"The New Standard" in Sampled Pianos

A few months ago I made a post about the new True Keys pianos which were bundled as a set of three, including an Italian Grand, American D, and German Grand.


Now these are available individually at a fraction of the cost. If your musical needs included virtual piano instruments as solos or in your mixes, this is an option up there with Ivory and Galaxy. I’ve heard alot of good things about these, so they might definitely be worth the check. I may have to get these myself, cause I thought Ivory sounded good… :mrgreen:

Nice, but the Vilabsaudio site loads reaaaally slowly … :open_mouth:

I was thinking about buying NI’s Alicia’s keys, but these pianos look very promising too. Have you had the chance to compare both?

I have not, but I have heard that Alicia Keys is focused more on pop productions. As a Yamaha, I’d say it’s going to be a very bright piano with a selling point of personality in a mix. OTOH, the True Keys is like most sampled Steinways in that the focus is the exact replication of the nuances of a true grand, with all the articulations and features, think Ivory. I believe it will definitely sound alot better than AK in a solo piano song-the demos are amazing. IMO, I believe that True Keys and Ivory would both outperform Alicia Keys, and as such, would recommend these depending on your needs.

A user with some cool software did a piano comparison in years past, since the True Keys are relatively new, they don’t have an article yet but Alicia Keys does. Check this out: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1435259/Re:%20The%20DP%20BSD%20Project!.html#Post1435259

iLOK :cry:

Steinbergs own The Grand still sounds good but it is time for a different sound.

Seems like ilok is a sure deal breaker for more & more people all the time.

Even Waves have bailed on using it.

yep…ilok=no sale for me.

My Grand 2 just bombed on me, now I NEED a replacement.

Wonder if I should just jump to TG3?

Ivory, Galaxy, and True Keys are all better pianos than TG3. Even as much as I hate to say it as a TG3 owner. You don’t necessarily have to buy a whole set, Galaxy’s and True Key’s pianos are all available separately and Ivory’s American Concert D is really great too. Maybe if you start off with one model you’ll have enough cash for the iLok.

Aloha guys and thanks for all the kool info.

I have Ivory and I was just about to pull the trigger on the
Grand 3 this week because of a great upgrade price ($99.00 USD).

But now after reading this thread I realize I have a lot more
research in front of me.

Ashamed to admit it but I have not even tried
‘True Keys’ or ‘Galaxy’ and those will be my first stops.

I have found that Piano players can be a finicky bunch (God love um) so I am
trying to have as many DIFFERENT pianoforte sounds/feels in the studio
as possible.

Once again tanx for all the great info. Forward march.

I’m just not gonna plug in an eLicenser AND an iLOK, I’ve decided that long ago. I also stay away from NI Kontact stuff, its just too much, I don’t want those options.

Something around $100 does sound good about right now!

I take it the modeled pianos aren’t there yet, if you’re accustomed to using sampled?


I definitely agree. I wish there was some kind of collaboration between the elicenser and the iLok, not for the benefit of some company group, but for the good of all musicians working digitally so that we can have a standardized licensing system for all music production softwares. Ideally, we would move away from the dongle concept altogether and do an online licensing procedure, similar to what Toontrack has implemented with EZDrummer.

You are exactly right. Modelled pianos like Pianoteq have come a long way, even to the point of being seemingly realistic in the mix. But still they lack that high end “sparkle” that legit sampled libraries have, so it has to be added with the onboard EQ. Honestly, I’d still keep an eye on Pianoteq’s developments (their expansions are getting impressive) because I truly believe modeling is still the future of virtual pianos.

Aloha Curteye! I’m guessing you have the Ivory Grand Pianos Set? Depending on what genres you are working in, there are other pianos that have more ‘attitude’ like NI’s Giant and Alicia Keys Yamaha C3 Neo piano. If you’re going the traditional approach with an ultrarealistic piano sound, any of the Steinways from Ivory, Galaxy, or True Keys are fantastic, and will definitely show up the Grand 3. (Keep it quiet, this is heresy as we are on the Steinberg forum…yikes!) :open_mouth:

Too bad there aren’t trials, but multi GB sample libraries aren’t fun to download. :wink: You can go to www.trysound.com and try out some of the Ivory and Galaxy libraries online by booking sessions.

Aloha B and tanx for the info/link

A major +1 on this.

And not just pianos.

As a MIDI guitarist I deal with guitar models all the time
and believe me, from when Roland first introduced its
version of modeling back in the 90’s, this tech
is now truly amazing.

Clean, dirty or several stages in between, the guitar
models in my GR55 are so close that in many cases
it is really hard to tell the diff.

And I have the real thang (gear wise from back-n-da-day) right there on hand to A/B stuff.

I predict that once modeling truly takes off, so will music made on tablets etc
even more so than today.

Reason being because all that sample memory that we currently use will no longer be needed.


I have been looking around and there really aren’t a ton of non iLok / non NI pianos!

I’m actually going to have to work with the Yamaha in HSE until I have this figured out :blush:

Happy days!

You might have missed this one, then: -> http://viennaimperial.com/

… works with your Steinberg eLicenser. :wink:


Thank you Dietz.

Whew! That is out of my budget for now, but certainly I have to consider putting a halt on eqs, comps, etc and get serious again.

CEUS Technology

The ultimate player piano? :slight_smile:

But this plug does sound very very nice.

I think my search is over.
Now the only prob is what mpayne0 posted.


I’ll be saving my pennies.

Mahalo Dietz.

http://www.vilabsaudio.com/Singles available for an affordable price. This would be a no brainer, but for of course, the Lok.

I like the idea of buying singles to add to a collection of the same ‘player’ Keeps it simple.

The Vienna Imperial is a very, very impressive piano, but you will need to keep in mind that it is a bit older and won’t have half pedal capabilities or, from what I can see, microphone bleed options.

Yes you get what you pay for, this is the only true sounding grand on market. I have had top engineers swearing that VSL grand is real and during track listening saying that is why you have to use the real thing. I never correct them lol Also sounds even better in the Mir http://www.viennamir.com/ rooms. I have used several software grands and this is the only one that kills, if only there was a keyboard that felt great we’d have everything. And Bane you can control everything on the VSL not only bleed/half pedal etc but you can EQ all 88 keys one note at a time if you desire to

I like Addictive Keys (from XLN audio). Affordable (and without ilok!).


here some demos from a user:



here is the same guy playing Alicia’s Keys: