I am looking for a collection or database of samples of individual notes played on a variety of instruments, available in common audio formats (OGG, WAV, etc.). At a bare minimum, some kind of piano playing the middle C would do fine.

The only samples I currently have are the two piano samples that come packaged with LMMS, but one of them is grainy and the other is very short, which doesn't lend itself well to creating decent-sounding notes of variable length (ultimately, I want several audio samples of a given note that are of varying lengths).

I've been googling for an hour or so now, apparently in vain. Is there such a thing?

  • There are large stores of samples packaged and delivered with magazines, online electronic music sites etc.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 6:43
  • @DrMayhem, do you have any idea where though?
    – pattyd
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 12:57
  • 1
    Is there a reason you don't just get a good sample based software MIDI instrument?
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 13:32
  • I am trying to write software that uses the sounds, and I currently have a working system that runs off of OGG samples; the only problem is that the length of the notes is impossible to alter programmatically. To integrate MIDI support would probably end up being a nightmare. I may have to do it, but I'd rather not.
    – Tahjeet
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 13:47
  • Ah, I'd think you could probably find a MIDI library that would allow fairly easy integration though. Probably easier than trying to manipulate OGG samples.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Your best bet still is to get a decent commercial sampler with an included sound library. Look for things like Kontakt or Mach Five. Unlocked Kontakt libraries (full version not Kontakt Player) will give you access to the original samples. This will save you a lot of trouble and the quality you get should be adequate.

If for some reason (licensing is the only one I can think of ATM) you really need to go the "sample yourself" road, try The Sound Exchange by Philharmonia Orchestra. I'm not sure about the quality of the samples (not that it's bad, just didn't have the opportunity to go deep enough), but licensing terms should accommodate most needs and they've built quite a database over time.

  • The license used by Philharmonia Orchestra is CC-BY-SA 3.0, which requires any derivatives or remixes to be licensed the same. Unfortunately this means it would accommodate hardly anybody.
    – qubodup
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 3:26
  1. Freesound.org is a user-submitted collection of free sounds, of varying quality and intent but the search function might allow you to find what you need.

    There are four different licenses used on that page, so make sure to know the terms and restrictions (some prohibit commercial use, some require attribution). You can filter by license using the right sidebar

  2. If giving attribution under CC-BY 3.0 license is acceptable to you, then you can use the massive collection of instrument recordings that is part of the OLPC sound samples collection.

    Here is a preview of The Open Path Music Collection V1 as an example: https://clyp.it/1vtvomla

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