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Emulations of acoustic and electric instruments 

Electric piano
soundfonts.it, mr ray

Mr Ray, by Soundfonts.it, emulates electric pianos like Rhodes and Wurlitzer, based on physical modeling synthesis, without samples. Though it is not as good as AAS Lounge Lizard, but it works fine, realistic, and has added effects like delay, tremolo, distortion and wah-wah... Donationware (a nagscreen during a rather long time when opening it). Try also the reduced version Mr Ray LE (really free and without nag screen) and Mr Tramp

soundfonts.it, mr ray73 Mr Ray 73, by Soundfonts.it too, is a more limited emulation than Mr Ray, attempting to sound only like a Rhodes. And it works very fine, almost as good as much more expensive emulations... Donationware too, it comes with a nagscreen... Very good electric piano.


mda's ePiano is an old thing without interface, but remains one of the best free Rhodes emulations. Clear, clean, warm and large sound. I like it very much.

LazysnakeLazySnake by Andreas Ersson, the man who made Iblit and PolyIblit, is another emulation of electric piano. Not as good as those made by Soundfonts.It or mda's ePiano, it is although charming, because of its rather dirty vintage color. Many parameters can be adjusted, and it has 2 classical effects : wah-wah and tremolo.

Electrtonic Organ
lightbag, kaldor LightBag II, by Istvan Kaldor, attempts to emulate a Hammond B3-like organ, even in its interface, which has 4 different windows, and it works rather nice. No more available now, so direct download :

dirtbag, kaldor

Dirtbag, by Istvan Kaldor too, is the dark side of the B3 : it emulates a dirty, screaming Hammond-style organ, but is not an exact copy at all, and it is juicy, agressive, distorted, ill-mannered and really great. It can produce some monstrous sounds. Last version no more available now, so direct download there :

organized trio

ORGANized trio, by Soundfonts.it, is another Hammond B3 emulation, but closer to the original instrument and Native Instruments B4 (first version only). The version 3 is donationware, and a nagscreen prevents the non registered user from having access to the parameters during a rather long time. The version 2 had no nag... By far the best free organ emulation.


NUBI Plus, with a very nice interface, is another emulation of a Hammond-like organ, and sounds too clean when played alone, but it comes with 2 separate effects, Spinner, an emulation of the Leslie cabinet that has a beautiful GUI, and VFX, a valve emulation, beautiful looking too (you can see all these things by clicking the picture on the left)... The combination of these 3 pieces of software give convincing results with warm, fat and credible analogue sounds... A very nice one.


Efthimia organEfthimia organ by Iliadis is another good Hammond organ emulation, with an efficient, clean. 2 Manuals and Bass Pedals, with 9 Steps Drawbars, 9 "Standard" Drawbars for the Upper Manual, 9 for the Lower and 2 for the Pedal (16', 8'), 1 vibrato/chorus, 1 good quality reverb... No Leslie nor valve emulations...


ZR3 by Rumpelrausch Täps is another rather good Hammond emulation too... The last update (AZR3) gives some improvments. It contains an emulation of a Leslie cabinet and a valve distortion that give more realism and warmness. Not the best one, but a different colored one.


gtg microorgan GTG's MicroOrgan MK II is another one, clean and very nice, but it has less features than the others... It sounds dense, but has no Leslie cabinet emulation.

spook keysSuper Spook Keys by Simple Media is not versatile but does perfectly what it is supposed to do : emulate the renowned Theremin, the grandfather of all synthesizers (Robert Moog began to work by building some replicas of this strange machine). Super Spook Keys does the job, and adds some improvements like the ability to play it via a keyboard, 4 waveforms, 1 delay, stereo, chorus and pan, 1 Lfo for tremolo and vibrato... The GUI is nice and clear, but uselessly large.

Sample based emulations

Acoustic piano
GVI Continuous Velocity Piano is a piano bank made as a demo for the Tascam GVI sampler (Gigastudio format), that comes with a limited version of the software. Thre is only a sample per note, but the goal is to produce unlimited velocity levels by a spectral morphing technic, and it works fine. You get a 180MB piano, cold but excellent, which is much better than almost free soundbanks. Do not miss it if you find it (discontinued). vst / rtas


Prova by Safwan Matni, based on samples, emulates an upright piano, which was obviously recorded with mics close to the strings, and it sounds rather good and realistic for 26 MB. It is by far not the best piano, it is not neutral, but it has a pleasant personality that can be useful for those who search such rough instruments. Having said that, there are many much better pianos in soundbank formats, but i like the colour of this one.


GeneralGeneral, by Safwan Matni too, contains 60 Mb of grand piano samples, that sound good. Not perfect, but one of the best free ones. Very usable, although the notes of the first octave are much too short...

preparationPPreparation P by Tom Gersic features a collection of 61 prepared piano samples, "recorded on a baby-grand piano, and include a variety of strummed strings, plucked strings, and many other sounds of various objects lodged in the strings. Each sample can be tuned individually, and you can also adjust the attack, decay, sustain, and release characteristics of the sound by using the envelope controls." So do not expect a "normal" piano, and download this only if you know what a prepared piano is...

toypianoToy Piano is a vsti made by Arman Bohn with free open source samples of a...toy piano, of course, and the result is exactly what you can expect from a toy. The notes go from c5 to c7, and an almost useless ADSR envelope gives some settings. Nice little thing...

Electric piano
goldentineGoldentine by Safwan Matni contains 37 Mb of multi-samples from an electric piano, and sounds good, in a bit dirty mood. A good emulation.

matnitronMatnitron, by Safwan Matni too, contains 39 Mb of string orchestra samples. It is not the best string soundbank, of course, but, among the free ones, this one is pretty usable, from double basses to violins in one patch. The sound is rather good.

Redtron 400 by Artifake is the best free emulation of a mellotron (M400 model), with 50 Mb of samples, and contains 6 sounds made probably from original tapes : "3 Violins", "8-Voice choir", "flute", "brass", "string section" and "cello". You can add 2 sounds with 2 sf2 players that have their own parameters : attack, release, pan, pitch, cutoff, resonance, 1 delay and 1 reverb with advanced features... You can also play the sounds like the original samples, limited to 8 seconds, or looped... You can also load your own sf2. A really well conceived and full featured emulation...
Redtron MKV is almost the same thing, but with a different GUI

nanotronNanotron by Dream Vortex Studio has samples of classical banks (choir, strings and flute), but they are not as good as Redtron's ones. A rather good emulation...

There is also Tapetronic, from the Elektrostudio bundle, which is much less faithful but has a nice sound, on the next page

Traditional intruments

Mini Dizi by KongAudio is a sample player, but it is unusual and very interesting because it plays samples of a very well recorded traditional chinese instrument, a kind of flute with a particular and beautiful sweet sound. And there are useful and expressive articulations. Mini Ehru plays a kind of traditional chinese violin, with the same features and qualities.


Syntar by MSA Enterprises Limited is an unusual sample player that emulates an indian sytar. It is mono, but it sounds rather good, useful in a mix (not for solo). Some effects, 1 delay, 1 disto and 1 flanger are added to usual sustain and release...

gamelangGamelan mécanique is a pedagogical work made by La Cité de la Musique (Paris), and simulates the fabulous concerts of percussions from Java, Sudan and Bali. It is only standalone, alas, and the samples are not the best ones, but the result is quite usable and convincing when played together. It makes magical rythmic sequences. There are 5 ensembles, where you can select or mute groups of instruments, and several complex rythmic structures that can be changed with a grid on a special page. Another page shows the concentric and symbolic composition structure, but to understand it, you have to read the excellent (but only in French) documentation available on the site. Requires Adobe Shockwave. win / mac

Various instruments
dvs guitarDVS Guitar by Dream vortex Studio plays samples of an electric guitar, and sounds better than many GM banks. It sounds clear, and can be varied by added effects like a drive, a reverb, a flanger and mono/stereo... Quite usable.

ixox flute Ixox Flute is a sample player too, that emulates a concert flute. Rather good, and probably the best free one, because it features 3 articulations (legato, staccato and percussive). The added adjustments degrade the original sound, so I do not recommend them.

dvs-saxDVS Saxophone by Dream Vortex Studio is, as usual with this very good programmer, a simple but efficient and good sounding instrument. Although it is small (2,3 Mb), il contains good samples of a saxophone and emulates the variations of attack when man plays softly. And it works rather fine. The additional reverb is especially made for it. The result is convincing, although it is necessarily limited.

saxiplayerSaxi Player by VSTiSax is a lite version of Saxi Player Pro, a reader of saxophone samples, of course. This free version comes with 3 small banks of alto, soprano and tenor saxophones. It is not the best one, but it sounds better and more realistic than saxophones of most GM banks.

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