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#2992755 06/18/20 07:33 PM
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I'm just curious to see the best piano VST ever. I'm talking realistic; just what a piano would sound like. It can be whatever piano manufacturer: Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer: I just want to hear the most realistic one.


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Uh oh.. there we go again.

The most realistic sounding one i have tried is embertone's walker. I think synthogy's American D and garritan cfx sound synthetic in comparison, but while still good, both probably beat it in playability.

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Pianoteq!

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Pianoteq!

Objectively, yes, but subjectively, no.

Objectively, Philippe can point at all the algorithms and prove that Pianoteq is not only doing the right thing (mostly), but that it blows the competition out of the water in terms of what it is trying to achieve computationally in terms of the physics of sound engineering.

Subjectively, 50% or so folks will then come and say that Pianoteq sometimes sounds more like bongos than piano -- although, most will certainly admit that Pianoteq has the best playability of them all.

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Garritan: CFX Concert Grand.

Vienna Symphonic Library: CFX Grand, Steinway D,
Bosendorfer Imperial 290.

Native Instruments: Vintage D.

It's all about personal choice /preference, but the above is my take for the most sort after realistic VST piano librarys. And the prices speak for themselves.

Last edited by Pianoworldstage; 06/18/20 08:19 PM.
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No such thing as "best", but if you're after realism, I own & use all of these and they are well worth checking out:

• Production Voices Production Grand (Yamaha C7) and Concert Grand (New York Steinway D) - both at 60% off at the moment. Full Kontakt required for the full versions, but there are compact single stereo mic versions which run in the free Plogue Sforzando player.

• Impact Soundworks Pearl Concert Grand (Yamaha C7) - runs in the free Kontakt Player.

• Simple Sam Samples Signature Grand (Hamburg Steinway D recorded in a hall). Full Kontakt required. On intro sale @ $49

• Wholesounds Baldwin Parlor Grand - 4 mics sets and very realistic tone (runs in the free UVI player)

• Sampletekk Black Grand MkII (Hamburg Steinway D - 3 mic sets in a concert hall) & White Grand MkII (close & mid mic studio piano). Full Kontakt required. These are on a 70% off sale at present.

• Wavesfactory Mercury Grand (Fazioli F228). Lite & Full versions available. Runs in the free Kontakt Player.

Last edited by Craig Richards; 06/18/20 08:20 PM.

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Vintage D for the Steinway sound
Garritan for the CFX sound

Grandeur is a decent second Steinway

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Originally Posted by Craig Richards
• Wavesfactory Mercury Grand (Fazioli F228). Lite & Full versions available. Runs in the free Kontakt Player.
I have this and thoroughly recommend it. The full version takes a while to load though (about 40 seconds on an i7 from SSD).

Also for a Yamaha CFX, Native Instruments Noire is very good and loads very fast (about 10 seconds).

Last edited by Burkie; 06/18/20 09:29 PM.

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These are my favorites (in alphabetical order) apart from Pianoteq:
Bechstein Digital Grand
CineSamples CinePiano
Embertone Walker Grand
Impact Soundworks Pearl Concert Grand
OrangeTreeSamples Rosewood Grand
Wavesfactory Mercury Grand
Wholesounds Baldwin Parlor Grand

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Production Voices' Estate Grand is the most realistic virtual piano I know of. It emulates to a stunning degree of realism a large piano in severe need of a prolonged visit from a technician. The way it simulates "sticking keys" is both impressive and exasperating.

Garritan CFX may also be very realistic. It does feel like an actual piano is being played. In this case, however, it is more perfect sounding than any grand I've ever played.


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Synthogy Ivory II Studio Grands, Production Voices Estate Grand, Garritan CFX Lite, Pianoteq 7.0 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
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My favourite I have played it VSL D-247 or the new VSL Bösendorfer imperial. For classical I tend to lean to the D-274 but you can tell that the Bösendorfer is sampled mor detailed.

I also have Garritan CFX that sounds great but doesn’t feel as good to play as the VSL’s and a more mellow sound.

The VI Labss Modem U is also one I love. But it’s very different since it’s an upright piano and has no stage reverb which makes it perfect for practicing.

If I could only have one I would pick one from VSL. The modem U is a perfect complement.

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These are my favorites in terms of overall superiority:

Pianoteq! grin

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Originally Posted by Pete14
These are my favorites in terms of overall superiority:

Pianoteq! grin

Anything else you care to add to the conversation Pete14, or are you stuck in a loop?


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One more thing: there is no ‘best piano VST’; in the same way there is no ‘best human being’ capable of -objectively- making this determination. It’s all subjective, man; so let’s have some fun. Unless you can define -from a scientific stand point- what ‘best’ stands for.

Can we truly quantify ‘best’ based on layers, note-off samples, una corda, modeled resonances, etc? No! So there is no such thing as ‘best piano VST’............ever!

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My current favourite is the 10 year old VSL Vienna Imperial.

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It depends on what you want to get from a virtual piano. Pianoteq has great playability, but the sound at this point is very synthetic and digital sounding. The same can be said for arturia's modeled piano sound.
In the sampled category, the VSL pianos are good, but with mega GB size and usual high cost, plus no una corda samples, it might not fit everything.
Garritan CFX Concert Grand has una corda samples, 20 velocity layers and a great sound, but if you don't enjoy the Yamaha sound it might not be for you.
VI Labs Ravenscroft 275 has una corda samples and 19 velocity layers plus silent keys and muted strikes for an extended technique, but the harsh tone and short sustain might not be for everyone.
As a Steinway person, I love the VSL Steinway, but because of no una corda samples, I would be cautious in recommending that.
The Galaxy Vintage D is a bit old, but its functions are great, and has una corda samples. Also, the Ivory Pianos' American Concert D can be a good choice, but the no real pedal resonances.
So far, every piano VST has its little flaws as well as its strengths, so depending on what you are looking for, you need to think what you are really seeking.
The VI Labs Modern U sounds like a good over all balanced piano VST, with good playability, a nice hard drive footprint, and they also have nice sounding pedals and tone options. But this is a Yamaha U3 upright piano we are talking about. If you like the unique sound of an upright piano, you can't go wrong with this one!
My personal favourites right now are the VSL Steinway for over all tone and playability, and Modern U for an upright sound that is clean and soothing to hear.

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Ah, you see, that is different. Kevin’s ‘favorite’ (or is it favourite) is Imperial, but not imposing. Claiming that this VST is ‘the best ever’ would be a subjective imposition on us, the members!

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Any suggestions for Yamaha NU1X, it having hybrid action ? Mine is coming tomorrow morning. I have The Grandeur and have also tried Pianoteq but haven't bought it yet.


Yamaha NU1X, Pianoteq 7 Pro, Bösendorfer Imperial, Garritan, Grandeur.
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No love for Keyscape ? is that more for composers than for pianists ?


Yamaha NU1X, Pianoteq 7 Pro, Bösendorfer Imperial, Garritan, Grandeur.
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Honorable mention I guess should be Ivory I, since I think that one pushed a lot of boundaries back in the day. "Historically important" I would like to think, although it's surely outdated nowadays. Too bad Synthogy hasn't been keeping up with the times in the past few years. I'd love to see Ivory III from them, with properly sampled pedal down resonance and multiple mics.

As for today I'd say Garritan CFX still takes the crown for being the overall best package, even though the VSL pianos are technically superior in many respects, but have garbage copy protection and are poorly optimized. Pianoteq for best playability at the expense of less realistic sound. Some great Kontakt pianos out there for sure but I wouldn't say any of those are the best simply because Kontakt has so many issues with things like repedaling, half pedaling etc..

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