Here’s a no brainer download for musicians. Native Instruments has released a free playback only version of their Sampler Kontakt with two free sample packs. The motivation is to get you into the NI world and buying new packs but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing the freebie. I always think sample based sounds cut through a mix a little better than pure computer based synthesizers and drums. If you do end up with a collection of Kontakt “Player libraries” you can browse them from inside the plug-in and each library has a cover image and scrolls in a rack ala Reason. Kontakt Player also will operate stand alone so if your somewhere sans sequencer and bored you set to go.
“Building on the success of its predecessor, the free KONTAKT PLAYER allows for innovative, highly playable instruments that leave existing technological and musical limitations behind. The virtually unlimited flexibility of Kontakt Script Processing allows for instruments with unprecedented functionality and musicality.” – Native Instruments