Pianobook Monthly Highlights: Flute galore & more May '23

With Pianobook sample packs being released on almost a daily basis now, it is easy for one to get carried away with all that the site has to offer.

The purpose of this new monthly compilation is to put the spotlight on the packs that I thought were good enough to mention. You can see it as me saving you some of the time (and hassle), if you want.

In the beginning of each month I will be presenting my top favorite sample packs from the previous 4-week period.

Just to clarify: If I didn’t choose to recommend a certain library, it does not necessarily mean that I thought they were not worth mentioning. It is more likely that the ones which I’ve tried and experienced had a (more) positive impression on me. It’s a bit hard to get to every single sample pack out there anyways (due to the quantity of them and the size of a given library).

Without further ado, here are my highlights from the month of May:

Heimdallr’s Call

Although it may seem like a pretty basic library at first glance, don’t let the simplicity of the GUI deceive you. Like many other Pianobook submissions, the power of Heimdallr’s Call is in the sound.

As described by necatuss, the creator, this Decent Sampler VST plugin was made by recording a very special instrument – made from the horn of an animal. In this case, a wild ox.

Originally, the Gjallarhorn (or “The Resounding Horn”) according to Norse mythology, is a legendary piece of instrument that once was associated with the god Heimdall – thus the name of the library.

Looking at the DS patch, this single-tone blowhorn shows a very unique character right off the bat. It offers a generous amount of 33 (!) Round Robins – which provide a much appreciated tonal variety. If used and layered properly in a mix – some good results can be achieved.

The instrument produces a natural F sharp (it has a fairly wide playable range, but I wouldn’t suggest playing too far from the root note which is F#2).

Folk Winds

Folk Winds by Hereafter Soundtracks is an impressive collection of 4 solo wind instruments for NI’s Kontakt (full version is required). It offers a recorder, native wooden flute, ocarina and also panpipes – along with some generated pad sounds.

The majority of the included solo patches have 5 articulations to play around with. They are mainly half-tone and whole-tone Slide type of ornaments.

I find that the quality is in the recorder and the large wooden flute. These two have a more natural sound compared to the others and the legatos are a bit more convincing.

Fistula Panis

Fistula Panis by Gabin Catala is another interesting woodwind library for Kontakt. It features this beautiful, breathy sounding pan flute which I am sure you are going to like a lot – if you didn’t get your hands on it yet.

It has two keyswitched articulations: Sustains and shorts. By moving the modwheel, you are able to control all of the evolving dynamics of the instrument.

Although not perfectly tuned, there are times when that natural imperfection is exactly what you’re looking for while composing your music.


Last but not least is Pandrum – an extensive handpan drum library for Decent Sampler. It consists of various sounds and articulations, like hand hits and mallet hits.

This impressive body of work, curated by musician & developer roberg, contains both organic samples and heavily processed samples – like the ones featured in the cinematic soundscapes & ambience patches.

The GUI is well designed, but is quite feature-heavy for my preference.

Some of the patches offer multiple microphone positions and additional mixable layers of sound, which is always a good thing. Also, there are many different kinds of audio effects to mess around with (maybe too many for certain people, like yours truly).