Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sketching Chamber Orchestra

Sketching Chamber Orchestra for Kontakt 5.6.8 or later

The Sketching Chamber Orchestra features two dozen instruments from the VSCO2 Community Edition in only 1.25 gigs using Kontakt's lossless compression.

The instruments feature Convolution Reverb with 25 presets and 3 twiddly knobs, Full Envelope Control, 3 Band Equalization, Scripted Legato for Strings, Brass & Woodwinds, Faux Round Robins for sustains, optional loud and soft articulations for many sustains, 2 Round Robins for most shorts, cool scripting to show which articulation is in use (that took some work!) along with scripted Modwheel Crossfading and Ensemble patches for many instruments. There are also experimental patches for chords and programmable arpeggios.

Samples created by Versilian Studios Samuel A. Gossner along with Simon Dalzell & Samuel H├ębert. Please consider purchasing the Professional Edition. I did and then I bought it.
Please follow the link above for a complete list of musicians and technicians.

Scripting by Matt McKay, Joe Stevens and friends. Special thanks to Evil Dragon.
WIPS scripting was created by Robert D. Villwock.
Modwheel scripting was created by Nils Liberg.
Ensemble scripting was created by Jay Bacal.
WIPS, Modwheel & Ensemble scripting were developed for use by the modding community and made available for non-commercial projects like this one. All rights are reserved to the scripters. 

Samples are Creative Commons 0 / Public Domain: Versilian Studios & Samuel A. Gossner
Instruments are Public Domain: Me

The Sketching Chamber Orchestra is respectful dedicated to Sam Gossner and as a memorial to the late Robert D. Villwock.

I have no affiliation or endorsement with anyone mentioned and any mistakes are my own.
By downloading you accept the Limited Warranty & Liability.

List of Stuff in the SCO

Strings - All instruments have scripted legato except the Harp (that sounded weird)

Full String Section - Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Solo Violin - Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Violin Section - Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Viola Section - Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Cello Section - Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Solo Contrabass - Sustain, Sustain Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato & Pizzicato
Harp - Plucked

Brass - All instruments have scripted legato
First Chairs - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato
Solo Trumpet - Sustain, Staccato, Vibrato & Straight and Harmonic Mutes
Solo French Horn - Sustain, Staccato & Mute
Solo Trombone - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato
Solo Old Trombone - Sustain, Staccato, Vibrato, Falls & Buzz
Solo Tuba - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato

Woodwinds - All instruments have scripted legato
Solo Lite Piccolo - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato
Solo Flute - Sustain, Staccato, Vibrato & Expressive Vibrato
Solo Oboe - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato
Solo Clarinet - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato
Solo Bassoon - Sustain, Staccato & Vibrato

Orchestral Percussion
Timpani - Single Hits and Rolls

2 Pianos
Organ with pedals both Loud and Soft settings

An Orchestra - Experimental Chord and Arpeggio instruments
These instruments use standard reverb and not convolution.
There are programmable Arps and a dozen types of chords depending on the instrument.

Strings, Brass & Woodwinds Chords and Arps multi
Strings, Brass & Woodwinds4 Arps multi
Strings Chords & Arps
Strings Chord Progressions
Strings 4 Arps
Brass Chords & Arps
Brass 4 Arps
Woodwinds Chords & Arps
Woodwinds 4 Arps
Woodwinds Arps and Melody

Bonus Instruments (must be downloaded  separately)

This is a lovely harp from Sam and EtherealWinds. Note the license.

Etherealwinds Harp CE for Kontakt 5.6.8

Harp SFZ, VSTi, etc... page

EWHarp: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license: Versilian Studios

The Conductor for Kontakt 5.6.8
The Conducator has baton swishes, cloth crinkling and ripping, flies buzzing, mumbled naughty words and audiences grumbling and even a gunshot for that authentic concert sound.
Created using Public Domain samples from Thank you Free Sounders!
The Conductor is Public Domain

Monday, October 16, 2017

On a break

Starting soon old bigcat instruments aka me is taking a break from instruments, the internet and life for a while. I hope to be back sometime Summer of 2018 or so. Thanks to everybody who has sample instruments and put them under a CC / PD license. Thanks to all the freebie instrument makers. It is a great time to love making music and to be broke. I think there are more and better free instruments now then there have ever been. A number of folks are making great free SFZ instruments.

Keep an eye out for Sample Science as he is going to be coming out with a new Player which should be awesome. It may well be the best free VSTi ever. Though tossing him a couple buck to say thanks and cover bandwidth is always nice.

Thanks to my buddy Sam for creating the VSCO2 chamber orchestra. He is a great guy and has a great crew. Simon does awesome stuff with the GUIs. Check out the Pro version of the orchestra.

I'm sorry some jerkish company that makes an android video app of some kind slapped a takedown notice on the VSCO2 orchestra. How they thought files that said orchestra and flute and other instruments in the file name itself would be a copy of their stuff is beyond me. Apparently you can just use the DMCA to take down anything you want off the internet is you have lawyers.

I'm sorry to those of you who have trouble getting the Maize VSTis to work. They seem to work fine for me in Studio One and friends have tested them in other DAWs for me. If a DAW uses standard  I would just download one and try it by unzipping it in your VST folder. If the DAW can find and use it you are set. If not I would try to find SFZ versions. Reaper has problems with the full orchestras but can use the individual instruments.

Anyway good luck with your music and thanks for dropping by and check out the instruments. I hope you find something useful hear.

Monday, June 26, 2017

An Orchestra - VSCO2

Latest and last (really probably) version on this page!
Live as free as you can.

These are all for Kontakt and require a pretty recent version. Since a company issued an invalid take down order there have been issues with downloads. I just put up a complete 1.7 gig version using the generic name Chamber Orchestra which hopefully can be downloaded. It is the first link.

VSCO 2 Community Homepage for Samples, SFZ, Demos and more.

Etherealwinds Harp CE for Kontakt 
Harp SFZ, VSTi, etc... page
EWHarp: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license: Versilian Studios

String & Woodwind Demo
Soundcloud Demo
Demo of the Harp by WhiteNoiz
Percussion Demo 
Soundcloud Demo kindly created for me by Sam from the VST version.
Res Evil 3, Res Evil Main Hall Demos by WhiteNoiz 
The String Pack includes 857 samples in the forms of a complete String Section, Solo Violin, Violin Section, Viola Section, Cello Section, Solo Contrabass and Harp. There are 23 nki patches. The basic nki for each instrument or section uses R.D.Villwock aka Big Bob's WIPs scripts for fake round robin on the longs and legato. The Modwheel nki does modwheel crossfading thanks to Nils Liberg's script. The Ensemble nki lets you crank up to 7 time more instruments, though it is set at 3 and too many might sound a bit odd. Jay Bacal wrote the Ensemble script.

As a rule of thumb the instruments have two velocity layers and are sampled about every third note. The shorts usually have two round robins. The articulations include Arco Vibrato, Tremolo, Spiccato, Pizzicato and single layer Arco Vibrato Loud and Soft.

The Brass Pack has 774 samples across 5 instruments. This includes a Trumpet with some nice mutes, a somewhat lightly sampled French Horn, a Trombone, a more heavily sampled Old Trombone with a unique sound and a Tuba. These are all solo instruments, though the Ensemble script can give the illusion of a section. The WIPs scripts for fake round robins and legato are used for the main patches along with a modwheel crossfade and ensemble script for each instrument. There is are some 'First Chairs' nkis that have the solo instruments, except the Old Trombone, playing together and two brass chord and arpeggio nkis.

What makes this release unique compared to the first Kontakt version are the modwheel xfades, the ensembles and the arp and chord scripts.

This uses Sam Gossner's great VSCO2 samples, my script from Matt McKay and a bit of advice from Evil Dragon. Note the name VSCO 2 is used to give attribution to the sampling project from which these samples were taken. It doesn't imply any form of endorsement.

VSCO2 Samples are Creative Commons 0 : Sam Gossner. This means you don't have to thank him but he is a great guy so you might anyway. Also he sells a Pro Version that I bought (and I'm notoriously cheap) that has lots more notes, velocity layers, mics and stuff then are here including 90+ instruments with lots of solo orchestral instruments and awesome weird instruments like ancient flutes and an ophicleide which is legal in all 50 states.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

NSI Instruments

Magenta is a Google Brain project that has created something called NSynth which seems to be extracting the audio DNA from samples and then mixing it all together in a user controllable synth. While I can't give you the synth (it is highly confusing) which will hopefully someday come out as a VST, I can apparently use the NSynth Dataset to create more traditional though possibly funky sounding instruments.

Acoustic Strings            Volume 1

20 string 'instruments', 4,000 samples, uses Big Bob's WIPS script for fake round robins and on sustains, legato.

Acoustic Keyboards        Volume 1
Soundcloud Demo

Acoustic Brass                Volume 1

License: The dataset is made available by Google Inc. under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Paper: Jesse Engel, Cinjon Resnick, Adam Roberts, Sander Dieleman, Douglas Eck, Karen Simonyan, and Mohammad Norouzi. "Neural Audio Synthesis of Musical Notes with WaveNet Autoencoders." 2017.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mihai Sorohan Choir

Vowel Ensemble Choir for SFZ

The internet has allowed for collaborations across time and distance. 

Seven years ago this thread appeared on KVRMihai Sorohan and his friends and family had created an ensemble vowel choir. I'd happily downloaded it much later and made myself my own little Kontakt version because that's what I do. Over at Scoring Central (run by the guy who created the Sonatina Orchestra) where I hang out with friends and musically gifted AIs, someone asked about free choirs and mentioned this free ensemble. Somewhere someone mentioned that it was nice but it would be nice if it sounded fuller this reminded me of the Kontakt script J's Ensemble Maker created by Jay Bacal over a decade ago. This script can multiply solo instruments by up to seven through Digital Wizardy understood by about a dozen Kontakt scripting pros in the world. So after finding a public domain piece of clipart and using the freeware GIMP graphic editor to fake a woodburned GUI look, out came the Kontakt instrument.

But folks on VSR and SC wanted an SFZ version and I don't know how to do that. Fortunately Sam Gossner the headman at Versilian Studios (the guys behind the VSCO2 Orchestra) has created and given away a free folder-to-SFZ converter and made a nice video on how to use it. So after a bit of confusion and renaming 110 files I was ready to send out the SFZ version. I just wished I knew how to make a ketswitched patch for it, but hey you can't have everything right? Then into my inbox comes a full keyswitched version from Pytchblend from KVR. And that is how using freeware, samples and help from friends a free choir is put up on a blog.

From Mihai's blog...

"The choir patch was developed by Mihai Sorohan together with Richard Osborn for Mu.Lab Multisampla and Selcuk Bor (from Symphony of Specters) for Kontakt.

Choir: Citrina - soprano & alto, Jelena - alto,Roman & Dimitri (Timohi) - tenor, Jonny Zed - tenor, Mihai - tenor & baritone"

Also from Mihai's blog are the conditions for use...

"By downloading the provided files you accept the following terms:
  • You get a personal non-exclusive non-transferable right to use the sample content as an integral part of your musical composition, in combination with other sounds, for both personal and commercial purpose. You may not use it for commercial sample libraries (put it on a CD and sell it, sell it online, etc) 
  • You may use the sample content as an integral part of your musical composition, in combination with other sounds, for both personal and commercial purpose. 
  • I don't accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liability, injury or upset caused to or suffered by you as a result of misusing this material. "

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Legato Vibrato Piano

The gang over at Vi-Control have a bizarre thread about a legato piano that started on or around April Fool's Day, VI crashed recently so its tough to say. Being a bit crazy I decided to see what would happen if I used Big Bob's WIPS scripts to create a legato piano with vibrato. It sounds pretty weird.

Instrument and Samples: Public Domain.
WIPS scripts: Copyright Robert D. Villwock 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Here is a collection of 5 toy piano type instruments.

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Creative Commons Attribution: BeskhuCorsica_S, Poissonmort
Creative Commons Sampling Plus: Tombola
Public Domain: Taylor Sampled

This chap named pjcohen has put up some really nice drum, cowbell, harpsichord and standup acoustic bass samples. Bass is up first. To quote the gentleman.
"This standup bass was sampled using a direct pickup as well as stereo overhead mics for some room ambience. Articulations include a normal pizzicato, or finger plucked note; a stopped note as performed with the finger; a stopped note performed Bartok style; and some miscellaneous sound effects: a slide by the hand down the strings, a slap on the strings, and a knock on the wooden body of the bass. Do enjoy; feedback is welcome!"

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are placed in the Public Domain.

Sauron974 placed five Shofar samples in the public domain, "An 18" ram's horn shofar being sounded from a few feet away."

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are placed in the Public Domain.

I asked over on the Cakewalk forums for any ideas for instruments. Fleer suggested a deeply sampled pan flute which I have utterly failed to deliver, but in searching I found this really cool instrument. Made by Mr. Shoes as he explains, "I used a 3/4 in. diameter PVC tube stopped at one end and water to create all of the notes. the notes have even temperament. they may be slightly off in terms of tuning at the top end, but overall, I'd say not too much." There are 20 samples and I stretched the ends a bit so you have over 2 octaves of PVC pipe and water goodness.

Note this requires Kontakt 5.6.6 or later.
Instrument and Samples are Creative Commons Attribution: Mr. Shoes.