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Best Piano VST Plugins Sampled From Real Instruments

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The piano is a staple instrument in just about every genre of music, but access to a high-end set of keys can be prohibitively expensive and difficult for many producers to justify. Fortunately, there is a solution: Virtual Studio Technology (VST) instruments.

The Best Piano VST Plugins Highlighted

Virtual instruments provide several advantages over their analog counterparts – they’re more cost-effective, almost infinitely tweakable, and capable of accurately reproducing the sound of more than a few classic pianos you’ve heard on your favorite records. Plus, VSTs are literally weightless (if you have ever had to bring an 88 key piano to a recording session, you’ll know why this is important). 

Table Of Contents

So which VSTs should you consider for your next project? We did the legwork for you and broke down some of the best choices available today.

What To Look For When Choosing a Piano VST

For the purposes of this list, we have focused mostly on high-quality sampled instruments that recreate the sound of classic acoustic pianos. We did throw in one solid option for those producers who need an electric piano quick fix because you shouldn’t overlook the importance of a little variety in your projects. We have also kept the following in mind:

Pricing

VSTs can vary greatly in price, from free to wildly expensive. In general, you get what you pay for, and many of the free options have limited functionality (and therefore limited practicality). At the other end of the spectrum, some VSTs are bundled together into comprehensive suites that represent the cream of the crop. 

We have focused our selections on options that provide value for your money and included a few options from across the board. Additionally, discounts and sales on VSTs are common across all outlets, so always be on the lookout for a good deal!

Compatibility – System Requirements

Simply put – nobody needs a VST that does not work on their equipment, so we’ve made sure that our selections operate on both Mac OS and Windows systems. Be sure to check your computer’s specs against the system requirements to ensure optimal performances.

DAW Compatibility

Most VSTs are plug-ins meant to be used with a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), so you’ll need to make sure any VST that you’re using is compatible with your DAW. 

Nearly all the VSTs available from Splice and Waves are compatible with FL Studio, ProTools, Reaper, Logic, Ableton, Cubase, and more. It’s imperative that you double-check your DAW’s compatibility with any VST you intend to use. 

If you’d like more information on DAWs, please see our article on recording software. Our list also includes a few options that can be used as standalone applications for those times when you’re in a hurry to make music!

Versatility

Some VSTs are going to be highly application-specific and you’ll find them mostly taking up space on your hard drive. Sometimes, that’s just what you need. 

Most of the time though, you’re going to want a workhorse that you can rely on for multiple projects, so we’ve focused this list to include some of the most widely usable options.

AMP Features & Tone

Although the methods employed to create them may vary, every piano VST tends to lean toward one flavor or another. Some consist of sound samples from specific pianos, some are modeled after the sounds found on classic recordings. Do you need the sound of a vintage 1930’s upright, or something with tweakable key-bed sensitivity? 

Choosing the right one for you means understanding what you want from it and what it’s capable of doing. In general, acoustic piano VSTs will give you the option to vary the simulated mic placement to achieve different tones, while electric piano VSTs will give you tremolo and reverb options.

Skill Level

Some VSTs are intended to be user-friendly, plug-and-play options for capturing inspiration quickly. For those who like to spend a little time under the hood, there are other options that provide almost infinite tweak-ability. 

We’ve broken down the usability by learning curve for your convenience, but don’t be afraid to learn something new – even VST veterans had to start somewhere.

7 Best piano VST Software Today

Now that you know what to look for, here are some of the best virtual keys ivories you can get your hands on:

1. Grand Rhapsody Piano

Grand Rhapsody Piano

A single-instrument VST that focuses on the specific sound of a Fazioli F228. High-end sampling with easy usability.

This plugins sound originates from the Fazioli F228, previously owned by Freddy Mercury, at the prestigious Metropolis Studios in London.

This VST can be used as a plugin or as a standalone application, sacrificing variety in sound for increased usability.

  • Who’s it for? Classical, Pop, and Jazz producers of all skill levels.
  • Tone: A hyper-accurate recreation of the Fazioli F228 paired with studio room-sounds for resonant grand piano tones.
  • Price: $79
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for FL Studio.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Windows 10 64 bit
  • Intel Core i5 / i7 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core
  • 256 MB of free RAM

Mac:

  • Mac OS 10.12.6 – 10.15
  • Intel Core i5 / i7 / Xeon
  • 16 GB RAM

Get this plugin on Waves.

2. Arturia V Collection

Arturia V Collection

An extensive recreation of upright and grand piano sounds along electric piano and synth offerings. This VST set emphasizes value over time. The piano specific module is available as a separate purchase, Splice offers the full V Collection as a rent-to-own option that significantly discounts the upfront investment.

  • Who’s it for? Advanced multi-genre producers.
  • Tone: Chiming bright grand pianos and warbly synths ideal for pop production.
  • Price: $499
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for ProTools.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Win 7+ (64bit)
  • 2.5 GHz CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 16GB free hard disk space
  • OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU

Mac:

  • 10.11+: 4 GB RAM
  • 2.5 GHz CPU.
  • 16GB free hard disk space
  • OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU

Available to own at $24.99 month.

3. Toontrack EZKeys

Toontrack EZKeys

An exhaustive array of sound sets to choose from, including 1930s uprights, modern grands, and even a few modern electric offerings. This VST emphasizes options and specialization. Each instrument set can be purchased separately or bundled for a discount, with a further discount available for customers already using other Toontrack products.

  • Who’s it for? Intermediate Pop and Rock Music Producers
  • Tone: Full sounding upright and grand pianos ideal for modern pop, rock, and jazz tones.
  • Price: $179
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Cubase.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or multi-core
  • AMD CPU with SSE2 support
  • 256 MB of free RAM
  • VST host (e.g. Cubase, Studio One, REAPER, FL Studio, etc.)
  • Soundcard with stable ASIO drivers

Mac:

  • Mac OS X 10.10 or newer (including macOS Catalina)
  • 256 MB of free RAM
  • AU or VST host (e.g. Logic Pro X, Garageband, Cubase, DP, Ableton)

Check it out here.

4. TruePianos

TruePianos

An affordable, no-fuss option with an emphasis on playability. This VST offers quick presets that are helpful for new users, but can be customized for veteran producers. The module library contains a moderate variety of piano tones.

  • Who’s it for? All skill levels and genres.
  • Tone: Straightforward acoustic piano with excellent polyphony.
  • Price: $69
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Reaper.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or multi-core
  • AMD CPU with SSE2 support
  • 256 MB of free RAM
  • VST host (e.g. Cubase, Studio One, REAPER, FL Studio, etc.)
  • Soundcard with stable ASIO drivers

Mac:

  • Mac OS X 10.10 or newer (including macOS Catalina)
  • 256 MB of free RAM
  • AU or VST host (e.g. Logic Pro X, Garageband, Cubase, DP, Ableton)

See on Splice.

5. Kontakt Hybrid Keys

Kontakt Hybrid Keys

A large sound library with an emphasis on customization. It offers a unique option to blend existing sound samples together to create new tones. This VST is also available as a single VST or as a bundle with other Kontakt products but requires Kontakt’s free player application to use.

  • Who’s it for? Advanced Experimental and Hip-Hop Producers
  • Tone: Complex pairings of piano and other keyboard tones that blend between two sound sources.
  • Price: $49
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Studio One.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU
  • 2 GB RAM

Mac:

  • macOS 10.12, 10.13, 10.14 or 10.15 (latest update)
  • Intel Core i5
  • 4 GB RAM

Buy on Native Instruments. See On Splice.

6. XLN Addictive Keys

XLN Addictive Keys

A single-instrument VST focused on selectable mic-placement for the same piano. Designed with busy mixes in mind to allow piano parts to blend well with other instruments. XLN also offers other products in the same family, including an option for upright piano enthusiasts.

  • Who’s it for? Intermediate and Advanced Rock and Pop Producers.
  • Tone: Specifically modelled on a Steinway Model D for round lows and snappy highs.
  • Price: $89.95
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Logic.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (32 & 64-bit)
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Internet connection (during installation only)

Mac:

  • macOS 10.9 or later (32 & 64-bit)
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Internet connection (during installation only)

Buy on Plugin Boutique. See on Splice.

7. Waves Electric 200 Piano

Waves Electric 200 Piano

A collection of electric piano sounds is an affordable alternative to the aforementioned grand and upright tones. Ideal for the producer who has worked with acoustic piano before and is looking for something different. It also features a blend mode to allow for custom samples.

  • Who’s it for? Beginner and Intermediate Rock and Hip-Hop Producers.
  • Tone: Overdriven electric piano sounds from the 70s and lo-fi friendly fuzz.
  • Price: $69
  • DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, good for Ableton.

System Requirements: 

Windows:

  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Intel Core i5 / i7 / Xeon / AMD Quad-core
  • 8 GM RAM
  • 8 GB free disk space on system drive

Mac:

  • macOS 10.12.6 – 10.15
  • Intel Core i5 / i7 / Zeon
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 8 GB free disk space on system drive

Buy on Waves.

A Virtual Sea of Inspiration

You don’t have to be a professional engineer to enjoy these VSTs – you just have to find the one that inspires you to make music. Once you’ve found your favorite set of keys and laid down a track, it’s time to add some other elements – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with plenty of other plug-ins to make your mixes the best they can be.

Compare Piano VST Prices

PluginManufacturerPrice
Grand Rhapsody PianoWaves$79
Arturia V CollectionArturia$24.99/month
Toontrack EZKeysToontrack$179
TruePianosTruePianos$69
Kontakt Hybrid KeysNative Instruments$399
XLN Addictive Keys XLN Audio$149
Waves Electric 200 PianoSolid State Logic$69
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