Piano plugins - opinions?


Does anyone have the Chocolate Audio pianos? I’m really liking the demos…


Hi Fred

I bought the Chocolate Audio piano bundle before the holidays last year when they had a 66% discount. Because of time constraints, I haven’t been able to thoroughly test them or use them live yet. That said, what time I have played them, I am very impressed. These pianos have many adjustments that can be made, but just out of the box, these are my initial judgements:

Model D - 1939 Steinway D274 grand coda piano - very bright, almost tinny. Fun to play.

Model 7 - Yamaha C7 grand coda piano - beautiful sound. Very well rounded top to bottom. Would add this to my arsenal on 1st impression.

Steinbach Upright - I am almost always unimpressed by any upright just because I don’t really like them. This one DID get my attention though, and am looking forward to testing it more.

Model 80 - Yamaha CP80 compact electric grand - I was also impressed by this one. It did seem to be rather mellow, no grit or punch, but really nice for the lighter stuff.

Again, I have to stress, this is just an out of the box trial. There are numerous adjustments and presets to experiment with. Glad you brought this up, as it reminded me to go back to this library.




Nice, thanks! Hmmm, it’s 3 bills but I do like what I’m hearing from the demos. Than again demos always seem to sound good so it’s nice to hear some corroboration. It sounds like the mic combos they included offer a lot of flexibility.



I am going to try to use the Model 7 in a live gig this next week. I will let you know. I am going to a rehearsal tomorrow, so it will give me time to make adjustments.


Oh that’s great, can’t wait to hear your thoughts…



Hi Fred

I tried the Chocolate Audio Model 7 during a rehearsal, and have been trying it at home. So far, these are my observations:

Very good well rounded sound. Lows, mids, and high notes are equally represented. Many pianos I have tried do not have depth in all ranges of the keyboard. Some have great lows, but terrible mids, etc. Model 7 has it all covered. It is a Kontakt instrument, and initially it sounded distorted. Even though the volume control in Kontakt was not pegging out, I turned it slightly down, and corrected that problem. There are a huge amount of settings, and it is very easy to tweek the way you prefer. The key velocities are very responsive to your playing style. I did enjoy playing this, well above the many I have tried. The true test for me will come this weekend in live gig situations. I will let you know how it stacked up.


PS I am also trying the upright as well in live gig. Something about it is really drawing me in!!


Nice… how’s your load time? Or not knowing how fast your machine is relative to mine, how’s your load time as opposed to other pianos?


After the initial load, I would say pretty fast. Alicia Keys has always been a slow load, sometimes over a minute, which is why I never use it. Acoustic Samples Academic Grand (Kontakt version) about 3 to 5 seconds. I would say it compares to Acoustic Samples. I start gigging within an hour, and will try to judge load time, and let you know.




I got try it live. It seemed slow in response on the lower octaves until I muted the reverb. I tried several of the presets, but I still had to mute the reverb. Great response on velocity. The sound was very nice, and managed to cut through as well as my Acoustic Samples. I was very pleased with the depth of all the octaves. I wasn’t able to do much tweeking, so, basically out of the box, I was pleased, but have some more testing to do.




Cool. I may really have to give it a try. Now I really have to decide how high on m priority list yet another piano is in relation to the other things I need… :eek:


Another vote for Ravenscroft live here. Just use the close mic position, turn down the ambient sounds (release, key knock, sustaion release.) They sound awesome through studio monitors but will clutter the mix live, particularly the sustain release.

Very dynamic especially in the higher velocities. It sounds great right away but the timbre shift thingy adds some extra clarity for cutting over a band.

This guy says it all. I agree with everything he says:


How is the Ravenscroft on system resources? I’d use the Keyscape C7 but that thing is a pig. Maybe when I switch to an SSD it will make the difference.


I have Keyscapes as well. They are both a bit taxing on resources but the Ravenscroft feels a bit more solid to me. I love the Keyscapes C7 for studio work but (in my opinion) the Ravenscroft often wins out for live sound clarity and playability. Also, I don’t know if you’ve found this but I find keyscapes doesn’t play very nicely with Cantabile for recalling parameters in rack states. The UVI player (Ravenscroft uses) functions the way it should for recalling parameters.



I posted the wrong namm video (wrong year, same pianist). This is the review that I completely agree with.


Holy c**p- now there’s THIS half Terabyte bastard… although it does seem to come in many flavors for different budgets and machines, so that’s good. Sounds pretty dang nice…


Oh Great!. I think I’ll nip down to Macca’s and download it to my thumb drive …



I have been running Production Grand Gold on my rig since 2014. I really love the sound and responsiveness. The overall cantabile load footprint with this plugin is quite low. However, it is a beast to load up, it does take some time initially. The nice thing is I’ve never had an issue running it in Cantabile version 2 or 3. I just recently got an email from Jason Chapman showing the pre-release of Production Grand 2, a revised version of the original. So many new features and options within the new interface.


I have been running AddictiveKeys.
Does someone have a good preset for live usage?
Perhaps as fxb or cantabile rack / song format?


I haven’t used AK for long but do like it a lot.
I’ve played about using the two close tube mics for my foldback and the two far tubes for the mix / PA. Maybe the Mid tubes. Because the AK has only two outputs I run two instances to split the audio. I only ever add reverb etc after checking the sound from either the desk or mid venue. No point adding reverb to a venue or hall that already has reverb and the equalisation and presence changes once the gig fills up anyway. Then it depends on the gig, Jazz, Blues, Rock. Chick Corea or Trad jazz dixieland? 1950s Rock n Roll or ZZ Top.
I guess it depends …


Hmmmm…ZZ Top on piano. Maybe add a little fuzz tone and full mid-range to that! Yeah…I can hear that possibility.