(I posted this on KVR, but I thought I would cross post here, since some of you guys might know the kind of thing I’m interested in.)
I am a keyboardist with experience producing mostly electronic music, and I want to make a purchase to expand my instrument library. I’m looking for decent quality, playable, acoustic instruments, which I haven’t been able to get from freeware. Big emphasis on playability here, because I’ve messed around with a various commercial plugins but couldn’t find anything that meets my needs while being well tuned for keyboard playing. This is my checklist, in order of descending importance:
- Dynamics - Instruments designed to feel natural for keyboard playing
- Variety - Keyboards, Guitars, Drums, some assortment of Ensemble & Solo Instruments
- Quality - Should at least sound as good as cheesy 90s romplers
- Price - Ideally around or below the $1000 range
Right now I am using the GeneralUserGS soundfont by S Christian Collins, which sounds and feels surprisingly good despite how lo-fi it is. I prefer the well crafted sample library approach rather than having 100 gigabytes of round-robin multisampled kontakt libraries. My only complaints are that the instruments can sound a bit dull and static (by nature of it being a 30MB soundfont I suppose.) Other than that I would say it’s a good reference point for what I need; a clean sounding GM library, like what you would find on a Yamaha or Roland workstation.
I’m looking for sounds that will be good for jazz and orchestral music. I’ve included some examples and a piece I wrote with GeneralUserGS that I’d like to improve with more lively drums and fuller sounding instruments. Is there a software solution, or am I better off buying a workstation keyboard? Thanks for your input!