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Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

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Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:29 pm
by CS70
I've just made a piano part, playing my old Roland RD-150 and recording MIDI. I like the piano keyboard and it worked fine (with a lot of rehearsing ;-) ). In the DAW I use the stock modeled piano instrument in Cakewalk to get an idea and with a bit of love it sounds nice enough.

That CW piano synth however is very old and somewhat limited, and I wonder if there's some good grand piano library/modeled piano that sounds good and doesn't break the bank? Just to compare and see if it makes a difference.

I need to be able to alter the pitch as this particular song we've recorded with a bit higher pitch for effect (A=443Hz) so lots of sample libraries don't work. I think the Berliner uses that pitch in concert.

First time ever using a soft piano and there's gazillions packages so no idea on what's what. Anyone care to enlighten me?

I actually like the sound of the Roland quite a bit, so I may end up sending the MIDI back to it and recording the analogue out, but a good software piano could make things easier.

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:37 pm
by desmond
Plenty of free options over at pianobook.co.uk (you'll need a sampler than can play these back though, it's mostly Kontakt and EXS24 formats).

There are plenty of other libraries more commercial, eg https://www.sampletekk.com and so on, for various tastes and needs.

And as far as self-contained plugin instruments go, well, there any many.

Piano sounds are really personal though - some people want a classical solo piano, some want a filmic soft piano, some want a brighter, rock-style piano and so on. I have a few favourites from these libraries, although I think the one I most enjoy playing is the Yamaha C7 in Keyscape, which is beautiful (though Keyscape is not an insignificant investment)...

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:38 pm
by Eddy Deegan
I'm a huge fan of Modartt's Pianoteq. It's not bargain basement, but neither is it the most expensive and it provides a range of extremely playable modelled pianos, and as such takes up a fraction of the disk space that a sample-based library would.

I used one of the Steinway models for the track 'Martin' and when it comes to anything piano, it's my goto plugin these days.

Lots of demos of the various modelled instruments here: https://www.modartt.com/pianoteq?tab=instruments. Just click one to see the available demos of that model.

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:39 pm
by nickle15
CS70 wrote:I've just made a piano part, playing my old Roland RD-150 and recording MIDI. I like the piano keyboard and it worked fine (with a lot of rehearsing ;-) ). In the DAW I use the stock modeled piano instrument in Cakewalk to get an idea and with a bit of love it sounds nice enough.

That CW piano synth however is very old and somewhat limited, and I wonder if there's some good grand piano library/modeled piano that sounds good and doesn't break the bank? Just to compare and see if it makes a difference.

I need to be able to alter the pitch as this particular song we've recorded with a bit higher pitch for effect (A=443Hz) so lots of sample libraries don't work. I think the Berliner uses that pitch in concert.

First time ever using a soft piano and there's gazillions packages so no idea on what's what. Anyone care to enlighten me?

I actually like the sound of the Roland quite a bit, so I may end up sending the MIDI back to it and recording the analogue out, but a good software piano could make things easier.

I'm not sure how it fits into your budget but I'd recommend a couple of the offerings from XLN Audio. I use the Modern Upright, and in fact used it throughout a recent album. My friend uses the Studio Grand. Both sound fantastic and there is a ton of editing ability so you can get exactly the sound you want. They also offer a limited demo of the Studio Grand.

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addic ... T6EALw_wcB

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:43 pm
by The Elf
My favourite for a while has been my Jupiter-80's supernatural piano. I can tune it and run the MIDI through it, if you like?

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:45 pm
by CS70
Wow, that would be great! But - what do you use for playing the midi? I installed the Kontakt player (or at least downloaded it) - is that enough?

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:46 pm
by Eddy Deegan
Also happy to run the MIDI through a couple of models on Pianoteq if you'd like to hear that in addition (I'm not sure Pianoteq is worth the price for just one track!)

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:55 pm
by CS70
nickle15 wrote:I'm not sure how it fits into your budget but I'd recommend a couple of the offerings from XLN Audio. I use the Modern Upright, and in fact used it throughout a recent album. My friend uses the Studio Grand. Both sound fantastic and there is a ton of editing ability so you can get exactly the sound you want. They also offer a limited demo of the Studio Grand.

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addic ... T6EALw_wcB

Thank you, yeah I saw that. It's not a bad price at all and the "Tears Never Dry" demo has a lovely sound.

But can u pitch it?

It's just a one-off as I am not really a piano player (normally I would just find a player friend for a collab and record him/her, but we're in full lockdown in Oslo for a couple weeks), so while 89 euro isn't the end of the world, it's a bit much for just a test..

Still, half of a dinner for two in Oslo, so not too bad :D

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:55 pm
by The Elf
CS70 wrote:Wow, that would be great! But - what do you use for playing the midi? I installed the Kontakt player (or at least downloaded it) - is that enough?
Just export the MIDI file to me. I'll import it into Cubase and job done.

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:57 pm
by CS70
Eddy Deegan wrote:Also happy to run the MIDI through a couple of models on Pianoteq if you'd like to hear that in addition (I'm not sure Pianoteq is worth the price for just one track!)

Thanks! I actually downloaded the PianoTeq demo yesterday and found a sound I liked (one of the Anton recordings I think).. a bit pricey as a one off yeah.

But you never know, with the coronavirus pandemic and free time, I may take up the piano! :D :D

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:58 pm
by CS70
The Elf wrote:
CS70 wrote:Wow, that would be great! But - what do you use for playing the midi? I installed the Kontakt player (or at least downloaded it) - is that enough?
Just export the MIDI file to me. I'll import it into Cubase and job done.

Cool will send u a dropbox in a PM (if I find the PMs :D)

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:05 pm
by nickle15
CS70 wrote:
nickle15 wrote:I'm not sure how it fits into your budget but I'd recommend a couple of the offerings from XLN Audio. I use the Modern Upright, and in fact used it throughout a recent album. My friend uses the Studio Grand. Both sound fantastic and there is a ton of editing ability so you can get exactly the sound you want. They also offer a limited demo of the Studio Grand.

https://www.xlnaudio.com/products/addic ... T6EALw_wcB

Thank you, yeah I saw that. It's not a bad price at all and the "Tears Never Dry" demo has a lovely sound.

But can u pitch it?

It's just a one-off as I am not really a piano player (normally I would just find a player friend for a collab and record him/her, but we're in full lockdown in Oslo for a couple weeks), so while 89 euro isn't the end of the world, it's a bit much for just a test..

Still, half of a dinner for two in Oslo, so not too bad :D

I'd be glad to check after work to see if you can pitch it, but I would be surprised if you can't. It appears the studio grand demo is rather limited but you might find an answer there. I'm in the US and just started my workday so it will be later but I'll be glad to check.

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:09 pm
by The Elf
CS70 wrote:
The Elf wrote:
CS70 wrote:Wow, that would be great! But - what do you use for playing the midi? I installed the Kontakt player (or at least downloaded it) - is that enough?
Just export the MIDI file to me. I'll import it into Cubase and job done.
Cool will send u a dropbox in a PM (if I find the PMs :D)
:thumbup:

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:13 pm
by Zukan
Eddy Deegan wrote:I'm a huge fan of Modartt's Pianoteq. It's not bargain basement, but neither is it the most expensive and it provides a range of extremely playable modelled pianos, and as such takes up a fraction of the disk space that a sample-based library would.

I used one of the Steinway models for the track 'Martin' and when it comes to anything piano, it's my goto plugin these days.

Lots of demos of the various modelled instruments here: https://www.modartt.com/pianoteq?tab=instruments. Just click one to see the available demos of that model.

Yeah this ^^^^

I have a ton of Kontakt piano libraries, Sonivox offerings and so on but none come near to Pianoteq both in terms of beautifully presented piano libraries and editability.

Re: Any good piano library that doesn't cost a house?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:49 pm
by The Elf
I really, really like Pianoteq, but when it comes to adding it to a piece I always shy away from it. In some ways it's almost too *real*, if anyone has a clue what I mean!? I want something a bit more polished and mix-ready. but it is very, very good.