23 Virtual Pianos Compared

This video, by Taipei reader Wiwi Kuan, compares 23 virtual pianos, including the new Keyscape, Ivory II, PianoTeq 5, Yamaha Motif, Roland, EZkeys, Reason Pianos and more.

Each demo features Kuan’s performance of Springtime Sundays, so the video highlights the differences between the various virtual pianos.

Turn on CC or see the notes below for details on the different virtual pianos and timings within the video. 

0:00 Propellerhead – Radical Piano (Grand)
1:34 Propellerhead – Radical Piano (Upright)
3:07 Toontrack – EZkeys (Grand Piano)
4:40 Synthogy – Ivory II (American Concert D)
6:14 Spectrasonics – Keyscape (Yamaha C7)
7:47 Spectrasonics – Keyscape (Wing Upright)
9:20 Yamaha – Motif XF (Full Concert Grand)
10:54 Yamaha – Motif XF (Yamaha S6)
12:28 Native Instruments – The Gentleman
14:01 Native Instruments – The Giant
15:35 Native Instruments – The Grandeur
17:08 Native Instruments – The Maverick
18:42 Modartt – PianoTeq (D4)
20:15 Modartt – PianoTeq (K2)
21:48 Modartt – PianoTeq (U4)
23:22 Propellerhead – Abbey Road Keyboards (Challen Piano)
24:55 Propellerhead – Abbey Road Keyboards (Mrs. Mills Piano)
26:29 Propellerhead – Reason Pianos (Yamaha C7)
28:02 Propellerhead – Reason Pianos (Steinway K)
29:36 Roland – RD-700SX (Superior Grand)
31:10 Roland – RD-700SX (X-Ultimate)
32:43 IK Multimedia – SampleTank 3 (Grand Piano 1)
34:17 IK Multimedia – SampleTank 3 (Grand Piano 2)


16 thoughts on “23 Virtual Pianos Compared

  1. I appreciate his effort in doing this comparison. Very interesting differences between the models as heard here.

    It’s different playing them though. Some of my faves don’t sound as good in this video as plugins I dislike. Could be a variety of reasons for that.

  2. Kudos to Mr. Kwan for providing this opportunity for comparison. Springtime Sundays provided an ample mix of genres in a single song: great choice!

    My thoughts:
    – Say what you will about analog vs digital: It’s wonderful to have so many virtual pianos (and synths) at our disposal. We get to match up the best-sounding piano to each and every song!
    – I don’t have a single favorite piano from these examples. I have 3 or 4 favorites, aligned with the varying stylistic passages of the song.

  3. If you are shopping for a virtual piano and you plan to use the sound for live (where your send might be mono) or for some sound project that might be played on a single speaker (like on a phone or on a tablet)– you will want to check these sounds for mono-compatibility. Listen to the track with the channels summed to mono.

  4. nice job. results depend on the actual piece, playing style, the controller & velocity curve, and other settings. But this does give a good idea for the character of some of the options. I haven’t tried most myself, but the demo hints that I may not like the pianoteq options, the sampletank, EZ Keys, and spectrasonics options.

    I use an RD-700GX and I’ve got a perfect setup for my playing style that I use with Best Service Vintage D.. it’s got those beautiful steinway mid-high register bell tones. I think everyone ends up with their own setup as the controller and velocity/setup many times have more to do with the results than the sample library itself.

    1. But you must admit that NI Una Corda is kind of a unique instrument, so it would not be comparing apples to apples. (Though arguably, PianoTeq, might be able to be set in a similar way).

  5. A little bit disappointed by keyspace, that clicking sound was drawing a lot of attention to itself..clicking.
    On the other hand quite supposed by the propellerhead stuff, too bad i am not using reason i guess.

  6. Once while studuing composition I presented my piano piece made from piano sounds coming from Ensoniq SQR+. Added some fx here and there to make it sound more realistic. Somehow no-one thought that it was a rompler playing not a real recording.

  7. Propellerhead – Reason Pianos (Yamaha C7) for me. I found the sound more “round”? Consider that you can edit the microphone’s relative gains, so affect the sound a lot.

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