Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sonatina for Grace

One Small Clue has released Grace : Sampler for free. There are both 32 and 64 bit versions for Windows. One of its features is that it can easily import and convert SFZ format instruments.

I've converted the great Sonatina Orchestra from Mattias Westlund to Grace format. 

Licensing: SSO is a free library released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license.

As a bonus from the University of Iowa, a Steinway. I went with a lighter version as it seems to take up a lot of memory.

Monday, September 7, 2015

All Keyboard Instruments

Rounding up all the Pianos, Electric Pianos and Organs in one post. A work in progress. 

The Grand Pianos 

The City Piano is a fully sampled Baldwin Baby Grand with 4 velocity layers and release samples. It is free and public domain. Do anything you like with it.

Original Versions
Kontakt 5
SFZ  -  by Music Mayor
Sampletank 2.5 - by Vic France. The ikmp file goes in presets. Use Child Instrument.
VSTi City Piano                Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
VSTi City Piano Lite         Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
The Samples - Wave files of every note

Improved Versions - All Kontakt 5
Vospi's Version  -  cleaner and crisper
City Piano - Tuned -  digitally tuned
Ultimate City Piano - 30 patches

Derivative Versions

The Whisper is an intimate experience. Think moonlit nights in Paris Cafes.

The Whisper      - Kontakt 5
Vospi's Whisper - Kontakt 5
Whisper VSTi      Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU

Shoot The Piano simulates the tinny sound of the classic barroom piano.

The Iowa Piano is a solid Steinway Model B in under 200 megs.

Iowa Piano - Kontakt 5
Iowa Piano Take 2 - Kontakt 5, a bit more consistent sound, newer shell.
Iowa Piano - SFZ created by Music Mayor.
Iowa Piano VSTi         Win 64   Win 32      Mac VST   Mac AU
Public Domain created from University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples.

The Salamander Piano is a smooth sounding Yamaha C5.

Thorsten Meyer was kind enough to make a video of the Salamander Piano.

The Salamander Piano - Kontakt 5
Salamander Piano - SFZ hosted on Freepats.
Creative Commons Attribution License - Please Credit Alexander HolmFeel

The Summer Piano is Yamaha Disklavier Pro with real sustain samples.
Summer Piano Sound Cloud Demo

Summer Piano - Kontakt 5
Attribution Creative Commons - Please credit The OLPC Project

The Maestro Concert Grand is a classic Yamaha CF3.
Please credit Mats Helgesson who sampled this piano in 2003.

The Musyng Kite Acoustic Grand is a Fazioli

Creative Commons Attribution License - Please Credit Sarcyan

The Sonatina Grand Piano
Sonatina Grand Piano - Kontakt 5

Upright and Other Pianos

Skerratt London Upright Piano

Skerratt London Upright Piano - Kontakt 5
Skerratt London VSTi    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
KungKrill sampled his parent's piano and placed them in Public Domain.

The Beskhu Upright is both played and plucked.
Beskhu 's samples fall under the Creative Commons License. You can do anything you like with them, but please give him credit.

MSLP Soft and Toy Pianos
MSLP Piano Grand Soft - Kontakt 5
MSLP Toy Baby Piano - Kontakt 5
Creative Commons. Please credit Erick Kvist

Uncle Dave's Piano is an upright with a crunchy feel.
Uncle Dave's Piano - Kontakt 5
Samples by Goup_1. Creative Commons, please credit Goup_1.

Poissonmort Toy Piano
Poissonmort Toy Piano - Kontakt 5
Fun little instrument based on Creative Commons samples by Poissonmort. Please credit him. 

A Prepared Piano
Kurt James Werner sampled a prepared piano on the CCRMA stage at Stanford. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The piano may be used for commercial use as long as credit is given.

The Not Quite Right Piano is good for silent film accompaniment if those films involve pratfalls and pie in the face. Public Domain.
Not Quite Right Piano - Kontakt 5

Jobro Quick Piano for Kontakt
Jobro at sampled a good chuck of a piano using the hit it hard and release quick method of playing. It's missing the top two octaves, but you get about 6 octaves in staccato style in under 3 megs.
Creative Commons: Credit Jobro

Grandmither's Piano for Kontakt
Techsetsu sampled Grandmother's piano with some interesting results saying, "I didn't cut my nails the day I recorded these at my grandmother's house, so you can hear my nails scratch against it in most if not all notes. It is out of tune, which adds a haunted, dead feel to it."
Creative Commons: Credit Techsetsu

Electric Pianos

Thanks to the sampling of Greg Sullivan we have a number of great sounding electric pianos. Please credit Greg. A number have Script and Shell by Mickaël Ménager.

The Y Piano - Kontakt 5
The Y Piano is a personal favorite. Greg Sullivan sampled roughly every 4 notes and 4 velocity layers on this piano.

The H Planet S Piano - Kontakt 5
The H Planet S Piano has a unique sound thanks to its Sticky Reeds.

The W Piano - Kontakt 5
The W Piano is one of the legendary instruments in modern music history.

Bonus from  Sarcyan's Musyng Kite soundfont.
The Street Bumper Piano - Kontakt 5
Musyng Kite Merlittzer    Win 64   Win 32     Mac VST   Mac AU
(K5 and VST are the same instrument, different names, long story!)
Please credit Sarcyan.
The Street Bumper Electric Piano from Script and Shell by Mickaël Ménager.


Burea Funeral Organ

Burea Funeral Organ - Kontakt 5
Note that when you start the organ there will be NO sound. You need to push the stops to choose sounds. The two bottom stops are for the green keys, these simulate the pedals. The stops on the left side are for the light blue keys and the stops on the right for the dark blue keys. You can use more than on stop at a time to create a layered sound.
Samples by Lars Palo of Lars Virtual Pipe Organs under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.

St. Augustine's Organ

Nick Appleton sampled the organ of St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Neutral Bay. I've turned it into an instrument for Kontakt 5.
The license is St. Augustine's Neutral Bay, Hauptwerk Sample Set, (c) 2009 - Nicholas Appleton,
You can download the full license (also included in the instrument) here but the important bits are the organ can be used to perform works commercially and I can create Derivative Works and redistribute them non commercially.

Bureau Church Organ
Soundcloud Demo - Adeste Fidelis

Bureu Organ - Kontakt 5
There are two buttons / lights under the organ stops. The left one turns that stop on while the right one unloads that stop from memory, so if you are running low on memory you can easily unload samples you aren't using.
Scripting Adviser was Matt McKay.
This sampleset is created by Lars Palo and Graham Goode. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5. Please credit Lars Palo.

Goldenhelix was kind enough to fix some looping issues on some of the stops. You can drop his new nki file into your base directory for the organ for the fix.
Updated Bureu Organ nki

Prudhoe Organ
Here's a little organ for you from the Prudhoe Methodist Church sampled by Mark Beverley. He says the samples are free. Thank you Mark.
Soundcloud Demo
Prudhoe Organ - Kontakt 5
The Pedal is Bourdon 16' and is always on from C-1 to a bit past C1.
The Great Stops are too the left and the Swell Pipes are too the right. You have to turn at least one stop on to get any sound from C2 and up.

bigcat's Amazon ebook page

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Beskhu Collection

The fun thing about cruising is that you often find things completely unexpectedly. I was looking for a lute, which so far has been futile, when I came across the samples of Beskhu. As you've noticed I like pianos and Beskhu has sampled a nice parlor type piano that sound something like the one in my house when I was a kid. Plus he sampled the piano plucked by fingers and all kinds of other fun things. I've started with Kontakting the piano samples and will add others as I figure out what to do with them.

The Upright Piano has every note sampled across the 88 key range with one velocity layer. The Plucked Piano has the bass and midrange but is missing the highest octaves, though I did stretch the top note a bit. For the Schroeder in you, the toy piano is a cute little thing and the black keys aren't just painted on. Linus would love the toy xylophone. Largely because it would drive Lucy bonkers.

What a name! Anyone have any knowledge of this instrument? I've read variously that it is simply another name for the Bassoon or that it is the predecessor to the Bassoon or that is is related to the Dulcian. Or all of the above.

I think this is an African finger piano? The sound is sort of a small hammer tapping tuned wires. It is a fun little instrument at all of 2 megs. I tried to make percussive and sweet articulations along with the normal one.

Pleasant Wind Chimes spread across two octaves.

Sampling a Jew's Harp is moderately insane. Turning Jew's Harp samples into a Kontakt instrument drops the moderately.

Sound effects of a creaking cupboard. They are not in a melodic type order on the keyboard.

Beskhu 's samples fall under the Creative Commons License. you can do anything you like with them, but please give him credit.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Predecessor Instruments

A thread over on KVR about baroque instruments got me thinking about all the instruments that have gone before our modern orchestral and band instruments. So being me I thought I would try to make a post with some little instruments and links to a simpler day when more people ate mud and played harpsichords. Here are a few Kontakt instruments. If I can find any other samples I'll try to make more.

This Carillon was sampled many years ago. The original site is now defunct, but Soni Musicae saved the original samples, along with making an instrument. So thanks to them we have this nice Carillon.

I found some neat samples on These are very lightly sampled as these were generally folks just providing a couple samples for fun.

This Oud has 17 samples, one for almost every note. It is apparently the ancestor of the English Lute. Fantom57 seems to have done a lot of work to get these sounding really good. Please credit him if you use this.

Just a little fun instrument with all of four samples, but a cool tone. Please credit Juskiddink if you use it on your million selling album. Check Sasje's Crumbhorn for a more fully sampled instrument.

Be a medieval bell ringer with these cool samples from Wuola. Please credit him.

For the admittedly too busy background, I used an illuminated manuscript from The British Library.

The brilliant gentlewoman Sasje has several instruments in this vein. The Viola Da Gamba seems incredibly hard to find even from commercial sources.

Also old bigcat has a few pipe organs which are kind of the predecessor to lots of modern keyboard instruments. Bureu Organ, Saint Augustine's Organ and Burea Funeral Organ.

Soni Musicae is a great site. They have two free harpsichords and other cool stuff, including a brilliant piano in Giga that you can convert to Kontakt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


This instrument is from Brandon Clark. Let's let him describe it.
"Apparitions is my first excursion into the world of instrument development in Kontakt 5 using Joe Steven's generously made "B Pad." The sounds are dark and slightly cinematic in nature. Made from scratch, and free to use."

This instrument is Public Domain and free for any use.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

B Pad

A long time ago I made a little Kontakt instrument called A Pad.  Its been improved a bit and called "B Pad". So clever I know. A number of my friends have helped me create it and then Matt McKay updated and overhauled everything. Thanks guys.

It still works the same way. Name any wave file "A Pad.wav" and drop it into the B Pad Samples directory replacing the public domain demo sound from OLPC. Kick up the B Pad Kontakt instrument and there is your new pad with fiddley EQ, Reverb and Envelope Knobs on. Any sound becomes an instrument (of sorts).
You can also change the picture with another one roughly 640 * 250 in png format. Just click the wrench on the upper left, go to "Instrument Options", "Instrument" and then "Browse" for your Instrument Wallpaper. Feel free to free name it anything you like. It's totally public domain and you don't need to credit anyone.

If you want to mess about with the magnificent WIPs scripts from Robert D. Villwock, aka Big Bob. I've made a second B Pad that includes the WIPs scripts and resources and such. Big Bob is the creator of these excellent scripts and they are in no way modified, just included in the instrument.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Open Source Drumkit

Over at KVR, they have a thread.  It is about this Open Source Drumkit.

The readme says
"THE OPEN SOURCE DRUM KIT by Real Music Media -
Mapped by BaardW (Tjuvdalen, Norway) v 1.0 feb 2010 -
Partially based on the mappings by SWTrex and herodotus
The samples and the mappings are completely in the public domain."

So I tried making a Kontakt 5 instrument out of it. Its pretty lightweight at about 120 megs. See what you think. OK cranked up the crash and ride. Take 2.

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sin Night Analog Synth

Sin Night posted samples from his analog monosynth on KVR.  He kindly gave me permission to create Kontakt instruments using his samples. Here is the first one.  Script and Shell by Mickaël Ménager.

There are lots of squares and saws in the 12 presets. They are arranged with 3 squares first, then 3 saws, square + saw, saw + square, double squares and finally double saws. The are over 500 samples with every note sampled in one velocity layer.

You are allowed to use them in your music without restriction, but don't share the individual samples or make instruments out of them without permission from Sin Night.
Here is the original readme file text .

"These samples are free.
You can use them royalty-free for music production (including commercial music).
You’re not allowed to share these samples without prior written consent (so no derivative product, like sample libraries, without prior consent).
Sinusoidal Nightmare (aka sin night)"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

272 Merry Orks

The endlessly amazing DSmolken has been very busy creating some cool and distinctive instruments. Check out his site. Recently he posted fun stuff on KVR.

Being me, I had to try Kontakting some of the samples of the nice lady. This is very experimental and a first attempt.

Here are the keyswitches. Each sound is mapped across 4 octaves.
B - C1, C - C#1, Ch - D1, D - D#1, F - E1, G - F1, H - F#1, J - G1, L - G#1, M - A1, N - A#1, Ng - B1, P - C2, R - C#2, S - D2, Sh - D#2, T - E2, Th - F2, V - F#2, W - G2, Y - G#2, Z - A2

A - C3, a - C#3, ah - D3, ea - D#3, E - E3, ee - F3, e - F#3, i - G3, O - G#3, o - A3, oo - A#3, ou - B3, ow - C4, oy - C#4, OO - D4, u - D#4, y - E4

This library is a free download, open source and royalty-free for all commercial and non-commercial use. Creative Commons. Please credit DSmolkin.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


As an old radio guy who loves old time radio, sound effects have always had a special place in my heart. I've done a few sound effects instruments in the past and Sarcyan's Musyng Kite soundfont collection has many more. However I have an itch to make a collection all in one place. I've collected the old sound effects and given some of them a facelift and started adding a few new ones. These are all for Kontakt 5.

Creative Commons Attribution to Luftrum


Kontakt instrument based on The Free Firearm Sound Library, CC0 or Public Domain

Helicopter. It has sounds like leaving, approaching, hovering and blowing up.
From Sound Bible. By Mike Koenig and Chester Barrett. CC Attribution 3.0

Jawharp Boing straight from cartoons. From Plingativator. Public Domain.

Basketball Bouncing. By Shakaharu. Public Domain.

Goose Sounds. From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Domain.

A old sound effect instrument called The Doors.

Bell Can Bucket A tiny percussive instrument featuring the sounds of bell, can and bucket. Its Creative Commons Attribution, please credit OLPC.

You can find all the Sound Effects at the bottom of this GM Instrument List.

Monday, February 23, 2015

QuarterTone Rhythm Section

I really don't understand drums, but these great Samples by Quatertone made me want to give them a try. If you can give them a test it would be much appreciated. There are over 2500 samples. The mod wheel controls the pitch of the Kick, Snares and Toms. The lower the mod wheel, the lower the pitch. Check this as when Kontakt loads up for me the mod wheel is always down giving the lowest pitch by default. The keyswitches alter the sound quite a lot. In general the lower white keyswitches are a louder more open sound while the black keys give things like a Cross Stick Strike. Be warned this is almost a gig download and takes about 500 megs of memory.

Soundcloud Demo 

Sometime ago the brilliant Kontakt scripter EvilDragon created a fine Kontakt instrument using these samples. He was kind enough to give permission for old bigcat to host this drumkit. It is a significantly different and in many ways superior version to mine that you should try.

SmithULTD / Evil Dragon Kontakt Drums

Based on Samples by Quartertone at
Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, please give credit to Quartertone and Evil Dragon for these drums.

If you are looking for more free Drums check out this list from Bedroom Producers Blog.

And here's the other part of the Quartertone Rhythm Section. The Bass Guitar. 

Based on samples created by Quartertone.  The license is Creative Commons Attribution. Please give that credit to Quartertone.

You can find the Quartertone Guitar below.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Project 16 Sherwood Guitar

Some time ago I was fortunate enough to work with Project 16's great bass samples on a Kontakt instrument. He mentioned to me that he had sampled his Sherwood guitar, but I was taking a break at the time with some shoulder problems so I never worked with these samples. I've also wanted to do more guitars with the script and shell that Mickaël Ménager has allowed me to use. His scripting of great effects works really well with electric band instruments like guitar, bass and electric piano.

So I decided to see what I remembered about making instruments and here is the result. The guitar is fully sampled (though I stretched the notes on the ends) and has 5 velocity layers. I made a few errors that I hope I've ironed out. It's been a while since I've worked with this many samples and this rather complex (for me) shell. If you find any problems please yell and I'll try to get them fixed.

Creative Commons Attribution License. You can use this instrument for any purpose but please give credit to Project 16.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Free Sound Instruments has lots of fun Public Domain and Creative Commons sounds that have been uploaded by the community. As you can imagine this is right up my street. I've used some before to make instruments, but I thought I'd put them all in the same place.

There is something called the Pablo Project which I don't understand on Freesound. It seems to involve uploading both good and bad samples of various instruments. I assembled the better sounding Violin samples from Kake85 into this little Kontakt instrument. It uses the WIPs script to add legato and vibrato.

This instrument is one velocity layer with about every other note sampled. It is Creative Commons Attribution, please give credit to Kake85.

TVerse put up a fun sample set called Bubblesound Octature Bass Multi Samples. I shortened it to Bubbles. He was kind enough to place the samples in the Public Domain and the instrument is the same, use it for anything you like.

Francesco Da Pyjama suggested this Kayageum from samples created by Spt3125.  The samples were placed in the Public Domain as is this instrument, so you can use it for anything you like. Be warned that I recently updated Kontakt because none of the Komplete instruments would work, so you will need the latest version too.

According to Wikipedia, This instrument is a Korean zither with 12 strings.

Another request was for the GMB Gamelan. Sampled by anamorphosi, the samples are Sampling+ which seems like an earlier CC license and requests attribution. So use for anything you like but please credit anamorphosi.

This Indonesian instrument features Gongs in Dark Blue on the bass end of the keyboard, Jegog in the middle in Green and Kantilan on the treble end in Light Blue. In general the Jegog and Kantilan have been put on the nearest white key. They don't conform to the western scale, so this is to give you a general idea of where the sounds are relative to each other and an approximation to the western scale. The lower two gongs are about correct, the upper two gongs are placed next to them for convenience.
Oddly I did another Gamelan about a year ago. You can find it here.

This piano has a crunchy feel. Every note or every other note sampled in one velocity layer. Samples by Goup_1. Creative Commons, please credit Goup_1.

As with most toy pianos,  the tuning is a bit negotiable. Fun little instrument based on Creative Commons samples by Poissonmort. Please credit him.

Another nice FreeSounds instrument is the Ldk1609 Violin.   I just put out a new and improved version... aka I fixed some mistakes.

The Quartertone Guitar is yet another FreeSounds creation. Some have criticized it, but its also been downloaded a lot for the limited time its been up. As with most digital guitars, a good amp helps.
Guitars are hard to get right. I've spent actual money for some and never been entirely satisfied. You can check out this list of free Guitars to see if you find something you like.