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  • Writer's pictureFilipe Leitão

Simply Having Expensive Sample Instruments Won't Make Your Music Sound Better


Today, the use of virtual musical instruments has become a common practice among musicians and music producers of various styles, including soundtrack.


However, just having access to a good (and expensive) virtual instrument does not necessarily guarantee the quality or authenticity of the produced sound. It is essential to understand how these tools work and how the notes would be written for real instruments in order to achieve exceptional results in your music productions.


To start your journey in using virtual instruments, it is essential to keep in mind some key points:


Know the plugin:

Dedicate time to explore all the functionalities and possibilities of the virtual instrument you are using. Watch tutorials and practice regularly to master its capabilities.


Experiment with different settings:

Do not be afraid to experiment and adjust the settings of the virtual instrument. Small changes in parameters can result in significant differences in the final outcome of your production.


Learn MIDI programming and automation techniques:

Understanding how to program and edit sounds in the virtual instrument is essential to customize and create unique sound textures. Explore sound synthesis and modulation possibilities to add depth and originality to your compositions.


Understand what is idiomatic for each instrument:

This means understanding the unique characteristics of each instrument, such as its playing technique, tonal range, and timbre characteristics. For example, when programming a bassline for a virtual double bass, it is important to consider how a real double bass player would approach the music, including the use of specific articulations, such as slides. Likewise, when creating a melody for a virtual violin, it is crucial to take into account expression details, such as vibrato and dynamic variations. By understanding what is idiomatic for each instrument, musicians can create more authentic and engaging virtual performances.


By following these guidelines and dedicating time to improve your skills in using virtual instruments, you will be on the right path to elevate the quality and originality of your music productions, standing out in the digital music scene.


Spitfire Audio

The importance of technical and musical knowledge

When using a virtual instrument, many people believe that the key to successful music production lies simply in owning a robust tool. However, the real importance lies in the technical and musical knowledge of the user. Only then will it be possible to make the most of all the potential of this tool and achieve amazing results in music production.


Demystifying the need for expensive plugins

Often, there is a belief that only expensive virtual instruments are capable of producing high-quality results in music production. However, it is essential to demystify this idea and understand that it is not the price of the instrument that necessarily determines the quality of the music created. Moreover, there are several factors that can significantly influence the final result.


  • Musical knowledge: The theoretical and practical knowledge of music is essential for music production. Knowing how to combine chords, create melodies, and use production techniques can elevate the quality of music, regardless of the instrument used.

  • Creativity: Creativity is fundamental in musical composition. It is what will allow the musician to explore new possibilities and create unique sounds, making the music more interesting and captivating for the audience.

  • Available resources: Currently, there are numerous high-quality free resources for music production, such as plugins, samples, and software. Therefore, it is possible to create amazing music without the need to invest in expensive instruments. Download my list of sample libraries recommendations (including free virtual instruments).


For those looking for affordable and quality options, subscription platforms like Musio and East West offer a vast library of virtual instruments with excellent cost-benefit. Both platforms provide access to a variety of high-quality instruments, ideal for musicians and producers who want to explore different sounds in their productions.


East West ComposerCloud

Exploring affordable options

Often, the quality of the work is not directly related to the cost of the resources used. By exploring affordable options, it is possible to achieve amazing results!


  • Use of free plugins: There are several free plugins available that offer advanced functionalities and great sound quality. Exploring these options can be an economical alternative to enhance your music productions. Download my list of plugin recommendations (including free virtual instruments).

  • Simplicity is key: It is not always necessary to use a wide variety of virtual instruments to achieve a good result. Often, simplicity in the choice and quantity of plugins can be more effective than investing in a large number of expensive plugins.

  • Take advantage of native plugins: Many DAW software already come with high-quality native virtual instruments and effects. Making the most of these resources can be a smart way to save money without compromising the quality of the final work.


Tips for improving your skills

There are several ways to improve your skills when using a virtual instrument. Here are some useful tips:


  • Constant practice: Dedicate regular time to practice with your virtual instrument and improve your skills and technical knowledge.

  • Experimentation: Do not be afraid to try different settings and effects on your virtual instrument. This can help discover new sounds and techniques that can enrich your musical experience.

  • Study music theory: Understanding music theory can open up new possibilities when playing a virtual instrument. Dedicate some time to study scales, chords, and basic musical structures.

  • Participate in musical communities: Interacting with other musicians and virtual musical instrument enthusiasts can be a great way to get feedback, tips, and inspiration to improve your skills.

  • Watch tutorials and online courses: The internet is full of free or paid tutorials and courses that can help improve your musical skills. Do not hesitate to explore these resources.

  • Challenge yourself: Set challenging goals for yourself when practicing with your virtual instrument. This can help maintain your motivation and boost your musical development.


It becomes clear that merely owning an expensive virtual instrument is not enough to achieve success in music production. It is important to master the instrument, understand its functionalities, and understand how a real instrument would play your music. Always remember that the key to success lies in knowledge, constant practice, and striving for excellence!

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