Your VSTi

Anything to recommend?

Hi guys,

After messing with n-Track Drum, I’ve fallen in love with VST instrument. Don’t be surprised to know that n-drum was the first vst instrument that I ever used for real.

So I was wondering if you guys can recommend some other vst instruments that can go hand in hand with N. That’d be great if you feel like sharing them with me and with other guys? Yea, I’m talking about freeware :;):



Hello Francis.

The site it has many instruments freeware.
The best thing is to register in this site. I have synthes (daHornet,mda piano,sampletank free), samplers (DS404) and rythm boxes. I have many stored, but, I use few instruments.

copy and paste, or installs the file .dll in your Vstplugins folder and the new plug in is available in your secuencer.

it excuses my terrible English. :D

Don’t go to the KVR website. You will find yourself downloading 100s of VSTi and missing too much sleep. :D

I’m with ber, I still really like the mda piano, and the mda electric piano- also their jx10 and dx10. You should also get the Triangle I (not II, IMHO) monophonic synth - it sounds as much like a real analogue synth as anything out there. Other free favorites I use a lot are the Cheese Machine by Big Tick, if you like the Solina String thing you’ll like Crazy Diamond - the folks who made that have updated their organ, and it sounds really good and is free:

The polyIblit is worth checking out, sound generation is done differently and you can hear it, as is the NoteGrapphica, also very useful sounds, um…that’s it off the top of my head - haven’t really looked at free ones in a while…

YES - VST instrumants can damage your health - and can also lead to premature baldness, you will soon be pulling your hair out trying to get some of them to paly more than a few notes before everything grinds to a halt -

compared to whats out there N track drums is a ‘lite’ program, - you have to have a really fast high RAM PC to get many VSTs to work properly - many that you download will lock up your PC by taking up to much CPU time and killing windows - NOT Ns FAULT or faulty plugin, its your slow low RAM PC - i think that some VST instruments out there have been programmed to use PCs that have yet to be invented they are so CPU and RAM hungry -

do you want to record live by playing keyboard or program by mouse ?

Dr J

Thank you, Ber, TomS, and Dr. J for your links and suggestions.

I’m quite open to anykind of music as long as it sounds great to my ears. So it doesn’t really matter whether it is live instrument or vsti.

I’m a guitarist. But I play a little bit of every other thing. Using n-Track drum is a better option for me because there is no way I can play drum like it does. So I’m hoping some of the vst instruments will be helping that way. I will try and see if they work out.

Apart from the ones I paid for (Arturia Moog Modular V, Garritan Personal Orchestra), I like the DS-404 sampler (only virtually free, as you have to purchase an issue of Computer Music Magazine to get one), the sfz soundfont player (with a kit from Natural Studio in SF2-format I’ll never reconsider buying a drum kit unless I get the space for it), but a recent discovery of mine is the series of VSTi’s from Andreas Ersson - The LazySnake is the most convincing electric piano instrument emulation I have heard yet, and the Polyiblit and Iblit synth VSTi’s are great, too. Clean, smooth, ‘analogue’-sounding patches, small footprint, stable - and free.

I also like the String Theory modelling synth (don’t remember where I got that one from), and a lot of other free bits and pieces I have gathered through the last few years (Got to get a cleanup going soon - too much rubble lying around in there).

regards, Nils

I’ve been having loads of fun with the Green Oaks Crystal synth (free, available from KVR). It is pretty much infinitely expandable - you can import Soundfonts as base sounds rather than (or in addition to) using basic waveforms. You can spend hours just going through the preset banks you can download for it and figuring out how they were all built.

Lazysnake IS pretty cool.
These VST’s are also good. They work/install the same, some have different selections from other makes with the same purpose.
I also use all the above mentioned before me & like those also.
I try one make & may not like their EQ but like another for the same track as its adjustments suit the instrument/voice on the track.

Sometimes it makes a big difference which EQ I use when twigging a live stereo track of my band or adjusting individual tracks of the band.

Hope you like theseGVST

Seee Ya!!!


Lazysnake is lame – that’s the Rhodes sim, right? Well, you might like it, but it’s useless if you want something that sounds and plays like a Rhodes. I’m a big Rhodes fan, and Lazysnake makes me ill. Its sound is totally artificial. No doubt it can work in certain musical contexts, played as itself rather than what it tries to imitate. MrRay73 is far superior.

Here are my recommendations. I’m a classic keyboards player, as you can see from the list:

- Organized Trio, best cheap hammond organ sim, from - small donation to use all Guido’s stuff without nags
- MrRay73, best cheap Rhodes sim, from - see above
- sfz, best free soundfont player, from - free, simple, and very high quality.

The above are all very CPU friendly too, better than many FX.

In the not free list – these are not cheap, unfortunately:
- Native Instruments B4 hammond organ sim - best Hammond sound other than the real thing, and CPU-friendly too
- Atruria Moog Modular V - CPU hog, but hot

sfz is a soundfont player, allowing you to load soundfonts to emulate a wide variety of instruments. If you think VSTI’s are a good way to lose a life, just jump into soundfonts! It’s an eternal search for the holy grail soundfonts. There are many great free ones, but they’re hard to find, and there’s no good site to find them any more (argh!)

My favorite soundfont is one I created myself, jRhodes3. I recommend the stereo one, that’s my favorite and I use it live and in the studio all the time.

If you do get into soundfonts, ask back and I’ll post a few others. There’s also a very good free piano, and a better version of that piano on CD you can get for only $15 last time I checked. (Splendid Grand.)

Learjeff, I respect you not liking the LazySnake VSTi, but it never claimed to be a ‘Rhodes sim’ in any way, only an ‘electric piano sim’, of which plenty of good, old hardware alternatives exist - many designed specifically to sound ‘different’ than the Rhodes’ sound. Off, the top of my head I can think of the Wurlitzer electric piano, the Hohner Clavinet (my old favorite, a lot of expression to be had from a 1970’s instrument with only five presets), Yamaha (both their dedicated electric pianos and the DX-7 electric piano sound), Casio, and others.

IMHO, they all sound great. I do agree with you that nothing sounds like a Rhodes, but a Rhodes - except for the VSTi’s trying to emulate a Rhodes down to the last detail (the sound/feeling of the mallets relaxing again after hitting the bars).

It all depends on what sound you’re after. I’m not after any ‘authentic’ sound. I just try and use what I think sounds great in the context in which I am using things. (I am curious to try out your Rhodes SoundFont, though)

regards, Nils

LearJeff’s Rhodes sf sounds killer. the MDA one (also free) is in the wurli sonic family. LazySnake is its own creature. :)

I’m getting a really good sound by setting my digital keyboard to emulate a Fender-Rhodes but simultaneously triggering MrRay76 with the midi output, and then mixing the audio output from the two sources. This gives me a huge amount of control in the amount of ‘brrrr’ (don’t know what else to call it - ‘drive’, maybe?) that I get when I hit the keys hard. I can now adjust all kinds of nuances to the sound that my keyboard alone doesn’t control, and that sound a little flaky when MrRay76 is used alone. Basically, using the two together tends to compensate for some of ‘weaknesses’ of the sound of each sound source.

Other VSTi plugins that I especially like:

- FreeAlpha (Polyphonic analog synth simulation. Good velocity/touch response.)
StringTheory (really nice - especially the beat-synced arpegiator stuff)
ZR-3 (Hammond B3 simulation - tonewheel or footpedals can control Leslie rotor speed)

Tspringer, you saw that the zr-3 was updated? The new version sounds a bit better.

Quote (TomS @ Jan. 24 2007,19:33)
Tspringer, you saw that the zr-3 was updated? The new version sounds a bit better.

Ahhh… new version! Thanks for the tip TomS. I didn’t know about it.

ZR-3 is the only free Hammond B3 plugin that I have found that comes close to the real sound. Still, the old version tended to be just a little thinner sounding than I wanted sometimes. Even with the old version the real-time control that you had with the Leslie rotor speed made ZR-3 cabable of being really expressive. Man, I do love the real B3 sound.


Nubi released for free their “Nubi Plus” plugin and rotator plugin. It was very nice, similar to Organized Trio. Looking their web page, i see that they are not giving away the plus version, but the LE version if you ask it by mail. It can worth the try.

Ah! and a vote for Learjeff rhodes soundfont.

Some time ago I did an A/B comparison of ZR-3 and Organized Trio and I preferred OT. However, if ZR-3 has been improved, I should re-evaluate. Since I use NIB4, I probably won’t get around to it, though. Regardless, I did find ZR-3 to be a respectable Hammond clone.

Soundfont’s ORGANIZED Trio and MrRay2.2, and DashSignature’s Eve 2 are mainstays of my keyboard plugins. I paid a $20 donation for the SoundFont plugins. The Eve2 and additional plugins are a bit pricey, but I’ve learned to build some great sounds with them. I also use Green Oak’s Crystal synth as well - some cool sounds.

The Kjaerhusaudio effects are great free effects plugins

Hope this helps


Ok, vsti’s… Hmm, first, I’ll give some seconds:

1) mda piano- a good bare-bones piano. Same goes for epiano

2) Triangle I (and Triangle II. I like both)- these are both good synths. I is more classic but II can give you some really full, unexpectedly good sounds.

3) Polyiblit and Iblit- they are pretty good, but not as good as some others in my opinion. I go to them if I can’t find what I want elsewhere first.

4) String Theory- yes, yes, yes. The integrated delay effects in this make it wonderful.

5) any decent soundfont player (SFZ, SF free, or whatever) with some decent soundfonts- this can give you the real-sound intrument you are looking for in the way a synth never will

6) Crystal- an odd iterface, but if you can figure it out, the sounds are incredible for freeware

7) ORGANized trio- Yep. The only organ I use (unless I want synthy organ, in which I go with JG-3. See below.)

Some I’d add:

1) Arpy- A good arpeggio player. Simple, you can’t edit a whole lot, and if you overuse it, it all sounds the same. But sometimes, it’s exactly what you need.

2) JG-3- my personal go-to basic synth. I love this thing. It’s simple, easy to use, and sounds great. It’s the best balance of sound and intuitiveness. It may need some effects put on to make it really shine, but wouldn’t you rather put your own effects on it anyway?

3) stringer- this is a good, basic, easy to control string effect

4) topaz clav- I’m not as in love with this one as I am with some of the others. But it’s the only decent clav I’ve yet to find. (if someone else knows a better one, let me know)

5) Plugsound Free- I like this better than sampletank personally.