Best piano VST plugins

Best piano VST

The piano is versatile and rich in sound, ideally combined with a variety of instruments and suitable for all musical genres, helping to solve various musical problems. However, given the size of modern apartments, owning a real piano or grand piano is often impossible. This is where digital and VST versions of these instruments come in handy, saving space, being easy to move and offering quality sound comparable to real instruments.

1. 8dio The New 1928 Steinway Piano

8dio The New 1928 Steinway Piano


Price: $199

8dio The New 1928 Steinway Piano is a digital library containing sound samples of a Steinway grand piano manufactured in 1928. This library offers two sets of microphones and the ability to select your listening position. The creators claim that the instrument is ideal for creating soundtracks and popular music.
The library provides up to six Velocity levels for each note and includes a unique feature that combines sustain and staccato sounds for enhanced realism. Musicians can choose between patches with or without dynamic layers, allowing them to achieve both natural and more electronic sounds.
The total number of samples in The New 1928 Steinway Piano exceeds 11,000, including both the instrument’s main tone and individual samples created using eight different Neumann virtual microphones. Unique listening samples from both the performer and viewer perspective are also available.
Users can customize pedal behavior and volume, as well as adjust reverb and note dynamics. In addition, the library has a “Piano Morph” function, which allows you to mix the sound of a piano with a marimba, guitar, Rhodes piano and other instruments.
While The New 1928 Steinway Piano doesn’t offer as much functionality as some other high-end VST pianos, its simplicity and quality make it an attractive choice. For those looking for a high-quality VST piano and prefer to avoid Native Instruments products, 8dio offers a great option.

2. Arturia Piano V2

Arturia Piano V2

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: €259

The Arturia Piano V2 VST plugin simulates the sound of 12 keyboard instruments without using samples (we have already encountered similar developments in our selection of the best VST basses, acoustic and electric guitars). French developers note that this approach limited them in the number of instruments available to users, but made it possible to customize many parameters for the sound of virtual keyboards. In addition, Piano V2 takes the load off your computer’s hard drive (no need to access samples frequently) by synthesizing sound using the computer’s processor.
Users are offered several dozen presets to choose from, among which, in addition to the standard piano sound, it is worth noting a preset for pianos with an all-metal or glass body. In each preset, the user can control the positioning and volume of 4 microphones, room features, string tension, tuning and dynamic range of the instrument. The amount of pedal, hammer and keyboard noise and the resonance of the piano lid can also be adjusted. You can process the sound of a piano in the built-in effects section, which includes reverb, delay, equalizer and compressor.
Arturia Piano V2 is a very flexible solution that is suitable for any style of modern popular music. We would not use the plugin in classical and orchestral music – in our opinion, virtual keys lack the richness of sound. In any case, Piano V2 is one of the best solutions on the market for piano virtualization, which is convenient to work with both in the studio and during rehearsals and live performances.

3. Galaxy Instruments Galaxy II (Best Service Galaxy II)

Galaxy Instruments Galaxy II

Format: VST/AU

Price: €259

One of the highest quality and renowned libraries on the market, Galaxy Instruments Galaxy II includes three instruments:

  1. Vienna Grand – samples of a 96-key Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano;
  2. 1929 German Baby Grand – samples of a vintage German Blüthner instrument;
  3. Galaxy Steinway – high-quality samples of a Steinway Model D grand piano with support for multi-channel audio output.

Virtual instruments are distinguished by a bright and natural sound, offering up to 13 samples per note, the presence of damper and string sounds, samples of playing with full and partial pedaling, as well as una cordo samples. Each of the three virtual grand pianos features Sostenuto mode, which plays sounds at the same volume, and a rich effects section consisting of a tone and dynamics control, compressor, equalizer, reverb and volume control. The libraries are distinguished by their versatility and ease of use, and have proven themselves well among musicians. It is quite possible that, on the advice of friends, you will start and end your search for a suitable VST piano with the Galaxy Instruments Galaxy II.

4. Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand

Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand


Price: $199,95

The sound source for this library was a Yamaha CFX Grand grand piano, which the developers from Garritan recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studio. The resulting product is distinguished by high sound quality and a rich set of samples: regular and pedal playing, various effects and overtones, etc. The total volume of the library is 133 GB, so the developers recommend storing it on a separate SSD drive for greater operational efficiency.
The main feature is the ability to fine-tune the positioning of microphones. The user has three options to choose from – Classic, Contemporary and Player. Each option differs not only in the models of recording devices, but also in their location in the studio. In addition to this, the user can configure how he will hear the instrument – from the position of the listener or from the position of the musician. The Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand also features an effects section consisting of EQ, reverb, saturation and delay, and 32 presets for different styles of music.
The sound of the virtual instrument is rich, realistic and warm. A large number of settings make the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand a universal instrument that will delight even the most experienced pianists with its sound and will fit into any style of music. Looking for the best VST pianos? Don’t miss the productive CFX Concert Grand.

5. Imperfect Samples Steinway Grand Piano

Imperfect Samples Steinway Grand Piano


Price: от $65

The central feature of the Imperfect Samples Steinway Grand Piano virtual instrument is the use of sound samples from the Steinway Walnut Concert Grand, released in 1908. The instrument provides the user with an extensive library of over 54 GB of sounds, including four microphone placement options and adjustment of the resonance of the instrument elements. Additionally, specialized engines are provided to simulate the playing style of a virtual pianist and the characteristics of the instrument.
Imperfect Samples offers the Steinway Grand Piano in four different versions: Basic, Pro, Complete, and Extreme, which vary in price, number of mic setup options, and number of samples per note. For example, Basic includes one mic placement and 8 samples per note, while Extreme offers four mic placements and up to 100 samples per note for an exceptionally natural sound.
The developers emphasize that each version effectively simulates realistic key behavior when playing staccato and rests, thanks to TrueStaccato™ and TrueCrotchet™ technologies. In addition, the library includes samples for playing with a half-pedal and has a deep, rich sound.
Having different versions of the library is an advantage because it allows musicians with different needs and budgets to choose the right option. However, to get the full capabilities of the virtual instrument, you will need to invest in the Extreme version, which costs $299. Either way, Imperfect Samples Steinway Grand Piano is considered one of the best virtual pianos on the market.

6. Moddart Pianoteq 6

Moddart Pianoteq 6

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: от €99

Unlike many other sample-based VST libraries, Moddart Pianoteq 6 is a piano-sounding synthesizer similar to the IK Multimedia MODO BASS and AAS GS-2 for basses and guitars. This design approach allows Pianoteq 6 to remain compact in size (approximately 50 MB), despite the high sound quality recognized by the experts at Steinway.
The plugin includes four types of instruments: piano, electric piano, dulcimer (dulcimer) and harpsichord, covering more than 8 octaves (105 keys). The integrated effects section provides users with chorus, flanger, reverb, tremolo, wah-wah and amp emulation to process the sound of each virtual instrument.
Pianoteq 6 is capable of reproducing a variety of aspects of keyboard playing, including pedaling, half-pedaling, hammer noises, dampers, pedal noises, string resonance, una corda technique and much more. Users can adjust the tone, adjust overtones, change virtual microphone positions and mix them with the built-in mixer, and fine-tune the sound. The built-in editor allows you to create keyboard parts with the ability to export to WAV, MP3 and FLAC.
Despite its compact size and high sound quality, Pianoteq 6 does not require significant computer resources and works perfectly on systems with ARM processors or Raspberry Pi. All this makes the Moddart Pianoteq 6 one of the best VST pianos on the market.

7. Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys

Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys

Format: NKI

Price: $99

Developed with engineers Ernest Holakis, Thomas Scarbee (of NI Scarbee Bass fame) and Anne Minceli, who works closely with Alicia Keys, Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys is a unique VST piano. American singer and pianist Alicia Keys not only gave her name to this product, but also personally took part in recording the samples.
A central feature of the library is the sound of Alicia Keys’s 2002 88-key Yamaha C3 Neo grand piano. This instrument features a warm sound reminiscent of 1970s soul music. The developers paid special attention to the recording so that the samples reflect not only the clean sound, but also the resonance of the body and strings.
Native Instruments’ Alicia’s Keys collection features nearly 3,000 samples (7 GB compressed, 17 GB uncompressed), including pedaled and regular key sounds. The library also contains a variety of sounds, including mechanical noises, pedal sounds, and noises created by the pianist’s hands on each of the 88 keys.
Although it has a unique, slightly old-fashioned sound that may not be suitable for all studio applications, NI Alicia’s Keys is dependent on the musician’s preferences and needs. However, as an everyday tool and workhorse, this library is an excellent choice.

8. Native Instruments The Giant

Native Instruments The Giant

Format: NKI

Price: $99

The Giant, a library from Native Instruments, is a collection of samples of the enormous Klavins Piano Model 370i. This sound is ideal for a variety of genres including pop, rock, nu-jazz, ballads and soundtracks. The developers characterize the timbre of the instrument as deep and cinematic, with pronounced low frequencies, bright highs, rich timbre and a wide sound spectrum.
The Giant strives to provide musicians with creative opportunities to create unique piano sounds. Users can modify the original piano sound by adding or removing resonance, overtones, noise, and adjust the ratio of raw to processed signal. The Color and XXL controls let you enhance sustain and character, while Anatomy controls adjust the physical aspects of the piano, including dynamics, tone, tuning, noise, and stereo imaging.
This piano VST includes two NKI files representing two different keyboard instruments with unique GUIs, sound samples, and settings: The Giant and The Giant Cinematic. In total, the nearly 4 GB library contains both raw and pedaled piano sounds, as well as a variety of playing techniques and techniques, including scratches and hits. The Giant is equipped with 40 presets, an effects section (EQs, limiter, filters, envelopes, reverb), as well as a separate Noises FX sound engine for simulating noise from pedals, strings, keys and fingers during playing.

9. Native Instruments The Grandeur

Native Instruments The Grandeur

Format: NKI

Price: $99

Native Instruments The Grandeur is a multifunctional instrument ideal for use in home studios. This virtual piano is a collaboration between Native Instruments and Uli Baronowski of Galaxy Instruments, known for his contributions to the high-quality Galaxy II library.
Consisting of over 2,500 samples (approximately 5.2 GB) and featuring 18 Velocity levels, The Grandeur is said to deliver a high level of realism. With flexible library settings, users can control the functions of pedals, dampers, strings and hammers, as well as fine-tune body resonance. The “Color”, “Dynamic” and “Lid” controls allow you to change the timbre, dynamic range and brightness of the instrument’s sound.
The library stands out for its bright, high-quality sound, making it ideal for home studios specializing in classical, pop and jazz music. With the right setup, The Grandeur can be used in any genre of music. Its affordable price makes this instrument one of the best VST piano options on the market in terms of value for money.

10. Orchestral Tools THE Orchestral Grands

Orchestral Tools THE Orchestral Grands

Format: NKI

Price: €125

This virtual library includes sound samples from two outstanding grand pianos, the Steinway Model B and Steinway Model D. THE Orchestral Grands are designed specifically for use in classical and orchestral music compositions. The recording was made in the famous Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin, thanks to which the developers were able to not only accurately recreate the sound of these instruments, but also capture the unique acoustic characteristics of the room.
The instrument delivers lifelike performances with high-quality sustain, separate staccato samples, and four dynamic levels. To harmoniously fit the library’s sound into various orchestral compositions, the creators included in THE Orchestral Grands the option to select the location of microphones in the hall. Users can choose from different combinations of Neumann M50 microphones positioned at different distances from the instrument—from far positions that capture the sound of the entire room to close positions that focus on the instrument.

11. Soniccouture The Hammersmith

Format: NKI

Price: $239

Soniccouture The Hammersmith is a highly detailed virtual piano whose sounds were recorded in Mark Knopfler’s personal studio, British Grove Studios in London. This instrument provides users with realistic sound reproduction with an extensive sample library, including unique samples for each key when using pedals, and 21 levels of Velocity for precise control of expression. The developers emphasize high sustain accuracy with specialized samples for playing with or without pedals.
Users can fine-tune the sound of the instrument using microtuning, tone selection, pedal softness, and damper and room sounds. Soniccouture The Hammersmith also offers customization of different microphone models and their positions around the piano. The developers recorded separate samples for each microphone configuration, and the program’s built-in mixer allows you to control individual stereo microphone channels. Audio from these channels can be mixed and processed using built-in effects including a compressor, 4-band EQ/filter, reverb and stereo field expander.
The Hammersmith is available in two versions: Standard and Pro. The Hammersmith Standard includes over 10,000 samples totaling approximately 19GB and two stereo mic channels with Neumann M49 and Neumann M50 Decca Tree microphones. The Pro version offers over 30,000 samples in 52GB and six microphone models, including Neumann M49, KM133D, Schoeps MK4, AKG D19, Neumann M50 Decca Tree and Neumann KU100 Head. Both versions also include a library of musical scales and modes with the ability to create custom scales.
With its rich and rich sound, The Hammersmith’s Soniccouture library is rightfully considered one of the best piano VSTs on the market.

12. Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics Keyscape


Price: $399

Spectrasonics Keyscape is an extensive virtual keyboard library with over 80GB of samples. It features 36 different instruments, including a Yamaha C7 Grand Piano, a historic 1900 Wing Upright Piano, several Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, as well as unique instruments such as the Dolceola Autoharp, Celesta and Hohner Pianet, among others.
For more than 10 years working on the library, the Spectrasonics team explored the world in search of unique instruments, recorded samples and developed the powerful STEAM Engine to bring their ideas to life. The result is a collection of 629 patches, including both traditional and rare, collectible instruments that feature realism. The team not only recorded the sounds of the instruments, but also virtually recreated all the elements that influence their sound, including amplifiers, dampers and effects.
The library offers a variety of keyboard sounds, from clean to processed, overtone samples, mechanical and pedal noise samples, as well as individual samples for playing with the pedals held down. To avoid repetition and unrealism, there are up to 32 different samples for each note.
In total, the library contains 629 patches, each of which can be configured in a special Custom Controls section. This section allows you to control microphones and pickups, change the timbre, adjust sound production and apply various effects. Spectrasonics Keyscape also features a “Duo” function that allows you to combine the sounds of two instruments simultaneously.
The main disadvantage of Spectrasonics Keyscape is its high system requirements: for comfortable operation you need an SSD drive, a Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM. However, Keyscape is a comprehensive solution that offers a wide range of options for composers and arrangers of all musical styles. If you’re looking for a high-quality, versatile VST piano, the Keyscape deserves a special look.

13. Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: $349

Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos is Synthogy’s flagship product, distinguished by its realistic sound. This grand piano VST includes a 77GB library containing samples of three prestigious grand pianos: the Bösendorfer 290 Imperial Grand with an additional lower octave, the Steinway D Concert Grand and the Yamaha C7 Grand, each with 18 velocity layers for each sound. In addition to standard samples, the library includes samples of playing with the pedals clamped and half-clamped, overtones, pedal noises and sounds that occur when the keys are released.
The developers equipped the Ivory II Grand Pianos with Harmonic Resonance Modeling and Sympathetic String Resonance technologies, which helps to accurately reproduce the resonance of the body and strings of grand pianos. The additional Sustain Resonance DSP engine realistically simulates the operation of dampers.
The plugin settings section allows you to control the timbre and stereo image of the instrument, adjust the tuning of grand pianos and adjust the perception of Velocity. In addition, the Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos features a built-in effects unit including EQ, chorus, reverb and other processing. Users can also use presets and create their own.
Despite the high-quality sound and various functions, this tool does not require significant computer resources – just a dual-core processor with a frequency of 1.8 GHz and 1.5 GB of RAM. Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos is ideal for those looking for a quality VST piano with realistic sound and moderate system requirements.

14. Toontrack EZkeys

Toontrack EZkeys

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: €139

Toontrack EZkeys VST piano is built on similar principles as the famous virtual drummer Toontrack EZdrummer, which we mentioned in our review of the best VST drum libraries. The main features of the plugin are its versatility and ease of use, making it an ideal option for musicians who have not yet mastered playing keyboards. EZkeys offers not only the sounds of classic pianos and grand pianos, but also emulations of various electric pianos, Mellotrons and other keyboards.
The virtual pianist comes with an extensive library of MIDI patterns, chords and rhythm patterns, which makes it easy to create keyboard parts in any musical genre, be it jazz, rock, pop, funk, classical, blues, R&B and others. Developers see EZkeys not just as a VST piano, but as a multifunctional instrument for composing music.
Although the Toontrack EZkeys sound less rich than more expensive alternatives, this instrument is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced players due to its flexibility and wide-ranging capabilities. An additional advantage is the constantly updated library of sounds and MIDI parts, covering a variety of genres. All this makes the Toontrack EZkeys one of the best VST pianos available on the market.

15. VI Labs Audio Ravenscroft 275

VI Labs Audio Ravenscroft 275

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: $199

VI Labs Audio, in collaboration with Ravenscroft engineers, recorded 17,000 samples of the Ravenscroft Model 275 concert grand piano. The instrument, occupying only 6 GB, includes a variety of playing samples: with the pedal pressed, half-clamped and released, staccato, una corda, as well as key sounds and pedals and Muted Strikes for muted string sounds.
Users have the ability to adjust the sound of four microphones placed at different points in virtual space, adjust the resonance of pedals, and change the timbre, tuning and volume of the sound of grand pianos. The instrument only has a reverb control as an effect.
The VST tool stands out for its efficient use of computer resources. The sound of the library is characterized as smooth and neutral, without artificial embellishments, which is largely the merit of the original instrument itself, and not the developers. The famous Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who was recently spotted at NAMM 2018, took part in promoting the library.

16. UVI Grand Piano Collection

UVI Grand Piano Collection

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: $129

Make a unique rewrite of the following text: 17,000 samples of the Ravenscroft Model 275 concert grand piano, recorded by VI Labs Audio in collaboration with Ravenscroft engineers. Despite its small size of 6 GB, the instrument offers separate samples of playing with the pedal clamped, half-clamped and not clamped, staccato and una corda samples, overtones of keys and pedals, as well as Muted Strikes samples, which represent the muted sound of the instrument’s strings.
The user can adjust the sound of four microphones installed in different parts of the virtual room, adjust the resonance of the pedals, as well as the timbre, tuning and volume of the sound of the pianos. There is no effects section, except for the reverb control.
The VST instrument is distinguished by its efficient use of computer resources, and the sound of the library can be called smooth and neutral, without any embellishment (although this is more the merit of the original instrument, rather than the developers). Jordan Rudess, Dream Theater keyboardist, whom we recently saw in photographs from the NAMM 2018 exhibition, also participated in promoting the library.

17. XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand

XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand

Format: VST/AU/AAX

Price: $79,95

XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand, a VST piano sampled from a Steinway Model D concert grand piano, is the result of the work of the developers at XLN Audio, who previously created the popular Addictive Drums library. This famous grand piano, prized by pianists around the world for its rich and rich sound, has been recreated in a virtual version. Studio Grand is great for many popular music styles and delivers realistic and natural sound.
The library comes with 30 piano tuning options and many ready-made presets. It supports MIDI events, automation functions and modulation wheel operation. Users can change microphone models (including three stereo pairs and two mono units) and their placement relative to the virtual piano. Each microphone has its own channel and effects processor, allowing you to independently adjust the sound, including EQ, compressor, tremolo, filters, phaser, chorus and other processing. Microphone FX channels allow you to create complex or unusual sound effects. Sustain, softness and pedal operation settings are also available.
Despite its quality sound, the XLN Audio Addictive Keys Studio Grand plugin is more suited to modern popular music and may not be an ideal choice for complex piano tasks. However, as an everyday work tool, Addictive Keys can be an excellent choice for musicians.

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