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VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS
VSTi

Virtual instruments are plugins that reproduce the sound of existing instruments (piano, drums, violin, hardware synthesizers, etc.), or even produce sounds created from scratch (beatbox, soft synths...). Some VSTi are very simple, with few settings and few sounds, others are very complex with dozens of settings, rich sound banks and a lot of disk space needed. The offer is huge, with either free or retail VSTi. You can find almost anything, from classical instruments to the most exotic ones. New instruments are released all the time, and there are so many of them that it's hard to choose. Most DAWs come with at least some virtual instruments. It's certainly the most complete instrumental world, as the only limit to creating new sounds is your imagination.

As it's absolutely impossible to make a list of all existing virtual synths, I will give you a link to an excellent site where lots of free VSTi are presented, with download links, descriptions and also some sound samples: Burnie's site.

Synthetizers - Soundfonts - Drums

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SYNTHESIZERS

I regularly use the synths provided with my DAW Sonar, like Dimension Pro, Rapture, and also other free or retail VSTi, like Miroslav Philharmonik for orchestrail instruments, or Z3TA+2 for modern sounds.

Dimension Pro

Rapture

Miroslav Philharmonik

Z3TA+2

I also like these two free synths, Microtrance and Kairatune:

Microtrance
Download Microtrance (microtrance.zip - 838 KB)

Kairatune
Kairatune's website

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SOUNDFONTS

Soundfont is a method created by the company E-mu, which allows to stock WAV samples in a file, and organize them in the form of MIDI instruments, in order to use them with a VSTi.

I remember that, originally, you had to own a Creative Labs soundcard to use Soundfonts. Nowadays, these sound cards are pretty rare, but plugins allow you to use Soundfont-compatible sound banks with any DAW. There are many Soundfont sound banks, in the SF2 format, and their sound quality varies from mediocre to excellent. It all depends on how they were created. You can find some on this page, as well as links to other sites who offer Soundfonts.

You can find all sorts of instruments, like bass sounds, guitars, pianos, saxophones, accordions, drums, bells, xylophones, violins, vocals, flutes, etc.

Phenome is a free VSTi in which you can load and use Soundfonts.
As the official website seems to be gone, here is the file to download: Phenome ("VSTi - Phenome (soundfonts).zip" file - 3.69 MB). PC only.
Phenome
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DRUMS

You can find MIDI sound banks, audio drums loops of varying quality, or software that generate electronic drum sounds, but for Rock music, you need good acoustic drums sounds. There are excellent VST plugins, but quality comes to a price.

FXpansion BFD 3

(official website)

I use BFD3, which offers sounds of excellent quality, as well as numerous options to actually forge the drum sound you like. The interface is clear and complete. A very good choice.

BFD 3 is indeed excellent, but it requires a rather powerful computer with a lot of RAM memory, because it's very demanding. it's also not easy to master, and if you don't intend to take some time to learn how to use it, the result may not be up to your expectancies. It doesn't sound great right away, you need to edit the settings but on the other hand, you have control over every parameter and the result can be impressive and sound just like real drums.

FXpansion BFD 3
FXpansion BFD 3

Toontrack

Superior Drummer and EZ Drummer

(official website)
Toontrack EZdrummer
They both come from the old Drumkit From Hell sound bank. Superior Drummer is very complete, and EZ Drummer is less expensive and easier to user, yet not as customizable.

XNL Audio Addictive Drums

(official website)
XNL Audio Addictive Drums
Simpler and more immediately satisfying than BFD or Superior Drummer, Addictive Drums offers settings and presets that will easily match your mix without tweaking. Control over the sound is not very extensive, though. This software is now included in Sonar X3 Producer.


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MESSAGES

(Leave a message)

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Labrava
10/29/2021, 13h49

Hi Grebz,
I don't know if you read these... but I was wondering if your Lepou plugins are x32 or x64? Thanks for all the great stuff on here!

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Hello, thanks for visiting my website. I think they're x64.
Grebz



Jammin n' Rollin
10/27/2021, 08h28

Hi Grebz, New to your page and found it by error and a great error it was! I am new to all this home recording and I never thought it was going to be this overwhelming... Lots of good info here, so thank you!!




09/21/2021, 19h19

Juste pour te remercier, ton site est super : Une mine d'infos, et un des rares endroits (le seul ?) où on peut encore trouver certains vieux plugins :))



bourguiba24
05/17/2021, 19h18

Bonjour,
je voudrais utiliser uniquement ma voix et tout les bruits envisageables afin de générer ce que j'appellerais "la pulsation" de ma composition.

Existe t'il des logiciels (et peut être tous en sont capable) qui aprés enregistrement d'un son se cale sur le dit son pour enregistrer le motif.
Ma formation d'origine c'est la batterie et donc j'aimerais pouvoir improviser vocalement (ou en tapant du pied aussi par exemple) des motifs et qu'ils soient ainsi reconnus par le logiciel avec un microphone.
j'espére que ma question est compréhensible !
Vous avez compris que je suis assez ignare en MAO ... juste chez moi un petit séquenceur autonome pour m'accompagner à la guitare !
Merci par avance



Gib
04/28/2021, 20h35

Any way to make one of these be a perfect fit for a Chuck Shuldiner tone??

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Honestly, I have no idea. It's the first time I even hear about Chuck Shuldiner. But here's a webpage referencing his gear:
Chuck Shuldiner's gear
You could try the free amp Emissary, maybe?
Grebz

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