Best Piano in a Can

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by Hack, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    I have a project going on right now where everything is going really great except we are using a keyboard for the piano sounds. They just dont hold up to the rest of the recording where everything is very natural sounding. Even some of the kookier synth sounds are blending very well. I have access to any of the top keyboards being used today but I cant really say "hey let me take all the keyboards to my place for a week" so I was wanting to see if ya'll had run across any really good canned pianos.

    Its a lite jazz thing and the piano only comps chords and doubles bass lines in a few places. And heres a nice trick.... fretless electric bass doubled with piano in the same octave sounds really cool.
  2. slawdawg

    slawdawg Guest

    The Yamaha Motif has an excellent piano sample. Also, for an inexpensive little box, the Alesis Nano-piano is great.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Best is subjective and differs from person to person. Also, the best piano sound in itself may not be the best piano sound for the song or music style. I was pretty pleased with the piano sounds I recorded a few weeks ago with a newer Triton keyboard. And I like and use the piano sounds from the E-mu library all the time. These would be the 20MB or bigger samples. I always like the Roland piano sound as well.
  4. Steve Jones

    Steve Jones Active Member

    Jul 25, 2003
    Kurzweil have a super cheap module called a Micro Ensemble which has the pianos and other sounds from their high end PC2x pianos. It is fantastic sounding and rediculously cheap.
  5. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    I am leaning towards a triton studio or a PC22. I guess the pc22 gets used more from what I have seen. I know people who like the yamaha stuff too. I had a alesis QSR. Its big thing was the "true stereo" piano sound which was good, but I sold that piece.

    The sound that I think I want to go for is something with nice stereo spread, and lots of warmth. I am not worried about the attack so much, like I would be if the piano were playing melodies or really needed to cut through. If I cant get the right piano I will go with a cool synth pad or something like that.

    So far the only keyboard we have is the clients. Its a Korg Karma. It kicks ass. Sound FX, synths, rhodes. Its got great sounds for only $1500. Its like the triton where you can flip through the sounds and you recognize everything from tv shows and movies, and cheezy pop tunes.

    Anyway.... thanks for the input.
  6. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    giga sampler
  7. white swan

    white swan Guest

    The Yamaha S90 is my favorite. Generalmusic has an interesting piano product too. Gigasampler is supposed to be outstanding if you already have a decent keyboard/controller to use with it.
  8. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    My friend has a Triton that sounds decent for Piano.
  9. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001

    Does the piano have to sound "real"? If so, there are no synth modules that will be acceptable. GigaStudio and other streaming-based sample playback engines come close.

    If it doesn't have to sound like a real piano, don't force it to. Electric piano samples from synths are far more acceptable than acoustic. Try a Rhodes or a Wurli. If you can, run it through an amp in a room.

    If you've recorded these parts as MIDI and don't have Giga, you could maybe find someone that has Giga to record them as audio for you. If you're really resourceful, you could even find someone that has a Yamaha Disklavier to record the data.

    Sorry for the Boolean response.
  10. by

    by Guest

    I'm not sure if it's still available, but there was a free piano from akai that is just awsome. Sampled from a real piano (not sure which) It's nearly every key and a bunch of velocity layers, something like 256mb altogether, downloadable from their ftp site, and is programmed for one of their machines but it's also in wav format so you can use it in most samplers. I'll find it in a minute...
  11. I agree RecorderMan and Nate that Gigastudio is the way to go for realism in piano samples today - only problem is that the piano that comes with Gigastudio isn't very good for, in my opinion, most applications - it's a little too thin and bright sounding for me. I'd suggest checking out Tascam's website, where they do link to several library providers - one I've heard in demos that sound decent is the Post Piano by post musical instruments (

    That being said, I have to say that I STILL use my GeneralMusic Real Piano Pro - it's a module, nothing fancy, but it was an earlier attempt at physical modeling so you get sympathetic string resonance and various levels of damper pedal control. To me, the harmonics are just more present than with a typical sampled piano. Is it good enought to record a Schubert Impromptu ?? - probably not, but for the vast majority of film and pop/rock/jazz tracks that I've done, it's quite nice. You may be able to find one used - the rack module used to sell new for around $500.

    hope this helps
  12. I use GigaStudio and have several nice piano libs, my 2 favorites being the Bardstown Bosendorfer and the Vintaudio Yamaha C7. Both of these pianos pretty much blow away anything I've heard coming out of a ROMpler in terms of realism and detail. The nice thing about it is that once you've made the investment into sonething like a Giga system the piano libs themselves can be had for not a lot of $$, usually in the $150-$250 price range.

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