Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
dasen
KVRist
67 posts since 15 May, 2012

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:24 am

Hey,

I'm currently using the built in EXS sampler piano sounds in Logic Pro X on Mac. But they do not sound realistic.

What are the best piano libraries for Kontakt? Or Vsts? Preferrably libraries that does not take 100's of gigabytes on my HD.

Any recommendations?

mcbpete
KVRian
1410 posts since 24 Jun, 2006 from London, England

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:27 am

I don't think I'll ever move from Pianoteq for anything piano based - First commercial VSTi I purchased about 10 years ago and possibly still my favourite : https://www.pianoteq.com/

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jancivil
KVRAF
17536 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:05 am

The ones which come with the factory library - eg., August Foerster grand - probably beat the EXS ones.

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Deep Purple
KVRian
776 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:37 pm

I agree that Pianoteq is a great choice as it's very well modeled rather than sampled, so gives you a more realistic piano response as well as a great sound.
Sweet child in time...

Spitfire31
KVRAF
2817 posts since 18 May, 2003 from Sweden

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:17 pm

dasen wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:24 am
Hey,

I'm currently using the built in EXS sampler piano sounds in Logic Pro X … What are the best piano libraries for Kontakt? Or Vsts?…
LPX doesn't use vst:s…

/Joachim
If it were easy, anybody could do it!

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Deep Purple
KVRian
776 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:38 pm

Spitfire31 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:17 pm
dasen wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:24 am
Hey,

I'm currently using the built in EXS sampler piano sounds in Logic Pro X … What are the best piano libraries for Kontakt? Or Vsts?…
LPX doesn't use vst:s…

/Joachim
Yes it does.
Sweet child in time...

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
17536 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:14 am

It can with an adapter, natively it does not.

Spitfire31
KVRAF
2817 posts since 18 May, 2003 from Sweden

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:44 am

Deep Purple wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:38 pm
Spitfire31 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:17 pm
dasen wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:24 am
Hey,

I'm currently using the built in EXS sampler piano sounds in Logic Pro X … What are the best piano libraries for Kontakt? Or Vsts?…
LPX doesn't use vst:s…

/Joachim
Yes it does.
No, it does not. Logic's native plugin structure is AU, end of story.

If you want to complexify (Besos… ;-)) your setup, you can of course host Mac vst:s using some additional AU host plugin such as Plogue Bidule, which in its turn can load vst:s. But what's the point?

I suppose the OP just confused the terms VI (virtual instrument) with vst. It happens… :wink:

/Joachim
If it were easy, anybody could do it!

GearNostalgia
KVRist
280 posts since 28 Dec, 2017

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:42 am

I am not a pianoplayer, but I really like the Una Corda. It is so orignal and has a cool sound.

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Deep Purple
KVRian
776 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:52 pm

Spitfire31 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:44 am
No, it does not. Logic's native plugin structure is AU, end of story.
Well don't get your frilly panties in a twist.

I didn't realize it takes a wrapper, and some other Mac DAWs can use VSTs natively (Live and Reason, for example).

Now take a deep breath before you get back the interwebs.
Sweet child in time...

jochicago
KVRist
387 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:38 pm

Best is pretty subjective. Any other requirements in mind? You only said realistic and try to keep the library small.

What's your price range? Or in other words, how important is the piano sound in your production (does it sit at the front or is it a backup track)?

Inexpensive Steinway D:
You didn't say cheap, but usually goes hand-in-hand with smaller libraries:

The Air Mini Grand is the winner IMO as can be had for as little as $10 on sale and appears occasionally in the sales forum here. Also the best sounding grand under 2GB in my opinion after testing about a dozen.

I also very much like Sonivox 88 Ensemble, which is not hard to find on sale or the second hand market. Comes in at about 10gb but there's a lightweight preset that sounds pretty good, and the kit also incorporates a few other sounds like layered strings, so it is a fair use of 10GB.

Addictive Keys Studio Grand comes in at around 5GB and it is also easy to find as a resale because it comes bundled with some hardware. (I'm currently testing it)

Not Steinway D:
Probably the best bet and the last piano you'll need (if you are not a piano player that needs variety) is Ravenscroft 275 at 6GB of space. It is a truly majestic beast and the sound far exceeds the size of the library, it sounds like a 40+ GB library. This is probably the only "small" library that competes at the same level as the big boys, and many would say it rises to the top.

Also, re: pianoteq
I just have to add for the purpose of the discussion: IMO at best the sound is ok. My guess is that they are at least 3 versions away from being able to compete with some of the top libraries. In fact, I bet on a blind test most music end-consumers would prefer the sound of the Air Mini Grand.

So my point is: unless you are a piano player and are looking for a great "feel" (not sound) for when you are recording midi, then the pianoteq can be a great tool. But if you are looking for something to render tracks, IMO pianoteq is not on the shortlist.

Ou_Tis
KVRist
247 posts since 10 Jul, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:58 pm

Production Voices has some good piano libraries at under 2 gb.

Mzed99
KVRer
12 posts since 21 Apr, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:38 pm

Give a look at "The Giant" from NI, and the Arturia Piano V.
As a pianist I must say that sounds in general aren't super realistic on vst instruments, but that doesn't mean they don't bring any quality to your scores, indeed I'd say that often they can bring some specifics "sounds" that a "normal" piano wouldn't be able to produce.

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cthonophonic
KVRist
233 posts since 1 Jan, 2018

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:03 pm

jochicago wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:38 pm
Also, re: pianoteq
I just have to add for the purpose of the discussion: IMO at best the sound is ok. My guess is that they are at least 3 versions away from being able to compete with some of the top libraries. In fact, I bet on a blind test most music end-consumers would prefer the sound of the Air Mini Grand.

So my point is: unless you are a piano player and are looking for a great "feel" (not sound) for when you are recording midi, then the pianoteq can be a great tool. But if you are looking for something to render tracks, IMO pianoteq is not on the shortlist.
Though I am neither much of a piano person nor a sample library connoisseur (I don't even have Kontakt), I mostly agree here. I love Pianoteq because it has enough tweakability to produce all sorts of interesting not-quite-piano sounds and because (in the pro version) all the physical parameters can be modified on a per-note basis. But comparing it against even the aforementioned super cheap pianos from Air, Sonivox and XLN, the samples generally sound more natural to my ears. Though, again, I am not much of a piano person and mostly interested in the unnatural things you can coax Pianoteq into doing.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
6048 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Best piano libraries for Kontakt?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:48 pm

I love the tone of the Emberton Steinway. Beautiful sounding piano, tons of mic positions. Eats CPU for breakfast, so may need to keep your buffer at 128, but it's a great piano. Best I own. There's an update that's been in the works for months with half peddling and sympathetic resonance, but it's already the best sampled piano I've used.

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