Your most disappointing plugins/libraries?

Which plugins or sample libraries have you personally been most disappointed with after you bought it and tried using it in your music compositions? :confused:

And for what reasons were you disappointed?

I’ll start:

Sample Logic’s Rhythm based products (Morphestra etc)
The one key wonder is fun, but rarely works in practice, and drains CPU like crazy.

Every Electric Guitar VST I ever got
Seriously, I never get it to sound real/organic with groove regardless of how much time I spend shaping the MIDI parts. I guess I need to learn to play myself.

Sculptor (whoosh/hits)
I hear lots of phasing and weird things in the blending.


I love the irony in that one of your most disappointing vst is an ELECTRIC guitar, not an acoustic😂


LOL, I guess that’s because I LOVE the sound of driving electric guitars, heavy riffs etc. Power metal, classic metal (melodic hard rock) etc. Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Avantasia, Blind Guardian…

One of my favorite movie soundtrack themes is actually based on a really groovy electric guitar riff: Pacific Rim (Ramin Djawadi).

PS. Acoustic guitar can be nice too, but it’s easier to “emulate” since it’s often simple picking patterns or strumming chords. Electric guitars are more based on riffs and palm-mute variation grooves.

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My most disappointing purchase was Spotfire’s British Drama Toolkit. I found the sounds thin and weedy and the whole velocity soloing thing just didn’t work for me at all. Their latest Contemporary Drama Toolkit does sound a lot better - but I didn’t risk it.

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I assume you have any of the Shreddge libraries from Impact Soundworks? They sound pretty bad@$$ but they do require a lot of editing.

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I’d have to say, pretty much every library from 8Dio, with the exception of maybe the Lacrimosa choir–still not the greatest I’ve ever heard. They just seem to have awful sample quality with tons of weird artifacts in the recordings. Blah :expressionless:


I do have both Shreddage 3 and Ample Sound Electric Guitars, but I guess I am not that good with programming them to sound authentic. =/

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Freiraum. A real cpu hog, unusable for mixing but can be good on mastering if you don’t use much other plugins. I don’t understand why they still sell it. Worst good shit I ever bought.

Spitfire Studio Woodwinds, and SSO, and Percussion, and almost everything I’ve ever bought from them. Cumbersome programming, weird legato, persistent intonation issues. SSW is a particular disappointment. Not great sound, often unusable dynamics.

Seconded 8Dio. I used Adagio for a while but it was just too much trouble chasing inconsistent attacks, intonation problems and strange programming. Sounds pretty good but hate using their strings and the solo brass I have. Their poly legato is half-baked. (I wonder if Afflatus is any better.) I use Lacrimosa with a degree of success though I’m not doing complex things with it. Thought it was funny to hear Troels talking about syllables and saying “nobody cares what the choir is saying”.

Berlin Strings. I despise Capsule - and it’s such a pig scripting-wise and RAM-wise that I could not have things all online in the way I wanted to. Can’t get away from the length of the Teldec hall either. It’s full of interesting things but not for the way I want to work.

Cinematic Studio Strings and Cinematic Studio Solo Strings. Thought they would speed up my workflow because they are simple and seemed to sound pretty good in the demos. But the delays are irritating to me. And on my system, next to other libraries I use, they sound grainy. And the pizzicati are inexplicably reverberant, so I don’t use them.

EW Hollywood Strings. Far too cumbersome when it was released. And it hasn’t aged well to me.

In general I’m being let down by stuff that isn’t modeled. Crossfading dynamics is often a drag in conventional libraries, and programming or recording issues get in the way, and they often lack agility.


While I certainly have a few go-to libraries, and a whole bunch I rarely use, no major disappointments spring to mind right now… If there are nice sounds in there, I tend to find uses for them, and the fact that all libraries are not suitable for all situation is just how it is with these things. They’re not real instruments.

On that note, as I’m getting more and more into real instrument (bowed strings, mostly, but I’m also working a bit on my piano skills, and still trying to figure out how to sound a bit like a proper opera singer), I find my excitement about sample libraries fading, and in the meantime, my career as a developer is most definitely coming to an end, as my brain just can’t cope with that kind of work anymore. I seem to me moving from structured abstract thinking towards intuitive real time interaction, and it changes my perspective on everything.

Not sure if turning into a different type of person, or just descending into insanity… :smiley:


Are you doing any other "development"actions for your senses @olofson? Like meditation, mindfulness, yoga, quantum physics reading, spirituality, consciousness, breathing techniques?

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Not much really, apart from reading up on all sorts of things related to music, art, game development and whatnot, out of curiosity. Well, there is the breathing technique required for proper singing, and the occasional Alexander technique inspired exercise in finding and dealing with undesired tension when playing. I suppose just playing any instrument borders on meditation in itself though, especially for someone used to defaulting to “analytic/theoretical mode.”


Yes, definitely pick up a guitar and learn. It’s one of the best things I ever did for my musical endeavors. I’m originally a keyboard player who played in a lot of cover bands. I’d always have to play some rhythm guitar part on the keys during a guitar solo and I got tired of using distorted sawtooth synths or (God forbid) the distorted guitar patches on any of my late 90’s keyboards. So I bought an electric guitar and taught myself to play it. It wasn’t that hard to get to be a very competent rhythm guitarist, and I didn’t have to fake it with the keys anymore.

But also, I was able to write more realistic guitar parts in compositions that were beyond my actual guitar abilities, simply because I had a better understanding of how the instrument is played. And also it led me on next to learning the bass and even the banjo, which only helps my composing skills, and I’ve got those instruments available if I need to record a simple part using the real thing.

Regarding disappointing libraries, All of them I’ve paid for I’ve found good use for. I was a little disappointed with the latest BBCSO update because I was hoping it would do more, but I generally still love BBC. Only ones I’ve actually been disappointed with were freebies downloaded from various places, but then you get what you pay for.


I’ve lately been a little bit interested in the differences in world view of western people vs eastern peopl which shows as well in music styles as in science and spirituality. Therefore my question.

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As for bad plugs. I also think that all I have is suitable for something. The ones I use the least though is the strings from 8dio. Anthology, Adagio, Adagietto and Agitato. This were the first I bought when starting out. They do have great sound and good usage but a lesser playability, it’s just that I use other libraries instead. Adagietto have an incredible sound for the low price.
As for real instrument I agree with what’s said. Of course it’s the best thing. Biggest problem I think is neither plugins or real instruments, it’s time. Not enough time. I too play some instruments but find it extremely hard to get time to improve. I’ve actually got a great deal backwards.:grinning:


To me it’s Rev by Output. The interface is not so well done and the sounds are mediocre and there has been no update

Oh good to know, I have been interested in getting that product. I have also been considering simply making my own sample collection of reversed sounds. :slight_smile:

Have you tried orange tree samples guitars? I get clearly the best results with them, never liked amplesound guitars that much.

My biggest purchase regrets have been anything by 8dio (I have probably 10 libraries from them), they never play the way I’d like to, they’re a bit buggy and they never sound great when playing just with a midi keyboard, they always need lots of programming to get a good sound out.

IK multimedia miroslav orchestra 1, I bought it from discontinuing sale, but it didn’t work at all in my daw and they wouldn’t refund. Also it didn’t sound that great but i bought it since it was so cheap.

Kirk Hunter Diamond orchestra, it has so many synthy instruments that it’s hard to find the decent stuff. The percussion is not bad. Luckily it cost only $75. All the instruments from KH, even the latest ones have a pretty fake sound, I don’t know who buys them since nobody seems to like them.

I have tried most of the electric guitar libraries. I am probably not that good at programming them, because the strumming always sounds “robotic” and lifeless compared to real strummed guitars.

Pretty much same here.

I have a bunch of all kinds of libraries but never actually acquired a single electric guitar library. Although, I’m not even that good at playing one, but still I feel the same that those EG libraries miss a lot of character and life (based on demo videos).

Just wondering that does other instrumentalist feel the same? Does for example violin libraries sound that awkward for those who really knows the instrument?