Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins 2022 That Sounds Like Paid

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Let’s take a look at the 12 best free piano plugins available in 2022.

The piano’s popularity has been enormous since its conception, covering many different styles. From Beethoven to Elton John, you can find this iconic sound in classical pieces and hit songs alike. The extensive versatility behind their black and white keys is the main reason for that character, displaying all notes in an organized and clever way.

However, not everyone owns such an instrument, and, even worst, not everyone has the appropriate means to capture its full sonority. Glady, we’re living in the 2020s and can use sampling technology in our favor. Many sample libraries focused on capturing the piano’s essence are available, with superb quality and multiple settings available to further tweak your sound.

Although these libraries can fetch expressive price tags, there are also freeware options available out there. Modern tools like the aforementioned sampling technology and even sound synthesis are the main engines behind such freeware plugins, and our list intends to showcase the best options for free piano VSTs available in 2022.

Let’s now take a deep look at our options.

Top 12 Free Piano Plugins For Musicians 2022 That Sound Like Paid

1. audiolatry GrandPianoXXL

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A faithful recreation of the iconic Yamaha C5 Grand Piano.

The Yamaha C5 is a grand piano suited for the best concerts and symphonic performances, with excellent building quality and crafted to withstand a lifetime of constant use (with the proper regular maintenance, of course). One of the unique characteristics of this model is its length of 2m (or 6’7″), thus providing a very rich and deep tone.

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

 

Key Features:

    • Nice samples
      Alexander Holm recorded the samples included in GrandPianoXXL in the best way possible: he used two AKG C414s placed in AB position at 12cm from the Yamaha C5’s strings, resulting in an intimate sound with lots of detail in each recorded audio file that captures the essence of this beautiful grand piano.
    • Velocity layers
      If the most realistic representation of such an instrument is required, a decent number of velocity layers is imperative for an organic and natural sound in this virtual instrument. Each velocity layer captures a specific value in dynamics or volume – for instance, lower values can represent a soft and delicate playing – and GrandPianoXXL features 16 different layers for each sample file, which have 48kHz 24bit quality.
    • Key release noises
      Another cool feature that makes GrandPianoXXL even more realistic than other options is the noise from released keys. In a genuine piano, all keys have considerable weight and will resonate when played or released. To simulate this effect and provide a more realistic performance, you can tweak the key release noises by turning the “Key” knob around, which sets the gain level for the effect.
    • Tremolo
      The dedicated “Tremolo” section contains one of the many effects inside this plugin. You can set the basic configuration for it via the “Speed” and “Depth” knobs, but there are also three small selections to tame it further: “WVF” for altering the waveforms, “DST” to choose the distortion type, and “SRC” to set the source.
    • Filter
      Want to trim the frequencies in your virtual instrument better? This is the option to do that. The “Filter” knob offers a cutoff, with a selectable low pass or high pass configurations that can set the precise amount of high or low-end in your piano’s sound.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.11 or higher and Windows 8.1 or higher. It runs in VST2, VST3, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

GrandPianoXXL is a reliable tool to get nice piano sounds quickly. The clean look is one of the best features of it, providing simple and clear controls in the main design interface, but the sounds are also another great point to consider, thanks to the special care taken during the recording process. The effects can also make it more versatile, clearly stating that it’s a great option for a reliable grand piano sound.

Also, consider checking another fabulous plugin by audiolatry – Upright Piano, great for Trap, Hip Hop & RnB to add a vibe to your tunes. You can get it here. Here is how it looks:

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2. SINEfactory Spindle By Orchestral Tools

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The most delicate sounds coming from an upright piano are included in this plugin.

Orchestral Tools brings innovation with their SINE Player, available for Windows and macOS. This player provides a “free subscription” of great virtual instruments without any cost to the current models and any future creations. One of these is the Spindle, which is a Rösler grand piano recorded with soft-felt hammers that provide a smooth, muted sound.

Key Features:

    • Historic instruments
      The piano chosen to be sampled is from Rösler, which might be a new and unheard manufacturer. This company was founded by Gustav Rösler in the late 19th century, around 1878, and began making good impressions in the then Austro-Hungarian empire. After his passing in 1891, his brother-in-law Ludwig Gatter gradually expanded the company to more countries, where their pianos have become a staple of good sound and fine building quality.
    • Meticulous recording process
      Orchestral Tools recorded the samples in this plugin from four up-close microphone positions, ideal for an intimate sound that such a delicate instrument requires. The result is a warm tone, round low-end, and detailed high notes. 
    • Velocity layers
      Spindle contains three velocity layers in every sample audio file, providing an authentic feel and realism to anything played. The three round robins per note also contribute to this effect, great for ostinatos and austere piano arrangements.
    • Perfect for chords
      Although you can use this virtual instrument however you prefer, the intimate quality behind the soft sonority is perfect for creating a nice atmosphere with harmonies. Every chord can sound very tight and warm, being the best choice for cinematic productions and tracks that require a soft ambiance.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.13 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 10 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Spindle it’s all about softness. The soft-padded hammers used on this specific Rösler upright piano create an authentic delicate sound spectrum that is very solid and warm. Its functions are as straightforward as possible, and each sample bears substantial audio quality that defines the overall instrument’s sound. Although it’s not clear which exact model was used, you can tell that the awesome sounds come from a balanced, well-built piano, and to have that library inside your DAW is truly helpful.

3. RDG AUDIO Free Piano 2

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A hybrid piano and strings virtual instrument like this can be a handy tool.

Bringing a simple configuration, RDG Audio Free Piano 2 is as straightforward as possible: it features a solo grand piano sound and a hybrid formation with a looped strings section. You can alternate between these two modes, and the most direct controls are distributed along the main interface.

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Sampled sections
      The piano chosen to capture the sample files was an Asian Type D Cottage Piano, with four specific microphone positions to fully capture its sound profile. The strings were captured similarly, bearing a distinctive good quality in each audio file.
    • Many samples
      What makes such a virtual instrument so precise in terms of sound quality is the quantity of sample audio files included: the more samples, the more definition is present in every note played. The extensive capturing process in Free Piano 2 produced over 600 samples, covering the full length of the grand piano’s tonalities.
    • Sustain MIDI CC
      The sustain pedal is one of the key elements in any piano sound due to the characteristic responsiveness every note suffers when this pedal is activated. In essence, every note has a higher sustain value when this pedal is pressed, and you can include that in the MIDI CC value 64.
    • Articulations
      Aside from more than 400 articulations included, which can substantially increase the instrument’s authenticity, you also have three different velocity layers for each note and four round robin, which can make the overall virtual instrument sound more realistic.
    • Master controls
      You can adjust the overall sound, even if the strings section is included, via three knobs on the right side of your interface. The “Tune” knob is responsible for detuning the notes, while the “Volume” sets the overall volume and “Pan” adjusts the stereo imaging of your instruments.
    • Envelope and filter
      As simple as possible, the “Envelope” and “Filter” sections feature fewer configurations than other sections. The first one has only “Attack” and “Release” controls, while the latter offers “Reverb” and “Cutoff” knobs, with the additional selection of a high or low pass filter type.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.14 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 through 10 (64-bit only). It runs in VST3 and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

Although it features a simple display of controls, Free Piano 2 is a basic tool with basic sounds. The nice addition of a string section can be one cool attraction – if your track needs both instruments, then you don’t need to download any more software! – but all samples might not offer the best velocity layers and quality possible. Even so, this can be a fun virtual instrument to play around with.

4. Sound Magic Piano One

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Piano One is one of the best free piano plugins, especially if you are a pop musician. 

This plugin features a deeply sampled Yamaha C7 concert grand piano. Over the audio samples, Piano One also utilizes a hybrid modeling engine to offer even more playability. However, since this is a free version of Sound Magic’s Neo Piano, some features are limited. 

The limitations aren’t debilitating, though. The modeling engine’s sympathetic resonance feature is missing, and the piano samples are limited to 18 seconds. Neither should create any issues unless you intend to use the piano in a professional solo performance.

Sound Magic Piano One - Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Piano Tweaks 
    The plugin features overtone controls from the Harmonics section. You can shift the harmonic frequencies or change their level. Similarly, the Tone section lets you control the low and the high frequencies, and the Lid fader adds a low-pass filter to simulate the piano lid position. Furthermore, you can change the amount of hammer dampness, dynamic range, release amount, and so on. 
  • Built-in Reverb 
    Piano One has a dedicated reverb section, where you can adjust its parameters. It’s a relatively simple digital reverb, but it offers all the critical parameters. So, it’s fine for mixing with other instruments. If you are playing the piano solo, though, I’d suggest trying an outboard convolution reverb. 
  • Performance
    Piano One has a Perspective section to mix between the player and the audience’s perspective. I found that a blend between the two can result in a wider stereo space. And similarly, the Noises section features pedal, string, and hammer-off noise generators, which can add to the realism of your performance.

The following video by Kenny Gioia demonstrates the sound of Piano One. If you are using REAPER, the video also shows how to load the plugin in your DAW:

Piano One (Neo Piano) Virtual Instrument Plugin in REAPER

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10 or higher, both 32-bit or 64-bit. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

Sound Magic Piano One is the free version of their paid Neo Piano pluginAnd that means you will get premium-sounding samples but with somewhat limited features. However, I don’t think the limitations are problematic; you’ll be hard-pressed to find similar quality for free elsewhere. Overall, I think it’s a worthy download.

5. SINEfactory Ratio By Orchestral Tools

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The beautiful sounds of a classic grand piano model are available to you for free.

As previously mentioned, Orchestral Tools counts on the SINE Player to deliver great and free sample libraries, all with extreme quality and relevance. This time, we have a Steinway B grand piano used by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Nicks, and the great Prince himself. These pianos are excellent on their own, and now you can add this iconic sound to your tracks.

Key Features:

    • Excellent brand
      Steinway & Sons is arguably one of the best, if not the best, piano manufacturers in the world. All their models, since the company’s foundation in 1853, offer superb building quality that should last many lifetimes. The piano chosen to be sampled was the Model B from Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. The 211cm (or 6’11”) length provides amazing sounds and textures, ideal for any musical style you can think of.
    • Main menu
      The main menu, where the “Library” display is shown, brings all virtual instruments you own into a single window. The sounds are ready to be played with, but you can further tweak them with the assistance of some tools on the lower right side of the screen: you have “Legato” and “Velocity” configurations, aside from setting the key switches to your taste.
    • Mixer section
      The dedicated “Mixer” window displays a single fader responsible for the master volume control. Unfortunately, you don’t get many options to customize the sound of your piano, but this master volume fader might come in handy when dealing with the overall dynamics.
    • Envelope
      To make things even more realistic, an envelope control allows you to adjust settings like “Attack” and “Depth” so every note you play can bear a significant resemblance with the genuine instrument. Although it’s a simple section, the sonic results can be significantly improved by twisting the knobs to your taste.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.13 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 10 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

The classic piano sound is contained within this box. This is the perfect description for Ratio, one of the multiple Orchestral Tools free offerings. The audio quality is insanely good, closely resembling the iconic Steinway & Sons Model B piano used to sample the notes. There are not many controls to mess around with, and this can be a good thing for having a focused, solid sound coming out of this library. A few other options, such as having multiple microphone positions, would be good to expand its quality even further.

6. Agus Hardiman Golden Piano

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Fans of late 80s pop music will love this free piano plugin. 

Golden Piano is a simple piano plugin that features a decent grand piano sample library alongside an electronic piano and pad. Furthermore, various other features can help you adjust the sound to your liking. Although there isn’t a massive possibility for sound design, the plugin is excellent for what it does. 

Agus Hardiman Golden Piano - Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Samples
    The plugin features a grand piano with 8 velocity layers per note. While it isn’t an awful lot, it’s pretty decent enough for production. Furthermore, you can add FM synth (DX) tines and a soft pad to recreate the renowned pop e-piano sound. You can adjust the levels of the tines and the pad with a volume knob each. 
  • Reverb & LFO 
    The big knob at the center of the interface controls the reverb amount. And the two knobs to the right control the pitch LFO depth and rate. You’ll probably want to avoid overdoing the latter effect unless a retro sci-fi style sound is what you’re after.

Have a listen to this groovy track featuring the dry sound of Golden Piano. Note that it doesn’t utilize the tines or the pads:

Mencoba Plugins VST Golden Piano by Agus Hardiman

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2, and AU formats.

Summary:

While most piano plugins attempt to remain universal and applicable for multiple genres, Golden Piano aims to capture the sound of 80s and 90s pop musicAnd it does so very well while barely consuming any RAM or CPU. If you are a fan of such piano sounds, go right ahead and download it.

7. Sample Science Room Piano v3

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If you are after a simple piano sound reminiscent of the 90s keyboards, you’ve come to the right place. 

Room Piano is a piano plugin dedicated to giving your tracks a Lo-Fi feel. The plugin uses samples of a living room upright piano, sampled every 3 semitones in 2 velocities. So, don’t expect a realistic sound. But if you are making hip-hop or similar genres, you can use this piano alongside one of the best Lo-Fi plugins and create a nostalgic piece of music.

Sample Science Room Piano v3 - Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Lightweight 
    The plugin only consumes around 60 megabytes of your disk space. So, you can use this plugin in your productions as a retro sound. Or, you could use it as a placeholder when composing and later replace the plugin with a heavier library. 
  • Effects
    While the effect plugins aren’t flexible, they are still handy for manipulating the sound quickly. Room Piano v3 features a simple room reverb, a low-pass, and a high-pass filter. And the plugin also features an amp envelope and glide feature. 
  • Modulator
    The plugin features an LFO modulator that you can assign to pitch, volume, and filter. You can select various waveforms for the LFO and assign an LFO source such as your modulation wheel.

Have a listen to how Room Piano v3 sounds and how you could incorporate it in a mix as a Lo-Fi sound:

Room Piano v3 FREE LoFi Piano VST Plugin By Sample Science

Compatibility:

Room Piano v3 plugin is available for Windows 8.1 or higher and macOS 10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

I wouldn’t recommend this piano plugin for a pianist. It’s designed to sound as retro as possible, what with the strange inclusion of a pitch glide! But for an experimenting artist who enjoys adding effects to complicate sounds, this plugin could be what you are after.

8. Spitfire Audio LABS Soft Piano

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True to its name, Soft Piano delivers an intimate tone that works well for ambiance. 

Spitfire Audio recorded the Soft Piano on a dry stage at Air Edel Studios in London. It features a grand piano with a thin strip of felt cloth placed between the hammers and the strings. The fabric helped reduce the high frequencies of the piano and create an intimate, soft tone that is ideal for many uses, including film scoring, hip-hop, and pop music.

Spitfire Audio LABS Soft Piano - Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

 

Key Features:

  • Simple 
    As with any of the LABS instruments by Spitfire Audio, this plugin’s interface features two faders and a knob. That’s it. One of the faders is volume control, whereas the other controls dynamism. And the large knob controls the amount of reverb. 
  • Effective
    There aren’t many places for a piano as soft as this one. It doesn’t stand out well in a busy mix. However, Spitfire Audio has nailed it with Soft Piano when you want something that stays in the background and provides a soft ambiance. I find it helpful in creating intros and outros in a song.

The following video shows the interface and also lets you see how it can sound with a variety of effects:

Spitfire Labs Soft Piano | Best Free Piano VST

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Clearly, Soft Piano isn’t a universal piano. However, its intimate sound is unlike anything else. And the instrument is well-sampled and features multiple velocity layers. For a free plugin, it’s not bad at all.

9. Micronissimo A73 Piano Station

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The multiple keyboards included make this one of the most versatile options on this list.

Bearing an interface resembling the great synthesizers of the 1980s, A73 Piano Station includes over 100 instrument options, and the pianos included are awesome-sounding, just like the other instruments. The clean design and intuitive controls provide a great user experience, with instant good sound results.

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Master section
      In “Master,” you can set the usual “Master,” “Lead,” “Bass,” and “Rhythm” configurations, which configure the individual volumes for the “Bass” and “Lead” keyboard areas, the drum machine section, and the overall plugin’s volume. In addition, you can record whatever you’re playing by hitting the “Record” button. A master “Mute” button is also included.
    • Three at once
      The middle section permits to run three different virtual instruments simultaneously. Divided between “A,” “B,” and “C” sub-sections, each can load any of the 100+ options included, from grand pianos to helicopter sounds.
    • Drum machine
      The last section is the “Base” module. It’s a drum machine that deals with everything related to the rhythm, with different tempo styles and “Tempo” and “Shuffle” faders that can alter the swing of any rhythm selected.
    • Arp mode
      Inside the middle section, an “Arp” button enables the arpeggiator mode, thus playing consistent arpeggios from whatever note you play. Other than that, there are 60 patterns to choose from, way beyond the common “Up” and “Down” sequences.
    • Rhythmic styles
      If you want ready-to-use rhythms while you do your daily practice routine, A73 Piano Station includes 40 different of them. You can select between “Piano Peace,” “Ballad,” “Piano Blues,” “Rhumba,” “Rock and Roll,” “Soft Jazz,” “Ballad,” and many more.

Compatibility:

This virtual instrument is available for Windows XP through 10. It runs in standalone mode.

Summary:

This excellent freeware virtual instrument offers multiple variations in music styles and sonorities for the piano sounds. Of course, you can have many other instruments running alongside – for example, a piano in sub-section “A” and a drum machine in another – but the piano sounds are authentic by themselves, and the interface helps to refine the perfect sonority with straightforward controls and elegant design. A huge downside is that it runs only in standalone mode, but even with MIDI configuration, it restrains a lot of its capabilities by not being able to run inside any DAW.

10. Bitsonic Keyzone Classic 

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Multiple grand piano profiles are contained inside one single window.

Free virtual instrument plugins are usually a great treat to beginner audio producers starting to get used to this professional area. They are mostly lightweight (meaning they probably can run in slower CPUs), and it isn’t uncommon to see more than one instrument or effect in the same package. Bitsonic Keyzone Classic can be defined just like that, bringing a light software that contains five different piano profiles inside the same window.

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Key Features:

    • Envelope controls
      On the left side of your interface screen, you’ll see four knobs that control the “Attack,” “Decay,” “Sustain,” and “Release” of your sound. By messing around with these values, you can simulate a specific resonance associated with a famous model in seconds, thus developing a more natural atmosphere to the sound profiles.
    • Five distinct profiles
      Keyzone Classic is a nice plugin to have close by. If you need to use the most common piano sounds, you can rest assured it will be there. The five profiles are “Keyzone Piano,” “Yamaha Grand Piano,” “Steinway Piano,” “Basic Electric Piano,” and “Rhodes Piano.” Each can be viewed as a “preset” saved with the overall configurations tailored to mimic a certain piano sound profile.
    • Detune knob
      In certain electric pianos, it’s natural to expect some kind of detuning when playing. These instruments work with metal bars designated for each key, and sometimes this metal could expand or contract, thus resulting in one of the causes for such detuning. You can easily simulate this effect via the dedicated “Detune” knob.
    • Velocity curve
      If you want to adjust the velocity curve (in other words, how exactly most segments of your note’s velocity will sound), you can switch between three different profiles. You can opt for “Normal,” “Weak,” and “Strong” velocity curves, resulting in different playing styles and dynamics.
    • LFO profiles
      On the far-right section of the interface, you’ll see two faders called “LFO Rate” and “LFO Depth.” These can control different rate and depth modulation parameters according to which profile you select on the box above it: “Pitch,” “Expression,” or “Pan” are available, or even “None” if you don’t want to have a modulation going on.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.16 or higher and Windows 7 or higher. It runs in VST2, VST3, and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

This nice collection of different piano profiles can be very handy, covering five distinct sonorities that are commonly used in any audio production situation. Bitsonic Keyzone Classic is a very straightforward virtual instrument in the sense that you don’t have much distraction going on on the main screen, so it’s easy to focus on the tones you want in a matter of seconds. In addition, the different piano profiles are very useful and can be modified if needed.

11. 99Sounds Upright Piano

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Upright Piano is a generic piano plugin that can also create some pad sounds. 

This piano plugin employs a very straightforward interface with the appropriate sound. It’s a dry piano that you can use for general music production like hip-hop and trap. There are four sampled notes per octave and six velocity layers per note, so it sounds pretty smooth.

99Sounds Upright Piano - Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Effects
    The piano plugin features a tremolo, a damper, and a reverbThe damper is essentially a low-pass filter that softens the piano sound. And the reverb is a simple digital reverb that can add space to your sound. 
  • Envelope
    The envelope features an attack and a release knob. You can use these to soften the piano sounds or create a pad-like sound. The pad sound works incredibly well when you combine it with the reverb and a slight tremolo. 

In this video, Bedroom Producers Blog demonstrates Upright Piano and also shows you how it can sound when used as a pad:

FREE Piano VST Plugin (99Sounds Upright Piano)

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 9both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2 and AU formats.

Summary:

Overall, it’s a pretty simple piano plugin that you could use either as a placeholder or even for production. I wouldn’t recommend it for solo classical performance, but you should be able to get away with it if you add in some reverb. Try adding some chorus to create a bar-piano style sound or to improve the pad-like tone.

12. DSK Akoustik KeyZ

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The great tones of a grand piano are within this free virtual instrument.

DSK is known for developing freeware plugins and virtual instruments that are popular among producers and musicians alike. This time, Akoustik KeyZ focuses on getting the distinct profiles of some grand piano models nailed down, with some cool controls and in a light format.

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Three profiles
      You can choose between three piano profiles inside AkoustiK KeyZ: there’s “Grand Piano,” “Concert Piano F,” and “Concert Piano P.” The general settings don’t change as you switch between profiles so you can expand different sonorities in many distinct ways.
    • Filter
      The “Filter” section presents “Cut” and “Res” faders, related to cutoff and response, respectively, and two modes – low or high pass. There’s also an on/off switch to activate the effect when desired.
    • Envelope
      This section controls how your sound will resonate through the instrument and, consequently, the ambient. The common “Attack,” “Decay,” “Sustain,” and “Release” faders control those parameters, and a “Fine” extra fader helps get everything glued together with a fine-tuning of the sound’s dissipation.
    • Flanger
      Uncommon to most piano plugins and sample libraries, a flanger is present in AkoustiK KeyZ. The controls are fairly simple – “Mix,” “Rate,” and “Feedback” – and provide all basic configurations to make the “wooshing” sound of a flanger resonate through your chosen piano model.
    • Reverb modes
      Activating a reverb can help determine your instrument’s ambiance, and here we can choose between some different modes. There are “Normal,” “Freeze,” and “Gated” profiles, each with specific sonority and response, and all are affected by the “Mix,” “Width,” “Size,” and “Damp” fader controls.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher (32-bit only). It comes in VST plugin format.

Summary:

DSK AkoustiK KeyZ is a minimalistic rendition of common upright pianos, with easy-to-follow controls and unique sound profiles that render the classic sound of this instrument lightly. Although it’s a simplistic virtual instrument, it can achieve certain good sounds, but mostly it’s a junior version of bolder and more complete VSTs and libraries.

Bonus

DSK The Grand

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A simple design that houses the classic sounds of a grand piano.

A bonus from DSK, The Grand gets the job done with a minimalistic interface that bears handy controls. You don’t have presets here, just knobs to tweak your sound exactly what you want. Such simplicity may not be what beginners look for, but it doesn’t stop the plugin from being versatile and useful.

Top 12 FREE Piano Plugins That Sounds Like Paid | integraudio.com

Key Features:

    • Velocity layers
      As discussed in this list, velocity layers are responsible for making your virtual instrument sound more realistic, exploring all dynamic layers present in every single instrument’s key. The Grand features four different velocity layers in each note, with about four to six samples per note.
    • Reverb
      The single knob that represents the “Reverb” effect is as straightforward as possible: here, you can set the precise amount of ambiance your virtual instrument needs without further tweaks.
    • Simple interface
      Differently from other items on this list, The Grand showcases a clean and simple design interface. You have only the knobs designated to alter your sound (“Attack,” “Decay,” “Sustain,” “Release,” “Reverb,” and “Level”) and the virtual keyboard that expands through eight octaves.
    • Envelope
      Four of the six knobs included control of the envelope effect. In essence, it deals with the overall dynamics in your plugin, making it sound more realistic. With the help of the “Reverb” knob, you can make your virtual instrument come to life with delicate aspects of its resonance.

Compatibility:

This plugin is available for macOS 10.9 or higher and Windows 7 or higher. It runs in VST and AU plugin formats.

Summary:

A simple yet useful plugin, DSK The Grand focuses on instantly getting the most famous grand piano sounds without much tweaking from the knobs. This simplistic interface may not be the most welcoming to new users and producers, thanks to the lack of presets that can save specific configurations. However, it can be a good plugin when other options are unavailable.

Conclusion

Pianos are essential to modern music the same way they are essential to the styles of the past. Think of classical music, jazz, and even early rock and roll. The piano was always there, in one form or another. The easy way notes are displayed, allied with the characteristic and versatile tone it provides, has made its reputation enormous among music producers and sound engineers. Some musicians even prefer to compose on the piano due to how easily the notes are organized.

The best way to capture a piano’s essence is to play a genuine one. Yes, they can be quite big, but there are solid electric options out there, mainly because not everyone has enough room to house a grand piano in their homes. This is why sampling technology is one of the best aspects of our modern world: if you can’t own one, why not own its sample sounds and virtually play it? Most virtual instruments and sample libraries nail this, and this list is intended to bring the best freeware alternatives to paid plugins.

Among the most complete and immersive options, RDG AUDIO Free Piano 2 draws attention by gathering decent piano samples with a string section, being the perfect duo for immersive and heartwarming pieces. Micronissimo A73 Piano Station is another cool option that features 100+ instruments (including different pianos) and provides three different instruments to be played together from the same screen. The only downside is that it works in standalone mode only.

The plugin with the best-sampled sound is undoubtedly Orchestral Tools Ratio, captured from a Steinway Model B grand piano. The excellence in every aspect of this piano makes this a remarkable free library, included in the SINE Player, and very adjustable. To wrap it up, an honorable mention is Bitsonic Keyzone Classic, which brings some cool different piano models on the same screen and offers some nice configurations in the final sound as well.

All plugins listed here are free to use, and this can be a positive treat for beginner producers and amateur songwriters who need a reliable virtual instrument to produce their tracks. Even though they won’t cost you anything, it’s nice to download each and try them out before choosing the ideal one for you.

See you next time!

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