Piano plugins - opinions?

Cool! I take it this is an automatic profiling thing with the FabFilter, right?

VERY NICE ! I will be experimenting today. Thank you Alexander.




kind regards, Alexander

Everyone has their individual tastes. Ravenscroft does something special for me. I personally like it more than the Spectrasonics C7 and Pianoteq. The whole dynamic range feels right to me. It’s one of the only piano sets that I don’t need a “Bright” setting and a “Mellow” setting. If I play it hard it cuts If I play it soft it sounds warm and thick but still has a nice sparkle on top. I have the Tone and the The Timber Shift parameters mapped to my controller and these two knobs fix any cutting issues on stage for me.
When you get these two perimeters working together to balance each other out there are a lot of playable sounds for different settings. It’s not the biggest Piano sample set out there so it’s pretty good CPU wise and loads fast too on my laptop if you just use the close mics.

I need to try the Addictive keys stuff too. I love that company’s products.


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Side note: Most pianos die in mono. Pianoteq, with all it’s technology, makes the big leap backwards with a great mono sound.

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Hi All,

Saw this news from Synthogy Ivory Studio Grands. The release will also offer an upgrade for the engine with some interesting new features and the end of the dongle only option!


For a piano that sits in a 70s style mix I keep coming back to the Addictive Keys Upright. It doesn’t work for everything but it has a fantastic vintage rock/pop/soul sound. I just used it in a demo for a old school soul song because it loads so fast but I think I’m keeping it in the real version. (Live though… neither it or the Addictive Grand really seems to work.)

Hey Fred,

What piano vst works live for you? Thanks


Well, right now I’m using The Grandeur by NI- haven’t actually done a gig yet but I’m liking that for rehearsal. I may try some others though. Traditionally NI pianos haven’t impressed me but this one seems to channel that Keith Emerson/Eddie Jobson vibe that I like. Up until now I really stayed away from Kontakt live- that’s why I used Truepianos and then Addictive. I’d like to try Keyscape but that thing is just a pig on RAM and load times lol


Call me a philistine but I really like Tascams old CV Piano on their GVI platform. You need to knock it into shape and save as a preset but it’s a nice sounding old nail.
Then again I have tinnitus from years of loud sound.

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Would you believe it… I loaded up The Grandeur today that was working so well for other songs in the set and HATED it. I realized the other songs were all in the low register. The higher register just sounds tinny and poop. Pianos are such a pain in the ass lol I’m about this far away from going back to the Addictive Upright.


Aren’t they though.
Still it was bad enough dragging a Rhodes around let alone a grand.
I’ve given up on high end $400+ plugins etc and just use some middle of the road stuff that sits OK in a mix and doesn’t piss me off (too much).
I reckon the only person who really cares at the average gig is you.

Started out,
Seeking fortune and glory
It’s a short song, but it’s a
Hell of a story, when you
Spend your lifetime trying to get
Your hands on the Holy Grail

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That’s the funny part because I know it’s true but I care a lot! The real problem is that once it makes it through the PA almost any piano sound is mangled anyway. I’m actually like you; I’ve found that the best piano in most mixes often isn’t a piano that you would pick as a solo instrument. I used to swear by the piano sound in an Alesis Quadrasynth. I’ve even used a Mellotron piano on occasion- one velocity layer, no round robin :smiley: :smiley: Sometimes I fall back on the old Yamaha CP-70 because it’s supposed to sound tinny and I don’t have to worry about it when it does but it doesn’t cut it for these particular songs.

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Of course being bards and artisans we are somewhat neurotic about our sounds, our creations. One must be. But as you said, by the time it squeezes through the PA or into the maw of an MP3 engine the Taj Mahal ends up a Homer Simpson tree house.
One just needs to be a bit brutal or you end up with a mortgage load of subtly unsatisfactory plugins.
(LOL, Having just bought TruePianos and hour ago) :slight_smile:
All the piano plugins are like those Chinese puzzles with the missing square. Only they have two missing squares!

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I’m using Steinbergs The Grand. Love it actually. No e-piano I ever bought or listened to had a chance against it. Even I like the Upright of the Nord (Electro in my case), Steinberg is still making it. Unfortunately it’s dongled but shit happens…

I suppose it’s cheap enough compared to some others (except for the stupid dongle).
But it didn’t set me afire.
Ravenscroft was not outstanding either.
I find it also varies with the piece.
I usually oscillate around sound Magic, True Pianos, CV Piano and some sfz instruments.
I still use the CV Piano alot. You have to knock it into shape and it has a learning curve but I still like it.

Have a listen …

I’ve played with the Ravenscroft for some time now - I have to admit I really like it! Nice full body and good tone across the whole range. Plus, nice dynamics and “touch”.

But it will NOT replace my AddictiveKeys Grand for live usage - can’t beat the resource efficiency, and the sound and playability doesn’t leave much of a gap against the Ravenscroft.

BUT: you have to really work with the AddictiveKeys - just picking a preset doesn’t cut it. I’ve reduced it to a very “naked” version with just one set of microphones, very little processing, no room or reverb - just like you would mike a real grand piano on stage (wouldn’t really use a distant room mike on stage with a rock band to mike up a piano, would you?).

Once I had the naked tone down to the essentials, I added a separate EQ in my piano rack, so that I can create different voicings (biting, soft, …). Room-/reverb-wise, I use a general reverb in my main keyboard rack - better to have a more homogenous reverb with individual sends per rack than each plug-in bringing their own.

I’ve since added some specific effects plugins to my piano rack for some customized sounds; plus for some rack states, I play with different dynamics curves - but these are non-essential additions. And across all of this, I have exactly ONE setting of the Addictive Keys plugin - everything else is just later processing.

Like having a piano on stage :wink:





I’ll give the addictive keys grand a go. $80 is a small enough price to pay. In fact I was surprised by the price. Usually the guys with flashy web sites and images of mic infested pianos and superlative this and inspiring that want a fortune for yet another dose of buyers remorse.


Actually the AK Grand is pretty good. I know they’re OK when I’m off with the fairies when playing an improv piece.

A few hours later and I like it, I like it a lot!! My new all time fav
Cheers for the tip @Torsten

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I’ve been loving the Addictive Keys pianos for many years - in fact, I think it was my first plugin purchase! I have them all! :sunny:

I have to try paring the grand down to two mikes like @Torsten did there - sounds like a cool strategy!


Which of the two WWII vintage mics are you going to use?