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We should also have a second list collecting low cost sample libraries for those who are willing to spend a little. This should also include offerings for full Kontakt. 

Criteria could be: 

1. Unique, innovative or high-quality stuff for a budget. 

2. Less than 30 bucks a pop. If it's more, there have to be good reasons. 

3. Newbie-friendliness, i.e. covering some use cases for people just starting out. 

4. Regular sales can be included. Some stuff is on sale very often, so one could assume the low price tag as the regular one. 

I will add some libraries by Hideaway Studio and Rhythmic Robot later today to get the list started. 

Edited by ralfrobert
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"SECOND STANDARD LIBRARIES" -- Stuff to get you started. 

Samples from Mars -- Everything Bundle: Maybe everybody here knows about this, but SFM goes on sale every year giving you tens of gigabytes of quality sounds for 50 bucks. As not only drum machines are covered, but many synth samples are included, whole projects (in certain genres) can be finished only using Samples from Mars. This offering has become my day to day standard library. 

A word about Kontakt -- Acquiring Kontakt is a bit of an investment. However, the included standard library is often overlooked. When getting full Kontakt, I highly recommend taking a look at the goodies that come with it. They take a bit of disk space, but it's free, and I am regularly reaching for the included samples which are of good quality. It might be a good strategy to take a look there first and invest in dedicated libraries later. 

Pianobook -- If Kontakt is not an option, take a look at pianobook ... and take a year of time to check all the free libraries for Decent sampler. I was surprised how good (and sometimes innovative and unique) the material is. 


I will add a post with my five favourite (cheap) Kontakt libraries later this weekend. 

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HIDEAWAY STUDIO --- Some Classics

Hideaway Studio is a small developer of Kontakt sample instruments that are very reasonably priced. Some of them can be seen as real classics. Here are my favorites: 


The Blue Zone 01-25 Special Edition

This collection of samples wrapped into Kontakt instruments is excellent for pads and has been a secret weapon for producers for a long time. The sounds were generated using a huge collection of esoteric (analog) components, and the resulting material is nothing but outstanding. As I cannot and do not want to afford Omnisphere, I went searching for alternative sources of pad sounds and came up with this 25 part library. As it turned out, it is also an excellent learning resource which contains some documentation on how the sounds were made. Available at Lootaudio. The collection has been on sale this year (40% off I think), so it might be a good idea to wait. 

The String Collection I & II

These two products are a must if you are into string machines. Kontakt layering makes it possible to create own flavors from the samples. Being a collector of string machine stuff, these two libraries are my go-to. Just take a look at the reviews of other people who also hold the collections in very high regard. And if you are a bit of a collector like me, you can also take a look at The Orbitone Collection I and II. 

Bass Machine

I know there are lots of bass samples aroung, but if you are just looking for good sounds in Kontakt format, this might be the solution. You can grab it when it's on sale. 


The stuff mentioned above is available at Lootaudio and other resellers such as Pluginboutique and JRRshop. As I mentioned above, it may be a good idea to wait for a sale and also grab one of the freebies that some shops offer. All the libraries need full Kontakt. 

I will add other vendors over the next few days. Hideaway, however, is one of my absolute favourites. 

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SYNTHMASTER 2 PLAYER as a preset box (no samples, but lots of great sounds) 

Getting a "light" verson of a synthesizer does not normally come to mind when building a selection of "bread and butter" sounds for electronic genres. However, Synthmaster Player is an excellent (and cheap) way to do this. 

The software is on sale very often (5 bucks) and can sometimes be acquired free of charge. It contains 2000 presets from different sound designers which are all very usable. The sounds can be changed via a couple of macro controls. And if you ever want to get into sound design, there is a discount on crossgrading to SM2 or SM One. These two synths are regularly on sale, too. 

The Synthmaster family of instruments is a bit underrated, in my opinion. The software sounds excellent, is actively developed, can be compared to other more expensive all-round products and only costs a fraction of the price the competition takes. Complementary soundbanks are available, and this synth family can keep you busy for years --- good results included. A downside is that there are only few good tutorials available. 

I highly recommend to pick up and evaluate Synthmaster Player as an entry point to sound design as well as a souce of excellent presets. 

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21 hours ago, Niky Serrano said:

Are you talking about Epic Shoir?

If it is, yes!, it's great!

Surprised by the love for this. I was very disappointed by this library - even for the price. But got it for $20 with that $10 voucher. Thought it might be a quick sketch tool for choir before finalizing ideas with more extensive libraries. But it's not even fun / inspiring to write with. Just bland and uninspiring. Compared to say, the Originals string libraries, this choir doesn't even remotely come close to the quality expected by this series. IMO of course.

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