MY LIST OF PERSONALLY RECOMMEDED FREE SAMPLE LIBRARIES THAT WORK IN FREE SAMPLE PLAYERS
Recommended FREE Sample Libraries and Samplers
Finding free sample libraries is easy these days. Finding really high quality sample libraries is a lot more challenging. It commonly means sorting through a lot of -- I'll be kind -- less than great sample libraries. That's why I thought it would be helpful to the community to create a curated list of RECOMMEDED free sample libraries that play in a free sample players. That's right, everything sample library in this list is totally free -- no strings attached -- and plays in a totally free sample library player. I've only included KONTAKT sample libraries that work in the FREE KONTAKT Player.
My list only includes libraries that I have used and find worthy of recommendation. Now, many of these libraries, while very good to excellent, still aren't at the same level as a high end, meticulously detailed and ingeniously scripted sample library. But that level of detail may not even matter for your purposes anyhow. Some of the piano libraries on this list are, IMO, as good as commercial (paid) sample libraries. Some have a charm that I find more important than detail. I invite others to do the same and post libraries that play in free sample players that you have used and can personally recommend.
I will update this list from time to time and welcome suggestions for making it more convenient for people (I would have links for all of the Pianobook libraries, and will update it adding links in the future, but I was running out of time today and thought, since a couple of forum members had an interest in it, I would get it up ASAP.
⭐ =Highly recommended favorites. ⭐ ⭐ =My highest recommendation.
SonicCoture Hammersmith Free ⭐⭐
A beautiful grand piano sample library.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/p322-hammersmith-free/
Sterzov The Felt Seiler ⭐
A very nice felted piano library.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.strezov-sampling.com/products/view/the-felt-seiler-free-edition.html
Estate Grand Piano from Production Voices(for the free Sforzando player) ⭐⭐
This is a high quality developer that I am a customer of and I find makes excellent piano sample libraries and this is a really nice piano.
FORMAT; SFZ https://www.productionvoices.com/estate-grand-le-for-sforzando/
Death Piano Prepared Piano from Production Voices (for the free Sforzando player) ⭐ ⭐
I love this library. It is a prepared grand piano and the KONTAKT version has a reverse patch that I really enjoy.
FORMAT; SFZ https://www.productionvoices.com/death-piano-le/
Piano in 162 - Ivy Audio (for the free Sforzando player
A very nice, extensively sampled grand piano.
FORMAT; SFZ https://ivyaudio.com/Piano-in-162
SoundPaint 1928 Vintage Steinway Grand Piano and Sampler ⭐⭐
SoundPaint is a division of 8Dio that produces sample libraries for its proprietary sampler. The sampler comes with a free piano sample library that is a high quality grand piano.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://soundpaint.com/
Heavyocity Foundations Piano ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful, soft grand piano with great effects. A must have, IMO. I recommend downloading every free library in the series.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://heavyocity.com/product/foundations-piano/
Sonic Atoms Novel Piano ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful warm sounding urpight piano with some great, very creative patches. It made me a fan of this developer and a customer.
FORMAT: FREE HALION SONIC SE PLAYER https://sonicatoms.com/novel-piano/
The Experience Fazoli Piano ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful sounding, beautifully sampled Fazoli grand piano.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/the-experience-fazioli-f308/
The Experience Fazoli Piano ⭐ ⭐
One of the best piano libraries on Pianobook. A beautiful sounding, well sampled Yamaha S6 grand piano.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/the-experience-yamaha-s6/
Mason Hamlin Model A Piano ⭐ ⭐
A beautifully sounding, beautifully sampled Mason Hamlin grand piano.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/mason-hamlin-model-a/
Isolation Piano - Tubes and Tape ⭐ ⭐
I use the KONTAKT version and I love it and consider it one of the best pianos on Pianobook, arguably the best. It’s a sampled Model O Steinway grand piano.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/isolation-piano-tubes-tape/
Spring Piano by Christian Henson ⭐
An very nice intimate upright piano.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/spring-piano/
Manthey Klaviano (PIANO) ⭐
This is a very nice sounding basic upright piano. It sounds like your average piano you’d see in a middle class home or at a school. It’s not a sophisticated sounding piano. I really like its humble character.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER, SFZ https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/manthey-klaviano/
SonicCouture Tape Choir
A retro choir patch that sounds a lot like the choir pad sounds on the 70s 10CC song, "I'm Not In Love." If I had a good voice, I would use this to cover the song.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/18-exclusive-free-content/p170-tape-choir/
IK Modo Drum Kit 1.5 ⭐ ⭐
A realy nice sounding hybrid modeled/sampled drum kit.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/mododrum/#nl_form_area
Steven Slate Drums 5.5 Free ⭐ ⭐
A must have freebie if you create rock musician.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://stevenslatedrums.com/ssd5/#SSD5FREE
Orange Tree Samples free Funk Drum Kit Sample Library
A nice little jazz/funk drum kit. It sounds good.
FORMAT; SFZ https://www.orangetreesamples.com/blog/free-jazz-funk-drum-sample-library
NOTE: Spitfire's Labs includes a two free drum kits that sound very good. See below for the link.
Electric V LE from Production Voices (for the free Sforzando player ⭐
A very well sampled Rhodes Mark V.
FORMAT: SFZ https://www.productionvoices.com/product/electric-v-le/
Anyone who knows me at this forum is probably aware of my love of Wurli / Wurlitzer electric pianos. For a free sample library, this is really nice done and contains several patches.The samplist that made this clearly put some heart into it and it shows.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/worlitzer/
Anne-Marie The Hohner T ⭐
A nice sampled Honer T, just try it.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/anne-marie-the-hohner-t/
GUITARS and BASS
Heavyocity Foundations Nylon Guitar ⭐
A beautiful sounding nylon guitar.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://heavyocity.com/product/foundations-nylon-guitar/
Ample Guitar M Lite ⭐
I don't actually use this, as I primarily use Orange Tree Samples libraries and sometimes supplement them with NI's Session Guitarist when I'm first working on a song. But I have tried it and can recommend it as a free instrument. It's an excellent quality free plugin/sample library and in my experience, it's the best quality free acoustic guitar library available.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.amplesound.net/en/pro-pd.asp?id=7
Ample Bass P Lite ⭐
For sampled electric and acoustic bass guitars, I'm completely set with Orange Tree Samples libraries, but I have tried this out and think for free, it's the best quality free electric bass library that I am aware of.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.amplesound.net/en/pro-pd.asp?id=19
IK MODO Bass ⭐
This isn't a sample library, it's a modeled bass plugin, but it sounds very good, and is lightweight. It emulates a 1960's Fender Precision Bass.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/modobass2/?pkey=modo-bass-2-cs
Plogue Sforzatron (Mellotron Sample Library) ⭐ ⭐
Some of the most popular Mellotron samples including cello, celli, strings, flute, woodwind sections, string sections, choir, pads, koto, and steel drums. The sample libraries were taken from the fantastic and freely distributed Taji Guy Mellotron samples that have been available online for two decades. This is easily as good as a commercial Mellotron library. In fact, if this wasn't free and I paid, say $35 USD for the library, I would be extremely satisfied with my purchase. This is one of my all time favorite freebies.
FORMAT: Sforzando https://www.plogue.com/products/sforzando-banks.html
BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover ⭐ ⭐
A complete orchestra that sounds very good. It's not up to the level of a paid high end orchestral library, but it's amazingly good for a completely free orchestral library and it is pretty small in size in terms of data and won't tax on your computer resources.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.spitfireaudio.com/bbc-symphony-orchestra-discover
The Free Orchestra by PROJECTSAM ⭐ ⭐
A collection of orchestral related libraries including a choir, strings, and organ. It all sounds beautiful.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://projectsam.com/libraries/the-free-orchestra/
Sonuscore Pipe Organ ⭐ ⭐
It contains several pipe organ patches that sound really nice. I love this freebie.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://sonuscore.com/shop/free-pipe-organ/
Sonokinetic Carousel Organ ⭐ ⭐
If you want a carousel organ, you're in luck! It sounds great and it's a lot of fun to play around with.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.sonokinetic.net/products/instruments/carousel/
This is a Hammond B3 emulation and I snuck this in because I picked this up a while back and just thought it was really good for a free B3 emulation with a Leslie rotary speaker effect. B3 perfectionists won't be satisfied, but it sounds really good and for the price (free), I don't think anything matches it. Listen to it yourself.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLUGIN https://sampleson.com/collab3-free-tonewheel-organ.html
World Colors Clar-Duduk by Evolution Series ⭐ ⭐
A very well sampled clar-duduk library.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.evolutionseries.com/product/world-colors-clar-duduk
Heavyocity Foundations Staccato Strings ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful, soft grand piano with great effects. A must have, IMO. I recommend downloading every free library in the series.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://heavyocity.com/product/foundations-staccato-strings/ NFO CHAMBER STRING LONGS ⭐ ⭐
Chamber strings longs and drones. Excellent.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/nfo-alternative-chamber-strings/
NFO CHAMBER STRING SHORTS ⭐ ⭐
Short chamber string staccatos. Excellent.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/nfo-alternative-chamber-strings-shorts/
Syntronik 2 CS ⭐ ⭐
100 patches and 2.4 GB of vintage synth goodness.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/syntronik2/?pkey=syntronik-2-cs
Beat Zampler and Free Synth Libraries ⭐
From the publisher of the German magazine Beat (there’s an English version too), Zampler is a free sampler and contains several very nice free synth libraries that mostly have a 90s vibe to them.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.zampler.de/
Heavyocity Foundations Synth Bass ⭐ ⭐
Good sounding analog synth bass with ARPs.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://heavyocity.com/product/foundations-synth-bass/
Cinematique Instruments Alto Glockenspiel ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful sounding, beautifully sampled instrument.
FORMAT: FREE HALION SONIC SE PLAYER https://www.steinberg.net/vst-instruments/alto-glockenspiel/
A beautiful sounding, beautifully sampled instrument. I love the tone of this glockenspiel library. There are some imperfections with the library, but it's a keeper for me.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/vintage-glockenspiel/
A nice sounding glockenspiel with every note sampled and two dynamic layers. It's well sampled, but, unfortunately, lacks round robins.
FORMAT: DECENT SAMPLER https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/yamaha-glockenspiel/
Cinesamples Tongue Drum ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful sounding, beautifully sampled tongue drum that is a joy to play.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://cinesamples.com/product/tongue-drum
Cinesamples Create Series: Toy Xylo ⭐
A children's xylophone. Sounds great.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://cinesamples.com/product/create-series-toy-xylo
Cinesamples Create Series: Kalimba ⭐
Sounds great. If you love the sound of the Kalimba, download it!
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://cinesamples.com/product/create-series-kalimba
SonicCoture Music Boxes
Two music boxes from a superb sample developer for free. If you like the sound of music boxes, just get it.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/p43-music-boxes/
MULTIPLE INSTRUMENT PACKAGES
These are multiple sample libraries from a developer that include a different sampled instruments.
Native Instruments KOMPLETE START ⭐
If you’re on a tight budget or no budget, download this. If you don’t have anything from Native Instruments, you need to! These guys make argubly the best multisampler on the market. I own the full version of KOMPLETE, and outside of my DAW, it's the most important music-related software I own.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/bundles/komplete-start/
Sonixinema Assorted freebies - vocals, cello, acoustic bass, violin, medicine drum...
I really like the libraries these developer makes. It's all high quality. I recommend downloading and installing every freebie the developer makes . These freeibies are mini libraries, patches from their commercial libraries intended to give you a taste of the commercial library so that you'll want to buy it -- and you may find the formula works. But even if you never buy any of their paid libraries, these are really nice and worth downloading and installing.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://sonixinema.com/collections/freebies
Stezov Diamond Jazz ⭐
A free set of instruments including a free upright piano that sounds really nice, a nice upright bass and saxophone libraries. The sax libraries are meh.
FORMAT: FREE KONTAKT PLAYER https://www.strezov-sampling.com/products/view/Diamond-jazz-trio.html
Spitfire Labs and Freebies ⭐ ⭐
If you haven’t already downloaded them, go do it… Guitars, bass, pianos, electric pianos, drum kits, strings, brass, woodwinds, synths, vocals/choris, orchestra instruments, percussion, tuned percussion… Get them all!
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.spitfireaudio.com/pages/free-instruments
SampleTank 4 CS ⭐ ⭐
50 sample libraries that all sound good and professional.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/st4cs/?pkey=sampletank-4-cs
VSL HELLO Free Instruments ⭐ ⭐
Excellent strings and orchestral libraries and a gorgeous free piano that I love that quickly became one of my favorite sampled pianos, Soft Imperial.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Product_Overview/Free_Instruments
Orchestral Tools Sine Player and Instruments ⭐ ⭐
Piano, bass, drums, strings… Some very nice, beautifully sampled libraries in the developer’s proprietary sampler plugin.
FORMAT: DEVELOPER'S FREE PROPRIETARY PLAYER https://www.orchestraltools.com/store/get-sine
FREE SAMPLE LIBRARIES FROM PIANOBOOK
Pianobook has many KONTAKT (paid version) free mutisample libraries and Decent Sampler (free) mutisample sample libraries. I wanted to create a list of their free Decent Sampler libraries I think are worth recommending. I’ll start by saying that these are often smaller, simpler sample libraries than the ones made for KONTAKT. First, I would recommend downloading every one of the free sample libraries from the developer who makes Decent Sampler. He’s talented and his videos are very, very good. If you’re not familiar with Decent Sampler, it’s a free mutisampler plugin. It’s not as sophisticated as KONTAKT, it’s just a nice, simple sampler that plays multisample libraries. https://www.decentsamples.com/product-category/publishers/decent-samples/
Free Decent Sampler Formated Sample Libraries on Pianobook
I made this list when going through each library opened in my DAW, so you’ll need to search Pianobook to find them. Simply use the site’s search function with the library name. I’ll try to update this later and add links in the future.
Soft String Spurs Dan Keen ⭐ ⭐
A collection of three beautiful viola libraries. I use the KONTAKT version. IMO, one of the best string libraries on Pianobook, if not the best. https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/soft-string-spurs/
Busy Bee Analog Oscilator
A nice simple analog synth patch, actually two, one is lofi and I like it.
Cassette Tape Organ
A lofi organ that is only usually for slow parts because the attack is so delayed. But I love lofi sounds and it simply sounds cool to my ears.
This isn’t a realistic sounding brass library, it’s very lofi and I think it’s pretty cool. I don’t do hip hop music, I sound bad enough singing rock, but if I did do hip hop, I think this could be especially useful.
Classic Dance Synth
This is your classic 80s House Piano sound. If that’s what you’re looking for, download and install this.
Cream Soda Atmos Pad
Antoher very pad that I like that has a very slow attac.
A thick analog strings sound that seems to be mixed with a pipe organ and I’m a sucker for pipe organs.
This isn’t an Orange Tree Samples kind of detailed sample library. It’s very simple. But the ukulele has a lovely tone.
I greatly prefer the KONTAKT version of this, but I love this blended harpsichord. It’s really different and love this library. It works.
Nice, simple. Worth installing. Multiple articulations. I love the plucked and fingered patch. If you’re not concerned about emulating the sampled instrument, the plucked and fingered patch has a harpsichord like quality about it.
Lorenzo’s Drums ⭐
A must download. No, this isn’t a detailed sample library. But it is a really well done sample library and the tone of the drums are really good. I’m not as in love with the cymbal samples and the opening and closing of the hi hat needs work, but whoever did this, did an excellent job. Try it.
Melodic Ping - Wine Glass Tool Kit
Nicely sampled wine glass hits.
Mini African Xylophone
True to its name. A nice little library.
Mixing Bowl ⭐
It sounds cool. It’s bold. It’s fun. I like it.
It’s basically a xylophone featuring stones. It’s nice but the samples are a bit noisy. Still I like the character of the tone of the instrument and the noise doesn’t put me off as I see it as a bit lofi.
New House Choir
A lofi choir patch reminiscent of 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love” vocal pads but more church choir-ish.
Prepared Staccota Cartoon Piano
Does what is says on the tin. (Okay, I’m not British, but I’ve managed globally and made and still have friends there, does that count?)
Reel to Reel Tape Piano
Think lofi Mellotron piano. This is a pretty good approximation of that.
Rob’s Andean Quena Flute
Think lofi Mellotron flute. I really like this.
Simple, nice. I like it.
A really interesting lofi analog piano that almost sounds like it could work in a horror soundtrack, but I think it’s slightly too sweet for that.
A lofi pad that sounds a bit like Shivering Keys in a pad.
Sound effects that are perfect for sci-fi.
St Kathrin’s Bell
It sounds great, like a church bell. But there’s a lot of noise in the samples.
A very 80s/synthwave type pad that sounds very good. I don’t know the song, but it sounds a lot like the synth pad from one of the songs in the 80s movie, “Breakfast Club.”
Nicely sampled, good sounding timpani hits.
Triple Felt Experiment ⭐ ⭐
A beautiful sounding felt piano from Spitfire’s Christian Henson.
Isometra Venus Theory ⭐
It comes from a talented patch maker and YouTuber and it’s a distorted analogy electric piano-ish library and I like it a lot and the GUI lets you easily modify the library and I have gotten good results very quickly. Well done.
Organic Orchestra Venus Theory ⭐
A slow attack pad with a sound that seems like rain. It basically sounds like you’re in a rain forest. It’s very new-age-ish. Dead serious, if you’re into ASMR or looking for the kinds of sounds that you here in the music while playing Mindcraft, this would be a really good choice.
Malevolence Venus Theory ⭐
Just my opinion, but I would recommend downloading everything Venus Theory uploads. He’s talented. This contains synth pads and basses and it’s good.
Yamaha Grand Palm Mute
If you’re looking for grand piano palm mutes, you should enjoy these.
RJS Electric Guitar ⭐
A sampled Stratocaster electric guitar with the following patches: long notes with vibrato, palm muted notes, dead notes and feedback. Impressive. https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/rjs-guitar/
FREE LIBRARIES FOR THE FULL VERSION OF KONTAKT
Deagan Vibraharp Vibraphone ⭐
This is a beautiful sounding vibraphone that is beautifully sampled by one of the most talented sample developers on Pianobook. It is as good as a commercial (paid) vibraphone sample library and I even like it better than some of the vibraphone sample libraries I've bought. https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/deagan-vibraharp-vibraphone/
Resonator Glockenspiel ⭐
I love the glockenspiel and this is a well done small glockenspiel library. https://www.pianobook.co.uk/packs/randonspiel/
This list will be regularly updated.