Places to find second hand libraries?

Hi everyone.

I’m looking to purchase my first sample library and am curious where the best places are online to find second hand deals. As a secondary motivator, I would like to know where I might be able to sell a library in the future if I happen to come across one that I do not end up using. This would allow me to invest my money with more confidence and hopefully give me the freedom to experiment more than otherwise possible.

Any tips or recommendations? Any companies to avoid? What is the best way to find a great library from your experiences?


There are apparently some places/services for this, but the problem with sample libraries (unlike most DAWs and plugins) is that the vast majority of them are non-transferable licenses, so that limits the options quite a bit. :confused:

Makes sense that they wouldn’t want to hand out sample libraries like candy. I just assumed that Kontakt allowed for some form of encryption to prevent forms of piracy.

Anyway, dropping hundreds of dollars for a product that cannot be tested, returned or re-sold is so much of a gamble it makes me quite nervous. I’m leaning toward VSL at this point, which luckily does allow for re-sale, just not on their own forums or Ebay, apparently.

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I use, vi-control’s for sale-area and kvr forum’s market for buying second hand libraries. I’ve personally never been scammed but I know people who have. Buying from members who have hundreds of posts on the forums is usually pretty safe, I won’t buy from people with only few posts and I never post a want to buy-post since they’re scammer magnets. on the forums there are usually lists of companies allowing license transfers.

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Ironically, non-refundable, non-transferable licenses - or any licenses, DRM, or anything like it, for that matter - does very little to prevent piracy. All it does is f*** over the legitimate users, who have to deal with online activations, dongles, rootkits that die along with your licenses if the wrong component in your computer fails, etc…

Add to that, many libraries actually do have cryptography in their DRM, in the form of fingerprints, that can supposedly be decoded from any audio created with the samples, as long as they haven’t been too heavily processed. I suppose it would be annoying for the developers to try to determine whether or not “new” material was rendered before or after the license was transferred, but if they’re really that paranoid about it, that’s their problem. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the software business in the first place?

(Sorry about the “attitude,” but all of this really pisses me off sometimes, along with the related obsession with locking everything down, forcing me to use rubbish operating systems that are not really fit for the job… Maybe I’ll just get myself a dedicated hardware recording system, and work with real instruments only eventually. :smiley: )


I was about to go on a rant myself after completing my Yuki Kajiura cover piece the other day. I started that piece trying to use BBCSO, but the articulation set, while plenty there, wouldn’t play the piece right, even with the “improved” performance patch, and the strings somehow get drown out when doing the melody. I really don’t know how others get this library to sound so good.

Than, after that didn’t work, I when back to my old workhorse, Cinematic Studios, strings, brass and woodwinds—same result :rage: Soooo, next up was Audio Imperia Aeria for the strings and well, at least the “modern mic” mix sounded a bit better, but again the legato articulation couldn’t quite pull off this simple melody. So then I just opt to write the piece with Dorico and NotePerformer and I’ll be damned, it plays the parts EXACTLY as I expected and envisioned.

The question is why do I keep shelling out $$$$$$ for these supposed top-shelf libraries and never getting to use them because I can’t (or they won’t) perform what I want or expect 90% of the time? Sure, NotePerformer doesn’t have the nice studio hall/Hollywood sound stage audio quality that these other libraries do, but how can a $100 plugin in a notation program perform so much better than these $500-$600 libraries? I

own so many I don’t ever use. I want to get rid of them. I have to keep myself from buying more when one doesn’t give me the right sound, because I’ll probably just get the same result. I think some of these VST makers should offer a 14-day trial period to test whether you really want the library or if the sound doesn’t meet your standards rather than buying it an it having been a waste. Steinberg did this with their Iconica Symphony library for Dorico, which I figured would sound much better than NotePerformer, but the thing wouldn’t even install right, so, good thing I didn’t spend the $600 for it😞

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I totally agree. I recently made a list of all my obsolete libraries, and it’s LOOONG. 1 library in particular I paid $1000 for [Garritan Strings] and never even used it. It was the first large string library, and only one of it’s kind at the time, but soon there were other better and cheaper options, and since I was only a hobbyist at the time, I didn’t have alot of time for music, so the short time of this library’s heyday passed without notice. I bought alot of Gigasampler libs before it crashed into oblivion as well. I could go on & on about the disappointment of seeing a raving sample library review only to sizzle in regret after buying it.