There are three types of piano libraries out there:
The first two will get you closest to an actual piano sound. Some prefer sampled pianos, others emulated. These would be my recommendations for you to look into:
Wavesfactory's Mercury - Kontakt Library
Embertone's Walker 1955 Steinway - Kontakt Library
Native Instrument's Alicia's Keys - Kontakt Library
Ivory II (proprietary sample library as a VST)
Pianoteq - Virtual piano VST
All of these are excellent pianos, with varying degrees of authenticity and playablility.
Studio One 3 even supported Kontakt. Kontakt is a VST. The VST uses NKI, which is no problem.
As to Kontakt using too much memory, never had a problem with that. I have tracks that have 30+ Kontakt instances and never ran into issues other than sometimes having to raise the buffer a bit, but with Studio One's excellent drop out protection along with my Focusrite's excellent "round trip" score, it's not been a problem.
As for Pianos, I use Alicia's Keys, Maverick, The Giant. Addictive Keys, and even a free piano by Keyzone that's surprisingly good.
The thing is, there are many piano sample sets out there and just like real pianos, each type has it's "sweet spot" and fits in it's very own unique place in music. Alicia's Keys is great for lighter music and pop, Maverick is great for classic rock and in places where it needs to be really shine through, The Giant is great for quieter moments and scoring, etc.
I hear that East West's and Impact Soundworks both make excellent piano sample sets, but I feel I have enough for my needs.
I even recorded a lady in my studio who did old time piano music using nothing but Alicia's Keys and a few FX to brighten it up a bit.
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I was thinking that if it's a VST instrument it's compatible with Studio One, and every other DAW as well.
Besides free ones that have problems...
I use the Garritan ones in GPO5. They are super great on CPU. The IK Multimedia ones in Samptank 3 are good too but SampleTank is not as gentle on CPU.
I have the Pearl Grand, Addictive Keys, Ivory Italian Grand, and Alicia's Keys. At the moment, my favorite is Alicia's Keys. They're all good depending on the sound you're going for. At the moment, I'm working on a solo piano song and found that Alicia's Keys was the best fit for what I wanted.
EDIT: I forgot I also have True Pianos. lol Which sounds fine in a mix, but I wouldn't use it as a solo instrument.
Last edited by Neiby on Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Waves Grand Rhapsody is really nice too.
https://www.waves.com/plugins/grand-rha ... QWEALw_wcB
It is very affordable as well.
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Neiby wrote...and Alicia's Keys. At the moment, my favorite is Alicia's Keys. They're all good depending on the sound you're going for. At the moment, I'm working on a solo piano song and found that Alicia's Keys was the best fit for what I wanted..
+1 Here it is in action. This artist uses Alicia's Keys.
https://soundcloud.com/emma-caiman/were ... en-my-eyes
https://soundcloud.com/emma-caiman/bask ... stel-video
eduardsgrieznis wroteHi all,
I take it you don't care for the Pianos in Presence?
I have tried quite a few.
Miroslav Philharmonik 2 wins hands down. It is incredible.
But I guess it is all subjective.
Michael_Brown wroteI have tried quite a few.
For $499, it better be the best! Holy cats, that's pricey. I bet it's fantastic.
For another Alicia's Keys example, here is the track I just finished today.
So many, but I have heard the highly recommended Alicia Keys for more mild piano. I like NI''s many offerings, including its NY Grand (Steinway Grand). My other favorite is Wav's Rhapsody, which is impressively real to my ears. I'm not any pianist so I'm not plucking down $500, but if it's that important to someone, they might not want anything less.
You just have to shop and compare to your piano needs. What might sound swell on its own may not cut through in a mix, or you don't care if it does. It's really up to you, regardless of any recommendations.
I would avoid any emulated, and piano like synths, unless you were chasing a Fender Rhodes, or other electric piano (wonderful instruments, though). Sounds like you want detailed sampling. Still, true sympathetic vibrations within that instrument will vary.
Check out these three from NI ($199).