Garnet Walters

Pianist Educator Producer Composer Arranger

The Official Website of Garnet Walters and Geephlat Music

Filtering by Tag: virtual

Digital and Virtual Pianos

Hi everyone! In my last blog, I talked about why I prefer an acoustic piano in comparison to digital and virtual pianos. As much as I love acoustic pianos, I don't have the luxury to practice on one everyday. Due to that fact, I have to go with technology. Even though I have to go that route, I must have the closest simulation and feel to the piano. These are the pianos that I use the most. (Side note: I'm not going to go into the details of the specifications of each virtual piano. I'm just going to talk about my experience with each one.) Here are the virtual pianos that I like (in no particular order):



I love this piano because it sounds like the real thing without using a whole lot of RAM. There are different pianos to choose from like the Steinway D to the Yamaha C7. There are also producer ready pianos and legacy pianos/keyboards for specific artists as well like Bruce Hornsby.

Alicia Keys Piano by Native Instruments



I like to use this piano because the people at Native Instruments literally went to Alicia Keys' studio and sampled every single nuance of her Yamaha C3 Neo piano. I believed they nailed it in terms of sound, touch, feel and expression. Because this piano sounds so real, it can use a lot of RAM, especially when recording.

Classic Piano Collection by Native Instruments



These are another set of virtual pianos made by Native Instruments. I love the fact that there is a variety of tone colors and feels with these set of pianos. From the brightness of the New York Grand to the warm notes of the Berlin Grand, I have many options to choose from depending on how I feel that day to what I want to express musically.

Piano In Blue by Cinesamples

I fell in love with this virtual piano not only because of the authenticity of the sound but because it is so versatile. The people at Cinesamples did a wonderful capturing the essence of the Steinway Model D Grand Piano which has a very interest story. This can also take up a lot of RAM as well, but it is worth it. I use this piano the most.

I know that there are other virtual pianos out there. There are more that I would like to try out and add to my collection. Keep in mind that the velocity of the keys can be changed to your liking. Try it out. Experiment. What virtual pianos do you like? Which ones do you dislike? Which ones would you consider purchasing? I am interested in your feedback! Enjoy!

Here are the links to the websites for these pianos:

Piano in Blue by Cinesamples:

Alicia Keys Piano by Native Instruments:

Classic Piano Collection by Native Instruments:

Reason Pianos by Propellerhead:

Acoustic Pianos Vs Digital Pianos


I have played on many pianos in my life. I have also played on many digital keyboards and digital pianos as well. I would love to have access to practice on an acoustic piano but I am currently using an 88 fully weighted keyboard/workstation and a virtual piano from my computer. I am amazed at technology because of how close the digital pianos sound to the acoustic pianos. It's so close that the technology can fool you. However, as close as technology can get, for me nothing beats playing on an acoustic piano. Here are some reasons why:

1. There is something about getting the sound out of a piano without having to move a slider or turn a knob. As the pianist, you control that as you press the key. It's also pretty cool to feel the slight buzz in your fingertips from touching the keys.

2. The sound from the piano is the main thing for me. It's an awesome phenomenon to hear the overtones on a piano. It's like the tones are alive and blending with each other.

3. The action on a piano to me is more exact. What I mean by that is there once you press the key, the tone is released. The issue of latency is not present when playing an acoustic piano. There is no delay.

4. For me, playing on an acoustic piano keeps me honest. I cannot afford to be lazy while I am on a piano. I am accountable for every tone that comes out. I have total control of that.

5. The connection to an acoustic piano is wonderful. I feel that the piano is an extension of me. I am sending out the raw, unfiltered sound and emotion when I am playing.

6. I also believe that the acoustic sound has a deeper effect on people rather than the digital sound. It is probably because of the pure overtones and the pure vibrations on the acoustic piano.

There are many more reasons that I have missed. I love the piano. I'm not knocking that how far the digital world has come. This is just a matter of preference. I have been playing pianos since I was a child (I had a Baldwin upright for many years. We pretty much grew up together.) Please feel free to chime in! Thanks for taking the time to read this!

P.S. I will do a blog on my favorite digital/virtual pianos.