EVM Grand Piano sounds like it's based on a good set of samples. Unfortunately, it won't satisfy a piano player, due to three very simple (and therefore frustrating) drawbacks. These should be pretty easily remediable.
1) It's limited to 8 notes playing at once. Furthermore, when it steals voices, it steals the oldest voice. For piano, it's best never to steal the lowest voice. 16 voices is pretty much the minimum but insufficient for striding styles. 32 is reasonable, though some pieces with sweeping sustained runs can use more than that.
2) The decay and sustain controls are wrong for an instrument like piano, which should have decay and release. The "decay" control affects both decay and release, and the sustain works the way it would on a typical synthesizer. On all real pianos, the sustain level is zero. However, since both decay and release are controlled by one knob, it's necessary to set sustain high and release low (so that the notes don't continue to ring after you release a key). It's impossible to get a natural sounding note. Replace the sustain knob with a release knob and bingo this is fixed.
3) The same sample is used regardless of velocity, leading to very unnatural dynamics. On a real piano, softer notes are also much less bright. With a single sample, it's necessary to use a velocity-sensitive filter. Only pieces where all notes are played loud will sound good on this piano (like boogie-woogie).
The presence switch turns the stereo effect on and off. It's a subtle effect, but when summed to mono causes unnatural coloration so it's good to be able to turn it off.
I've never seen a real piano with a fancy GUI, so I don't see any reason why a piano softsynth needs one. The GUI (once the controls are fixed to do the right things) is perfectly reasonable for the instrument. (Though, it is odd that the volume control is labeled "Input 2".)Read more
I really like this synth. It may be short on features, but it's straightforward, simple, and it sounds authentic. If you're looking for all sorts of crazy sounds, then move along. This is modeled after a grand, and that's what it sounds like. It's got very good range (G1 to C9 on my system), and it's extremely stable and CPU friendly. You can run several instances of this VST without too much noticable CPU drain. (I don't know why you'd really want more than two, honestly, since you can simply automate the parameters if you want to change something.) I use it in many compositions and have never had a problem with it. If I want other sounds, I switch to another vst, but this serves my purpose very well. The file size seems a bit large, but it's no big deal. 10mb is not going to kill your computer unless you've got an ancient hard drive.
Bottom line is this: It's free and it's simple. You might as well download it and try it out. If you don't like it, delete it. You're not out anything, and you won't have to wonder "what if".Read more