I have no experience with the others but Pianoteq has many different pianos (and related instruments) to choose from, which themselves are extremely customizable, including things like microphone placement. And it works in Dorico without any issue.
I don’t know what ‘suitably classical’ means. All that you mentioned are good piano VSTs. Its up to your taste hope you mix them and what mic combos and positions you use. It’s a matter of your taste. You will end up with two or three for sure, and you can refine them as you will. Don’t expect to hit the ideal one first off. It’s a very personal matter. I tend to gravitate to Addictive Keys most of the time, despite the stupid name. I am a classical keyboard player and it does nicely for me.
I’m not sure that ‘microphones at a distance’ implies 19C sound. I have a lot of 19C piano music engineered with a mix of close and farther away mics, standard audio technique. If what you are after is more ‘room’ in the sound then consider adding reverb with a dedicated reverb VST - the ones that seem mandatory to be built in to VST’s are never very good, it not being the main purpose of the VST.
If what you mean is actually 19C piano samples, then that restricts your choice, and there are a few to choose from, such as Pianoteq.
Thanks everybody! I will probably go for Pianoteq 8 then, but also look into the other options.
(with 19th century sound I meant like you hear in well-recorded classical piano albums, like Hamelin’s Alkan recording from 2007) in contrast to jazz, pop and some contemporary piano music recordings. I’ll look into a VST reverb plugin too! Great tip, thanks!)
If you have any aspirations to use historic pianos (1800’s pleyels, Mozartian pianoforte, or the like) then Pianoteq is the way to go. They have a number of historic pianos modeled which are very satisfying. It’s also worth noting that pianoteq has a comprehensive way of controlling how the piano is virtually mic’d, and you can use different microphones and position them differently (higher/lower, far/near). It’s pretty neat, actually, and can drastically change your sound.
My take: NI’s Noire is my go-to grand piano VST. To me it sounds much better than Pianoteq does - to my ears there is something that’s just not quite right about Pianoteq’s Steinway sound. It’s also very adjustable for a sample based VSTi.
Thanks for all the replies. While the latter options here sounded better than Pianoteq, I was more than impressed with that one. And since it takes so little processing power and sounded great out of the box. Can definitely hear what you mean with something is off compared to the best, I’m still very impressed and enjoy this very much! I love how easily it integrates with Dorico.
Yes, as a pianist of over 50 years I too love the Garritan Yamaha CFX (even though I am a Steinway guy at heart). I switched from ‘The Italian Grand’ by Synthogy a few years ago which I thought was excellent until I discovered the CFX. It’s also very reasonably priced I think. The wonderful thing about the CFX is that you can play softly on it. It does have a rather large footprint though…132GB! I’m sure the PianoTeq pianos have improved since I last tried them, and the Scriabin demo does sound really good, but it’s hard to judge until you actually have it under your fingers. The last time I tried PianoTeq I didn’t care for the top end.