In this article you're going to find the top absolutely free sampled instrument plugins. All of the included VSTs are incredibly high quality and are made by some of the top developers. These are going to be standalone plugins, not just libraries for samplers. All are available for Windows & Mac (64 Bit). Let's get started!
1. Yamaha C7 Grand Piano - Soundmagic Piano One
- Probably the best free piano plugin out there.
Let's start with one of the most expensive instruments out there - the Grand Piano.
Soundmagic makes an amazing free plugin version of the instrument. The VST is a combination of sampling and modelling technology, which gives you both the "no-latency" feeling of modelled pianos, as well as the rich timbres found in sampled plugins.
2. Electric Piano - Sweetcase EP
- Great electric piano with solid built-in effects.
The Electric Piano is one of the most iconic instruments ever. It fits perfectly into genres like rock, rnb, as well as plenty of electronic tracks.
The Sweetcase Electric Piano gives you classic rhodes tones for absolutely free. It sounds very solid and comes packaged with a few really handy effects: tremolo, phaser, eq and reverb.
3. Acoustic Guitar - Ample Guitar M Lite
- An acoustic guitar VST that sounds incredibly realistic.
The acoustic guitar is a very important instrument, definitely a must have in your library.
Ample Guitars make amazing guitar plugins, and it's no different with their absolutely free acoustic. It's fully customizable with different strum settings, velocity sensitivity and different mic positions. It sounds too good to miss out on it.
4. Bass Guitar - Ample Bass P Lite
- Amazing sounding free bass guitar.
This free plugin from Ample Guitars will satisfy your bass guitar needs. Just like the acoustic guitar, the VST includes all necessary articulations, strumming modes and options. If you're in need of a bass guitar plugin, this is the one to get.
5. Hammond B3 Organ - Collab 3 Organ
- Very realistic Hammond organ emulation.
The Hammond organ and the Leslie speaker became one of the most important instruments of rock music. Nowadays the sound gets used in plenty of other genres.
The free "Collab 3 Organ" has an incredibly realistic sound. It also gives you access to all the necessary features of the Hammond and Leslie, Percussion features, as well as Chorus and Reverb.
6. Orchestra - Orchestral Tools Layers & Spitfire Audio Discover
- Two quality libraries from the top orchestral sample companies.
An orchestral library is incredibly important if you're writing cinematic sounding music.
Luckily, you can get all the sounds of an orchestra for absolutely free.
In the Orchestral Tools "Layers" collection you will find 4 types of instruments: Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Ensemble (all instruments combined). The library sounds absolutely stunning, the only drawback is that the patches are programmed in chord shapes - you won't be able to play single voices.
However, if you're looking to program realistic sounding strings and brass, Orchestral Tools also offers "Sine Factory" with patches like "Helix" (Free Strings Ensemble) and "Rotary" (Free Big Band Horns). With these instruments you're not limited to any particular chord shape!
You're going to have to open it through the Orchestral Tools "Sine Player" VST.
There's also the Spitfire Audio "Symphony Orchestra Discover". It has even more functionality than "Layers" and sounds absolutely stunning as well. You're not limited to chord shapes, so you're free to play melodies with all of the patches. The sounds are incredibly velocity sensitive as well.
The only downside is that you need to complete a quick survey and after 2 weeks they send you the download link. If you need some orchestral patches from Spitfire immediately, you can get strings, brass and woodwinds patches from their free "Labs" series.
7. Drums - Steven Slate Drums
- Top notch quality drum kit from one of the top drum VSTs.
Emulating realistic, acoustic drum kits isn't an easy task.
Steven Slate's free VST does the job perfectly here. It sounds incredibly solid and realistic, offers you 3 mix-ready presets, and allows for maximum customization of your sounds. With this drum kit you're all set, no matter for which genre you need it for.
8. Handpan - Ample Cloudrum
The handpan introduces an organic, mystical vibe into any track you use it in.
The free emulation of the handpan sounds great. It gives you great controls over the mic, offers mixing in a synth signal, and allows for ADSR customization. It's a really great little instrument to add to your collection.
9. Bundle - Spitfire LABS (Drums, Strings, Pianos, Guitars & More)
The Spitfire LABS series gives you free access to 50 sampled instruments. They sound really cinematic, but are widely used in all genres, including electronic music. Using them is a really great way of adding organic flavour to any track. The instruments range from rare world instruments up to incredibly rich standard instruments like pianos and strings.
10. Bundle - Komplete Start
No acoustic instrument VST list would be complete without Kontakt by Native Instruments. It's an incredible VST sampler used by countless professionals, probably the go-to instrument for most acoustic sampled instrument libraries.
What's best is that NI offers a free "Komplete Start" bundle, which includes just a ton of useful instruments and samples.
In Komplete Start you'll find rare world instruments, great sounding band instruments, unique keyboards, ambient textures, foley sounds and much more. It's definitely a must have if you're looking for sampled instruments!