Famous orchestral samples and where to find them

Have I heard this sound before?

Have I heard this sound before?

Way back in 2005, Philharmonia Orchestra (the digital pioneers of classical music) released a free sample library, recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio 2. These samples had been created for a very successful interactive music education website called ‘The Sound Exchange’, and the samples were released under a creative commons license, allowing producers to use them in their own work.

This was at a time when bedroom production was beginning to boom; more people could record and produce music without the need for expensive studios, and samples like this were incredibly valuable.

Over ten years later, the impact of releasing these samples is profound. These sounds will have been used in thousands of successful recordings, adverts and even TV and film scores.

If you were to make yourself familiar with some of the samples, then there’d be a good chance that you would start to notice them in the music you’d hear every day.

Here is a classic example. One of my favourite samples (from the original Sound Exchange collection) was a file called ‘valerie’.

Now listen carefully to the music in this recent trailer for the upcoming film Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Anything sound familiar?


Philharmonia’s new Sound Samples can be accessed here.


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