Sonart’s subscription provides an affordable way to get a sound library starter kit.
There are certainly many web sites that offer free loops and instrument samples, but building up a collection from these sources can be tedious at times. Clicking on various links, consulting forums, providing an e-mail address to receive links, and sorting through different file formats may not be too encouraging for someone who has just installed his or her first DAW and wants to get down to producing tunes. Browsing the web, a fledging composer may find some promising titles, but unsure of their exact contents, one must research reviews and find enough demo samples to decide where to spend valuable money.
While there is no ultimate one-stop starter source, Sonart offers an afforable, massive, yet well-organized library to stir up ideas and get creativity flowing. Even though the majority of titles focus on dance and electronic styles, there is a surprising diversity with the availability of piano, jazz, brass, and even string kits. These collections are not all about loops, either; if you have a MIDI keyboard, you can pen your own original compositions using instrument patches, with the 8 GB Virus title giving you an impressive set of great synth sounds. The available sample formats vary from title to title (EXS24, Kontakt, Halion, SF2, GIGA2, Sampletank), but Acidized WAV files are always included, providing universal sample-management flexibility. Purchased individually, some titles can cost around $70 individually, so the two-year subscription (a one-time payment of $70) that includes 42(!) current and numerous upcoming titles for that time period, definitely makes economic sense in these times, whether you are a musician or not. Click on the titles on Sonart’s site and scroll down to the bottom of the page for audio demo links.