Instruments for new installation ?


Please forgive my super-newbie question…i looked around in the forum but couldn’t find an answer.

I recently purchased my first midi controller (Novation Impulse) and DAW (Cubase). I’m not really sure what i’m doing but i’m going through a beginner training course at Lynda and learning. I’m a classically trained pianist and want to try my hand at composing instrumental music for soundtracks, commercials, etc.

I was under the impression there would be a bunch of basic VST instruments that came with the software—pianos, winds, brass, etc.—but when i go to set up an instrument track, i’ve only got drums and weird synths. (See attached)

So, my question is, am i missing some instruments or is that all that comes with the software (8.5 Artist)? I have a solid state Macbook Pro so I don’t have a disc drive for installation and had to download the installation software. Perhaps i missed a download or something? (Hopefully I don’t have to redownload that 9gig monster!)



P.S. I’m thinking of subscribing to the “Composer Cloud” at EastWest to give me access to more sounds but for now, i just want some basic sounds so i can follow along in the tutorial.

Your cubase instrument installation is complete. Halion Sonic SE has some piano and classical instrument sounds. But I guess for soundtrack composing, you’ll have to buy additional sound libraries.

Halion Sonic SE is going to be your go to for the basic sounds of what you’re looking for

Cubase Pro comes with Halion Sonic SE which has its own versions of all instrument programs from the original Yamaha Motif, as well as a bunch of stuff from the newer Motifs. Cubase Artist will be missing 366 presets, including most of the stuff from the newer Motifs (such as many of the instruments with “VX” and “NoteExp” in the name), but what you get with Cubase Artist should still be enough to make decent sounding music.

Composer Cloud is a killer package which might be just what you need if you plan to subscribe for just a few months, but the instruments can be pretty resource hungry and the subscription gets really expensive in the long run. For a more long term solution for “bread and butter” sounds I suggest looking into Steinberg’s own Absolute 2 VST collection. Native Instrument’s Komplete 10 is also available at a similar price, but while some of its instruments are pretty good, I find that the average quality of the acoustic instrument library is low. Absolute 2 probably wont take your breath away, but the average quality is good and consistent, perfect for someone just starting out. IMO, you should only get Komplete if you have thousands to spend on Kontakt libraries. They’re really really expensive.