Percussion VSTs recommendations

I recently converted from fl studio to cubase to make my life easier when it comes to scoring. As, in the past, I’ve mostly composed electronic music such as edm and dnb, I’ve never had to much of a problem with drums and percussion as most VST’s cater for this. However, as I’ve moved towards more realistic sounds and orchestral production, I’ve found it harder to produce drums and percussion. Obviously, Halion sonic is great but doesn’t offer a wide enough range of orchestral percussion (certainly not any good timpanis).
Has anyone encountered similar problems and able to suggest any solutions (be it buying new VST’s or modifying certain sounds)?

I’m not the best one to answer this… but I noticed IK multimedia has a nice orchestral library, percussion, for their sampletank sampler.

As for orchestral stuff, and Steinberg specific, they do offer a few different varieties of strings, in their Absolute collection, as well as that other huge orchestra specific library (forgot its name at the moment) that gets even more into the details.

And Spitfire audio is probably the most recent trending company for orchestra libraries…

And, one last one: EastWest… their composer cloud, for a couple hundred bucks a year, is a good place to look.

they collaborate with Steinberg… and have some good sounds to offer

looks very promising, but didn’t tried it myself

and Vienna Symphonic Library offers a whole universe of orchestra sounds
and of course Spitfire Audio…great Orchestra library palette…

Hi Benjamin,

The people who responded to this post have made some great suggestions.

For my part, I own Groove Agent 5, HALion 6 and Komplete 13 (Kontakt Player). No such libraries exists for GA5 and there are few companies that produce libraries for it. It might be time for Steinberg to offer a GA5 library dedicated to orchestral-type percussions. For the HALion family, there is only the HALion Symphonic Orchestra which is not bad, but which has aged all the same, and Iconica which is excellent, but very expensive. Kontakt’s orchestral library offers HSO-like quality and instrument choices.

My recommendation would be to acquire Kontakt Player (free) and buy the library (s) that best meet your needs. It is then possible to obtain very good results at a cost which would be more reasonable. There are so many Kontakt libraries available on the market that it is possible to find something for you at low cost.

The Native Instruments environment with Kontakt offers in my opinion a lot more possibilities. However, what is most important is to determine your budget. Also, monthly or annual subscriptions can be a great alternative, but in the long run can become much more expensive for use on a regular basis.

Good luck!

But be aware that it introduces a lot of problems as well… Kontakt could be a beast… btw.
It has it’s own rules…

Hi st10ss,

I do not see and do not foresee any problem with Kontakt. I recently purchased the Komplete Kontrol controller and an update to Komplete 13 and everything is working fine. The integration of Komplete Kontrol is remarkable with Cubase and no problem with Kontakt Player. Certainly, if I compare this Sample Base Player to HALion 6. It’s David versus Goliath. I can do everything with HALion 6, even create my own libraries and determine their quality. All I lack is the time, the environment and the money. Moreover, this is the reason why orchestral-type libraries are very expensive to produce.

If you make a living creating orchestral music for video games, movies, documentaries or more. It is worth investing in libraries like Iconica, Spitfire, Eastwest and many more that can be found in the market, otherwise it becomes an expensive hobby, but again, it is all relative because of people spend thousands of dollars playing golf all year round. It is all a simple matter of priority and interest.

I use Superior Drummer and have found it to be straightforward and easy to use.
Not used the orchestral version, but this might be worth a look -

Spitfire developed their own engine… must have a reason… :wink:
I guess Kontakt doesn’t integrates that easy and flawless as advertised…

Don’t get me wrong, Kontakt is a very powerful Sampler with an infinite content flow but sometimes it behaves like an old diva…

I highly recommend the Spitfire stuff or the Vienna Symphonic Library for orchestral work, it’s impressive…


I would like to have this type of library for GA5. I know Superior Drummer, but I already have GA5 which more than meets my needs. I don’t believe in buying it, but it’s a very interesting choice.

I think that the reason why Spitfire is developing its own engine has to do with profitability. They are extremely complex and heavy libraries. It is quite possible that Kontakt may have certain difficulties managing these well. It should also be remembered that Kontakt libray seem to be among the easiest to hack, which is not the case with libray and engines like East West and VSL and a few other companies.

In the case of Benjamin’s post, he talks about the need to have a good timpani tone with a good variety of articulations. I believe that with Kontakt it is possible to have access to a library dedicated solely to this task at a competitive price. And that seems to me an easy solution, because Kontakt Player is free. All he has to do is find the library that meets his needs.