8 Best Piano VST of 2020

Pianos are one of the world's most beautiful musical instruments, but they are one of the most expensive as well. Fortunately, due to technology, a piano can now be used by musicians without necessarily having to buy one.

Piano Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a piano emulating software. All you need is a MIDI controller keyboard, ideally on an actual piano with 88 keys like that. No piano hardware is involved, and through the software, the sound is produced digitally. Typically, this plugin is standalone but can be hosted in a DAW as well.
The VST piano will provide your music with a fantastic addition and will sound just like a piano. In your studio, it's a simple, easy, and economical approach to creating piano compositions. Here are some of the best VSTs for piano that you can shop online.

The Best Piano VST Software

1. Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand Piano VST

Perhaps the best VST sample you can get that sounds like a real instrument is the Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Grand Piano VST. The samples come from Abbey Road Studios' iconic Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano in Studio One. This famous instrument was recorded by some of the world's most gifted engineers using the highest quality microphones available to build this interactive piano for musicians everywhere. It has three distinct opinions that sound as genuine as the piano of Studio One.

Every penny is certainly worth it because it's unlike most of the VSTs that you'll come across. The standard is outstanding. Use it with a high-quality 88 key MIDI keyboard, and for your songs, you will be able to create the best piano tracks. On an SSD, it works well, especially when using the perspective of the mic. This piano VST is just what you need if you're trying to give your imagination a big boost.

Pros:

  •   Discrete perspectives.
  •   Quality sound.

Why We Liked It -

Definitely, this VST is our favorite. It really feels like you're sitting in a piano studio. The clarity and the instrument's overall sound quality live on through the virtual sound. You can imagine how many music icons in their compositions at Abbey Road must have used this very same piano. 

 

2. Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Virtual Studio Technology

Professionals everywhere use this VST, so you can bet it has some of the highest audio sounds around. There are a whopping 10,000 sounds to discover and play in the Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2. Some staggering new changes from the original have been seen in the new edition, 2.0. For all of your artistic needs, the latest arpeggiator and new effects provide you with tons of choices.

The best thing about this particular VST is that through the Omnisphere you can position your own audio material, giving you even more possibilities to make original sounds. With this VST, the genres you can play are diverse and the complexity of the sound is superlative. You're responsible for the sound design that makes it suitable for professional use in the studio. There are 8 new types of filters and new modulation features that make it all the more unique.

Pros:

  •   Ten thousand sounds.
  •   Improved features.
  •   Professional sound.

Why We Liked It -

With the Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, the possibilities are truly infinite. It's expensive tech, but to give your sound that extra special feel, you get what you pay for: quality sounds, daytime effects, filters, and so many other features. For your music, it's by far the most professional-friendly VST you can use.

 

3. Garritan Instant Orchestra Piano Virtual Studio Technology

You know, when you see the name Garritan, you get your hands on some truly beautiful apps. All the various sounds you can hear in an orchestra are offered by this specific program. In one virtual studio, low octave rumblings, wild overlays, chord clusters, slivery choirs, harps, and more are all included.

The ARIA instrument player is also included, which makes it a wonderful value. Without having to call on several instruments and musicians, this VST is maybe the best way to orchestrate. It is deliberately crafted to resemble the complicated mix of orchestral instruments, so much of the work is already finished. Are you familiar with those orchestral effects we hear in movies? This incredible app also contains them. It can act as a standalone software and operate with the most popular platforms as well.

Pros :

  •   To stream several orchestras, Conexant Endless Wave technology.
  •   Amazing choice of sounds for orchestras.
  •   Instant creations.

Why We Liked It -

When you can create the orchestral sound in no time at all, what is not to like? This brand cuts the job in half; even at the synthetic stage, orchestras are not easy to achieve. Without wasting countless days recording one live, this is the ideal program for musicians looking to build an orchestra. 

 

4. XLN Addictive Keys Studio Collection

If you're trying to develop your own signature sounds and play with your imagination, XLN's VST will help you do just that. This gives you an impressive variety of sounds with similarly high-quality effects. Filters, EQ filters, reverb, distortion, tremolo, chorus, and many others can be used. Before picking the highest quality out of the bunch to sample for this set, XLN used the best of the best, checking ten different pianos.

There is another major benefit that this VST offers. The MyCloud technology lets you interact and work from anywhere with your VST. It synchronizes your work automatically (like presets and memos), irrespective of the computer you use. This helps all of your devices to operate on the go and keep it organized and safe.

Pros :

  •   Sounds and effects for consistency.
  •   From multiple devices control.
  •   Space for experimentation and imagination.

Why We Liked It -

The MyCloud is a true blessing for someone who travels a lot or collaborates with other musicians without a doubt. On several computers for music creation, you can have this app and be secure in the knowledge that it will automatically sync. Are you an on-the-go musician? Make your life exponentially simpler on the market with the most easy VST hands down.

 

5. Synthogy Ivory II Italian Grand Virtual Instrument

A common piano VST, and rightly so is the Synthogy Ivory II Italian Grand Virtual Instrument. It provides an immense library of sounds. There are no limitations on what you can do with this VST, with 28 GB of samples to choose from. Sample Interpolation Technology is also available, which allows you to have different velocity layers (up to 18 velocity levels). Similarly, the Harmonic Resonance Model creates practical sympathetic string resonance.

You'll love the Synthogy Ivory II if you're looking for the best acoustic piano sound. The 32-bit sample playback and DSP engine are specially designed to mimic an acoustic piano. It features excerpts from the huge grand concert piano, so you can create beautiful tones of all kinds. The piano from which the samples were collected was made in Italy and is one of the world's finest.

Pros:

  •   28 GB of samples.
  •   High-quality sound.
  •   Suitable for many genres of music.

Why We Liked It -

This VST is able to produce any sound you might like. The samples on the Ivory II will take your music to the next level, whether you want the most smooth jazz or the most lively pop. It is dynamic and perfect for anyone who is searching for the genuine piano sound.

 

6. Synthogy Ivory II Upright Pianos

Samples from four different hand-selected pianos are included in this VST, resulting in a wide range of strong, diverse tones at your fingertips. The samples, with an 84 GB library and up to 16 velocity layers, are generous. To show you the absolute top sounds, Upright Pianos uses all the newest technology.

The Harmonic Resonance Modeling and DSP engine are also available, but thanks to the four vertical piano sources, they have new and enhanced sounds. The Yamaha u5 Modern Upright, Hume Vintage Upright, and Barroom Upright are among these pianos and have been carefully selected to produce a rich vintage sound. For this reason, all musicians searching for retro blues, jazz, or even a rock vibe love this VST.

Pros:

  •   Vintage sound from four upright pianos.
  •   Diverse genres.

Why We Liked It - 

This is one of those tech options that can be used by artists in all genres.

 

7. Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

This Synthogy Interactive Studio technology features sounds that are the product of modern technology that is revolutionary. This VST is a top option with a modern gui and an expansive collection of samples for making new tones. Sympathetic String Resonance, one of the most significant and sought-after qualities in pianos, is also included.

This investigates the more complicated sympathetic strings and does not rely on ordinary waves of sine. It uses a new custom engine instead. This is the culmination of years of practice on the part of Synthogy's engineers, committed to making synthetic pianos sound as sweet as real pianos. This app is much more playable - anybody can use it - than many others like it.

Pros:

  •   Resonance Sympathetic String.
  •   18 velocity levels from each piano.
  •   Playability and fidelity at high levels.

Why We Liked It -

This is Synthogy's top effort, designed for talented musicians who want to make something magical and are serious about reproducing grand pianos. The updates to this software are clear, explaining the high price tag.

 

8. Spectrasonics Keyscape Virtual Keyboard Collection

This collection of samples has an expansive sound library, based on the LA Custom C7 Grand Piano and others like it. This VST will help you create some incredible songs, regardless of the genre you play, whether you write in a retro style or prefer to play contemporary music.

It will clog up your Processor a little but it will certainly make up for the tones you can produce. You can also use it with Omni 2 if you like. But this VST is more than good enough on its own - you will have access to most of the piano sounds you may ever need.

Pros:

  •   Diverse sounds.
  •   Samples from many pianos.

Why We Liked It -

With Spectrasonic, you can't go wrong. It will fit well with your musical choices, whether you're an inexperienced producer or a seasoned pro. The broad range of choices helps you to play with your music and create tones of high quality across the board.

 

Piano Virtual Studio Technology Buyers Guide

Top Pick

We chose the Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand from Garritan for our top pick, which is no surprise. Naturally, someone who loves the piano will gravitate towards the samples derived from this famous instrument. Some of the greatest music of the last century has been produced by Abbey Road Studios and everything from their studios is bound to sound sweet to the ears. There are three distinct viewpoints that can carry your music to the next level. In saying this is digital piano royalty, we will not be incorrect. It's as close to the authentic piano sound as you can get.

Why is it a great VST like that? It utilizes the classic grand piano while bringing into the mix your own imagination. Musicians know that getting idols is good, but nothing in music can beat originality. With the magical keys of this interactive piano, you can maintain your own special sound. It's a wonderful investment and makes every studio a mini Studio One.

Premium Choice

If you're trying to manage a budget, then the way to go is Spectrasonics. Among many of our award-winning engineers, their VSTs are famous. Their Ominsphere 2 is jam-packed with incredible features that not only include real piano sound samples, but also give you full control in the studio. With so many filters and effects on hand, this app provides you with almost everything.

VSTs for Spectrasonics are certainly costly, but the number of samples is amazing. For musicians looking to break out of conventional compositions and create something new, this program is a big aid. Write through a wide spectrum of genres. The impressive collection of piano samples on this app gives you plenty of space to get creative, from jazz to pop and more. What more could you ask for with over 400 DSP waveforms and 10,000 tunes?

Great Value

Garritan is a renowned manufacturer of virtual instruments and sound libraries, and for what it provides, this VST is a great value. The Orchestra Instant lives up to its reputation. It's all about making the near perfect sound for the orchestra in just minutes. To give musicians a selection of sounds to play with a real orchestra, which takes weeks to prepare, is perfectly sampled. The ARIA instrument player is also included, contributing to its excellent overall value.

In this VST, most orchestral instrument samples are recorded, setting it apart from other options for software. As you'll find in everything from movies to pop music, the orchestra is popular in modern media. If something you want to add to your own compositions is the unparalleled tone, this VST is the easiest and most economical way to do it.

FAQ

What is Piano VST?

The program that emulates the sound of a piano is Piano Virtual Studio Technology. The piano hardware is absolutely not involved. You just need a MIDI controller to simulate a real piano, preferably with 88 total keys, and a machine to play it on. In DAWs like Ableton, Logic or FL Studio, this program can be hosted.

By recording actual pianos in a studio, these virtual pianos are made. All 88 keys of the traditional piano are captured by the engineers behind VST software with a microphone. They'll record multiple times in order to get various variations, as one key may have several sound variations. A sampling piano VST is called this. Some VSTs synthetically produce the sound of the piano by digital code imitating the sounds. This style has a more synthetic character and is known as the modeling type; it doesn't sound exactly like conventional piano keys. Depending on their consistency, sample VSTs will sound similar to an actual piano.

Budding artists and experienced musicians alike use this app. This type of virtual instrument provides musicians with a way to include piano sounds in their music, as not everyone can afford a piano. To add to the sounds, many VSTs have additional effects and layers, making them all the more useful in music production.

Does a Piano Virtual Studio Technology Produce Realistic Sound?

The whole premise behind software for virtual studio technology is to mimic the sound of piano keys. Thanks to the time and energy that goes into recording these samples, a VST created by professional engineers using iconic pianos is completely realistic sounding.

You can't expect a 100 percent realistic tone, but the difference is so slight in most instances that the average listener goes unnoticed. Modeling VSTs, however are distinct. Using digital technology, they are synthetically created to mimic piano keys. The sound is synthetic and as some producers would like, is not as natural.

On these VSTs, you will find all sorts of piano sounds and write them as you would on a real piano. In reality, with their wealth of features and effects, you'll achieve new sounds from a different viewpoint.

How Do I Use a Piano VST?

Piano VST is software, so in order to run it you'll need a computer. To play the piano on the VST, you will need a MIDI keyboard as well. A digital interface for a MIDI or musical instrument is a protocol used for communication by various electronic instruments. Your link between a keyboard and the VST is this MIDI. To reproduce piano sounds, you can easily find an 88 key MIDI keyboard.

Bear in mind, there is no sound produced by the MIDI itself. It simply sends the signal correlating to the key you pressed to the VST so that the corresponding sound can be made. The VST program also performs the primary mission.

You will need a program to use the VST that can host the piano plugin. For this reason, there are several advanced software products you can use. Just don't forget to get your MIDI keyboard paired! Via a USB port or cable, you can do this. There are some free versions available online if you don't have a host scheme.

You will use the host software to play the Virtual Studio Technology plugins and you can play the keys on your keyboard until it is set up and you can hear the amplifier's sound output. The host software will record whatever you're playing directly and save it on your machine. With these effects, VSTs that are fitted with effects can be played. A reverb will be an example. Applying these effects is extremely simple, but the exact interface will rely on your VST. Presets that are close to what you are trying to record can also be found.

Are Virtual Sample/Libraries Better Than a Digital Piano?

Digital pianos and VSTs for pianos are separate, but the end objective is the same. In their own right, digital pianos have hardware and are stand-alone instruments, whereas virtual pianos are entirely software-based.

Each has its own pros and cons and as an artist, it comes down to what is important to you. Digital pianos may not be able to give you the same number of possibilities for sound as a VST. VST software has thousands of samples and effects are applied on top of that. Tens of gigabytes may be the size of these libraries. So in terms of tone, you can imagine the enormous amount of options you have. VSTs often sound quite similar to the real thing, at least the ones sampled from iconic pianos by professional engineers. The broad size of these files implies that various speeds and longer delays are available, etc.

In terms of playability, even budget digital pianos will provide you with more of a natural piano feel. It can be a lot more costly for high-end digital pianos than for a VST and MIDI controller. It relies on the kind of sound you are trying to achieve at the end of the day. If you want more exploration space, then maybe VSTs are a better choice. For all those advantages in the studio and beyond, many musicians prefer VSTs over electrical keyboards. Since technology has changed so much for both digital pianos and VSTs over the years, it can be a really tough decision to choose what is right for you. Study each choice and compare your own musical ambitions with what it offers.

Is Piano Virtual Studio Technology Good for Beginners?

You'd be smart to do your homework before investing in musical instruments and apps if you're new to the music world. We'll illustrate several points that can help with your choices about what to purchase to help make your journey easier.

A piano VST can be a great help if you're still learning the ins and outs of production. VSTs will help extend the reach of young budding musicians. Having said that, as both are frequently used together, we want to note the benefit of polishing your abilities with DAWs.

Keep this in mind - stuff like which synth is going to complement your style could complicate things when you're just starting. Our advice is to remain coherent and first try to understand the equipment and applications. Focus on studying and developing and the remainder will follow.

How Hard is it to Master Piano VSTs?

Good things don't come fast, as they say. For your music, the Piano VST can do wonders, but it takes time. In order to get the best out of it, you need to practice and practice hard. Visit and spend time with people who already know what you're trying to learn in your local music shop. Expert guidance will help you advance. The Internet is a valuable resource as well. To find responses to your questions, you can enter groups and forums.

Can I Learn How to Play a Traditional Piano with Piano VST?

The simple answer is yes and no." Yes, because you will be given the general know-how of science behind piano keys by a piano VST. No, since it is completely different to produce electronic piano tones than to play manually. If you've never played piano before but have command on the VST, at first you can find it hard to transfer your abilities to a real piano. It'll certainly get simpler with time.

Digital Piano VS. Piano VST

There are two routes you can take if you don't have a piano and are searching for a synthetic alternative. Two digital ways to replicate piano sound are available: Virtual Studio Technology digital piano and piano. There are 88 weighted keys on digital pianos, which mimic a typical piano. It can have speakers and a port for headphones as well.

The sound is digitally generated and so to speak, it's a self-contained tool. On the other hand, a piano VST is software which emulates the piano. To link to the machine, you just need a MIDI keyboard and then play the piano on your software. It's entirely interactive.

Types of Piano VST

Piano VST only has two main types: sample and modeling. The most famous and most widely used virtual piano is the VST sample piano. The piano tones are captured or sampled from an actual piano, as the name suggests. A sound engineer takes a microphone and records the 88 keys individually to do this. Each one is captured to get the best sound many times. It can be hard to imitate piano key tunes because they are influenced by the play's dynamics. The variations make it easier to capture the key's real sound and to make it as similar to an actual piano as possible.

The second type, which is the modeling type, has digitally coded tones that sound identical to the piano through algorithms. This is equivalent to a synth. It varies from a sample piano VST in consistency. These are also popular with musicians, but if an authentic piano sound is needed, most genres of music may not sound as good.

Sample Vs. Modeling

The advantage of the Virtual Studio Technology sampled piano is clear; it has a more natural sound, so that the music you create with it will sound warmer. Nothing short of legendary are the pianos used to record these samples. Both grand and upright pianos record the likes of Steinway and Fazioli, so you have enough choice of sounds. The downside is that on your hard disk, they will take up a lot of space and even hog up a lot of your CPU. If the samples are recorded from one kind of piano, depending on the VST sample, it restricts your choices.

You do not have to think about space or velocity with modeling. On your side, it enables a lot more customization. And it doesn't need a program sampler to run, of course. The downside is that the sound isn't as natural as that of a VST sample. It all depends on your taste and, depending on the type of music you produce, the style can be a major downside.

With a modeling form, you can never really reproduce the sound of piano keys 100 percent.
Understand that each of these can fit certain types and genres of music, so your criterion for decision-making should be focused on how each of them can make your final music sound. The obvious choice for jazz, blues and rock is the sample form, since it replicates a real piano.

Prices

VSTs will differ in pricing depending on the business and the kind of pianos sampled. Online free software is available, but they are built and of poor quality. For professional usage, you should obviously go for the highest quality VST from companies like Synthogy and Garritan. For about $100, you can find decent apps. Some however, may go up to $500 or more, especially those sampling iconic pianos from popular studios and artists.