SampleScience offers French Violin, a FREE instrument plugin for macOS and Windows.

We have covered a few SampleScience instruments now, including Rusty Piano and Nu Guzheng. Rusty Piano is an old beat-up, upright with plenty of character, and Nu Guzheng is a Chinese plucked zither. If you haven’t checked those two out yet, do it, they are well worth a look.

My one complaint on both was that they weren’t compatible with macOS Catalina upwards, and sadly, that’s still the case with French Violin.

But, that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the instrument and hoping I get to try it out soon.

French Violin is a lightweight plugin that still provides an authentic sound. It has six articulations, which are arco vibrato, arco non-vibrato, pizzicato vibrato, pizzicato non-vibrato, spiccato, and tremolo. As well as the six articulations, there are three voice modes, including polyphonic, monophonic, and legato.

What I would add is that with orchestral plugins, much of the authenticity comes from context.

For example, you might hold a single legato note, and it could sound realistic. Other times, the note isn’t so convincing alone, but it’s spot on when layered with other instruments.

Articulation is another essential factor if you want to play realistic lines or even solos. That often means using some faders to record automation or a lot of tweaking afterward.

The point is, it’s true of any orchestral library, even the most expensive ones. Realism depends largely on what and how you play. From what I’ve heard, I think French Violin can provide a realistic performance for many uses, from pop ballads to media scoring.

The GUI follows the same layout we’ve seen in previous SampleScience instruments. On the bottom half, you’ll find just over an octave of keys, along with some ADSR, Preamp, and Glide controls.

The top part of the GUI is where you can adjust the core settings like articulation type and voice mode, etc. French Violin also features a highpass/lowpass filter, amplitude range controls, and a multi-LFO.

Like the other SampleScience instruments, you can select the LFO Wave, Target, and Source. Being able to change the LFO Source is a big help on an instrument that relies so much on expression. There’s also a Room Reverb and Pan control.

Plugins like this one are always interesting because good orchestral sounds can be tough to find, and when you find them, they usually carry a hefty price. I’m a big Spitfire Audio fan, but the high-end libraries price many users out. Although, the cheaper Originals range and free LABS stuff are amazing.

French Violin looks great to me as a freebie, especially if you need something lightweight and straightforward.

Just get it on Catalina, and I’m in!

Download: SampleScience French Violin (64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS

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