Ultimate Best (Free & Paid) Piano [Kontakt Instrument] [2020]

Last Updated on: April 26, 2020

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The difference between using a Kontakt Piano Instrument and a VST piano is that Kontakt is a sampler, which means Kontakt Library manufacture can create digital instruments by using audio they’ve recorded (for example, a Kontakt Piano instrument manufacturer would sample the entire note on a physical keyboard for a different level of velocity qualities of attack, and more advance effects to get a similar tone of the real piano instrument, so, in most case, you won’t notice much difference between them).

On the other hand, a VST piano can either go by using physical modeling (Model the physical properties of the instrument, and calculate how it’d sound) or synthesizing (This type generates a waveform (Sine, Saw, Square wave, etc.) and combine them, and then routing to the filter section for subtraction and addition of frequency and other effects to result in a distinct waveform that represents the sound that you are imitating. E.g. a piano sound, flute, lead, etc.).

Which you go for doesn’t really matter, however, most people prefer sampling for piano because it imitates the real piano instruments in such a way you would likely tell any differences from the actual instrument, I would argue that a physical modeled are good too, I’ll be writing a review about some of the best physical modeled piano in a future guide.

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That said, here is a rundown of the best free and paid recommended Kontakt Piano library, I will also give you valuable information about each of the recommended piano library, good luck, and let’s get started…

Piano Kontakt Library (Paid)

Note: These are the current prices as of the time of writing this review, so, it might change.

1.) ASCEND: Modern Grand ($149.00)

ASCEND is a modern grand piano by Heavyocity, it is a virtual emulation of a 9-foot Concert D, the Heavyocity team chose to deeply sample this specific grand piano because of its outstanding warmth, depth, and detail. This is the cinematic composer’s opportunity to play one of the finest pianos Heavyocity has ever heard.

This piano library is recorded at a historic NYC studio, coupled with a world-class selection of vintage and modern microphones, to bring this library into something stunning and great, Heavyocity partnered with acclaimed Film Score Mixer Satoshi Noguchi to bring the legendary Steinway sound into your studio.

Another great feature of ASCEND is its engine, the engine includes a collection of rhythmic convolutions and dozens of layerable sources and FX. The highly-flexible Three Point Mixer provides instant inspiration, and the proprietary Echoes feature accompanies your performances with lush musical randomness.

Features:

  • 47.8 GB uncompressed (23.3 GB on Disk with NI lossless compression)
  • Rich Concert D Grand Piano, captured in stunning detail
  • Creatively prepared piano articulations including Twine, Ebows, Brushes, and Chains
  • Beautiful ppp performance. Captured for emotional cinematic composition
  • All-new ASCEND Engine creates a truly inspirational canvas
  • 1 NKI
  • 110 Snapshot Presets
  • 25 Ascended
  • 10 Core Concert D
  • 25 Extended
  • 25 Rhythmic
  • 25 Rhythmic Melodic
  • 16 Sound Sources
  • Intuitive Sample Browser
  • ARP for building complex, rhythmic arpeggios
  • Three-point mixer for realtime source blending
  • Stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX

System Requirements:

  • Powered by the Kontakt Player 6.1 Engine
  • Kontakt 6 (Player) or later
  • Komplete Kontrol integrated (NKS-ready)
  • 2GB Ram
  • macOS 10.12, 10.13 or 10.14 (latest update)
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack)

Get ASCEND: Modern Grand

2.) Session Keys Grand Y ($99.00)

Session Keys Grand Y

Session Keys Grand Y aims to capture the transparent and dynamic sound of the Yamaha CFIIS Concert Grand Piano, and they did an outstanding job on this one. It was recorded with open lid as well as with the lid removed, and separate miking techniques, this result in a two distinct piano sample sets, the first one is the “Concert”, which is favored in classic recordings, and the other is “Studio” which is more generic and could be used across any genre of music.

The Grand Y piano just does not leave you banging with the knobs for a specific sound, it offers an intuitive way to play with more than 400 flexible piano phrases that follow your harmonies. Use the pitch bend and modulation wheels to increase or decrease complexity and control the dynamic of your session partner.

The one I find interesting is the Smart Chord module, it can play full chords or Animator riffs either via the pad controller or single keys. Just set the key of your song and let Smart Chord Mode create the harmonies.

Features:

  • Yamaha Concert Grand
  • Two separate sound banks: Studio and Concert
  • Pentamorph sound control to transform the whole sound with a single knob
  • Animator with more than 400 flexible piano phrases
  • Smart Chord function to create instant piano chords from single keys or pads
  • Native Instruments NKS compatible
  • Size: 10.2 GB / 4.35 GB (lossless sample compression)
  • 24 bit, 44.1 kHz

System Requirements:

PC

  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (Latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit).
  • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64.
  • 4 GB RAM.
  • Compatible with the FREE Kontakt 5 Player or Kontakt 5 Version 5.5.1 or higher.

Mac

  • OS X 10.9 or later (Latest Update).
  • Intel Core 2 Duo.
  • 4 GB RAM.
  • Compatible with the FREE Kontakt 5 Player or Kontakt 5 Version 5.5.1 or higher.

Get Session Keys Grand Y

3.) Deconstructed Piano ($67.10)

Deconstructed Piano

When something is deconstructed, we would say, it is properly analyzed, or perhaps, reduce (something) to its constituent parts to reinterpret it, and this library isn’t different. The Deconstructed Piano is built by disassembling a piano to its soundboard, Cinematique Instruments which are the makers of this library played hit, stroke, and destructed the piano with a wide range of materials. Additionally, they incorporated a regular piano hammer, different kinds of mallets such as a felt or woolen ones, screws, plecs, sticks, thumbs, and even straws to coax new inspirational harmonic sounds from the instrument.

Deconstructed piano is a great collection of sounds, noises, and textures exclusively created with a piano. It convinces with its diversity. No matter if you are using the powerful short hit from a metal bar, using the gentle screw piano sounds to give your music a subtle highlight or using the massive strike sounds to create great impacts, the Deconstructed Piano adds a new color to your sound.

It comes with three distinct patches:

The Piano: This is the basic instruments, It delivers three different sound categories with eleven piano sounds in total. By dragging, you can control the volume of each sound. It gives you the possibility to combine and create your instrument setting. Besides an attack and decay slider, the instrument provides a button that randomizes the volume of each of the 11 sounds which results in new sound combinations. The patch also includes an FX section in which you can choose reverb, delay, distortion, and an EQ.

Strikes: Explore the sound of a sledgehammer bursting on the piano.

Texture: This patch is a very useful tool to create evolving textures with tension. on top of that, this patch provides an automatic volume variation with speed control as well as a „hold“ button for an infinite sound.

Features:

  • 0.5 GB of compressed audio files.
  • Three complex patches including four many different types and styles of piano sounds.

System Requirements:

  • Kontakt 4 full version or higher is required

Get Deconstructed Piano

4.) Emotional Piano Player Edition ($149.00)

Emotional Piano Player Edition

If you are interested in a professional soundtrack scoring, song-writing, and even symphonic orchestration, then the Emotional Piano is a legendary virtual grand piano that is designed for your use cases. It’s the perfect paintbrush for lush and emotive arrangements. Emotional Piano is also equipped with a huge selection of uniquely sound-designed custom presets and effects patches to give you an extraordinary range of sonic flavors and creative tools.

The interface is intuitive and gives you complete control over the piano sound, it also supports a fully-configurable multi-FX rack and intuitive sound-shaping features. The FX rack provides you a 10-bay modular chain with full routing control and a selection of 18 of Kontakt’s best built-in DSP effects to choose from. You can arrange the effects in any order and save your own presets for later. You can also choose from the dozen of Snapshot Presets that cover common use cases and provide lots of new creative possibilities.

Features:

  • Product Version 3.0
  • 1,716 Samples
  • 4.6 GB uncompressed / 2.57 GB Installed with lossless ncw compression
  • 41 nki Kontakt instrument presets
  • 24 bit / 44.1kHz lossless NCW format samples
  • Works with the free Kontakt Player (version 5.5.2+)
  • 88 Keys
  • An average of 10 dynamic velocity layers per keynote and release
  • Pedal Action Samples
  • Close microphone position for a full, rich sound
  • Adaptive Arpeggiator system in some presets
  • FX Panel with powerful and configurable controls for every effect.
  • Convolution reverb with 100+ custom natural and FX environments.

System Requirements:

  • This Powered-By-Kontakt Player Edition is supported by the latest version of the free Kontakt Player (VST, AU, AAX) and the special “Libraries” rack.
  • Windows XP or higher required for PC.
  • OSX 10.9 or higher required for Mac.
  • Dual-Core CPU, 2 GB System Ram, SATA, or SSD hard drive recommended for this library.
  • This software is delivered as a digital download, so a broadband connection is required.

Get Emotonal Piano

5.) Vapor Keys ($19.00)

Vapor Keys

This is one of my favorites, it is a collection of outstanding FM Electric Piano sample library plus an inspiring collection of dreamlike keyboard instruments for Kontakt. It can sound sweet and naive, bright, bold, harsh, trashy, lush & sexy, spacy, or even dark and gloomy. Vapor Keys includes 3 deep-sampled classic and modern FM, algorithmic, and wavetable synth sources in 1 pack.

Vapor Keys is inspired by classic movies, and the collection is divided into two distinct parts, one is “Electric Piano” and the other is “Vapor Keys”

The Electronic Piano features a dry, multi-velocity sampled instruments with classic EP presets from vintage FM gear with 2 effects/patch: a detuned chorus and a phaser, while the Vapor Keys are heavily sound-designed keyboard instruments with dry and wet signals mixed from various FM pianos, other synth sources, and reverb gears. The Vapor Key patches are great for chords, arps and shorter soundscapes.

Features:

  • 1700+ samples
  • 24bit / 48kHz sample rate​
  • 3 GB total size (6 GB uncompressed wav)
  • Recorded with Universal Audio Apollo 8p
  • Equipment used: Neve 1073 Preamp + Roland Dimension D + Studer A800
  • Kontakt 5.7.3+ required
  • Royalty-free license
  • Multi-layer sampled Electric Piano patches with keyboard noises for additional reality and playability
  • Custom Yamaha DX7
  • 9 Electric Piano patches
  • Full scales
  • Neve 1073 Preamp + Roland Dimension D + Studer A800 used for recording path
  • Combinations of various electric piano and wavetable synth patches with additional spaces
  • Custom Yamaha DX7
  • Arturia MicroFreak
  • Various wavetable & algorithmic synthesis sounds such as electric pianos, marimbas, strings, CMI Fairlight
  • Full scales
  • Neve 1073 Preamp + Roland Dimension D + Studer A800 used for recording path
  • Eventide Blackhole, Lexicon 224 effect processors

System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 (latest Service Pack, 32-/64‑bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64 CPU, 2GB RAM
  • Mac OS 10.7 or higher, Intel Core Duo CPU, 2GB RAM
  • 4 GB free disk space
  • A full version of Kontakt 5.7.3 or above
  • The Full Version of Kontakt 5 is required to run this software.

Get Vapor Keys

6.) The Tack Piano ($85.00)

The Tack Piano

The Tack Piano is completely re-sampled from scratch, it sounds better than ever and is now a completely authentic tack piano featuring a new GUI with top-notch features that make it unbeatable and a dream come true for tack piano fans like myself. Equally, at home in music, sound design, or FX, the Tack Piano is like no other and a must-have addition to your piano collection.

Additionally, it has a full mixer with which you can control the three mic positions separately: Close, Mid, Far, and Mix; a combination of the three aforementioned positions. It also has a library of advanced effect script that is already implemented in Legacy Drums and some freebies. This script lets you insert any effect such as High-Quality EQ, Various types of compressors, Modulation: chorus, flanger, phaser, Distortion / Saturation / Tape, Algorithmic, and convolutional reverb with more than 40 custom impulse responses, Amp simulators, and more.

Features:

  • Size: 14.22 GB
  • Samples: 9,118
  • Mic positions: 3 + mixdown
  • Velocity layers: 8
  • Round robin: 2. Up to 6 with neighbor borrowing
  • Works with: Kontakt 5.5.2 – Full version required. Kontakt Player will run in demo mode.
  • Piano library for Kontakt featuring an upright with thumb-tacks on the hammers.
  • With a more percussive sound, it’s often used to evoke the feeling of a honky-tonk, associated with ragtime pieces in old Hollywood Western movies.
  • Fully mixable 3-channel perspectives, 8 velocity layers, and 6 round robin.

System Requirements:

Get Tack Piano

7) Native Instrument – Alicia’s Keys ($99.00)

Native Instrument - Alicia's Keys

The legendary superstar “Alicia Keys” in collaboration with Sample expert “Thomas Skarbye” (which is better known by scarbee) has both created an award-winning Virtual Piano that comes from Alicia’s Keys very own Yamaha­™ C3 Neo Grand Piano.

This is a unique soulful sound that has become one of the best Kontakt Library instruments in the world. Alicia Keys was sampled from her playing, recorded and supervised by her trusted engineer, “Ann Mincieli”, in her very own music studio.

Features:

  • Alicia’s Keys Library works with Kontakt Player 5 and higher, and as well as Kontakt Full version 5 and higher.
  • Product Type: Komplete Instrument
  • 6.9GB (Over 3, 000 individual samples)
  • 17GB of uncompressed WAV Audio
  • 12 Velocity Layer

Get Tack Piano

8) Scarbee – A-200 ($69.00)

Scarbee A-200 Kontakt Library

A-200 is a Kontakt instrument by Thoma Skarbye that delivers an unrivaled natural reproduction of one of the most sought-after electric piano in the world.

Over 2, 000 samples were recorded in 24-bit resolution with each of the 64 keys sampled at 16different velocities, giving the user an ultra-sonic edge content production samples and also great capabilities.

Are you aware Thomas Skarbye of Scarbee was involved in the production of Alicia’s Keys Kontakt Library? Then you should expect a great package in this library as well.

Features:

  • Wide dynamic range with 16 velocities per key
  • An authentic character with all idiosyncrasies
  • Horizontal Release Technology for realistic sound
  • Over 2, 000 samples
  • 850 GB installed
  • 1 nki Kontakt instrument presets
  • Download Manual Included

System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
  • Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
  • Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.5 or later

Price: €69.00

Get Tack Piano

9) Session Key ElectricW ($79.00)

e-instrument e-Instruments - Session Key ElectricW image

Session Key ElectricW is inspired by 1974 electronic piano, and features two different sample sets, “Studio” and “Live” Sample sets, giving user possibilities to expand your sonic possibilities to a greater height.

  • Studio – An unaltered line-out-sound
  • Live – Captures the sample sounds of the speaker through a complete microphone set-up.

One of the features I find interesting in this Kontakt Instrument Library is the smart chord features, with these features you would be able to create full ensemble chords using one or two fingers.

Also, you will find over 440 ready-to-play riffling in Session Key ElectricW, from RnB to Pop professional playing, and many more genre and style as the engine of the Animator.

Features:

  • Session Key ElectricW Works with Kontakt Player 5.7.3 and higher, and as well as Kontakt Full version 5.7.3 and higher.
  • 9 GB / 4.5 GB installed
  • 24-bit, 44.1 kHz Stereo Lossless
  • 1974 electronic piano
  • Two separate sound banks: Studio and Live
  • Pentamorph sound control to transform the overall sound with a single knob
  • Animator with over 440 flexible phrases
  • Smart Chord function to create instant piano chords from single keys or pads
  • Effects chain with Tremolo/AutoPan, Chorus, Phaser, Amp Simulator, Compressor, Delay and Convolution Reverb
  • 9 GB / 4.5 GB (lossless sample compression)
  • 24 bit, 44.1 kHz

System Requirements:

  • Kontakt 5 Player or Kontakt 5 (Version 5.8.1 or higher)
  • Windows 7 or higher required for PC (latest Service Pack, 32/64-Bit) Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 4 GB RAM
  • OSX 10.9 or higher required for Mac (latest update) Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
  • Minimum of 4 GB RAM

Get Tack Piano

Piano Kontakt Library (Free)

10) Ivyaudio – Piano in 162

Ivyaudio piano1

This is a sample library of a Steinway Model B grand piano, which is available in Kontakt, Korg Kronos, and FZ formats.

This sample library requires a full version of Kontakt to run, and not for Kontakt player, if a user is looking for a completely free option, download the SFZ version and load it into a free sample like Plogue sforzando.

Features:

  • A simple and easy to use User Interface
  • Recorded at 96Khz through two pairs of Rode NT5 cardioid microphones
  • A realistic, sympathetic resonance, two round robins, five dynamic level and a separate pedal on and off

Note: To download without paying a fee, you would have to use a BitTorrent client or just donate any fee to download directly.

Download Ivyaudio [Piano in 162]

11) Cinesamples – Jerry’s Pianos

Cinesamples - Jerry's Piano

This Library is sampled from dual Steinway Grand Pianos and recorded simultaneously at the Sony Scoring Stage.

Also, in the creation of this stunning sample Library, the sustain and staccatos were sampled to enrich your sounds and also add unique character and detail to low-end passages.

System Requirements:

  • Kontakt Full v5.3.1 or higher required
  • Compatible with all major DAWs and with music notation software, using the Kontakt Engine.
  • PC: Vista® / Windows 7® (32/64 Bit), Intel®Core Duo 2GHZ or AMD Athlon 64, 4 GB RAM
  • Mac: OS X 10.7 or higher, Intel® Core Duo 2 GHz, 4 GB RAM
  • 1.2 GB required hard drive space
  • 1.2GB of free RAM available

Note: Download requires a free registration

Download Cinesamples [Jerry’s Pianos]

12) PrecisionSound – Amore Grand Piano

Amore_Piano

This Library is sampled from Yamaha grand piano, close-miked in stereo, and a total size of 200MB.

Amore Grand Piano has a three intuitive page GUI, and easy to understand with controls for decay, EQ, IR reverb, Delay and Keyboard response.

This Kontakt Library contains:

  • One program for NI Kontakt 3+
  • The total size of the library compressed is 95 MB.

Requirements:

  • Kontakt full version 3+ or higher and not Kontakt Player

Note: No registration required to download this file

Download PrecisionSound [Amore Grand Piano]

13) Versilstudios – Upright No. 1

Versilstudio - vsupright

Upright 1 is a VST/AU, and also a.NKI for Kontakt library, it is a clean sampling of an upright piano with a broad dynamic range and a bright, clear tone.

This library has been the best I have ever seen been free of charge, well done to the guys at VersilStudios.net.

Requirements:

  • At least 2 GB of RAM suggested
  • Minimum of 465 MB of HD space (Windows)
  • Minimum of 344 MB of HD space (Mac)
  • VSTi or Audio Units supported
  • .NKI format

Note: No registration required to download this file

Download Versilstudios [Upright No. 1]

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