The Best Piano VST Instrument Plugins For Under $149

Most DAWs today come with a good collection of stock pianos. But, if you are looking for very sounding authentic, rich and natural sounding piano, you may want to look at external plugins or libraries. After hearing many online demos and testing, here are my top choices for great sounding, rich piano timbres for those on a budget.  Many instruments, particularly piano virtual instruments, can be highly subjective, so I would encourage you to compare all of them by listening to the many online demos before you make your purchase.

XLN Audio- Studio Grand $49

A great piano for the budget conscious. Check out the samples on their website.

* World-class Grand Piano

* Warm tone and unique sound

* Recorded in a large studio

* Features 6 selectable mic perspectives

Xln audio studio grand piano

Imperfect Samples – Steinway Walnut Grand Basic $59

Sound-wise, probably my favourite piano in this price range. It does come with it’s own VST player, but to get the most out if it, it has a version that loads in Kontakt or the EWS24 Logic sampler. It features a very lush and warm piano tone.

* 6 Gigs of samples (3 gig download)

* 8 Layers

* recorded 2 inches from the soundboard for a full, larger than life sound

Imperfect Samples Steinway Walnut Grand piano

Native Instruments -Alicia Keys $99

One of the more popular pianos in the VST world.

* recorded from Alicia Keys’ personal Yamaha C3 Neo Piano

* 17 gigs of samples (3000 samples/12 velocity layers)

* Integrated convolusion reverb

Alicia keys piano vst

Pianoteq 4 Stage: $129

A very popular piano with a excellent character. It’s amazing that it’s actually a modelled piano, so it won’t take up much room on your hard drive.

* physical modelled piano

* referenced from Steinway D

* unique mallet bounce control

* convolution reverb included

* very small file size, only 20 megabytes (since it is a modelled instrument)

Pianoteq 4 stage piano


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