Best sample packs of the month: December 2023

Our monthly round-up of the hottest sample releases, including cinematic strings, soulful disco vocals and some warming Christmas construction kits.

Musician working on a track in a studio, photo by Alberto Case via Getty Images

Musician working on a track in a studio, photo. Image: Alberto Case via Getty Images

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As Christmas draws near, we’ve rounded up a tasty selection of new sample packs and instruments to add to your list for Santa. These include epic fantasy vocals, melodic house synths, crunchy cassette drum machines, deep cinematic strings, found sound city soundscapes and more.

The Crow Hill Company – Vaults

Free to download

The Crow Hill Company has a new free sample plugin called Vaults, with the idea that new instruments will be added to it over time. The company released a beautiful piano module for it last month, and has followed up with a deep, cinematic string module called R+D Strings, and you can switch between the two from the preset menu.

It includes 6 macros to shape the sound, including a Timbre control that crossfades between dynamic layers played by the Scottish Session Orchestra. The other controls are Glisten, Sub, Pris, Echo and Splosh, which add various effects chains to further craft the output.

Download at:

Zero-G – Ethera Gold Atlantis 3

$139.95 (requires Kontakt 6.7.1+)

This epic-sounding Kontakt instrument aims to be the ultimate vocal library for writing Celtic, fantasy or medieval compositions. It includes over 30 GB of audio (20 GB compressed), 35 multisampled Kontakt Instruments, and 6 professional cinematic singers. New to this version are Heroic, Dark Siren, Roma, Venezia, Firenze and Syllables true legato instruments, plus a Hybrid Vocal Synth and Elven Polyphonic Legato Chant.

On top of this, there are over 3000 vocal phrases, pad and whisper instruments, and an FX Rack with custom convolution reverbs.

Download at:

BandLab Sounds – BAER Presents Pop Song Starters

Free to download

LA-based pop artist BAER has compiled a superb pack of fun pop and RnB loops for BandLab Sounds, and the best part is that it’s free. It includes 64 loops and 40 one-shots that cover quirky synths, keys, pads, bass and FX, many of which come from manipulated voice sounds.

The core of the pack though, is a varied collection of unique and catchy vocal phrases and adlibs. This could be a great source of inspiration if you’re looking for a hook to add to your track.

Download at:

Image Sounds – Country Fiddle


This library from Image Sounds aims to capture the timeless charm of golden era country music. It weighs in at 1.3 GB and includes 498 lively violin loops that are perfect for classic country ballads, energetic hoedowns or rootsy Americana tracks. All loops are 4-bars long and root key labelled, with tempos ranging from 65 to 240 bpm, making this a very versatile collection. Each one is expertly performed and recorded, showcasing the expressive nuances of live performance.

Download at:

Loopmasters – Dream of Amapiano


It’s possible that you might not have heard of Amapiano as a genre, but it’s seen a massive increase in popularity over the past few years. It’s a hybrid of afro house, afro tech, deep house, jazz and lounge music, all of which are on display in this new pack from Loopmasters.

It includes 110 loops of synths, drums, percussion, bass, keys and vocals at 110 to 150 bpm. There are also 48 useful one-shot hits and 41 MIDI files for the bass and melodic instrument parts.

Download at:

Loopmasters – Colour House


Sticking with relatively new genres, we have Colour House from Loopmasters. It’s a blend of lively future house melodics and harder 4/4 beats and glitches, and this pack is filled with arpeggiated synths, pulsating basses, deep pads, and driving house drums.

There are 195 loops in total, at 126 to 132 bpm, plus 81 one-shots covering drums, percussion, FX, synth and bass. As an added bonus, you also get 78 MIDI files to use with your instrument of choice.

Download at:

Vital Vocals – Super Strut – Disco Vocals Vol 1


If you’re looking to infuse the infectious sounds of classic disco into your tracks, then look no further than this new vocal pack from Vital Vocals. It features 4 song construction kits filled with exceptional, authentic-sounding male soul vocals.

There are 53 stems in total, covering lead vocals, backing and harmony vocals, adlibs and shouts in a variety of styles from 115 to 125 bpm. Whether you’re looking for extended phrases or just short hooks for your latest track, there’s plenty here, and you also get a lyric sheet to help put the songs in context.

Download at:

Soul Rush Records – Berlin City Sounds


This pack of ambient and atmospheric soundscapes comes courtesy of producers Joe London and Katarina Holmberg, (aka PRTCL and Tigerlight). The pair have recorded a varied array of immersive city sounds around Berlin, including high-rise echoes, construction sites, traffic, shisha lounges, shopping districts, public transport and more, which can be used to add depth and texture to your tracks. You’ll find 150 raw found sounds, and 11 bonus demo samples, plus 131 loops that have been processed into rhythmic percussion grooves at 128, 140 and 170 bpm.

Download at:

Bedroom Producers Blog – BPB Cassette Drums


You might have plenty of drum machine samples in your library, but this free, all-in-one instrument cranks things up a notch, with extra distortion and colour. The drum hits are taken from TR-808, TR-909, TR-606 and MFB-552 drum machines, and then further processed through SABA and Tascam cassette units and a Dynachord Tape Echo.

The result is 13 kits with plenty of extra lo-fi crunch, and Clean, Warm and Hot versions of each machine. The sounds can be pushed even further via built-in distortion, reverb, delay, vinyl, tape, modulation and filter effects.

Download at:

Apollo Sound – Christmas Carols


We couldn’t resist ending our list with something a bit christmassy. This collection of 10 construction kits was composed, arranged and mixed by Arminian producer Arman Mkhitarian. It contains a total of 95 loops, 10 demo mixes and 74 MIDI files.

Inspired by countless Christmas film soundtracks, it’s filled with warm and emotive orchestral flavours, fairytale music boxes & vibraphones, acoustic pianos, angelic choirs, and of course some sleigh bells. It could prove an especially useful tool for anyone wanting to write music for film, television, games or adverts.

Download at:

[Editor’s note: BandLab and BandLab Sounds are part of Caldecott Music Group, the parent company of NME Networks and MusicTech.]


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