Versilian Studios released VCSL Keys, a free collection of ten multi-sampled key-based instruments.
Versilian Studios has been one of the best options for low-cost orchestral instrumentation. I remember being overjoyed to discover their VSCO collection years back when I needed a string section for something.
Thankfully, they’re still hard at work. Versilian has released three new free instruments: the Classic Collection, Tubular Bells II, and VCSL Keys.
Now, the Classic Collection is a grab bag of instruments. You’ll find marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, timpani, and more in this collection. It isn’t free, but it keeps the cost fairly low.
It is available in SFZ format for Sforzando and the ARIA engine, and it’ll run you $49 if you’re a new user. Upgrades are more affordable, running at $29 if you own the Classic Series.
Tubular Bells II is a completely revised take on the original release from Versilian. It brings a whole new set of samples and techniques to the fore, also intended for Sforzando and the ARIA Engine.
This is a great-sounding set of orchestral chimes, and I can definitely see some utility for it with users who hew a little closer to the classical side of things. Tubular Bells II runs $29 normally, but it’s a $10 upgrade if you already own Tubular Bells.
Finally is the only free instrument in the list, VCSL Keys. This is a collection of ten key-based instruments, sampled directly from the Versilian Community Sample Library.
You’ve got five pianos and five harpsichords. I will never be the foremost expert when it comes to key-based instruments, but I’m very happy using the 128piano on a JV-1080 or any of the key samples in a Korg workstation.
I did find these sounded quite nice, even if I’m not the most qualified to use them. Like the previously mentioned instruments, these are fully intended for use in the SFZ ecosystem, with Sforzando and ARIA engine support.
This is a wonderful collection of instruments that certainly won’t command the same price seen in other orchestral libraries. I imagine if you couple the keys with the free BBC Orchestra from Spitfire, you could handle just about anything in terms of rough orchestral mockups.