Hi, I've got to quickly mock up a bluegrass track, and as there is a dearth of fine bluegrass players around here I need some libraries, prefeably with phrases (i somehow can't imagine playing a convincing dobro from my midi keyboard)!
Are there any out there?
There are a couple of libraries that could fit the bill, like Liquid Guitar from www.voicecrystal.com (not to be confused with the Liquid Guitar VSTi from Überschall) and Fretworks from www.ilio.com . Both contain phrases/licks but I can't remember either one having any banjo samples.
Virtual Guitartist 2 is supposed to have some new styles in it (the update is still on backorder in the US, but you might find the full version in stores and/or online) - and has a built-in style/pattern editor too... also, the original Virtual Guitarist has a pair of dobro pattern sets and a few of the acoustic guitar pattern sets work well for "down-home" playing. Just FYI.
Sonic Reality's American Heartland has both phrases and multisamples of banjo and dobro in Akai format. If you have Sampletank or Reason these samples have been repackaged with different titles in these formats.
If you can track down Whole Lotta Country in Akai format you could extract the loops-Larry Campbell who used to play with Dylan recorded fiddle, banjo, dobro, and guitar loops. The set is out of print I think but some Internet shops might have it. Same thing goes for an old Sonic Foundry loop collection called Classic Country--banjo, etc.
American Heartland has some cool stuff on it. Some are on the "gritty" side and make it more realistic. Great harmonica and dobro licks if you can write in the keys they come in. it also has pedal steel licks, mandolins... Everything you need. If you get so drum loops from "Brush Artistry" you'll be in business. : >
Since I play all those instruments, I bought the Am Heartland to use in cases where I'm too lazy to set the real stuff up to play. For mockups, it's ok. If you ever need overdubs of the real stuff as wav, you know who to call.
By the way, thanks guys on the sax player recommendations from one of the other threads. Now I have access to some really good players when I don't want to use samples.
Yeah, RA has a good banjo, dobro, mandolin and guitar, but no phrases. And it's expensive compared to the other libs mentioned here. But it's probably the best you'll get for those instruments multisampled.
Edit: Here is another recent thread discussing banjo and dobro samples.