Sample Library Review announce Best of 2020 Awards Winners for Best Software Instruments & Plugins of the Year


Sample Library Review has announced its Best of 2020 Awards winners.

Sample Library Review’s Best of 2020 Awards celebrates the virtual instruments that found their way into the hearts and scores of music composers.

December 18, 2020, Los Angeles California – The annual celebration of music software is one of the better indicators of music production trends for composers and music makers working on scores and song for TV, films, games and trailers

“Our contributors, myself included, can work with over 100 new instruments every year looking for an edge in our own music production,” said Sample Library Review host, composer Don Bodin.

“It’s rewarding to share our experiences with the readers and viewers through posts and videos but the Best of Awards takes that to another level.”

The virtual instruments created by Spitfire Audio, Native Instruments, Vienna Symphonic Library, 8Dio, Soundiron, Orchestral Tools, and many others all received nods in Sample Library Review’s “Best of” 2020 Awards, the only awards show specifically devoted to the celebration of sample library and virtual instrument software. 

The closely watched ‘Best String Sample Library’ category honored Performance Samples for the continuation of the developer’s Con Moto series, Vienna Symphonic Library’s release of Synchron Strings Pro and Audio Imperia’s well-received Areia. 

Spitfire Audio took a total of 4 spots with 2 wins in the Awards’ Best Ensemble Orchestral Sample Library category  (BBC Symphony Orchestra Core & Abbey Road One Orchestral Foundations) sharing the stage with Native Instrument, Best Service & Vienna Symphonic Library.

The most celebrated category for the years was for Best World / Ethnic Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments bestowing honors to Bunker Samples, Orchestral Tools, Impact Soundworks, Red Room Audio & Best Service.

Standing alone on this year’s list was Damage 2 by Heavyocity as the only award in the Best Percussion Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments with it taking in 85% off all votes cast from the deciding members.

Sample Library Review’s Best of 2020 Awards was published December 16, 2020 on YouTube, and a complete list of the Sample Library Review’s Best of Awards 2020 award winners can be seen on the official Best of 2020 Awards page.

In addition, a curated playlist of Sample Library Review original content including reviews and videos of all instruments that made the Best of Awards 2020 list can be seen here.

Sample Library Review’s “Best of” awards are determined by an advisory board and selection committee that includes music journalists, songwriters, and composers. 

Scroll down for a list of the Sample Library Review’s “Best of” Awards 2020 Award Winners or visit the official Best of 2020 Awards page here.


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Sample Library Review’s Best of 2020 Awards – Sample Libraries and Virtual Instruments

Best Ensemble Orchestral Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments

  • Arkhis by Native Instrument
    • The Orchestra 2 Complete by Best Service
    • BBC Symphony Orchestra Core by Spitfire Audio
    • Abbey Road One Orchestral Foundations by Spitfire Audio
    • Big Bang Orchestra Zodiac by Vienna Symphonic Library

Best Bass / Guitar Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
• Dystopian Guitars by Pulse-Setter Sounds
• Virtual Bassist 2 Series by UJAM
• EZBass by Toontrack
With Honorable Mentions for
• Quartarone Guitar Reveries by Valiant Samples
• Celestial Guitar by Waverunner Audio

Best Brass Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
CineBrass Sonore by Cinesamples
• CineBrass Horns of the Deep by Cinesamples
• Studio Series Fire Trombone by 8Dio
• Century Brass 2.0 by 8Dio
With Honorable Mention for:
• TO Horns Of Hell by Best Service

Best Loop/Phrase-Based Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Oscillation Strings by Ben Osterhouse
• Spitfire Symphonic Motions by Spitfire Audio
• Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS by UJAM
With Honorable Mention:
• Opacity 2 by Audio Modern

Best Woodwinds Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Infinite Woodwinds 2.0 by Aaron Ventures
• Maleventum by Silence+OtherSounds
• Vertigo Flute by Cinematique Instruments

Best Sound Design in Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Musique Box 2.0 by Soundiron
• Clockworks Vol. 2 by SampleTraxx
• Bioscape by Luftrum
• Pharlight by Native Instruments

Best World / Ethnic Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Off-World Volume 1 by Bunker Samples
• Hopkin Instrumentarium Series by Soundiron
• Phoenix Orchestra by Orchestral Tools
• Ventus Native American Flutes by Impact Soundworks
• Traveler Series Gypsy Fiddle by Red Room Audio
• NADA by Best Service


Best VST Preset Collection or Expansion
• LoFi Dreams by UVI
• Latin Cuban Drums & Percussion EZX by Toontrack
• Trinity For Omnisphere 2 by Triple Spiral Audio

Best Solo Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Stradivari Violin by Native instruments
• Birth of the Trumpet by Straight Ahead Samples
• Ashen Scoring Cello by Wavelet Audio
With Honorable Mention
• Emotional Viola by Best Service

Best Sampled Synth Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Omnisphere 2.6 by Spectrasonics

Best Piano / Keyboard Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
The Famous E Electric Piano by Orange Tree Samples
• Ólafur Arnalds Stratus by Spitfire Audio
• Celeste by Soniccouture
• Pianoteq 7 by Modartt

Best Percussion Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Damage 2 by Heavyocity

Best Vocal / Choir Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Pharlight by Native Instruments
• Oceania II by Performance Samples
• Ethera Gold 2.5 by Zero-G

Best String Sample Libraries & Virtual Instruments
Con Moto Violins A & B by Performance Samples
• Synchron Strings Pro by Vienna Symphonic Library
• Areia by Audio Imperia