Your top piano vst that sounds so realistic, you could mistake it for one?

Discussion in 'Samplers, Synthesizers' started by Brendan, May 26, 2023.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Kapellmeister

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    I was curious to see what everyone thinks is the absolute best... I'd say some good contenders so far for me have been pianoteq, Olafur Arnolds spitfire felt piano kontakt lib, UVI falcon's pianos (unsure which is best), keyscape which I used to have.....

    other than that, most don't sound realistic and I'm wondering if anyone knows a good one with minimal tweaking to achieve as close as possible, the dynamics and feeling of playing a real piano?
     
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  3. Lieglein

    Lieglein Audiosexual

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    "Your top piano vst that sounds so realistic, you could mistake it for one?"

    imperfect samples

     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  4. DiRG3

    DiRG3 Kapellmeister

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    Pianoteq is always great, i think my favorite one has to be the Noire Kontakt Library. Absolutely gorgeous and extremely natural sounding, you get a felt and pure piano, plus you get the awesome particle engine as well.
     
  5. 洋鬼子

    洋鬼子 Producer

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    I think that in a blind test a lot of people would fail to identify real Instruments from VST's.
    Reminds me of how Purists shit on Amp VST's yet fail to recognize the difference between an AMP and a VST when you use the same DI signal.
    If you then add the fact that you put them into a mix, then it's even harder to recognize the "fake" Instrument.

    Sorry for going offtopic, but I quite like the Gentleman from Kontakt.
    If you aim for realism then probably Hans Zimmer Piano
     
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  6. Strat4ever

    Strat4ever Rock Star

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    For my purposes it's solely Pianoteq because of its great sound, features and most importantly the small size so I don't bother looking for anything else.
     
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  7. George Santos

    George Santos Kapellmeister

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    In my experience, VSTs/AUs always sound a little unrealistic no matter the developer or technology behind it. IMO, what they're missing is realistic room noise(reflection, echo, reverb, delay, etc).

    My trick for realism is to send the vsti signal through a nice Convolution Reverb(I use the stock Ableton one). Specifically, load an Impulse Response(IR) that was made in a medium-large room. I created an IR(with Ableton tool) of my own apartment. So now when I layer vocals recorded in my apartment over SD3&EZbass(run through convolution reverb) the overall mix sounds much more realistic and like it was recorded in the same room. There are pre made IR available too but you can get lost in the sheer number and variety out there.

    If you're new to Convolution Reverbs and Impulse Responses, it might help to do a little research but come back if you're still confused and I can try to help more. Don't dismiss Convolution as "another reverb." It's much more than that - you could use it to capture and emulate all hardware harmonics in your signal chain too but that's a topic for another day. The Ableton Convolution Reverb has near-zero latency also so you can use it while monitoring/tracking and with uad plugins.

    I recommend this strategy for all instruments not just piano. Sd3, ezkeys2, & ezbass all sound much more realistic after a little homemade IR+convolution reverb, uad 1176 compressor, uad neve eq, and uad Studer tape.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  8. saccamano

    saccamano Rock Star

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    Without a doubt - the Ravenscroft275 on UVI falcon. There are others like a few of the grand p's in Omnisphere and keyscape. But for hands down realistic raw sound from the plugin ya can't beat the Ravenscroft.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  9. patatern

    patatern Platinum Record

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    Ravel by UAD is impressive in certain situations
     
  10. Daisy69

    Daisy69 Platinum Record

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    I think any vst + ambience record of your room could do it.

    Just try not to fart while recording.
     
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  11. George Santos

    George Santos Kapellmeister

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    Lol I made a note above that was similar so I agree. I recommend using a IR of your recording room to add the room ambience mentioned here.
     
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  12. DiRG3

    DiRG3 Kapellmeister

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    Yeah i've found that damn near everyone would struggle to differentiate real instruments from VSTs in a blind test setting, especially if both are processed.
     
  13. Martel

    Martel Platinum Record

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    UAD Ravel for that famous Steinway pop sound is really cutting it for me.
     
  14. George Santos

    George Santos Kapellmeister

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    I'm surprised at how many people are digging the UAD Ravel. I LOVE universal audio but assumed their new instruments were just a way to market Luna. They've been releasing a ton of questionable hardware this year which made me worried - pedals, competing sound cards, copy cat mics(I bought a sphere and love it though)

    Happy to hear otherwise - I'll demo, thanks for recommending
     
  15. Atlantis84

    Atlantis84 Platinum Record

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    Keyscape hands down!! Spectrasonics!!!
     
  16. zpaces

    zpaces Producer

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  17. Sylenth.Will.Fall

    Sylenth.Will.Fall Audiosexual

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    I never use a straight forward piano in my stuff. Nearly always i will add a pad or strings to the sound and then filter it to fit the genre. Pianoteq is perfect for that. I cant really say if I'd notice vst vs the real thing because I honestly have never tried, nor car to.
     
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  18. Trurl

    Trurl Audiosexual

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    I don't think any two people could ever agree on this. It's too subjective. You just have to try them and pick your own. That said, I like Noire and Arturia Piano V. (Seriously!)
     
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  19. RachProko

    RachProko Producer

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    It heavily depends on how you're going to use a piano in your composition? An ambient/cinematic type of sounds or chords in a pop/rock song doesn't really need that much of detail in sound. It's an entirely different story when it comes to making classical/jazz solo piano sound convincing?

    I have a classical education in solo piano and grew up with playing classical upright and grand piano's. So I have a notion about how they should feel and sound.

    I think by now I must have more than a 100 different piano libraries/vst's ranging from a few hundred MB's up to about 200 GB's. And to be honest I still haven't found one that that could fool me into thinking it's a real piano.

    A lot of people seem to like Pianoteq but to me all the models have the same deficiency: Only the mid register sounds reasonable. The lows sound gritty and unnatural. The upper mids and highs really sound like a toy piano. But...I still like to use it as a go to piano for a sketch because it's very playable and quickly loads in a daw. But I would never ever use it in a final recording because it just sounds too artificial.

    So what vst or kontakt libraries would I suggest to you as a substitution for a real piano in your recording? These are some of my favorites a this point:

    https://www.skyboxaudio.com/products/hammers-waves-acoustic-1

    https://www.soniccouture.com/en/products/26-percussion/g49-the-hammersmith/

    https://impactsoundworks.com/product/pearl-concert-grand/

    https://heavyocity.com/product/ascend/
     
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  20. 23322332

    23322332 Rock Star

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    Hm, you can tweak pianoteq and make it sound more harmonious than a real piano - real piano's top and bottom registers are out of tune with 12 equal, because of inharmonicity and stretching to match partials with tuning. You are right that it is artificial, but it is way more musical result in the end, especially if you want it to blend with other instruments in a mix.
     
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  21. RachProko

    RachProko Producer

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    This sound problem in Pianoteq has nothing to do with the tuning. The sound itself doesn't sound like a real piano. It sounds artificial. In some mixes it might work, but not as a standalone piano. It sounds too synthetic.
     
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