I Don\'t know of any free ones that are worth using for multi-samples. www.projectsam.com has a good Flute FX sample for free, also a free timpani and free TPT patch. You should also order the new Horn library from Project SAM. http://184.108.40.206/gtown/ Has some good ambiant samples for free. I don\'t recall a Flute though.
My understanding is Dan Dean has the best library, and you could just buy the flute sample for around $100. www.dandeanpro.com.
I\'m kind of in the same boat, looking for some new stuff. New samples will be out in the next 6 months which will provide more options. But if I had to buy something today, I\'d call Dan Dean probably. There\'s a few others but I\'m not sure how good they are. I\'m using my AO flute right now, but I\'ll probably get something else soon. Hope that helps, I\'m sure others will have more help.
I concur with the Dan Dean Solo WW recommendation. I particularly like the NV Flute\'s smoothness from note to note, and its ease of playing. This library has been a gold mine for me, especially in commercial/scoring type applications. It can straddle the line between orchestral and combo/chamber type applications. I also get a lot of use out of the clarinets.
Out of all the Dan Dean collections, I use the solo strings the most. The solo strings are probably one of the best buys out there. But if you\'re willing to wait for a solo strings library, wait for Gary Garritans solo strings coming up. From what I heard when speaking to him this library is gonna be pretty awesome. The Woodwinds from Dan Dean are excellent as well. The only samples I really don\'t like are the English Horn samples. The bassoon and bass clarinet are my favorite. But the woodwind collection to me is a must have. I just wish I had a better machine so I can make actual FULL orchestral arrangments, (woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, choir, ect) without worry of memory count. (*sigh*)
Dan dean is prety dry, and IMO doesn\'t have enough breath noise for my tastes. Its still pretty usefull
I dont have Xsample but the posts being made make it seem that the upcoming flute will be very nice. Being that the Xsample stuff is admired by users I\'d have no arguments against it
I still like the AO flute ensemble. Shoot me, but I do. great for bigger orchestrations, plus AO has runs, and trills and such...not to mention solo flute and ensemble
A_sapp, Dan Dean\'s strings are possibly the best (or one of the top 3) samples I have. The recordings are so top notch and consistant that its really amazing. Even at one dynamic. Its the type of library that will put to rest the \"chromatic sampling is not consistent\" arguments. Its really one of the libraries all developers should compare against,... sonically atleast. Its really held back by the lack of dynamics. One level is NOT enough for Strings even two levels is 10 times better... Piano and Forte, those are the two I would want sampled most, but inbetween is an added plus.
I find the DD flute rather dull. It lacks the silver in the upper registers and the rich brassyness in the lower register. I tend to audio edit samples to suit my taste, but the DD flute long samples are in a format I can\'t open (What IS that?). Vitous\' flute sounds much more realistic with a slower more expressive vibrato.