Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries 2022 (Paid & FREE)

This article lists the top paid and free mandolin plugins and libraries in 2022.

The mandolin’s popularity expanded in the second part of the twentieth century when it began to take on many various shapes and sizes. As a response, it has found a home in modern music, particularly country and rock (Beatles, Led Zeppelin, REM, Rod Stewart, Nightwish), right up to the current day.

Nowadays, you can easily access the mandolin as a plugin, a virtual instrument that provides the authentic and organic sound of a real one. So essentially, we have a wallet full of high-quality recorded sounds, which we can use anytime in any context. 

Read on to find out what are our top 9 favorite mandolin plugins:

Top 9 Mandoline Plugins 2022 For Musicians

1. Cinematique Instruments Mandolin 1.5 (Kontakt Library)

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Cinematique Instruments Mandolin 1.5 - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

Capture the essence of the mandolin in a straightforward manner. A new Mandolin update, additional features, and a new approach.

Cinematique Instruments introduced a new version of this mandolin plugin which features new presets, features, and effects. As you make changes, you realize how beneficial these additional features are.

Mandolin 1.5 emulates a quality mandolin tuned in G-D-A-E, like a violin. Furthermore, the plugin contains a tremolo function that can be utilized to play in a traditional tremolo style, and the old sound is brought more creatively into the present day.

Key Features:

  • Articulations
    Different types of plucking are in this new version. In addition, “PLEC” articulation offers a more clean and detailed sound, and “FINGER” adds a more gentle and personal touch. Moreover, the mandolin has two additional articulations, “Vintage” and “Strummed”; both give you the option to change the feel of your instrument.
  • Powerful Tremolo
    The plugin includes the “tragic” style, a tremolo feature that makes the writing of mandolin scores much more realistic. With this feature, you can see Mandolin 1.5’s potential to accompany an acoustic guitar or even an entire country or rock arrangement. All articulations benefit from this function.
  • Strumming Engine
    You can find a new strumming engine under the “Strummer” function, which also features a pattern sequencer. At first glance, you can modify the velocity and switch between strokes, and the new presets are beneficial. In addition, it’s a great deal of enjoyment to use.
  • High-Quality Samples
    The bundle contains more than 1.200 high-quality samples, compressed into about 0.8 GB, and yours to use in any way you see fit. Cinematique Instruments recorded them all professionally at their studio in Germany.
  • Editing features
    The newly added editing features enable you to shape your general sound, using elements such as FX (Reverb, Chorus, Arpeggiator, and Tone). With the new plugin interface, you can mix your mandolin tracks effortlessly. I can tell that they are accurate, and there is no need to use an external plugin.

Compatibility:

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).

Summary:

The more you experiment with this Mandolin plugin, the more you discover how versatile these sounds may be. It works well in various projects, is easy to use, and sounds authentic and lively. The features are quite useful in making your project sound more unique, and it offers a lot for its price tag.

2. Orange Tree Samples Evolution Mandolin (Kontakt Library)

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Orange Tree Samples Evolution Mandolin - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

Orange Tree Samples introduced the Evolution Mandolin under their top guitar engine. A plugin that combines features with an excellent composition experience.

Evolution Mandolin includes the top guitar engine that is still making waves in the plugin business and has a unique approach to simulating realism The sound library benefits from great mandolin samples produced on analog equipment in partnership with Rosewood Recording Company, which makes us feel that the mandolin sound is as accurate as possible.

It is a great sound library for country, classical music, jazz, folk, and Americana music. It benefits from articulations like palm mutes, harmonics, legato, and sustains. Unfortunately, Orange Tree Examples also included samples of incorrect notes, which may spread in the mandolin track. With all these professional capabilities, it can consume a significant amount of CPU resources, so let’s see how it can perform.

Key Features:

  • Stompboxes                                                                                                                    
    Surely the plugin is good at this. Effects like “Distortion, Tremolo, Volume, Wah, Reverb pedal, EQ, Compressor, Chorus, Flanger, Reverb Rack, Delay, Spring Reverb, even an AMP, and CAB section” may be used to alter the tone of the mandolin. The effects are accurate, very well incorporated into the plugin UI, and one-of-a-kind.
  • Pick Modeling                                                                                                            
    When this option is enabled, you can alter the pick location based on the string. If you place the pick near the bridge, you will get a brighter tone, but if you place it closer to the neck, as on a guitar, you will get a deeper, warmer tone. Alternate picking alternates the pick’s downstroke and upstroke. Economy picking was also implemented, allowing you to create mandolin sections with methods like sweep picking in a much more efficient motion. Of course, just as in real life, you may change the pick’s Noise Amount. It is useful when a precise rhythm is required.
  • Articulations                                                                                                                      
    The articulations include several elements, such as round-robin, three dynamics, and two pick directions. Also features additional effects like string slaps and muted strums, and you can even randomly activate the misfretted sustain, which adds to the realism. All articulations are usable in both the plugin interface and MIDI. Another skill like legato for slides, hammer-on, and pull-off. As a result, all of these meet the preferences of even the most demanding songwriters.
  • Samples                                                                                                                            
    Guy Randle was the recording engineer, assisted by famous multi-instrumentalist Ryan Tilby, recognized for his eclectic collection of sounds and styles. To attain the quality of these samples, they employed analog equipment. Orange Tree Samples Evolution Mandolin has 2.5 GB of sampled to 1.05 GB of 24 bit. It should be mentioned that you have a multitracking capability that can reach quadruple tracking so this plugin packs significant power.
  • Presets                                                                                                                                  
    If you don’t want to go through all the settings, you may utilize a wide range of tone presets in your mix. Automatic chord detection is excellent, especially since all modern plugins include in addition, of course, it offers a strumming pattern editor, simplifying things if you’re on the go and need something quick.

Compatibility:

It requires a free version of Kontakt 5.5.2 or higher. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).

Summary:

Certainly, the Evolution Mandolin provides a lot for the money. A vast array of effects, settings, and samples brings the game closer to reality. So, if you want to use it to its full potential, it certainly excels. It requires a significant amount of CPU resources due to its power.

3. Spitfire Audio Mandolin Swarm (Kontakt Library)

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Spitfire Audio Mandolin Swarm - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

A collection of 14,760 samples of mandolins, ukuleles, and charangos, paired with 6 microphone settings for large and small ensembles.

London’s Air Studios seated 19 guitarists in pairs between the ribbon microphone to capture the sounds for this plugin. This loudness level certainly allows for additional styles, such as tremolo, muted plucks, and behind-the-bridge effect. With six microphone viewpoints and three mixes to combine in focus and depth mode, it can also generate surround and 5.1 sound.

The tremolando allows you to manage both the dramatic level and the pace of these exceptionally extended articulations, ranging from a delicate trickle to a haze of notes. Synchronizing measured tremolos to your host tempo can offer varying levels of tightness depending on the application, and the set of slowly played chords will give you a hair-raising sensation.

Key Features:

  • MICS                                                                                                                           
    Mandolin Swarm can scale to meet your demands at any moment, simply by altering the position of the microphones. The six microphone positions “Close, Tree, Ambient, Outriggers, Tree 2, Gallery” and their mixes “Fine, Medium, Broad,” provide a diverse range of possibilities.
  • Samples                                                                                                                       
    14760 samples were meticulously recorded by 19 guitarists in London’s AIR STUDIOS. The plugin has an 18.9GB download size, which will take up 28.5GB of disk space. Therefore, a free space of 37.80GB is required during installation. It does take up a little more space, but the number of parameters and the engine that powers this plugin are quite strong.
  • Interface and Controls                                                                                                   
    In general, the interface is straightforward. When you launch the plugin, you will see settings such as MIC MIX, which allows you to blend the microphones to your liking, and DYNAMICS, which adjusts the dynamics; you can also use this function with a control wheel, theSPEED section that controls the speed of the tremolo, and finally a Release and Expression control. 
  • Presets and Articulations                                                                                               
    A vast number of presets allow you to adjust the ensemble’s size ”Big ensemble chords, Big ensemble, Small ensemble’’,  and the ensemble’s chords ‘‘Big ensemble chords, Big ensemble – Long Chords”, various plucks, tremolo and an FX called Behind bridge can be found as Individual Patches or Machine Patches.

Compatibility:

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).

Summary:

All things considered, Spitfire Audio Swarm Mandoline raises the standard in terms of quality, even if it is a heavy plugin due to the fact that it takes up a lot of space it takes up on the disk and the enormous number of samples and mic positions. Although a little pricy,  it provides what it promises.

4. Rawbit Audio Maple Mandolin By Loot Audio (Kontakt Library)

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Loot Audio released their Mandolin version Rawbit Audio Maple Mandolin, it is simple but effective.

Maple mandolin sounds warm and sensitive, and they sampled it without leaving any marks, using finger-only playing. You can play rhythmic patterns, chords, and melodies alternating up and down motion with  simple restroke feature. Another key point is that you can use momentary switches to create grace notes and ghost kicks while you play without having to change your performance afterward.

Key Features:

  • Controls                                                                                                                                 
    A user interface with the term “simplicity” in mind. We have two knobs that enable us to modify Room and Hall, which have an attractive visual at first sight. Of course, you may alter the Sustain mode as well.
  • Standard Keyswitches                                                                                                   
    By tapping certain keys, you may access mandolin modes. For example, sustain Up, Sustain Down, Sustain Down/Up toggle, Short Down, and Short Up are also available modes. Also, changing the Momentary Keyswitches, which include the following options: Trill-1, Trill +1, Ghost Stroke Down, and Ghost Stroke Up.
  • Intuitive restroke function
    Rhythmic patterns like chords and melodies may be readily performed by alternating downstrokes and upstrokes, allowing you to repeat any held note in multiple articulations. 

Compatibility:

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).

Summary:

After all, it’s a useful plugin. Certainly, for the price, it provides a lot, but the selection of sounds is not as diverse as we can get in other plugins. All articulations were sampled without a pick and simply with the fingers. I find the ability to alternate strokes beneficial, but not sufficient. The features are enough for this purpose.

5. The House of Sound – The UL-Mandolin (Kontakt Library)

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The House of Sound - The UL-Mandolin - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

The House of Sound`s mandolin plugin is definitely a basic option, but it can be useful. Some of the functions are great, but it needs improvement.

Play whatever note you choose with UL-Mandolin. You may play the mandolin in this fashion while preserving the same chord space and tone as a genuine mandolin. Specifically, on the mandolin you can choose the appropriate note on the appropriate string or, if you like the sound of open strings, choose those. It’s up to you to choose what’s best for you.

Key Features:

  • Key switches
    Functions like 15 round robin long notes, 4 round robin mute notes that begin on the first fret, a mandolin fretboard layout, and a light indication of the played note are available in the program settings. Also, arpeggio notes and fast chord up and down strokes can be found in the main interface.
  • Interface
    Simply the best. In the initial phase, we can see two buttons labeled “Mandolin” and “Fretboard,” where Fretboard allows you to modify the mandolin’s tune and displays the notes it plays. By hitting the A2 key switch, you can, for instance, employ “regular” articulation.
  • Articulation
    There is no tremolo. It features functions for bend/slide, sustain, and palm mute. Once looking for the slide length or bend, use the “Slide time” knob on the first page. Although it’s a straightforward alternative, strumming articulation doesn’t provide much.

Compatibility:

The full version of Kontakt 6.5.3 or higher is needed. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).

Summary:

All things considered, it’s a basic library with nice sound. We can achieve the actual mandolin sound by using the tremolo feature, which they did not provide.. This is a significant drawback because the mandolin is famed for this sound.

Also, the Fretboard option is intriguing since it displays a fingerboard with mandolin notes and the notes you play in real-time. Again, this plugin is rather tough to use, you can alter most of the primary functions from the contact, not the plugin interface, which takes up a lot of time during construction.

If the creator provides more comprehensive corrections to the interface and functionalities, The House of Sound The UL-Mandolin may become a full plugin in the future. We expect a new update from The House of Sound in the future.

6. Spitfire Audio LABS Mandolin (Free Plugin)

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Spitfire Audio LABS Mandolin - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

A free library that operates with the LABS plugin. Spitfire Audio takes a fresh approach to capture the spirit of a mandolin.

LABS Mandolin reproduces the complete tone spectrum of a traditional mandolin. A large range of articulations were captured at Spitfire studios. Finger-picked playing styles, as well as tremolo and ensemble, are in the repertoire. Also, the samples appear unfiltered beyond typical editing, producing a clear and natural mandolin sound.

Since its original release in 2018, the tool has swiftly established itself as a must-have in every musician’s virtual instrument arsenal. With over a dozen sound libraries available for free, there’s no excuse not to include LABS in your DAW. 

Key Features:

  • Samples                                                                                                                               
    A large range of articulations was captured at Spitfire studios. There are finger-picked playing styles, as well as tremolo and ensemble, in the repertoire. All the samples appear to have been unedited other than the usual editing, resulting in a clean and perfectly natural mandolin sound.
  • Interface                                                                                                                             
    The UI appears to be clean and on point. It displays the amount of CPU, DISK, and MEMORY RAM it consumes, it allows you to monitor the reverb preset you’re using, and allows you to tweak the Tuning and Stereo Panning. In the main section, two faders and a big knob that controls the instrument’s Velocity, Reverb, and Volume.
  • Presets                                                                                                                           
    Modes such as fingered, tremolo, and plucked are easily accessible from the plugin’s top menu. In addition, it allows you to use the mandolin’s whole dynamic range.

Compatibility:

Free dedicated plugin. It is available as VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).

Summary:

Spitfire Audio LABS Mandolin is a free plugin you should include in your plugin collection. We recommend utilizing it in conjunction with other free versions of the tools via the LABS plugin since the quality of the samples it provides is usually handy. It’s also free and doesn’t take up much of your system’s resources, allowing you to be more creative.

7. indiginus The Mandolin (Kontakt Library)

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indiginus The Mandolin - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

You will have a straightforward but flawless realism and playability library with indiginus The Mandolin.

The sound was established by the indiginus owner, Tracy Collins. The Mountain Dulcimer and Delta Blues Acoustic Slide Guitar are just a couple of the virtual stringed instruments that Tracy has a lot of expertise sampling and scripting.

indiginus The Mandolin presents a classy image on the main interface. The velocity-controlled articulation section, which has icons for just about every mandolin articulation you can imagine, including bends, mutes, tremolos, trills, and more, is probably the first thing you’ll notice.

Key Features:

  • Articulations                                                                                                                       
    All of them can be configured as velocity-sensitive, key-switched, or CC-controlled. The user can personalize any of these three modes. Above all, the velocity-sensitive articulations on this one make it simple and exciting to play right away. To mute or slide, gently push the keyboard controller. Even if the tremolo isn’t already velocity mapped, doing so is rather easy by clicking the tremolo icon. 
  • Settings                                                                                                                               
    ”More settings” option can be found on the main page Here, you may alter the speed of the bends and the duration and pitch of the hammer and trill articulations. A mixer that controls the levels for each joint is also included. If you’re going for realism, it’s fine if hammer, pull, and sound articulations become buried in the mix.
  • Chords                                                                                                                                 
    The major and minor chords are transferred to different octaves. Also, use the key switches to flip between major and minor chords or to add 7ths to change chords rapidly. You can even find a power chord mode that offers a choice of multiple note chords. Programmability exists for the strum speed and the connection between velocity and said strum speed.
  • Effects                                                                                                                                       
    Thus there aren’t many built-in effects and doesn’t exactly lend itself to intensive effect processing. Instead, there is a flanger, reverb, and compressor. Resonance and tremolo are extra controls in addition to the instrument settings. An impulse response file created from the original instrument is used to add “resonance,” which increases body resonance for a woodier tone.

Compatibility:

The full version of Kontakt 5.5.0 or higher is needed. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).

Summary:

A straightforward plugin won’t take you long to get the hang of it, so my recommendation is to connect to the key control and start having fun right now. Be sure to investigate some of the numerous modifications that are available. Maybe try out the auto-harmony, vibrato, and arpeggiator.

8. Extended Mandolin Bits (FREE Kontakt Library)

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Extended Mandolin Bits - Top 9 Mandoline Plugins & Libraries | integraudio.com

Extended series introduced a new instrument to the collection. Extended Mandolin BITS is a free plugin with a plethora of features.

The Extended Mandolin BITS simulates the raw sound of a bowed mandolin in four instruments: pads, bowed, pads motion, and turned motion. It provides a diverse array of built-in effects via a simple interface. The results are instantaneous.

All of these products round out their Extended Series lineup and are based on the same concept as Extended Guitar. Jan Pfizer assisted in the creation of this collection, which has a distinct tone.

Key Features:

  • Articulations                                                                                     
    A bow comes with seven attachments, including a release, a long, a con sordino, support, a tremolo, and a spiccato. Each articulation in Bowed Motion may be controlled individually, modulating at various speeds per the source’s tempo to produce a continuous motion. Four processed pads, which were produced after bowed samples, make up the Pads patch. The Bowed Motion theory underlies how Pad Motion operates.
  • Easy interface
    You may take advantage of all the controls that Kontakt provides you with by using this plugin. At first glance, an interface with a decently tasteful design reveals that we may manage parameters like Space, Drive, envelope, and Spin on the left side. Additionally, for ease of use during composition sessions, mixer options including Pad, Drone, Grain, and Glitch are available on the right side.

Compatibility:

The full version of Kontakt 5.8.0 or higher is needed. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only).

Summary:

Being a free product, it may undoubtedly grab our attention, but we can state that it establishes itself by the distinctive features it provides you with and the caliber of the samples it collected. You can add numerous additional effects to your mandolin mix with the mixer function, and space controls are other tools that provide a distinctive touch.

9. Mandoline & Banjo

Syntheway Banjodoline (Plugin)

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Synththeway’s Banjodoline plugin mixes the sounds of banjo and mandolin and contains instruments such as Banjolin, Banjo, and Mandolin.

Bandjodoline includes instruments such as the Mandolin, Archtop Mandolin, Mandocello, Mandola, Octave Mandolin, and Electric Mandolin. It also contains banjos such as the Tenor Banjo, Plectrum Banjo, and 5-String Banjo.

A mandolin-banjo is a musical instrument that combines a banjo body with a mandolin neck and tuning. English-speaking countries, France, and Turkey. created separately their bajodoline version.

Key Features:

  • Multimode filter
    A filter with several modes. Using the parameters computed automatically by a multimode filter results in a range of intriguing tones. The filter toggles between low pass and high pass, continuous band gain, constant 0 DB peak gain, and band stop/band reject. Compensation is offered for filter types of LP, HP, and BP1.
  • Envelope Generator                                                                                                      
    You may utilize the ADSR envelope generator with the Attack, Sustain, Decay, and Release functions. In addition, the modulation settings are easily accessible through the plugin interface. A low-frequency oscillator, which can adjust depth, frequency, and offset, is also included in the tremolo segment.
  • Variety of instruments                                                                                                       
    In Selector Mode, you may switch between instruments, including Mandolin, Mandolin Tremolo, Octave Mandolin, Tremolo Octave Mandolin, Banjo, Banjolin, and Electric Mandolin. The strategy, as well as the diversity of tools, are great.

Compatibility:

Free dedicated plugin, available as VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU. It runs on macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only)

Summary:

After all, the old school interface has a lot of options with which you may operate. This pairing of Banjo and Mandolin allows you to add a wonderful tone to your orchestration. It is affordable, and the user-friendly approach will appeal to many musicians, especially given the unusual mix.

Conclusion

Instrument libraries are, without a doubt, the most crucial tool for producers to effectively write their tunes. The businesses that produce these plugins make significant investments in things like microphones, soundproof facilities, and analog and modern recording equipment.

All the engines featured in these plugins provide you with many articulation options with distinct styles and the convenience of mixing the mandolin track directly from the plugin interface, saving you time and resources.

The fact that you may polish, modify and adjust these samples leads you to assume that we are now experimenting with new methods of delivering traditional instruments, ways in which the history of music is continually evolving in a positive and alert rhythm.

Uniquely executed jobs by these plugins, even though some appear more elaborate and complex. Along the way, I saw different tactics used by the firms in developing the engine and how it reacts to the samples. Cinematique Instruments Mandolin 1.5 and Orange Tree Samples Evolution Mandolin, in my opinion, give the most comprehensive set of features.

Also, other solutions, such as the free one from Spitfire Audio LABS Mandolin, pleased me. It is a plugin that has a huge number of articulations that three controllers may control. How awesome is that? I strongly advise you to check LABS’s other free options.

Spitfire Audio Mandolin Swarm has a unique strategy. It includes a wide range of settings incorporated into a highly powerful plugin, with a vast choice of samples professionally recorded in their London studio. 

The ability to employ an ensemble, adjust the microphone placements, and even mix the mics between them to your preferences is incredibly useful. So, it is unquestionably a unique strategy, but it also presents great opportunities.

As a result, all of the plugins have great quality and top settings, and all of them make you want to utilize them in your song. Others feature all you need, combining solutions, some allow you to explore the instrument in a new and amusing way, and some even allow you to invent musical genres you’ve never heard before.

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