The Three Most Common Piano Types Explained
For some people, a piano is just a piano. And for some, a piano is much more than “just a piano”. Just like there are different kinds of music genres, there are different kinds of pianos within the word “piano” which is leading us to explain the three most common piano types currently used in music production.
The Grand Piano
The largest type of all pianos is the grand piano, which also makes it the most expensive. Grand Pianos are known for their wide dynamic range and the richness they’ve got in their resonances.
The grand piano is a very popular choice for dance music to use as either the main sound or more of a background sound. When using a grand piano as the main element of the track it’s usually because of what I mentioned above with the richness in the resonances as well as the wide dynamic range they’ve got right from the start without any sort of processing going on.
Some good vst plugins that emulate the grand piano very nicely are:
- Pianotech 7
- Native Instruments The Giant
- EXS24 in Logic Pro (Logic Pro stock plugin)
- Refx Nexus 3
The Upright Piano
The most commonly occurred, but not that powerful piano on the market is the upright piano. In an upright piano, the strings are strung vertically to make the instrument more compact, which allows the piano to be played in a limited space. In contrast, the grand piano retains the shape of the original pianoforte in which the strings are strung horizontally, resulting in a wider dynamic range and richer resonances. (This is why in most cases the grand piano emulations are more often used in music production)
Some good vst plugins that emulate the upright piano are:
Mostly every other piano plugin has some sort of upright piano in them.
The Electric Piano
Then there is the Electric Piano (mostly called E-Piano). Electric pianos might not be considered to be a real piano by people, but they can be a great way to add interesting characters when used properly. One way to do this is to start with a grand piano, then adding an upright piano, and finishing off with an electric piano. This means you’ve now got 3 layers of different pianos with different characteristics which lead to a bigger and fuller sound.
Some good vst plugins that emulate the electric piano are:
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Image credits: Yamaha