As far as popular instruments go, the humble accordion is not one that usually pops into mind. It is a box-shaped, free-reed aerophone instrument first developed by Friedrich Buschmann in 1822, and of which has been deeply associated with folk and (to some degree) classical music.
It’s not exactly favorable in the present-day music production stage, but I also wouldn’t be too surprised to see one. Even so, an accordion VST can add surprising flavor, and while they’re not exactly common, I think they have a place in the production world—especially in film scores. Besides, one can never have too many instruments at their disposal.
In this article, we will dive into some of my top choices. There are many options out there, some of which you just won’t like, so I did all the work in the hopes of presenting to you the best of the best. The following compiled list is of accordion VSTs and plugins that I have experienced and enjoyed.
But, first: what do you look for in a VST, exactly?
What to Look for in an Accordion VST
Obviously, I lean towards the products that, in my opinion, sound the best. I have abstained from listing those I don’t like the sound of.
Some of the accordions come in huge sample packs that include a lot of other organic instruments. Sometimes, it can be cheaper to purchase a bigger sample pack rather than having to get plugins that only have one or two instruments.
So now that we know what to look for—the list.
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The Best Accordion VSTs List
Alright guys, let's get to the list already!
Best Free Accordion VST
Akkordica is a pretty cool VST: it features an accordion, a harmonica, and a melodica. These are all very similar types of instruments that also sound similar.
Do you like melodicas? Read my informative post on my favorites here.
There’s an ADSR envelope generator that pairs well with this VST. You can really get in deep here, but the one thing I’m not a fan of is the overall sound.
It’s not my favorite. It has quality sound, but as it is a free download, you sacrifice a little bit in the audio department. If you’re in a pinch for money, this is a great option—it’s hard to beat that price.
A solid pick in general, especially for those on a budget. A lot of people recommend this plug-in, so it’s definitely worthy of at least checking out.
You can get it here.
The company did a thorough job on this one; they recorded all their samples in their recording studio, using different attacks and velocities and hence making the samples sound much more realistic.
It’s one of the more in-depth sample packs for the accordion out there, as it was specifically made for it. Kontakt works extremely well with this and recognizes it with chord mode. This allows you to play chords to a better capacity.
Check out my favorite bass guitar VSTs in this post here!
I believe that this plugin delivers top-notch, realistic sound. I think the sound is quite pleasing, and it’s by far the most convincing.
The Sonokinetic accordion is totally a great investment that's definitely worth the capital put into it.
You can get it here.
Eduardo Tarilonte’s Accordions 2
This is probably the biggest collection that I have found, with over 13 different accordions and 8,000 samples to pick from. Of course, with such a vast range, it is also understandably pricier.
The samples were recorded on a U47 microphone (which is a condenser mic, a dynamic microphone can also be used to record, especially when it comes to drum samples), one of the more expensive mics to record with. You will notice immediately that this is an extremely high-quality sample pack.
The library takes up 6.2 GB, which to me is a huge amount of space—not something I particularly love about this. You’ll need to have an updated DAW, with Pro Tools 10 being the minimum.
Extremely pleasing in the sound department. I would definitely say that I like it as much as the Sonokinetic product when it comes to sound.
Personally I do not have a ton of experience with the actual instrument but have used these types of VSTs with frequency. Overall, it's worth trying, to say the least.
You can get it here.
Can You Play the Accordion If You Know How to Play Piano?
The short answer: yes. But that doesn’t mean you are going to be good at it. In fact, the opposite may be true. This is an incredibly difficult instrument to learn, so don’t expect to be great right away!
The good thing is that with VSTs, it doesn’t matter if you know how to play.
There aren’t a whole lot of options, so I hope you were able to find something to your liking. If you’re not going to be using these a lot, I recommend just going with the free alternative. My goal here was to present you all with some quality information you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere, so I hope I have accomplished that to your satisfaction.
Do you have any experience with accordions? What are your favorite samples and VSTs? Let me know in the comment section below!