What is the Best Piano VST?

If you’re looking for the best piano VST to use in your beats, This selection of Free and Paid Pianos will be more than enough for you to start experimenting and finding the right sound for your style.

The piano is so widely used in almost every genre of electronic music, that it has become more fundamental than ever to have a reliable plugin or set of plugins that you can use as your go-to, which both sounds like a real grand piano or upright piano, but also can easily be modulated for more experimental uses, such as applying effects for genres such as Drill, Trap, Hip-Hop or Lo-fi.

So without further ado, these are the top 17 piano VST plugins, that I have personally tried and tested.

Free Piano VSTs

LABS Soft Piano by Spitfire Audio

labs soft piano

This piano is, without doubt, one of my favourites for Lo-fi production, and has been for many years, to use it you must download the Free LABS VST which can host multiple instruments and download the Soft Piano patch from the Spitfire Audio Desktop App, from which you will also have access to multiple brilliant sound banks.

To build Soft Piano, Spitfire Audio recorded a real piano and placed a piece of felt between the hammer and strings, which is what gives the instrument its airy and silk-like tone.

Spindle – Orchestral Tools

spindle felt piano

Spindle is an incredible felt piano by Orchestral Tools, which you can download as part of their free subscription service SINEfactory which delivers fresh instruments straight to your inbox.

Spindle very similar to Soft Piano offers a dampened piano sound that works great for many genres such as Pop, but In my opinion, sounds especially great in Hip-Hop and Lo-fi beats.

This piano definitely falls into a similar realm as Soft Piano for its overall quality, which is generally something you don’t see often in most free instruments.

This upright piano samples a Rösler piano which is branded and founded by Gustav Rösler in 1878 and takes advantage of soft felt hammers, which are responsible for giving the instrument such a luxurious tone.

 The Grand DSK Piano by DSK Music

Grand DSK Piano

The Grand DSK Piano is a fairly decent piano, when you look at it in comparison to other free options, it is definitely the most useable, buried in a mix and with a few effects applied,  through doing this you can definitely improve the sound. 

The plugin features: 

  • 4 velocity layers, 4-6 samples/note
  • ADSR envelope control
  • Reverb fx included
  • Available for Windows and Mac (32 and 64 bits)

Piano One by Sound Magic

Piano One

Piano One by Sound Magic has been a popular free piano for many years for most producers, it replicated a Yamaha C7 Concert Grand Piano, which sounds great for pretty much any genre, but personally, for me, this is one of those pianos that you want to listen to on its own, simply because of how beautiful it sounds.

This piano used to be quite a heavy load on its user’s computers both in its storage needs and the CPU it consumed, but however, since a recent update, it is very lightweight and takes up almost no memory. 

The interface is simple to control and features standard controls such as:

  • Max Volume
  • Minimum Volume
  • Sustain
  • Release
  • Rel Vol
  • Rel Attack
  • Lid Position
  • Tune
  • Reverb
  • Reverb Type

Dead Duck Dpiano by Dead Duck Software

Dead Duck Dpiano

Dead Duck Dpiano is a free piano VST plugin that delivers a great user experience offering simple controls and a few fantastic-sounding electric pianos, a studio grand, and sounds that are great for dark trap and drill beats.

Each Preset is easily editable and the presets can be altered quite drastically and still sound great. 

Despite being relatively unknown this plugin is a great option for any producer.

Dpiano is available in a bundle which you can download here from KVR Audio.

 4Front Piano by Yohng.com

What is the Best Piano VST? 2

4Front Piano is simple at its finest, being only a single sound instrument, it has no settings and is limited in any kind of customizable functionality. 

It’s one of the finest reproductions of an upright piano, that I have ever heard, which I would compare to playing in a very homely environment, which I think makes it another great option for Lo-fi production.

The Instrument barely uses any CPU or memory, which makes it a great option as a plug-and-play instrument.

Iowa Piano by Bigcat Instruments

Iowa Piano

Iowa Piano is another relatively simple option, meaning that it has limited editing options but does at least have simple controls unlike 4Front Piano, these include:

  • Volume
  • Pan
  • Attack
  • Decay
  • Sustain
  • Release

The Iowa Piano is a Steinway Grand which utilizes free samples from the University of Iowa, which features 3 velocity levels and sounds great used in most genres.

Salamander Piano by bigcat Instruments

Salamander Piano

The Salamander Piano VST is a simple VST but has a great sound overall, and is rated 4 out of 5 stars on plugins4free.com. 

Personally, I have not used this piano in any of my own beats but I have used it in cover versions of rock and pop songs, so if you’re looking to add something to your music production toolset that can cross into modern genres this piano would be a great option for you to use.

The Salamander Piano samples a Yamaha C5 Grand Piano, in 16 velocity layers by Alexander HolmFee.

Top 9 Paid Piano VSTs

Spectrasonics Keyscape

spectrasonics keyscape

Keyscape is perhaps one of the most popular piano VST plugins of all time, which is down to its sheer sound quality, diversity and enormous sound selection.

Not only does Keyscape feature Pianos, but also features nearly 77 GB of classic keyboard sounds on its “Full” version and 30 GB with its “Lite” version.

These piano and keyboard instruments are not only great for production, but often Keyscape is used as a live instrument in bands and is also a favourite for most session pianists.

Included in this massive collection of Pianos are: 

  • a Yamaha C7 Grand
  • a Wing upright piano
  • a Wing Track piano
  • Toy Pianos
  • Electric Pianos and much more.

What are the PC requirements of Keyscape?

Keyscape is of course a massive instrument, that can use up a lot of your computers resources, so there for optimal performance, your computer should meet these requirements at a minimum: 

  • Have at least 8 GB of RAM installed
  • Feature a 2.2GHz Intel dual-core processor 

Keyscape Demo

Where to buy Keyscape?
Best Sound
1
andertons

Andertons

£279
Available from Andertons.co.uk
100%

Addictive Keys by XLN Audio

addicitive keys

Addictive Keys was one of the first VST instruments that I ever spent a substantial amount of money on when I was in college, and it certainly left an impression on me so much so that I have stuck with the instrument series for over 10 years.

This instrument samples two pianos a Studio Grand and a Modern Upright and with its highest package “complete”, you can also access 2 other electric pianos. 

One of the great things about Addictive Keys is that it gives you the ability to switch microphone placements which helps to fine-tune the overall tone of the instrument, which can have a great effect on the sound of the piano in the overall mix of any song you use it in.

What are the PC requirements to run Addictive Keys?

  • At least 2 GB RAM, but up to 4 GB or more is recommended
  • Approximately 700 MB of free storage space
  • High-speed Internet connection is required during the installation process

Addictive Keys Demo

Where can I Addictive Keys?
plugin boutique

Plugin Boutique

£77
Available from pluginboutique.com
100%

Alicia’s Keys by Native Instruments

Alicias Keys

Alicia’s Keys has also been a popular Piano VST for many years, just like many of the pianos on this list, the main reason being is that it was developed in collaboration with Alicia Keys herself and samples her own Yamaha C3 Neo Grand.

Being a huge fan of her music, When it was first announced I was very happy to hear that it had been released but at the time I simply couldn’t afford to buy it.

Once I did, I was amazed this it sounded just like the piano from hits like “Girl on Fire” and “If I Ain’t Got You”.

The VST is huge, so if you don’t have much storage space, get ready to clear some.

Here’s what you’ll find:

  • 6.9 GB download size
  • 17 GB of uncompressed piano samples (3,000 Individual Samples)
  • 12 velocity layers per key
  • works with both Free Kontakt Player and full Kontakt

Alicia’s Keys Demo

Where can I buy Alicia’s Keys?
What is the Best Piano VST?

Native Instruments

£89
Available on native-instruments.com
100%

Piano V by Arturia 

piano V

Piano V is a particularly interesting piano vst as it samples many production-worthy pianos including a German Concert Grand to Glass Framed designs which makes it one of the most interesting and uncontemporary pianos on this list.

Much like Keyscape, Piano V is a popular choice for live performance as well as production. 

One of my favourite aspects of Piano V is the instant customization, which can be easily tweaked by using its onboard GUI, you can instantly add deeper harmonics, a wider range and more impact to the sound of the piano with just a few small adjustments.

Another exciting feature is the versatility and sound of its 14 onboard convolution reverb effects, which allows to instantly place the piano in a variety of rooms such as: 

  • Acoustic Concert Hall
  • Small Studio
  • Large Studio and much more

Piano V Demo

Where can I buy Piano V?
plugin boutique

Plugin Boutique

£213.95
Available on pluginboutique.com
100%

Ravel Grand Piano by Universal Audio

Ravel

Ravel Grand Piano is an emotional piano plugin brought to you by Universal Audio which models a Steinway Model B, regarded as one of the most organic and responsive pianos, this virtual instrument is suitable for pretty much all genres but shines especially in modern music productions such as pop and rock, R&B to Hip Hop or Lo-fi.

The piano this VST emulates one of the most recorded studio pianos on Earth, and is one of the most popular models used in classical music.

Ravel utilizes a one-of-a-kind recording technique called UltraResonance technology, By utilizing proprietary modelling and sampling techniques, UA’s exclusive UltraResonance technology meticulously reproduces these intricate interactions, providing you with an ethereal and evolving range of harmonics that seamlessly blend notes together. From delicate muted tones to gentle and plush nuances, UltraResonance™ sets a new standard in resonance and realism.

You can also adjust the microphone position, which changes the tone of the studio grand drastically. 

Ravel Grand Piano Demo

Where can I buy Ravel Grand Piano?
plugin boutique

Plugin Boutique

£99
Available on pluginboutique.com
100%

Ivory II Grand Pianos by Synthogy

Ivory II Grand Pianos

Ivory II Grand Pianos is an award-winning, world-class piano VST that features a groundbreaking technology called Sympathetic String Resonance which accentuates the characteristics of a real piano.

Synthogy’s groundbreaking Harmonic Resonance Modeling technology unlocks the elusive characteristic of sympathetic string excitation in real pianos without additional samples or sine waves. It brings an unprecedented level of realism by evoking genuine overtones when harmonically related notes are struck, akin to undamped strings in an acoustic piano.

Ivory II responds to customer demands by incorporating highly sought-after features like Half Pedaling, Lid Position, Pedal Noise, and Tuning Tables, offering enhanced control and detail to piano performances. Moreover, it introduces innovative tools such as Timbre Shifting, Parametric EQ, and Synth Layer controls, allowing users to sculpt and customize piano sounds with exceptional creativity. These additions elevate the piano-playing experience, providing musicians and composers with a comprehensive and professional set of features.

Ivory II Grand Pianos in my experience is a great piano for classical arrangements and like many of the others on this list is great for both live and studio use.

Ivory II Grand Pianos Demo

Where can I buy Ivory II Grand Pianos?
gear4music

Gear4music

£205
Available from gear4music.com
100%

Garritan CFX Concert Grand 

Garritan CFX Concert Grand 

The Garritan CFX Concert Grand by Garritan is made in collaboration with Abbey Road Studio, and is one of the largest concert pianos on this list, clocking in at 122GB (full installation) or 24.5GB as a compact installation. 

Modelling one of the most popular pianos in the world the Yamaha CFX concert grand and recorded in the legendary Abbey Road Studios using Neuman, AKG, Schoeps, and DPA microphones, which resulted in the highest grade quality samples.

 Using the Garritan CFX user interface, you can select from pre-configured microphone placements as well as alter to shape your sound to how you want.

You can choose between Microphone Configurations such as Classic, Contemporary or Player, let’s take a quick look at what those are: 

  • Classic – this configuration sounds like you’re in a concert hall
  • Contemporary – this configuration sounds ideal for a pop track
  • Player – this configuration gives you a lot of sonic perspectives and makes you feel like the piano is right there in the room with you. 

Packed with 20 velocity layers, so on a MIDI scale of 128 steps, you can hear a new sample every 6 to 7 velocity steps.

Garritan CFX Concert Grand Demo

Where can I buy Garritan CFX Concert Grand?
thomann

Thomann

£190
Available on thomann.de
100%

Plucked Piano by Loot Audio 

plucked piano

Sampled from a 1960s Danemann Piano, the PSI Plucked Piano is a 1.5GB 88-key Multisampled Instrument for Kontakt 5 and above.

This piano is great for adding texture to your music production and sounds great in most pop/rock song, but has also been known to sound great when flipped and reversed, and by adding some extra plugins such as Halftime, this piano can also sound great in drill and trap music.

Plucked Piano features 783 samples created in 3 Mic positions.

  • Ribbon (Coles 4038 pair)
  • 414 (AKG 414 BULS)
  • ROOM (Neumann KM184)

Recorded at 3 velocity levels and then phased aligned to create a smooth and dynamic response.

The interesting thing about this plugin is that the samples were recorded in an old 1600sq foot cinema auditorium, which resulted in sounds with amazing acoustics.

Plucked Piano Demo

Where can I buy Plucked Piano?
plugin boutique

Plugin Boutique

£24
Available on pluginboutique.com
100%

Felt Piano by Capsule Audio

felt piano

Labelled as ideal for “cinematic scoring” this piano definitely serves its audience well, but personally, I believe it’s an instrument that sounds amazing in more jazz-orientated genres such as Lo-fi for its soft introspective melodies.

Felt Piano is one of my favourites in comparison to every other virtual piano on this list, both for its simplicity and tone.

This piano was recorded in the same way as  LABS Soft Piano by recording the instrument with a sheet of soft felt placed between the hammers and the strings.

Capsule Audio has also introduced hybrid patches, combining piano sounds with other unique instruments to diversify the available timbres. They also explored creative ways to manipulate the piano, placing objects between the strings to create expressive hits, textures, and effects through striking, scraping, and plucking. The result is a rich and captivating audio experience that expands the possibilities of musical expression.

Felt Piano Demo

Where can I buy Felt Piano?
plugin boutique

Plugin Boutique

£24.95
Available on pluginboutique.com
100%

As a musician or instrumentalist, you deserve the best instruments for creating magic with your art and skill. Find the best Piano VST and start your music journey effortlessly. You can also find high-quality, superior-grade cello instruments for sale at the most affordable prices. Visit the site to learn and find out more.

George Matthews
George Matthews

With 17 Years music production experience, George Matthews is the CEO of Your Local Musician, he also makes music under the name Grimmm and releases Lo-fi music.

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