If you’re looking for the best mandolin VST for your production, we’ve got you covered.
The mandolin is one of the most underutilized instruments in the industry but can be used in many different genres of music to help create unique textures in your beats.
In this article, I will break down the best mandolin VSTs that are currently available for musicians, music producers and engineers, whether you’re making music for release on streaming services or for film projects and more.
Quick Look at the Top Mandolin VSTs
Table of Contents
This mandolin VST from Cinematique Instruments is a simple-to-use virtual instrument and doesn’t disappoint in sound quality, accessible through the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt Player, this instrument features 0.8 GB of sound.
With a dedicated engine that performs strumming patterns based on the keys you press, all you have to do is draw in your desired pattern and choose between playing dead notes or open strokes, or even a combination of the two, in order to achieve a unique pattern.
To achieve this Cinematique Instruments have included two different plucked articulations that both produce a vastly different sound to each other.
- PLEC- Sounds clean and detailed
- FINGER – Sounds intimate and warm
Mandolin v1.5 is currently my favourite mandolin bank, due to its sheer sound quality and ease of use.
This instrument is not solely a mandolin VST, it also features a range of acoustic instruments such as:
- Steel-string Acoustic Guitar (Plectrum & Finger Picked)
- 12-string Acoustic Guitar (Plectrum)
- Nylon String Guitar (Finger Picked & Finger Nail Picked)
- Ukulele (Finger Picked & Finger Nail Picked)
- Mandolin (Plectrum)
- Guitalele (Finger Picked & Finger Nail Picked)
As you can see above, this instrument features a range of playing styles including Plectrum, Finger Picked and Finger Nail Picked.
Here are the differences between the three different playing styles.
- Plucked: “Plucked” is a general term used to describe a technique where the strings are sounded by using the fingers or a pick to pluck or strike the strings in a downward motion. It’s a broad term that encompasses various playing styles. A common example of plucking is using a guitar pick to strike the strings individually or in strumming patterns. When you pluck the strings with a pick, it produces a distinct, bright, and sharp attack sound.
- Fingerpicked: “Fingerpicking” is a specific technique where the guitarist uses their fingers (usually thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers) to individually pluck the strings. Instead of using a guitar pick, the guitarist’s fingers directly come into contact with the strings to produce the notes. This style allows for more intricate and complex patterns, as each finger can be assigned to a specific string, giving the player greater control over the melody, harmony, and rhythm. Fingerpicking is commonly used in folk, classical, blues, and fingerstyle guitar playing.
- Finger-nail picked: “Finger-nail picking” is a variation of fingerpicking that involves using the fingernails, primarily the thumbnail and the flesh of the fingertip. When finger-nail picking, the fingertips and nails work in tandem to pluck the strings. The fingernail provides a slightly sharper attack and more defined tone compared to just using the flesh of the fingers. Finger-nail picking is particularly common in classical guitar playing, as it enables the player to achieve greater clarity and precision in their performance.
Acou6tics was recorded in Blumlein-Stereo using stereo micing plus an additional piezo DI channel, each instrument also features between 4000 to 8000 samples that have been recorded at different velocity levels in order to achieve a well-rounded, natural sound.
You can adjust the microphone positioning as well as easily switch between different articulations such as strumming, or open chords, you can also detect chords and easily switch their voicings from a library of 50 chords.
Here is a full breakdown of Acou6tics features:
- Virtual room with adjustable mic distance
- Physically correct sympathetic resonance
- Advanced strum engine:
- – Fully customizable strum keys, including special keys for transition strums & open string strums
- Advanced picking engine
- Advanced guitar chord detection:
- – Almost 25,000 chords detected and transferred into real-time guitar chords
- – Most guitar chords available in up to fifty different voicings
- Advanced string and fretboard positioning:
- – AI chooses the best-fitting strings and fretboard position, considering speed, timing, notes, and polyphony
- – A manual overwrite option is available for choosing a specific string or fretboard position
- Advanced guitar noise engine:
- – Adds pick, finger, and slide noises based on your playing style
- Advanced vibrato engine
This instrument is an absolute powerhouse for acoustic instruments if you need a plugin that can cater to all of your acoustic needs, Acou6tics is definitely worth your time.