The 10 Best Free Piano VSTs for Authentic Piano Tones

Piano VSTs are a songwriter’s best friend. The piano is one of the best instruments to use for writing, arranging and producing music.

That’s why a great sounding piano plugin is a helpful and inspiring tool in almost every genre.

Those inspiring sounds lead to creating better music.

There are tons of piano plugins out there, but most of them are expensive. The top picks can cost a fortune.

But you don’t have to spend big money to get a great sound.

That’s why I’m rounding up the 10 best free piano VSTs that will give you an inspiring acoustic piano tone in your DAW.

1. Spitfire Audio LABS Soft Piano

Spitfire LABS contains some of the best free plugin instruments available.

LABS is an ongoing series of free software instruments made by musicians and sampling experts in London. It’s updated with new sounds constantly and sports an easy to use user interface.

Their soft piano plugin is still a go-to piano sound for many professional composers. Some musicians have actually used this free VST plugin to write entire albums of solo piano music

Soft piano delivers a warm, solemn tone. This sampled instrument was recorded with a thin strip of felt between the hammers and the strings for an evocative sound.

2. Ivy Audio Piano in 162

Ivy Audio Piano in 162 free piano vst

Piano in 162 is a sample library of a Steinway Model B grand piano made with a comprehensive sampling approach. The library includes two round robins, five dynamic levels, and separate pedal on/off samples.

Round robins are the number of different samples per note. The plugin will select a random sample each time the note is played, contributing to the realism of the sound.

Round robins are the number of different samples per note. The plugin will select a random sample each time the note is played, contributing to the realism of the sound.

Piano in 162 was recorded at 96kHz through two pairs of Rode NT5 cardioid microphones—an ambient pair in the hall and a close pair inside the piano.

You’ll need a sampler to run this library. Piano in 162 is compatible with the full version of Kontakt, or on Plogue Sforzando which runs .sfz files. Sfz files are text files that store instrument data for software synthesizers.

3. Prism Audio Atmos Piano

Prism audio atmos piano free vst

Atmos Piano is a perfect piano plugin if you’re looking for that dreamy, distant sound. It’s perfect for intimate ambiences, or a cinematic bed.

Atmos is a robust 2.4 GB library with 241 different samples. There are two separate microphone sources that can blend together with decay and release parameters.

If you’re looking to create an atmospheric, ambient piano soundscape, then this piano plugin is a perfect choice.

4. Keyzone Classic

keyzone classic free vst

Keyzone Classic is an all-round piano plugin. This sample based plugin is capable of replicating some of the most sought after piano brands.

The presets include Yamaha and Steinway grand pianos, as well as electric piano and Rhodes.

Keyzone Classic also sports common parameters you would find on a synthesizer. ADSR, and an LFO able to affect pitch, expression, and pan can allow you to shape a unique piano sound.

With its incredible sound shaping parameters, there’s no question why Keyzone Classic is often recommended as a go-to free piano VST.

5. Versilian Studios Upright No. 1

versilian upright piano vst

Versilian Upright No. 1 is billed as a lightweight sketching plugin, but definitely sells itself short. It’s an excellent representation of a classic upright piano.

This upright piano VST was sampled using wide and close mics. Like Keyzone Classic, Versilian Upright offers ADSR controls as well as built in reverb and panning.

The intensive sampling of this plugin includes 3 velocity layers with 2 round robins; sampled in tritones with a pair of wide, close mics. The samples include full decays of up to 30 seconds, which allow for great versatility when you use a sustain pedal.

Versilian Upright No. 1 is a go-to upright piano vst that will bring authenticity to your music.

6. Soundmagic Piano One

soundmagic piano one

Soundmagic Piano One comes from the sampling of a Yamaha C7 concert grand. It uses its own hybrid modelling engine to capture the well known sound of the C7.

This engine combines the realistic sound of sampling and the playability of modelling. The playability is responsive due to the modelling while the sampling makes the sound crisp and realistic.

The user interface includes an absurd amount of controls for a piano VST. It allows you to customize just about anything. Interesting features include piano noises, audience and player perspective, and tuning systems.

7. 99Sounds Upright Piano

99Sounds Upright Piano is an upright piano plugin recorded by Italian pianist and engineer Rudi Fiasco. It features four sampled notes per octave and six dynamic layers per sampled note.

99Sounda Upright piano features a simple interface with ADSR, volume, and reverb controls.

What makes this VST a bit different is that it includes filter and tremolo control. If you’re looking to create a vintage lofi sound inside of a plugin, this one’s for you.

8. 4Front R-Piano

4Front R-Piano

4Front R-Piano is a bit different then most of the sample based plugins on this list. R-Piano is inspired by RSP73 pianos, a popular discontinued electric piano plugin.

R-piano generates 127 different layers continuously, under a vintage overdrive. You won’t have worry about common sample library issues like CPU load or stuck notes with R-piano.

While this piano VST doesn’t exactly emulate a realistic piano, it can work well as an alternative to the Rhodes electric pianos

9. DSK The Grand

DSK the grand free piano vst

DSK The Grand is a lightweight plugin at just 51 MB in size. If you’re low on space and need a piano plugin to finish your track, then this piano VST is for you.

It contains 4 velocity layers, with 4-6 samples per note. The user interface is simply laid out containing ADSR controls, and a reverb.

By tweaking the release parameter and using the on-board reverb, you can get this small plugin sounding huge.

10. Bigcat Instruments Iowa Grand Piano

bigcat instruments iowa free piano vsts

Bigcat Instruments Iowa Grand Piano is the free piano plugin you want if you’re looking for absolute realism. Iowa Grand Piano is a Steinway & Sons Grand recorded with a pair of Neumann KM 84 microphones. It’s hard to believe that this one is free.

Most piano VST’s are sampled every third note to save space for round robins and velocity layers. Iowa Grand Piano includes virtually every note of the piano with three velocity layers.

The individual samples are available for download, and exist in the public domain. This means you can use them in your music on the sampler of your choice. The plugin interface features standard ADSR controls, volume, and pan.

Free-an-issimo

You don’t have to empty your wallet for a professional piano sound.

Download these plugins and layer them on top of one another.

Split them by left and right hand to get a unique sound.

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