Virtual Playing Orchestra

Download Virtual Playing Orchestra

* Looped samples since version 2.0 *

Download Version 2.2 patch for bug fixes / improvements,
285 KB – Apr 20, 2017 (requires v2.01 or v2.0)

V2.01 Highlights:
– *** all sustain samples now looped ***!
– improved brass
– reduced noise in tremolo samples
– many small improvements (see change log)
NOTE: many .wav files were renamed. This only matters if you overwrite version 1.x with 2.01 which will result in many .wav files from 1.x being unused and taking up disk space for no reason
V2.2 Highlights:
– re-applied many scripted adjustments to pitch, volume, panning that were undone since version 2.0
– repositioned all inline comments (was causing problems on some tablets)
(see change log)

[Comments and questions down below]

Hear Virtual Playing Orchestra Perform

When I Get Over You (by Klassen, Battersby) *piano not included
Red Nose (by Lopez, Battersby) *piano, drum set not included
More music from me, blog posts on my home page …


If you think the mod wheel doesn’t do anything, please read: About The Mod Wheel

For “patch” downloads (when/if they exist), just unzip the patch in the same place and in the same way as the full version to upgrade to the new release. When asked if you want to overwrite or replace files, say yes. It is what you need to do to install a patch.

What Is Virtual Playing Orchestra?

Virtual Playing Orchestra is a free, sfz format, sample library that attempts to emulate multiple articulations of the solo and section instruments from a full orchestra using the best samples from Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, No Budget Orchestra, VSCO2 Community Edition, University of Iowa, Philharmonia Orchestra and extra samples from Mattias Westlund, author of Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra.

My intent was to start with Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, add some new samples from Mattias Westlund and samples from newly available sources that have recently become available to create what I would like to see from a Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra 2.0.

I’ve listened to every single sample that made it’s way into this library, and have done my best to replace any noisy samples, ensure each sample plays in tune, each note peaks at about the same volume and is panned in the center of the stereo field. I’m hoping this scrutiny will result in me being able to provide the most complete library with best free orchestra samples.

Special thanks to those who listened to the pre-releases and offered feedback: Mattias Westlund (from Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra), Otto Halmén (see his Youtube channel), Sam Gossner (from Versilian Studios) Michael Willis (responsible for debugging for LinuxSampler), bigcat1969, Robin

If you like this free orchestral sample library and you compose something with it, feel free to leave a comment down below with a link to your composition for others to hear.


  • *** NEW *** ALL sustain samples are looped. Use this power responsibly! These samples were not looped to create musicians with infinite lung capacity but instead were created because many of the samples were too short.
  • Section and solo instruments
  • Sustain, normal, staccato, accented articulations for all strings, brass, woodwinds
  • Pizzicato for all strings
  • Tremolo for all strings sections (plus tremolo for solo violin)
  • Articulations can be loaded individually or as part of a key switch patch
  • Adjustable attack with the mod wheel for the patches labelled “normal-mod-wheel”
  • Round robin for staccato strings to simulate up and down strokes of the bow
  • 2 velocity layers for trumpets, french horns, trombones
  • A light randomization of pitch and volume when repeating notes, like real players
  • All samples have been checked (and corrected if necessary) for tuning issues
  • All samples have been checked (and corrected if necessary) for panning issues
  • All samples volumes have equalized so max volume is nearly the same value
  • All instruments are set to only play within their proper note range
  • All instruments are mapped to appear in the proper place on a musical score so in some cases, to reach all the notes on a MIDI controller, it might be necessary to set the midi controller to transpose the notes or set your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to transpose the MIDI
  • All instruments include a general purpose articulation called “Normal-mod-wheel”. This is effectively a sustain patch with a fast attack, but the mod wheel reduces the rate of the attack, for the times when you don’t want the slower crescendo of the sustain patch, but you still want a sustained note.
  • General purpose patch for full string section (violins, violas, cello, bass in a single patch)
  • General purpose patch for full brass section (trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba a single patch)
  • General purpose patch for full woodwinds section (piccolo flute, flute, oboe, clarinet, english horn, bassoon)


Unzip the downloaded file somewhere that your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) can find it, then load whichever instrument .sfz file you want into your sfz player (like Sforzando) within your DAW.

For “patch” downloads (when/if they exist), just unzip the patch in the same place and in the same way as the full version to upgrade to the new release.


  • REVERB! – These instruments are from multiple sources. To make them sound like they belong in the same room, and to make them sound more like real orchestral instruments, REVERB IS ESSENTIAL.
  • An sfz player. You load .sfz files (these control how the sound samples are to be used) into an sfz player (listed below), in order to play the chosen instrument.
  • Suspension of disbelief. With free orchestra samples, there are limitations. I tried to do the best, with the best samples that were available to me.

Supported Sfz Players

This library is known to work with the following .sfz players. It may work with others, but I don’t know. If I’m told it works with others, I’ll list them here.

Sforzando, Garritan Aria Player, LinuxSampler*

* with LinuxSampler, in keyswitch patches, default selection of a sound (typically “sustain”) doesn’t work. A keyswitch key must be pressed before any sound will play.


  • Generally, (harp, timpani, vibraphone are the exceptions) key switches are assigned to the following notes, with "n" representing where the key switches start

    Cn = Sustain
    C#n = Tremolo (only for string section)
    Dn = Normal / General Purpose (mod wheel changes length of note attack)
    D#n = Accent (an accented sustain)
    En = Staccato
    Fn = Pizzicato (only for strings, of course)

    For Harp, C0 = Sustain, D0 = Dampened - OR - B7 = Sustain, C8 = Dampened
    For Timpani, C5 = Hit, D5 = roll
    For Vibraphone, C2 = Auto Dampened, D2 = Open, E2 = Silence all notes
  • There seems to be some confusion about use of the mod wheel. The mod wheel will only have an effect on the attack of the samples (how long it takes for the sound to reach it's volume after a key is pressed) on patches labelled "normal-mod-wheel"



Instruments Range Articulations Notes
Piccolo Solo D5 - C8Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2 or C3
Flute Solo, Section C4 - D7 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2
Oboe Solo, Section Bb3 - A6 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2 or C3
English Horn Solo E3 - Bb5 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2
Clarinet Solo, Section D3 - Bb6 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2
Bassoon Solo, Section Bb1 - Eb5 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato To reach all notes, may need to transpose keyboard down an octave
- before transpose, key switches start at F5,
- after transpose Key switches start at F6
All Woodwinds Solo, Section Bb1 - C8 Normal-mod-wheel Woodwinds cross faded, spread across the keyboard.
2 versions:
- centered in the stereo field
- panned to orchestra seating positions


Instruments Range Articulations Notes
1st Violins Solo, Section G3 - A7 Sustain, Tremolo*, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato, Pizzicato Key switches start at C2
2nd Violins Solo, Section G3 - A7 Sustain, Tremolo*, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato, Pizzicato Key switches start at C2
Viola Solo, Section C3 - A6 Sustain, Tremolo*, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato, Pizzicato Key switches start at C2
Cello Solo, Section C2 - A5 Sustain, Tremolo*, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato, Pizzicato Key switches start at C6
String Bass Solo, Section C1 - G4 Sustain, Tremolo*, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato, Pizzicato To reach all notes, may need to transpose keyboard down an octave
- before transpose, key switches start at C5,
- after transpose, key switches start at C6
All Strings Solo, Section C1 - A7 Normal-mod-wheel, Pizzicato Strings cross faded, spread across the keyboard.
2 versions:
- centered in the stereo field
- panned to orchestra seating positions
Harp Solo B0 - G#7 Sustain, Dampened Key switches start at C0 or B7. May need to transpose up or down to reach Key switches

* The only instrument with a solo tremolo is 1st violin


Instruments Range Articulations Notes
Trumpet Solo, Section F#3 - C6 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C2.
French Horn Solo, Section B1 - F5 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C6
Trombone Solo, Section E2 - F5 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato Key switches start at C6
Tuba Solo D1 - D4 Sustain, Normal-mod-wheel, Accent, Staccato To reach all notes, may need to transpose keyboard down an octave
- before transpose, key switches start at C5,
- after transpose Key switches start at C6
All Brass Solo, Section D1 - C6 Normal-mod-wheel Brass cross faded, spread across the keyboard.
2 versions:
- centered in the stereo field
- panned to orchestra seating positions


Instruments Range Articulations Notes
Choir Male G2 - F#4 Normal-mod-wheel
Choir Female G4 - C6 Normal-mod-wheel
Choir Mixed G2 - C6 Normal-mod-wheel Simply, Choir Male + Choir Female together


Instruments Range Articulations Notes
Glockenspiel F5 - C8
Timpani C2 - C4 Round Robin Hit, Roll Key switches start at C5
Tubular Bells C4 - G5
A3 silences all notes
Snare Drum
Left Hand, Right Hand, Round Robin Hit, Roll
Xylophone C4 - C8
Vibraphone F3 - F7
Auto Damp, Open
Key switches start at C2, E2 silences all notes

Key Mapping for Percussion

Bass drum, Snare, Cymbals

Note # Note Name Instrument
36C2Bass Drum 1
38D2Bass Drum 2
48C3Snare Drum 1 Hit - Left Hand
49C#3Snare Drum 1 Hit - Round Robin
50D3Snare Drum 1 Hit - Right Hand
52E3Snare Drum 1 Roll
53F3Snare Drum 2 Hit - Left Hand
54F#3Snare Drum 2 Hit - Round Robin
55G3Snare Drum 2 Hit - Right Hand
56G#3Snare Drum 2 Tap (stick, on rim of drum)
57A3Snare Drum 2 Roll
60C4Cymbals 1 Roll A
61C#4Cymbals 1 Crash
62D4Cymbals 1 Roll B
65F4Cymbals 2 Short Roll
66F#4Cymbals 2 Crash
67G4Cymbals 2 Medium Roll
69A4Cymbals 2 Long Roll

Miscellaneous Percussion

Note # Note Name Instrument
46Bb2Gong Hit
47B2 TamTam A
48C3 TamTam B
49C#3TamTam C
51Eb3Finger Cymbals - Hi
52E3 Finger Cymbals - Lo
53F3 Tambourine Shake
54F#3Tambourine Hit
55G3 Tambourine Roll
58Bb3Vibra slap
60C4 Quinto Hit (or high conga)
61C#4Quinto Tap
62D4 Conga Hit (or mid conga)
63Eb4Conga Tap
64E4 Tumba Hit (or low conga)
65F4 Tumba Tap1
69A4 Cabasa
71B4 Ratchet Crank
72C5 Ratchet Fast
73C#5Ratchet Slow
74D5 Castanets
76E5 Wood-block-hi
77F5 Wood-block-lo
79G5 Triangle roll
80Ab5Muted Triangle
81A5 Open triangle
83C6 Bell Tree 1 Stroke 1
84C#6Bell Tree 1 Stroke 2
86D6 Bell Tree 1 Stroke 3
87Eb6Bell Tree 1 Stroke 4
88E6 Bell Tree 2
89F6 Bar Chimes A
90F#6Bar Chimes B
91G6 Bar Chimes C


If you're using this free orchestral sample library to make music, then licensing is easy. You can do whatever you want with the music you make, even sell it commercially.

If you want to modify, repackage or redistribute the library, licensing is a little complicated since different licenses apply to different parts of the library (see the source sfz files and see below) but generally, you can safely copy, redistribute, modify whatever you want provided appropriate credit is given to creators of the content used or at the very least, link back to my site which gives credit to the creators of the various content of this sample library.

Here are the licenses for the individual libraries that were used as source material

Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license.

Mattias Westlund additional samples
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license

No Budget Orchestra
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

VSCO 2 Community Edition
CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication License

University of Iowa Electronic Music
"freely available"

Philharmonia Orchestra
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

* Special Note: for anyone concerned about licensing of Philharmonia Orchestra samples, note the following clause in the Creative Commons License:

"No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits."

Which means this statement from the Philharmonia web site:

"The only restriction is they must not be sold or made available 'as is' (i.e. as samples or as a sampler instrument)."

... is nullified by their use of the Creative Commons License, although I'd argue that I'm not giving away any Philharmonia Orchestra content as samples nor as a sampler instrument. I'm given them away as part of an orchestral sample library and I've processed all the samples anyway so they're not being given away "as is".

64 comments on “Virtual Playing Orchestra
  1. My bad Paul!
    I downloaded the earlier version which had all of the wavs in it. I didn’t spot that the update was jut the sfz files…ooops! Sounds fab…Thanks again,

    • I’ve just now updated the instructions to make it clear that v2.01 or v2.0 is required before applying the patch.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Delighted I found your library and thank you for all your work. I’m unfortunately having the same error as LookSirius had. I have sforzando as a plugin in Reaper but when I go to drag and drop any of the .sfz files into the player I get the following message: Not sound asset loaded
    Not Found:

    Apologies For printing all of the message but I get this with any of the files I try to load. I’d really appreciate your help as I’m really eager to use the library,
    Many thanks,

  3. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the updated version. Very much appreciated.

    Just playing around and noticed that e5 for solo 2nd violin isn’t working properly (both normal and sustain) – for me anyway. Just thought I should let you know.

    Thanks again and best wishes,


    • I’ve had a few Linux users tell me the e4 for solo 1st violin isn’t working but I can’t figure out why. Both e4 solo 1st violin and e5 solo 2nd violin work for me. I figure it must be an uppercase / lower case issue (Windows doesn’t care, Linux does) but I don’t see it yet. If / when I figure it out, I’ll post a fix.

      • Hi,

        Sorry, i should have pointed out that I’m using Android, which is closer to Linux i guess. Having read your reply, i can confirm that the same applies to e5 for the solo first violin for me – not working. I assume different software decides differently as to what e4/e5 represents and how the note range is placed on the virtual keyboard? I’m pretty sure there isn’t an accepted standard and therefore I assume it is the same note which is not working for me as has been reported by others.

        I can though, this aside, confirm that the VPO works on android. Several apps have sfz functionality​ built in so i can confirm that it can be used in Audio Evolution Mobile, Caustic 3 (load into PCM Synth) and G Stomper Studio (load into VA Beast). The second two you’re loading into virtual synthesizers so you can shape/deform the sounds if you so desire. Stagelight also has sfz functionality so i assume VPO will work there too, though i haven’t checked that personally. There may be other apps I’m unaware of too. As far as i can tell, there is no mod wheel functionality with VPO in any of these apps – i don’t know if that’s too be expected or not?

        • Let’s focus on 1st solo violins. Is it the lowest E or the second lowest E that doesn’t work? If it’s the lowest E, what about the lowest F? Does it also fail?

          The mod wheel will only work on patches that say “normal-mod-wheel”. Is the mod wheel failing on those patches?

          I’ve updated the list of supported sfz player. Thanks for testing them.

          • Hi Paul,

            To confirm then, it is the lowest E which doesn’t work. The range starts at the G in the octave below that which I assume is correct from the table above, so the octaves are being displayed in Audio Evolution Mobile one higher than elsewhere – I have G4 to A8. The lowest F, which, if the above is all correct, is the note above the lowest E, plays as expected – all notes play apart from the lowest E.

            I’ve double checked the ‘normal-mod-wheel’ patches and I can’t hear any effect. To be clear, this is using the on-screen virtual keyboard and hence, virtual mod wheel if that makes any difference. Not a big deal for me personally, I can easily live workout that functionality, but I’m happy to carry out any tests that might help if necessary. Thanks.

          • Now that you’ve confirmed that the F still plays, I think I’ve figured out the cause of the problem. In the 1st-violin-SOLO-sustain.sfz file, try changing this:

            4_F-PB.wav lokey=64 key=65

            to this

            4_F-PB.wav key=65 lokey=64

            Does that fix it? I thought it was a Linux issue but it seems to be an sfz implementation issue. The sfz player I’m using seems to be forgiving of the order of the “key” and “lokey” commands. I figure the “key” coming after the “lokey” overrides the “lokey” command. I’ll be posting a fix for this soon. This problem would affect most of the 1st and 2nd solo violin articulations.

            As for the mod wheel:

            Try the “flute-SEC-normal-mod-wheel.sfz” file, rapidly play a note and as you are doing that, move the mod wheel from it’s lowest to highest setting. Do you hear the note’s volume decrease as you move the mod wheel up? The volume should decrease simply because as you move the mod wheel up, it takes longer for the sound to reach it’s maximum volume.

          • Hi Paul,

            Yes, changing the sfz file as instructed worked! Thanks.

            As for the mod wheel, i’ve tried the flute section as you suggested, listening carefully with headphones, but I couldn’t perceive any difference in volume I’m afraid. I can export the midi file of me doing that test and email it to you if that might help?

          • Robin,

            I’ll send you a direct email to deal with the mod wheel. If we can fix it, I can include that in the next release.

  4. wow, this is just great. I have it used it on a couple of the songs and if you EQ and verb things right its just wonderful stuff, the sections are just about enough for the occasional symphonic sweeteners. I am just missing a few things though. The other jingleBells samples from S.S.O I think were quite nice, so I just added them to the misc. sfz file as Mat had done with his. The horns as a section sound spectacular. The clarinets.. I could use a bit of a softer sound but they also work fine. I am just missing a celesta. Know of any sfz patches out there? Thanks again for such wonderful toolset!

  5. I love ❤️ the virtual playing orchestra. It’s like music 🎶🎵 to my ears.
    Thank you 🙏

    • Thanks for the update and all the hard work. Can’t wait to check it out. I notice VPO2 is quite a bit smaller than VPO1 (560MB vs 843MB). What causes that difference?

      • I think the library reduced in size for a couple of reasons. There were some long samples, that once looped, didn’t need to be so long. There were a few instruments that had stereo samples that didn’t need to be stereo, so I reduced them to mono. That cut their size in half. The new version may be smaller but there should be no reduction in quality.

  6. Hi, I have the same problem that other folks.
    The modwheel in sforzando doesn’t works.
    Do you know the solution.

    • I don’t yet know enough about the problem. What operating system are you using? What DAW are you using? What .sfz file have you loaded? If you are using one of the keyswitch .sfz files, have you selected the “normal mod wheel” patch? Can you verify that CC#1 is being sent from your midi keyboard?

      • Thanks Paul,
        I’m used the standalone Sforzando ando the pluging with Reaper.
        Both with the same problem.
        I used lots fo .sfz normal mod wheel patch an d the others.
        I used two keyboards “toneport KB37” and “remote SL”.
        In my opinion (I have similars problems with other .sfz) Sforzando doesn’t recevies the CC1 signal….

        • Try the “flute-SEC-normal-mod-wheel.sfz” file, rapidly play a note and as you are doing that move the mod wheel from it’s lowest to highest setting. Do you hear the note’s volume decrease as you move the mod wheel up? The volume should decrease simply because as you move the mod wheel up, it takes longer for the sound to reach it’s maximum volume.

          Since you are using Reaper (as am I) you can load a JS plugin called “JS: MIDI Examiner”. Place that at the top of your effect chain on a track (it MUST be above Sforzando). Arm the track for recording so you can hear the playback, (but you don’t have to actually record anything), then move the mod wheel. Do you see any midi data changing in the JS: MIDI Examiner window?

          I can confirm that on a Windows 10 machine, using the right .sfz file, the mod wheel does work with Reaper and Sforzando. That’s what I am using myself so the cause of the problem you are seeing must be something else. We just have to figure out what that is.

          Does CC7 work for you? In Sforzando, it should automatically control the volume with any of my sfz files.

    • How exactly are you trying to load an instrument into Sforzando and what is the exact word for word error message? Once you’ve added Sforzando as a plugin to a particular track, you should be able to open Sforzando and then drag and drop an .sfz file into it.

  7. Hi there, very excited to use this! I’m curious, how do you load these patches into Garageband? I’m very new at arranging music this way. I have the midi keyboard all ready to go. Just not sure how to go about putting these samples in garageband and then accessing them. Thanks!

    • I’ve never used Garageband but one of the following 2 links might help.

      This: Sforzando with Garageband shows how to use Sforzando (a free sample player) in Garage band. The video shows someone dragging and dropping a .wav file but you’d want to drag and drop an .sfz file.

      This web page Alchemy with Garage Bank shows how to load .sfz files into Alchemy which apparently is another free sample player.

      Basically you need a sample player (like Sforzando or Alchemy). You’d load an instance of the chosen sample player on to a track, then you’d load a chosen .sfz file into the sample player.
      Hope that helps.

  8. Hey Paul! This sample collection is just incredible, I have been looking for good free orchestral samples for a few days and finally I found this 🙂
    I have a question though: I don’t own a MIDI controller, and I read that in the “Normal-mod-wheel” articulation you can use it to change the attack velocity. I’ve been struggling to do this just with FL studio but I can’t find the option for this. Any hints?

    Thank you very much for your work.

    • I hope my sample library serves you well. As for using the mod wheel in flstudio without a physical mod wheel, in this case the mod wheel is programmed to transmit a cc1 message (cc1 = continuous controller 1) So, if you set the cc1 value in your DAW, it will have the same effect as moving the mod wheel. I did a quick search for “flstudio cc1” and I found this forum post where someone has asked a similar question to yours.

      FL Studio Piano Roll and using Mod CC#1

  9. Hi Paul,

    Thanks so much for making this.

    I’m hoping to use VPO with my android tablet. There are various android apps which support sfz instruments (Audio Evolution Mobile, G Stomper Studio, Caustic (I think, though may only be sf2)) but VPO won’t work with any of them. SSO always worked fine.

    Any ideas? By any chance have you tried to use VPO in such a way and had any success? Would really love to be able to use the VPO if there’s anything you can suggest.

    Many thanks again.

    • I haven’t used any of the apps you mentioned but I would imagine they’d still require a sample player to be loaded. Something that can handle .sfz files. I recall someone created a .sf2 version of Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra. Were you using the .sf2 version? If Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, in it’s original .sfz format worked, then Virtual Playing Orchestra should work too.

      What exactly happens when you try to use VPO?

      • Hi Paul,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, really appreciate it.

        Well, as it turns out, I’ve also been in touch with the developer of Audio Evolution Mobile regarding this matter and I can confirm that he has got it working! The necessary update hasn’t been released yet so I shall post here again when it has to let you and others know that Android users can also benefit from your hard work – thanks.

        Finally, a silly question perhaps – what do I need to do to apply the 1.11 patch? Apologies for my ignorance.

        Sincere thanks again for all of your hard work on VPO. Best wishes.

        • Robin,

          I’m happy to help. Good news about Audio Evolution Mobile. Yes please post here again when the update is released so I can add it to my list of supported sfz players.

          To get the patch to work, do exactly the same thing you did to get the 1.0 version to work. Copy the zip file to the same location as version 1.0, unzip the patch file it in exactly the same way as 1.0. The updated files in the patch will then replace some of the older files.

  10. I just used the VPO for a short film cue and I’m generally very happy with the results. In particular, you’ve avoided the flaw in a lot of sampled string libraries­­­: those dreadful “espressivo” patches where every note has a crescendo.

    One comment on the clarinet: it’s been my understanding, since my undergrad days, that orchestral clarinet is traditionally played without vibrato (or minimal vibrato) — e.g. Richard Stoltzman’s vibrato is the exception, not the rule. To get an acceptable sound from the VPO clarinet, I had to hack the .sfz file:

    group=1 pitchlfo_delay=.8 pitchlfo_fade=.3 pitchlfo_depth=-10 pitchlfo_freq=5

    group=1 pitchlfo_delay=.8 pitchlfo_fade=.3 pitchlfo_depth=-1 pitchlfo_freq=5

    Fortunately sfz is an open format, so the fix was easy. Perhaps something to incorporate into a future version.

    Thanks again for the extraordinary work. It blows my mind that a library of this caliber is freely available.

    • James,

      Thanks for the tip about clarinet vibrato. I’ll look into that for the next release. If and when you can, feel free to post a link to your short film cue. I’d like to hear it.

      > Thanks again for the extraordinary work. It blows my mind that a library of this caliber is freely available.

      You’re welcome. That’s how I felt about Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra (a major source for my library) when it first came out and for years afterwards.

  11. Hi Paul,

    I’ve just been experimenting with this, and you’ve done a fantastic job. I can tell you’ve put a ton of work into QC. All the note volumes are very even, much better than in some commercial libraries. And you’ve done a great job of combining samples to create the different articulations.

    The one part I think could be improved is the winds section. I’m not too fond of the NBO winds. I think the SSO and VSCO ones both sound a lot better. The clarinets especially have an unpleasant, buzzy sound that sticks out in any texture. And most of the higher notes in the flutes (from F# up) include a loud squeak about half a second after the note starts. I was wondering why you chose to use them instead of one of the other options?

    • Thanks Peter. I put a lot of work in to balancing the volumes and the panning on each individual note of every instrument. A very tedious process. I also set a goal of creating the same articulations for every instrument. That wasn’t always so easy to achieve.

      As for the winds, I took a second listen to the clarinets and flutes and I’m not sure I’m hearing what you are hearing. I’ll send you a private email so that perhaps you can record and send me some specific examples. I don’t notice a buzzy sound from the clarinet patch nor do I hear a squeak from the high flute notes but perhaps with a recording of specific notes as recorded by you, we can figure this out.

  12. Great job Paul. I’ll have to check out which samples you picked from each orchestra. I’m really loving all the orchestral free stuff that is available. When I started messing about a few years ago there was really only the Sonatina, now there are enough to make great curated compilation orchestras like yours! Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks. Which samples came from which library should be easy to discover. I wanted to keep it transparent so I kept the samples in their original library directories. Even when playing a sample, if your sample player shows the path to the sample, you’ll see the original library name.

      Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra served me well from the time it was first released. Fortunately, it’s recently been possible to expand on it with the help of some other newly available free libraries.

  13. The demos sound great. I wonder how many velocity layers these instruments include, since the whole library is actually quite small? Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks Ike!

      All the brass have 2 velocity layers. That’s where I thought it mattered the most. I was lucky to find 2 velocity layers for the brass from freely available samples. Everything else is just a single layer but all the strings have round robin on the staccato samples so you can hear alternating bow strokes.

  14. Thanks for making a free library to try! 2 questions:
    1. I plan to try this with Auria iPad app using their Lyra sampler. Heard of that being done or any advice before I try it? I have downloaded and tried the SSO library in Auria and it works well. I had to remove the low pass filters from the brass sfz files though.
    2. I am quite new to software instruments, so what is a key switched patch and how is it used?


    • Jon,

      1. If SSO works, then this library should work in the same way. Some of SSO is included in this library.

      2. A key switch allows you to change from one articulation to another by hitting a key. For example, if you are using the 1st-violin-SEC-KS-C2.sfz patch, by default, if you just play any key in the normal violin range you’ll get a sustained sound with a slow attack. Press the E2 key on your keyboard then your violins will play short staccato notes. Pressing F2, makes the violins play pizzicato. You can return to the sustain sound by pressing C2. See the documentation above to see which notes select which articulation for the other instruments.

      • I loaded this into Auria Pro’s Lyra, but when I played some of the sounds – cello sect staccato for example- it would only play back on the left side. Then some patches played all in stereo. I also noticed on some of the instruments within the same patch, certain notes were only left or right, and other notes were stereo.

        Is this a function of the samples or patches, or is this a bug in Auria Pro’s Lyra?

        • That’s definitely not the way the sounds are supposed to be. I just tested cello sect staccato and for me (using Reaper and Sforzando), I hear the sound from both speakers. Maybe there is a problem with Auria Pro’s Lyra and the “pan” opcode in the .sfz files?

          If you remove the pan setting for a few notes in the cello sec staccato .sfz files, can you then hear those from both speakers?

          • Thanks for the quick reply! I played the samples themselves and they are stereo so it’s in the SFZ code. I checked the Cello SECT Staccato code and there are pan opcodes with varing negative numbers, so I think thats why it pans left or right. Not sure how to fix the code except to remove pan codes or change the values to 0.

    • I have no idea. You haven’t given me enough information. For example, what exactly happens when you try to load the .sfz files? Is there some error message? I also use sforzando by Plogue and I have no trouble so it certainly should work. Knowing why it doesn’t work for you, will require more information. I’ll help if I can.

  15. Thank You!

    I am using this as part of a Kontakt and Omnisphere 2 project that makes a certain old genre of music modern. I will be editing and manipulating the samples to some extent as well. Then they will be manipulated even more in the software as patches\presets. This was a major help. Again Thank You.

    Upon or After release… My partner and I will be donating to you as another Thank You. Can’t say when. I hope in less than a year. Shouldn’t take that long tho. A few months maybe.

    • One more thing. If you happen to have Kontakt Full version and Omnisphere 2.2 or higher.. I will talk to my partner of also giving you a free copy of the library as well.

    • Glad my library will be useful. Note that some of the samples require re-use of their Creative Commons license and attribution to the source of the samples. Not sure how that effects commercial use in case you’re going to repackage, modify and then sell the result. Good luck with your project. The more options out there for composers the better!

      p.s. No, I don’t have Kontakt.

  16. hi paul,

    I’m the guy who inflicted “no budget orchestra” upon innocent, impoverished musicians/engineers (electrical tech here, later seduced by microprocessor programming to become a software “bug creator”).

    I’ll be kicking the tires on your creation. Hopefully unlike my nephews, it won’t kick back. Maybe add it to my free symphony shootout on soundcloud.

    Come on over to where even geeks think “these guys are total geeks”.

    • Jeff,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting and thanks for sharing “No Budget Orchestra”. Your library was a valuable resource as I was assembling my own collection of instruments. Keep up the good work on your own library.

  17. Dear Paul,

    Currently sitting in my engineering lab right now working on homework, but I’m going to try working with this as soon as I get home tonight. From someone who’s messed with SSO and other orchestral soundfonts, my deepest thanks for your work. I’ll let you know more as I try it out.

    Very much appreciated sir. Thank you!

    • Hey Rohan, I’m an engineer too. Hope you’ll find this library helpful. I’ve been a user of SSO since it first came out and I wanted to see if I could take it a little further. Let me know what you think when you’ve had time to try this out.

      • Paul,

        Sorry for getting back to you so late! I’ve messed around a lot with your library, and I have got to say it’s one of the most convenient libraries out there. I was about to ask about the mod wheel, but I saw a later comment answered that nicely. I’ve got a couple questions:

        I’m brand new to orchestrating, and I can’t seem to understand for the life of me what type of workflow to use. DAWs and electronic software seem kind of counterintuitive to orchestration, and I wanted to know if you could direct me to some forums for that.

        Secondly, I’m struggling to get an organically full sound out of the library, which I don’t know is possible given its limitations–may I send you a sample of something that I’m working on to give me feedback?

        Thank you!

        • I can’t seem to understand for the life of me what type of workflow to use. DAWs and electronic software seem kind of counterintuitive to orchestration, and I wanted to know if you could direct me to some forums for that.

          What workflow is best, depends on the composer. Some sit at a piano with pencil and paper and work out a melody and chord progression and later copy from paper into DAW based notation software. Others directly enter notes in a DAW in a piano roll, using a mouse. Another composer might perform each section directly using a MIDI controller. There is no wrong way.

          When working on a strings part, I often start out with a general strings section patch, play and record the chords that I want, then go back embellish various parts by converting some held notes to arpeggios or scale runs, perhaps an ostinato, then split that single strings track into 4 or 5 separate string parts. With other instruments, I generally record the parts I want, but sometimes it’s easier for me to get the melody I want by drawing the notes in the piano roll. Whatever works best in the moment.

          If you want to see 2 different composers making very effective use of a DAW while composing in very different ways, see the videos on my Blog page by Joe Carillo, and Michael Patti.

          As for some forums where you can seek other opinions and ask questions, I’d recommend the following:

          v.i:control This is a place for people who mostly seem to use professional virtual libraries but it seems like a good place to ask questions and get answers for any composer.

          I can also recommend Scoring Central. Same basic idea as v.i.:control but more for people using free orchestra libraries or for the amateur musician. This forum was started by Mattias Westlund – the creator of Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra. Scoring Central would be a good place to post your music for feedback on how to “get an organically full sound” from a free sample library.

  18. Great work!

    I just listened to the two demo songs – and woa – they’re sounding right good. At some parts it’s obvious that here is a “virtual” orchestra playing. But all in all it sounds great!

    It’s a lot of work to arrange so many samples.
    Very appreciated! Thanx!

    • Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it. There will always be room for improvement but I hope that this library will be useful despite limitations that are necessarily part of this and any other virtual orchestras.

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