USER INTERFACE: Another plain, simple, yet non-obstructive GUI from 4Front. Suited in white, black, and grey, it almost looks as if it's taking your order at a classy restaurant. Since software hasn't made that advance though, the GUI instead provides a straightforward answer to what the plugin was meant to do. Very effective and almost relaxing when I just want to compose rather than worry about the parameters. It scores a 10 for simplicity and efficiency.
SOUND: The quality of the sound produced by the 4front Piano Module is really a matter of taste. Personally, I find it to be full bodied, perfectly recorded, and extremely unique. It's remeniscent of an old tack piano. Sort of like the one the beatles used at Abbey Road studios, except how it would sound now all these years later. I've used this vsti in several tracks and have always been pleased with the results. It's full of character and really gives a song a "Distinctive" sound that seperates it from the rest. Every key is recreated perfectly, so well in fact, that you can actually hear the key press down. I've also found it to be great for emulating piano lines played on old vinyl records. Add izotope's Vinyl plugin to the insert rack and I think you'll be very happy with what you hear. Despite me being obviously happy with the sound of this plugin, I have scored it an 8 due to the fact that it may be a little misleading to a few users. One might download it with the expectation of getting a typical clean grand piano sound and be unhappy with the chunky, phased sound of this particular piano. It's not for everyone is all i'm saying.
FEATURES: This category does not really apply. The 4Front Piano Module is simply that...a piano wrapped in the VST SDK so it can be easily used in your VST setup. No knobs, no buttons, no hastle. Just plug-and-play.
PRESETS: This is another category that doesn't apply as it is a single preset player.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Although I've never needed it for this particular plugin, I've always found 4front's support to be top notch. They have always been approachable and willing to go that extra mile to help me out.
VALUE FOR MONEY: It doesn't cost a thing aside from some of your bandwidth. With how much I've used it, I'd say it far surpasses any value, especially considering it's free.
STABILITY: 150%. Low CPU consumption, no clicks, cracks, or clunks and most importantly, no crashes. I've used this plugin in more than a few hosts, and on many occasions. It's never given me a problem.
OVERALL: If you want a piano with personality, download this immediately. Or, if you are looking to recreate a vintage type of sound, again, you might want to check this out. It's a great piece of work, provided at no cost to you. In my opinion, you can't go wrong. I will continue to use it in my compositions and samples.
This is a strange little VSTi. Part of the 4Front suite that also includes the E-Piano and Rhode[s], it offers a no-frills workman-like, chunky, slightly hallucinogenic bar-room piano-type sound that is great for bashing out ideas for songs.
Unlike the mda piano, which is really more of a sound for fitting into a mix to represent a piano, the 4Front Piano actually offers some pleasure to be had from playing it for its own sake. It has a slightly dirty, crappy, worn-out kind of sound with a strange little twinkle to it which reminds me of wasps buzzing round a pot of honey or people rattling jewelry over a corpse. Really.
The quality of the sound is pretty consistent right across the range, with no notes overpowered by others when playing two-handed chords, and while in a mix it can be a bit fuzzy, it nonetheless has a unique sound that, while not authentic (I use free soundfonts and sfz for that), is nonetheless part of the piano-family. I recommend giving it a go.
User inteface: Simple, elegant.
Features: It makes a sound like a piano. That's it.
Documentation: None, and none needed.
Presets: None, and none needed. This is what it does. How many presets does a piano have?
Customer support: You won't need it, but programmer George Yohnge gives the impression of being pretty approachable.
This is the best free piano mudule, I've heard, better than mda, Sampletank free, or even that light version of Plugsound that came with CM. It's simply more convincing to my ears.
If I want to just fool around or lay a quick keyboard part, that's the module, in fact, I put it on the default setting so I can begin bashing right away. And I find it acceptable that it has not a single knob, cos pianos don't have that anyway, and If I really need I can process the sound with another plugin.
One more: The sound is a little reverby and, some claim, out of tune, so it might be difficult to mix it, but based on personal experience, it's not, it slides right in.
I think this little Piano has a nice sound. Has large potential in recording a fast thick piano sound. Its simple and i know i only have to pull this up for fast piano tracks...very utilitarian "free" plug....and i think it would rival a large percentage of OK hardware synths on the market...and the best plug available by 4 Front
I don't think this instrument should be judged against expensive gigabyte sampled instrument. It's fairly small, free, and is a one-sound no-gui instrument.
So what's the sound worth? Tastes differ. This piano has a softer, rounder sound than the MDA piano, which I find somewhat thin, and the Sonic Reality pianos which I find very metallic. I haven't been exposed to anything more expensive.
The sound of this module is not perfect. There is clear noise when the notes decay, but in a mix that's in audible. With a little hi-shelf boost and low-shelf cut I find this an excellent instrument. I like this mellow sound. But I don't make dance music.
GUI: there is none. Docs likewise. Presets the same.
The author is active on kvr, so that means there is something resembling support.
Hey, it's free? Watcha got to lose? One more sound in your toolbox if you haven't found the perfect piano yet.
4Front Piano Module is a useful VSTi plug-in for musicians who are in need of a lightweight, low-CPU upright-style, acoustic piano sound. I do not think this plug-in was intended to sound like a pristine concert piano; rather, it is meant to have the character of a heavily-used upright piano that might be found in a bar.
User Interface: N/A
Sound: Sounds like a used upright acoustic piano with a different character than other VSTi available on the market. The sound is very static across all velocities, so it isn't as expressive as other exensive, massively-multisampled VSTi that I have used. The release time is a bit unusual and cannot be changed. The low keys and high keys are all panned to the center, unlike some other piano VSTi.
Features: Obviously, this free version is only a representation of what the professional version would offer, but with no user controls and only one sound, it is difficult to predict what features such a version would have.
Customer Support: The 4Front website seems to be very customer-focused, and George (the lead developer) posts here often. I believe that he has set up a listserv for his users as well.
Value For Money: It is free and might be useful to users looking for a simple VSTi that does not consume much CPU.
Stability: Excellent, but with no controls, I would expect it to be fairly solid.
Overall, 4Front Piano Module is a nice addition to the free VSTi community that some might really appreciate.
user interface : unimportant. there`s nothing to tweak.
sound : well ... if you play it alone, it sounds not too bad, although wery wide and heavyly processed before multisamples. in the mix (if its no ballad) its very washy and greasy, not concrete, not at all a piano wich is higher stated.
features : none.
docs : unimportant because not needed. there is nothing to tweak at all.
presets : none.what you hear is what you get.
support : never needed.
value for money : exellent, if one might find it useful.its free. i personally would not recommend it. to many alternatives by sampling cds and so on.nothing you cannot find anywhere else.and it has a competitor wich is also free, the mda piano, wich imo sounds way more like a piano, even its also not what i would call exellent. but it has a few features to tweak, so you can limited make it fit to what you deserve.and also allmost no cpu usage.
stability : never crashed at all.
summary : if 4 front would give it some amp env and some tweaks to edit it to your needs, or at least give more pianos to choose, it could become a workhorse for me.
This is amazing. Although simple, it holds the ability to go a long way. Despite the fact that it has no settings or presets, it compares with some of the other piano synths out there. Whe I first saw it, I was expecting it to be another simple horrible sounding attempt at a piano sound. 4front has done an amazing job - And im sure flexibility will be sure to present its self in futurue versions. The only down side to this is its single type of piano. But even besides that, its still amazing. And the best thing is the price - Yes! Absolutley free. I look foreward to more great sample based vsti plugins from 4front.
Latest 8 reviews from a total of 8
Comments & Discussion for 4Front Technologies 4Front Piano Module