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RedExodus

Confused beginner. How do I get all the free instruments?

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People have been telling me that DAW programs have thousands of instruments. I can't seem to find them though.

My Cakewalk and songs have just been collecting dust 'cuz I can't figure out how to get things like harps, flutes, pop song MIDI instruments/effects,  and Japanese instruments.

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Cakewalk by Bandlab does not come with any of the old instruments that were licensed for the discontinued Sonar. You'll either need to buy into a different DAW that comes with bundled instruments, or build your own library. Most of the available free stuff is okay, but not great, but it will get you started.

Try searching on KVR.

Dan

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There is a lot of free and affordable stuff on the internet available that is quite good. You have to download and install them (either using their installers or extracting their dll's into the VST directory of your choice that has to be defined in CbB's preferences). By the way IMO the instruments and FX plugins coming with DAWs are 1) often also not so great and 2) not the ones that you like. So many people using DAWs buy a lot of additional instruments and FX plugins anyway! 😄

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That's pretty helpful actually. I wonder if there's a quick way to hear a sample of the instruments before downloading though. I feel like I'm gunna be downloading for days before I find what I'm looking for.

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On 12/6/2019 at 2:50 AM, RedExodus said:

That's pretty helpful actually. I wonder if there's a quick way to hear a sample of the instruments before downloading though. I feel like I'm gunna be downloading for days before I find what I'm looking for.

I am sort of in the same place you are. This forum has been very helpful. So far, for me anyway, I am okay with the free bass, piano and drum modules that come with CakeWalk but the only guitar instruments are in TTS-1 and those sound more like keyboards than guitars. I have tried every free guitar instrument I can find and none have a sound that suits except Ample Sounds free Acoustic Guitar. I like some of the paid electric guitar sounds from Ample Sounds and I will probably go that route at some point in the future. I wish there was some place that sold some entry level guitar instruments at lower prices but if it exists I can't find it.

Good luck,
yeto

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The free version of Kontakt has some guitars in it if you like programming midi guitars, if you use the basic guitar sounds and disable the processing of them in Kontakt and then feed that to something like guitar rig, they can sound alright.

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Me not being able to find even the right piano sounds is kind of worrisome though that may just be me being unwieldy with the interface. I hope I don't just get ripped off if I buy virtual instruments.

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1 hour ago, RedExodus said:

Me not being able to find even the right piano sounds is kind of worrisome though that may just be me being unwieldy with the interface. I hope I don't just get ripped off if I buy virtual instruments.

When it comes to virtual pianos, I can strongly recommend starting with the free version of Addictive Keys Studio Grand from XLN Audio. The free Studio Grand is a scaled-down version of the full Studio Grand with only 49 keys and fewer mic perspectives, but it comes with the same samples as the full instrument. Also, this demo version never times out and doesn’t require iLok or Kontakt. And you don't have to be afraid you're going to be ripped off - it comes from the same company that also makes Addictive Drums, which, as you may know, came bundled with SONAR Platinum.

s-l300.png

In the video below, you can get some examples of how the full Studio Grand sounds, but as I said the samples are the same in the free scaled-down version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV1zCw06zUQ

To download it, simply install the XLN Online Installer, and after completion click the button Add Now to the right of ADDICTIVE KEYS > Studio Grand and let the installer do its job. After Cakewalk have scanned for new plug-ins you’re ready to go.

Should you later decide to buy the full 88 key version, XLN Audio normally has one or two sales a year with a 50% discount which effectively puts the full version in the $45 price range (and that's in my opinion a steal for the full instrument).

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@Canopus Thanks for that, btw...I had made another thread asking about pianos specifically, and had kinda forgot to look into Addictive Keys for some reason (I actually run AD2 and have an XLN account and all that).

Do you have any experience in how it compares sonically to things like Sonivox Eighty-Eight, EastWest, TruePianos, etc.?

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57 minutes ago, AxlBrutality said:

@Canopus Thanks for that, btw...I had made another thread asking about pianos specifically, and had kinda forgot to look into Addictive Keys for some reason (I actually run AD2 and have an XLN account and all that).

Do you have any experience in how it compares sonically to things like Sonivox Eighty-Eight, EastWest, TruePianos, etc.?

Although I have a ridiculous amount of virtual pianos, I have neither Sonivox Eighty-Eight nor anything EastWest and the only TruePianos I’ve got is the one that came bundled with some older version of SONAR (can’t remember which version it was though). So obviously I can’t say anything about the first two.

But if I understand the inner workings of TruePianos correctly, it’s a hybrid consisting of both sampled and modelling parts which due to a small CPU footprint might make it a good choice if you’re primarily looking for something to use on stage. That hasn’t been a concern for me, so only looking at it from a studio perspective I would choose Addictive Keys Studio Grand ahead of TruePianos due to its beautiful and warm sound.  But we’re all different and the way we perceive sound is very personal. But already having the XLN Online Installer, I see no reason why you shouldn’t download the free version of Addictive Keys Studio Grand and test it out for yourself.

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Ample Sound is running a 20% off sale. Is that about as good as it gets with Ample Sound discounts?

 

Thank you,
yeto

 

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Pretty sure there is an Ample Sounds thread about the current sale in the deals forum. Best post there about pricing.

Aside from intro sales, manufacturers typically offer their best prices during the last two month of the year.

 

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1 hour ago, scook said:

Pretty sure there is an Ample Sounds thread about the current sale in the deals forum. Best post there about pricing.

Aside from intro sales, manufacturers typically offer their best prices during the last two month of the year.

 

I know I am overlooking it but where is the deals forum?

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I really wanna dive into this again with all your suggestions but I'm fighting the urge to procrastinate due to the difficulties of getting used to the program lmao. I did not come into this thinking it would be so difficult to assemble all the pieces and figure out what button does what.

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1 hour ago, RedExodus said:

I really wanna dive into this again with all your suggestions but I'm fighting the urge to procrastinate due to the difficulties of getting used to the program lmao. I did not come into this thinking it would be so difficult to assemble all the pieces and figure out what button does what.

At the top of the "Cakewalk by BandLab" forum is a "Reference Guide PDF now available" sticky thread. Open that thread and there is a link to download the Reference Guide PDF. Read through that PDF a few times and you will be well on your way.

Also, this is one of the nicest forums on the internet. If you have questions someone here is always willing to help and they don't flame you if you ask "amateurish"  questions.

Good luck,
yeto   

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