The best film scoring VSTs and software from Native Instruments

In modern film scoring, the possibilities are almost endless. Film scoring software allows composers to summon a full orchestra, an ethereal choir, or a unique hybrid instrument with just a few clicks of the mouse. Powerful composer software makes for exciting creative possibilities, but it also poses a question. With so many VSTs out there, which ones are right for you and your project?

Below is a rundown of the best software for film scoring available from Native Instruments. It covers essential all-rounders such as strings and choirs; characterful solo instruments; futuristic sound design tools; and much more. Whatever your scoring needs, there’s a tool in here for you. By picking up some of the film composing software on this list, you’ll have everything you need to start telling stories through sound.


Modern film scoring isn’t just about writing barnstorming cues. Crafting authentic atmospheres takes a subtle touch: drones, atmospheres, and other underscoring techniques are crucial. Arkhis is the perfect tool for this bread-and-butter underscoring work, allowing you to quickly set the scene without getting in the way of the action. This film scoring software lets you choose from dozens of tonally-playable instruments – from orchestral sounds to intimate soloists – and layer up to three together to conjure the mood you need. Whether it’s soothing ambience, eerie suspense, or looming dread, Arkhis will get you there fast.

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Action Strings

Action Strings is the best movie score software for action sequences and other high-octane visuals. This VST is tailor-made to provide driving, rhythmic string music at just the intensity you need. It offers over 31 GB of rhythmic string orchestra phrases, recorded at different pitches and intensities. These can be tweaked and combined endlessly so that the tension never lets up. Action Strings makes climactic action cues easy.

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Sequis is the ideal video scoring software for adding movement and energy to your compositions. Loops are a crucial tool in scoring, but synthetic sequences can often sound plastic and unconvincing. Sequis solves this with a rich palette of repeating rhythmic patterns played on exquisite acoustic instruments, from percussion and bass through to voices, woodwinds, and more. Use this “acoustic sequencer” to quickly layer up complex cues, adding gentle propulsion to documentaries and dynamic film sequences.

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Session Strings Pro

Strings are the backbone of many film scores, and Session Strings Pro is an ideal all-rounder string VST. Featuring a 22-piece string ensemble captured in lush high definition, this composer software offers industry-standard quality and broad expressive range. 26 articulations – including glissando, trills, and dramatic falls – let you spice up your cues with spine-tingling effects. And a detailed mix interface allows you to dial in sounds from different eras and recording traditions, meaning your strings will always blend right in with the scenery.

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Session Percussionist

Use Session Percussion to spice up your film scores with lifelike drum patterns, rolls, and one-shots. If you’re looking for some percussion to uplift a cue, this MIDI composer software will probably have what you need. Session Percussionist lets you build an ensemble of up to five players from a library of over 2000 drum patterns covering 58 instruments including shakers, tambourines, congas, and more. Crucially, its smart features enable you to work quickly while inspiration is flowing. Just enter your desired rhythm and the smart pattern search function will show you loops and patterns that fit your vision.

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Ashlight is the best MIDI film scoring tool for adding dark, deep, immersive atmospheres to your compositions. Part of what sets Ashlight apart is its library of sounds: an innovative collection of bowed and rubbed materials such as metals, carbon, ceramics, and glass. But things really get interesting when you combine these head-turning sounds with Ashlight’s powerful granular synthesis engine, allowing you to transform one-shot samples into epic pads, ghostly atmospheres, and much more. For film scores that need an otherworldly touch, Ashlight is the perfect tool.

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An unusual instrument or sound can be the key to unlocking a film’s atmosphere. Lores gives you a treasure trove of such sounds, making it perfect for adding unique character to stories set in far-flung times and places. Alongside old favorites like strings and winds, the Lores library features unusual instruments like the nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, and shakuhachi. Use this midi composer software to add rustic charm to your cues, or to find fresh inspiration in unusual timbres.

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Kontakt 7

If you’re starting to build your film scoring toolkit, Kontakt 7 is the perfect choice. This flagship film scoring software from Native Instruments is the basis for countless sample instruments: that is, VSTs that capture the sound of a real-world instrument so you can use it in your DAW. The extensive Factory Library included with Kontakt 7 already gives you many scoring options. Owning Kontakt also opens up a world of additional sample instruments made by Native Instruments and other manufacturers, from choirs and orchestras to unique folk instruments and sampled synths. Kontakt 7 is your access pass to some of the best software for film scoring.

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Fables can bring movement, magic, and mysticism to your music. This video scoring software builds on the legacy of Lores, giving you even more ways to tell evocative stories through sound. As with its predecessor, Fables lets you layer together a collection of distinctive acoustic instruments: in this case strings, choirs, tuned percussion, and much more. The library favors rich, evolving textures and ear-catching blends of organic and synthetic tones. The results will instantly add flavor and depth to your composition.

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Valves Pro

Use Valves Pro to add the potent sounds of brass to your film scores. This brass quintet VST is about as lifelike as they come, featuring 30 GB of samples capturing the rich sounds of tuba, euphonium, trombone, french horn, and flugelhorn. Over 100 preset phrases give you a near-endless choice of crescendos, swells, and evolving sustains, while the editor lets you tweak and customize to your heart’s content. Whether you need powerful stabs to convey grandeur, or gentle pads to accompany a tender scene, Valves Pro will deliver the goods with style.

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Vocal Colors

The human voice has a special power over our emotions. That’s why voices are such an effective scoring tool, useful for heightening drama or dialing in atmosphere. Vocal Colors is the perfect film scoring software for composers who want to push their voices further. This creative vocal engine combines a huge range of vocal expressions with synthetic sound and powerful shaping tools to create surprising voice-based effects. Use it to make arpeggios, pads, and melodies with a human feel. Vocal Colors combines human and machine in exciting new ways, making it particularly good for future-facing modern scoring.

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Choir: Omnia

Nothing sets spines tingling and hearts pulsing like a grandiose choir. Every film composer should have a choir VST in their toolbox, and Omnia is the best all-rounder choir plugin for your scoring needs. This 40-piece ensemble can do everything from the softest tones to full-throated emotion. And you can make the singers’ words your own with the innovative Syllabuilder engine, which allows you to combine and transform 16 available syllables to create the exact phrase you need. If all the sound-shaping options seem daunting, simply pick one of the 189 great-sounding presets and you’ll be creating evocative vocals in no time.

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Light Trilogy

The Light Trilogy is your window on granular synthesis, a secret weapon of modern film scoring. This composer software bundle brings together the dark sounds of Ashlight with the futuristic textures of Straylight and Pharlight’s vocal timbres. Each of these instruments combines a library of innovative samples with granular synthesis to create an almost limitless range of sounds and effects: from pads, plucks, and drones to sci-fi textures and ethereal atmospheres. Whether you need subtle underscoring, angelic ambience, or mind blowing FX, the Light Trilogy will cover your granular needs.

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Schema: Dark

When the story requires some dread and doom, look no further than Schema: Dark. This “cinematic pulse engine” is the best video scoring software for creating the throbbing electronic textures that underpin modern action, horror, and sci-fi scores. Its unique 16-step sequencer makes complex rhythmic work easy, while the library of orchestral, synthetic, and field-recorded loops is a treasure trove of dark delights. Use Schema: Dark to take your sonic narrative to new depths.

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Running low on inspiration? Give Playbox a try. This unique MIDI composer software is perfect for generating new ideas or breathing new life into familiar sounds. It offers over 900 immersive samples spanning synths, acoustic instruments, voices, and more – plus the option to load your own samples. You can then use Playbox’s unique interface to randomly generate surprising new chord configurations. When you’re not sure where to go next with your scoring project, simply roll the dice and let Playbox decide.

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Low End Strings

Use Low End Strings to add crushing weight and rumbling impact to your compositions. This innovative movie score software captures the lowest playable octaves from a real string orchestra and uses them to create unfathomably deep sounds. Get creative by layering up to four samples and combining strings with field recordings, noise, and synth sources. Your basses, pads, and impacts have never sounded so abyssal.

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Spotlight Collection

The Spotlight Collections will bring a world of new sounds into your compositions. When all your standard VSTs are getting stale, this six-instrument bundle is sure to freshen things up. Each instrument focusses on musical traditions from a particular part of the world, offering meticulously-recorded instruments playing traditional patterns and grooves from East Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, West Africa, and more. Get inspired by unique rhythmic patterns and distinctive melodic instruments. For composers looking to broaden their scope, Spotlight Collections will be a handy addition.

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Start elevating your tracks with the best film scoring VSTs and software from Native Instruments

In this article, we’ve explored the best film scoring software from Native Instruments. We’ve looked at versatile strings and choirs, rustic sample libraries, futuristic granular synthesizers, and much more. Now it’s time to start using composer software in your own compositions. Explore the full collection of film scoring software available from Native Instruments and find the tool that’s perfect for your project.

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