Top 10 Piano VST Plugins in 2021
Written by: Eric “Realistic” Michael and SoundOracle
If you produce, compose, or song-write, a good piano collection is vital. No matter what genre you work in, the piano is an instrument that has stood the test of time & it’s an instrument that never sounds dated or has an expiration date on it. Because it’s such an important instrument in music production/composition, we decided to break down our all-time favorite piano VST plugins!
There should be no surprise here that Keyscape made our list. Keyscape comes from the same company that makes Omnisphere - Spectrasonics - & their high-quality beautiful sounds transfer over in this sound library. One of the things that makes this instrument so special is its custom control settings. Keyscape allows you to change the microphone positions, tone/color of the sound, & the effects like reverb, EQ, compression, & tremolo. The sounds in this library were brilliantly recorded & you’ll be able to hear subtle authentic tones like pedal & release sounds.
You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of space on your computer or an external hard drive for this library. There are over 500 keyboard sounds taking up almost 77GB of storage space! Just like Omnisphere, you can use the Guitar Center coupon on Keyscape when they have their sales.
This is a piano patch that is developed directly from Native-Instruments & it’s for Kontakt.
NI got together with a sample specialist & an impulse response expert to create this piano patch. To create it, they actually sampled Alicia Keys from her own playing in her own studio with her very own Yamaha C3 piano. The goal was to capture the tone & feel of Alicia Keys’ signature sound that has led her to multiple chart-topping hits. This Kontakt library did just that! Alicia’s Keys comes with 3,000 samples.
This patch will work in either the free version or the full version of Kontakt
This Kontakt piano library is perfect for drill & trap beats! If you’re looking for those edgy & sinister sounds that we hear in so many drill & trap productions then this is the library to go with! And it’s at a fairly low price too at just $49! It features 128 presets with a growing list that they update periodically.
Death piano will only work in the full version of Kontakt or if you download the FREE Plogue Sforzando player, you won’t have to buy the full version of Kontakt to use it!
Another Native-Instruments created piano patch - The Giant samples the world’s biggest upright piano. This piano patch has a strong low-end, gorgeous high, & rich overtones. Where this piano patch really shines is with darker & cinematic vibes. The Giant has 40 presets & will work in either the free Kontakt Player or The full version of Kontakt.
Another 3rd-party piano patch that was created to work in Kontakt, but at a very affordable price at just $69. Cinematic Studio Piano samples a Yamaha C7 grand piano recorded at a premiere scoring stage in Australia. While creating this, Cinematic Studios captured the full dynamics of the Yamaha C7 for accurate touch response & also captured the key & pedal noises for a realistic sound.
Cinematic Studio Piano will work in either the free version or the full version of Kontakt.
This piano collection for Arturia features 12 different piano models. Piano V features the usual suspects of sampled upright & grand pianos but also samples some more exotic pianos that are made from glass & metal. Not only are there several presets to choose from, but there are also a variety of knobs & sliders you can adjust & tweak such as reverbs, microphone positions, EQs, room setup, lid-position, & tuning. The mechanical noises such as key & pedal noises can also be tweaked & controlled.
The Addictive Keys Trio Bundle lets you select any three Addictive Keys pianos: a Steinway Model
D grand, Yamaha U3 upright, Yamaha CP-80 acoustic-electric, and Fender Rhodes Mark 1
electric, which you choose from the XLN website upon registration.
XLN selected world-class instruments, then recorded them from multiple vantage points with vintage tube mics in well-treated rooms. Addictive Keys lets you choose mics and blend them in.
This is a collection of pianos that will fit any production need & style!
A soft & gorgeous sounding piano, Emotional Piano features 41 Kontakt presets. Each sample was recorded with a full dynamic range for accurate touch response. Soundiron used a close mic placement when recording these samples for a full & rich sound. Some of the presets even
included arpeggiator options.
Emotional Piano will work in either the free version or the full version of Kontakt.
Una Corda is another piano patch brought to you by Native-Instruments. This patch library samples a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted upright piano. One of the things that makes the original Una Corda special is it features one string per key. This piano also allows you to choose the type of material between the hammer & the strings. You can choose “felt” for a gentler tone with reduced attack noise. Cotton for a noiser sound with percussive attack noises. The final option is just the hammer on the strings - which captures the pure, resonant noise of the piano.
Spitfire Audio has one of the most extensive & best-sounding piano collections on the market.
They have everything from soft & subtle to hard & intense sounding pianos. You’ll easily be able to choose lush & elegant tones, aggressive & sinister tones, as well as modest & rich tones when browsing through their library. The price isn’t too bad for each patch either at just an average of
$29 per patch with some of the more extensive collections being a few hundred dollars. Spitfire creates these sounds by bringing in some of the best composers, producers, & engineers to capture & sample these piano sounds.
Spitfire Audio Pianos will work in either the free version or the full version of Kontakt.
Realistic Production - Engineer
Realistic is a Producer/Engineer located in Atlanta, GA specializing in Hip-Hop, R&B & Pop music. Realistic has been involved in the music industry for over 15 years. He has worked on projects for Talib Kweli, Just Blaze, Musiq Soulchild, Pharoahe Monch, NBA 2k, Skyzoo, BJ The Chicago Kid, Madlib, Ayo-N-Keyz, Billboard Hitmakers, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Rhymesayers, Hamburger Helper, & LoveOfPharaoh.
CONNECT WITH REALISTIC
Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc. - https://fanlink.to/bwW5
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