I’ve been writing a lot of music lately, and after a while I noticed myself applying the same software instruments to nearly every new track. In my defence, they’re just demos as of now, but I knew that by using the same drum pads and Roli sound packs that I was doing the music a disservice.
So, on the hunt, I went for new sounds and instruments.
A quick search online and you can find a range of different sounds and loops from Time + Space to Loopmasters but be prepared to part with some cash if any of these catch your eye (or more suitably your ears).
I then came across Spitfire Audios LABS programme. It’s essentially a collection of software instruments that you can access for free. Yes, for FREE. There is a reasonable amount of sounds on the site already, and they do release new packs every month.
My curiosity got the better of me as I started downloading many of the sounds available.
Currently available are Modular Piano, Peel Guitar, Frozen Strings, Synth Pads, Choir, Charango, Electric Piano, Amplified Cello Quartet, Drums, Strings, and Soft Piano.
My opinion so far is they’re quite good.
The soft Piano is quite a nice change from the instrument I was using but if you’re looking for more of an authentic sound and one that can cope with very melodic heavy parts perhaps this is not for you. But overall it has a lovely airy sound to it.
As a string player, I am always skeptical of software strings. These, however, have quite a modern feel about them and I think when embedded and mixed into a track can definitely be useful.
Overall I really recommend checking out the LABS programme if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to discover some new sounds and who knows, it might just change your sound completely.
Jen Athan is a composer and producer based in Glasgow. Her work spans many different styles and genres and typically features her love of sampling and experimenting with new sounds. She has written music for theatre shows and short films and enjoys creating music to accompany a narrative.