Xperimenta Project offers Minima, a free orchestral sound library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
Minima is compatible with Kontakt Full 5.6.8 or higher (not the free Kontakt Player version). Xperimenta Project is new to me, but it looks like they have a good mix of paid and free instruments.
As the name suggests, Minima is a collection of instruments (14 in total) that are suited to creating minimalist music. The library includes a C3 rehearsal piano, a glockenspiel, guitars, pads, and more.
The layout is minimalist, too, with control over instrument selection, pitch/pan, a single FX knob, and not much else. I don’t yet know much about the team behind these sounds, but I like the line they use, made by musicians, for musicians.
It sounds like a silly thing to say because we can assume all library/plugin creators have a passion for music, but I like it when the creators are coming from the same perspective as the end-user, and not just from a technical standpoint.
From the included instruments, I’d find a use for just about all of them, but I have a few favorites, which are the pads and the piano. The pads are a combination of hardware synths and organic samples that have a really cinematic quality. Some are calm and perfect as a bed for something else; others have more rhythm and motion.
Everything is very dreamy, which is a common theme for a minimalist library of this kind.
Even the piano is very dreamy, but I like that; it limits when and how I’d use it, but that’s the point. In the proper context, it’s lovely, and I’d probably see it in the same light as Spitfire Audio’s Cinematic Soft Piano in terms of the way I use it.
I find those kinds of pianos are great for reflective music for film, either sparsely placed notes subtly pushing the audience towards a particular emotion or even an ostinato that you don’t mind getting a bit cloudy/muddy.
I like it, and I think it’s a nice addition for anyone who likes to compose for video, despite the full/free Kontakt complaints that most of us share. I tend to go straight to thinking about media composition with libraries like this because that’s what I hear more than any other music I make.
But, I’m sure many of you will find different ways to use these instruments in your work – worth a look!
More info: Minima (requires the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt)