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The Grand

Grand Piano Plugin by Steinberg
€149 / $149
The Grand
The Grand The Grand The Grand The Grand The Grand The Grand
The Grand by Steinberg is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin. It supports ReWire.
Synth Application
Copy Protection
Dongle (USB-eLicenser)
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The Grand 3 offers the sound of three legendary concert grands, as well as leading electric and upright pianos, all recorded in "outstanding" quality with two microphone positions in up to 20 velocity layers. Additional features include onboard equalization tools, a full tuning editor, a range of technologies to enhance computer resource efficiency as well as a stand-alone mode.

The Grand 3 features three virtual grand pianos with a rich and realistic sound based on the most widely acclaimed grand pianos:

  • The Yamaha C7 grand piano is the artist's choice — its sound providing a true concert grand experience.
  • The expressive tone of the Bösendorfer 290 Imperial provides an extended musical range not found in other pianos.
  • The sound, responsiveness and playing behavior of the Steinway D complement the collection.

More pianos, more choices: Electric and Upright pianos:

  • The classic Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand has a timbral character that makes it genuinely recognizable.
  • The Nordiska Pianofabriken upright piano has been recorded and designed for the not so grandeur of musical genres — its sound is ideal for pop and jazz music.

The Grand 3 comes with a convolution reverb based on the same technology used by REVerence, the VST3-based convolution reverb processor already featured in Cubase 5. It boasts realistic natural space simulation, emulating any acoustic environment — from the smallest live music venue to the most impressive cathedrals. This reverb includes a vast number of impulse responses that put the characteristic sound of some of the world's most distinctive settings immediately in one's hands — both in stereo and surround.

An algorithmic reverb is also included to increase the amount of reverbs. With more than 60 reverb presets, this leaves the artist with ample scope to spatially enhance the piano sound.

A powerful and versatile equalizer offers full four-band parametric control that works as a sum over all output channels with variable response curves and shelving modes, as well as analog-style peak filters.

The enhanced tuning editor provides customizable scales and a wealth of presets for tempered and concert tuning. Each tuning situation may be stored and retrieved as preset whenever required.

The Grand 3 standalone
The standalone version allows The Grand 3 to be used without a host application — a great choice for performing live. The Grand 3 standalone version comes with two additional features:

  • For the record: The quick-idea scratch pad in The Grand 3 standalone version guarantees that all flashes of inspiration are recorded. Simply hit the button and The Grand 3 records everything played — now there's no excuse for missing that one tune. With the scratch pad allows the recorded sequence to be played back for rehearsal purposes or exported as a standard MIDI file. It is also possible to load MIDI files and play them back as well.
  • Never miss a beat: The metronome integrated into The Grand 3 standalone version is a useful tool, providing a range of preset speed styles (Adagio, Moderato, etc.) and helping musicians keep a constant tempo while practicing the most difficult of piano pieces.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 3.86 from 7 reviews

The Grand
Reviewed By jplanet
November 4th, 2005

Next to Ivory this is the most expressive and beautiful grand piano. With Yamaha P60 as a controller it is a very convincing piano experience. Makes PMI Bosendorfer sound like a Casio.

This is one of very few instruments that I can literally found myself lost for hours just improvising and enjoying the details of the sound. I compose nearly all of my music with it, even if piano doesn't necessarily find itself in the final mix.

I used to have similar problems with slow rendering and loading described by others here when I used it with Cubase, but now that I have switched to Tracktion as my sequencer, it renders and loads extremely fast. Ironic to think that a Steinberg instrument works better in non-Steinberg sequencers...

There are times when I find it sounds just a tad bit muddy in a mix, but then I do play the left hand a bit heavy, and usually have bass guitar in my tracks as well. In any case I just roll off a bit of the low end and it sits in the mix very well.

There is not much of a choice of sounds here, but the sound it has is truly remarkable.
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The Grand
Reviewed By bobb
January 28th, 2002

Does it have presets ? No, (well about 5 or 6) but this is a piano, so who needs presets. The only preset i ask for is.......eh......piano.

GUI : No fancy stuff, but all you need to set the quality according to your CPU.

Stability : No problems so far, easy to install and easy to load : 10-12 sec for the 512mb piano.

Sound : absolutly fantasic. The best piano so far for sequensing.

Value for money : It's about the same as a good sample CD.

Features : who needs them, it's a piano ( you can do some velocity setting, maybe all you need )

Add external FX's , reverbs and EQ to make it fit to your arrangement because The Grand has no such features.

Over all a great VSTi (if you need the best pianosound available)

BTW, on my pIII850mHz, with 512 RAM (PC100), I managed to get 50% CPU load with some heavy playing (Arabesque no1 Claude Debussy) But never over 20% on J.S.Bach (Goldberg variationen )
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The Grand
Reviewed By
January 14th, 2002

First of all, this is not samples of a Steinway but a Kawai EX, preferred among many professional pianists. This is probably the best sounding computer based solution so far but in need of some improvements.

- Natural piano sound
- No loops
- String resonance
- Realistic pedal down effects
- Ability to change the velocity curve

- Bug 1: It takes too long to export audio in Cubase
- Bug 2: Activating both Hammer Action and String Resonance results in minor clicks when releasing keys
- Bug 3: Presets cannot be saved
- Still in need of improvement regarding the sympathetic resonance
- Requires lots of memory to make use of the full potential, 512 MB absolute minimum

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The Grand
Reviewed By
January 11th, 2002



1. Sounds absolutely fantastic (quite bright)
2. Very nice sustain pedal on/off simulation
3. Very playable (expressive)
4. Sound and key velocity reponse curve can be tailored
5. Nice key release resonance


1. Slower to load than other vsti's
2. Users more resources (RAM/Disk IO) than other vsti's
3. Audio export (render) is painfully slow (30-40 minutes for a 5 minute MIDI recording on a PIII-1Ghz).
4. There is no "standalone" mode and it needs an ASIO2 wrapper.
5. The room resonance option sounds awful and it is better left off to be honest.

Other comments

My one major complaint with this vsti plugin is the amount of time it takes to do an audio export. It is too slow to be used in a practical situation (5 minutes of MIDI takes 30-40 minutes to render on a PIII-1Ghz PC).
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The Grand
Reviewed By
January 7th, 2002

OK, so no software instrument will ever replace the real thing, but this VST instrument does a great job of sounding like an actual piano. Once you set the velocity curve to your liking, change some of the parameters around to suit your style, you will not be disappointed. I immediately compared it to the Steinway sample sound I was using and The Grand sounded fuller, more robust, more real. In general, i was pleasantly surprised at the quality. In fact, I'll have a hard time going back to sampled sounds again. Nonetheless, everyone's a critic, so here are my criticisms: The bass notes are louder than the rest of the keyboard (realistic, but sometimes not practical). There should be either a dedicated EQ for the VST or volume/mic placement controls to even out the sound. Perhaps in a future update?? The ambianece simulation didn't really add anything or detract anything (but maybe i should listen with headphones), the effect should be more substantial. Yes, both of these problems can be fixed with other plugins, but then you are wasting valuable processing power. The plugin is also a ram hog and takes a while to load even on my Pentium IV 1.5 GHz computer with 312 Mgs of Ram. Minor complaints, but heck, it's our job to complain. Finally, there should be more models of other pianos or at least, sonic variations besides hard, soft, bright). THe program should give you a little more ability to change things around. But all-in-all, the Grand is definitely worth the price of admission, even for a one trick pony.
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