I've been looking around for quite a while, and can't decide what to go with. anyone know any free plugins that offer great selection and/or quality? looking mostly for guitars, pianos, bells, brass, and woodwind. Thanks in advance!
I am sorry to dissapoint you but thing you need is not existing, as far as I know. I was in the search for the same, and really there is nothing combinig all you mentioned in one. You may find some free vsti which can emulate one instrument in mediocre way, but you will have to go for commercial instrument you have to pay. If someone finds something free like this, please let us know
The real synths using oscilators/subractive(or other) synthesis like synth1 can never make realistic sound you require for the instruments you mentioned you need. You will have to go for a rompler synth or sampler.
Now considering the plugins you must pay...even here the choice is limited, specially if you do not want samplers like Kontakt. I can recommend one very good rompler synth covering all sounds you need and much more, it is Air Xpand!2, you can find it on plugin sales sites for good discount. It was a really nice discovery for me as the market is flooded with physical rompler all-around synths but vsti world is very poor for this one. Hope this helps. I hope I did not break any rule by mentioning commercial products here.