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Leo Garcia
Leo Garcia

Ezkeys Grand Piano For Mac

Raw Tweaks:A true bypass preset that represents what the piano sounded like from the raw recording. Also, in this preset, you can adjust the level of hammer, sustain pedal and releases as well as detune the piano

Ezkeys Grand Piano For Mac


This is the best sounding budget piano VST option that is currently available. The Addictive Keys Steinway is sampled after the Steinway D Grand piano and this is a heavily sought after piano.

Note: If you purchase a Focusrite interface, you will receive this for free. This is a nice win as you will get an upgrade in possibly your audio interface as well as your piano VSTS.

My personal favorite sound from Keyscape is the LA Custom 7 Stage preset. You can adjust the character of the piano as well as the pedal noise. These are two features that I think add a lot of realness to the piano VSTS.

As I mentioned above, you can play around with the pedal noise and mechanical noises in order to dive deeper into the realm of organic. Keyscape also features overtones when you hold out a note just like a real piano would.

While the electric pianos steal a lot of the thunder with Keyscape, I still really love the grand and upright pianos. Yes, the price is high, but you are also getting a massive library that brings a ton of different options for your songs.

A funny story I was just having with a beginner keyboardist was that they just purchased this VST and they were using their old Casio keyboard with it. They are absolutely blown away by Keyscape and piano plugins in general, as am I.

Pedal noises and silent strikes are also included with this piano VST. This is when a key is pressed, but not actually hammering the strings. In total, there are 19 total velocity layers.

The Ravenscroft 275 is hands down one of the better sounding piano VSTs available. You are given all of the essentials for dynamics as well as some great piano samples that I think are fantastic.

Pianoteq 7 is a modeled piano that has the ability to provide you with incredibly real subtleties organic elements that sample pianos struggle with. With this being said, it will definitely come down to preference as some people just always prefers samples to models.

For example, if someone is trying to sample a piano, they are going to have the pianist press down the same note hundreds of times at different velocities and different lengths. This allows the sample to capture as much realism as it possibly can.

MIDI stands for musical instrument digital interface. This is the language that allows instruments, computers, and other hardware to communicate. For example, if I am trying to record a piano piece into my DAW, the MIDI note values will be captured to a grid.

In my opinion, a lot of physically modeled pianos sound plastic and cheap. With that being said, one of the most popular options, and one that we will get into is Pianoteq. This is a physically modeled piano and it is one of the more popular piano VSTS available.

While I prefer sampled pianos, I have heard and played some pretty atrocious samples. Sampling comes down to the engineers, the room that they are capturing, the mics, the placement of the mics, quality of the pianos.

Now, if you have a lot of experience, you may completely disagree with me and absolutely love physically modeled pianos. That is totally your opinion and there will be a ton of people who agree with you and a ton who disagree.

Our producer started showing us VSTS and my mind was completely blown. Piano VSTS can sound out of this world. You can take a cheap keyboard and make it sound like a Mason & Hamlin or a Steinway & Sons through the use of piano plugins.

I personally believe that piano VSTS sound much better than digital pianos or keyboards. If you run your keyboard through a DAW such as Ableton Live for when you gig, you can create a set that allows you to access your favorite sounds.

My personal opinion is that using piano VSTS is a far better route than using a digital piano. While there are going to be some people who may disagree, I personally just love finding and playing new VSTS and I believe they sound better and better in time.

Another thing that you can do is figure out what it is that you like in a piano. Do you like warm sounding pianos or do you prefer bright? I mentioned earlier, but for some reason, I just really love warm and dark sounding pianos. They seem to have an element of emotion to them in my opinion.

When you decide on a piano VST, you can often search through different presets before then tweaking it to your liking. I strongly advise you to search through each preset. You never know which you will end up liking the most.

Absolutely not. If the library is massive, this is in a way an indication of how well the pianos were recorded and processed. What this means in simpler terms is that in order to truly sample a piano in the best way, the engineer should be hitting each note hundreds of times and different velocities.

The final size of the library will mainly come down to the format and audio compression. When you read about the sampling process for each piano VST, you will want to look for lossless audio compression. This is most common amongst the higher-end sample libraries. What this does is preserves the exact copy of the original audio.

One of the more popular piano VSTS is the Garritan CFX Concert Grand. It comes in less than 20GB, but once you install and decompress it to PCM it requires more than 100GB of space. For this reason, I recommend that you find one piano VST that you really love and just keep that installed. You can always reinstall as you go as well.

With all of this storage talk, I strongly you advise you to keep it in mind, however, let your ear guide you to where you go. One thing to note is that you will want to have a fast PC or Macbook in order to run some of these nicer piano plugins.

Agreed and so I love Pianoteq too. They are the only piano VST maker and company that has a large number of approved or authorized instruments from the piano manufacturers themselves. And what I really love about Pianoteq is that they are constantly updating or improving the quality of their instruments unlike the sampled counterparts available in the market.

When it comes to top-notch virtual drum instruments, Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2.0 is right up there, and offers a wide variety of both drum-kit expansion packs and MIDI performance packs in a range of different musical styles. If you can afford the price of entry, you have all the tools you need to create first-class drum tracks. More recently, Toontrack have been branching out from their drum-based roots, and the latest offering is EZKeys, a virtual piano instrument for both Mac and PC. Given just how good SD 2.0 is, EZKeys has a lot to live up to. Does it hit the right note?

Like SD 2.0, you can purchase the EZKeys engine with one set of sounds and then add further sounds as expansion packs at a reduced price. For the purposes of the review, I was supplied with the two options currently available: a Grand piano and an Upright. I suspect that Toontrack will add to these possibilities over time. I installed both from downloads (each at just over 420MB), and the online authorisation was very straightforward.

While the graphics change to reflect whether a Grand or Upright sound is selected, the key elements of the user interface remain the same. You can pick which library/preset combination you require from the drop-down menus located at the top of the window and, if required, audition notes from the graphical keyboard (at different velocities depending upon where on the key you click). Aside from conventional piano sounds, the presets also include a few more weird and wonderful variants, courtesy of the built-in effects, so, for example, the Upright's 'Filter Sweep' preset is almost synth-like, demonstrating that the instrument is capable of more than just conventional piano sounds.

The graphics of both piano surfaces feature flip-top sections to access dynamics and tuning controls. These allow you to adjust the instrument's response to MIDI velocity, to suit your MIDI keyboard or playing style, and to adjust the global tuning. Three footpedals are supported, namely Sustain, Sostenuto and Soft, for those with a full complement. My humble sustain pedal worked just fine via my master MIDI keyboard.

As ought to be the case, the Grand and Upright have distinctly different sounds, so there is clearly value in having both. And, even exposed in a sparse mix, the quality of the sounds stands up to very close inspection. I'd have absolutely no reservations about using either piano in a commercial context. And while the world is not short of excellent virtual pianos, both EZKeys instruments strike me as being worth the price of entry just for the sampled piano sounds.

I suspect that competent piano players might not feel the need for these compositional tools but, if like me, piano is not your first instrument, EZKeys has a lot of potential. Just as SD 2.0 can with drum performances, EZKeys will allow you to create utterly convincing song-based piano parts with a minimum of fuss. This is the most fun I've had with a virtual instrument in years.

I'm not sure there is anything that quite matches the feature set of EZKeys, but if you want top-notch sampled pianos, the Steinway Concert Grand, NI's various Concert Grands (all for Kontakt), the Synthology Ivory series and VSL Instruments Imperial series provide alternatives at a range of prices.

With Toontrack's EZkeys virtual pianist software you don't have to be a world-class piano player to sound like one. EZkeys lets you painlessly add the right piano style in the perfect key to your music. It gives you the same kind of straightforward user interface that's made EZdrummer a success, plus a beautiful integrated Steinway Model D virtual instrument. 350c69d7ab


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