Best Piano VST Plugins The Definitive List 2020

 by 

Jay Von K   -  


Updated: October 18, 2020

Do you want to add a little creative touch to your sound, but you aren't sure of the best piano software for your project?

Here you can solve this problem!

In this article, we will get you through the top piano VST plugins!

Best Piano VST Plugins
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But before we dive into this, let’s take a look at a few important things you need to know about piano VSTs...

To begin with, there are two kinds of piano plugins: synthesized and sample-based.

The first ones create piano sounds from scratch, allowing for a lot of tweaking, while the second ones keep the realistic sound of a real piano.

Secondly, the prices of piano VSTs vary a lot.

If you just want to experiment, you might want to get a free or budget-friendly plugin, but if you are looking for high-end sounds and customizability, be ready to spend some more cash.

Finally, it's crucial that you get one that is suited to your production style.

To help you get started, take a look at our list below!

The 9 best Piano VST Plugins of 2020 include:

  • Modartt Pianoteq V6
  • NI Alicia Keys
  • XLN Audio Addictive Keys
  • Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos
  • Garritan Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand
  • Spectrasonics Keyscape
  • ToonTrack Ezkeys Line
  • Sonic Couture Hammersmith
  • East West Quantum Leap Pianos

1. Modartt Pianoteq V6

Modartt Pianoteq 6
General

Simply put, the Pianoteq V6 is a culmination of Modartt’s pursuit of quality virtual piano realism.

Usable in standalone mode or as an instrument plugin in VST, AAX or AudioUnits, the V6 is quite advanced and optimized for discerning composers and sound engineers.

This plugin outshines its competitor's thanks to real instrument modeling that allows it to emulate the playability and natural feel of actual acoustic instruments.

It gets better.

The V6 offers multiple improvements in its engine and configuration, making it complete fun to play.

Modartt Pianoteq 6

Particularly striking is the enhanced realism and audio presence on its simulated instruments, which include acoustic pianos, electro-acoustic pianos, chromatic percussion, and more.

The Modartt Pianoteq V6 does not use samples hence comes in smaller file size.

But wait, there's more.

It also features an advanced tuning section with great tools such as MIDI playlist, archive, audio export, and more.

In short, Pianoteq supports incredible sound generation in a clean environment and with significant design adjustments.

Modartt Pianoteq V6WATCH THE DEMO

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Modartt Pianoteq V6:

2. XLN Audio Addictive Keys

XLN Audio Addictive Keys
General

Now get this, the XLN Audio Addictive Keys levels up creativity thanks to the generous supply of features and effects.

As a sample-based VST, it includes top piano emulations telling of XLN’s eye for quality.

Think of different modules such as a grand piano, an upright piano, an electric grand piano, and an electric piano.

You can start by experimenting with the different sounds and effects available then working your way to the best tones.

Yes, that’s right.

And even better, XLN adopted MyCloud Technology in this VST plugin.

Addictive Keys

It means all your work is synchronized automatically and saved securely to the Cloud.

It allows unrestricted access and use from multiple devices and at any time.

So, yes!

If you want to collaborate with others, Addictive Keys makes this possible.

You will love the user interface because it’s not only clean but also inspires creativity.

For instance, there is a helpful FX page where you can play around with custom delay, microphone mix, reverb, filters, saturation, and more.

If that isn’t enough, the quick controls that enable tone and character shaping, sound layering, and the addition of effects will.

XLN Audio Addictive Keys


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Addictive Keys Trio Bundle:
Addictive Keys Duo Bundle:
Addictive Keys: Studio Grand:
Addictive Keys: Modern Upright:
Addictive Keys: Mark One:
Addictive Keys: Electric Grand:

3. Garritan Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand

Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand from Garritan
General

The Garritan Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand is yet another explosive piano plugin that extends the limits of piano sampling.

Why do we say this?

In reality, this is Yamaha’s flagship grand piano recorded by top engineers working with world-class equipment in the famous Abbey Road Studios’ studio.

Imagine every key on the grand piano being played several and getting recorded in different ways.

Abbey Road CFX Concert Grand

Isn’t that amazingly close to the real thing?

And you have great choices when playing.

You can choose to have the lid closed or have it half or fully opened.

Again, it’s possible to add reverb, change the sustain, create different ambiance, switch hearing modes, and so on.

To top it off, there is the three discrete perspectives feature that adds to the ability to optimize sound quality

If you ever doubted what a quality piano VST instruments, you will be thankful for the realness CFX Concert Grand bring to your production.

Garritan Abbey Road CFX Concert GrandWATCH THE DEMO

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Garritan CFX Concert Grand:

4. Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics Keyscape
General

No matter your experience with virtual piano instruments, you will appreciate that Spectrasonics did an excellent job putting this together.

Let me explain, Keyscape presents a collection of various vintage keyboards, essentially allowing the creation of so many sounds that anyone could ever use.

Keyscape from Spectrasonics

The point is- it not only provides acoustic piano sound but a complete library of different kinds of sampled keyboard instruments.

Among them are electric and other uncommon keyboard-based gear.

Don’t get me wrong, because being a product of several creative minds working for ten years; such should be expected.

Correct?

Keyscape

Beyond the fantastic sound quality, there are plenty of customization options.

So whatever track composition style you’re working on, Spectrasonics Keyscape can power great sound to keep you rolling.

The only downside is its relatively high usage of CPU and RAM, but the variety provided should be enough compensation.

Spectrasonics Keyscape


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Spectrasonics Keyscape:

5. Toontrack Ezkeys Line

EZKeys
General

Given its functionality, the EZkeys Line by ToonTrack is more of a songwriting tool than a mere virtual piano player.

To begin with, you don’t need any skills to write keyboard-based songs from scratch or add original piano parts to your songs.

And while it will keep prompting you with ideas, it lets you have total creative control.

EZKeys from Toontrack

Users can manipulate and add flavor freely, so the results can’t be anything far from expectation.

With this software, it is easy to slice, dice, change, and rearrange sounds from within the program.

Want to preview and proceed with building your track?

It’s also possible.

Don’t forget; you can also switch blocks, alter the whole key for full songs, and change velocity, among other things.

What’s more?

EZkeys features a well-thought-out MIDI collection ensuring all major song styles are catered for.

Thanks to the user browser MIDI feature, it's easy to switch playing styles in multiple ways.

Toontrack Ezkeys Line


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Toontrack EZkeys Essential Pianos:
Toontrack EZkeys Expansion Packs:

6. Soniccouture Hammersmith

Soniccouture The Hammersmith
General

The Hammersmith is a dream come true for any composer who may not have the chance to use the real acoustic grand piano.

As captivating as the source, the software presents one of the most consistent samples ever.

Fact is, in putting it together, Sonic Couture captured twenty-one velocity layers with an up/down sustain pedal.

Soniccouture Hammersmith

All this was done using high-quality microphones taking close, mid, and room angles.

What does this mean?

Simple, you have plenty of controls and parameters to manipulate.

Thus, delivering different outputs for different styles can’t be any easier.

You will love the flexible velocity mapping scheme, round-robin sample switching, and note by note adjustment functionality.

And that’s not all, you also have a framework for temperament and micro-tuning, preset saving and loading not to mention a wide array of built-in effects.

Overall, the flexibility, quality of sound, and playing experience tell of the Hammersmith's inspiring and first-class status.

Sonic Couture HammersmithWATCH THE DEMO

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Sonic Couture Hammersmith:

7. EWQL Pianos

EastWest Quantum Leap Pianos
General

Looking for a piano VST offering a library with four distinct and professionally recorded grand pianos?

The East West Quantum Leap Pianos could be it.

Offering samples from the Bechstein D280, Bosendorfer 290, Yamaha C7 Grand Concert piano, and Steinway D, this is a real heavyweight.

East West Quantum Leap Pianos

Moving on, the East West Quantum Leap Pianos features an intuitive interface to allow you to do your session hassle-free.

The detailed recording allows users to an aura of realism as if working with an actual piano.

A key contributor to this end is the vintage multi-position mics used in recording each piano.

And how can anyone resist plenty velocities per not with equally wide-ranging functions such as sustain, repetitions, soft pedal, and more?

All in all, you can't have enough of this plugin because the customization options are just countless.

EWQL PianosWATCH THE DEMO

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EWQL Pianos Gold:
EWQL Pianos Platinum:

8. Synthogy Ivory II Grand

Synthogy Ivory II Grand Piano
General

Here’s the thing, the Synthogy Ivory II grand piano is a sample library of three grand pianos.

It offers an extensive collection of samples that can be used to generate new and unique tones.

At its core is the cutting-edge Sympathetic String Resonance that most seasoned pianists drool over.

And guess what?

These are not your typical sympathetic strings produced by mere sine waves.

Bosendorfer 290 Grand

Here you have something more advanced using an all-new customized engine, which ensures the sound quality is even better.

Besides that, this plugin comes with other sets of features that guarantee enhanced vivid detail.

Talk about half-pedaling, lid position, tuning tables, pedal noise, timbre shifting, parametric EW, and synth layer controls; Ivory II has it all.

Moreover, each piano offers up to 18 expanded velocity layers with the same terrific fidelity.

So what?

It only means users have more sculpting capabilities for better sound design and custom piano programming.

Given everything, it’s crystal clear why this remains a popular grand piano collection and the go-to choice for elite music producers.

Synthogy Ivory II Grand


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Synthogy Ivory II Grand:
Synthogy Ivory II Studio Grands:

9. NI Alicia Keys

Native Instruments Alicias Keys
General

Sounds familiar?

As the name suggests, this Piano emulating software has been developed with the input of award-winning artist Alicia Keys.

That’s right.

The NI Alicia Keys is an emulation of the artist signature grand piano based on NI’s Kontakt 4 sampler platform.

It provides up to 17GB high-resolution samples with 12 separate velocity layers per key.

NI Alicia Keys

By all standards, reliving the authenticity and playability of Alicia’s expressive sound comes easy with this software.

But that's not all, you also have the emulation of essential sonic elements such as key release, sustain pedal functionality, and sympathetic resonance.

The superior piano tones are accessible via a clean and intuitive interface that allows full control and in-depth editing.

Users can conveniently make adjustments of specific music context, playing style, and room ambiances.

In a nutshell, Alicia Keys sets the bar higher with high-fidelity piano sounds, which you can use for R&B, Soul, and Pop styles.

NI Alicia Keys


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NI Alicia Keys:
More Piano VST Plugins
Soundiron Emotional Piano:
AIR Keyboard Collection:
Wavesfactory Old Tape Piano:
Arturia Stage-73 V:
Arturia Wurli V:
Hans Zimmer Piano:
Free Piano VST Plugins

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Final Thoughts
So there you have it, the best piano-based VST plugins to help you ‘color’ your tracks like never before.
Next level audio production and studio recording
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