Happy 2016 everyone! Here's an overview of 5 free EXS24 instruments that are definitely worth checking out, made by long-time indie sample library developer Dennis Burns at Bolder Sounds from Colorado, USA. Both his paid and free sample libraries can be heard the world over, from small home project studios to the Hollywood silver screen.
About Bolder Sounds
According to the developer's website, Bolder Sounds roots date back to 1992 when founder Dennis Burns began making sample libraries for the Akai S1000 sampler. The original sample libraries were sold in floppy format and later became available for "DAT RAM" - a proprietary DAT tape format for hard drives connected to Akai samplers. Today, Bolder Sounds has a very loyal customer base and an unusual sample library catalogue in a variety of formats. Bolder Sounds employs the talents of the musicians, web designers, recording engineers, producers and sound designers in the Denver metro area as well as in Europe and Asia.
Free EXS24 Instruments by Bolder Sounds
Note that in order to download the free EXS24 sample libraries, you'll first need to create an account at the Bolder Sounds website. Also note that the website contains more freebies and paid sample libraries in a variety of formats, so do browse around.
I purchased 2 of them in a local book store for $8 a piece. It is intended to be screwed into any surface (like a wall or wood door etc..) to act as resonator. I tried in on glass, wood, a hand drum as well as my washing machine using double stick tape. All yielding different and interesting tonal colors. I chose to sample it mounted on a wood table with glass on the top. This gave it quite a pure crystalline quality.
Music Box basic.exs Music Box MW=HiPass.exs Music Box MW=LoPass.exs Music Box No Squeak.exs Music Box Octaves.exs Music Box Vel Xfade Octaves.exs Music Box Vel=Atak.exs Music Box Velocity=LoPass.exs
Also available for NI Kontakt and Gigastudio 3.
Here is a lovely 2 octave toy piano which is chromatically sampled in stereo at 24 bits with plenty of tonal character to spare. Key release sounds have also been sampled for each key and can be controlled via your modulation wheel (cc#1) . Various filter settings are also routed to your mod wheel for EQ flexibility.
After downloading this free exs24 instrument you will find two folders, one labeled Toy Piano not tuned and Toy Piano tuned. The not tuned folder is the toy piano in its original tuning. In the tuned folder are the majority of the other instruments with detailed programming:
TOY PIANO Oct MW=Key Rel.exs TOY PIANO Oct short.exs TOY PIANO tuned Less Atk.exs TOY PIANO tuned MW=BandPas.exs TOY PIANO tuned MW=Decay.exs TOY PIANO tuned MW=HiPas.exs TOY PIANO tuned MW=Key Rel.exs
Includes patches for Kontakt 2.
This thumb piano (also called Kalimba, Sansa or Mbira) comes from a family of instruments originally from Africa. The range of this particular instrument is 2 octaves plus a major 3rd. It was sampled with both plucks from the flesh of the thumb as well as the finger nail of the thumb for a brighter sound. Also each sample zone has 3 round robin samples assigned to it. So if you play the same key 3 times in a row, each time you will hear a different sample.
Thumb Piano FLESH.exs Thumb Piano VelSw.exs TP NAIL.exs
Includes patches for Kontakt 3+.
This is a harmonica in the key of A. It is a 10 hole harmonica which gives you a different pitch on each hole depending on whether you are blowing in or out (drawing or blowing). The samples are 24 bit mono with no loops for a natural sound and total 31 megabytes. I originally recorded these samples in stereo but have decided to sum them to mono for the final version.
Harmonic no vib.exs Harmonica Vel Switch.exs Harmonica vibrato.exs
Includes patches for Kontakt 2 and 3.
Toy and African Marimbas
I decided to augment the Toy Marimba offering with a set of samples I've had sitting around for years - a bass and tenor African marimba set complete with buzzing resonators. I've chosen to map both the bass and tenor marimba to the same keymap for convenience. The African marimbas have anywhere from 5 to 10 velocity switch samples per key.
bass-tenor marimba.exs Toy Marimba.exs
Download here. RAR archive.
Includes patches for Kontakt 2+.