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.


  1. hey bigcat... do u have open source VST plugin ? or do you have some tutorials on how to develop a vsti plugin ...... thanks in regard

    1. Not that its much but I did this long ago about making Kontakt instruments

      Some of us guys hang out at this message board... You might try asking questions there. I'm pretty much retired at this point.

      You could look up Maize VST maker. It's the easiest way to make VSTs.