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What's the best (free) MIDI editor with VST support?

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Hey there. I'm looking for a free software where I can put together tracks with a sequencer- don't really care about recording and mixing live audio. I have no real experience with digital music production, but I don't mind a learning curve either. VST support is pretty much a must. The amount of options is pretty overwhelming...

 

I tried the demo of Reaper, I wasn't a huge fan of the MIDI editor. And being paid software, it isn't the best option for me right now.

 

On that note, where can I look for decent free instrument samples and VSTi's? Particularly orchestral, choir, and percussive? There aren't many free VST instruments that I could find. Lots of mp3 samples, but I don't think those will be of much use if I want somewhat convincing instrument dynamics.

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Unfortunatly Reaper at $60 is as close to free as you're going to get for anything worthwhile. If you really don't like Reaper, MuLab and ReNoise are both under $100, but I wouldn't recommend them.

 

As for virtual instruments, there are a ton of free VSTs out there but if you're looking for good, free, VST instruments that's not really a thing. There are some good free VST eqs, compressors, etc but not instruments (not good ones at least). You may find some fun synths, but realistic sounding orchestras, vocals, drums, and stuff like that tends to be pricey. Best bet for price vs quality is probably EastWest which will cover most of what you need for around the $200-$300 range. Or SampleTank which is sub-$100 but sounds... not good...usually.

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