5 Ways to Bring More Sounds and Melodies to Your Musical Toolkit
1. Sound Packs / Drum kits
These are like a box of chocolates; you never know exactly whats in them, but you know it's gonna be sounds. Wether they're good or not depends on your taste and your source. Now when I think of packs, I know there's a FREE way and a NOT free way. My personal favorite source is reddit drum kits (Link Provided). There is what seems to be a never ending list of sound packs that are more than just drums all for free. Just be careful of what you are downloading just in case someone isn't too honest. My only negative is that some of the sounds like the 808s and other sounds come up in multiple packs but overall this is a good source. You can also subscribe to sources and buy packs, possibly even from one of your favorite producers, but that costs money and as a fellow producer, I know the value of having quality free sources when you can get them.
VSTs like Nexus, Sytrus, Massive, and plenty of other awesome instruments are amazing and all and bring so much to your sound especially ones like Massive that are sound design based. However, they can be very expensive. So if you are broke or don't want to break the law pirating them for free, you're going to have to settle for other free VSTs and Plugins. One great source to find them is producer blogs with lists telling you how good they are and saving you the time of running through a bunch of the same type trying to find the one that doesn't completely sound like a bad stock plug in. Here's one on e-pianos to get you started.
This is basically the sound pack work except it's all up to you and you have control of the sample rather than just being handed ones. BEWARE: Copyright is real and will come to get you so brush up on your laws and be careful using uncleared samples! The source can be literally anything. Door knocks, glass bottle whistles, your uncle's awful cough, and if you can legally do it, records and music online are great sources for you to chop up or fix to your needs to make your music great. And if you need help sampling with your DAW, Youtube has PLENTY of videos helping with many topics on almost all decently known DAWs. As long as you can mess with it and make it sound good and original ( and it's legal ) it's a go in my book.
4. Colab and Network
Possibly the least thought of option, working with others is a great way to develop your musicianship as well as your sound library. There have been a good amount of times People I've worked with as well as myself have put great work for others tracks for other people and I've gotten put on with many great sources and sounds from other producers I've met. Before I knew about producer blogs and good sources for kits, I was pretty much using solely stock sounds that did't sound all that great. Now I have plenty of sounds and options to play with when I make music. There's probably plenty of people out there that can help you make gold for your next project. It's just up to you to ask whether you network in person or over social media platforms like Instagram. Just remember that copyright is definitley a serious thoing and you are good to go!