Best Virtual Instrument Plugins On The Market

With so many options available, it might seem impossible to narrow down to the best virtual instrument plugins for your recording gear.  To add to that, finding a good starter bundle to get some practice in is even more difficult.  You can of course pick any package, and as long as it is compatible with your DAW, you should be able to use it. However, there are some bundles that will be a great starter point to the world of virtual instruments.

What Is A Virtual Instrument


A virtual instrument is software that emulates a physical instrument.  For example, you can record a violin (with the appropriate virtual instrument software), and incorporate it to your recording mix.  This is most often done by using a MIDI keyboard, but in most DAWs, you can feasibly write the MIDI notes using your mouse.  The software usually can be used as a standalone or most commonly used integrated with your DAW.  (The following products contain affiliate links.  This means at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click through and make a purchase).

The Best Virtual Instrument Bundles To Get Started


Native Instruments Komplete 12 Software Suite

Native Instruments is one of the major leading virtual instrument companies, and there's definitely a reason why.  While it depends on the package that you get, every bundle is jam packed with tons of great sounding effects that will boost your capabilities.  If you are looking for a virtual instrument package that has tons of effects that you can do with just one package, this is a great choice for you.

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Arturia V Collection 7 Software Instrument Bundle

The Arturia VST collection will give you everything you need for anything key related.  The sounds are based off of the great Arturia piano sounds. If you're wanting to add some great keyboard sounds to your mix, this is a fantastic option.

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Spectrasonics Keyscape Virtual Keyboard Collection

Similar to the previously mentioned VST bundle, this Spectrasonics bundle will give you several great kayboard style sounds.  The difference between this one and the previous is that this is a collection of different branded keys.

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IK Multimedia Total Studio 2 MAX Instruments And Effects Bundle

You could compose a whole entire album with the virtual instruments included in this IK Multimedia bundle.  For the price, you cannot beat the hours upon hours of different sounds.  You definitely won't run out of possibilities with.  The video to help demonstrate this bundle also contains other plugins.  Not all from the video will be included in the package.

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Tips For The Best Virtual Instrument Plugins For Your Needs


When making your purchase for virtual instruments, or really just plugins in general, there are a few things you need to consider to make sure that you are getting the most out of the software.

CPU Power

The DAW used on your computer will have requirements of its own, but virtual instruments tend to use a lot of CPU power.

  • Storage: Every virtual instrument package is loaded down with GBs of sounds.  Because of this, you will need plenty of storage on your hard drive available for all the sounds.  Be sure to read in the description what is recommended for storage space.
  • RAM:  Nowadays, it is generally recommended to have about 16 GB of RAM on your computer to run a recording rig.  Virtual instruments will run heavy on your computers' RAM.

Format

Generally speaking, virtual instruments and plugins will work with either Windows or Mac.  However, what you will need to pay attention to is the format of the plugin.  You will most likely see VST, AAX, or AU as possible options when purchasing.  Each of these formats work with one or more DAWs.  Be sure to install the correct format for your DAW.