Piano plugins - opinions?

I tried Model B in the Pianoteq demo, and it sounded good, but those mid/high notes just didn’t quite have the woody realism of Ivory II that I’m used to. But in a band situation, the difference is probably moot - more important for the sound to have the presence to cut through confidently, which I think it would do nicely.


I’ve tried the Painoteq demos and it just doesn’t quite work for me. If I really tweaked it, maybe but it just sounds… not right somehow in the upper registers. I’ve been using Addictive Keys live (and in the studio) because it does have such a small footprint but now with a more robust laptop and C3 I’m using The Grandeur for Kontakt. It sounds realistic and still cuts through our mix- which is tough. I often find myself using more digital sounding pianos to get in a rock mix. My go-to used to be the Alesis Quadrasynth lol Anyway, I like Grandeur, Piano in Blue, and the good ol’ Galaxy D, and Una Corda for some special lo-fi color.

And I’ve been gearing people raving about the Bechstein Digital, may be looking into that.

Since the last update, there have been significant improvements at Pianoteq.
Have you tried the new Grotrian Concert Royal, released with the latest update (v 5.8.0) ?

Nope, I’ll give 'er a look!

Just made a short demo this morning :


Nice - sounds very solid and “woody” :wink:

Alicia’s Keys? - lovely in isolation but I’m coming round to thinking it maybe too muddy to cut through a mix

Yeah, I’ve played around with all of the NI Komplete pianos, but TBH, Alicia’s Keys are wonderful in a solo setting or in a piano-centric arrangement, but to make them cut through a band mix, they need pretty brutal EQ…

The other NI pianos are all a bit bland to my taste - they will work in a mix, but they aren’t really exciting or inspiring to play.




I’ve just got Keyscape and I haven’t yet used it in anger but to me it sounds amazing straight out of the box…

A friend of mine swears by the Ravenscroft one as well and I must say, I did like the feel of it when I played on it for a while

Just my 2 cents…


Well, I know you are all going to laugh at me, but I really like MANY of the modeled pianos in Arturia’s Piano V, and am especially addicted to the Classical U3 upright. I mean, really addicted.

And speaking of addiction, I have long enjoyed the Addictive Keys instruments - very tweak-able!

Just got the Komplete 11 collection and intend on giving “The Grandeur” a tryout, but it is an entirely different sounding beast, judging from my short trial with it yesterday.

We are in hog-heaven with our piano choices these days, though!!! :slight_smile:


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I upgraded to Arturia V Collection awhile back and was very disappointed in several of the instruments, especially the B3. I guess I didn’t give the piano a fair shot, but will revisit now knowing of your addiction, and hope we will both need rehab soon. BTW…is Addictive Keys a large mega-gig space eater?


Addictive keys is not a mega-space eater, that I can say for it. It came on a single DVD!

(Off Topic from the thread):
I was not crazy about Arturia’s B3 either. I like the one from NI, and LinPlug’s Organ 3 which I have had for a while, but I must admit I am certainly not a purist. I did like the keyswitches on Arturia’s B3, though! Nice, fast registration changes! But the Leslie really left me wanting - I liked the Leslie effect in my Korg Wavestation far more! :slight_smile:

(I actually should try the Korg Leslie effect out with the other organs I have, now that I have the Korg Legacy Collection, which includes the effects…)


I would classify the Arturia Hammond, in a word, as garbage lol -mainly due to the Leslie. An uncharacteristic fail given how good most of their other stuff is. I have to admit I also kind of just skipped over the piano and I haven’t really played with it.

I know we’ve been in a gushfest for the VB3 recently but it really is the gold standard imho.

Sorry, back on topic!


I am on my way to gig tonight, and will place the U3 in a few songs to check it’s live potential. Any tweeking you care share would be great. As far as B3, I have been raving in a few threads about VB3. I’ve had it for years and it just does a great job on stage. Love the B5, but just doesn’t cut it live, although I saw an interview filmed 2 weeks ago with the developer where he said a major update is coming soon. Leslie changes will be a large part of it. Again…off topic.


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This has been such an informative thread - maybe we need a similar one for organ plugins :slight_smile:

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Oh…This isn’t about organs?? Ooops…sorry! VB3



I tried the classical U3 and the piano bar U3 on stage, and was mostly impressed. I think with some tweeking, they will work real well. Didn’t have a chance to try any of the others. It has renewed my faith somewhat in Arturia again.

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Hi folks!

Want to share my little trick for any piano (or any other instrument) sound improvement. (This will applicable for those who have FabFilter Q2 or similar plug, which has an EQ matching tool).

For instance: You want your piano sound like Nord Piano 3

  • Record the Nord Piano (I used existing recording from nord.soundcloud piano recordings)
  • Then record Your piano (I recorded some similiar up-down runs, but it is not so important i suppose)
  • Insert FabFilter Q2 plugin into your piano track, then sidechain Nord Piano 3 into Q2, then EQ match it.
  • Voila!
    Moreso you can “mix” this eq setting to sound more matched.

P.S. I created some presets for standard Concert Grand Kontakt piano.
also I add a velocity controlled filter in it and now it sounds… Very good! :slight_smile:
Сould share some presets if needed

Kind regards.

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@Alexander I would be very interested in seeing your presets for the Kontakt Grand or even hearing the differences in an audio file.



Here were are (Concert Grand preset and some FabFilter eq presets):
ConcertGrandPianoPresets.zip (124.7 KB)

Only modification i made in Kontakt preset is - Velocity->HiPass filter modulation. It is at most about EQing.

some mp3 samples (dry):
ConcertPiano.zip (2.9 MB)

kind regards, Alexander