Tuesday, September 2, 2014

bigcat Maize VSTis

On Thanksgiving Day I'm 'officially' launching a blog devoted entirely to VST instruments, but you can take a sneak peak if you like. By Thanksgiving day there should be 75 free instruments and 2 orchestral Romplers.

New GM Order list of 75 Instruments

These are free VSTis that will work without needing Kontakt or anything else that costs money (well you'll kinda need a DAW).

For Windows you should just be able to unzip them in your VST directory. You'll have a small dll file in the VST directory and a sub-folder with an mse file.
On a Mac, go to: Macintosh/Library/Audio/Components for the AU file...
For the VST, follow the same path but put the VST file in the VST folder (instead of the Components folder)... Thanks to Andy Kotz.

Greg and I had a conversation about key switching in which I realized I need to explain it. Usually an octave or two below the last note on an instrument are key switches to change articulations. They always start on the C note for the first articulation. however they do not change what it says on the GUI. This is clearly a glitch, but sadly one I can't fix. The keys should switch articulations in the same order that is listed on the drop down menu. So if pizzicato is the third thing on the list then the third keyswitch (D) will give you pizzicato.

No Budget Orchestra
NBO Kake Violin     Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

This Violin is kind of experimental as it has looping samples. I've never tried that before in Maize.
Creative Commons Attribution : Jeff Glatt & Kake 85

City Piano                Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
City Piano Lite         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
The full version is a 500 meg download while the lite version is 200 megs.
The City Piano is a Baldwin. It is fairly heavily sampled (almost every note, 4 velocity layers) and quite a big file. It is decades old and sounds fairly warm to me. I've digitally tuned it so it should mix well.

The Whisper             Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Derived from the City Piano, the Whisper is an intimate experience. Think moonlit nights in Paris Cafes. Or not.

Iowa Piano                Win 64   Win 32      Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Piano Take 2    Win 64   Win 32      Mac VST   Mac AU 
The Iowa Piano is based on the free samples from the University of Iowa. Its a Steinway with almost every note sampled and 3 velocity layers.
To address consistency issues, the samples in Take 2 have been normalized. This does somewhat alter the sound however.

Skerratt London Piano    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
KungKrill sampled his parent's Skerratt London Upright Piano. It is slightly sharp (usually) and sounds like an upright that was in my house when I was growing up.

Karoryfer Cute Emily Guitar   Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Karoryfer Cute Emily Dirty     Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Kaororyfer and Ivy Audio are the best makers of free digital instruments in the world today.

MF Natural Concert Guitar      Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
A pleasant sounding acoustic guitar. 
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
Recordings of the sound library may be used for commercial music productions.
Sampler / Original Author:  Markus Fiedler

Flame Studios has been a go to source for free guitar and bass instruments for years.
FS Blues Steel Guitar         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Released under GNU GPL license which means you can do anything you want with this instrument.

Project16 Fingered Bass    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Project16 Picked Bass        Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Project16 on the KVR forums did an awesome job of sampling his Rickenbacker 4001 bass. Thanks to him for sharing it with us.

Open Source Drums         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
A light drumkit with five velocity layers.
Real Music Media placed these samples in the Public domain. 

Musyng Kite Merlittzer    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Musyng Kite Drums         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sarcyan created the great Musyng Kite Soundfont. It includes about every instrument known to mankind. The magical electric piano is named after legendary mage Merlin and great medical missionary / organist Albert Schweitzer. Who did you think it was named after?

LDK1609 Violin            Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Creative Commons: Credit LDK1609

Sonatina Orchestra is a public domain orchestra assembled by Mattias Westlund, http://sso.mattiaswestlund.net/. While lightly sampled, the samples were well chosen and its likely the best free orchestra around.

Sonatina Violins        Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Violas         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Cellos         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Basses        Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Sonatina Trumpets    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Trombone   Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Horn           Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU 
Sonatina Tuba           Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Sonatina Flute          Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Clarinet     Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Oboe         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Bassoon    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Sonatina Percussion      Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Timpani          Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Xylophone      Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST  Mac AU
Sonatina Glockenspiel   Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Chimes           Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Sonatina Harp               Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Sonatina Choir              Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Iowa Orchestra - From samples by the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios.
This will be an ongoing and fairly slow project to edit samples and create these instruments. They are multi-sampled generally with three velocity layers and almost every note sampled.

Iowa Trumpet                 Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Trumpet Soundcloud Demo
Iowa French Horn          Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Tenor Trombone    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Bass Trombone     Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Tuba                      Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Iowa Alto Flute               Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Flute                       Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Bass Flute              Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Iowa Alto Sax                 Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
Iowa Soprano Sax           Win 64  Win 32      Mac VST   Mac AU

By downloading and using anything on this site you agree to this Limited Warranty & Liability.

bigcat's Amazon ebook page


  1. Congratulations BigCat!

    A big thank you for all this work available free of charge.

    friendly, Project16!

    1. Thanks for your great Bass samples Project16!

  2. Great Job and big thank. Respect for work, which show, that free means good and sometime better, than pay

  3. Arigatou xD I love it I love it~ !!!!

  4. Hello, I have a problem using the Sonatina series. I use Sonar X2. After downloading and unwrapping the Sonatina Maize VSTis, I found them in the vsti-plugins folder. But after I loaded them as synths, they didn't work. Could you please help me checking out what the problem is? I'll post a picture which clearly presents my condition on Google plus. Thanks a lot again.

    1. Sorry they aren't working right for you, I know how frustrating that can be. I have Sonar X3 and gave it a try. They seemed to work OK for me, so I'm not sure what to tell you.
      On VST4Free someone had a problem with one of the pianos in Sonar so its not just you.
      You might want to post to the Cakewalk forum and see if they have any ideas.

  5. Hi,

    How can i use the Sonatina Choir for Pro Tools 10?


  6. Hi Joe! I need Your help figuring out how to use this VST with Logic 9.
    Thanks a lot!

    1. I'm sorry I've never used Logic. In Studio One, I just put the zip file in my VST directory and unzip it. The DAW seems to find the new VST when it boots up.

    2. On a Mac, go to: Macintosh/Library/Audio/Components for the AU file...
      For the VST, follow the same path but put the VST file in the VST folder (instead of the Components folder)...

    3. Joe...

      It worked fine in Logic X (10.1.1). Not thrilled with the sound of the samples but it loaded up just fine. The sample range was best in the upper 2 octaves, then OK in the lowest octave but sounded "tinny" in the middle octaves, just my musical taste/opinion. If there was any distortion (that I could perceive) it would be in the lowest octave but it wasn't obvious.
      BTW: I'm on a Mac (obviously), OSX Yosemite 10.10.4

    4. Hey thanks for the info and the feedback. If you use Kontakt, you might try http://bigcatinstruments.blogspot.com/2015/05/city-piano-tuned.html to compare. It might well be the samples I'm far from an expert. Hopefully as I add in more instruments some will sound a bit better for you.

  7. Thank you for the Sonatina Orchestra very nice job.
    But the Chimes AU is missing.
    You get another copy of the Harp.
    Thank you for correcting that.
    Very appreciated

    1. Thanks for catching that. It should be fixed now.

    2. Thank you for a quick correction.
      Do you think that you could add global tuning to the plug-ins.
      I have been working in 432Hz now for some time and they will only play at 440Hz.
      It would be useful since many people work with different tuning.
      I know it's a lot to ask and probably a lot of work but you can't get anything if you don't care to ask.
      It would also complete the plug-ins in terms of flexibility and useability... Just a suggestion for a future project.

      Thanks for your work and generosity I really appreciate it.

    3. I wish I could. Unfortunately Maize sampler, which I use to make these, isn't as advanced as something like Kontakt which comes with scripts that will let you tune.

  8. Thanks for a really, really great tool set here. Very impressive.
    I do have a question: is there a way to switch between articulations in the instruments that have them? So, for example, Sonatina Double has 'Double Bass Sustain," "Double Bass Staccato," and "Double Bass Pizzicato." My DAW is FL Studio.

    Thanks again! These are really great!

    1. Thanks for your kind words.
      You can click on the name of the articulation and pick a new one.
      You can also key switch them. I made the key switch for the double bass really low, not sure why, at C -1, C# -1, D -1.
      Most instruments key switch starting at C0 or C1.

    2. Hi, Joe:

      Actually I meant to automate selecting articulations. If you're not familiar with FLS, it has a feature that allows the user to automate the control that was last changed in 3rd party VSTs. But that doesn't appear to be working with these instruments. I figured that's because the articulation drop-down isn't really a control, and that's why I inquired. Sorry for not being clearer.

      However, key switching should work, so hooray! I'll let you know if I have any problems.

      Thanks again for a sweet set of instruments. I couldn't be happier.


    3. Hi, Joe:

      I tried getting the key switching to work from FLS, but no luck. Here's what I did:
      Created a sequence that runs from C0 to B10, which is the entire FLS' entire range. This range slightly extends the MIDI note range. I tried with a variety of velocities, as well.
      Sending a C0 to Sonatina should be the same as a MIDI Note number 0 being received by Sonatina, as far as I know.
      Any ideas?

    4. What version of the VSTs are you using? I ask because my buddy who does the GUIs has been doing a sort of Beta version of a new GUI that might be helpful and might tell us if there is a problem with FLS and Maize Sampler.
      I clearly made the key-switches too low, especially for the bass instruments. I was worried that people might hit them by mistake.
      Could you try the Violin? It should key-switch between C1 and about G1.

    5. I made this video using the Violin in Studio One.

    6. Hi, Joe:

      I'm using the 64 bit versions of the VSTs.

      I'm also using a fairly old version of FLS (11.1.1) which, I believe, is not 100% 64-bit. I have used key switching in other VSTs in this version of FLS.

      I tried the violin, with no luck.

      FYI, the bottom-most note on the violin's keyboard corresponds with C-3 in FLS.

      I'm happy to try the 32-bit versions, as well. I'll start with the 32-bit version of the violin.

      The video you sent says it's Private, and Youtube won't let me see it.

      Thanks so much!

    7. Hi, Joe:

      No luck with the 32-bit version of the Violins, either.

      Another FYI: the range of the 32-bit solo violin is C-4 through D-9 in FLS.

      Thanks again!

    8. Try this Cello and see if it works. Note that for some reason the names of the articulations in the GUI don't change when you keyswitch, which frustrating. Hence this new GUI.
      Also I think the video works now.
      Thanks for testing things.

    9. [Edit]: Got your name right.

      Hi, Joe:
      So wait a second... are you saying I'm supposed to listen? With my *ears*? Not my eyes? ;) Yikes! So yeah, I've been looking at the interface and expecting it to update. :/

      I took a look at the video; it was *very* helpful, thanks. So, although I was running through the entire range of notes available to me in FLS, I was expecting to see the selector in the VST to change its state. What's more is that I was expecting the key switches to be way, way down there around MIDI C-0. One look at your video made me realize that I was way off (although, as I said, I did test the entire range).
      So, I tried the key switches at the notes that you were hitting and voilĂ ! it's working!
      FYI - the bottom of the on-screen keyboard in the VSTs (at least the ones I've tested so far today) is C-3 in FLS.
      I also tested the bassoon, which is a little different in that C-3 is in its range, and so the key switches are an octave lower at C-2 in FLS.
      The trumpet and horn also look (er -- *sound*) good now that I've gotten a clue.

      The cello test is also working. Showing the note numbers on the keyboard is helpful. Other instruments I've used color the key switch keys (usually a light blue or brown), so that might be helpful as well, if possible.

      So, tl;dr: use ears and eyes, preferably in that order.

      Ok, so I think I'm up and running. Hooray!

      Thanks again for all your help and a really great set of sounds -- very inspiring!


    10. Glad its working.

      Sadly I've kind of stuck with what Maize lets me do. I really do appreciate the program as it lets people with no technical knowledge (me) create VSTis. But it seems like things like changing the GUI to reflect key-switches and coloring keys etc... are just beyond what I can do with it.

      My buddy who does the GUIs and I just had a couple day long email chat about trying to move the little meters.. sigh and it can't be done.

      Anyway I'll let him know that new GUi with pointers to the key switches is a good idea. It was his idea, I never thought of it.

      Thanks for your patience. I'll a note about key switching to the blog entry.

  9. Thank you for all this hard work. The update works well now.

    1. Thanks for giving them a try again. This new update from Maize seems to have stabilized a lot of the glitches.

  10. Hi Joe, great stuff. The two Emily guitars sound the same..same dll I think.

  11. hello, im tryin to use the sonatina trombone, i ve downloaded both AU and Vst...and i put them both {one in the compononet one in the VST folder}, but nothin, when i open Logic X, i cant find and open the plug in....SUGGESTIONS?

    1. I'm a PC guy so I'm not sure, but I asked this question in the Maizesoft forums.


  12. Hi! My anti-virus is blocking your choir VST and I can't seem to get around it. Help?

    1. Try getting it from VST4Free.

  13. Hi - First, thank you for providing such high quality samples! Unfortunately, Logic Pro crashes upon my selecting the instrument in the channel strip after I've already loaded it. :( This is on VSC02 Violins. Fyi. Thanks, Sol

    1. I'm sorry that is happening to you Sol. I wish I could help you, but I don't have a Mac, so I can't test them, though friends have told me the Mac stuff works for them. You might try SForzando and the sfz versions.

  14. woooooooow!!!!!!
    Gracias Gracias Gracias MIL Gracias!!!

  15. The choir is awesome and I have been using with cubase 8.5 on windows 7 for over 6 months.... Then it randomly stoppwd working last week. I tried downloading again but I can't get it to work... It appears in plugin manager but when I open the instrument it says it can't be loaded...

    1. I'm not sure what could cause it to suddenly stop working. You might try this version from VST4Free and see if it works better.


    2. Ok thanks - this might seem like a daft question (as I can't remember how I installed it previously) but is it a stand alone vst? ie I don't need to download maize for it to work?

    3. It is stand alone. In theory if you unzip the zip file in the right directory it should work fine.

    4. I downloaded the sonatina orchestra module and that is working... Thanks again

    5. Glad its working, sorry you had the issue with it.

  16. I'm a little bit confused (not difficult). I inspired the orchestra into the cubase vst folder (with a sub directory for the sound files). I'm using cubase 5 on a fast I7 based computer.
    I then loaded cubase - and it simply ignored it. Not on the list.
    I then tried putting the files into the 64 bit vst directory - same result. I've made sure that the vst routing is pointed to the correct directory. The .DLL file is there, with all the working plugins - but it gets ignored.
    Any idea what's wrong?
    Really appreciate your work.

  17. think you very much. Verry good job.

  18. Hiya Joe! The Project16 Picked Bass Mac AU link is dead. The other links for that instrument work just fine. Thanks! I hope you're all well and good.


  19. I am very impressed with your post because this post is very beneficial for me and provide a new knowledge to me
    Glitch VST Crack

  20. Very impressive and thanks


  21. I am very impressed with your post because this post is very beneficial for me and provide a new knowledge to me
    Mix Checker VST Crack