The free VSCO 2 Community Edition sample library is available in three versions. The full version contains all 1,952 samples in WAV format (1.9 GB download), whereas the “256” Pack and “50” pack contain (you guessed it!) 256 and 50 samples, respectively. These smaller packs bring the same sound quality, but with a smaller amount of sampled notes in order to make the library easier to handle in less demanding projects. The library contains a wide variety of orchestral samples, including horns, wind instruments, strings, and loads of different percussive instruments.
At the moment, the free Community Edition library only contains the WAV samples, meaning that there are no ready-made patches for samplers like Sforzando, Kontakt, etc. Still, being a completely open source project, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see a bunch of user-made SFZ patches (among other formats) for this orchestral library sooner than later. There aren’t many high quality free orchestral samples like these on the web, so I’m quite sure that Versilian Studios’ latest free offering will attract a lot of attention from composers and sound designers. In addition, the developers have posted a SFZ making tutorial on their website and they’ve announced that they’ll be creating the official SFZ and VST/AU plugin versions of the library in a few weeks from now. Looking forward to that!
UPDATE: The official SFZ are now available for download on the product page linked below. You can also download the free NKI builds by Bigcat Instruments and an additional set of SFZ patches by Jeff G.
The samples are available for direct free download from the developer’s website. There’s no need to sign up or anything like that. Simply hit the download button and you’ll receive a ZIP archive containing the WAV samples.
So, is VSCO 2 Community Edition the best free orchestral sample library at the moment? Compared to Mattias Westlund’s awesome Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, VSCO 2 Community Edition’s obvious advantages are the sound quality and coherence of the included samples. Versilian Studios recorded everything from scratch using professional equipment, whereas Sonatina is (even though it is a fantastic library in its own right) a collection of royalty free sounds gathered from around the web. But, in my opinion, there’s absolutely no need to compare these two wonderful projects. Once the SFZ and VST versions of VSCO 2 Community Edition hit the web, we’ll have two fantastic free orchestral libraries to choose from and that brilliant fact is all that matters.
Moving on to the commercial versions of the library, you can choose between VSCO Standard ($99) which contains 9,254 samples across 128 NKI instruments and VSCO Pro ($199) which contains over 300 NKI instruments with over 500 articulations and 54,500 audio files in total. There’s a lot more info available on the Versilian Studios website, along with detailed walkthrough videos and audio demos of each version.
VSCO 2 Community Edition is available for free download via Versilian Studios (1.9 GB download size, ZIP archive, contains 1,952 audio samples in 24-bit WAV format).