with an assortment of miscellaneous plugins will make any real-world tangible difference to any thing I produce. Running a clean lean system has more appeal to me. But that’s just me… :slight_smile:

I’m completely with you Ian, I prefer having just a few choices for plugins over a whole list. It makes me work so much quicker because I know what I need to use in most situations as I actually know the stuff I use.
Every now and then I find a new plugin that does something I couldn’t do before and I’ll add it to the list, but other than that I try to keep my collection minimal.

Funny, Ian, that I use pretty much that list too (save for Battery 4 instead of SSD). I do incorporate Vintage Keys for a Mark I, Vintage Organs for a B3, and Kontakt 5 for horns, but that’s about it.

That’s the reason why I started this thread: I rarely add to the plug-ins I have because I’m picky about what goes into the pool. I was hoping to get some feedback from people here to save me the trouble of downloading, trying them out, then deciding that I don’t like them and uninstalling.

Off-topic, slightly: does anyone here have any experience with cinematic scoring using the NI offerings? Yes, I realize most of them are OEM’d via Heavyocity. Sara (my 13 year old) had a huge English project where she had to put together a video about one man’s fight against genocide and I got the bug when I helped her put together the track backing her narration track.

That’s basically how I earn my living, and most of what I use is Kontakt-based. How can I help you with that? (Be a bit more specific, please.)

I have a $25 e-voucher from my update to Komplete 9. I’m half tempted to buy Evolve Mutations Bundle, and want to know if it’s a good product for the price. I don’t have the need nor the discretionary funds to justify buying Damage (which really gets my blood pumping) so I’m looking for something to cut my teeth on.

Does that help?

IMHO Evolve Mutation has been over-used by about every composer who writes for tv. Some of the loops have become so cliched, they’re immediately recognizable by anyone who watches American tv dramas (and actually pays attention to the music, which --granted-- is not very common…) But if you don’t mind that, you can sure have lots of fun with that library. Kids particularly love it: load the infamous “C menu” and let them play keys at random. There’s no way they can do anything wrong… :laughing:

Main drawback: it gets stale pretty quick, because after all it’s just a collection of loops triggered by a keyboard, with minimal to no editing possibilities. Damage is far more advanced in that regard, albeit still being basically a collection of loops. But as you’ve noticed, it comes at a much higher price.

Here’s a suggestion. Can you use your voucher toward the purchase of KINETIC METAL? That’s an interesting library that’s HIGHLY customizable and allows for virtually unlimited editing. In theory, it never gets old. And it doesn’t cost more than Evolve Mutation and actually less than the bundle, if I remember correctly ($99.)

I looked at Kinetic Metal, but with no experience upon which I can judge the quality I didn’t know if it was any good relative to the other offerings. I do remember not being as impressed with the audio demos as I was with Evolve or Damage, but maybe that’s just a commentary on the demos and not the solution.

I’ll have another look today because your characterization of it being “highly customizable” is incredibly appealing to me.