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Beginner talk: How can I try a demo of a sample library ?

ltrottier

New Member
Hi!

Beginner here. I am currently trying to produce uplifting trance music as a hobby of mine. I don't work in the music industry, but I always loved the genre, which mixes both synth and orchestral instruments. And over the last year, I challenged myself to learn music theory, piano, synth programming, DAW stuff, to be able to make music. So far, I made 1 song using the sonivox film score companion that I bought for the extremely cheap price of 30$ on a 90% sale.

It sounded incredible at first (hehe), but then I discovered the big players, spitfire, cinestrings, native instrument, orchestral tools, and all the million others (barely exaggerating). I realized how bad I needed a better library. So to understand what each library had to offer, I started watching review videos, reading forums and listening to the demo songs, because I could not find a way to try them for myself. Like a demo version of the library, with limitations / time period / sound muting for a couple seconds every now and then. Most synths or effect products that I found had that feature, which I loved because I could try them before buying. But I can't find that for sample libraries. Is it possible, and if no, why ?

I don't want to revert to alternative free ways to try them. I want to buy them to acknowledge the incredible efforts put into these amazing products. But if I can't try them, I don't see myself buying them. I don't have the guts to spend 400+ $ in the dark and hope for the best. And since Black Friday deals are pretty much now, I feel the pressure to commit.

Thanks!
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
if I can't try them, I don't see myself buying them. I don't have the guts to spend 400+ $ in the dark and hope for the best. And since Black Friday deals are pretty much now, I feel the pressure to commit.

Thanks!

I hate to tell you this, but that's the nature of the beast. Most developers don't have a way for you to test drive their libs, and most don't offer refunds. It's mostly a one way road that does not favor the consumer. Developers provide us with demos/walkthroughs, and aside from getting opnions from others, that's basically all we have when it comes to purchasing decisions.

You've come to the right place though. People here are more than happy to share their opinions on sample libs, and they're usually quite accurate.

Just don't buy anything only because it's on sale. Developers offer deals more frequently now than ever, so it's not like you're going to miss out.

Do your homework and research first, and figure out what lib sounds best to you! Otherwise, you could be facing a financial rabbit hole.
 
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shponglefan

Collector of sample libraries
There are a couple challenges with companies offering sample library demos.

The first is that a lot of sample libraries themselves are quite large; it's a bit prohibitive for companies to offer downloads of hundreds of gigs just for the purpose demoing some libraries.

The second is that being samples there isn't much stopping someone from just extracting the samples they want and then using them without paying. Granted, it would come with more limitations (e.g. no sample library programming, etc), but it would be a way for people to get around having to pay for professionally recorded samples.

That said, some companies do offer inexpensive or even free sample options.

SpitFire Audio has their LABS line-up. These are all free: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/labs/

Native instruments offers some free stuff: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/catalog/komplete/free/

EastWest offers a subscription service, which grants people access to their entire catalogue currently for a $20/month fee: http://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud
 

erica-grace

Senior Member
Mike Fox laid it out pretty well.

That said, the East West composer cloud may be the way for you to go, as there is only a short term commitment that is very little money if you don't like the libraries for whatever reason.

Then there is this that you should have a look at.

 

pinki

Senior Member
Turn back! Do not enter the weird and twisted world of purchasing sample libraries! You will end up penniless and destitute :)

(Actually sign up to East West for a month or use Best Service Try Sound?)

Avoid Spitfire and 8Dio and hundreds of other publishers who refuse a demo and return of purchase. You will end up with libraries on your drive doing nothing.

VSL are good- they allow returns up to 30days and you can resell.
 

Ryan Fultz

Active Member
Turn back! Do not enter the weird and twisted world of purchasing sample libraries! You will end up penniless and destitute :)

(Actually sign up to East West for a month or use Best Service Try Sound?)

Avoid Spitfire and 8Dio and hundreds of other publishers who refuse a demo and return of purchase. You will end up with libraries on your drive doing nothing.

VSL are good- they allow returns up to 30days and you can resell.

Just wanted to point out 8dio does actually have some demos for some of their products like the century strings in the "free" or "try" (I forget what it is called) section with limited instruments and articulations.
 
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ltrottier

New Member
Thread starter
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Thanks everyone!

It's quite sad to hear that we can't have demos. There must be a way to do it, I can't imagine. Maybe these giants do not want to change their ways. I'm ok with that, but they won't have my money :).

Anyhow, I'm pleased with Composer Cloud idea! This is fairly close to having a demo. I decided to subscribe for a month and have a look.
 

pinki

Senior Member
Yes and I didn't mean to single out 8Dio in particular...there are many other companies
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
If you have an e-licencer, then Steinberg's Iconica Ensembles and Sections and Players have a free 30 day trial.

Project Sam also have some free orchestral patches too.
 

David Kudell

LA-based Composer
I started with Composer Cloud. Like any subscription model, it sounds great at first but after a year, I didn’t like that I spent $360 and didn’t actually own anything. I have tracks that I can’t open the project file for without ponying up for the subscription again.

If I were to do it over, for around the same price as a year subscription to Composer Cloud, I’d pick up Orchestral Tools Berlin Inspire 1 & 2.
 

John R Wilson

Senior Member
I started with Composer Cloud. Like any subscription model, it sounds great at first but after a year, I didn’t like that I spent $360 and didn’t actually own anything. I have tracks that I can’t open the project file for without ponying up for the subscription again.

If I were to do it over, for around the same price as a year subscription to Composer Cloud, I’d pick up Orchestral Tools Berlin Inspire 1 & 2.

Another plan may also be to buy the EWHO diamond in full at its current sale price. You can get gold for only $266 and Diamond for $372.

It might also be worth checking out the BBCSO, which gives you a full orchestra.

Edit: I do think that more developers should offer trials so customers can test out sample libraries before having to commit to buying. I also think that their should be a refund period.
 
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premjj

Senior Member
If you have an e-licencer, then Steinberg's Iconica Ensembles and Sections and Players have a free 30 day trial.

Project Sam also have some free orchestral patches too.

A free, fully functional 30 day trial is really a great feature to have before you sink in hundreds of $$$. But I don't see it being discussed enough here (with my limited visits to the forum).
 

premjj

Senior Member
Spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on NFR libraries is not everyone's cup of tea. One thing I've learnt from this forum is that what is being praised as holy grail in one thread would be torn apart in another thread. Almost every library ends up requiring yet 'another" one to layer/complement it to make it sound better or be more comprehensive/complete. Point is the costs just add up.

I have backed off quite a bit from purchasing NFR libraries impulsively for this very reason, sales included.
 

purple

Senior Member
Hi!

Beginner here. I am currently trying to produce uplifting trance music as a hobby of mine. I don't work in the music industry, but I always loved the genre, which mixes both synth and orchestral instruments. And over the last year, I challenged myself to learn music theory, piano, synth programming, DAW stuff, to be able to make music. So far, I made 1 song using the sonivox film score companion that I bought for the extremely cheap price of 30$ on a 90% sale.

It sounded incredible at first (hehe), but then I discovered the big players, spitfire, cinestrings, native instrument, orchestral tools, and all the million others (barely exaggerating). I realized how bad I needed a better library. So to understand what each library had to offer, I started watching review videos, reading forums and listening to the demo songs, because I could not find a way to try them for myself. Like a demo version of the library, with limitations / time period / sound muting for a couple seconds every now and then. Most synths or effect products that I found had that feature, which I loved because I could try them before buying. But I can't find that for sample libraries. Is it possible, and if no, why ?

I don't want to revert to alternative free ways to try them. I want to buy them to acknowledge the incredible efforts put into these amazing products. But if I can't try them, I don't see myself buying them. I don't have the guts to spend 400+ $ in the dark and hope for the best. And since Black Friday deals are pretty much now, I feel the pressure to commit.

Thanks!

Most don't offer demos. I believe 8dio has some demos for some of their stuff but aside from that I don't know of anything else similar. As far as trying stuff, you could look into (I'm sure this will be beaten to death like it is in every thread like this) the East West Composer Cloud which is a monthly subscription to give you access to most of their stuff with the only limitation being a couple mic positions. Additionally, many companies are starting to offer "freebies" such as spitfire's LABS for example but these are not usually related to their other stuff. It can at least get you an idea of how their respective studios sound and how their UIs and programming works.
 

ism

Senior Member
Turn back! Do not enter the weird and twisted world of purchasing sample libraries! You will end up penniless and destitute :)

(Actually sign up to East West for a month or use Best Service Try Sound?)

Avoid Spitfire and 8Dio and hundreds of other publishers who refuse a demo and return of purchase. You will end up with libraries on your drive doing nothing.

VSL are good- they allow returns up to 30days and you can resell.

Or, In my case, just buy the most expensive Spitfire libraries first. Because you're going to anyway, and it will be cheaper not to mess around with mediocre libraries, or libraries that just don't resonate in the same way, first.

Or maybe for you its CSS, or OT instead of spitfire. Doesn't really matter.
 
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