Virtual Playing Orchestra

Virtual Playing Orchestra: “It covers all the needs” – vitalker

This is a full, free orchestral sample library featuring section and solo instruments for woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion. Click the buttons below to learn more, to download the library and to hear a few compositions using the free sounds that are available.

Download Virtual Playing Orchestra 3.2

Virtual Playing Orchestra consists of 2 parts: wave files and scripts. These two things work together. The scripts configure the use of the wave files. You need to download the “Wave Files” plus at least one of the “Standard Orchestra” sfz scripts or the “Performance Orchestra” sfz scripts (depending on how you want to control the sounds) then unzip each zip file in the same place and in the same way as you did with the wave files, or wherever your DAW (digital audio workstation) can find the files you unzip. Either way, all .zip files need to be unzipped in the same place and in the same way (i.e. extract the .zip files into the same sub-directory, “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3” for example).


NOTE: If you already have Virtual Playing Orchestra version 3.1, you don’t need to update the wave files to use the new scripts. Version 3.1 of the wave files works with version 3.2 of the scripts. The wave files haven’t changed.


Wave Files

[ Version 3.1 – June 12, 2018 ]
(works with sfz scripts version 3.1 -> 3.2)
download virtual playing orchestra wave filesThe Wave Files download contains the raw sound of each instrument.

[ Download (603 MB) ] [ Change Log ]


Sfz Scripts

Sfz scripts map the raw sounds from the wave files to MIDI notes and also shape and enhance the sounds.

Standard Orchestra

[ Version 3.2 – November 23, 2019 ]
(still works with wave files version 3.1)
download virtual playing orchestra standard scriptsThe Standard Orchestra uses key velocity (how fast you hit a key on your MIDI controller) to control the volume. Articulations (sustain, staccato etc) are placed in different tracks or are selected via key switches. Most virtual instruments work this way.

[ Download (531 KB) ] [ Documentation ] [ Change Log ]

Performance Orchestra

[ Version 3.2 – November 23, 2019 ]
(still works with wave files version 3.1)
download virtual playing orchestra performance scriptsThe Performance Orchestra uses the MOD wheel to control volume. Key velocity (how fast you hit a key on your MIDI controller) selects the articulation (sustain, staccato etc) while still slightly affecting the volume. The performance .sfz file names contain the string “-PERF”.

Video Demo of how to use the Performance Orchestra

[ Download (352 KB) ] [ Documentation ] [ Change Log ]



[Comments and questions down below]

What Is Virtual Playing Orchestra?

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

The plan was to start with Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, add 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 best, most complete, free orchestral sample library.

Hear Virtual Playing Orchestra Perform

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


Mod wheel doesn’t work? DAW support? How to use? Licensing? Cross Faded Brass? See the Frequently Asked Questions page:

Virtual Playing Orchestra FAQ

To install updates, just unzip the files in the same place and in the same way as your previous version, to upgrade to a new release. When asked if you want to overwrite or replace files, say yes. It is what you need to do to install a new version.


  • 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 (in the standard orchestra)
  • Articulations are selected based on how you play a note (in the performance orchestra)
  • 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, panning issues
  • All samples volumes have been equalized so max volume is approximately the same value
  • All instruments are set to only play within their proper note range
  • All instruments (in the standard orchestra) 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 spread across the keyboard)
  • General purpose patch for full brass section (trumpet + french horn + trombone + tuba in a single patch spread across the keyboard)
  • General purpose patch for full woodwinds section (piccolo + flute + oboe + clarinet + english horn + bassoon in a single patch spread across the keyboard)


  • 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*, MuseScore

* 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. Also, patches that use the MOD wheel (.sfz files with MOD or PERF in the name) may not work properly since linuxsampler apparently doesn’t permit any controller to control more than one parameter at a time however, I’ve been told that editing the .sfz files and replacing “gain_cc1” with “volume_oncc1” solves the problem. (thanks to Kevin Haines).


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

You must unzip both the zip file for the .sfz scripts and the zip file for the .wav files to the same destination and in the same way (i.e. extract the .zip files into the same sub-directory, “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3” for example). If you are asked to overwrite files, say yes. This library requires both downloads (one of the .sfz script downloads and the .wav download) to function.

If you have installed and unzipped the files correctly, you should have a sub directory called “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3” containing folders like this:

Virtual Playing Orchestra - install directory

*** The “libs” directory must be present as shown in the picture above ***

The “libs” directory contains all the .wav sample files (the actual sounds of each instrument). The other directories contain the various scripts (which use the .wav files) for each orchestra section.

How to use

To use the instruments in this orchestral sample library, it’s necessary to have an sfz player. This is a plugin for your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that can read the .sfz files, load the .wav samples and play back a sound when a key is pressed on your MIDI controller. You will have to explore the .sfz player to understand how to load the .sfz files but one way, at least with the free Sforzando sfz player, is to simply drag and drop a .sfz file into Sforzando.

I’ve provided a few different .sfz variations for each instrument. There are SOLO files, where it’s the sound of a single player, there are SEC files for the sound of multiple players playing in unison. There are a few articulations (methods of playing) such as:

  • sustain – long held notes that start slowly
  • staccato – short choppy notes
  • normal MOD wheel – long held notes that start quickly but the MOD wheel can adjust how quickly the note starts
  • accent – an initial quick sound followed by a slightly delayed sustain
  • tremolo – for the strings only, this is similar to the sustain but the player shakes the bow back and forth while playing the note
  • pizzicato – for strings only, the player plucks the string
  • DXF – only available for trumpet, french horn and trombone in the standard orchestra, these patches use the mod wheel to control the dynamic cross fade between quiet and loud samples for a given note as the volume increases with the movement of the mod wheel.
  • KS – these are key switched patches. Rather than needing to load each of the above into a separate instance of a .sfz player, load a KS patch instead and use a special MIDI note to change which articulation will be used. Key switched .sfz file names are in the form KS-XX. The XX indicates where on a MIDI keyboard the key switches start. KS-C2 for example, indicates that pressing C2 will cause the sustain articulation to be used. See the documentation for the Standard or Performance libraries (links in the download area) to learn which keys select which articulation for each instrument

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, and I also want to thank those who help spread the word and recommend Virtual Playing Orchestra to people looking for a free orchestra sample library.

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.


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 and that any derived samples or library is kept for personal use only or is given away for free.

I do not feel it is right to repackage and sell this library in part or in whole for profit. This library is free. The source material is free. Let's keep it that way.

For more complete licensing information see the Creative Commons licenses that apply to this library and the sources used to create this library. If there is any conflict between the license as found on the web site and what is included as part of the distribution files, the license on the Virtual Playing web site should be considered the most recent.

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"

Creative Commons 0

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 giving 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"

* UPDATE: It seems the Philharmonia Orchestra web site no longer shows the Creative Commons License, however quoting the license terms "The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms"

Here's an older version of the Philharmonia web site where the Creative Commons license was shown (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Philharmonia Orchestra from the Wayback Machine

232 comments on “Virtual Playing Orchestra
  1. * UPDATE: It seems the Philharmonia Orchestra web site no longer shows the Creative Commons License, however quoting the license terms “The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms”

    That’s valid for you (the VPO author), not for Philharmonia Orchestra authors. They can license it with as many licenses they want, and stop license it under the CC (in their website).

    It’s true that they can’t revoke the license they (virtually) delivered to you.
    CC-BY-SA costricts the composer to release their song under the CC-BY-SA. So it’s way better their new license.

    • Now the page has loaded to me and I seen that they seem to have licensed their work under the CC with additional terms.
      Considering that CC can only be applied without any other restrictions, that agreement is null! So it’s like you never received a CC-BY-SA license!
      You should upgrade the license with the new terms. Better, you should contact ’em and ask an explicit permission or else asking to clarify if their restrictions are valid for not-for-profit collections.

      • Never mind! I checked the CC-BY-SA and that “No additional restrictions” declared in the non-legal page is not mentioned in that way in the legal page. So the CC is still valid for you.
        They can change the license to their own work. You can still license it under the CC. You must not apply further restrictions to the CC itself. You could relicense it with the new terms (dropping the CC) or you can dual-license the samples (if identical) with CC or FO license at user’s own choice.

        • I’m going to stick with the original license because the terms of the Creative Commons license permit it and I don’t see how it stops anyone from freely using my changes to the Philharmonia Orchestra samples in a composition.

  2. I got the sound to play but there is a Ticking or clicking sound during playback for some reason.
    Is there a setting to make this stop.
    I am using the stand alone Sforzando Player 64Bit version.

    • The ticking or clicking don’t come from the orchestra sounds themselves (unless they’ve been corrupted when unzipping them) so the problem must be elsewhere. It could be your computer, sound card, perhaps a corrupt version of Sforzando, your speakers, something else running on your computer at the same time, your audio interface or some buffer setting. If you figure it out, let me know in case someone else has the same problem someday, but there is little I can do to help without sitting in front of your computer and trying to eliminate all the possible causes of the problem.

  3. Philharmonia’s samples are not CC-BY-SA Material.
    It completely prohibit distribution on any form, whatever the samples are modified or not, either in whole or in part of samples.
    Also, use those samples to make Sound Lib, such as SoundFonts, are forbidden, even the samples are processed. I wish there’ll be a replacement……

    • > Philharmonia’s samples are not CC-BY-SA Material

      They were, and once a CC license is used, it can not be revoked. See my addition to the licensing information for the Philharmonia samples.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention so I could update the licensing information.

    • That ability will depend on your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). In my case, using Reaper, I load up all my instruments once, then save them as a template. After that all I have to do is load the template into a new project and all my instruments are automatically loaded and ready to be used.

        • As I understand it, you can’t. You need to place each instrument on a track, one at a time. Then you can save that project as a template. Next time, load the template and all your instruments will load all at once through the template. That’s what I do.

          • Ah, ok, I thought you were talking about a different way to load everything all at once in reaper. Thank you for clearing it up and all the work you put into that collection!

  4. What you are doing here deserves a Légion d’Honneur.

    I may be exaggerating, but all of your efforts in collecting, refining and making them freely and easily accessible truly deserves merit! I hope others in similar fields will follow you as an example.

  5. Just want to let you know that I really really appreciate the fact that this exists, been using it for quite a while now and it is my go-to for any orchestral work, especially for strings, and it will probably remain to be as long as I’m a poor student 🙂

    I’ve been recommending it to anyone that wants to have some solid free samples. Thank you for all your hard work!

    Here’s something I made with it a while ago, for someone else’s 3D asset showcase:

    All the non-drum sounds are from this library!

    • Glad you are enjoying my sample library. Thanks for recommending it to others. I listened to “The Encampment”. Well done. I like how well everything is blended together. I listened to some of your other orchestra pieces on your Soundcloud. I particularly liked “Orchestral improvisation”

  6. Hello,
    I’m using standard orchestra with musescore3. I would appreciate high quality of sound.

    When I set two whole tones and ties (total 8 beats length) with 1st-violin-SEC-sustain, and if I play it’s sound, it quits only 6 beats length.
    If I select 1st-violin-SEC-tremolo, it partially stops sound in 2 beats length and remaining sound stops 4 beats length.
    There are some other Sounds which cause such strange behavior.

    I would like to know if there is any wrong my setting/usage or not.
    Although I’m not sure this is known issue.
    If it is required, I can provide sample musescore file.

    • The sounds should last for as long as you hold the note. My guess is that Musescore is not recognizing the loop points in the .wav files. Each sound file (.wav file)indicates a point at which the playing of the sound should loop back and start again so that the sound lasts as long as you want it to.

      • Hi Paul,

        Thank you so much for your quick reply.
        I should mention that there are also some Sounds of Virtual Playing Orchestra which can keep tone length as I expected.
        So that means maybe musescore3 have an issue that there are cases it can read loop point information correctly and could not. Is that right?

        Thanks for your help.

        Best Regards,

        • Can you give me an example of a note from an instrument that does not work and a note from an instrument that does work so I can look for a difference? I would expect Musescore to either work for all notes or no notes.

          Also, you could try posting your question on the Musescore forum here:

          Musescore: Virtual Playing Orchestra and SFZ files

          I don’t use Musescore but maybe someone who does use it over at that forum can help you.

          • Here are examples.
            For C4 and G4 tone with 8 beats length,

            NG cases
            -> it become about 7 beats length
            -> C4 is about 3 beats length, G4 is 8 beats length
            -> C4 : partially about 5 beats length, remains is 8 beats length, G4 is 8 beats length

            OK cases

            I noticed that it seems behavior is different with its pitch so I wrote pitch and length of each instruments.

            I hope this helps your check. I also try to contact with the Musescore forum.
            Thanks for your great assistance.


          • On the Musescore forum, you mention that this problem does not occur with Musescore2 only Musescore3. That pretty much eliminates Virtual Playing Orchestra as the problem. Clearly Musescore3 broke something that was previously working in Musescore2.

            I looked for differences between working and failing notes. All the failing notes have loop points at the very end of the wave form, BUT some of the working notes also have loop points at the end of the wave form.

            There is one other thing that I can suggest that helped someone who found a single note that didn’t work. Apparently adding this to the proper region in the .sfz file, solved the problem for him.


            Hope that helps. I’m not sure what else I can do to track down the cause of this problem. If you get an answer from the Musescore forum or you solve the problem yourself, please let me know.

          • Hi Paul,
            I appreciate your great support. You also checked my post on the forum!

            I will try to write loop_mode in the scripts.

            Once I get any updates at the forum, I will let you know.

            Again, thank you so much for your assistance.

            Best Regards,

          • Hi Paul,
            It is not so good progress but I just want to provide update.
            Since I could not get reply from anyone so I re-post the same content to ‘Bug and supports’ category.
            Then I got reply that there are still lots of work left to support SFZ files.

            Also, I have tried to add loop_point description in the script but situation have not changed.

            If I can have any update, I will let you know here.

            Best Regards,

          • Using loop_mode=loop_continuous is not supposed to be necessary, but I thought there was a chance it would help. I can’t think of any other solution. Hopefully someone at Musescore will eventually test this to discover the cause of the problem.

  7. I use performance orchestra with musescore. I really appreciate the quality of sound provided by your library.

    I notice that while playing a note using violin section, I get a very slight echo which continues until the next note. This prevents me from getting a crisp end of the note before beginning the next note in the same measure.
    Iam not sure if this is related to virtual orchestra or musescore. Hence thought of posting this question to get your advice

    • It’s possible that what you are hearing is artificial legato which lasts longer for more low velocity (slowly played) notes. To test this, open up the .sfz file of the strings patch you are using and comment out, or remove these lines:


      and add this


  8. Hi Paul, many thanks for producing this library, I’ve been using it for several months now and it’s really impressive work.

    I want to switch my project over to using the performance library, but I can’t get the strings volume to change via the Mod Wheel. They are also very quiet, I presume because the mod wheel is supposed to raise the volume.

    Having looked into it, seems LinuxSampler doesn’t support the gain_cc1 message used in the SFZ files, so sadly this aspect won’t work for anyone using LinuxSampler. I thought it worth mentioning here in case someone encounters the same issue.

    If there’s a work-around I’d be interested to know, otherwise thanks again for your work.



  9. Hi Paul,

    how come there is no “all strings” SEC tremolo patch?

    I am thinking of writing my own but I thought I ask first if there was a reason for not having it in the first place.

    • The “all strings” was intended for quick sketching of ideas. I always expected to create an “all strings” track without tremolo and change to tremolo when replacing the “all strings” track with the individual string sections. I’ll have to consider creating “all strings” tremolo and pizzicato if I release another version of the library.

  10. Hello. I am thankful for this sample pack. But there was a .sfz,keys,piano when I downloaded the pack 1-2 years ago. But now which pack I download , I can’t find it.

  11. Thank you for putting all of these samples together! The library sounds amazing and the instructions were really clear, its obvious that you’ve put in a lot of work into this library. Glad I was able to come across this!

  12. Uhm, hello, can you help me?
    Everytime I load this bank, it always said “not sound asset loaded”. I’ve check the file and it’s all okay but sforzando always show the error box, I kinda confuse about this

    • It’s likely that you didn’t unzip all the files into the same directory. See the instructions here: “installation” and ensure your copy of the library looks exactly the same as the picture. Pay close attention to the “libs” directory.

      • I am also running into the same problem. Could you go into more detail than what is stated on the installation section. I am in no way tech savvy, and the instructions are not very clear to me. What is suppose to be in the folders in that picture? what folder are the folders in the picture found under? I am also on a mac, not a pc or windows, trying to run this on my DAW (pro tools).

        • Phoenix: Ensure, that when you unzip the files, you choose the same destination for where both the scripts (all the instrument directories = strings, woodwinds, brass etc) and the .wav files (the “lib” directory) will be placed. If they were not unzipped into the same directory, you will get an error when you try to load an instrument into Sforzando. If, when unzipping the files you are asked if you want to overwrite existing files, say yes. If you have installed the “lib” directory into one place and all the other directories somewhere else, you can still drag and drop the “lib” directory from wherever it was installed to wherever the instrument directories are installed to match the picture in the installation section of this page. Hope that helps clear things up for you.

  13. Just wanted to take the time to say a quick “thank you”, that’s really awesome work here! Very very much appreciated!

    • Inside the .zip file that you can download when you click the link near the top of the page that says “download (603 MB)” (it’s right beside a picture of a sound wave) in the white box under the text “download wave files”

      After you unzip that file, the .wav files can be found in various sub directories under the path “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3/libs”

  14. I’m confused. Where did I get this file from? ‘Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3-1-2-standard-scripts’ I downloaded this when I pressed the download button for the wav files.. 🙂

    • I’m assuming that’s a .zip file? I have no idea how it’s possible to get that file by clicking on the download button for .wav files. When I try the link for the .wav files, I’m always presented with a prompt to download “”. All I can suggest is to try again. I can’t currently see any way for it to be failing so there is nothing I can fix.

  15. Hi Paul,

    Musescore will be soon officially supporting dynamics on single notes, however it requires the support of the CC11 MIDI controller.
    I did a quick test with some SFZ soundfonds on their alpha release and it seems it’s not working.
    Do you have some inputs?

    Thanks a lot

    • All I can suggest is contacting the users or makers of Musescore. I don’t use it and I don’t know much about it.

      Sorry I can’t be helpful.

      • In the Musescore forum it was explained that Zerberus (their own SFZ synthesizer) doesn’t support the xfin_loccN and xfout_loccN opcodes, so you are correct… the ball is on their side…

  16. Just realized that the note G4 sharp for the “Cello SOLO sustain” does not last for 3/4. Can I fix it by myself in the sfz files?

    • I just tried the G#4 and all the other G# notes in “Cello SOLO sustain” and I heard them all last for as long as I held a key but I don’t know what “does not last for 3/4” means.

      • I meant for a half note with a dot. It seems to last only for a half note (tempo 50 BPM). I tried with other notes and each of them lasted for the whole duration.
        If you cannot reproduce it, is there a place in the sfz file where I can try some workarounds / fixes?

          • I just tried G#4 (and all the G# notes) in 1st violin SOLO sustain and it plays for as long as I hold the note. I don’t think anything in the sfz file will have any effect on this unless the .sfz file has been modified, for that note, to no longer recognize the loop point in the .wav file. This would mean that a “loop_mode=” statement had been added.

            What version of Virtual Playing Orchestra are you using? Can you also try this with a .sfz player instead of Musescore?

            There is one thing you might be able to try in order to fix this problem for yourself within the .sfz file. That’s to comment out the lines in the .sfz file that use the problematic sample (.wav file) and extend the range of an adjacent note (<region>) to cover the commented out note. When commenting out a <region> line in the .sfz file, be sure to comment out everything from the start of a <region> line you want to remove and the beginning of the next <region> line.

          • Thanks for your suggestions. ( I cannot see the reply button on your comment, so I do it here)

            Version 3.1 – June 12, 2018

            I will download Sforzando and give a try but it will take some time.

            I’ve commented out this line:
            // sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_Ab-PB.wav key=68

            and modified the previous one:
            sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_G-PB.wav key=67 hikey=68 lokey=67

            but the sound stops before the end. I guess it lasts for its own sample duration (3 seconds) but not more.

          • the full lines in the sfz file:

            sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_G-PB.wav key=67 hikey=68 lokey=67
            // sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_Ab-PB.wav key=68

          • AH ok, I guess the “region” tag is removed while I insert the comment maybe for security reasons… I thought I missed it in the C&P.

          • This:

            // sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_Ab-PB.wav key=68

            … isn’t enough. It needs to look like this:

            // sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_Ab-PB.wav key=68
            // tune=5
            // volume=-1

          • Done as you suggested… I guess in the textbox there is a sort of carriage return.
            This change seems finally working:

            sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_G-PB.wav key=67 hikey=68 lokey=67 loop_mode=loop_continuous

          • I don’t understand why that one note was causing trouble for you, but I’m glad we were able to find a way to fix it.

  17. It seems that the new instruments, like bass trombone and contrabassoon are not working properly, at least for me. The old ones work just fine but these give following errors in Qsamples

    16:55:12.674 Channel 0 Instrument: “/opt/Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3/Brass/bass-trombone-SOLO-normal-mod-wheel.sfz” (0).
    16:55:12.683 Channel 0 MIDI map: 0.
    16:55:16.540 Channel 0 lscp_edit_channel_instrument: No instrument loaded to sampler channel (errno=100)
    16:55:16.545 Channel 0 Could not launch an appropriate instrument editor for the given instrument! Make sure you have an appropriate instrument editor like ‘gigedit’ installed and that it placed its mandatory DLL file into the sampler’s plugin directory.
    16:55:37.887 Channel 0 lscp_edit_channel_instrument: No instrument loaded to sampler channel (errno=100)
    16:55:37.892 Channel 0 Could not launch an appropriate instrument editor for the given instrument! Make sure you have an appropriate instrument editor like ‘gigedit’ installed and that it placed its mandatory DLL file into the sampler’s plugin directory.
    16:56:17.029 Channel 0 lscp_edit_channel_instrument: No instrument loaded to sampler channel (errno=100)
    16:56:17.040 Channel 0 Could not launch an appropriate instrument editor for the given instrument! Make sure you have an appropriate instrument editor like ‘gigedit’ installed and that it placed its mandatory DLL file into the sampler’s plugin directory.
    16:56:17.745 Channel 0 lscp_edit_channel_instrument: No instrument loaded to sampler channel (errno=100)
    16:56:17.753 Channel 0 Could not launch an appropriate instrument editor for the given instrument! Make sure you have an appropriate instrument editor like ‘gigedit’ installed and that it placed its mandatory DLL file into the sampler’s plugin directory.
    16:56:29.495 Channel 0 setup…

    • I’ll need a little more information. What version of the Virtual Playing Orchestra library are you using? Do the following work properly?


      I see that Qsamples is BETA software. Is there any chance you could try this with a different sampler to see if the new instruments work for you with a different sampler?

  18. For those having trouble with installation cause the instructions don’t help:

    extract the two main folders to your sforzando folder. Cut and paste the libs folder of the main folder containing the wav files INTO the main folder the folder with the sfz files to get it to look like the installation picture in the Installation section of the manual Paul made.

    This is if you followed the instructions and still getting an asset not found error.

  19. How can I use it with LMMS? It doesn’t support .sfz files, but I saw that other people connected LMMS with Virtual Plaxing Orchestra. What do I have to do to get this as a VST Plugin and use it like this?
    Thanks for everything!

    • I don’t have any experience with LMMS, but perhaps this quote I found will put you on the right path? “Download the free Sforzando plugin. Open it in LMMS using the built-in Vestige” You will find a link to the free Sforzando plugin just below the requirements link at the top of this page. After that you would drag and drop the desired .sfz file into Sforzando.

  20. Whats your final pricing on the full orchestra going to be. A poor-musician *affordable* orchestra with proper articulations and a better quality than those nasty garritan plugins would be a market smasher.

  21. Hello,
    I downloaded the files as instructed and unzipped them into the same folder, however it did not tell me that it was going to overwrite anything. When opened up sforzando and dropped in one of the .sfz files into it it was telling me that that it could not load the assets and it gave me a long description of what I’m guessing could not be loading. What should I do from here in order to get it to work ?

    Thank you,

  22. Hi Paul,

    I downloaded the files as instructed but sforzando still gives me an asset not found error. I noticed that when I download the first zip its named correctly “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3” but when I download the second with the script files it instead downloads as “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3 2”. I feel like that may be causing the problem but I’m not sure how to fix it. Im using a macOS High Sierra so not sure if you’d be familiar with the problem or how to solve, any guidance would help! Id love to be able to use the files correctly!

    • I suspect that when you unzipped the script files and the unzip program warned that there was already a “Virtual-Playing-Orchestra3” directory then asked if you wanted to overwrite, you selected “no”. You need to select “yes”. It won’t actually overwrite any directories. It will just add to them. See the installation section where I mention this and I show what the directory structure should look like if everything is properly installed.

      • Paul, big fan of the program, but it just changed on me all of a sudden. I loaded the orchestral sounds and other ones offered above, prior to latest update, and I was able to simply jam away using MIDI guitar as a standalone.

        Fast forward to now, the sounds and files show up in midi gtr plug in folder, showing that it was recognized but when i try to select the instruments to begin playing, they down show up. im very confused. I attempted to reload the latest files into the same folder destination as before, Desktop/plugins/midigtr (where i keep all plug ins for ableton and other programs.) they show up in the Plug Ins, recognized, but again when i boot midi guitar as a standalone, or even within my DAW, i am not given the option to select any new plug ins.

        was there an update that prevents it from being used as a standalone? Could i have simply had a corrupted file? any direction would help.

        Thank you

        • You didn’t tell me what version you had when everything was working but if you had version 3.1 and upgraded to version 3.1.1, I think I only changed the celesta files and added a few previously missing files. All other instrument files are the same as they were in version 3.1.

          The files I provide are basically just data to be used by whatever application or plugin you are using. They have no awareness of whether they are being used in a DAW or in a standalone application. All I can suggest is the same advice I gave to Rob up above. See the installation section and the picture of the directory structure. If that is correct, then I suspect the problem must be elsewhere. You might need to contact the people that made whatever plugin you are using to see why it now fails.

          Has anything at all, besides the version of Virtual Playing Orchestra, changed since things were working for you?

  23. I am having issues with your .wav files in one drive. It says: “Our server is having a problem. We’re working to fix it as soon as we can, so try again in a few minutes.”

    My internet is spotty, so that could be it, but just in case it is not, I thought I would let you know.

    • Thanks for the warning. I just tested it and it seems to be working for me right now so hopefully it’s working for everyone else now too.

  24. Hello! I have just made complete conversion of whole library to *.instr format. That means it can be just copied into cellphone and can be used in FL Mobile!!!
    Thank you for that wonderful work! 🙂 If you wanted, I can upload you converted inst files and you can share it here in your website back to another users, OR I can upload it to my ftp, make some page and share the link with you. 🙂

    Bye and happy composing!

  25. Hi there! Thanks so much for this!

    I’m a bit confused with the different sfz files in the standard scripts – what’s the difference between the standard ‘solo; normal; etc’ and the ‘KS-xx’?

    Thanks in advance

  26. Hello
    Have downloaded the waves and the scripts and have extracted them.
    On my Win 10 laptop I have 2 hardrives and I have the downloads and extracts on the second hard drive.

    Should I have extracted to the directory where the stand alone sforzando program is ? I am having no success importing any of the instruments

    I need to know exactly hoe to organize the scripts and the libraries folders


    • If you extracted the wave files and the scripts to the same directory, and it matches the image in the installation section of this page, and dragging and dropping a .sfz file into Sforzando doesn’t work, then all I can suggest is ensuring both Virtual Playing Orchestra and Sforzando exist on the same hard drive and see if that helps. I do know that at least when they are on the same hard drive, the files do not need to be in the same directory as Sforzando, or at least when Sforzando is being used as a VSTi. I’ve never used the standalone version, but I can’t think of any reason why they should be different

  27. What a great library! Its even better that’s bundled with Finale. One minor thing: 1st and 2nd solo violins in performance patches have no tremolo artictulations. Which is bad, because performance articulations are the ones I used for all the other instruments. Its inspiring!

    I must say, I hate keyswitches being all over the keys, its much better to leave them to lowest or unused 0-12 octave.

    Solo voices might be updated with monophonic mode and glide control of some sort (autoglide maybe).

    Maybe some day, I’ll be that good with editings sfz’s that I’ll do it myself 🙂

    Thank you!

    • > Its even better that’s bundled with Finale.

      Are you saying it would be better if it were bundled with Finale, it is better because it is bundled with Finale or it’s better than what is bundled with Finale?

      > One minor thing: 1st and 2nd solo violins in performance patches have no tremolo articulations

      1st solo violins do have a tremolo in the performance patches. “1st-violin-SOLO-PERF-tremolo.sfz”

      > I hate keyswitches being all over the keys, its much better to leave them to lowest or unused 0-12 octave.

      Key switches exist at C2 or C6. This makes them playable on a 61 key MIDI controller.

      > Solo voices might be updated with monophonic mode and glide control of some sort (autoglide maybe).

      I don’t think an auto glide is supported by the .sfz format. It’s a good idea but I don’t think it’s possible with the exception of just using a pitch bend wheel.

  28. I’m probably doing something real dumb but I’ve grabbed and unzipped this and when I try to drop files into sforzando, I get reports of missing wav files. When I look at the unzipped folders, I can see there are no wav files, only sfz files. What do I need to do, to be able to use this? I’m running Reaper on a macbook pro. I’ve grabbed other sfz libraries and those work fine.

    • The wave files should be in sub directories organized by the original source of the wave files beneath the “libs” sub directory. Why those files appear missing for you but not for anyone else, I have no idea. You shouldn’t need to do anything more than unzip, then drag and drop sfz files into sforzando. If you open up an sfz you should see the path to where the .wav files are expected to be. Are they not where they should be?

      Also, what exactly did you download? You need to download version 2.01 AND the 2.3 patch files. Unzip them both in the same place and in exactly the same way.

  29. Hi

    Thanks for this library , really fun to work with.

    Question: What is the proper way to make a crescendo during sustain or tremolo notes?


    • There are a couple of ways, depending on what you are using for a sample player. If you are using Sforzando and a MIDI controller, you could map cc07 to a slider or MOD wheel on your MIDI controller. By default cc07 controls volume in Sforzando. I don’t know if that is true of all other sample players. You could also just use volume automation in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

  30. Hey, Paul

    I’m beginner with this kind of things, so.. be patient.
    I use Musescore. So how do I incorporate this into Musescore?

  31. I really loved playing with this in Reaper, but I needed to use this with a few programs that only support SF2.

    I backported the majority of this over to a somewhat GM compatible sf2 file format. Now my DOSBOX games sound better than ever!!

    You can download them below…
    [] (NOTE: this link no longer works -admin)

  32. How do I enable this program to be used through Garritan ARIA Player? I have a stock Finale and would like to use this in the playback of pieces I put into Finale. Is there a step-by-step process for me to be able to do this? I have no idea.

  33. hi there, whenever playing most instruments there is a noticeable glitch sounding break in the sample almost immediately after I press a note. Just wondering if this is how the samples should sound or a specific error with my download? I’m using sforzando in fl studio 12 if this helps.
    Thanks and great work on building such an extensive library.

    • No, that is definitely not how the samples are supposed to sound. Name a specific .sfz file and note, and I’ll check it out, but if it’s happening to most instruments, then I should have noticed it while working on my latest few compositions, which suggests there might be something wrong with the your download or something wrong with the way Fl Studio 12 is playing the samples. If there is an Fl Studio forum, can you see if anyone else is experiencing the same problem?

  34. The New Release is Awesome! But there’s just one problem with the 2 Solo Violins. WHY ARE THE E4 NOTES MISSING FROM EACH ONE OF THEM IN THE SUSTAIN, AND STACCATO SFZs?

    • As near as I can tell, in my copy, the E4 note is not missing so I don’t know what has gone wrong with your copy. What is your operating system, DAW, sfz player and can you exactly name one of the files where E4 is missing? For example, when you use 1st-violin-SOLO-sustain.sfz and you play E4, do you hear silence? In the case of that note, the sample libs/NoBudgetOrchestra/SoloViolin/Vibrato/4_F-PB.wav is supposed to play (but tuned to sound like E4). Is that sample file missing from your copy?

      • Well, Yes. The samples are supposed to be there in each of the Sustained Violin Solo SFZs. And of course, the E4s in the Sustain Samples are silent. I’m using MuseScore and Polypholne. I’m also using a Mac OS X. When I opened the Polyphone App and MuseScore App. I noticed that the E4 from the Solo Violins Sustain, and Mod-wheel are missing. I’ll prove it to you by using an audio for example with MuseScore. In a G Major Scale the 2 Violins Staccato samples have the E4 Note, but NOT the Sustained notes. [] (NOTE: this link no longer works -admin) Also with this Picture of that issue in Polyphone. The Oval is pointing toward that missing note. [] (NOTE: this link no longer works -admin)

        • I think I know the cause of the problem. In the file 1st-violin-SOLO-sustain.sfz, change this line:

          <region> sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_F-PB.wav key=65 lokey=64

          … to this:

          <region> sample=..\libs\NoBudgetOrch\SoloViolin\Vibrato\4_F-PB.wav key=65 lokey=64 hikey=65

          Let me know if this solves the problem and I’ll issue a new release to fix this.

          The exact same problem will exist in the file 1st-violin-SOLO-mod-wheel.sfz

      • I believe that anyone willing to compose can pull off a beautiful piece! Dedication and hard work goes a long way, the virtual playing orchestra helps a lot, so thank you 🙂

  35. Hi Paul,

    Thanks a lot for this library! It’s definitely the best soundfond for Musescore so far.
    Just one question: do you know why the flute and the piccolo (normal-mod-wheel) seem to start 1 octave above their normal pitch (compared to the default Musescore counterparts)?

    Thank you

    • Glad you are enjoying the library. As for the flute and piccolo, some instruments have been shifted to fit their range within a 61 key (5 octave) MIDI controller so they might not appear in the proper place within a musical score.

      • Hi Paul,

        Thanks for your quick reply!
        I can modify the staff parameters and accomodate them.
        Btw do you think it is also possible for me to modify the sfz parameters somehow to directly fit the score properly?


        • If Musescore supports sfz2 opcodes, then you could try adding this before the <group> opcode:


          This will shift the key mapping up an octave. This doesn’t change the pitch, just which keys play which pitch.

          • Thanks, it’s working.
            The only thing I noticed is that the flute cannot play lower than E4flat otherwise a “trumpet-like” sound is produced.


          • I tested both the SEC and SOLO flute normal-mod-wheel files with and without the octave_shift and I didn’t hear any note below the Eb4 that sounded like a trumpet. I don’t know what to suggest since I’m not experiencing the same problem.

  36. Hey Paul,

    Would you be able to include saxophones into your library?

    I think there are some public domain samples from Iowa, and adding a few instruments like that could extend the library for big band type arrangements!


    • Adding new instrument samples is a lot of work. I have to map them across the keyboard, weed out the bad samples, ensure they are in tune, ensure they are all the same volume, then I have to create the needed articulations and worst of all, loop the sustain samples. I think it will be a while before I add any instruments that require all that extra work. I’m hoping to spend my time using the library for a while.

      • Of course I know it’s hard work! Just an idea I had since I feel your library is very very good. But trying to get into jazz mockups I realized I needed some brush drums and a few sax!

        On top of that saxophones are apparently very hard to get right!

        That being said, I found this website, they’ve got an alto and baritone sax sampled for sforzando and it is by far the best I’ve found free:

        • I took a quick look at the sax you suggested. It looks good. Thanks for the link. If anyone asks, I now have a sax I can suggest to people.

  37. Can Virtual Playing Orchestra instruments be used with GarageBand? If so, what do I do after downloading VPO so that GB will “find” the VPO sounds?

  38. Absolutely amazing library especially for free. You have done lots of nice work with these patches. I have tried a few of my compositions through VPO and was wondering if a short sample could be posted on your site as a demo. It`s just a small film score like piece for strings timpani and chorus. Let me know when you can.

    Again hats off to you! Great work!

  39. Hi, just downloaded the setup sample player as you recommend and then the library. So far so good! I heard it was something i should try so here i am 😉
    I have an unhealthy amount of RAM ( 96GB ) in my machine so is there any way to load all sounds into RAM once per session and choose sounds from a list in the player and not have to open the file browsing window each time?

    Also, if i find any samples that has some issues, were do i send report?

    I quickly browsed some sounds and think it can be real fun and inspiring for me. I am a happy amateur and i usually do EDM type music. But i have done some “acoustic” music as well. I have Logic X stock sounds only when it comes to acoustic sounds.

    Listen to my recent experiment i intend to remake with your fine library.
    [] (NOTE: this link no longer works -admin)

    To me this library brings my sounds to another level and with my inspiration for the acoustic music.

    • There are a couple of things you can do to make loading sample easier. If you’re using sforzando, I believe there is an option where you can configure the path to a “user directory” to point to the location where you keep the Virtual Playing Orchestra samples. That should make loading samples in to sforzando a little easier, but better than that is to see if Logic X will allow you to save a project as a template. Then, when you load the template, you already have all your tracks set up with all the orchestra samples pre-loaded.

      If you find problems with any samples, you can report those problems here.

      I listened to your song. I like your composition. When you re-make it with the sounds from my library, please let me know. I’d like to compare the two versions.

      • Thank you Paul for the great tips. Yes a template in Logic X would make it easier. Turnsout there is already one for orchestral work, with stock logic sounds. So i can start from there and exchange the sounds with instances of sforzando.

        I did find two notes while browsing using my Audiotechnica ATH M50x. Try these headphones if you get the chance, they are brutal in reveiling noise and distortion. When i got them i was horrified to hear how bad my earlier recordings actuallly was 🙂 I will take some time and go through most librarysounds and write down anything i find.

        Glad you liked my track, i hope it can be alot more “orchestral” ( as measured by my novice level) after the overhaul is done. I will post the result to soundcloud.

        I have some other older “acoustic” stuff, but the are “covers” / not original work and are not allowed to be posted on soundcloud.

        Funny – today i hit the limit for free account track time on soundcloud. So i need to clean up my account to make room for the new. Interesting timing. I joined late last year and i have cleaned up my uploads once already. With this new library in my arsenal of sounds the continued inspiration is guranteed. 🙂

        • Hi Paul, I have now posted my first few bars of experimenting with the soundlibrary. See the track description.
          [] (NOTE: this link no longer works -admin)

          I am sure there will be more over time.

          • Nicely done. I like how it starts off with gentle woodwinds and then slowly builds from there.

  40. Thanks for the great library. It’s so good I can’t believe it.

    However, everything was working great for a month but now, I can’t seem to get it to work. Everytime I try to load up a sfz from the library I get a sound asset not found error message. Other sfz from other libraries work fine, and sforzando can still play other files.

    I’ve tried uninstalling the orchestra files, reinstalling the new version and the patches and nothing works, not even when running Sforzando as a standalone. I’m on a MacOS Sierra.

    • All I can suggest is that something has changed. If you can figure out what that is, you might be able to solve the problem. Can you copy the exact error message here for me? Also, check that the .wav files really are exactly where they are supposed to be. If you open up the .sfz file in a text editor, you can see the relative path from the .sfz file to the .wav file that is expected. I’m not familiar with MacOS, but if it’s anything like Linux, where upper case and lower case letters in a path or file name are considered different, ensure that here are no issues with upper case vs lower case letters in the file or path names.

      • Hi Paul,

        Funnily enough, I tried it again and it worked this time. I think it has something to do with where the library was stored. I had put it on the cloud to be able to access it between different computers and I think it wasn’t copying all the files.

        For now it will stay on my hard drive and we’ll see later.

        Thanks and I will be sure to get in touch if I start having problems again.

  41. Hi !
    i’m really impressed by the samples and i wish i could use virtual orchestra for my music ! I managed to upload the samples in Sofranzo but they all sound weird, they sound like an electronic wave . I’m using windows 8 x64bits and i can’t find the problem. i hope you can help me
    thanks for your time i really appreciate it

    • How did you load the samples? Did you drag and drop a .sfz file into sforzando? What DAW are you using?

      • I used Sofranzo ! And i used the “import” option to get the sounds. If it’s not the good way then how should i do ?

        • I don’t know what to suggest. I can’t think of any reason why everything sounds like an electronic wave. Using “import”, provided you are importing .sfz rather than .wav is fine. I’ll send you a private email so you can send me a recording of the problem. I need to hear it.

  42. 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.

  43. 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,

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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 in exactly the same way as 1.0. The updated files in the patch will then replace some of the older files.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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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