Good handbell sound library?

I’m hoping to write some music for handbells, but I’m not very fond of the Halion sound library for them. One of the new Dorico updates fixed the transposition, but the sounds themselves still sort of sound like clanks, and I haven’t found support for any of the effects beyond straight ringing. Has anyone on here found a simple way to improve the sound? I was looking into some libraries, but outside of this video (Assigning Your Own Sounds to Instruments in Dorico | Play Mode in Dorico - YouTube), I don’t know much about using 3rd party sounds.

If anyone has a not-too-expensive way to get better handbell sounds in here, I’m all ears. I saw some old posts recommending Noisefirm’s (, but it seems to require the $350+ Kontakt software. I’ve seen rar and wav libraries, but I have no idea how those would work. Any suggestions?

Noisefirm is outstanding, but yes, it requires Kontakt.

Are there any options that don’t cost more than double what I paid for Dorico itself? I’m on a bit of a student’s budget.

Have you searched in Spitfire’s Labs libraries ? They’re free…
OMG, spot on !


Nice, thanks! And it looks like that LABS plugin is similarly compatible with Dorico?

Spitfire audio products are compatible with Dorico :wink:

LABS hand bells are delightful.

All the LABS instruments are worth investigating.

Right-click each control on the LABS instrument GUI to identify its CC controls and then experiment with automation in Dorico. (T’is a shame Dorico does not allow you to see multiple automation lanes)

Don’t know if this is compatible with Dorico, but the Sugarplum excerpt sounds good.
Just search for handbells on this site:

Yes, but… What’s 129€ against 0€? :wink:
And actually I find the LABS handbells very good. I have decided to keep them after I tried them!

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Thank you! I’ll give LABS a try.

Finally got around to trying LABS, but two of the samples only have two octaves, and the third is more of a synth string effect. Not ideal for writing for 5+ octave choir. Still can’t beat the price (!), and they sound pretty good, but I guess it was a little too good to be true.

I only recently switched from Finale to Dorico, and I had already invested in several Garritan Libraries, including GPO5. It has a very nice handbell VST that I am able to use with Dorico. The only drawback is that it doesn’t include any handbell playing techniques (singing bell, pluck, etc.). Or, if it does, I have no idea how to access them. I appreciate the suggestions you all offered here. If anyone has any others, I’d love to hear about them. I’m willing to invest in something worth having. I’m going to try Spitfire’s Labs Libraries, but I fear, like CVAlkan, two octaves is likely inadequate.

GPO5 (and GPO4) Handbells KS include single hit and “roll on release,” but that’s it. Wasn’t sure you knew about Roll On Release.

Just run into this myself… I find spitfire’s labs lacking if you want authentic church sound. Noisefirm is excellent, and so is cine samples… but everything worth having requires kontakt, which I don’t have, and I’m not in the mood to drop an extra $200 just for the player. Sigh. Seems I am out of luck.

I have some samplers (not from them) that can be used on the free Kontakt player without restrictions ( Conservatorie collection from Sonniculture is an example). Spitfire is not like that?

Spitfire only offers the “labs” bells which aren’t a real handbell substitute. They are more… toy bells with an odd aura about them.