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> Piano Plugin Recommendations?
SirJamsalot
post Nov 4 2014, 08:33 AM
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Greetings,

I'm currently working on a project that requires a piano. Since I' was in a hurry, I went ahead and purchased ToonTrack's EZ Grand Piano from their EZ Keys line. It was pretty expensive, but I went ahead because of my time constraints and it has a lot of great features that I think will help me for my particular project.

However, going forward, I will need to expand my collection of keys/strings.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of some free or cheap, but really good synth plugins similar to Native Instruments Orchestral and Cinematic line?

thanks!
SirJams


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Caelumamittendum
post Nov 4 2014, 11:29 AM
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I can recommend Pianissimo from Acoustica for a cheap ish piano vst that actually sounds pretty alright to my ears anyway.


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 4 2014, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Nov 4 2014, 03:29 AM) *
I can recommend Pianissimo from Acoustica for a cheap ish piano vst that actually sounds pretty alright to my ears anyway.


appreciated ~ I'll look into it.


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Caelumamittendum
post Nov 4 2014, 10:59 PM
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Don't just take my word for it though, I could be very wrong. I've not tried many piano vsts.


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Chris S.
post Nov 4 2014, 11:10 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Nov 4 2014, 10:29 AM) *
I can recommend Pianissimo from Acoustica for a cheap ish piano vst that actually sounds pretty alright to my ears anyway.

I agree, it's the one I currently use.

Not the best, but for the price it gets the job done cool.gif


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Mertay
post Nov 4 2014, 11:30 PM
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A friend of mine has a few but I don't recall any of their names biggrin.gif

This is personal advice but since they all sound different in some way or another, pick one that fits your mix sound when demoing rather than listening solo. In my experience the best vsti plug-in is usually the one that needs less tweaking in a mix.

Also about tweaking, piano sound is a bit delicate compared to most other sounds. I usually try not to process it as much as possible or it loses vibe or sounds fake very easily.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 4 2014, 11:30 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 5 2014, 02:42 AM
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You could always download the FREE KONTACT PLAYER from NATIVE INSTRUMENTS as it comes with it's own FREE library of sounds smile.gif IT's very spiff and doesn't cost a thing.

http://www.native-instruments.com/en/produ...ntakt-5-player/

I"ve got Complete 7 but I'm not going to splurge on complete 8 smile.gif


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 5 2014, 09:25 PM
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I've been looking at Komplete 10 - sigh. In order to get what I'm looking for (Action Strikes and Action Strings), I'd need to pan out over 600 bucks! Komplete 10 is 400 bucks, but doesn't include those 2! GRRR! and the Ultimate version that does, is 1K!

I have to do some serious research!

Thanks guys. I'll re-up this thread if I find anything noteworthy for under a few hundred!

Chris


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Kristofer Dahl
post Nov 6 2014, 11:02 AM
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I don't know much about pay plugins -

My strategy is to only use the plugins within my DAW (logic) - to fully understand what is going on. A lot of times (great) pay plugins are just a combination of tools that are available for free - for example EQ, compression and harmonic distortion. Currently the only plugin I have purchased is Steven Slate drums, and I do not use any external free plugins. We'll see how long I can stick to this, but it works for me now.

Likewise you can take a standard piano sound, and:

* add reverb,

* subtle delay,

* expander (maybe sidechained with another instrument for your song to get a more "human" feeling, for example the piano could be emphasising when the kick and snare is playing ),

* subtle overdrive to add warmth

* and most importantly humanising achieved by randomzing midi velocity, note placement/timing and pitch (in many DAWS this is done at the touch of a button).

QUOTE (Mertay @ Nov 5 2014, 12:30 AM) *
Also about tweaking, piano sound is a bit delicate compared to most other sounds. I usually try not to process it as much as possible or it loses vibe or sounds fake very easily.


Having said this, I definitely agree with Mertay. For example adding compression on a piano plugin can be devastating as piano sounds often are not very dynamic to start with.


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PosterBoy
post Nov 6 2014, 12:36 PM
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Look at Alicia's Keys for kontakt player it's $99 there are others in that price range too


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 7 2014, 04:50 AM
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here's a country ballad I'm composing with my new piano plugin

https://soundcloud.com/sirjamsalot/country-wallow


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 7 2014, 05:11 AM
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That's only for MACINTOSH folks sadly sad.gif But thankfully for us MAC folks LOGIC IS KILLER!!!!

You get soooooo much free content/sounds/vsts etc. just built in to APPLE LOGIC that it's just astounding. As a bonus, they release new sound banks // instruments constantly also for FREE!!!

IMHO, LOGIC PRO X is the primary reason to buy/own a Macintosh. It's just that darn good and that complete. IF you've got LOGIC, you really don't need NATIVE INSTRUMENTS COMPLETE because it's mostly already in there!!!

The funny thing is, you can buy a Mac (the small one or the starter laptop) and LOGIC for about the cost of NI KOMPLETE!!!

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Nov 6 2014, 06:02 AM) *
I don't know much about pay plugins -

My strategy is to only use the plugins within my DAW (logic) - to fully understand what is going on. A lot of times (great) pay plugins are just a combination of tools that are available for free - for example EQ, compression and harmonic distortion. Currently the only plugin I have purchased is Steven Slate drums, and I do not use any external free plugins. We'll see how long I can stick to this, but it works for me now.

Likewise you can take a standard piano sound, and:

* add reverb,

* subtle delay,

* expander (maybe sidechained with another instrument for your song to get a more "human" feeling, for example the piano could be emphasising when the kick and snare is playing ),

* subtle overdrive to add warmth

* and most importantly humanising achieved by randomzing midi velocity, note placement/timing and pitch (in many DAWS this is done at the touch of a button).



Having said this, I definitely agree with Mertay. For example adding compression on a piano plugin can be devastating as piano sounds often are not very dynamic to start with.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Nov 7 2014, 08:39 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 7 2014, 06:11 AM) *
That's only for MACINTOSH folks sadly sad.gif But thankfully for us MAC folks LOGIC IS KILLER!!!!

You get soooooo much free content/sounds/vsts etc. just built in to APPLE LOGIC that it's just astounding. As a bonus, they release new sound banks // instruments constantly also for FREE!!!

IMHO, LOGIC PRO X is the primary reason to buy/own a Macintosh. It's just that darn good and that complete. IF you've got LOGIC, you really don't need NATIVE INSTRUMENTS COMPLETE because it's mostly already in there!!!

The funny thing is, you can buy a Mac (the small one or the starter laptop) and LOGIC for about the cost of NI KOMPLETE!!!


Yes it's for Mac people only - but the principles can be applied for any DAW on any OS: You don't have buy lots of stuff to get good sound.

There are so many free plugins out there, learn to use and combine them well (especially EQ and compression) and you will get similar/as good/better results than using pay plugins.

From my cubase days I remember the blockfish compressor, built in EQ and SIR2 impulse responses were the primary tools of my mixing. None of these were pay plugins. I think I only had one pay plugin which I used all the time, and that was sample tank.


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 8 2014, 03:34 AM
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As you mention, there are TONS of FREE bits available, so it's possible to cobble together something functional without breaking the bank, which is handy smile.gif

LOGIC is sorta the Cadillac of DAWs imho, just because it comes standard with every option you can think of. But the MAC is actually a DONGLE required to run it. sad.gif

But being a logic user myself, I'm with ya!!! Logic is all you need smile.gif Well, Logic and mac.

But for PC users, the world of freeware/trialware is HUGE. Way bigger than the entire mac software universe. So tons of selection is available if one is willing to put time towards piecing the right freebie bits together.

One handy thing about the mac though is that it comes FREE with Garage Band which shares many common elements with LOGIC PRO X believe it or not. Logic will even open Garage band projects and can even look like Garage band if one turns the advanced features off.


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Nov 7 2014, 03:39 AM) *
Yes it's for Mac people only - but the principles can be applied for any DAW on any OS: You don't have buy lots of stuff to get good sound.

There are so many free plugins out there, learn to use and combine them well (especially EQ and compression) and you will get similar/as good/better results than using pay plugins.

From my cubase days I remember the blockfish compressor, built in EQ and SIR2 impulse responses were the primary tools of my mixing. None of these were pay plugins. I think I only had one pay plugin which I used all the time, and that was sample tank.



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