Sonic Atoms Navia Harp FE User Interface

Best free harp sample libraries and VST plugins to download in 2024 updated list

For quite some time, I have been planning to make a post sharing my most used harp VST instruments and plugins. The ones that are free, of course. Some of these will be classical harps and some Celtic.

I wanted to include not only playable harps, but also some phrase-based libraries for a bit of diversity. So, here we go.

The Free Orchestra 2: Concert Harp

The festive December edition of The Free Orchestra 2 by ProjectSAM has featured quite an interesting sounding concert harp.

TFO2 Concert Harp ProjectSAM

Concert Harp (TFO2) Kontakt specs

Size: Varied

As far as sound quality and instrument versatility, it is probably among the more “whole package” ones in this list, and comes as a great all-around harp with session-ready, cinematic pro-sounding qualities.

The TFO 2 harp is the fifth installment in the ongoing and developing series of Kontakt Player instruments, that first saw light on September last year.

What this particular instrument provides is a natural sounding harp, but also an audio-manipulated harp. Using the “Winter Magic” functionality you are able to blend (or transition between) the original harp sound with this sort of ambient texture layer which essentially is a time-stretched recreation of the original samples.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover: Harp

Another collection of sounds that also happens to feature a decent sounding harp is the one that’s included in the free edition of BBC Symphony Orchestra – or BBCSO Discover by Spitfire Audio.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover Concert Harp

Harp (BBCSO Discover) VST specs

Size: 360 Megabytes

Released in 2022, the BBCSO Discover concert harp is a very wet sounding harp – but don’t let it affect your judgment. Yes, it is a quite heavily reverberated instrument and also somewhat “limited” in terms of the amount of samples that it uses (with only 1 velocity layer to offer and no round robin variations). However, it is still a very quality, workable VST instrument that never disappoints.

VSL Harp Glissandos

Yet another 2022 release, the Harp Glissandos sample set orchestrated by the Vienna Symphonic Library is a free Synchron Player-compatible collection of sounds.

VSL Harp Glissandos

Harp Glissandos (VSL) Synchron Player specs

Size: 1.6 Gigabytes

Differing from the others, this library is a rather phrase-based one and as a result – does not offer a playable instrument to go along with it. What it does provide is a variety of pre-recorded, articulated pedal harp glissandos that are divided into a couple of different tonal-based sections.

Using the Major and Minor dedicated categories you are able to navigate between the different harmonic options which are all presented in this organized list, showing all the notes in the chromatic scale.

Now, By choosing, say, the C Major scale, the instrument will only play an harmonious gliss that fits with the musical scale of choosing, in accordance with the triggered note on the keyboard.

VSL Harp Glissandos is an excellent option for anyone that’s looking for some quick, impressively sounding “baked” harp phrases without the hassle of MIDI programming them manually.

Etherealwinds Harp II CE

Etherealwinds Harp 2 by Versilian Studios presents a lite version of a fully released commercial product under the same name.

Etherealwinds Harp 2 CE

Etherealwinds Harp VST specs

Size: 600 Megabytes

This sampled 34-string Iona Celtic harp has 2 velocity layers and 2 round robins, and unlike most of the harps presented here is individually sampled, note after note.

One of the more balanced harps in this list and the most quality ones available for free, the EW’s Harp provides a warm and slightly wet sounding instrument that is generally more on the dry side.

The “Celtic charm” is completely present with this one, making this particular harp quite full of character and also one of my personal, all-time favorites.

In a dedicated folder which is separate from the VST plugin, Versilian Studios also managed to include some bonus glissandi audio clips and a few miscellaneous vocal phrases in Wave format. The plugin is available in VST as well as an SFZ compatible instrument.

Closet Harp – Pianobook

The next instrument in this list is a Pianobook community submission. Closet Harp by developer Kalen Smith features a deep sampled Celtic style lever harp.

Closet Harp Pianobook Decent Sampler

Pianobook Closet Harp – Kontakt/Decent Sampler specs

Size: Varied

It offers 3 dynamic layers and 3 round robins with each. The sound is quite soft and intimate, being recorded inside a bedroom closet.

The Closet Harp sample pack is available for Native Instruments Kontakt (full version is required) and also as a free Decent Sampler instrument.

For some reason, the DS version is much heavier size wise, and comes as a 6GB (zipped) and 12GB uncompressed. The Kontakt version on the other hand is around 1GB (compressed) and 1.5GB (unzipped).

Navia Harp Free

The Sonic Atoms Navia Harp Free, also labeled as Navia Harp FE (Free Edition), is a classic orchestral concert harp sample library released by Steinberg on May 2024.

Steinberg Navia Harp Free by Sonic Atoms Interface

Navia Harp FE – HALion Sonic VST specs

This release features a Steinberg HALion Sonic 7 free sample player-compatible instrument, offering a standard playing technique that is a basic plucked articulation, with a single round robin, one velocity layer and one output signal (which is a stereo mix of Close, Main, and Room microphone setups).

The harp was captured and recorded in traditional orchestral seating, so the sound leans more toward the left side of the stereo field to fit with other orchestrally aligned instruments.

An excellent all-around harp, it features this very processable instrument that can rely on built-in coloring effects and lo-fi style manipulations like tape delays and distortion. In addition to said effects, the Navia Harp interface also allows for more conventional audio FX like (standard) delay, reverb and multiband filtering.

Navia Harp Free by Steinberg and Sonic Atoms is compatible with 64-bit Windows and macOS environments and supports VST2, VST3, AU and AAX formats – as well as stand-alone.