10 Best Harp VST Plugins 2022

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Best Harp VST Plugins

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Often found in classical and traditional music, the harp is a delicate and gentle instrument. It’s great for quieter, subtler, emotional melodies, and even accompaniment.

You can, of course, take it to the other extreme. If utilized correctly, harps can also be great for unsettling, mysterious, and dark music as well.

If you plan to incorporate more harp into your musical projects, it stands to reason you’ll want a competent virtual instrument at your side. In this guide, we look at the best harp VST plugins.

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Elysium Harp by Soundiron – Best Overall

Elysium Harp by Soundiron – Best Overall

Soundiron’s Elysium Harp is a 47-string grand concert pedal harp instrument library. For this superb instrument a Lyon & Healy bronze concert harp was used, and detailed recording techniques were employed.

Elysium Harp comes complete with play-assist features, to help you on your path, and extended articulations for more sounds.

These articulations are represented by finger plucks, hard fingernail plucks, xylophonics, and bass pedal buzzes. There are also live glisses in 19 styles and scales.

The source was used to create additional pads, ambiences, and FX presets. It comes with three stereo mic positions you can use to dial in your best sound (sound board, rear ports, room), gliass and arpeggiator sequences, easy arpeggios and glissing, presence and tone shaping, and a custom FX rack.

Elysium Harp contains 12,147 samples and over 30 GB of content.

Summarily, you’re getting eight round-robin variations per dynamic layer. There are multiple articulations ranging from finger pad plucks and fingernail plucks to soft harmonic plucks and hard harmonic plucks.

You'll also find xylophonic plucks, bass string pedal buzz effects, 194 glisses in 19 scales and styles, as well as dozens of ambiences, organic synth pads, atmospheres, and FX presets.

The three mic positions referenced earlier include the following:

  • Rear Sound Port (Neumann TLM 102)
  • Front Sound Board (Neumann TLM 103)
  • Overhead Room (Neumann TLM 107)

To round things out, you get a mixer module (channel mixing, loading, positioning, routing), dynamic gliss generator, adaptive arpeggiator, pedal system, a modular DSP FX rack, and 119 integrated convolution IR samples.

This plugin is obviously the full meal deal, and it sounds great too – delicate, rich, and warm. For pure harp sounds, there’s no denying that this is the best overall option.

Elysium Harp can be used with the free or full versions of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Zodiac by Big Fish Audio – Best Premium Option

Zodiac by Big Fish Audio – Best Premium Option

Big Fish Audio’s Zodiac is a composer’s workstation, featuring sounds that are perfect for TV, video games, films scoring, and more.

None of the included sounds are synthesized. The developers took advantage of found sounds, sonic manipulations, prepared or processed instruments, and sound designed audio.

Altogether, Zodiac features 200 patches and multis. That includes pads and atmospheres, melodic instruments, bass instruments, percussive instruments, experimental instruments, and Zodiac kits.

There are no “typical” guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums sounds here. The patches are all quite unique, and there are plenty of onboard controls that let you sculpt and tweak to suit your projects. No tweaking is required, though.

As the perfect tool for experimentation, you can simply hold down a single key to hear how a sound morphs and changes. Further, depending on how you play the instruments, they’re sometimes percussive, sometimes atmospheric. Patches can also sound different across different octaves.

Zodiac features two major control banks. The one on the left is for the amp envelope controls, which consists of attack, decay, sustain, release, tuning (pitch), and reverb. Meanwhile, the righthand one is the delay control bank, with delay time, delay damping, delay panning, delay feedback, treble, and bass.

The white-tipped levers represent a grouping of related controls. These have a range of zero to 10. The red-tipped levers are controls unrelated to the white groups. These have a range of -10 to +10.

There’s also a drop-down menu, featuring a list of 15 convolution reverb IRs.

While it’s not strictly a harp instrument, Zodiac does feature multiple harp patches, including Amped Glass Harp, Ambient Glass Harp, Glass Harp Short, Autoharp Mallets, Bowed Autoharp Multi, Harp FX, Harp FX Hits, Harp FX Riser, Harp Gliss Hit, and Struck Autoharp, among many others.

If you were thinking more broadly about composition, and not just about harp, then there’s no doubt this is your best premium option.

Zodiac requires Kontakt Player.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ha•pi – Concert Harp by Sonuscore – Best Budget Option

ha•pi – Concert Harp by Sonuscore – Best Budget Option

Sonuscore’s ha•pi – Concert Harp can quickly go from delicate and emotional to ethereal and atmospheric with a simple twist of the built-in Glow slider.

The instrument was recorded with five round robins, and the user has been given controls for attack, release, dynamic range, tone, ambience, and articulations (Natural and Harmonics).

There are 11 presets to help you gather your bearings with this very simple and straightforward harp VST instrument.

All in all, you’re getting two articulations (Natural, Harmonics), up to four velocity layers, five round robins, Glow slider (for atmosphere), control, attack, release, dynamic range, harmonics, tone, ambience, 11 presets, and 1.4 GB of content.

For a no-nonsense, affordable virtual harp, look no further. It can’t do everything Elysium Harp can, and it’s not a compositional workstation like Zodiac, but you can bite into a solid chunk of sampled content in ha•pi – Concert Harp for a nominal fee.

ha•pi – Concert Harp requires the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Grand Harp by Cinematique Instruments

Grand Harp by Cinematique Instruments

Cinematique Instruments’ Grand Harp takes after ancient harps like the Celtic Nylon Harp. Its 47 strings span covers six and a half octaves, with copper or steel-wound nylon strings in the lower register, gut strings for the middle-lower register, and nylon or gut strings for the middle to highest range.

While the harp is typically played with the fingertips (of the first four fingers), there are other techniques. So, Cinematique Instruments added plucked, fingernail, Prè de la table, xylophonique, prepared, and harmonics articulations.

The developers captured the instrument using several big condenser microphones. The main articulations come with 4x round-robin and up to five velocity layers, all recorded in 24-bit. The harmonics articulation only comes with one round robin.

You can easily switch between the six articulations using the onboard controls. Grand Harp also includes sustain, reverb, arpeggio with separate voicing options, glissando mode, and an auto-velocity function.

Altogether, you get six articulations, six presets and snapshots, roughly 1,000 samples, and 1.3 GB of compressed content.

Grand Harp has got a very gentle, round sound to it.

Grand Harp requires the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Lap Harp v1.5 by Cinematique Instruments

Lap Harp v1.5 by Cinematique Instruments

Also known as the “Perepyolochka” in Cryllic, Lap Harp v1.5 is based on an easy to play, beginner-oriented instrument featuring 15 diatonically tuned strings, usually in G major.

This is a virtual instrument, though, and that gives you more flexibility. You can play it chromatic and well-tempered.

The Lap Harp was recorded with three articulations (plectrum, thumb, and piano hammer), four round robins, and two velocities with minimal gain.

A SCHOEPS condenser microphone was employed to capture this instrument for as much intricate detail as possible. Cinematique included a glissando and tremolo function too, which can give the sound a more natural feel.

There are several effects, including reverb, delay, lo-cut, hi-cut, octave, chorus, and rotary.

Lap Harp has a naturally gentle and tinny sound to it. As with harps in general, it works great for quieter melodies and as a supporting instrument.

Lap Harp1.5 requires the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Mosaic Plucky by Heavyocity

Mosaic Plucky by Heavyocity

Heavyocity’s Mosaic Plucky is another compositional tool with rich, layered cinematic textures taking full advantage of synthetic and organic plucked sources.

For this mad science concoction, Heavyocity used a combination of sampled instruments (harps, processed chimes, thumb pianos, plucked strings), analog synths, and organic attack layers.

The developers call this a “hybrid instrument.” To be fair, its true power is unleashed when layering its three sources – rhythmic, lyrical, space, emotional, and dynamic. Mosaic Plucky includes more than 120 snapshots to give you a running start.

Summarily, Mosaic Plucky comes with creative ARP and rhythmic presets, over 120 presets, one NKI, 128 snapshot presets, and 107 sources (1,984 samples), including 46 ARP, 41 rhythmic, and 41 playable.

You’ve also got a sample browser, ARP, and MACRO knob for dynamic multi-parameter control.

For creating instant rhythmic atmospheres, this is a great option. As noted earlier, they did use harps as a source, but it’s not strictly a harp VST plugin. That said, it does sound great, and for scoring it will come in handy.

Mosaic Plucky requires Kontakt to work.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side by Big Fish Audio

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side by Big Fish Audio

Big Fish Audio’s Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side is the darker, scarier, and more dissonant rendering of their original Ambient Minimalism. It comes with a variety of patches, featuring upright bass, wood drums, pianos, harps, and other.

This loop and sampled bass virtual instrument lets you create unsettling and mysterious backing tracks, cinematic cues, and ambient soundscapes.

All instrument patches come with dozens of one shots and loops. They were all recorded in the same key signature. This makes the mixing and matching of patches a very straightforward process.

Besides the 11 chromatic patches, there are also 12 key switches (colored red). These can be used to change the key signature of any patch, pad, or loop.

There are 44 patches total, with hundreds of samples, loops, and one-shots. These have all been organized into Tonal, Melodic, Rhythmic, and Experimental categories.

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side comes with almost 6 GB of uncompressed WAV content, as well as 36 multi patches. The plugin integrates with Komplete Kontrol and Maschine.

Altogether, you get 44 patches with 11 chromatic instruments. There are also over 2,527 loops, phrases, one-shots, and samples that can be mixed and matched, 36 multis, and key switch functionality.

The four categories of patches include Tonal (bass, harp, cello, etc.), Experimental (piano, autoharp, pedal steel, etc.), Melodic (wood flute, Wurlitzer, upright bass, etc.), and Rhythmic (wood drum, percussion, taiko, etc.).

While it’s not a standalone harp instrument, nor does it showcase the most beautiful and delicate side of harp instruments, if you’re composing for horror, thriller, and Sci-Fi genres, this is a great tool to have at the ready.

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side works with the free Kontakt Player.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Bowed Harp by AudioThing

Bowed Harp by AudioThing

AudioThing’s Bowed Harp comes with autoharp (like a zither) samples played with a pick, as well as an Ebow!

The Ebow is generally used for electric guitar, and it allows guitarists to create amazing, textural swells. The idea is to simulate bowed instruments.

With Bowed Harp, you can mix the two sources – picked and Ebow – for plucks and atmospheres. Both sections also come with 12 impulse responses (four reverbs, four cabinets, and four effects), so you can play with the sound as you please.

Altogether, you get 14 Kontakt instruments, three velocity layers, five round robin samples, 160 samples, and 467 MB of content.

For both ethereal swells and computerized sounding plucks, Bowed Harp is a solid option.

Bowed Harp requires Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Aeolian Fan Harp by Soundiron

Aeolian Fan Harp by Soundiron

Soundiron’s Aeolian Fan Harp is a handmade instrument, originally created by Dustbowl Guitars.

The instrument was based on a traditional Greek wind harp, featuring 12 strings, no frets, and a hollow body.

The remarkable thing about it, though, is that it also comes with a 120 mm PC fan beneath the strings, close to the bridge. Yes, it literally has a fan that produces wind!

As opposed to nylon strings, the Aeolian Fan Harp comes with steel-wound strings as well as electric guitar pickups. It sounds a bit like a baritone guitar when plucked without the fan, but with the fan, it produces a consistent drone.

Really interesting things start to happen, though, when you excite, bow, scrape, or gliss strings, producing all manner of sound effects, drones, and clusters.

The instrument was sampled in detail over the course of several months. It contains almost 14 GB of close stereo mic and direct stereo pickup line out. This means you can dial in both the acoustic and electric sounds of the instrument to your liking.

You can further customize by taking advantage of the modular FX rack, amp and speaker sims, multi-FX, as well as custom convolution reverb IRs.

Aeolian Fan Harp gives you full control over swell, attack, release, offset, filter, vibrato, pitch (coarse and fine), articulation switching, layering, crossfading, and more. There are 20 sound-designed custom FX presets as well.

There’s also an adaptable LFO system, selectable LFO shape, modulation target parameter, intensity, speed, tempo-syncing, and fade-in time.

There are 12 low-pass, high-pass, and FX filters, all with assignable modulation targets (mod-wheel, expression, velocity, after-touch, key position, and step-sequencer table control).

There’s an arpeggiator with a velocity table and parameters for arp direction, timing, swing, duration, and randomization. There’s a key and scale lock system to keep your notes to common scales and keys too.

The modular FX rack features 18 DSP effects you can assign to any of the 10 slots, in any order. Effects include EQ, compressors, phaser, flanger, delay, distortion, amp and cab sims, reverb (with 99 convolution reverb impulses), and even FX rack chain factory presets.

All in all, you get 20 ambience patches, one master NKI instrument bank in open Kontakt format, steel-string sustains, Ebow, mutes, harmonics with fan on and off, SFX in close stereo and direct line in, 20 sound-designed FX and ambient presets, 3,411 stereo samples, LFO, filter, glide, arpeggiator, and FX rack.

Composers should find this a very fascinating offering. It’s not necessarily something you would call upon daily, but there are going to be those odd times when it can provide an atmosphere just about nothing else can provide.

You will need to the full version of Kontakt to work with Aeolian Fan Harp.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Strings by AudioThing

Strings by AudioThing

AudioThing’s Strings is a budget friendly Knotakt instrument with various sampled strings – pads, synths, soundscapes, drones, and effects. In creating this entry, the developer sampled a Tenayo AutoHarp, a Chinese Violin, Romanian Toy Harp, a Baton Rouge Soprano Ukulele, and a Squier Bass.

Not exactly your run of the mill strings VST plugin – that’s an odd set of instruments! But it might be great for experimentation.

Either way, Strings comes with 158 MB of content, 50 Kontakt instruments, and 50 samples. The modulation wheel has been assigned to differing parameters in each patch.

You’ll need the full version of Kontakt to use Strings.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Harp VST Plugin?

If a simple virtual harp is what you’re looking for, then realistically, there are only three major options to choose from – Elysium Harp, ha•pi – Concert Harp, and Grand Harp. Beyond that exist a range of compositional workstations and tools, oddities, and rarities.

That said, it’s normal to hem and haw over a purchase decision. That’s why we created this buyer’s guide, just for you.

Here we’ll cover the main criteria you’ll want to consider in buying a harp VST plugin.

Sound Quality

It’s quite simple. You will either like the realistic, beautiful, delicate sound of the virtual instrument, or you will think it unrealistic, synthetic, and bad sounding. You can listen to each plugin and determine which is which.

Features

In this case, this refers to things like articulations, sound sculpting parameters, effects racks, mic positions, arpeggiators, and so on.

Typically, you will end up spending more for more power. Do you need more power? That depends on your approach to post-processing and effects chains.

Budget

The main thing we encourage buyers to avoid is going into debt for a purchase. Even if you’ve got a project lined up, you just never know how things are going to turn out. It’s best to save up for what you need instead of adding another item to your credit card bill.

Also, most if not all the plugins require Kontakt. Some require the free version, some the premium version. But if you do need to purchase the premium version, be sure to work that into your budget as well.

Top Harp VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

You’ve discovered the best virtual harp VST plugins, compositional tools, and oddities out there. Now you should have everything you need to grace your tracks with awesome harp sounds. Composing great melodies is usually the hardest part, though, so be sure to put some time and energy into that.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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