11 Best Marimba VST Plugins 2024

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The sound of a marimba is sweet, woody, subtle, and warm. It’s perfect for delicate melodies and accompaniment. Modern plugins, though, are obsessed with turning every sound into pads, textures, and ambiences, and marimba is no exception.

If you’re looking to incorporate the sound of marimba in your productions, you’ll want to check out the following – the best marimba VST plugins.

Marimba by Cinematique Instruments – Best Overall

Marimba by Cinematique Instruments – Best Overall

Cinematique Instruments’ Marimba boasts a five-octave range. The instrument was captured using condenser microphones at a close range for a rich, stereo sound and minimal room (dry).

With four round-robins, four velocity layers, and three articulations (as well as an articulation mixer), this baby comes close to the real thing.

Additional features include an eight-step sequencer (with voicing divider), tremolo, and six reverb types.

This is effectively the same marimba that can be found in Cinematique’s Fine Mallets Bundle (seen later in this guide), just for reference. Of course, this is a more affordable option.

While this is our best overall selection (we had to mull it over), there are some very competitive options found in this guide, so if you find Cinematique’s Marimba lacking in any way, it’s worth exploring other products.

You’ll need the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher to take advantage of Marimba.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Cinema Pro by Karanyi Sounds – Best Premium Option

Cinema Pro by Karanyi Sounds – Best Premium Option

Kiranyi Sounds’ Cinema Pro is an instrument bundle designed to meet your many sound needs as a composer.

First, the package comes with Continuo, a cinematic guitar orchestral tool utilizing electric guitars for creating soundscapes, pads, atmospheres, sublayers, and more. Continuo features over 360 samples (from 30 to 150 seconds), with 2.7 GB of content.

Next up in the bundle is Continuo Pro 2, an iteration on the original Continuo (though this one is not guitar focused), with a new UI, new features, and an expansion called Dark Energy.

Continuo 2 Pro features 12 piano sample modules, over 80 factory and artist presets, new Layer Designer engine with 40+ new parameters and features, including four sound modules, one transient layer, LFO tremolo module (with eight presets), Prophet 5 filter type LFO module (with eight presets), two vintage reverbs, tape machine wow control, master EQ, compressor, and limiter.

This kit also includes Budapest Marimba and Vibes, two Kontakt instruments we cover in more detail later in this guide.

This bundle obviously includes a virtual marimba, but it offers considerably more in terms of cinematic soundscapes. For those in need of more power, it could be worth the extra cost. Overall, we find the quality is there, so we’ve made it our best premium selection.

 Cinema Pro requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or above.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Lamelle by Capsule Audio – Best Budget Option

Lamelle by Capsule Audio – Best Budget Option

Capsule Audio’s Lamelle is the meeting place of mallets, plucks, bells, and keys, combining the sounds of marimba, kalimba, an electric piano, and Hohner Guitaret. So, no, it’s not a marimba virtual instrument specifically, but you can get a sense of what they were going for here.

Lamelle gives you the ability to fuse organic sounds with synthesized ones for all kinds of textures and ambiences. Basically, it’s the best of percussive, melodic, organic, and synthesized, giving you the ability to weave rhythm and texture into your workflow.

This is a budget friendly option, and you don’t require Kontakt to use it, which could be a significant benefit to some!

Lamelle sounds very percussive indeed and should be a shoo-in for ethereal textures.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Budapest Abstract Marimba by Karanyi Sounds

Budapest Abstract Marimba by Karanyi Sounds

If you’re looking for a modern marimba sound, Karanyi Sounds’ Budapest Abstract Marimba is well worth a look. With ambient sublayers, this virtual instrument offers richness and depth, along with the bright and clear sounds of a marimba.

Budapest Abstract Marimba comes with six articulations (soft, medium, and hard sticks, as well as a brush layer), three mic positions (one Shure SM57 close position, two AT35 mid-distance positions), and analog synth layers with tape, dimension, and space effects.

The instrument was captured in Budapest and performed by Nando Weisz of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to the six articulations, Karanyi Sounds captured four velocity layers (from pianissimo to forte), and a six-octave range.

The interface features 17 parameters including EQ, tape, chorus, reverb, and master compressor. Budapest Abstract Marimba also comes with 50 Kontakt presets (24 traditional marimba presets, and 26 soundscapes).

In using Budapest Abstract Marimba, you aren’t forced to take advantage of the synth layers, so you can get a nice, natural, dynamic sound too. But the ability to combine layers is quite handy, and it features some built-in sound design capabilities too.

To use Budapest Abstract Marimba, you’ll also require the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Fine Mallets Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

Fine Mallets Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

Just as it sounds, Cinematique Instruments’ Fine Mallets Bundle features an array of mallet instruments, including bass marimba, vibraphone, metallophone, glockenspiel, spleluhr, kalimba, and crystal bowl.

To give you access to as many sounds as possible, Cinematique captured 30 articulations using a variety of mallets and other tools – coins, spatula, spoon, and more. These articulations are bundled in the three included patches.

Not surprisingly, Fine Mallets Bundle is great sounding. It will not appeal to those only in need of a marimba. But its price is reasonable enough that if you need more mallet instruments in your collection, it’s worth looking at.

Fine Mallets Bundle requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Marimba by Loot Audio

Marimba by Loot Audio

Loot Audio’s Marimba promises to be an audiophile quality instrument. It was captured using five mic positions, and the developer has made it so you can combine and blend the five positions as you see fit – center, stereo, wide, ribbon (a Coles 4038 pair was used), and room (Neumann U87 pair).

Marimba features two instruments – Main (with felt beaters), and Soft (with softer beater) – both supporting straight hits and rolls.

I find Loot Audio’s Marimba sounds surprisingly authentic, and it’s not too bad price wise either!

To use Marimba, you will need the full version of Kontakt 4.2.2 or later.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Budapest Abstract Mallets by Karanyi Sounds

Budapest Abstract Mallets by Karanyi Sounds

Budapest Abstract Mallets is a bundle featuring Budapest Abstract Marimba (covered earlier in this guide), and Budapest Abstract Vibes. If you’re looking for more sounds to use in your productions, you may find this package helpful.

Since we’ve already covered Marimba, we’ll only be covering Vibes here. Vibes comes with four techniques (soft sticks, hard sticks, string bow, brush), three velocity layers, five-octave range, 18 parameters, and nine synth sublayers.

Two great instruments in one package at a reasonable price. If you think you might want more than marimba but don’t need to go over the top in acquiring dozens or hundreds of new sounds, you’ll appreciate the quality and simplicity of Budapest Abstract Mallets.

You’ll need the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 and above to take advantage of Budapest Abstract Mallets.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ASPIRE: Modern Mallets by Heavyocity

ASPIRE: Modern Mallets by Heavyocity

Heavyocity’s ASPIRE: Modern Mallets aspires to be your go-to contemporary cinematic Kontakt library. Combining marimba and vibes, allows for a variety of unusual articulations and evocative ambiences.

Heavyocity has added several tools to complete the experience, including creative echoes and a three-point mixer.

In total, ASPIRE: Modern Mallets comes with 16 sound sources, 112 custom presets, 8,728 samples, sample browser, arpeggiator, and of course, the previously mentioned echoes and three-point mixer functions.

From woody textures to pad-like ambiences, ASPIRE does what it’s been designed to do, delivering great sounding textures you can incorporate into your cinematic scores, video game soundtracks, and much more.

ASPIRE: Modern Mallets requires either Kontakt Player or the full version of Kontakt 6.6.1 or later.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Mello by Muze

Mello by Muze

Muze’s Mello Kontakt instrument takes after the Mellotron M400. Its thousands of detailed samples were recorded using analog gear to offer an authentic, warm, vintage sound. The developer says it should work nicely with pop, R&B, hip-hop, cinematic, and more.

Given that it’s a mellotron virtual instrument, it’s not limited to one type of sound, and is in fact expansive in scope. There are 4,254 samples in total, with 238 sounds including marimba, xylophone, celesta, mallets & bells, organs, pianos, guitar, and many, many more.

Mello also comes with 30 effects for all the processing power you need – reverb, delay, compression, limiting, distortion, four-band EQ, and a ton of others.

I do find the sounds a little cheesy if I’m being honest, but there are some good ones in here. I happen to think the organ is not bad.

Mello requires the full version of Kontakt to work.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Marble by Cinematique Instruments

Marble by Cinematique Instruments

Cinematique Instruments’ Marble is yet another contemporary composer suite with 63 sound sources (marimba, bass, cello trios, flute, and more) and roughly 900 presets including tonal textures, drum beats, rhythmic figures, ambient patterns, percussion loops, and more.

Although it’s shying away from its design a little, the best way to describe Marble is that it’s a two-track, 16-step sequencer where you can edit every step using the onboard controls – volume, pan, tune, filter, drive, reverse, and more (11 parameters in total). Not just a key trigger machine, you can play all the sounds as well.

Marble was also built with sound shaping in mind, and it comes with 13 effects you can adjust in 127 steps. Additionally, it comes with great features like freezing and random.

More composer tool than marimba, this one probably won’t be for everyone, but you should check it out if you’re looking for a versatile step sequencer / virtual instrument.

Marble requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or later.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Vapor Keys by Karanyi Sounds

Vapor Keys by Karanyi Sounds

Karanyi Sounds brings the nostalgic sounds of the 80s and 90s back with Vapor Keys, an FM Electric Piano sample library and other inspiring keyboard instruments. This Kontakt library brings together the sounds of electric piano, as well as FM, wavetable, and algorithmic synthesizers to take us back in time.

The nine electric pianos are multi velocity sampled instruments with classic presets, two effects (detuned chorus, phaser), and the samples are offered up dry, leaving plenty of room for you to customize as you please.

Altogether, Vapor Keys comes with over 1,700 samples, three synth sources, and over 60 Kontakt presets.

The product description is a little confusing, but the sounds (including marimbas, strings, electric pianos, and more) are certainly legit. You might not turn to Vapor Keys for some good old fashioned classical composition, but for synthwave and dreamy synthpop, it’s sure to unleash its full power.

Vapor Keys requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher to work.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Marimba VST Plugin?

You know you need a virtual marimba. The only problem? You’re not quite sure which one to pick.

Hey, we know where you’re coming from on this. A confused mind tends to do nothing.

So, why don’t we see if we can create a little bit of clarity for you?

There are a few factors you should consider when shopping for a marimba VST plugins, which are as follows:

  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Let’s explore each.

Sound Quality

What’s top of mind for most producers, we gather, is sound quality. Basically, how organic, natural, or authentic does the marimba sound?

For the most part, virtual marimbas are very close to the real thing, so the rest comes down to personal preferences, as well as whether you need synth sublayers (more on this in the Features section), and so on.

My recommendation would be to watch the videos provided and to listen to each plugin. This should help with your selection process.

Features

Articulations, velocity layers, round-robins, synthesizer sublayers, sound design capabilities, patches, effects, and parameters will probably be the main criteria to explore when it comes to features.

You don’t always need more to get what you want, especially since you can process virtual instruments with your own effects chains, but built-in features can certainly save on CPU power.

If you know what features to shop for, you probably don’t require any more guidance. If you’re lost, then take your time, and do your homework. It’s worth the effort.

Budget

Ready to spend $20 to $260? Great, because that’s what a virtual marimba / marimba VST bundle is going to cost you.

The one thing to avoid is overspending. We advise against going into debt for virtual recording related purposes. Either spend within your budget or save up for essential purchases.

Top Marimba VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a marimba VST plugin, chances are you’re working on film scoring, video game music, or classical compositions. But no matter the project, you can’t go wrong with any of the above VST plugins. Just make sure of what each of them does, because not all are designed to offer capable, standalone marimba sounds.

Once you’ve settled on the ideal option, download it, install it, and start experimenting with it right away. Knowing how to use your plugins contributes greatly to your efficiency and workflow as a producer!

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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