Thinking of getting a piano but don’t have the budget or space for one? You can go digital and buy a Piano VST.
A Piano VST, or otherwise known as Virtual Studio Technology is a type of software plugin. There are a lot of VSTs out there, ranging from ones that are free to those that cost a few hundred dollars. You’ll need a relatively powerful computer to be able to run VSTs without experiencing any hiccups in your piece.
VSTs offer several advantages over a digital piano. They’re more affordable, capable of different velocities, longer delays and give way to user experimentation. Paired with the best MIDI keyboard for Piano VSTs, it’s entirely possible to recreate the sound and the feel of playing a real piano. Furthermore, they can be hosted on DAWs such as FL Studio, Ableton or Logic. They work well on standalone too.
The Two Main Types of Piano Plugins
First is the sample-based piano VST. Engineers play the real piano in a studio with high-end mics recording the whole thing. All 88 keys are played many times over to account for variations and different speed of strokes. This plugin is best for those who are trained for concerts and classical pieces and play on Yamahas and Baldwins. Look for top piano VSTs who sound like high-end grand pianos for the best effect. File size for these types are understandably huge, and running complex song pieces can be taxing to your computer’s processor and hardware.
The second type of plugin is modeled. Instead of recording keys, the manufacturers do some coding and set an algorithm that tries to emulate an acoustic piano. Sounds can be as realistic as possible given the synth is quality-crafted. The file size is smaller and loads up much more quickly compared to a sample-based plugin. Modeled plugins offer a good mix of nontraditional and traditional sounds, making it ideal for piano players and electronic music producers who want the flexibility of being able to play solo while having the option to layer into a mix.