The foremost independent producer of Kontakt software tools is 8Dio. The 8 Best 8dio Kontakt Libraries 2023 are what we decided to provide you as a result.
When Troels and Tawnia first connected in Silicon Valley, she quit her lengthy position as an executive at LVMH and other luxury companies to work on a kind of Pokémon GO Tinder, while he wrote full production audio tracks for usage in video games, trailers, and movies.
Both were highly motivated creatives who weren’t satisfied to be a part of someone else’s machine. They signed with high-end publisher Sony Publishing’s Extreme Music Taboo, a subsidiary, eight years later. Soon after, in 2011, 8Dio was established.
Since then, it has emerged as the world’s top provider of sample libraries for musicians and filmmakers, winning the duo countless accolades, including the coveted BAFTA and two TEC awards.
Troels is not just a skilled graphic designer but also a composer who has won an Academy Award (BAFTA), a TEC/Mix Foundation and GANG Award. music technology researcher, and an adjunct professor at USC.
You’ve probably heard 8Dio’s music if you’ve recently seen blockbuster movies, listened to Top-40 music, or played video games like Tomb Raider.
Additionally, Troels, Tawnia, and founder Dave Smith Sequentially used their samples to create the Prophet X synthesizer, a unique analog/digital hybrid workstation that can be found in the top recording studios in the world.
Let’s explore what opportunities this gives as part of our objective to balance the industry, namely to give equal weight to engineering and the arts.
The 8 Best 8dio Kontakt Libraries 2023 (Various Plugins)
1. 8dio Adagio Violins 2.0
A completely redesigned version of 8Dio’s popular Adagio series, now more efficient and customizable.
With a reputation for making great instrument libraries, 8Dio received some criticism for their outdated string libraries, especially for their poor playability. But they’re also famous for listening to feedback, and they did! And decided to raise their game with version 2.0 of Adagio Violins.
A lot of work went into the recording process of this library, over six months of recording an ensemble of 11 violins and a smaller group of 3 referred to as Divisi, working 6-8 hours per day, resulting in 33,600 samples to be carefully later programmed to ensure an improvement in quality of playability during a performance.
- FX Rack:
Version 2.0 includes an effect rack called Chaos System with six effects that breathe new life into it: Phaser, a three-band EQ, Degrader (bit crush and distortion), Delay, Transform (algorithm), and Reverb (convolution). You can add some great ambiance with the convolution reverb’s IRs or use the bit crush and distortion to give it a LoFi vibe.
Besides all the reverb, this instrument also comes with three microphone channels with different proximities to balance the sound and get a more natural ambiance.
Maintaining its classic Adagio sound, recognized for its lush tone, silky legatos, and raw emotion, it now contains a large collection of articulations with swelling sustains, arcs, and legatos programmed seamlessly, and a new legato engine that consists of 8 legatos types that are velocity sensitive to respond to speed and playstyle.
- Key Switches:
The interface was polished and now allows to customize key-switching. Users can create their own articulation matrix the way that best suits their styles rather than relying on default key switches.
The library is available for Kontakt Player 6. 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 is a great step up from their previous version. However, despite the undeniable improvement in their articulations, there are many other plugins in this top that offer more detail, but they’re also more expensive, while Adagio Violin 2.0 offer a great sound at a great price.
2. 8dio Studio Sax Trio
Push the boundaries with this amazing saxophone library collection.
8dio offers advanced techniques and modern features in its products, and Studio Sax Trio is included in that description. For over 100 hours, the team captured each instrument’s sound profiles using modern recording and isolating technologies, giving a particular aspect to recording multiple players simultaneously.
- The instruments
8dio Studio Sax Trio includes three saxophone models to be freely used: “Tenor Sax A,” “Tenor Sax B,” and “Baritone Sax.” Each instrument contains its articulations, such as legato and marcato, and effects, such as runs and flutter tongue.
Aside from counting with multiple articulations, you can expect to change them at will and control them directly with your MIDI keyboard. Some of the options included are “stacatissimo,” “sustains,” “trills,” “legato,” and “marcato.”
- Chaos Effects 4.0
The updated version of Studio Sax Trio includes the “Chaos Effects 4.0” package, which contains effects such as EQ and delay, and also a nice addition: there are over 140 impulse responses in it, which ensures the best resonance and room simulation possible.
After choosing the best instruments for your track, you can set their values accordingly. Feel free to tweak knobs relating to parameters such as “Speed,” “Release,” “Response,” and “Offset,” but also connect the “Dynamics” and “Expression” knobs via the “Link” switch located in between (if you roll one knob, the other will automatically roll the same amount, in the same direction).
- The instruments
This library is available for macOS 10.13 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 10 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or later (it does not run in the free Kontakt Player!).
This trustworthy sample library is a great toolkit for composers searching for a reliable saxophone ensemble library. The three instruments in Studio Sax Trio are the most commonly used saxophone models, and each sounds as realistic as possible.
In addition, the further adjustments set on the main screen are vivid and responsive, making it perfect for both cinematic and musical performances. Of course, maybe one or two different saxophones could be included, but the over 140 impulse responses and effects inside will hardly make you miss it.
3. 8Dio Wurlitzer Electric Grand Piano
Focused on Wurlitzer sounds, this library offers deep samples and superb quality.
Like most of 8Dio’s products, this library was recorded at Scotland’s premier recording studio, Gorbals Sound, through a large custom NEVE desk. The 24-bit/96kHz rate quality proves that this team is not joking around regarding sample libraries.
You’ll find both standard and prepared articulations included, containing sustains and staccatos with round robins and muted tines, as well as an intensive recording of the internal mechanics to bring the whole electric piano experience inside your computer screen.
- Vintage microphones
The microphones used to capture this collection were vintage and modern examples, reflecting their quality in the final result. The models included were the “Neumann U87,” “Coles,” “NEVE SE Ribbon,” “AKG 414,” “Neumann KM 184,” and a mixed position which was made combining the 24 microphones used in the sessions.
- Reverb units
All samples were processed through two of the most used reverbs in studios worldwide: the TC6000 and Briscati. They can be activated with a single click, giving you instant access and control over the two units in any way you want.
Included in 8Dio Wurlitzer Electric Grand Piano, these articulations can be activated within any preset and offer dynamic variations and playability to your phrases. You can choose between sustains (pedal up or down), staccato (with round robin repetitions), and muted.
- Unique options
Other useful configurations consist of live key switches, auto-detect controls over the core articulations, dynamics response control, sympathetic resonance control, pedal volume control, release triggers of the hammer action, and true noise and room tone from the untouched signal chain.
- Vintage microphones
The library is available for macOS 10.11 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher and will not run in the Free Kontakt Player.
This Wurlitzer-oriented library is perhaps the most serious about the audio quality on this list. All stages of the recording process were ensured to have the best equipment and deliver the best samples at once, no matter the cost to your CPU.
The microphone selection is not only appraisable but also offers a unique mixed position with the entire 24 mics included.
4. 8dio Century Brass
A classy and simple design interface presents a wonderful selection of brass instruments resembling a studio mixing board. This library’s articulation, instrument, or technique can be found via a browser, and the necessary knobs to tweak every setting are located right down below this section.
8dio presents a very simple and intuitive library that can achieve massive sounds despite its elegant display, with a genuine collection of top-sounding virtual instruments designed to unveil emotion and perfect realism.
The sessions for capturing and editing Century Brass took over two years of development, with hand-picked players and multiple hours of retakes included.
- Realistic sound
The main characteristic of this library is how realistic the instruments sound, a challenge taken by 8dio’s team of developers. Candid sessions with hand-picked players helped enhance said quality, but the long periods of creation led to a precise and meticulous sonority to come out of it. Allied with the browser interface, you can expect an easy workflow with the best sound quality attached to it.
- Microphone diversity
You can count on three distinct microphones to capture the best possible ensemble sound. The “Close,” “Decca,” and “Wide” mics feature individual faders that deal with each volume, acting jointly with solo, mute and pan controls. A “Mixed” control is also present, permitting for an overall configuration of the whole ensemble.
- Polyphonic legato
Claiming to be the first company to deliver such a feature, 8dio developed a proper polyphonic legato technology that allows you to play as many notes you want, with its engine triggering all legato intervals. This permits a movement between dynamics, resulting in a lyrical and authentic sound.
- “In Place” mixes
Century Brass includes two tailor-made mixes, with instruments distributed in a traditional orchestral seating position. “Mix A” offers a focused balance, straightforward dynamics, and immersion with other instruments, whereas “Mix B” relies on a broader ambient sound profile. Blending these mixes to your taste can help increase the separation between the many instruments in the ensemble, allowing some of them to be highlighted appropriately.
- Realistic sound
This library is available for macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs only in Kontakt version 5.8.1 or higher (it will not run in the free Kontakt Player!).
Century Brass goes straight to the point by delivering a great-sounding library in a simple-to-use display. This is perfect for anyone looking for sleek and clean software that also has a standard for great samples.
They were all recorded with utmost care and attention, taking a more extended period in order to ensure an everlasting quality. As a result, all dynamics work effortlessly, and the true polyphonic legato is indeed very different from most brass libraries.
5. 8Dio Claire Oboe Virtuoso
8Dio’s collaboration with the Emmy-nominated composer Colin O’Malley brings one of the most detailed solo oboe libraries.
Recorded at a symphonic hall, Claire Oboe Virtuoso is a deeply sampled solo oboe with an advanced legato system and passionate articulations.
Furthermore, it offers multiple mic positions, performance noises, and phrases to help you achieve the most natural sound possible from a virtual instrument. And the 96 kHz sample recording never sounds dull despite pitch changes.
I must note that despite the information on 8DIO’s website, their instruments are no longer watermarked, as confirmed to me by their PR via email. So, you’ll likely come across a new web page and instrument downloader that doesn’t inform you about watermarking soon.
- Microphone Positions
The library offers three microphone positions: Close, Decca tree, and wide. The close is a mono microphone, whereas the Decca tree setup features three mics capturing the sides of the instrument. And the wide mic captures the hall sound. Furthermore, you can easily mix the three microphones on the main page by adjusting the volume of each setup on the right side of the user interface.
Claire Oboe Virtuoso provides two types of legato sets: lyrical and strong. The lyrical legato set is ideal for slow to medium-paced passages, whereas the strong legato is excellent for fast passages or arpeggios. Furthermore, each legato type features eight articulations: legato natural, medium 1, medium 2, strong 1, strong 2, sustain crossfade, staccatissimo, and marcato expressivo. Furthermore, you’ll find non-legato sustains, staccatissimo, marcato expressivo, major/minor second trills, one octave runs up/down, and two octaves runs up/down.
Claire Oboe Virtuoso truly focuses on its legato sounds. So, on top of the typical multiple dynamic sampling we see often, this library features dynamic legato arcs. So, you’ll find legato arcs like p-mp-p, p-mf-mp, mp-mf-mp, mp-f-mp, f-ff-mp, etc. These allow you to make natural-sounding changes from one dynamic level to another.
The library provides a few other features that could be helpful: adding a second player to create a duet, mixing breath samples, and valve/click samples. The latter two are handy when writing an intimate oboe solo. However, I wouldn’t recommend using them if your music is rather busy.
The library is available for Kontakt 5.5 or higher (NOT the free Kontakt Player). Kontakt 5.5 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.4 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
Claire Oboe Virtuoso is one of the best solo oboe sample libraries. It provides a very natural sound with soulful, responsive performances. Furthermore, the triple microphone positions let you blend in the exact amount of intimacy and ambiance you want.
So, if you want a solo oboe that sounds authentic while keeping the workflow straightforward, I highly recommend this library.
6. 8Dio Intimate Studio Brass
Intimate Studio Brass uses the best new features in recording technology to deliver a genuinely intimate experience when it comes to a horn section’s sound.
This library was entirely recorded at Gorbals Studio, one of Scotland’s leading recording studios, and was captured with the best isolation techniques in mind to deliver an authentic response and very natural sounding articulations.
The sound spectrum is very broad here, with both somber, softer, and aggressive, abnormal sounds perfectly captured, opening doors for any kind of dynamic range you may want to use. You can’t go wrong, be it in a noir jazz track or an ambitious cinematic production.
- Sophisticated browser
Similar to the previous item in our list, Intimate Studio Brass has a very nice design interface. When you first open it, you’ll find all controls and techniques available in a very organized setting, with the major controls being shaped after amplifier knobs. You can also load whichever articulations you want and save them as custom patches divided into four main categories (“Traditional,” “Muted,” “Performance,” and “Effects”) conveniently housed in a nice interface.
- Intimate studio sound
When an ensemble plays together simultaneously, many nuances regarding dynamics and each instrument’s sound are at stake. The beautiful part is when they all blend nicely together, bringing unity and powerful notes right into your face. 8dio wanted to capture this the best way possible, so every subtle aspect of a brass instrument’s voice could be captured to be loaded straight into your DAW. With over 45 uniquely sampled articulations per instrument, Intimate Studio Brass offers a wide range of playing styles, from passionate and silky legatos to sensible dynamic fluid arcs.
- Instrument mixer
You can very easily create your very own brass ensemble in Intimate Studio Brass. You can elaborate on which brass section might suit you best, go ahead and join them together effortlessly, from a four-piece group to a distinctive solo instrument. Furthermore, you can also adjust the overall balance, panning, and each player’s distance from one another.
- Sophisticated browser
This library is available for macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs only in Kontakt version 5.8.1 or higher (will not run in the free Kontakt Player!).
Intimate Studio Brass is your perfect choice if you want a library that can offer maximum xfreedom and possibilities. 8dio ensured that the quality was as best as possible so that every subtle variation in a horn section would be captured down to the tiny details.
The interface and articulations are well-organized and coexist wonderfully, but the possibility to make your own ensemble the way you want to is arguably the best feature here. In addition, this extremely versatile and cohesive sample collection should increment your track’s sonority a lot.
7. 8Dio Glass Marimba
New features and an improved user interface are advantages of 8Dio Glass Marimba. Also, it reproduces the most popular marimba sound.
The Glass Marimba is a modified version of the traditional marimba and a special 8DIO instrument. The primary distinction is that glass bars have replaced traditional hardwood bars. To create musical tones, mallets are hit against the bars.
As a result, the tone range of this instrument is larger, warmer, and lower than that of a xylophone. The marimba is not African in origin, despite what would seem to be the case. Instead, its roots are in Guatemala and the Mayan civilization.
This library’s recordings were made with two different kinds of sticks. The latter delivers a brighter sound with more presence, while the former has a silky tone and a smooth assault. Each note has eight speeds, and each has been sampled individually for richer tone and performance. There are no artificially stretched samples.
- User Interface
The user interface for Glass Marimba is entirely new. Numerous quick-to-use effects and features are included in the revised skin. Two primary patches make up the library. Access the main patch’s soft mallet, hard, sound, and touch samples, as well as the numerous environmental articulations and FX.
Numerous custom settings in the update give the sound a completely new depth. In addition, 30 unique presets of sounds, pads, and trance effects are available. They are welcome if you wish to explore the plugin’s potential.
- Chaos Fx
The innovative Chaos FX system is mounted in the Glass Marimba. You may experiment with transform and eq, degrader and phaser, design a filter sequence, and add distortion, reverb, and delay.
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 plugin is pretty simple to find. When you first learn about the plugin, it provides you with many helpful presets. It should be noted that the effects rack contains several intricate modifications. This plugin undoubtedly satisfies the demands of all users.
8. 8Dio Studio Series Fire Sax
Get into the heart of Latin and pop music with this soulful solo saxophone library.
Often connected with epic and trailer music, 8Dio is known for its enormous and majesty-sounding hybrid and symphonic sample libraries. However, their work also includes libraries of hard rhythms, flute, ethnic instruments, and ethereal voices. The most recent entry into the more traditional and less trailer-like library category is Studio Saxophones.
8DIO’s Studio Series provides dry wind and brass instruments ideal for contemporary music production, whether pop, Latin, or salsa. And Studio Fire Saxophone is an excellent, responsive tenor saxophone library that allows you to play quick runs and thoughtful, romantic lines.
The very motivation behind this library is playing fast legato passages. In contrast to the smooth lines composed for classical performances, Studio Fire Sax is all about running through scales, repeating jumps, and exhibiting style over a twirling crowd. Hence, it’s the perfect library for faster pop and dance music instead of something like slow blues.
Studio Fire Sax offers a comprehensive collection of articulations allowing you to explore this instrument’s full capability. You’ll find staccato, drops, glissando up/down, crescendos, flat sustains, vibrato sustains, flutter tongue, trills, legato, ornaments, bends, grupetto, and polyphonic legatos. Furthermore, you can control the speed of each phrase, dynamics, amp envelope, etc., on the user interface.
- User Interface
You may utilize the three different instruments individually or as an ensemble by altering each volume, pan, and “distance” in the mix using the first tab, which displays them to you. Additional settings for further versatility are located at the bottom of the GUI and include the standard suspects. Linking Dynamic and Expression for usage with modwheel is really helpful. I often do manually by assigning the same CC, or I can do it simultaneously with two separate faders, but having a shortcut on the main interface is incredibly wonderful to have that additional realism at the touch of a button.
The library is available for Kontakt 5.8 or higher (NOT the free Kontakt Player). Kontakt 5.8 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.11 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
Studio Fire Sax is an excellent tenor sax library at an affordable cost. It hails from 8DIO’s The Bible of Latin & Salsa Volume III collection alongside Studio Fire Trumpet and Studio Trombone libraries, which are also worth checking out.
Furthermore, it offers a total of forty-two articulations, allowing you to write an extraordinarily lively piece of solo, especially for pop, Latin, salsa, band, soul, etc.
Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle
8DIO’s Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle is another Kontakt player library with lots of studio samples. It contains two versions – Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Guitar Strummer.
Notable is that creators recorded all sounds from the same instrument and amp. Therefore, both the Solo and Strummer are fully compatible with each other. The Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Strummer versions include almost 7,000 samples in total. They were recorded with a high level of detail, including hundreds of natural sounds of harmonies and releases. It also features samples of natural strings, giving you a natural feel.
The library interface gives you all the controls you need. There is fingering noise control, volume control, and the ability to add strings to chords in real-time. The Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Strummer are pretty flexible and easy to use.
- Ukulele Solo
The Ukulele Solo version is available in categories Fingered, Thumbed, and Morphed. Fingered was recorded with a four-finger position for advanced playing styles like arpeggios. Thumbed has a softer sound with a warmer character. You can find ukuleles combined with piano, tonal percussion, and other instruments in the Morphed category.
- Ukulele Strummer
13 different types of chords and 13 types of rhythms you can find while using Ukulele Strummer mode. You can mix them easily thanks to x-legato technology, which gives an infinite number of combinations. In addition, there is round-robin technology, which helps you to get subtle variations by chord looping.
CHAOS FX 3.0 system will allow you to control the library’s effects. It includes filter, EQ, beat crasher, distortion, stereo delay, transformer, and two reverbs. With the Transform, you get convolutions, and the Reverb contains a collection of impulses for your musical experimentation. In the developers’ words, the library has everything you need to get a professional and high-quality sound.
The library is available for the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher, which runs on Windows 7 or higher, and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, AAX formats and as a standalone host.
Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle is a library with a massive amount of ukulele samples recorded on one instrument and with one amplifier, allowing the opportunity to mix them easily. In addition, this collection gives you a lot of possibilities through the use of effects as well. Besides, the simple interface won’t make it difficult to use.
I suppose the article’s introduction helped you understand what we’re talking about. We can only speak highly about 8dio as a company. The distinctions between the plugins that are made are impressive, yet the interface is still simple and easy to use.
One of my favourites is the 8Dio Wurlitzer Electric Grand Piano. This sound collection was created using high-quality microphones and recorded in Scotland, specifically at the Gorbals Sound studio.
And when it comes to the marimba, the 8Dio Glass Marimba is unquestionably the product that producers utilize the most. The Chaos FX mode is already one of the best, the articulation modes are excellent and unique, and it comes with many presets. In addition, we now have a more user-friendly interface that makes it easier for us to discover the options.
The 8dio Adagio Violins 2.0, which has been rebuilt and is now much more effective and adaptable, would be the most sophisticated if we were to talk about it. There are three microphone channels in it that provide a more realistic sound. The modulation of the articulations, namely the eight legato varieties that.
Other Kontakt Libraries:
Death metal enthusiast here. I am a Romanian musician and producer with over 13 years of experience in the music industry. I’ve experienced all types of Metal up until now, playing Melodic Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, and Black Metal with different bands. Learning by doing is my base principle, which is why I’ve been drawn to sound design from an early age. Read more…