VSCO 2 Community Edition (CE) is an open-source, open-ended subset of the main VSCO 2 library designed for young composers, hobbyist sample library developers, and students around the world to create better sounding music for free and learn more about the process of sample library development. The library is under a Creative Commons 0 (i.e. public domain) license.
That's right, you can download 3 GB of samples for free with no rules, no royalties, no limits on how or when you can use it, no annoying e-mail signups, and so on. We ONLY ask that you don't just grab the samples and try to sell them as-is to people (at least make something cool using them!).
There are many different formats of the library available below. It may look confusing at first, but don't worry! Here are a few basic ground rules to help you pick out the right version:
SFZ files are for the Sforzando player, SFZ:rgc, LinuxSampler, and ARIA. Contrary to popular belief, SFZ has absolutely nothing to do with SF2- the two formats are completely incompatible and function very differently.
The SFZ version is the most natural, "vanilla" form of the library. It is great for ambient and calm orchestral, but may seem a little "loose" if you are used to GM soundfonts and the like.
Sforzando can be downloaded here.
To download the library in this format, go to the Github, then click "Clone or download", then click "Download as .zip".
Bigcat's VSTi and Audio Units (AU) versions are the easiest to use version of the library- for Windows users, just download and place the .dll and .instruments folder inside your VSTi folder. For Mac users, download the Audio Units and place it inside Mac HD/Libraries/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components.
Bigcat has made some refinements to the response and normalization of the samples. This makes it more predictable and stable at the cost of "natural realism".
Bigcat also made some great Kontakt conversions in the same style but with a few extra features built into the UI. Note that you need Kontat 5.5+ (full version) to run these.
To download the library in this format, go to Bigcat's blog.
Oliver Jolly made this XRNI version for Renoise users with extended functionality! Be sure to check it out if you use Renoise.
Paul Battersby built a great new library based on VSCO 2: CE, Sonatina, No Budget Orchestra, University of Iowa, and other samplesets in one ultimate package. Be sure to check this one out if you want a great set of orchestral instruments.
Visit the VPO website for more details.
The Alpine Project is arguably the greatest set of free Kontakt (full version) orchestral instruments created to date. A number of the instruments draw from the CE sampleset as well as other popular samplesets, with added functionality and controls.
Visit The Alpine Project website for more details.
If you want ultimate functionality, you can download the original .wav samples and build your own instruments. If 3,000 samples sounds a bit daunting, don't worry, we put together a 256-sample pack and a 50-sample pack for casual designers. We even held a composition contest using the 50-sample pack only- it was a lot of fun! If you need a good challenge, try using only 10 or so samples max and see what you can come up with.
Download the entire raw CE sampleset here. ('clone or download')
Download the 256-Pack here.
Download the "hardcore" 50-Pack here.