Top 5 FREE sofware samplers and workstations


I know I been quiet for a few days but it was thanksgiving in the US and the holiday week got the best of me! Cooking, eating, cooking, eating and chilling with the family!

But we back at it this week!

To go along with the post I did about the Top 10 places to download samples legally, I wanted to take it in another direction.

When I first started making the switch over to software production, I didn’t quite have many plugins yet, so I would look around for the free stuff.

Let me just say that, while there is some good free plugins and instruments around, you really have to look, and do a bit of trial an error.

I don’t use every single free thing I can find, I just look for those that have the best sounds, are expandable, and have a nice appearance

I don’t go through the torrents and other dark corners looking for software, so if that’s you as well, then you’ll love this article.

The 5 dopest FREE workstations and samplers

kontakt player –
kore player –
proteus vx –
independence free –
uvi workstation-

kontakt player

kontakt player

This is the same player that’s been around for years in many “powered by kontakt” sample libraries and instruments. Now you can download it for free, it also comes with it’s own collection of instruments and sounds. It’s easy to expand with native instruments own expansions or any sample library that comes in kontakt player or “powered by kontakt” format.

Note, this doesn’t open regular kontakt files, only those that are specifically made to work with the kontakt player, but there are tons of them.

kore player free

kore player

kore player is another one from native instruments, based on their popular kore 2 workstation.  This instrument has all the same synth/sampling engines under the hood as the full version of KORE. Absynth, Reaktor, Kontakt, Massive, Guitar Rig, FM8 engines are included. But you can’t tweak them separately unless you have the full version of these instruments.

kore player comes with it’s own sound library, and there are tons of expansions available to give you a good sound library without having to own the full versions of each instrument.  Kore player isn’t multitimbral like the full version of KORE, so you can only load one sound per instance. It’s a great way to get started and it can continue to grow with you.


proteus vx

This is another great deal, you get a full multitimbral workstation based of of the famous EMU modules and samplers.  Not dongles or usb keys to worry about. It comes with the full composer rom bank, basically that’s a full sound module like 1024 sounds.

This one is only for pc if I remember correctly.  It can also play pretty much most of the sounds and libraries made for the Emu Proteus X or Emulator X instruments, and I use it to play all the emu sounds I used to have in hardware modules 🙂

independence freeindependence free

This is another high quality free workstation.

Based on the same technology as Yellow Tools flagship independence workstation, it comes with 2.5 gb of sounds and instruments to get you started.

It can also be expanded with their downloadable sound library.

Now you are limited to 25 audio file imports in this version, and it can’t host vst plugins like the full version, but other than that it’s a good source of high quality FREE sounds, without turning yourself into a criminal to get them lol

This one is definitely worth checking out.

uvi workstationuvi workstation–

This is the work horse of the uvi soundcard line of products. You can find the same technology in Motu’s bpm and other devices, and it can play any uvi soundpack or soundcard they release.  It comes with it’s own library, which is a demo of all the libraries they have created.

I like the interface of this one a lot, very easy.  This is it, there is no “full version” this is the workstation they use for their sounds.

It has a very deep arp engine, and it is also 64bit pc compatible. Unlimited parts, unlimited fx…yes it’s a workhorse! Definitely download it for free, and if you want to expand it just go on over to uvisoundsource and look around.

So these are, in my opinion, the best free sample/workstation instruments around.  I don’t just look for free, I look for usefulness, sound quality, and expansion support so that it can grow with you in your music.

Check them out, let me know what you think below.

Have you used any of this yet? What is your opinion? What do you think about my list?

leave me a comment.


    • Hahahaha I wasn’t really messin wit the software 5 years ago, it was all hardware for me lol.

      Glad you find it useful man, I want to post stuff you can use, not just a bunch of news you can find anywhere online lol.


    • I gotta do it man! I just gather stuff over time, stuff that I actually use and think is helpful… then I just put it out there! I want you to have a reason to come back through frequently, not just post up a bunch of news articles.

      It takes a bit more time to put together the info but I think it’s worth it because folks really dig it!

      I’m glad u like it man!

  1. We’ve come a long way from the old soundfont players. I’ve had a lot of joy with the UVI offering. Seems to have good compatibility with the formats I like to mess with, and doesn’t seem to do my head in with complexity like the NI offerings (Same sorta reason why some of my mates love reaktor and I’m left bamboozled by it)

    The independence one looks interesting. Might have a play with it when I get some free time.

  2. I’ve used all these except the Independence player, great choices Saintjoe. I’m really partial to the E-MU one, I paid $100 for the retail version and if I’m not mistaken I think the freebie is only missing the grand piano. Shayne’s mention of soundfonts reminds me, Cakewalk is giving away the rgc soundfont player for free.
    You need to register name/email, but that’s it. It’s not as advanced as these, but there’s tons of public domain soundfonts, so it’s another way to get basic sounds.

    • Yeah man! That Emu joint replaced all the emu hardware I have lol. I have the composer bank, protean drum bank, mophatt bank, and the planet earth bank (which I was never able to find for my hardware) lol.

      it’s crazy, and it’s the same exact sounds, same 32mb-64mb sound roms lol. Good stuff.

      I got the free soundfont player a week or so ago, didn’t list it because it doesn’t come with sounds out the box, but it’s good to have

  3. allways enjoy what you do … quick question that Independence software is that in German …cause when i click on the link everything is in German ?…

    • Thanks yo! Yeah you have to change it to english on the site, I think you have to click the UK flag or whatever lol…it’s crazy. I don’t know if it’s German or what, but it’s a language I don’t speak so I just looked for the “english” flag

      • i click on it but it went back to to german side even when i started from the very beginning it do that but i know its out of your control ill find it some how…

  4. Thanks for the info Saint Joe,Do you think That the Kontack Player from native mighty be a good option for someone just starting out on softhware? I am a mpc dude and this software stuff is new to me.Thanks

  5. Thanks again for the info and samples Joe, I started with the the kontact player first and its pretty cool.I got the UVI workstation yesterday and its a breeze to work with and I have been going strong on that the last couple of days!!! I also got the Protues and its wonderful for sounds. That and the Uvi is the core of my rig. Thanks again man and I will keep yall posted.Peace!!!

    • awesome dude! I’m glad they are working out for you. I really like the uvi interface, the proteus is dope since I had tons of emu hardware, having those sounds in software is awesome.

      Kontakt player is what it is, but I have the full version of kontakt so I don’t use the player much.

  6. SaintJoe
    My questions is probably extremely simple for your expertise, but here goes.
    I am a piano player and I have in the past used my digital piano to play music into a program called Record Producer by Voyetra so that it can be tweaked, made do sound fuller, and then our church choir sings with it. It works well for us.
    Well, I now have Windows 7 and Voyetra has stopped distributing Record Producer. They have advised the older version I had will not work with Windows 7.
    Do you know of any similar software I can use to accomplish the same thing? All I really used it for was to record the instruments, and the SATB voices on different tracks for rehearsals.
    If I’m making any sense, I really appreciate your suggestions.
    Brigitte D

    • You may want to look into Reaper or Mackie Traktion. These programs are pretty easy to use and will allow you to record what you need.

      You could also look into Aucacity if your recording everything strait into the computer and don’t need many features. Audacity will let you record your piano, then go back and record vocals.

  7. Have you had a chance to try/compare the Digital Sound Factory Rhodes and/or the Emulator Vintage Pro X Vol. 3 libraries to the Scarbee or Motu versions? The Emu versions are very inexpensive if you find them on sale…but I have only tried the demos. I was curious as to how E-Mu’s older libraries can compare to the newest/latest from companies like NI and Motu. I paid/wasted $300 on Emulator X V1 with the 1212M soundcard and had nothing but issues with drivers, latency, etc. and then they released the free VX version you listed above it seems to work fine-albeit on a newer, better computer and with a different audio interface. I’m a bit reluctant to pull the trigger on anything Emu but considering the big discounts being offered on some of their libraries it makes them worth considering.

  8. Hey there saintjoe, i have downloaded Kore 2 player, so far i have noticed its sounds are not so pro as compared to hardware synths, more over even piano sounds are not available, drum kits are not enough for disco, rock or pop music lover, kore 2 sounds are like toys sounds to me, but what you think , am i wrong? more over any suggestions for me.I like to record Pop , disco and soft rock even funk songs but i don’t have a sound engine which contains good piano, pads or bass sounds, heard a lot about kore 2 but as i told you ,i don’t like it.

    • @Fred, Kore player doesn’t come with all the sounds of Kore 2 the full version, its not the same, a very scaled down version. You can buy expansions for specific sounds. You need to look for plugins that do what you want. Kontakt can be expanded with quite a bit from various companies.

  9. Have tried the Proteus on two different computers. Has distorted sound on both. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong. One (XP) has SBLive card which plays soundfonts fine. Other (Win 7) has onboard sound. Proteus doesn’t work on either. Too bad. Have loads of soundfonts and wanted to use it as a player.

    • @Donald Given, not sure, never had any sound issues with it, but I also never used it as a soundfont player either, does it sound distorted with it’s own sounds too?

    • Kore Player used to be free, when it was available, that is not the same thing as Kore 2, which was the full version. Just like Kontakt Player is free but the full version of Kontakt is not. They do not make Kore or Kore player anymore though.


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