What’s The Best Free Piano VST?

What To Expect?

Alicia Keys once said: “But when I first fell in love with the piano, I knew it was me. I was dying to play.” The sound of this lovely instrument is present in lots of popular productions and nearly everybody loves to use it. To create an outstanding track, it is essential to find some great sounds that will inspire you in your production process. In this article, I want to give you an overview of some free piano VSTs that are worth downloading and will inspire you with some smooth sounds. Because there are so many types of different pianos, I separated this topic into two categories: Electric & Acoustic Pianos.

Table of Contents

  1. The main characteristics of a great Piano VST
  2. Category 1: Free Electric Piano VST’s
  3. Category 2: Free Acoustic Piano VST’s
  4. Conclusion

The main characteristics of a great Piano VST

For identifying some of the best free piano emulations that are currently available, it’s essential to define the main characteristics of a high-quality virtual instrument, so I added a little rating below every recommendation listed below based on some personal experiences and some user reviews I found on the internet. Here is a short explanation of the individual points:

  • Sounds: As producers, we like to have lots of options to experiment with. While the number of preconfigured sounds is an important feature for a great VST, the quality of the sounds, in general, matters even more. For the rating of this particular point, I included those two factors to define the quality of the VSTs listed below. 
  • Features: This point covers all of the additional features a specific VST is offering. This includes the number of integrated effects like reverb, chorus or delay, as well as their sound quality.
  • CPU-Load: Some people have a high performing Computer and some people don’t. The CPU-friendliness of these individual instruments plays a role for some people as well in order to prevent your DAW from crashing and getting frustrated.
  • Rating System in general: The rating is pretty simple: 1 Star means that the specific plugin is pretty weak in the points listed above and 5 stars mean that it’s insanely good. With that being said, let’s have a look at my list of the best free piano VSTs.

Category 1: Free Electric Piano VST’s

Electric Pianos

Before I will give you a list of some awesome sounding Electric Piano VST’s, here is a general overview of these instruments: When you are having a look at the Wikipedia article “Electric Piano”, you get a great definition for this topic. To sum it up: A classic electric piano is an electro-mechanical instrument that converts the signals triggered by the person playing it into some electronic signals. While the earliest electric pianos were invented in the late 1920s, a lot of great innovations have been made since then. Some of the most popular ones like the fender Rhodes Mark II or the Wurlitzer EP-210 have defined the sound of many popular genres like Jazz, RNB, or LoFi Hip Hop. If you want to get a smooth, jazzy feel to your productions, you can’t go wrong by upgrading your virtual arsenal with some high-quality E-Piano VST’s.


1. Mr Ray

Mr.Ray VST Demonstration

Mr. Ray is (at least in my opinion) probably one of the best free VST emulations of the famous Fender Rhodes. While it comes with very few sounds, the ones that are included within this awesome piece of software are just state of the art and it has at least more options for tweaking the sounds than the original Rhodes Keyboard – the best part about it? It has a pretty low CPU and memory usage. Definitely worth checking it out!

Available for: Windows

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


2. Mr. Tramp

Mr. Tramp VST Demonstrtation

Another great „Mister“ Plugin by the same manufacturer as the plugin I have mentioned before. Mr Tramp is a beatiful physical modeling simulation of the soulful Wurlitzer 200A Electric Piano. Definitely one of those that sound the most pleasing to me! It comes with few presets but with some great options to tweak them. Like Mr. Ray it’s pretty CPU friendly as well.

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


3. Glue Reeds

Glue Reeds VST Demonstration

Glue Reeds is a dope sounding free VST that is based on reactive synthesis and captures that reed EP sound by reproducing both the reed motion and pickup response. It comes with some smooth sounding presets but doesn’t really have any options to tweak them. (except for the velocity curve) It sounds very warm and the included presets are just butter for your ear.  

Available for: Windows

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 2 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


4. Lazy Snake

Lazy Snake VST Demonstration

Lazy Snake is a high-quality VST that is able to produce some smooth e-piano sounds. By adding a bunch of cool effects to this amazing plugin Mr. Andreas Ersson did an amazing job developing it. It is pretty CPU friendly as well and definitely worth mentioning on this list! Just try it out for yourself, you will definitely be surprised!

Available for: Windows

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load

Available for: Windows


5. MDA E-Piano

MDA VST Demonstration

MDA E-Piano is another great free option that comes with 12 carefully sampled and mastered Rhodes Piano samples. While the user-interface is pretty simple, it offers some decent features to tweak the delivered sounds. Definitely one of the tools, that will positively enrich your audio arsenal!

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4.5 von 5.

CPU-Load

Category 2: Free Acoustic Piano VST’s

Acoustic Pianos

While electric pianos can benefit from the usage of some FX like chorus or distortion, acoustic piano VSTs should sound more natural. (At least in my opinion) So in this part of the article, I want to give you a general list of some awesome sounding free acoustic pianos that are worth mentioning, when it comes to these special kinda sound.  The rating I included in this article is identical to the one I used in the listing above. Hope that this will be helpful for you!


1. Spitfire Audio Soft Piano

Spitfire Audio VST Demonstration

LABS is an amazing Instrument which has been developed by some skilled musicians in London. Besides the free “Soft Piano” is just an outstanding Virtual Instrument on its own, you can get some other really high quality sounds like Strings or trumpets for free on their website as well. The downside is, that it can be pretty CPU intensive, but if you do have a high-performing PC or Laptop, this one is really a MUST-Have.

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 4.5 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 2 von 5.

CPU-Load


2. Keyzone Classic

Keyzone Classic VST Demonstration

Keyzone Classic is also a great free classic piano VST that is definitely worth checking out! It comes with 5 great sounding presets and some decent options to tweak them. It is low in CPU usage and is very inspiring to play with. Great opportunity for everyone searching for some free options to the stock sounds of your DAW.

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


3. Free Kontakt Libraries

Piano in 162 Sounds

The Kontakt Player is known for it’s amazing Open Source Technology. While the Komplete Series of Native Instruments can be pretty expensive, you can get some really dope sounds for free by 3rd party developers. Unfortunately, you will have to buy the full version of Kontakt 5 to be able to use every 3rd Party Sample library. A workaround could be to download the free sforzando player because some libraries are working with this software as well. The CPU-Load really depends on how many and which sounds you are using, but overall this topic is definitely worth mentioning in this article!

Here is a short list of some awesome, free Kontakt Instruments:

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 5 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 3 von 5.

CPU-Load


4. Piano One

Piano One VST Demonstration

In a review on the KVR Website, Piano One is told to be the „Zebralette“ (awesome free synth VST) of the piano world, and I can totally agree with that. It has an easy User Interface with some basic options to tweak the sounds. It’s pretty CPU-Friendly and great for everyone who is searching for some cool, free piano sounds.

Available for: Windows, Mac OSX

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


5. VGP Grand Piano

VGP VST Demonstration

VGP Grand Piano comes with a pretty nice and easy to use user interface. While the stock sounds that you will get with this special VST are nothing really special, you will get some cool features like a fully customizable Envelope Control which can be pretty useful for making your piano sounds more interesting. Besides, there are 40 presets that you can easily tweak as you like to. If you are a bit into sound design and creating your own kinda presets, this is probably worth downloading.

Available for: Windows

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Sounds

Bewertung: 3.5 von 5.

Features

Bewertung: 4 von 5.

CPU-Load


Conclusion

Searching for some dope piano sounds can be pretty challenging, especially when it comes to digging for some free alternatives. While each VST mentioned on this list, is worth checking out, every plugin has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, so naming the “best“ piano VST is just impossible. I would recommend you trying different things out and see how it works for you because everyone has its own taste when it comes to sound selection. With that being said, I hope that I could inspire you for your future projects and that this article was helpful for you! One <3!

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