Are you talking about VST instruments, samplers, effects, or all of the above? Also, what kind of instrumental music? Instrumental music can mean anything from instrumental rock to sweeping orchestral music.
I think to start, getting a good sample player helps quite a bit, although it’s not completely necessary. A lot of people make products for Kontakt, and if you buy the full sampler you get a decent amount of instruments in their standard library, and the ability to sample your own instruments. Although I’ve never been blown away by their standard libraries, you can get mileage out of them. http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/
LA Scoring Strings is more or less the standard string library right now. http://audiobro.com/ I also like East West’s Hollywood strings+horns, but their library comes premixed and pre-verbed, which can be limiting. http://www.soundsonline.com/Hollywood-Strings You also have the old school Vienna Symphonic library, which is aging but still useful for a dryer sound. http://vsl.co.at/ all these libraries are relatively expensive, but they are worth the money and offer lighter, cheaper versions.
Besides Hollywood Brass and Vienna, a lot of people have had good success with Symphobia. I also recommend looking at cinesamples. http://www.projectsam.com/Products/Feature-Products/ http://cinesamples.com/
VSL still sounds pretty good. East West and Cinesamples have also just come out with woodwind collections, like a week or two ago.
I think cinesamples drums of war 2 is pretty good. http://cinesamples.com/products/dow2/ and some of the (now defunct) Tonehammer stuff is pretty good. http://www.soundiron.com/instruments/percussion/apocalypse/ I’ve also gotten some use out of virtual drumline.
I haven’t really come across anything that has impressed me when it comes to guitar samples. You can get a nice thrash/metal sound, but that seems to be about it. If I had to buy one, I’d probably get this guys http://www.pettinhouse.com/html/directguitar.html I think the problem is that people are so used to what guitars, basses ect sound like, it’s harder to fool them with samples. It’s a little easier with orchestral music. Also, the chord voicing with guitars is usually different than with pianos, and you’re usually looking at having to sample strummed chords and things like that. Slides and bends are a hard thing to get right.
Maybe Trillian, a bit expensive http://www.spectrasonics.net/products/trilian-audio.php or the old Scarbee basses http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/powered-by-kontakt/scarbee-pre-bass/?content=903 You might get more mileage out of a real cheap bass and DI, as bass is fairly easy to play and you can pull a lot of different tones out of a real bass.
So many piano samples, so little time.
Ivory is clean, popular, and useful. They also have some great upright samples. Fairly expensive libraries. http://www.synthogy.com/products/ivorygrand.html for jazz stuff, I like Cinesamples piano in blue and I have my eye on acoustic samples OldBlackGuard http://cinesamples.com/products/piano-in-blue/ http://acousticsamples.net/keys/oldblackgrand for a less sterile sound than Ivory, check out emotional piano
I’m really impressed by soniccouture’s broken Wurli. I don’t have it, but the demos sound great and all their free stuff has a high-production polish to it. http://www.soniccouture.com/en/product/g31-broken-wurli/ For a rhodes sound, maybe neo-soul keys http://neosoulkeys.com/
I have my own drumset miced at all times, so I’m not huge on sampled drum kits. Drums are probably the most sampled instrument out there. Ez drummer seems pretty good.
It’s really an open market when it comes to synthesizers, it just depends on what you are looking for. Again, sonniccouture has some cool stuff. retro machines MKII came free when I bought Kontakt 5. some useful stuff in there.
Effects and Plugins.
I think you can usually get a lot of mileage out of the stuff that comes with your Daw. compressors, equalizers, ect – most Daws come with useable stuff. As far as reverb gos, for me, it’s either altiverb or spaces
There’s a whole world of samples out there, and they get better and better all the time.
I don’t think anyone makes “the best” music. Every composer is a little different, when it comes to their styles and sound. Such a broad question can not be answered well, even in the broadest of terms. And like Jonah-B said, music is highly subjective; If you ask me who I thought the best composer was, I might say Bach, someone else might say Wagner, and yet a third person might say John Lennon.
Maybe you should phrase the question as “what are some of your favorite tracks and Authors on Audio Jungle?”
I think Audiojungle is a great site when it comes to being able to create music and have people (potentially) license it. However, I don’t think Audiojungle really markets your music. The marketing is more or less up to you. If you create and upload your music – and do little beyond that – then no one is going to know about your music. To generate a sale, someone would need to do a search with the right keywords and like what they hear. With the amount of content on this site, getting sales that way could take awhile. I know as musicians and composers we don’t necessarily like to market and promote ourselves; it’s not as fun or as satisfying as creating music. Traditionally, Musicians have relied on Record and A&R people to find and promote their music for them. Going that route, the musician/composer almost always gets screwed in the deal. The great thing about the internet is that marketing is cheap and/or free.
AudioJungle WILL market your music for you to a degree, but only when you have reached a certain level and are one of the top authors. I believe the more people know your name and are familiar with your work, the more sales you will generate. For guys like us just starting out, it potentially takes a lot of time and effort to reach that kind of level, but I don’t think there’s anything stopping anyone from achieving success on this site. You can probably get your stuff more recognized and generate more sales if you do a commercial piece or two.
I also hear that the summer months are a little slow when it comes to sales but who knows.
Anyway, I think the best thing you could do would be to keep composing and uploading items and see what happens. Once you have a portfolio with a decent amount of items, start pimpin’ them. Shameless self promotion never hurt anyone.
I 22nd that this is a good idea.
Like you, I am new here, and only have one sale.
From what I’ve gathered, July and August seem to be relatively slow months for sales, and as I understand it, sales usually come slowly for new Authors anyway. Think about it – no one really knows your work or who you are. Being successful in music is like being successful in any other business – yeah, you need a good product, but you also need to brand yourself. You could be the best composer in your world, but if no one knows who you are, you likely wont be selling much music.
As far as commercial music vs other types of music…my impression is that commercial music sells the best on this site. I would try to compose in as many genres as you feel like composing in, and not focus only on one type of music, as doing so sounds like a sure-fire way to drive yourself crazy. Just keep making and uploading your film music (if that’s what you love) give it some time, and see where you are on this site a year from now. We all have certain styles and genres we prefer to compose in – usually where our strengths lie – but I think diversifying yourself and writing in genres you normally wouldn’t touch is key to becoming a well-rounded composer.
You can change your name, but you can only change it once. I’ve already changed mine.
Sonar. Would like to mess around with other Daws (maybe Digital Performer) but it can get pretty expensive…would rather spend the money on samples (more or less done buying instruments, mics, ect.)
In a very large and real way Tim is right – I believe that is how the music industry functions as a whole. People will always look at what is popular and what is selling, and try to mimic it as best they can…this is a huge contributing factor when it comes to the mediocrity of mainstream music. The other side of the coin is that a greater demand genuinely exists for certain styles of music over others. Corporate music is what people want to buy.
There’s always a balance between the business side and the creative side of music. How far to the left or how far to the right you want to be is completely up to you. You can either be producing the kind of music you want, which you are creatively proud of (but selling little) or you can be grinding out songs you know will sell, but that might not be fulfilling, and you can be anywhere in-between. Personally, I don’t think there is any bad place to be with music. Make it because you love doing it, if you happen to make some money at it great, if not, you can at least be proud of the work you did.