Best Piano VST Libraries (Top List)

Best Piano VST Library?

Are you looking for a new Piano VST plugin or sample library? Anything from soft and ambient to big and cinematic. While “Best” is of course always subjective, here is a complete top list (based on input from fellow composers):

Best Piano VST Libraries

Things You should Consider

  • Sound Character & Tone
  • Sound Quality & Consistency
  • Dynamic Levels & Round Robins
  • Presets & Variation
  • User Interface & Features
  • Playability & Performance
  • Microphone & Mixing

Your Input is Wanted!

Do you have experience on any of these products? Do you have suggestions on products you think could make this top list?

Share your thoughts, perspective, and join the discussion in the thread below! :slight_smile:

Mikael Baggström
Founder of Professional Composers


I have most of those NI libraries and my favourites are the grandeur and the Gentleman which are simply beautiful. The Giant is really nice as a layer thoughts more too end heavy so I mainly use it for cutting through the mix… it has a lovely fx patch though which I sometimes use.

I also use the grand piano from spitfire which is stunning in large pieces but doesn’t do soft articulations.

Other notables would be the piano book website. Hundreds of composers have uploaded their own sample piano libraries for free and a lot of them sound absolutely stunning!

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i like the giant from NI i use quite a lot in my composition and sometime i make a layer with other library to get a different color and with my korg oasys that has a great old acoustic piano
i have tried the eastwest piano but not convinced by the quality of the sound

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Yes EW pianos sound quite forced and a little brittle I find though I guess that might be fine in a larger piece as a layer. I’d quite like to get the Noir, that looks very interesting. Think that’s by NI too. They do pianos very well!

The gentleman
The giant
The grandeur

And I like the sound of 8dio 1990 studio grand but it hasn’t got the same nice feeling to play as the others in my opinion.

Haven’t tried that one tbh but that basically describes the spitfire one too. Has the sound which is fantastic, but because they’ve developed it to be just the higher velocities it doesn’t have to piano feel.

Working on my modeled orchestra, and while I’ve managed to match Precedence/Breeze rather well to the Infinite libs Studio IRs, so I can leisurely distribute SWAM Strings across the stage, my favorite Ravenscroft 275 is not entirely happy with that arrangement. The provided mics are “full width” (as in, wider than the whole orchestra), and they don’t like being narrowed down.

So, I’m considering Pianoteq, part to have more control over quite literally everything, part to have more detail for my upcoming jazz project, and of course, part to get closer to a fully modeled orchestra, just for the sake of it. :slight_smile:

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I’m having a look at other UVI pianos atm. They even have a full Keys bundle, that I bet could rival my current collection “Keyscape”. :slight_smile:

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Pianoteq is nice. Especially Bechstein I think. For jazz I don’t know. I’m also gonna upgrade to pro, next sale. I have standard now but I want to be able to fiddle more with overtones/harmonics since I mostly do solo piano pieces.

In arrangements I also many times get back to Impact soundworks Pearl. I often start with another piano library but then Pearl always seems to sit best in the mix. It’s funny but they did something right I guess.


How is the CPU usage of Pianotech?

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I think cpu is low and good.
You can have a demo as long as you want. Works for 20 minute with a few notes missing.

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I’m really liking the Bechstein as far as the classical demos go! The Petrof 275 also sounds nice, especially for jazz, perhaps more suitable when the singing Bechstein might be a bit “too much.” Several nice pianos, and then all these tweaking possibilities…

Really liking how the strings are interacting with the sustain pedal down. The VI Labs Ravenscroft 275 does a surprisingly good job of that too, which already makes it sound “alive,” but it’s still samples, and the modelling approach in Pianoteq really seems to add another dimension to it.

Will definitely try the demo.

Any idea when these guys tend to run sales? (I’d grab the entry version for now, but I’m not sure it has the features I need for my spatial mixing project.)

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Sales, doesn’t practically everyone do the biggest ones on Black Friday? :stuck_out_tongue:

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It’s very rare with sales on Pianoteq is my experience, but I’m gonna look for sales on upgrades and sounds sale which happens but it’s more like 10 - 25 % off.
I will take a look on Black Friday and during Christmas and see.

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Unfortunately, that’s three days before the deadline for NaSoAlMo, which might be a bit tight. :smiley:
But, if there are no major sales anyway (can’t remember seeing any), it’s no big deal either way.

Let’s not forget that there are a whole bunch of modelled pianofortes, harpsichords and whatnot for this engine as well.

I rather enjoyed the Orchestral Tools Harpsichord that I used for the Nostalgic competition, but samples can’t quite handle these instruments, so it’s either sampled staccatos of whatever length(s) the library covers, or spliced release samples, which has a bunch of issues. Seems like a perfect candidate for modelling. (Slightly underrated instruments either way, IMHO! They tend to have multiple sets of strings, various sorts of organ style stops and whatnot, to make up for the lack of velocity sensitivity.)

The harpsichord is amazing for adding that sense of “nobility”, or even snobbishness haha. It has been used to great effect for adding a touch of aristocracy in film scores when portraying certain characters. :stuck_out_tongue:

I remember it being used for the Royal British Navy in the POTC score.

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I´ve lately fallen in love with Eastwest Bösendorfer. It has that nice balance like the Gentleman.


The Gentleman is a great sounding soft piano. :slight_smile:


I know this isn’t for everyone, but it has to be mentioned: ‘The Ravel’ is an amazing piano which is only available in LUNA (New DAW by UAD).


  • Extremely Versatile (nice middle ground for many styles without sounding dull)
  • Very Dynamic
  • Very Good Balanced Control
  • Free Version is Excellent (In some ways better than the paid one!)


  • I wish I could use it outside of LUNA, even as someone with access to LUNA, I would love to use Ravel outside of LUNA in Bitwig, Logic etc.
  • Paid Version is IMO less versatile than the free version.