This article will cover the best film scoring plugins and Kontakt libraries available as of 2023.
You may have an arsenal of orchestral libraries and other instruments, but finding the exact timbre or percussive energy can be challenging to fit a particular score. Sometimes, it’s a little synthetic arpeggio or a preset string ostinato that helps you deliver a concise emotional vibe.
In this article, we cover the virtual instruments that are dedicated to film scoring and delivering unique sounds to your project. Several of these plugins are designed to ease and quicken your session, despite seemingly having a generic sound library.
Film Score vs. Soundtrack: What’s The Difference?
A film score is any movement or piece of music over a specific scene in a film, whereas the soundtrack is a generic term referring to the entire score of a film. Similarly, if a film includes licensed or tailored songs, they come under the term soundtrack.
However, the terms aren’t fully limited to the descriptions above. For instance, a film score could also mean the entire score of a film, whereas commercially, the term “soundtrack” is used when releasing an album of scores and licensed songs in a film to keep things simple.
In fact, in the professional community, “soundtrack” refers to every sound you hear in a film, including music, dialogue, and sound effects. Hence, depending on what context and community you are conversing in, the terms can mean various things. However, keeping the information above in mind will help you keep up.
How do you start film scoring?
The first step to film scoring is spotting. It is the step when you sit down (in real or virtually) with the director and, if needed, producers to determine what style of music is required in each key part of the film. Use the timecode to keep things organized.
Spotting is also when you should decide if the localization of music is necessary. For example, if you are scoring a scene taking place in a country with notable cultural influence, consider using ethnic or native instruments from that place. Localization can also include time, like using traditional instruments in a medieval era film.
Once you have a map planned out for your score, it’s time to fire up your DAW and load your video clip inside it. This step is when experimenting with various instruments and plugins gives you a palette of sounds to use. On that note, we can get into our list of the best film scoring plugins:
Top 7 Film Scoring Plugins 2023
1. ujam Virtual Pianist Score NEW*
ujam Virtual Pianist SCORE is a virtual session pianist assistant and piano instrument designed for musicians and composers, to facilitate music composition and scoring for films, games, and shows.
It features a virtual grand piano instrument meticulously sampled and modeled after a Steinway Model D Grand piano, known for its rich and expressive sound. SCORE is designed to be user-friendly and offers quick and easy access to high-quality piano sounds, making it one of the best scoring plugins and piano instruments. The software also includes a wide selection of MIDI patterns and multisample instrument presets, allowing you to create music with various styles and expressions.
- Character Selection
The plugin offers various characters, including Abyss, Damped, Mellow, Pure, and Royal. These presets allow you to shape your piano sound with different tonal qualities and textures, adding depth and personality to your compositions.
- Finisher Multi-Effect Modes and Ambience FX
With 45 Finisher Multi-Effect Modes and 45 Ambience FX Presets, including Finisher Metamorphosis and Reverb effects, this plugin provides an extensive palette of creative effects to sculpt your piano sound. These effects enhance your music with unique textures and spatial depth.
- Pianist Performance Styles
The plugin allows you to explore 40 pianist performance styles, encompassing 360 integrated phrases. The plugin’s MIDI Drag & Drop functionality makes incorporating these musical expressions into your compositions effortless. Over 175 presets further simplify the music creation process, offering various starting points for your projects.
- Chord & Key Selection
You can easily select the key and chords to harmonize your music when playing different phrases and piano performances. The Universal Voicing switch enhances versatility, allowing you to experiment with different chord voicings and harmonic structures.
- Highly Expressive Controls
The plugin provides powerful tools for expressiveness, including Velocity and Busyness sliders. These controls enable fine-tuning of dynamics and complexity in your piano performances. The Player/Instrument switch allows you to seamlessly switch between different playing styles and instrument articulations, enhancing your musical expression.
- Various Effects
Virtual Pianist Score offers 45 Finisher Multi-Effect Modes and 45 Ambience FX presets, enhancing the creative possibilities and enabling you to add unique textures and effects to your music. These also include the great Ujam Finisher effects and other effects like Reverb, Delay, Compression, etc.
- Equal-Loudness Comparisons
The Auto Trim feature helps maintain balanced mixes by adjusting the output level based on RMS differences, allowing for equal-loudness comparisons.
The plugin is available in VST2, AU 2, and AAX formats and is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
Overall, SCORE is a smart virtual pianist and piano instrument with a wide range of customizations that allow you to shape your sound to suit your production style and genre. The plugin also has a dark/light slider that allows you to set the overall tone and sonic texture of the instrument.
It’s a great plugin, whether you’re a pianist or not, as it has plenty of phrases and playing options, which will help you program and compose interesting piano patterns, even if you don’t know music theory or have weak piano playing.
2. Spitfire Audio – Hans Zimmer Strings
Renowned virtual instrument manufacturer, Spitfire Audio, produced Hans Zimmer Strings with the help of the legendary composer for Dunkirk, Interstellar, and Inception.
As with many virtual instruments by Spitfire Audio, Hans Zimmer Strings had a high investment in quality and detail. Recorded in London’s Lyndhurst Hall, the plugin featured 344 professional string players who performed various exciting techniques.
Hans Zimmer Strings suits exceptionally well in film scoring productions; its orchestral quality can be leveled to the fantastic Spitfire Audio’s Orbis plugin, as both deliver authentic and organic sounds fitting for every great cinematic project.
The Spitfire Audio team gathered many strings players in AIR Studios and recorded a substantial range of techniques from different mic positions and angles. They include long super sul pont, tremolo, marcato shorts, harmonic waves, legato, long superb flautando, and col legno tratto.
- Spatial Distribution
The developers arranged the players in different locations for sound enrichment. For the violinists, twenty in each direction, center, left, right, and further filling the galleries. For violas, twenty at the close center and both sides. Cellos featured the same distribution as violins, and basses were twenty-four at the very center.
The sampling field of Hans Zimmer Strings is excitingly whole. The process of capturing the samples delivered astounding results for every particular instrument. With 251 GB in download size, the plugin has more than 360,000 samples, 246 presets, and up to 26 mic positions for the best possible outcome at producing astounding levels of string detail in any thematic score.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Spitfire Audio delivered a fantastic and brilliantly designed string virtual instrument with the assistance and production techniques of legendary composer Hans Zimmer. With different options, you can choose between Violins, Violas, Basses, and Cellos to compose an entire orchestral piece.
It offers many ways to alter the instruments’ feelings by featuring different techniques, mic placements, and presets to achieve any texture in a score.
3. UJAM – Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS
STRIIIINGS is a fantastic virtual instrument by UJAM produced and recorded at award-winning composer Hans Zimmer’s Control Studios.
Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS is the result of high investment in equipment, players, and engineers. The unique and intuitive plugin offers handy tools for customizing and optimizing the strings’ sounds with decades’ worth of string recordings performed by treasured musicians.
The plugin features two types of strings: the low and high ranges. In the low strings are cellos and double-basses with many different effects and two effects busses. The high strings contain violas and violins and also have many effects and two busses for them. Both strings have a Decay and Link control so that you can match them together. A power button is also featured on each string type so producers can activate each individually.
Apart from having an immense amount of presets, adding up to 200, the plugin also has variety in its featured controls. With an unusual Finisher knob, you can make fundamental changes to the audio output by choosing between great 25 presets. A highlighter knob will match the fades between the lows and highs, producing exciting risers. The ambiance will add high-quality reverberation to the master signal. These controls offer dramatic changes to the master, making them pop out easily in a mix.
Some speed switching controls are convenient for intense note customization. At the Micro Timing menu, STRIIIINGS will keep playing, and you can select the instruments to perform in half or double time in their current arrangement. The Swing Control is beneficial for delaying the off-beats, which evokes the typical swing music groove.
This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
STRIIIINGS give straightforward and detailed symphonic texture for any track while offering easy-to-use controls. The UJAM plugin offers exciting effect-busses that you can operate individually, which is extremely practical for achieving different scores of vibes and feelings.
Using Hans Zimmer’s recordings of expert musicians, this brilliant yet straightforward plugin holds many cinematic principles in its performance.
4. Spitfire Audio – Abbey Road One Orchestral Foundations
Abbey Road One Orchestral is a collection of instruments carefully recorded in the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
Studio One at Abbey Road is a renowned studio where recordings of notable projects and bands took place, such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Amy Winehouse.
Spitfire Audio teamed up with expert musicians and engineers to deliver an outstanding symphonic orchestra in an easy-to-use and helpful plugin by providing you with the same acoustics and essence of many award-winning recordings.
While featuring a good variety of instruments, such as brass, strings, and woodwinds, Abbey Road One Orchestral is an exciting addition to any score.
The library is extensive and exciting, featuring sixty-nine articulations and five dynamic layers—another extended part of selections that allows good experimentation opportunities for you is microphone customization. The plugin has ten individual microphones, such as RM1B and TG Desk, and two mix signals. You can change between these settings and achieve many textures, such as a vintage vibe with the TG Desk or a more classic mix, with the RM1B mic.
Spitfire Audio worked with three sections of instruments in Abbey Road One Orchestral Foundations. The Wondrous Flutes features piccolo and flutes recordings with a delightful higher texture. On the other hand, Legendary Low Strings has a vibrant low-end representation with its precise samples of Cello and Bass. Sparkling Woodwinds are an improvement for any thoughtful scene within a film, the sparkling presence in its samples is completely outstanding.
The release works intuitively by setting the release time. Reverb bases itself on improved reflections of Abbey Road Studio One, which is exceptionally rich in textures. Tightness will cut directly to the actual sound of the instrument by skipping the start of the note. Vibrato works intuitively and offers crossfades, which can vary between highly present or lacking. The Technique provides well-performed instrumental methods for you to select by choosing the specific name.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Spitfire Audio worked hard to make a fantastic orchestral plugin that could deliver the acoustic presence and cinematic texture of Abbey Road Studios. The excellent result, which is Abbey Road One Orchestral Foundations is capable of reproducing authentic brass, woodwinds, and low strings with incredible performance, and an ideal and versatile mix.
The team behind Spitfire Audio’s plugin consists of award-winning mixing engineers and master musicians; in addition to this, you can also customize and set effects to the highly realistic samples.
5. UJAM – Symphonic Elements DRUMS
Hans Zimmer’s inspirational take on percussive elements helped shape Symphonic Elements DRUMS, a rhythmic tool accompanying strings cinematic scores.
With legendary samples of over decades of recordings, UJAM developed a fantastic drum virtual instrument with many playing styles, presets, and exceptional engineering.
By featuring orchestral percussions, such as Bass Drums and Toms, Symphonic Elements DRUMS is an optimal addition for providing rich rhythmic textures to any piece in a movie.
Symphonic Elements DRUMS offers a total of 1219 phrases in fifty-three percussion styles. The plugin also packs many one-shot sounds, totaling more than two hundred and sixty of them, being five one-shots for every Style. UJAM also added three hundred sound-designer presets in their plugin, which provides immense inspiration for scoring.
The plugin by UJAM gives you some exciting sound designing opportunities. In a Finisher effects segment, a one-knob control can change the moods and textures of the drums, thus giving you a convenient method for reaching different rhythmic vibes and genres. A Crossfade control is also present in the plugin’s interface; you will automate the low and high sections subtlety.
- Orchestral Instruments
Using Hans Zimmer’s legendary library of percussive elements, Symphonic Elements DRUMS features an exciting amount of orchestral instruments. These include seven percussion instruments for their plugin: Surdos, Orchestral Bass Drums, Orchestral Toms, Taikos, Doumbeks, Field Drums, and Snares.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Symphonic Elements Drums results from decades of recordings of many unique playing techniques performed by different masters. UJAM teamed up with award-winning composer Hans Zimmer to develop a virtual percussion instrument fit for any orchestral score.
While featuring seven instruments and an effects knob, the plugin will let you experiment and explore many inspiring percussive patterns.
6. Orchestral Tools Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion
Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion features mix-ready versatile drum sounds that are precisely present in many award-winning movies, such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Godzilla vs. Kong.
By working together with Tom Holkenborg, Orchestral Tools developed a complete virtual instrument designed for drums and percussion. With a focus on films, composers can dynamically modulate the well-recorded samples in the plugin in a pervasive range.
Orchestral Tools delivered further customization options with various sizes and tuning for drum sounds and a mix of four different drum samples.
- Dynamic Range
One of the most exciting features is the extended dynamic range with different tunings for each drum in Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion. Every model of drum featured in the plugin will have two tunings, low and high tuning. Both tunings will present extra inches specifications and have more than nine modes depending on the drum model.
The recorded drum models in the Orchestral Tools plugin are conveniently present as percussion instruments in many scores for films and movies. The plugin has seven instruments, Bass Drums, Surdos, Tupans, Concert Toms, Taye Toms, Marching Band Drums, and Custom Drums. Each offers different tunings, exciting parameters, and two mic placements for each high or low tuning selection. Some models even feature other drums. For example, the ten-inch Taye Tom has two different recordings for separate drums.
Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion has pre-mixed samples. The legendary producer, Tom Holkenborg, has used his processing and mixing skills to deliver accurately mixed audio. The drums will sound upfront, and you can quickly highlight them in any mix; its distinct sonic modulation makes it fit for any project.
This plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3 and AU formats.
For delivering the fabulous tools of an acclaimed composer to the public, Orchestral Tools combined talent with Tom Holkenborg and amassed seven years of high-quality drum recordings made by the renowned composer.
With many models and tuning options, the drums featured in Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion will fit perfectly for action scenes with its popped-out mixing and aggressiveness. The dynamic possibilities also give any producer the ability to make the drums smoother and more dramatic, proving the plugin’s versatility and handiness.
7. UVI – Meteor
Focused on serving sound designers and composers for games and films, UVI’s sampler Meteor has an extensive library of field recordings and sound effects that can be in-depth modulated.
Featuring an intuitive and highly interactive interface, Meteor proves its efficiency by showing organized controls and detailed settings on a straightforward and pleasant display.
Meteor gives complete control of pitch, velocity, and time to adjust sonic characteristics of any sound, providing instrumental use for a vast array of projects of any gender.
UVI’s Meteor features seven tracks that you can divide into two sections with three layers for rising sounds and four more layers for impacts. The layers offer stimulating effects such as reverb, delay, volume, and panning. You can assign the tracks for the Rise or Impact segments, organized according to your preferences.
- Rise and Impact
When you assign tracks for the Rise segment, they’ll have the ability to customize some characteristics within the sound, such as the velocity curve, pitch, modulation, two multi-modes, one for distortion and the other for the filter. The tracks in the Impact segment will offer time offset, changes in the lengths of tails and transients, both filter and distortion multi-modes, a pitching effect on a glide, and an exciting granular mode, IRCAM.
- In-depth Shaping
Meteor gives you the control of LFOs, a Multi-Step algorithm for filters and panners that can affect both Rise and Impact segments combined or separately. Many effects can provide the producer with exciting results on the stereo bus. Effects such as a 3-band Equalizer, low-pass filter, convoluted reverberation, Delay, amplitude, and a one-of-a-kind dynamics effect, named “THRUST,” you can set its values through a single knob, provide robust sound customization.
This plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
UVI Meteor works exceptionally well as a sampler. It can provide sound designers a creative palette of sound effects, with many unique textures, based on the seven tracks disposition featured in the plugin.
Music composers for film and movies can also benefit from Meteor by turning “Hold” off and setting specific values for the sound’s parameters like pitch and velocity.
Best Free Plugin For Film Scoring
Orchestral Tools Layers
Layers by Orchestral Tools is an excellent accessory for any composer since it features high-quality orchestral sounds and a modern interface entirely for free.
Captured at Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin, Layers provides recorded orchestral textures fitting for any production. Its free status does not mean it’s simple.
The plugin, made by renowned manufacturer Orchestral Tools, has many customizable controls for mixing and modulating the instruments in detail.
The orchestral patch of Layers is diverse. Strings, woodwinds, and brass segments can be accessed easily through the interface and feature many articulations.
Orchestral Tools’ Layers has a complete library, achieving an entire symphony formation. Full Orchestra is a highly well-recorded segment with four microphone positions and placements. With woodwinds, players will have the choice to select one of the five microphone settings. The Brass selection features five microphone placement options. And with Strings, you will benefit from highly well-produced string sounds and four different mic positionings.
For more in-depth customizations, the producer can define articulations within an instrument’s sound. The expressions will offer different styles and vibes possibilities and are incredibly extensive in variations. You can choose if instruments will play on major or minor chords and if the chords will play as sustains or staccatos. Furthermore, a Low Unison articulation can also switch between sustain or staccato, as well as a Sus4 chord.
Layers has an interesting layering feature. You can choose instruments to be blended, resulting in completely organic and unique sounds that can have exciting vibes. The producer will have a dynamics-shifting feature for even more authenticity to the blended sound by blending the instruments.
This plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3 and AU formats.
Renowned virtual instruments manufacturer Orchestral Tools did an enormous favor for all composers stuck with doing scores while being on a budget. Layers is a free plugin that delivers everything paid samplers offer with good quality and an easy-to-use interface.
Its blendable instruments can result in many unique sounds that cover a vast range of vibes and energy.
While providing many articulation options, you can benefit from the plugin’s various dramatic effects that a complex score may require.
The 14 Best Kontakt Sample Libraries For Film Scoring 2022
1. Native Instruments Lores
A special scoring tool for adding mystery, ambiance, and beauty to your tunes, Lores blends rich layers of traditional and ancient sounds.
Native Instruments releases LORES in collaboration with the Evolution Series. The new tool provides high-quality sounds, vibrations, and melodies in different genres.
A set of expressive and realistic instruments has been made by Native Instruments. The new Kontakt library provides a wide range of sound creation options in conjunction with the Evolution Series and is guaranteed to be a useful addition to any producer’s toolset. LORES is available now from the Native Instruments website.
LORES also includes 72.3 GB of audio files, and 373 factory presets. You may get into the engine and build brand-new soundscapes from scratch, or you can utilize the supplied presets for fast enjoyment. For example, you may amplify sounds with dynamic effects or stage them inside three-dimensional smoke plumes.
Over 300 hand-played joints and 16 instruments make up the core. Woodwinds, traditional strings, rare chordophones, and unusual instruments like the guitar, shakuhachi, Mongolian violin, or medieval pipes are some sound sources used in the compositions. But then, all of this is included in a well-designed user interface that enables you to combine up to three separate sources.
The human experience of telling stories via song is universal, and LORES carries on this long tradition with unique embellishments. On the performance level, unpredictable swells, unanticipated tremolos, and stray harmonics produce genuine movement in the music played by the musicians who sampled.
In addition, instruments may be physically staged in three-dimensional smoke plumes using multi-mic recording, giving dynamic realism to your shows.
The full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher is needed. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).
This collection is ideal for those who wish to give their music a little more reality and motion. More than 300 hand-played articulations are used to voice the 16 instruments, allowing you a lot of flexibility in how you may design your soundscape. The outcome is a distinctive and adaptable collection since they meticulously captured the instruments to maintain their original character.
2. Native Instruments & Orchestral Tools Arkhis
Manufactured in collaboration with Orchestral Tools, ARKHIS is an amazingly versatile plugin that focuses on delivering the best results for any score with its highly modern layering engine and a prized sample library.
Recorded at Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin, ARKHIS features acoustically treated samples with cinematic sonic enhancements. The incredibly intuitive interface and pleasant design of the Native Instruments library make it a highly friendly tool for any composer.
With many effects controls, you can add texture and color to the instruments’ notes. The library is optimal for pitching, sculpting, and tweaking any signal by offering many envelope parameters.
ARKHIS is complete in terms of presets. You can improve their scores by selecting highly versatile presets in various categories: Pads, Motions, Sparkles, Stutters, Sub, Swells, and Textures. Each section features more in-depth presets; for example, in Pads, you can select between nine pads instruments with different and unique sonic characteristics.
- Master Envelope
In the Master Envelope segment, you can shape the sound to whatever dynamic color you want. The Master Envelope offers controls for Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, and Release. All of these parameters will behave on the layers globally. For more experimentation, you can set the amount of influence the Master Envelope controls will inflict on individual layers by setting values for Wet/Dry knobs featured on each.
Native Instruments’ ARKHIS features six effects that are highly modern and intuitive. Filter, Chorus, and Delay work intuitively and provides easy-to-use interactive controls. Bits is an exciting distortion effect that provides low-resolution to the sounds. The “FX” section will offer Distortion and Flanger knobs, which results in colorful experimentations. The Convolution is a highly modern Reverb that features fantastic algorithms for simulating realistic early reflections on a virtual or physical space.
- Three Layers
ARKHIS has three highly interactive layers that you can blend and stack consistently. For optimal arrangement, you can use one layer for low-end cinematic presence, a second layer for exciting mid-range sounds, and the third layer for bright instruments to fill the high-end. Each layer will feature controls for Volume, Pitch, Envelope, and Effects.
Native Instruments Arkhis is compatible with Kontakt 6.2.2 or later. Kontakt 6.2.2 requires Windows 10 or higher for PC and macOS 10.14 and comes in VST/VST3/AU/AAX formats for 64-bit systems only.
Native Instruments offered precious technological procedures for making ARKHIS. By applying modern algorithms, usually reserved for plugins, the renowned plugin manufacturer made a Kontakt Library featuring an intricate engine, exciting effects, three stackable and blendable layers, and highly versatile presets.
With ARKHIS, you will create scores for any project at outstanding loudness levels using a highly intuitive Master Envelope.
3. Native Instruments Fables
“Native Instruments Fables” is an evocative orchestral library designed to empower composers, music producers, and sound designers with the tools to craft immersive and expressive soundscapes for film scoring and music production.
This cinematic library offers a unique blend of natural and synthesized timbres, allowing you to combine lush acoustic instruments creatively. Fables offers a collection of blendable choirs, string sections, tuned percussion, French horn ensembles, woodwinds, low brass, pads, and even the distinctive waterphone.
This rich palette of sounds allows for the creation of hybrid cinematic textures that combine the warmth of acoustic instruments with the versatility of synthetic tones. It is powered by polyphonic aftertouch, enabling expressive control over each note. Musicians can infuse their compositions with subtle nuances and dynamic variations by effortlessly adjusting MIDI parameters such as volume, panning, filters, pitch, and modulation.
- Immersive Sound Capture
Recorded at the renowned Studios 301 in Sydney, Fables benefits from the studio’s unique acoustics and high-quality recording equipment. The meticulous capturing of details, including swells, tremolos, and harmonic nuances, adds depth and human character to the sound library. You can also blend between two microphone positions for precise sound control.
- Instrument Inspector
This section provides essential controls for each of the three instruments within a preset. It allows you to toggle instruments on/off, set them to solo mode, and adjust volume levels. You can also explore different instrument presets and lock a preferred instrument to maintain consistency when changing presets.
- Instrument Stage
Each instrument contains an Instrument Stage equipped with an XY pad. This real-time mixing tool lets you position the instrument’s sound in a virtual room. Vertical movement adjusts the sound’s distance, while horizontal movement controls panning. The XY pad utilizes actual microphone position recordings for authentic spatial effects.
- Performance Controls
These controls include the Modwheel for dynamic volume modulation, the Reverb parameter for crafting acoustic space simulations, Noise adjustment to introduce textured nuances, Boost for accentuating low and high frequencies, Power control for finely tuning parallel compression, and Expression for seamlessly fading layers in and out. These controls add depth and character to the music and enable expressive performances and creative sound design, making this instrument a versatile tool for musicians and composers alike.
- Layer Editor
The Layer Editor is a versatile tool within this instrument, offering in-depth customization of sound layers through four switchable tabs: Layer Controls, Mapping, Motion, and Filter. With the Layer Controls, you can adjust each layer’s parameters like volume, pan, pitch, and envelope characteristics.
- Layer Controls
Mapping provides keyboard range and triggering options, allowing layers to respond to velocity or expression values. Motion introduces dynamic realism via low-frequency oscillators (LFOs) for modulation of volume, pitch, or pan. The Filter tab offers fine-tuning of filter parameters for sound shaping.
- Layer Grid
The Layer Grid enables layer selection, prioritization, and access to the Layer browser, enhancing the instrument’s flexibility and sound design capabilities. Whether it’s crafting nuanced textures or dynamic soundscapes, the Layer Editor empowers you to shape your sonic creations with precision and creativity.
Fables is compatible with the Free KONTAKT PLAYER or the full version of KONTAKT (version 7.5 or higher), making it accessible to users of Windows and Mac since Kontakt is compatible with almost all DAWs. It offers a massive 57 GB of downloadable content, ensuring a comprehensive set of tools for music composition and production.
To summarise, this plugin is a remarkable orchestral library that transcends traditional boundaries, offering a captivating range of timbres for crafting immersive soundscapes. Musicians and producers can perform with unparalleled expressiveness thanks to its polyphonic aftertouch capabilities.
Featuring 16 hand-played instruments meticulously expressed through over 400 articulations, including unique instruments, this instrument unlocks a world of creative possibilities. Whether seeking evocative orchestral richness or pushing the boundaries of sonic exploration, this plugin empowers you to achieve musical excellence with depth and versatility.
4. Sound Yeti Revelation Scoring Grand
The Steinway Grand Sound Yeti’s intricate and nuanced rhythmics and rich piano textures will help inspire your next chapter.
All of this is complemented by a great assortment of emotional solo grands would help if you broke the norms and dogma surrounding merging acoustic and synthetic sounds. With a single preset and sounds so expressive, it’s the only instrument you need to create fully realized inspired cues and compositions, from melodic meditations to concert hall fullness.
Any composer, musician, or sound designer can find something useful in Revelation Scoring Grand. If you need some motivation for your next chapter, put on some music with some magnificent underscore, some glittering hybrid keys, some subtle and nuanced rhythms, and some rich piano textures.
An excellent variety of heartfelt solo grands complements the whole thing. There should be no rules or orthodoxy when combining natural and artificial sounds. It’s the only instrument you need to realize completely realized inspired cues and songs, from melodic meditations to concert hall grandeur, and all with only one preset with sounds that are so expressive on their own.
The multi-sampled Steinway Grand Piano serves as the basis for Revelation. Your ears will be able to machinate on an extraordinary range of tones and timbers thanks to the four microphone perspectives that have been captured here: sub, near, mid, and far. As a result, more precise control over the tones than even the most advanced live session can offer.
The ability to freely apply subtle character and mechanical acoustics to one’s mic and tonal expressions is a powerful tool. Use the Pedal, Felt, and Mechanism Release to inject a hyperrealistic dose of analog reality into your piano’s vocal range.
The library is available for Kontakt 6.2.1 or higher. Kontakt 6.2.1 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
This sampled Steinway Grand Piano may be the foundation of any score, and with the help of Sound Yeti, it can become much more. This piano may be the only piano you need for your cinematic score since it features many effects, a three-layer system, and many preset to get you started.
5. Native Instruments Schema: Dark
Schema Dark is a Native Instruments library that offers dark cinematic loop content for music creation.
Its four-layered Kontakt interface allows for layer mixing and pan, loop playback speed, direction, and sample reverse modes. The plugin has a dark tonality ranging from field-recorded sounds to orchestral recordings. Each layer can be edited using intuitive macro knobs, mix controls, and studio-grade effects.
- Multi-layer loop player
One of the plugin’s key features is its multi-layer loop player, which enables you to chop loops into 16 slices and play them back in any order according to the chosen pattern. You can fine-tune each step in the pattern, giving them precise control over the timing and rhythm of their music.
- Easy GUI
Plugin’s main page provides access to specialized editing pages and controls, allowing you to tweak their sound and create unique and intricate patterns. Macros and performance controls are always visible at the bottom of the instrument, providing a user-friendly interface for playing and tweaking key parameters.
NI SCHEMA: DARK has 343 professionally designed presets that can be easily tweaked and swapped to suit individual preferences. The plugin also includes a built-in way to generate sounds with a knob and the option to roll a virtual dice in each of the four loops, giving you even more creative possibilities.
- Random knob
DARK has a built-in way to generate sounds using the “Random” knob. This allows you to roll a virtual die in the four loops, creating unpredictable and unique sequences. This feature can be used as a starting point for further tweaking and customization, adding experimentation and randomness to the creative process.
Additionally, the ability to slice and rearrange loops in any order according to the chosen pattern allows for endless possibilities and variations in the sound, making it a versatile and adaptable instrument for various musical styles.
The NI SCHEMA: DARK plugin has specific system requirements for macOS and Windows, including the latest updates, Intel Macs (i5 or higher), or Apple Silicon Macs via Rosetta 2. It also requires graphics hardware support for Direct 3D 11.1 (Feature Level 11_0) or higher and at least 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended for large KONTAKT Instruments).
Further, the Kontakt plugin is available as a standalone or in VST3, AU, and AAX formats for macOS and standalone, VST3, and AAX formats for Windows, with support for 64-bit only.
The instrument offers editable patterns for each layer, filters, decay, volume, and pitch controls. It is created in collaboration with pro sound and instrument designer Tobias Menguser. All these features make it a great library for trailers SFX and arpeggiators.
6. Heavyocity – Damage 2
Damage 2 is an upgraded version of the first Damage Kontakt library. The library contains solid elements for aggressive and perforative drum sounds.
Damage 2 can deliver tempo-synced giant, epic, explosive drum patterns for any score, featuring more than eight hundred new loops with modern parameters and controls.
At skywalker sound, a famous LucasFilm subdivision that works on audio editing, mixing, and sound design, Heavyocity recorded punchy epic percussion, providing a genuinely next-gen workflow.
Damage 2 features an immense quantity of intense and exciting recordings. A convenient tool in selecting the sources for crafting many designs is the “Category” section. In category, you can choose between nine segments full of exquisite and unique instruments and recordings, such as drums with different inches and even a trashcan. By browsing through Monster, Organic, Taikos, Ethnic, Cymbals & Gonds, Found Sounds, Hybrid, Damaged, and Transitions, you will craft all sorts of explosive, evil drum mixes.
On a stage panel, you can monitor the perceived stereo placement in which the sound source is present. Each of the three octaves will be given control of the stereo field, with an additional five-position selection for the microphones, Close, Room, Hall, Crush, and LFE.
Each key can be customizable by you in the exciting Settings section. For performance improvements, you can change parameters like Velocity, Modwheel, and Expression. Time and velocity can also be set for different techniques such as Crescendo, Swell, Flam, Roll, and Repeat. With a randomization tool, the library offers easy creation and experimentation of realistic performances.
The plugin offers a custom effects chain, including Heavyocity’s unique Punisher technology. Effects such as EQ, Saturation, Compressor, Filter, Reverb, and Delay can be organized and dragged to fit an ideal processing order in the effects chain. The custom Punish effect will inflict a sophisticated destruction level, the signature of the Damage series, in three selectable intensity levels. Nightmare, Hurt Me Plenty, and Gently Now are the three destruction levels you can switch between in the instruments.
This library is available for Kontakt Player version 6.2.2 and higher.
With Damage 2, every track will have the additional textures of destructive and intense drums. Composers can benefit from the many instruments recordings featured in the library selection for scoring action, post-apocalyptic, monstrous projects.
By adjusting parameters in the settings panels, you can administrate expression levels and drums’ intensity.
The acclaimed Punish effect by Heavyocity will offer three destruction levels, giving composers the possibility to make any drum pattern extremely explosive.
7. Native Instruments Symphony Series Woodwind Ensemble
An all-purpose woodwind section that includes solo instruments with top-quality sound.
The second installment of the partnership between Native Instruments and Soundiron featuring a simple user interface with all the controls necessary for a realistic and expressive performance. This collection features two separate libraries for solo and ensemble.
Recorded in Oakland at the Montclair Presbyterian Church, the line-up for this collection includes flutes, oboes, Bb clarinets, bassoons, tenor sax, contrabassoons, bass and contrabass clarinets for the ensemble; the solo library features the same instruments except the bass and contrabass clarinets.
Instead of just one patch to cover all articulations, these are spread across several NKIs (patches, presets…) for CPU usage saving. These NKIs are Effects (arpeggios, valve clicks, and flourishes), Expression (crescendo, decrescendo, sforzando, swells), Sustain, Staccato, Legato (main, piano, mezzo forte, and forte), and a Woodwind (Quintet for solo) patch that distributes the instruments across the MIDI controller with the option of switching articulations.
- Mixer & FX:
In this section, we find 4 channels – stereo, close, mid, and far – with faders, mute toggles, and pan sliders for adjusting the volume and placement of the instruments. Below we can adjust the effects for timbre and sound-shaping; a three-band parametric EQ, compressor with threshold/ratio/attack/release controls, filters with cutoff and resonance knobs, and convolution reverb with a lot of impulse responses, many of them by Soundiron. All settings in this section can be copied and transferred to other instrument sections with the Transfer Settings feature.
Soundiron included an arpeggio function, as it is tradition for them. The phrases for these arpeggio runs were recorded live and are included in the main, legato and staccato articulations. The Arpeggio Run Tool controls for runs, speed, number of notes, and Mode, allowing users to choose from runs up, down, up and down, down and up, as played, and random. In addition, in the TYPE menu, you can choose major, minor, augmented, diminished, and trills.
Control over the performance is dedicated in the performance tab. For the main controls, there’s a big knob for dynamics that controls volume as well as the intensity and is mapped to the mod wheel. Additionally, below the dynamics knob, there are attack, release, tightness, and motion slider controls. Then, further below are located the specific settings where we can select the articulation we want or edit the mapping to our MIDI keyboard and other controls like speed and tools like repetition or arpeggio, depending on the articulation we’re playing.
The library is available for Kontakt Player 5 or higher. Kontakt is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
This collection is a great choice for epic cinematic soundscapes Star Trek-style. The large number of samples and how the GUI is presented make it really easy for a detailed and authentic performance, and many of the effects like the saxophone runs or the oboe trills are beautifully executed.
The sound by default is too wet – in other words, it has too much reverb – making even the solo instruments lack definition, especially when wanting a more intimate chamber ensemble sound.
This can be solved by toggling off the stereo channel and balancing the mics properly giving it priority to the close mic and reducing the release to taste in the performance tab. Symphony Series Woodwinds is a force to be reckoned with, so consider it when looking for a woodwind orchestral library.
8. Spitfire Albion ONE
Albion ONE by Spitfire is an all-in-one scoring tool featuring a 109-piece orchestra and many synth sounds.
This library is probably the first thing people recommended you to buy when you stepped into the film scoring world, and there’s a reason for it. Albion ONE offers an extensive range of sounds fit for modern films and games, including orchestral multis and synth sequences.
Albion ONE features a 109-piece orchestra featuring acclaimed players from London. They were recorded performing various articulations: short notes, long notes, tremolos, pizzicatos, etc. The sounds are divided into sections: Brass Low, Mid and High, Woods High and Low, and Strings. Hence, you cannot play each instrument individually.
Albion ONE features phrases for commonly-used orchestral flairs that are triggered using a single note. Similarly, you will have four mic options: close, tree, outriggers, and ambient. And finally, it features an ostinato designer or sequencer for tense, rhythmic pieces.
- Percussions and Loops
Of course, the library also features an extensive collection of percussions ranging from gentle vibes to action-packed blockbuster strikes. Furthermore, you can mangle and manipulate hundreds of percussive loops using the built-in Brunel Loop module.
This library requires Kontakt Player 5.6.8 or higher, which requires Windows 7 or macOS 10.10 or higher for both 32-bit and 64-bit.
Overall, you will find Albion ONE to be a mix of traditional and modern film scoring cultures, capable of producing a wide range of sounds. In addition to what we’ve talked about so far, you will also find synth loops and hybrid sounds for good measure. It’s truly a versatile library that every score composer should have.
9. Native Instruments Ashlight
Native Instruments layered water phones, cymbals, feedback cycles, and synths, among other grain sources, to create the sound of this library.
Ashlight is the third library from Frank Elting’s granular instruments trilogy. It’s a very dark-sounding library that offers highly immersive atmospheres, bass pulses, and the possibility of combining its textures with one-shot samples, like hits or snares.
This library provides you with micro and macro controls. It has a highly user-friendly interface that keeps you creative, making it suitable for experienced and beginner sound designers.
Ashlight’s sound is full and deep; you can quickly twist and customize it with endless possibilities, making it an excellent deal for videogames and film scoring.
As with the Straylight library from the same series, Ashlight also offers you the sample and grain engines that compose the two sound layers you’ll get to play with on this library, as well as the XY pad to perform in real-time.
- Sample module:
You can load any sample, layer it with the grain textures, and transform them into different sounds. Blend in choirs, noise, percussion, pulses, and even multi-sampled instruments in this module to get patches with more attack, or use the arpeggiator if you’re looking for more melodic results.
- Polyphonic modulation:
The latest addition Native Instrument has done to Ashlight is the MIDI polyphonic expression support to the engine so that you can play more dynamically by controlling each note and pitch, timber, and pressure. Its flexible modulation system allows you to root polyphonic expression inputs to any parameter in the grain engine. Ashlight works with your existing MIDI board or keyboard, but make sure to enable this feature on your host.
- Sample arpeggiator:
Ashlight includes an arpeggiator on the sample layer, which drives odd rhythmic patterns, and it’s fully integrated into the modulation system. The arpeggiator allows advanced settings like restricting its impact to the lowest key to generate a bass line.
- Effect panel:
Each layer has its effect pannel, which counts with four effect slots that you can re-order and assign freely and choose from ten effect types with predefined presets.
Free Kontakt Player version 6.2 and higher, or Kontakt version 6.2 and higher.
Whether you are into film or game scoring, sound design, or music production, Ashlight offers a lot of exciting colors to add to your pallet. It delivers a solid start point with production-ready sounds, from monochrome landscapes and pulsing textures to even leads, hits, and transitions.
10. NI Symphony Series Strings
Recorded in Studio 22, Budapest, in collaboration with Audiobro, an ensemble perfect for modern cinematic scoring.
An ensemble of 60 players was used for this library. There are patches for violins, violas, cellos, and basses. There’s also an Ensemble patch to control the whole section for pads, simple and slow passages, or experimentation and creative process.
The GUI is consistent with its predecessor’s Symphony Series: Brass. Simple and Intuitive, it offers all you need to achieve a realistic string section. In addition, there are three tabs or sections in which you can make adjustments: Performance, Mixer, and Setup.
Up to 10 articulations, including legato sustains, pizzicato, staccato, spiccato, tremolo, con sordino, and trills (violins and violas only) come with each section with presets assigned to eight key switches. For example, the legato sustains feature crossfading dynamic layers controlled by the mod wheel. These layers have progressive increments in vibrato, giving the section a more expressive sound; the amount of vibrato can be controlled with the legato vibrato control (Legato Vib. Ctrl). The trills come in whole tone, half tone, and major and minor thirds, of which the key signature can be set for the latter two, but keep in mind that this can only be done through the GUI, so it is necessary to set several trills to the key switches in case you need them in different key signatures.
To ensure the experience of a live orchestra, the Divisi function divides the number of players when playing up to four notes simultaneously for violins and two for the rest of the instruments, preventing the buildup of players in the section. This is possible since all sections were recorded in two parts, A and B, distributing the numbers as follows: Violin I, 16 players divided into 8 for part A and 8 for part B; Violin II, 14 players divided into 7 for part A and 7 for part B; Viola, 12 players divided into 6 for part A and 6 for part B; Cello, 10 players divided into 5 for part A and 5 for part B; Bass, 8 players divided into 4 for part A and 4 for part B.
- Mixer and FX:
The mixer has mute controls (presented as a toggle on/off), 4 channels for stereo, close, mid, and far microphones, volume faders and a panning slider. In the effects section below the mixer, we can find a three-band EQ, a compressor, and a convolution reverb, which comes with 104 impulses, most of which were made by Adiobro. It’s possible to copy and paste the setting in the mixer with the Transfer Setting feature as long as the other sections reside in the same Kontakt instance.
The staccato, spiccato and pizzicato articulations have a Repetition toggle on/off option for repeating the same note while pressing a key within a strict tempo-synced time (1/8th, 1/8th triplet, and 1/16th). In addition, this very convenient tool comes with three preset accent patterns and a no-accent option, which allows the user to control accents with the mod wheel.
The library is available for Kontakt Player 5 or higher. Kontakt is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
With a very simple and intuitive interface and great functions like the Divisi, Legato Vib. Ctrl, and size setup, SSSE is a great contender in the string plugins competition. It grants a lot of flexibility weather your looking for a small, calmed, and intimate sound or an epic cinematic soundscape. It is quite expensive though, so keep in mind that all these great features also require a big investment.
11. Audiobro – Modern Scoring Strings
Recorded at a cinematic-sounding scoring stage, Modern Scoring Strings features a string library with great performance controls on techniques and articulations.
Audiobro delighted the music community with the release of an incredible Kontakt strings library recorded on different divisi sections. After the acclaimed LA Scoring Strings release, Audiobro spent twelve years upgrading and enriching their sampling techniques, particularly for string instruments.
With modern and technological algorithms, Modern Scoring Strings can combine many divisis according to Orchestral positionings and different microphone mixes, delivering cinematic possibilities for any score.
One exciting, powerful point of this library is its incredible performance for building authentic Ostinatos. Modern Scoring Strings features an excellent 8th-note legato and ostinato recording quality. In addition, major and minor seconds and thirds and perfect fourth and perfect fifth inserts into chords and phrases with a unique and technological Smart Engine developed by Audiobro.
- Smart Mode
Apart from offering a brilliant engine, Moder Scoring Strings also features highly modern “smart-modes.” You can switch between over a dozen of these smart-modes, which provide exciting techniques such as Diatonic Held Note Mode, Diatonic 16ths Mode, and Diatonic Triplets Mode. The intelligent mode will work as a play-assist tool to make strings sound great in any key.
- Variable Performances
By offering many attacks, sustain, and dynamics ranges, Modern Scoring Strings makes it possible for a significant amount of control to shape the notes. Audibro’s developers made actual attack samples at various amounts to build a good array of attack and sustain variations. By doing so, they made it possible to select between Bloom/Crescendo Sustains, Normal Sustains, and Bowed/Accented Sustains.
Many playing methods are available for you to select in Modern Scoring Strings. The highly versatile Kontakt Library by Audiobro offers you exciting playing techniques such as Martelé, Staccato, Staccatissimo, Spiccato, Pizzicato, Col Legno, Octave Runs, Aleatoric (horror and tension), Bass runs, and Bartok Pizzicato.
This library is available for Kontakt Player version 6.0.4 and higher.
With Modern Scoring Strings, producers will set any kind of vibe and feeling through highly versatile string samples. The incredible engine of the library by Audiobro is remarkably modern with its featured Smart mode.
Modern Scoring Strings can reach a colossal field of textures to create scores for any movie genre by offering you an immensely diverse amount of playing techniques.
12. Native Instruments – STRAYLIGHT
STRAYLIGHT is a highly cinematic sound design tool by Native Instruments. Its potential for post-apocalyptic sci-fi and thrillers makes it an exciting instrument for games, films, and TV.
With the assistance of acclaimed film, TV, and video game composer Paul Haslinger and four more entities specialized in audio, they came up with a Kontakt library great for any project. Native Instruments allows STRAYLIGHT to inspire you with high dynamic performance.
Producers won’t need to spend time processing sounds in the mix when using STRAYLIGHT. Every note played is already fit for the screen with its highly sophisticated engine featuring modern mixing algorithms.
- Granular Engine
STRAYLIGHT’s Grain segment is the result of a highly operational granular engine developed by Native Instruments’ best engineers. Composers can synchronize it with the score’s tempo for authentic transitions. The grain section features parameters for setting the signal’s range, Tuning (pitch and detune), Amp, ADSR, LP and HP cutoff filters, and reverb.
In the sample section, you can make in-depth modifications to the sound’s character and texture. A pitch segment will offer a transpose and a tuning knob. The filter segment has many modes that you can switch between, and it also has knobs for Cutoff, Resonance, and Drive. An exciting feature that the filter offers is to set ADSR values for it. The Amp segment in Sample also offers you ADSR values, as well as a volume knob.
An exciting processing possibility that the Kontakt library offers is its Grain and Sample pairing. Without sacrificing any organic quality from the sound, STRAYLIGHT will modulate characteristics for sounds in both the Grain and Sample sections. After you set parameters and values in the two main sections of the library, they’ll have the option to combine a layer of the granular engine with the sample module, amplifying experimentation and sound design.
This library is available for Kontakt Player version 6.2 and higher.
With this brilliantly designed library, any producer will have the tools for producing high-quality instruments for video games, TV, and movies. The granular engine and sample modules featured in STRAYLIGHT make it an incredibly versatile library for sampling great raw material and turning it into apocalyptic or sci-fi instruments.
13. Audio Imperia – Talos
Talos is a Best-selling brass library developed by Audio Imperia. The library’s massive range of colors and textures makes it widely versatile at providing both powerful and delicate performances.
Talos is also straightforward to control and set parameters, featuring many instruments such as French Horns and Tubas. You can select mic positions and different playing techniques for precise brass performances.
Talos’ interface is straightforward to use. In a single panel, you will have complete control of the mix and presets. A convenient big knob will serve the signal with saturation.
In Talos, there are two types of controllers for setting the main characteristics of the sounds. The essential section features three knobs, Dynamics, Expression, and Vibrato; along with these knobs, a Tight toggle can set the Sample Start to the maximum value. In the advanced section, you can operate values for Dyn. Range, Sample Start, and Leg. Smooth. The Dyn. Range will apply volume control to all articulations; Sample Start will control latency and Leg. Smooth offers crossfade in Legato Articulations.
Three exciting toggles are present in Talos’ interface. When Sordino is enabled, an instrument made with natural sordino performances will play, emulating authentic sounds from the actual instrument. When you enable the 2nd Violins, a neighbor-borring feature will act on the instrument’s timbre; featured arrows will inflict an upwards or downwards shift to the timbre. A Niente toggle will provide modulations in the low-end dynamics controller’s volume, excellent for silent fade-outs.
The ridiculous quality of the articulations featured in Talos is outstanding. You can choose between Legato, Sustained, Pizzicato, Spicatto Fast, Spicatto Slow, Staccato, Marcato Short, and Marcato Long for selecting articulations. As brass articulations, those are highly versatile options for any score since they’re of actual recordings of expert players.
This library is available for Kontakt Player version 6.3.2 and higher.
The highly versatile brass library by Audio Imperia offers many ways of adding brass elements to any mix. With many featured instruments, Talos has many articulations and techniques, precious for many scores.
Apart from its incredible controllers and toggles, the Kontakt library by Audio Imperia will provide sounds ready for the screen with its two highly sophisticated mixes, Classic and Modern.
14. Hidden Path Audio – Orchestral Rise Builder (Free DL)
Hidden Path Audio delivered a fully-equipped orchestral library, with vast instruments focusing on rising build-up entirely for free.
Not only is Orchestral Rise Builder straightforward to operate, but it’s also amicable by being accessible to any composer and producer with its free price.
The Orchestral Rise Builder will make any vibe transition possible recorded at Georgian Film Studio in Tbilisi, Georgia. The possibilities are exciting, particularly for horror and tense build-ups.
- Rise Mix
Apart from giving you a high-quality rise effect with specific risers, such as brighter instruments rising the high-end, you can combine different instruments to achieve fullness. The feeling can stand out in a unique and highly prominent way by playing the low-end risers with the high-end and mid-end ones.
- Three Risers
Orchestral Rise Builder features three types of risers regarding their duration. You can choose between Long Risers, Medium Risers, and Short Risers for specific dramatic delivery. There are also different instruments that you can switch between, Full Orchestra, Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds.
This library is available for Kontakt Player version 5.5.1 and higher.
Fit for any score, Orchestral Rise Builder can add flavor and color in any dramatic transition.
Its different sonic ranges make it possible for specifically tense situations. By combining the extra risers, you can achieve protuberant tense sensations for any project in their scores. In addition to that, the library by Hidden Path Audio is entirely free.
UJAM – Nemesis
UJAM surprised many producers with an incredibly modern and futuristic drum machine by delivering an authentic and exciting product. Nemesis beatmaker is particularly optimal for action-filled films.
Nemesis is a go-to plugin for building intense and sharp drum patterns featuring many presets and drum kits. Its heavy and aggressive hits combine fury with futurism.
Featuring a heavily produced library, you can select between many presets and Mix modes to make Nemesis stand out through any mix. With a cyberpunk thematic, rhythmic patterns can range from enigmatic and obscure to fiery and bright.
- Kit and Mix Sliders
Some curved sliders on Nemesis offer exciting controls concerning the kick/snare and the beat intensity. The kick/snare curved slider offers a gradual fader that the you can temporarily control. The Beat Intensity slider works intuitively by allowing you to set specific values for the drum’s intensity by temporarily turning it down.
- Special Controls
You can set custom-made controls featured in Nemesis’ interface. The EDEN: Kick Pump slider sends the kick into a sidechain compression; DOPE: Vinyl Drive can simulate retro effects with noise and compressor functions. Hustle: Bass Tune allows you to tune the kick drum over an octave. VOID: Vortex whirl the beat around while you are affecting the slider, producing a vortex sensation. VICE: Time Machine adds vintage or futuristic drums textures; it depends on what you value more. HYPE: Riser works intuitively, creating high-impact builds. KANDY: Sweetness makes drums cut through the mix.
- NEMESIS: Pressurize & Hypercharge
This exciting distortion tool is the most acclaimed tool within Nemesis. While carrying the library’s name, NEMESIS: Pressurize & Hypercharge will direct sounds to different areas. Pressurize behaves as a compressor condensing signals and making them slice through the mix. Hypercharge act as a distorted tool for crafting fierce, electrified sounds.
Some exciting controls can inflict different effects on the timing in which drum patterns will play. Nemesis offers a Swing slider that manages beats towards a triplet timing. The Quantize slider works intuitively by letting you set quantize values for the beats. The Slack will emulate the clumsy timing of a slow processor that some MIDI or drum machines usually feature.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
Nemesis works as a beatmaker, showing a cyberpunk thematic and delivering handy controls for you to evoke aggressive or futuristic vibes in any score. The plugin by UJAM is extraordinarily versatile and fit for action and intense scenes.
Nemesis allows you to set many effects values for distortion, compression, noise, and even timing with highly intuitive and easy-to-use custom controls.
A kick/snare control will give you the freedom to brighten up the kicks and snares in the drum pattern. A general intensity can also be precisely controlled in the plugin, delivering a great customization experience.
By presenting many modern plugins, every producer will benefit from this article’s selection of tools that contains strings, brass instruments, percussion, woodwinds, sparkles, and many unique orchestral elements.
Along with a diverse palette of instruments, having many playing techniques and organic effects can offer composers autonomy to achieve accurate performances in their scores.
For percussion greatness, we feel that both Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion and UJAM’s Symphonic Elements Drums achieve our percussive preferences with smooth and realistic results. Their different drum models and reliable mixing algorithms caught our attention the most.
Next, we consider Abbey Road One by Spitfire highly optimal for orchestral performances due to its acoustic presence, high-value recordings, and cinematic nature gathered from recording at Studio One, Abbey Road.
The many effects and extensive libraries featured in Abbey Road One plugin fit many of our criteria.
Then again, we always recommend you to check out all the plugins and Kontakt libraries featured in this list since their value differs from one use case to another, especially when it comes to film scoring.