Free VST/AU Instrument Sounds from Plogue

Free Sounds A 625

This menu shows all the instruments found in just one of subfolders of the Aria Engine Free Sounds Pack.

Today I’m excited to share with you a collection of several dozen free VST/AU instrument sounds that work great with Finale. Introducing the Aria Engine Free Sounds Pack, available free-of-charge from our friends at Plogue.

If you’re not familiar with that name, it’s short for Plogue Art et Technologie, Inc., an independent audio software company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, who makes the Aria Engine found in Finale and all Garritan products. Other Plogue creations include:

  • Bidule: A modular audio and plug-in routing environment that is a reference for many composers.
  • chipsounds: A software synthesizer that emulates 8-bit sound chips and circuits.
  • chipcrusher: A software effect that emulates early digital audio converters and speakers.

Anyway, back to the free stuff. Included in the collection are a variety of instrument sounds from several companies including Garritan and Plogue. Among my favorite sounds are the Mellotrons, the toy piano, and the music box, but there’s lots to choose from.

Once installed, I accessed these sounds in Finale by following these steps in a new document:

  • In the MIDI/Audio menu, make sure “Play Finale Through VST” (Windows) or “Play Finale Through Audio Units” (Mac) is selected.
  • From the MIDI/Audio menu,  choose “VST Banks & Effects” (Windows) or  “Audio Units Banks & Effects” (Mac)
  • As I already had ARIA Player selected for Bank 1, I clicked on the “pencil” icon to the right of it to edit.
  • In the resulting ARIA Player window, click on instrument slot #1 (mine says “Steinway Piano”), then navigate to “Free Sounds,” and then explore the various instrument sounds found in each submenu.

Be sure to explore the Controls tab for each instrument as they each offer unique parameters and and graphics:

Free Sounds B 625

The Controls Tab for each instrument offers parameters and graphics unique to each instrument

Upon learning of these sound I felt like I’d discovered hidden treasure: I’ve already put the toy piano to good use in a new song. Best of all, this is just Volume 1, and I’m told that Plogue plans to offer more as well.

Check these out, share them with your friends, and let us know what you think by clicking on “Comments” below.

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