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The 11 Best Free Piano VST Plugins of 2024 (+ Pro Tips)

Free VST plugins are like the hidden treasures of the music production world. 

 

They offer the opportunity to elevate your tracks 一 infusing them with unique sounds and dynamics without burning a hole in your pocket. 

 

However, the challenge lies in sifting through the thousands of options available.

 

For every gem, there’s a multitude of lackluster choices that can make the search feel absolutely unbearable.

 

That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. 

 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be breaking down the absolute best free piano VST plugins of 2023 that promise to breathe new life into your tracks.

 

For each included free piano VST plugin, we’ll be including:

 

  • Detailed descriptions ✓
  • Unique features ✓
  • Versatility & flexibility ✓
  • Sound quality ✓
  • Ease of use ✓
  • CPU efficiency ✓

 

Having the right tools can transform a good track into a masterpiece. 

 

And with the free piano VST plugins highlighted in this guide, you’ll be armed with the very best.

 

As well as have the capability to weave intricate, emotive, and captivating soundscapes with ease.

 

Plus, we’ve included a bonus section at the bottom, which includes 5 advanced and unique tips/tricks to further enhance your piano journey.

 

Let’s dive in…

 

What are VST plugins?

 

VST Plugins Changing The Game - Unison

 

Before we dive into the 11 best free piano VST plugins of 2023, let’s do a quick recap of what VST plugins are and how they can enhance your tracks.

 

VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology

 

These are software interfaces that integrate with your digital audio workstation (DAW) and allow you to add new sounds and effects to your mixes. 

 

Imagine being able to play a grand piano sound without actually having a grand piano in your studio.

 

Or, adding an electric guitar’s vibe without knowing how to play one. 

 

That’s the magic of VST plugins.

 

As a digital hip-hop producer, I’ve been around the block and I can’t stress enough the importance of having the right VSTs. 

 

These VST plugins, when used correctly and creatively, can:

 

  • Shape the foundation of your tracks
  • Adding depth, character, and variety
  • Make your tracks stand out

 

Remember the last track you heard with that dope piano sound 一 making you bob your head?

 

Chances are, it was produced using a piano VST plugin. 

 

So next time you’re mixing, remember that behind every great track is a set of fire VST plugins.

 

How Can Free VST Plugins Enhance My Tracks?

 

Selling Beats - Unison

 

Now, let’s talk about our beloved free piano VSTs.

 

I know, I know, we all love a good freebie… especially when it comes to music production. 

 

But just because they’re free doesn’t mean they lack in quality. 

 

These free piano VST plugins come packed with a range of sounds 一 from the warm and intimate soft piano, and the resonating grand piano, to the nostalgic upright piano. 

 

Each free piano VST plugin brings its unique touch, offering different: 

 

  • Timbres
  • Decay sustain & release parameters
  • Multiple velocity layers for a more dynamic playing experience

 

So, how exactly can they enhance your tracks? 

 

Well, a solid piano line can make your track sound more professional, give it an emotional depth, or even become the catchy melody that everyone hums. 

 

Whether you’re crafting a soulful sample, laying down some lo-fi vibes, or just want that piano to pop, these VSTs got you.

 

Picture this: You’re crafting a soulful, jazzy hip-hop beat; the drums are tight and the bass is groovy, but something’s missing. 

 

You need that authentic piano sound. 

 

Not something synthetic or stale, but a sound that breathes life into your track. 

 

Enter: free piano VST plugins. 

 

With just a few clicks, you can introduce a realistic piano sound 一 adding depth and emotion to your production. 

 

And for my fellow hip-hop heads, a dope piano sound can be the difference between a track that’s ‘alright’ and a track that’s fire.

 

The 11 Best Free Piano VST Plugins of 2023

 

Navigating the digital music landscape requires the right tools, especially when it comes to achieving authentic piano sounds. 

 

High quality doesn’t always mean high cost, and in this list, we’ve compiled the top free piano VST plugins for 2023 that are truly supreme.

 

These plugins guarantee reliable, expressive tones and will help your tracks stand out.

 

So, let’s get to the fun part…

 

#1. Keyzone Classic by Bitsonic

 

free piano vst

 

Ah, Keyzone Classic: a name that’s been reverberating in the music production circles for a while. 

 

When it comes to free piano VSTs, KeyZone stands out not just for its pristine quality, but also for its versatility. 

 

The genius minds at Bitsonic crafted this virtual instrument with a blend of real piano instruments and high-end microphones

 

And let me tell you, it makes a huge difference. 

 

Whether you’re laying down a smooth hip-hop track or need some jazzy undertones, this free piano VST plugin is your go-to.

 

The simple structure and intuitive design make KeyZone a favorite among both rookies and seasoned producers. 

 

Its built-in reverb and modulation sections allow for nuanced adjustments 一 creating the perfect ambiance for your track. 

 

And for my fellow hip-hop producers, that ADSR envelope is a game-changer. 

 

Those punchy attacks or drawn-out sustains?… It’s all possible here.

 

The range, however, is the cherry on top.

 

It includes 5 distinctive instruments, including:

 

  • Piano from Keyzone 1
  • Yamaha Grand Piano
  • Steinway Grand Piano
  • Basic Electric Piano
  • Rhodes Piano

 

With these at your disposal, your music’s versatility will know no bounds. 

 

Especially if you’re into crafting moody, introspective beats or want to add a touch of nostalgia with electric piano sounds, KeyZone has got your back.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Keyzone Classic Reverb Detune LFO Volume Velocity - Unison

 

  • Built-in Reverb FX
  • Built-in Detune FX
  • Velocity Curve Adaptability
  • Advanced LFO rate and Depth Modulation
  • Comprehensive ADSR Modulation
  • Five distinctive piano sounds

 

#2. Iowa Grand Piano by Bigcat Instruments

 

Iowa Piano - Unison

 

If there’s one piano sound that’s earned its place in the Hall of Fame, it’s the Steinway Grand Piano. 

 

And Bigcat Instruments’ Iowa Grand Piano brings this iconic sound straight to your DAW

 

This free piano VST plugin delivers a piano sound so genuine, that you’d swear you’re playing on the real thing.

 

While its GUI may seem a tad dated, don’t let that fool you…

 

Underneath lies a powerhouse. 

 

The depth and richness of the Steinway sound are unparalleled 一 making it ideal for tracks that need a dominant, commanding piano. 

 

From melancholic chords to intricate melodies that carry your beat, the Iowa Piano doesn’t disappoint.

 

And for those tech-savvy producers, the ability to fine-tune your sound gives you all the control you need, with the:

 

  • Volume Input
  • Panning
  • ADSR modules

 

Remember, it’s not about having countless features.

 

It’s about mastering the essentials, and the Iowa Grand Piano truly nails that.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Iowa Piano 2 - Unison

 

  • Steinway Grand Piano Emulation
  • Dynamic Attack and Decay Settings
  • Intuitive Sustain Features
  • Precise Panning Control
  • Three Velocity Layers for Realistic Sound Dynamics

 

#3. VA Upright 1 by Versilian Studios

 

Upright - Unison

 

Every once in a while, there comes a plugin that perfectly captures the essence of an instrument.

 

VA Upright 1 is that plugin for upright pianos. 

 

Versilian Studios brings to life the distinct charm and homely vibe of the upright piano, which resonates beautifully in hip-hop beats that need a touch of nostalgia or soul.

 

What’s beautiful about VA Upright 1 is its clarity. 

 

Each note (whether played with force or with a gentle touch) reverberates with a genuine, authentic sound. 

 

This free piano VST is a reminder that sometimes, simplicity reigns supreme. 

 

Whether it’s a jazz-infused hip-hop track or a laid-back, lo-fi beat, this free plugin delivers.

 

The 3 velocity layers and 2x round-robin sampling ensure you have a wide sonic palette to play with. 

 

From soft, gentle notes that tug at your heartstrings to powerful chords that demand attention, this free plugin offers it all.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Upright Envelope ADSR 1 - Unison

 

  • Authentic Upright Piano Sound
  • Three Velocity Layers for Dynamic Playing
  • Extended Decays up to 30 seconds
  • Stereo Sampling for Realistic Sound Stage

 

#4. Soft Piano by Spitfire LABS

 

Soft Piano - Unison

 

If ever there was a plugin that lived up to its name, it’s the Soft Piano by Spitfire LABS. 

 

Designed for those intimate, heartfelt moments in your tracks, this free piano VST plugin exudes warmth and emotion. 

 

Spitfire has a reputation for delivering top-notch quality, and this Soft Piano is no exception.

 

The uniqueness of its sound lies in the innovative use of a thin felt piece placed between: 

 

  • The hammers
  • The strings

 

This gives the Soft Piano its muted, intimate tone that’s perfect for those moments in your track when you want to evoke emotion and introspection.

 

Its user interface is as straightforward as they come 一 ensuring you spend more time creating and less time tweaking. 

 

Whether you’re working on an emotional hip-hop track or crafting a soulful interlude, the Soft Piano is your trusted companion. 

 

The ability to mold and shape your sound (from the advanced expression modules to the reverb effects) ensures you can make the Soft Piano truly your own.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Soft Piano Install e1692839319857 - Unison

 

  • Unique Felt-Dampened Sound
  • Advanced Expression and Dynamics Modules
  • Built-in Reverb Effects
  • Seamless DAW Compatibility
  • Supports both Windows and macOS

 

#5. DSK The Grand

 

The Grand - Unison

 

Delving deep into the world of majestic soundscapes, DSK The Grand perfectly encapsulates the heart and soul of a classic grand piano. 

 

Anyone familiar with the richness of a grand piano’s acoustics will find a friend in this VST.

 

It ensures that their music will radiate with the sophistication and elegance associated with the grandiose instrument. 

 

Its versatility is its strength and proves to be an asset regardless of the musical genre, whether it’s the timeless classics or the pulsating beats of EDM

 

With meticulous sampling of a traditional grand piano, it effectively captures the instrument’s rich overtones and breathtaking dynamic range.

 

DSK The Grand’s multiple velocity layers promise expressive sound variation.

 

This allows you to traverse a vast soundscape from gentle caresses to robust chords. 

 

The ADSR envelope controls are a testament to its user-friendly design 一 granting the musician the power to mold the sound to fit their creative vision. 

 

This, coupled with the inbuilt reverb, ensures that the artist can immerse their audience in a sea of emotions.

 

Plus, with compatibility across both Windows and Mac, this free piano VST plugin is accessible to a broad spectrum of music producers.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

The Grand 2 - Unison

 

  • Traditional grand piano sampling
  • 4 velocity layers
  • 4-6 samples/notes
  • ADSR envelope control
  • Inbuilt Reverb fx
  • Cross-platform compatibility

 

#6. Sound Magic Piano One

 

Piano One 1 - Unison

 

Drawing inspiration from the iconic Yamaha C7 concert grand, Sound Magic Piano One delivers an exceptional auditory experience. 

 

This piano (celebrated worldwide on concert stages and at esteemed music events) brings a touch of the professional piano world to your digital workspace

 

The additional flavor of the vintage upright piano offers a homely and intimate musical experience.

 

By harnessing the Sound Magic Hybrid Modelling Engine, Piano One transcends traditional limitations. 

 

It merges: 

 

  • The authenticity of sampling
  • With the flexibility of modeling

 

In turn, it promises instantaneous response and a sound that is truer and richer. 

 

The inbuilt reverb engine recreates the interplay between the piano, its environment, and its soundboard 一 painting a vivid and immersive soundscape.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Piano One Reverb Noises Damping Style Resonance - Unison

 

  • Hybrid Modelling Engine
  • Yamaha C7 Sound profile
  • Vintage Upright tone
  • Professional Reverb Engine
  • Efficient load times and low CPU usage
  • Available in multiple formats

 

#7. RDG Audio Free Piano 2

 

Free Piano 2 - Unison

 

A harmonious blend of piano and string instruments, RDG Audio’s Free Piano 2 elevates music production to new heights. 

 

As the spiritual successor to RDG’s legacy plugin, Free Piano, this instrument offers a rich tapestry of sound.

 

Sourced, of course, from the Asian Type D Cottage Piano. 

 

The meticulous sampling process involved 4 distinct microphone positions, capturing over: 

 

  • 600 samples
  • 400 articulations

 

All of which are refined to perfection by sound engineers in Berlin.

 

With 3 velocity layers and 4 round robins, this free piano VST plugin is a reservoir of nuanced expressions. 

 

The updated GUI paired with the AI-powered Round Robin ensures a seamless user experience. 

 

Its diverse range of features (from the looped strings to the new preset browser) guarantees a tailored musical journey for every music production guru.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Free Piano 2 2 - Unison

 

  • Sampled from Asian Type D Cottage Piano
  • 3 velocity layers and 4 Round robins
  • Enhanced GUI and sound
  • Ai-powered Round Robin
  • Looped strings feature
  • Multi-platform compatibility

 

#8. Salamander Piano

 

Salamander Piano - Unison

 

Evoking the essence of a Yamaha C5 Grand Piano, the Salamander Piano stands as a marvel in the VST realm.

 

Crafted with intricate care, Alexander HolmFeel captured the instrument in 16 distinct velocity layers.

 

It’s one of the most expansive and smooth-sounding VST pianos available for free. 

 

The richness of Salamander shines brightly in rock or pop genres, as its tonal depth and clarity enable it to pierce through layered mixes 一 creating standout moments in tracks.

 

Warm and dark undertones characterize Salamander’s unique sound profile.

 

Which is a breath of fresh air in a sea of bright/piercing piano plugins. 

 

Its sonic warmth evokes nostalgia, making it ideal for ballads or cinematic scores. 

 

The simplicity of Salamander’s interface ensures that while it might not be as complex as other plugins, it provides quality and efficiency in spades.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Salamander Piano 2 - Unison

 

  • Sampled Yamaha C5 Grand Piano
  • 16 velocity layers
  • Warm and dark tonality
  • Suitable for various genres
  • Efficient and user-friendly

 

#9. Room Piano by SampleScience

 

Room Piano - Unison

 

The Room Piano is a musical gem that embodies the charm of lo-fi, effortlessly bringing that vintage, analog feel to modern productions. 

 

This light VST, inspired by an upright acoustic piano, has been captured in two velocities every three semitones.

 

Therefore, ensuring a CPU-friendly experience. 

 

Its sound paints images of cozy afternoons in a sunlit living room, where notes flutter like leaves on a calm day.

 

A wide array of features also allows for diverse sonic manipulations. 

 

  • The amplitude ADSR 一 Lets you sculpt the shape of your sound.
  • The Multi-LFO 一 Can generate captivating modulations. 

 

Filters, like high-pass and low-pass filters, and room reverb ensure that each note is tailored to perfection. 

 

Its three voice modes (polyphonic, monophonic, and legato) further enhance its versatility.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Room Piano LFO Volume Depth - Unison

 

  • 2 velocities sampled
  • Amplitude ADSR
  • Multi-LFO modulation
  • Highpass/Lowpass filter
  • Three voice modes

 

#10. 99Sounds Upright Piano

 

Upright Piano 1 - Unison

 

Crafted by the talented Rudi Fiasco, the 99Sounds Upright Piano VST stands as a testament to simplicity and quality combining.

 

Based on meticulously captured samples, this lightweight plugin offers a diverse range of notes and dynamics.

 

They’re perfect for sketching out melodies or composing harmonies

 

The user interface is intuitive and lets you sculpt your sound with fluidity and ease:

 

  • From adjusting attack & release.
  • To playing with tremolo & reverb.

 

What sets Upright Piano apart is its unrivaled CPU efficiency combined with stellar sound quality. 

 

Imagine crafting a musical masterpiece with an instrument that’s always ready 一 loading instantly and performing flawlessly. 

 

A collaborative effort between 99Sounds and Rudi Fiasco, this VST encapsulates the best of both worlds.

 

Overall, it’s much more intuitive and flexible than other free VST plugins.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

Upright Piano Envelope and Tremolo 1 - Unison

 

  • Four sampled notes per octave
  • Six dynamic layers
  • Tremolo, filter, and reverb controls
  • Rapid load times
  • 32-bit & 64-bit support
  • Collaboration with Rudi Fiasco

 

#11. Skerratt London Piano

 

Skerrat - Unison

 

The Skerratt London Piano invites music production enthusiasts into its world with its enchanting sound. 

 

As a sampled upright piano, it beautifully captures the charm and depth of the instrument 一 offering a grounding auditory experience. 

 

With a fresh latency fix and an upgrade from the Iowa Piano VST, it’s more refined and responsive than ever before.

 

The revamped GUI not only looks aesthetically pleasing but is also intuitive and allows you to sculpt your sound with ease.

 

The ADSR controls (Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release) provide a comprehensive control suite, enabling detailed sonic manipulations. 

 

Plus, Its high-quality note samples and modulation controls promise a symphony of sounds.

 

They range from the subtle to the dramatic and everything in between.

 

Standout Features of this Free Piano VST Plugin:

 

ADSR - Unison

 

  • Sampled by Kung Krille
  • ADSR modulation controls
  • Volume and panning modulation
  • Updated and intuitive GUI
  • High-quality note samples

 

Bonus: 5 Tips & Tricks To Make The Most Out of Free Piano VST Plugins

 

Taking your compositions to the next level isn’t solely about having the best tools, but also about knowing how to use them effectively. 

 

With the following advanced techniques, you can unlock the full potential of your free piano VST plugins and truly elevate your tracks.

 

#1. Layering & Texturing

 

Piano - Unison

 

One of the best ways to create a unique sound profile is by layering multiple piano VSTs together. 

 

By combining the crispness of one piano with the warmth of another, you can craft a sound that’s uniquely yours. 

 

You can also add texture to your compositions by layering a piano VST with another instrument (like strings or a pad) to give extra depth to the sound.

 

#2. Velocity Variances

 

MIDI keyboards 2 - Unison

 

Dynamic variation in your keystrokes can make a huge difference. 

 

When programming your MIDI, avoid having all notes at maximum velocity. 

 

By adjusting velocities, you can mimic the natural touch of a pianist 一 making your digital compositions feel more authentic and lively.

 

#3. Utilize Built-In Effects

 

Reverb Zen Master - Unison

 

Most of these plugins come with their own set of audio effects like: 

 

  • Reverb
  • Tremolo
  • Filters

 

Instead of relying solely on external effects plugins, experiment with the built-in ones first. 

 

They are often specifically designed to complement the piano’s sound, ensuring a more cohesive result.

 

#4. EQ & Frequency Sculpting

 

The role of freq response - Unison

 

Every piano VST has its own unique frequency response…

 

To make it sit perfectly in your mix, use an equalizer (EQ) to boost or cut specific frequencies

 

For instance, cutting some of the low mids can help reduce muddiness, while boosting the highs can add clarity.

 

#5. Pedal Automation

 

Sustain Pedal - Unison

 

Just like a real piano, the sustain pedal can dramatically alter the sound of a digital piano. 

 

Automate the pedal in your DAW to simulate natural pedal movements. 

 

This not only lengthens the notes but also adds a natural resonance and decay to your playing; making it more expressive.

 

By employing these techniques, you’ll not only be maximizing the capabilities of these VST plugins but also adding a professional touch to your compositions

 

Remember, the best artists and producers are always learning and experimenting, so never hesitate to try something new and think outside the box!

 

Free Piano VSTs: Final Thoughts

 

Pianos have always been a central instrument in music production, revered for their versatility across genres and their unmatched ability to convey emotion.

 

Now, equipped with the absolute best free piano VST plugins at your disposal, the sky’s the limit when it comes to musical creation.

 

However, while having the right sounds is crucial, so is having the right musical content…

 

To elevate your tracks further, consider this Cinematic & Orchestral MIDI Chord Collection.

 

Tailored explicitly for cinematic and orchestral productions, this collection is packed with chords and progressions.

 

All are specifically designed for string sections, pianos, brass instruments, and woodwinds.

 

But don’t just stop there.

 

Even synthesizers and vocal tones can find harmony with these sequences, truly enriching the auditory experience.

 

With these tools combined, not only can you sculpt lush soundscapes, but you also possess the capability to craft vivid cinematic experiences for your listeners.

 

Your tracks won’t just be songs 一 they’ll be stories, journeys, and moments captured in time.

 

Dive in and let your compositions resonate with unparalleled depth and emotion.

 

Until next time…

 

 

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