Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year

I want to thank Outro Blog for doing a little writeup on bigcat instruments.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. After doing a fair bit of work on the VSCO2 and SSO Orchestral Romplers along with quite a number of band type VSTis last year, I took December off and watched lots of Black Friday Blurays and DVDs. I also splurged and got Bravura Brass, Percussion and Colors on sale which are very nice. Also I picked up the Pro version of VSCO2. I work on the free community version as you know, but messing with the Pro version gave me some ideas. It is really very nice and I suggest it if you are looking at adding an orchestra to upgrade from the Factory Library in Kontakt as it has a nice chamber feel, a lot of articulations and lots of neat rare instruments, especially in the woodwinds.

So I've started experimenting with the VSCO2 using the Modwheel for volume control and cross fading as many folks like that option. I found a great free script that can sound quite good and make the velocity layers merge together smoothly as you go loud to soft. It can cause phasing problems, but the VSCO2 was built by Sam and friends to minimize such problems. So my next few months are going to be about getting nicer versions of the VSCO2 up for both Kontakt and VSTi.

I want to thank everyone for coming by the blog and trying the instruments. I hope you mange to find something useful here and maybe even get some joy out of some of the creations.

I also want to thank all the great freebie instrument developers. This has been a great year for free orchestral instruments. A few years back only the Sonatina was really out there. Now the VSCO2 community is out with something like 3000 samples in SFZ format (and others;). The SFZ No Budget Orchestra is being built and updated with interesting techniques that go beyond traditional sampling. The Virtual Playing Orchestra is a great compilation of the many orchestra samples available into a very playable SFZ orchestra. The Alpine Project has put out a ton of great sounding solo orchestral Kontakt instruments using many of these available samples and Noah has a special touch of magic that he adds to these instruments.

Thanks for reading my New Years ramblings.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sound Modules

Blogger seems to be having some issues, I changed to a simple theme for the moment as that seems to actually work. It might be a fair bit ugly however...

Hey a new Rompler is out this time featuring the VSCO2 Community Orchestra. Check it out on a new blog devoted entirely to VST Instruments.

VSCO2 Community Orchestra Sound Module

Do I ever get tired of messing about with the labor of Mattias Westlund? Apparently not as here is the entire (I'm pretty sure) Sonatina Orchestra in a single 1 gig VST module (650 meg zip). 20 instruments and over 50 articulations. Note that the piccolo is tucked into the flute instrument and a few other instruments are tucked around. This is based on the idea of a free Rompler by the great Sample Science who created the Orion Sound Module. While they may not be Sampletank 3 and Miroslav 2, they cost a lot less. Hopefully there is some fun to be had here.

Thanks to my friend at VST4Free for providing an alternate download site.

Some exciting news, VSTBuzz is hosting the Module and has a great looking page for it.

Just a note, Cantabile Lite seems to work pretty well for just plugging in a keyboard and playing any VST instrument like this one. I'm not affiliated with them, just looking for the easiest way to play digital instruments.



Sonatina Orchestra Module - Windows 64 - Backup Mediafire Link

Sonatina Orchestral Module - Windows 32

Soundcloud Demo


OK thanks to advice by Samulis. Here is an experimental Mac VST. Hopefully I followed his instructions correctly and this works. I don't have a Mac so I can't test it, so please folks with Macs give it a try and let me know. Thanks.



Oops, thanks to Mr36 for finding a messed up articulation. Both the Violin and Cello Sustain problems are now fixed in the current version.

 Creative Commons Attribution: Mattias Westlund

Monday, September 26, 2016

Index

Here are some of the more popular pages on the blog

Big GM Order list of Kontakt instruments

All Keyboard Instruments - Piano, Electric Piano & Organ
Taylor Sampled Synths
Karoryfer Collection
Musyng Kite Collection
MSLP Collection 
Best of bigcat

The Orchestras
Sonatina Orchestra
Iowa Orchestra
VSCO 2 Orchestra
No Budget Orchestra
  
Standalone Maize VSTis for Win 32 & 64 & Mac

Necromare VSTis for Win 32

Blogs and Pages about freebies from around the net
Totally free no Kontakt required instruments
Best of Totally free instruments
Free instruments blog  including Kontakt instruments

Whats new?
I've been slowly making Kontakt versions of the No Budget Orchestra instruments.
Updated the Sonatina Choir VSTi and made an experimental Violin VSTi.
Added parts 3 and 4 to the Bender Roma Equator Taylor Sampled synth.
10 multi-velocity layer presets, drummy, guitary, all kinda stuff...

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you find something useful here.

Trying out this whole Twitter thing...

And Facebook too
www.facebook.com/bigcatinstruments/

Friday, August 26, 2016

No Budget Orchestra

Sometime ago Jeff Glatt started creating the No Budget Orchestra for SFZ.He's also been adding many band instruments and all kinds of cool things. Some folks have asked if this is the same as the Sonatina and it is not the same. These samples are looped for infinite play and some were created using physical modeling software.
Jeff explained over in a post on KVR.
"The solo violin I posted (Kake) is half-modeled. I didn't like the original bow sound. It was too low-pitched and brought out too many dissonant harmonics. Via lots of noise reduction algorithms and filtering/phasing, I removed the original bow sound. Then for each sample, I modeled a new bow sound with higher noise frequencies, and more harmonics related to the fundamental pitch. I also thought the violin itself had too nasal and harsh a tone. So I also modeled a violin with more of the fundamental pitch and even harmonics. By mixing the two modeled samples with the real violin sample, I created an instrument that had the characteristics I liked of the original, but with a deeper, richer, and smoother tone.
In fact, about 1/3 of the musicians in the No Budget Orchestra ensembles aren't real. They're modeled. (The other musicians in an ensemble come from a sophisticated process of "stacking" multiple notes of the one or two solo instruments, giving the illusion of multiple musicians)."

If you click on the strings or brass headings below, you get all the instruments in that section in a single zip file.


No Budget Woodwinds

Solo Flute - Alm    Flute Section    Piccolo    Recorder    Pan Flute

All instruments are Creative Commons Attribution : Jeff Glatt.
Also Solo Violin - LDK: LDK1609@freesound.org
Solo Violin - Kake: Kake 85
Solo Cello - BWV: Bwv66
Double Bass - DS: Drogomir Smolken and Ludwik Zamenhof
Solo Trumpet Mute Samples: Mihai Sorohan
Solo Flute - Alm:  almudenagonzalezflute_8
Pan Flute: Timohanes
Recorder: Samulis
These instruments use the WIPS scripts by the late, great Kontakt scripter Robert D. Villwock

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Drummers Paradise

Nathan Sheeran sampled eight drum kits, 7 acoustic and 1 house, and kindly shared them. These are great for instant gratification as they load up really quickly and sound good. They are about 3 to 5 megs each and so are great for low RAM situations.


Drummer's Paradise for Kontakt 5

For SFZ versions hit the Karoryfer site


Samples by Nathan Sheeran
https://m.facebook.com/FLSTUDIO.IRISH.PRODUCER

This is a free download and royalty-free for use in songs. Please do not sell the samples or instruments or redistribute them without the permission of Nathan Sheeran.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Iowa Orchestra

I've scattered Iowa Orchestra variants all through this blog.  I'm putting them here in one blog post to minimize confusion (mine).

Thanks to the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios, we have the Iowa Orchestra with 15 orchestral instruments including 2 string, 5 brass and 8 woodwind instruments. I've created a WIPs version, an Ensemble version and an Electric version thanks to the generosity of Kontakt scripters..

While the Iowa samples have been criticized, they are the only multi-sampled, multi-velocity layer orchestral instrument samples out there for many instruments. With some editing, first by Blackhole12 and then me and some digital tuning, I think they sound quite reasonable. With a few exceptions they are all the basic sustain articulation.

The main negative at this point is that they are quite short with most samples coming in at about 2 seconds. Having tried my hand at looping samples, I'm both unskilled at the art and far too lazy to loop something like 2500 samples. If anyone would like to loop them please do and let me know.

The first set of instruments contain Big Bob's WIPs scripts allowing for scripted legato and vibrato, fake round robins and playing with wind controllers. The ensemble set of instruments uses Jay Bacal's script to emulate multiple instruments playing at once. The Mickaël Ménager Electric adds electricity, effects and amps to everything. The Basic has no additional scripts.




Public Domain samples by the University of Iowa edited by Blackhole12. Kontakt instruments are placed in the Public Domain except for the Kontakt scripts listed. The Electric Scripts and GUI are by Mickaël Ménager, The Ensemble Scripts are by Jay Bacal and the WIPS Scripts are by Big Bob with all rights are retained by their respective authors. Thanks to Matt McKay for heavily rewriting the bigcat GUI script.

The Iowa samples are Public Domain. Please credit LDK1969 for the Electric Violin.

Rest in Peace Big Bob and thank you.

You can add strings with the Cello and Double Bass here and the Violin here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

VSCO 2 Kontakt

Sam Gossner had a dream. After creating the original VSCO which was nice little orchestra, he wanted to create something bigger and bolder. Collaborating with dozens of friends from both sides of the pond, he created a new chamber orchestra. Two years in the making this version at its largest (and most expensive but still quite reasonable) has 300 instruments.

However he didn't forget you and I, the freebie loving population of the world. He has put almost 2000 samples under a Creative Commons Zero license which is similar to Public Domain. These include 16 string, brass, woodwind and keys instruments along with lots of handy orchestral percussion.This is called the Community Edition and there is a full SFZ version and an EXS24 version in the making on this page along with all the original samples. Thanks to Sam and his friends for this tremendous contribution to the world of free music.

Being an inveterate tinker, I've started trying to do a better Version 2 using fairly gently edited samples (before I just adjusted the starts in Kontakt) and Big Bob's WIPs scripts for legato. The string section is now complete.

I've also included the Original version of the Strings and Percussion. These are the samples as originally presented in the VSCO2 sample pack without editing, normalizing and the like. Eventually I plan on having the original for all the sections.

Here's a Trombone that Sam released in Community Version 1.1.  It has five velocity layers and two round robins for the sustain and three velocity layers and four round robins for the shorts. I've done several versions including a crossfaded version that uses CC1 / modwheel. Note that it requires the latest version of Kontakt.





Composer Steven McDonald made a nice video demonstrating some nice ways to get the VSCO2 sounding pretty solid for a free orchestra.

includes Solo Violin & Bass, Violin, Viola & Cello Sections
String & Woodwind Demo
Soundcloud Demo

VSCO Brass for Kontakt 5
includes Trumpet, Trombone, Tube & French Horn

 includes Solo Flute, Clarinet, Oboe & Bassoon



VSCO 2 Instruments: Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal : Versilian Studios / Sam Gossner
Piano & Organ also : Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal : Simon Dalzell of Ivy Audio

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.