Where to find good (public) sample sets?

So, I’m just trying to make my livecoding language more accessible, and one thing that’s somewhat missing is a good, basic set of samples.

I could just use the Dirt samples, I guess … but on the one hand, they are heavily used already, and on the other hand I’m never too sure about their license status etc.

My (private) set is mostly compiled from public sources (including Dirt) and rather idiosyncratic field recordings that might not be very useful to anybody but me.

I wouldn’t mind curating my own (public) sample set, but maybe someone has a hint for sources :slight_smile:


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Hi there. I had the same issue - the licensing of the Dirt samples is unclear, as Alex confirmed. Sam Aaron has a good set of samples that he used for sonic-pi that have clear provenance, and you can find at

I’ve done some further curation of these and the Dirt samples with my node-red-music project. The meta-data for these (plus the synthdefs I use) can be found at

and the samples themselves are at

Note that this is not a good source for the Dirt samples as I’ve stripped out the ones I don’t use, to make download faster.

Hope this is of some use to you. I’d definitely be up for a community effort to pull together a public library of samples.



@stevenaeola Thanks!

If you’re more into orchestral stuff, you might check out these:


Thanks they’re great, I’ll add adding those to my todo list!

As @parkellipsen noted, the VSCO Community Edition is widely regearded as an excellent orchestral sample library. I first got into these when Sonatina came out, the original author now recommending VSCO and Virtual Playing Orchestra - see related links at the bottom:

There are some great free, royalty-free sample packs here: https://samples.landr.com

Loads of great stuff on freesound.org - but some ask you to credit the creator etc.

I like to find weird stuff on here and edit it beyond recognition :slight_smile:


Just noticed today (via CDM) that Reverb released their drum machines library for free:

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I’m going to drop a delayed recommendation to the ModArchive WaveWorld sampleset.. It’s a great swiss army knife of samples you don’t really need to worry about licensing. I think there’s some stuff that may hve licensing issues, some Crystal Method loops or something in a directory, but anything like that is fairly obvious. I mostly use it for the drum machine samples (it’s got solid TR909, 808, 606, 505, 707, 727, and linndrum samples).

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Hi there,

there are many interesting samples around. I post here a few links that you may find useful :slight_smile:
Something from NASA (you can find more, just dig into the NASA Soundcloud channel):

Huge collection (licensed, free for personal, research and education) from BBC:
You can also read this interesting article:


I’m a fan of the University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples (so much so I’ve been tempted to keep them to myself)


There’s no obvious license statement afaict, but the homepage clearly states this:

“The University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples (MIS) are created by Lawrence Fritts, Director of the Electronic Music Studios and Professor of Composition at the University of Iowa. Since 1997, these recordings have been freely available on this website and may be downloaded and used for any projects, without restrictions.”



Ps plug, I use them a lot here

and here