Haave you ever been in need of that heroic horn sound, or that uplifting trumpet section in one of your tracks? And have you needed it while being poor? Lucky you (well, not for the poor part) there are some solution to still have that brass section in your track for free!
Same as for our article on free strings, we are going to divide the instruments on our list into two categories: one is the category of absolutely free instruments, the other is for instruments that are free if you already own Native Instrument’s Kontakt.
Already cited in our previous article, here are all the esemble patches as last time:
Virtual Playing Orchestra has a brass section too. Copy-pasting from the said article, VPO is a free collection of orchestral instruments made putting together all the best free orchestral samples. The library is in .sfz format, so it runs on Sforzando (also free) and offers all sort of articulations and dynamics controls (not on all the patches, but on all those for which matter).
VSCO 2 Community Edition (CE) is an open-source, open-ended subset of the main VSCO 2 library. These samples have been widely used and you can find them in multiple formats, such as VSTi/AUi, NKI, sfz, RMI and more.
I know it’s not much, but if you have Kontakt, you can up your game a little bit.
Again, let’s get the two full orchestras of last time first:
Sketching Chamber Orchestra is a collection of Kontakt instruments built by some big names in the Kontakt Scripting community using the samples from VSCO2. If you own Kontakt and nothing else, this will get you started, and bring you very far.
Last on this list, Palette – Primary Colors is the free version of the bigger Palette Orchestral Series. It features strings, woodwinds, and brass ensembles with a limited set of articulations, 3 dynamic layers and up to 7 round robins for a total of 1.3GB of samples. Even though this does not offer individual sections, this is a gorgeous tool, and a free one.
This one is a decent alternative to VPO, has received a nice rework lately and features the instruments both in “normal” and muted versions. Especially useful if you plan to layer many different samples to get a bigger sound.
Get ready, this one is a treat. Van Houzen Trumpet is a delicious solo trumpet with plenty of character. Scripted vibrato, legato and articulations will allow it to sit naturally in many contexts and get a lot of fun out of it!
Last – but definitely not least – for today is Angry Brass by Performance Samples. Do you know complicated GUIs, knobs, buttons and switches? Forget all that, because the interface you will be presented with is the most simple and straight-forward you can think of, and an engine behind the scenes will take care of performance for you.
Brass are especially tough to sample and program, so it’s not surprising to see few freebies in this area. Nonetheless, I can personally vouch the instruments in this list are will serve you well if you know how to take the best out of them.
Nothing more to say at this point, see you soon with another freebie list!