Budget piano libraries that exceed their price?

Ray

Member
100$ at max if possible. Thanks!

LE: Any thoughts on Cinematic Studio Piano?

LE2: Thanks everyone, very helpful suggestions!
 
Last edited:

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
Hard to go past these, which can be purchased as a bundle or individually:


Also, The recently released Concert Grand by Profanity Instruments (via Kontakt Hub) is amazing value at $15. Not as refined as the Due pianos, but a very raw & realistic Steinway D with 4 mic sets. Don't be put off by the price!
 
Last edited:

h.s.j.e

Member
You might be able to find something that fits your requirements for free. Ivy Audio's Piano 162 is a really nice free option, and Christian Henson's Pianobook has a couple of instruments that really exceed expectations. Lots of the options there lack polish in one way or another, but there are some beautiful sounds.
 

SupremeFist

Senior Member
The full Walker D is only $99 if you don't buy extra mics! Otherwise, I second Craig's recommendation of the Experimenta Due pianos, which are absolutely terrific.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CGR

TomislavEP

Senior Member
Another vote for Embertone's Walker D Lite. I've bought it for only 10$ and its one of the best and most useful affordable libraries I've ever come across. It has a somewhat brighter overall tone comparing to the other Steinway libraries I'm using, but it is still surprisingly singable.

P.S. The OP mentioned the budget up to 100$. In that case, I would probably recommend getting Native Instruments Noire when it's on sale. I've recently added this one to my virtual piano collection and it is definitely proving itself as a "jack of all trades" - if there is such a thing in the piano world.
 

Geomir

Senior Member
Another value-for-money grand piano library to consider is Garritan Abbey Road Studios CFX Lite:


It's not a Kontakt library, it runs in the free Aria Player (included in all Garritan's libraries).
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
100$ at max if possible. Thanks!

LE: Any thoughts on Cinematic Studio Piano?
Cinematic Studio Piano is a very well captured Yamaha C7. Runs in the free version of Kontakt, and is light on computer resources so good to work with in a multi track project. A very clean tone (it's a more recent, warmer sounding model C7 - the C7's from the 80's are often quite a bit brighter & more 'wiry') and plays very well with good dynamics & 4 mic positions. It lacks realism in exposed solo playing (particularly short, staccato playing) due to not having separate release samples (which is where the Embertone Walker D excels) but works really well for lyrical, "cinematic" styles - hence the name.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ray

ghandizilla

and .then()
CinePiano sounds really good according to the walkthroughs, but I didn't try it yet.

As for Cinematic Studio Piano : I am fond of the distant mics. They sound awesome and blend well with the orchestra. Not that fond of the close mics. So it depends upon what you want to do with the library... My global impression: for a cheap Kontakt-Player-compatible light-weight piano, the Force is with this one.
 

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
P.S. The OP mentioned the budget up to 100$. In that case, I would probably recommend getting Native Instruments Noire when it's on sale. I've recently added this one to my virtual piano collection and it is definitely proving itself as a "jack of all trades" - if there is such a thing in the piano world.
I grabbed Noire for 50% off, $75, and I don't think a better piano for 75 bucks exists between here and the Sea of Tranquility. Garritan CFX Lite is probably great, I use the full version and it's currently my #1. Well, it and Noire are neck and neck, but with Noire you get a boatload of bonus stuff like the Felt piano (eliminates having to buy Emotional Piano) and all the crazy things in the Particles engine.

Also, Waves Grand Rhapsody Piano goes on sale for 29 bucks all the time if you want something decent at a real bargain price. But my vote is wait for Noire if you're not in a rush.
 
Last edited:

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
Oh wait, I also got the Ravenscroft R275 for half price, 99 bucks, another beauty. However, you really have to tweak the velocity curve just right to match your keyboard controller. It just seems to respond better to a higher-end 88 key controller, my M-Audio CODE61 thing doesn't get the beauty you hear when a Kawai VPC1 is attached, IMO. I'm basing that on a ton of NAMM show videos. Even that is skewed becasue the Kawai controller at the NAMM booth is a specially customized Ravenscroft version that costs over 5 grand. But with that you get probably the best piano sound out there. For those of us with sub-$500 controllers, I still vote Noire or Garritan if either goes on sale.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ray

SupremeFist

Senior Member
I grabbed Noire for 50% off, $75, and I don't think a better piano for 75 bucks exists between here and the Sea of Tranquility. Garritan CFX Lite is probably great, I use the full version and it's currently my #1. Well, it and Noire are neck and neck, but with Noire you get a boatload of bonus stuff like the Felt piano (eliminates having to buy Emotional Piano) and all the crazy things in the Particles engine.
I have Noire and like it a lot (mainly for the felt and the FX), but to my ears the pure piano, for strict realism, sits in a rank below instruments like the Garritan CFX (judging purely by demos) and the Experimenta Due First Piano (which I own and love). It still has that thing I hear in all Galaxy's pianos where the attack of the note sounds somehow squished on top of the body of the tone, rather than properly preceding it. At some point, there's plinkiness. But YMMV.