Pianoteq 8 - beautiful, vivid, adaptable

Pianoteq is an award-winning virtual instrument which you can install on your computer (PC/Mac). It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and will even run on some ARM-based boards such as the Raspberry Pi. It can be used both in standalone mode and as an instrument plug-in in VST, AAX, and AudioUnits hosts.

What makes Pianoteq superior to other virtual instruments is that the instruments are physically modelled and thus can simulate the playability and complex behaviour of real acoustic instruments. Because there are no samples, the file size is just a tiny fraction of that required by other virtual instruments, making Pianoteq perfect for any laptop.

Classical Guitar iOS app

Version 8 of Pianoteq brings numerous refinements in its engine and physical model, as well as newly developed Classical Guitar model and a new version for iOS.

Download on the App Store

We have collaborated with the best piano manufacturers in the world, Steinway & Sons, Steingraeber, Bechstein, Blüthner, Grotrian and Petrof, who all have approved the sound and playability of their physically modelled concert grand pianos available in Pianoteq.
This rich and diverse collection of virtual grand pianos will appeal to all musicians in search of the most famous piano sound signatures.

Taking advantage of the model and its parameters, a morphing feature let you merge several model to create unheard organic instruments.

Pianoteq is available in 3 versions:

Pianoteq versions comparison table:
Included instrument packs1 2 3 4
Free KIViR historical instruments
VST, AU, AAX, NKS, Standalone
EQ, velocity curve, reverb unit
Preset (fxp) loading2
Piano model tweaking
Advanced tuning
Microphones setting
Loads external reverb impulses
Instrument morphing and layering
Note-per-note edit: volume, detune, attack envelope
Note-per-note edit: all other physical parameters
Thousands of editable overtones
Supports up to 192 kHz audio3

[1] Concerns new purchases from 2019 onward. During registration, you can choose two instrument packs with the Stage version, three with the Standard version and four with the PRO version. These instrument packs are fully working whereas remaining instrument packs are available in demo mode for your evaluation. You can purchase additional instrument packs at any time.

[2] In PIANOTEQ Stage, preset loading is limited to parameters that are present in the interface. Presets built with PIANOTEQ PRO can be loaded in PIANOTEQ Standard without limitation.

[3] PIANOTEQ PRO offers an internal sample rate of up to 192 kHz. Up to 48 kHz in PIANOTEQ Stage and Standard.

Pianoteq 8 Stage is our entry product and a good choice for budget-minded musicians who do not need to modify the sound in great detail.
You can upgrade to the Standard or PRO version at any time. Pianoteq Stage comes with two instrument packs of your choice.

Pianoteq 8 Standard offers unique powerful tools to enhance and modify the sound, such as changing the unison width, hammer hardness and string length. You can place up to 5 virtual microphones around the instrument and load external reverb impulse files. You can morph and layer instruments together. You can upgrade to the PRO version at any time. Pianoteq Standard comes with three instrument packs of your choice.

Pianoteq 8 PRO is the most advanced version, adapted for the creative composer and demanding studio engineer. In addition to the Standard version, it gives you all the tools needed to work in a truly professional environment, letting you adjust 30 parameters for each note on the keyboard and work with up to 192 Khz audio. Pianoteq PRO comes with four instrument packs of your choice.

All versions offer exactly the same sound and playability but differ in the range of features and settings.

You can also benefit from this special bundle: Pianoteq 8 Studio (Pianoteq PRO + all instrument packs)

What's new in version 8

iOS app

Soon iOS app

Pianoteq 8 for iOS is now available on iPhones and iPads. Years of development and thorough testing made it possible to take all the peculiarities of handheld devices into account in order to maximize productivity while retaining the app as stable and compatible as possible. Pianoteq 8 for iOS is included with all licences of Pianoteq 8 (Stage/Standard/Pro) and can be downloaded and evaluated via the App Store.

Classical guitar

Classical Guitar ipack

The nylon Classical Guitar, available as an instrument pack for Pianoteq 8, introduces a new exciting category of physically modelled instruments, with emulated gestures and natural instrument noises for breathtaking realism.
The instrument UI is designed so that you do not have to be a guitarist to use it. Various tweaked presets are offered, ranging from a 12-string acoustic guitar to a Greek bouzouki or even an electric guitar.

You really need to hear it to believe it! Listen to audio demos

Improved piano model

Improved model

All contemporary acoustic pianos, the Vintage Reeds electric pianos and the Concert Harp have been carefully revoiced in order to increase authenticity and playability of these instruments. Everything is tailored to suit demanding recording projects and performances.

Listen to audio demos

New slick GUI facelift

Pianoteq facelift

Reflecting this new major upgrade, Pianoteq 8 offers a fresh streamlined user interface, enhancing readability and usability. Instruments and scenes are now nicely displayed for a clear presentation of preset selections.

Morphing and Layering

Instruments VibraDrum, CimbaHarp or GlockenTines for sure do not exist. However these are three of the many instruments you can create with the acoustic Morphing introduced in Pianoteq 7 (Standard and PRO). This new technology handles the morphing at the physical modelling level, providing a stunning acoustic authenticity to instruments that never existed. The timbre of the morphed instrument you create is the one of an imaginary acoustic instrument whose physical parameters lie somewhere in between those of the instruments from which you started building the morphing.

In the audio examples below, Dynamic Morphing refers to the fact that the percentage of the various instruments is dynamically modified while playing, whereas it is fixed in the Static Morphing examples.


The Layering feature allows you to mix several instruments, e.g. playing Bass Marimba in the low range, Xylophone in the upper range and mixing both together in the middle range. When layering instruments together, there are two parameters you may find of particular interest: volume and attack envelope. Both can be edited note per note in Pianoteq Standard and PRO. The volume can be used for splitting the instruments to different keyboard ranges, and the attack envelope can be used to mix an instrument with a particular attack that you want to emphasize, with another one whose attack has been weakened via the attack envelope parameter.

Morphing and Layering Pianoteq instruments
Exploring sounds via Dynamic Morphing
J.S. Bach - Prelude in C maj. fxp
Giusti harpsichord (t < 10), Steinway Square (t = 51), Steinway D (t > 1:33)
J. Sunderkoetter - dicembre 2020 fxp
Wandering through U4 upright, NY Steinway D and Spacedrum
B. Jurjevčič - Jailhouse Blues fxp
Clavichord (t < 5), Vintage Tines MKII (t > 45)
L. Wuolio - Unreal Music for Real People fxp
Steel Drum (t < 10), Vibes V-M extended (t > 1:24)
J.H. Hopkins Jr. - We Three Kings fxp
Celtic Harp (t < 10), Cimbalom (t > 44)
K.P. Rausch - Danseuse fxp
Marimba (t < 5), Vintage Reeds W1 (t > 22)
New instruments via Static Morphing
J.S. Bach - Prelude in C maj. fxp
The 'HarpsiPiano': fixed morphing with 50% Giusti and 50% Steinway Square
B. Jurjevčič - Jailhouse Blues fxp
The 'ClaviMKII': fixed morphing with 47% Clavichord and 53% Vintage Tines
K.P. Rausch - Danseuse fxp
The 'MarimWurl': fixed morphing with 45% Marimba and 55% Vintage Reeds W1
B. Jurjevčič - Autumn Serenade fxp
Layering Steinway D, MKII and Vibraphone V-B
M. Black - Pieces of Sky fxp
Layering Classical Harp in the bass range with Vibraphone V-M in the upper range
K. Weil - Speak Low fxp
Layering Classical Harp in the bass range with Vibraphone V-M in the medium range and HB Steinway D in the upper range
M. Black - Moderno Blues fxp
Layering Classical Harp in the bass range with NY Steinway D in the upper range
MIDI and audio files kindly provided by Perry d'Armond, Miles Black, Lanny Davis, Blaž Jurjevčič, Satoshi Orisaka, Klaus P. Rausch, Joerg Sunderkoetter and the Minnesota International Piano-E-Competition.

Fine details of sound

Vivid The piano creates the sound in real time while you are playing and takes into account all the complex factors that makes the piano a truly vivid instrument, such as the interaction between strings, the use of pedals, the cabinet resonance and the position of the hammers. It will feel like you have a real piano in front of you... as if you could just lean over and touch the strings!

Versatile Pianoteq introduces new methods to adjust the piano sound to just the way you like it! Changes that until now could only be made by piano tuners are now possible directly from the interface. Within seconds you can adjust the sound to a particular type of music or playing style. The many choices can be saved as a customized setting which you can share with other Pianoteq users.

Expressive All the detailed variations of the timbre are there, from the weakest pianissimo to the strongest fortissimo! What you express on your keyboard will also be what you actually hear. The sound of even the weakest pianissimo is absolutely pure without any audible quantization noise.

Convenient Conveniently for the travelling musician, Pianoteq runs well on a modern laptop. Pianoteq loads quickly because of the extremely small size (less than 50 MB).

We present here various and unique features that illustrate the great flexibility but also the beautiful sounds offered by physical modeling.
Sympathetic resonance When undamped strings respond to other string vibrations, it results in sympathetic resonance, here slightly exaggerated and revealing a silently depressed chord C2-E2-G2-Bb2. 
Sustain pedal resonance Listen to how the sympathetic resonance of all strings brings vividness to the piano sound. Here the sustain pedal is depressed during the whole sequence. 
Duplex scale resonance In an acoustic piano there are undamped string parts, called duplex scales, which come into resonance. In this example (exaggerated) staccatos are revealing these duplex scales. 
Sound variation in repetition Repeated notes show a variation in sound as the hammer strikes the strings differently when they are in motion. Pianoteq reproduces this effect demonstrated here. 
Buzzing in the bass Strong strokes on the copper-wounded bass strings produce an irregular buzzing sound. 
Sustain pedal off/on We listen here alternatively to the sustain pedal off/on. When pressing down the sustain pedal of an acoustic piano, the dampers are lifted, resulting in a sympathetic resonance of all the strings. 
Pedal catch/repedalling When the dampers come back in contact with the strings, the string vibrations do not stop immediately. If the sustain pedal is depressed a very short time after, which is called pedal catch (or repedalling if done several times), then the strings are still vibrating a little. 
Partial pedal If you depress the sustain pedal only partially on an acoustic piano, the dampers will stay partially in contact with the strings. The vibrations are then partially damped. This is called partial pedalling (also known as half pedalling). Digital pianos which are equipped with a progressive (continuous) sustain pedal, can achieve the same effect with Pianoteq. 
Unison detuning (large) The unison width adjusts the frequency variation within each unison, changing sound character. Greatly increased, it produces the honky tonk sound ('U4 Honky Tonk' preset). 
Unison detuning (small) With a smaller detuning, you can hear some slow beatings between the strings. Increasing here the unison width progressively to 1, 2, 3. 
Temperament The temperament has not always been equal. Here equal temperament (first) is compared to Werckmeister III temperament on the Walter pianoforte. 
Voicing Important changes can be made to the sound by changing the hammer hardness. This example demonstrates soft, medium and hard hammers. 
Overtones Changing the weight of each overtone can produce some dramatic changes as illustrated by this example. 
Hammer noise The hammer noise can be adjusted separately, softer and then stronger in this example. 
Una Corda (soft) pedal Comparison without vs. with soft pedal. Modification in phase and direct/after sound contributions in each unison induces subtle changes in the sound. 
Soundboard impedance The soundboard impedance is related to its dimension (thickness, width) as well as to the quality of the wood (elasticity, weight). It has a great influence on the sound duration. Here default impedance followed by higher impedance. 
String length The inharmonicity of a string varies with its length (and also with its diameter, tension and material). We listen to a virtual piano of size 1.60 m, then 2.7 m, and finally 10 m. 
Extended range Some of the Pianoteq virtual grand pianos (D4, K1, C3,...) offer an extended keyboard range of 105 keys, down to A-2 and up to F7 (normal range is from A-1 to C7). 
Strike point In instruments like cimbalom, vibraphone, xylophone, etc., the strike point is controlled by the musician, contrarily to the piano where it is fixed by the manufacturer. We illustrate here how Pianoteq allows this control taking as example the cimbalom, ancestor of the piano. First 'normal' position, then one third of the string length. 
Mallet bounce The mallet bounce effect can be used with the cimbalom as illustrated here, as well as with any other Pianoteq instrument. 
Electric Piano
Pickup symmetry In an electro-acoustic piano, the pickup is not exactly in front of the tone source at rest. When it is exactly in front, due to the symmetry of the device, the note jumps one octave higher. Here we listen to normal position, then almost symmetric position (slider at 0.8). 
Pickup distance When the pickup is moved closer to the tone source, the sound becomes more distorted and the timbre variation between soft and loud sounds increases. We listen to a normal and then to a closer position. 
Clavinet pickups The clavinet contains two sets of pickups, positioned above and below the strings. We listen here to the four standard configurations of these pickups: AC, BC, AD, BD. 
Wah-wah Wah-wah is a very spectacular effect, auto-wah used here with the clavinet. 
Tremolo The tremolo is commonly used on vibraphones and electric pianos. Demonstrated here with the Vintage Tines. 
Chorus and flanger Various presets of chorus and flanger are illustrated in this short piece. Switching from one preset to another produces sometimes some interesting sounds too. 
Combo amp A combo amp is included in the effects section. An overdriven amp is demonstrated here. 
Pitch bend The sound can be altered using pitch control, creating variable glissandos in real time. The bend range can be adjusted up to +/-600 cents. 
Convolution reverb Pianoteq is equipped with a convolution reverb. Three examples: 'Clean Studio', 'Large Hall', and finally the extreme and impressive 'Taj Mahal'. 
Effect demonstration Here is a demonstration of how powerful and flexible Pianoteq can be in the hands of a sound designer. Created exclusively with a heavily edited Pianoteq Concert Harp in Pianoteq Pro, using mainly Pianoteq's built-in effects. 

Listen to more audio demos

Features in short

  • Pianoteq is a physically modelled virtual instrument
  • Optional instruments for purchase: grand pianos, upright piano, electric pianos, classical guitar, harp, vibraphones, clavinet, celesta and glockenspiel, xylophone and marimba, steelpans ...
  • Free instruments: KIViR historical instruments collection, bells and carillons
  • Unique adjustable physical parameters, such as unison width, octave stretching, hammer hardness, soundboard, string length, sympathetic resonance, duplex scale resonance *
  • Morphing and layering instruments *
  • Progressive variation of the timbre (uses all the 127 MIDI velocities)
  • Control of the dynamics in timbre and volume
  • Polyphonic Aftertouch (particularly interesting for the clavichord)
  • Realistic sympathetic resonances, including duplex scale
  • Microtuning, supports Scala format *
  • Adjustable mechanical noises (sampled or modelled)
  • Built-in graphic equalizer
  • Built-in graphic curve for key velocity, note-off and pedal
  • Keyboard calibration assistant
  • Ten types of pedals (that can be assigned to the four UI pedals): Sustain, Soft, Harmonic, Sostenuto, Super Sostenuto, Rattle, Buff Stop, Celeste, Pinch Harmonic, Glissando
  • Progressive sustain pedal, allowing partial-pedal effects
  • Convolution reverberations
  • Effects: Tremolo, Wah, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Fuzz, Delay, Amp, Compressor, Mini-eq.
  • Mallet bounce (note repetition)
  • Instrument condition (mint to worn)
  • Variable lid position *
  • Five adjustable microphones *
  • Multi channel - up to 5 channels *
  • No quantization noise (32-bit internal computation)
  • Renders high resolution MIDI formats CC#88 and Disklavier XP.
  • Installs and loads in seconds
  • Extremely small file size (less than 50 MB)
  • Excellent for use on modern laptops
  • Extended key range (105 keys = 8+2/3 octaves) for the grand pianos Steinway D and K2
  • 64-bit host / operating system
  • Mac OS X 10.11 or later, Windows 7 or later, Linux (x86 and ARM)
    MacOS Windows Vista/7/8/10 Linux iOS
  • Audio Units / VST / AAX / NKS compatible
    Audio Units VST AAX NKS
(* in Standard and PRO versions)
For further details, read the Pianoteq manual

a A vast selection of physically modelled instruments is available for Pianoteq

The following are included with Pianoteq:

  • 2 instrument packs with the Stage version
  • 3 instrument packs with the Standard version
  • 4 instrument packs with the PRO version

More instruments can be purchased separately, at any time. You need a licence of Pianoteq (Stage, Standard or Pro) to use them.

As a Pianoteq customer, you also have access to a set of free instruments: historical and bells.

Acoustic Pianos

Steinway Model D grand pianos

Steinway D is featured in many recording studios and concert halls worldwide. This instrument pack is authorized by Steinway & Sons, and now includes both the New York and Hamburg variants, providing the famous Steinway concert piano sound with superb musical expression.

Steinway Model B grand piano

The instrument that served as reference is a Steinway B from Hamburg that belongs to the Martha Argerich Edition, a set of 25 grand pianos selected and signed in 2014 by the prestigious pianist for their musicality. Subtle refinements of the physical model were made, resulting in a noticeably clear tone and astounding dynamics.

Ant. Petrof 275 and Petrof 284 Mistral grand pianos

Ant. Petrof 275 and Petrof 284 Mistral are the two Petrof masterpieces, bringing the authority required for concert halls. Authorized by Petrof, the physically modelled pianos capture the characteristic Petrof sound with a range of presets offering a beautiful palette of timbres suitable for all kinds of music.

C. Bechstein DG grand piano

This physical model of C. Bechstein Digital Grand is originally derived from a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand piano, captured by the acclaimed Teldex Recording studio in Berlin. Authorized by Bechstein, the Pianoteq model reproduces the outstandingly brilliant and powerful sound of the C. Bechstein D 282 with its singing, richly coloured voice, suitable for many different music genres.

Steingraeber E-272 grand piano

Steingraeber E-272 Concert Grand Piano is praised by many pianists as being one of the most distinctive and outstanding instruments on the market today. This physically modelled virtual instrument for Pianoteq 6 captures the characteristic Steingraeber sound with a range of presets offering different colours suitable for various types of music.

Grotrian Concert Royal grand piano

The Concert Royal grand piano by Grotrian is rightly considered to be one of the best grand pianos in the world. Its tone, playing mechanism and construction meet the very highest standards in terms of quality, refinement and perfection – strengths which can be heard and felt all the way back to the last row in large halls and concert houses.

Blüthner Model 1 grand piano

Authorized by Blüthner, this is the world's first physical model of Blüthner's finest grand piano, widely celebrated for use on the concert stage. One of our most popular grand piano models.

K2 grand piano

The K2 grand piano was created for Pianoteq 5. Thanks to its 2.11m (6' 11”) cabinet, the sound quality is magnificent, bringing a perfect balance of warmth, brilliance and clarity. Enjoy its dark, woody character in a musical allround environment.

YC5 rock piano

The Rock piano is developed to meet requirements for a specific pop/rock piano, modelled from a well known Japanese grand piano, frequently seen on stages and very much appreciated by touring artists for its musical qualities and reliability.

U4 upright piano

The U4 upright piano emphasizes the characteristics of upright pianos, offering 21 exciting presets. Besides the beautiful timbre of well-built acoustic pianos, there are some increased “imperfections” in presets such as Blues, Vintage, Honky Tonk, Detuned, Ruined, Bierkeller, Tacky, Wavy, Weathered, Club...

Karsten collection

The Karsten Collection includes five historical instruments built between 1600 and 1858, provided by instrument collector Peter Karsten, Braunschweig, Germany. The virtual copy of the New York Steinway square piano (1858) is evaluated and authorized by Steinway & Sons.

Kremsegg historical collection #1

The Kremsegg museum collection #1 includes 4 historical pianos from the 18th and 19th centuries: Dohnal, Besendorfer, Erard, Streicher. Incomparable for rendering the music of the 19th century composers, but also for playing other music styles like Jazz.

Kremsegg historical collection #2

The Kremsegg museum collection #2 includes 4 historical pianos from the 18th and 19th centuries: Broadwood, Pleyel, Frenzel, Bechstein. Incomparable for rendering the music of the 19th century composers, but also for playing other music styles like Jazz.


Harpsichord instrument pack

Hans Ruckers II harpsichord for Pianoteq is a superb virtual instrument with authentic sound and response, and it is a joy to play. It is equipped with the three registers - lower 8', upper 8', and 4' - which can be combined in ways not even possible in the real world.


Classical Guitar

This pack features a model of a nylon classical guitar, with its shiny bass and warm treble. Not only a dedicated model has been precisely developed to capture the essence of this instrument, using several references ranging from a student guitar to a luthier one, but the user experience has been thoroughly designed to help you play guitar on a keyboard.



The Harp pack includes a Concert Harp and a Celtic Harp. The Concert Harp is physical modelled after a Salvi concert harp, used by many baroque and classical composers in the 18th and 19th century. The Celtic Harp is frequently heard in folk music as well as in earlier classical music and contemporary new-age. Both harps include foot-controlled pedals to change the pitches of the strings. They also add the ability to play harmonics (flageolets) and glissandos.

Electric instruments

Electric pianos: MKII, MKI, W2 & W1

You surely already know these famous electro-acoustic pianos from the seventies. Four amazing instruments with a gorgeous sound, Vintage Tines MKII, Vintage Tines MKI, Vintage Reeds W2 and Vintage Reeds W1, are included. Each instrument comes with several variants and you can customize them to your own taste.

Hohner Collection

Tested and authorized by Hohner, this collection includes four famous Hohner keyboard instruments: Electra-piano, Pianet N, Pianet T and Clavinet D6. Manufactured by Hohner from the early sixties until the early eighties, they appeared in many hit records of that period. Hohner® is a registered trademark of Matth. Hohner GmbH.

Chromatic percussions

Vibes: Vibraphones V-B & V-M

Two virtual vibraphones, V-M and V-B, reproduce faithfully the characteristic sound of two well-known vibraphone brands. The V-M is a virtual copy of a Musser vibraphone (USA) that belongs to the famous French vibraphonist Dany Doriz. The V-B is a virtual copy of a Bergerault vibraphone (France).

Celeste: Celesta, Glockenspiel, Toy Piano and Kalimba

This pack includes four instruments: Celesta, Glockenspiel, Toy Piano and Kalimba. By striking metal plates, the sounds have a bell-like quality that have fascinated composers throughout history and still today. The Toy Piano and Glockenspiel models have slightly extended octave ranges. The Kalimba, also known as Mbira, is a small handheld instrument, originally from Africa.

Xylo: Bass Marimba + Xylophone

Xylophone and Bass Marimba are similar to the vibraphone but are using wooden bars instead of aluminium. Each bar, that vibrates when hit with mallets, is paired with a metallic resonator which is tuned to amplify the sound.

Steelpans: Steel drum + Hand pan + Tank drum + Spacedrum

This pack includes four instruments: Steel Drum, Spacedrum, Hand Pan, Tank Drum.

Each instrument is provided with one preset faithful to the original instrument modelled and several variants.

Free instruments

In addition to the instruments above, Modartt offers to Pianoteq users a rich set of free instruments, including piano predecessors such as cimbalom, harpsichord and clavichord, an electro-acoustic piano CP-80, bells, tubular bells, etc.

More details

The fourth generation piano

The Pianoteq physical model was issued from academic research at the Institute of Mathematics of Toulouse, INSA, Toulouse, France and is continuously developed by Modartt. The result is what we call the fourth piano generation. Pianoteq is the very first piano that belongs to this generation.

    First generation: acoustic piano (1698)
    Second generation: electro-acoustic piano (1929)
    Third generation: sampled piano (1984)
    Fourth generation: modelled piano (2006)

The first generation of pianos began with Cristofori's pianoforte in 1698 which came to maturity at the end of the 19th century with the acoustic grand pianos. It was followed in the 20th century by the second generation electro-acoustic pianos and the third generation sampled pianos where each note is a recording of how it sounded during a specific moment in time, not taking into account the complexity of the instrument.

Pianoteq is the first piano belonging to the fourth generation, developed in order to go beyond the limitations of the third generation and to become a versatile and innovating tool. It is in fact the first virtual piano factory — it can produce new brands as well as copies of historical instruments.

Pr. Gabriel Weinreich Professor Gabriel Weinreich, renowned figure in the world of musical acoustics, says:

"I demonstrated the first "Piano from first principles" at a conference in Austria in 1980. Never in a million years would I have dreamed at that time that, in my lifetime, this art would have reached the state of development embodied in your Pianoteq program. I congratulate you and all your collaborators on this most marvelous development."

The Pianoteq technology

Characteristics of Pianoteq

  • The piano sound is constructed in real time, responding to how the pianist strikes the keys and interacts with the pedals
  • It includes the entire complexity of real pianos (hammers, strings, duplex scale, pedals, cabinet) and other instruments
  • It allows Morphing and Layering between instruments
  • Continuous velocity from pianissimo to fortissimo, with progressive variation of the timbre: that makes exactly 127 velocities! A sample-based software program would in theory require hundreds of gigabytes for all these velocities
  • Complex resonances that only a model can reproduce in all its richness:
    • Sympathetic resonance of all strings, both without and with sustain pedal
    • Duplex scale (the undamped string parts which come into resonance)
    • Sympathetic resonances between strings
    • Damper position effect when key is released (variable overtones damping)
    • Other special effects like staccato and sound continuation when pressing down the sustain pedal a short time after key release (re-pedalling)
  • Timbre modification of repeated notes, due to the hammer striking strings which are already in motion instead of being still
  • Release velocity
  • Ten types of pedals (that can be assigned to the four UI pedals):
    • Progressive sustain pedal, allowing the so-called “half pedal”, but also quarter or tenth’s pedals if you want!
    • Sostenuto pedal, allowing you to hold some notes after release without pressing down the sustain pedal,
    • Super Sostenuto pedal, where the notes held by the sostenuto can be replayed staccato, which is not possible on a “real” piano,
    • Harmonic pedal, allowing you to play staccato while maintaining the sustain pedal resonance,
    • Una corda pedal, also called soft pedal, modifying the sound quality or timbre by shifting the piano action to the right (on grand pianos),
    • Celeste peda, where a felt strip is interposed between hammers and strings, creating a softer sound. This pedal is usually found in upright pianos,
    • Rattle pedal, also called bassoon pedal, which equipped certain historical pianos, as for example the Besendorfer from the Kremsegg collection. A piece of parchment comes into contact with the strings to create a buzzing noise resembling the sound of the bassoon,
    • Buff Stop pedal, where a wooden bar covered with felt is pressed against the strings, shortening the duration ofthe sound. It can be found in some historical pianos,
    • Glissando pedal, to be used in particular for rendering glissandos in the Harp instruments,
    • Mozart rail, introduced by Steingraeber in its concert grand piano E-272, which allows playing delicate notes by moving the hammers closer to the strings.
  • Variable lid position
  • Natural instrument noises including:
    • Variable action key release noise (varies with note duration and key release velocity if present)
    • Damper noise at key release (mainly for bass notes)
    • Sustain pedal noise: pedal velocity dependant “whoosh” produced by the dampers rising altogether from the strings or falling down
  • Choice of microphone position and multichannel mixing (up to 5 mics, 5 channels)
  • Microtuning and scala format files import
  • Various effects including equalizer, keyboard velocity setting, volume, sound dynamics which controls the loudness levels between pianissimo and fortissimo, reverberation with control of reverberation weight, duration and room size, limiter, tremolo.

Why does a piano sound like a piano?

This short tutorial explains step by step the nature of the piano sound and illustrates how physical modelling can recreate such a sound.

Why a sampled piano is insufficient

The very best sampled pianos of today are the result of many hours of careful recordings associated with complex solutions designed to provide a valuable piano sound. We respect the work of these high class competitors who manage to develop sampled based pianos of this quality. However, as is well-known, sampling technology itself has inherent disadvantages.

To give you an understanding of the reasons why we chose to develop Pianoteq we find it necessary to describe the shortcomings of using samples to create a digital piano:

  1. The sampled piano contains static recordings of each note, how it sounded during a particular moment in time. It does not take into account the influence of other strings vibrating, cabinet resonance, pedal interaction and hammer position,
  2. The sampled piano cannot alter the existing piano samples when it comes to parameters such as hammer hardness, unison tuning, cabinet size, overtones spectrum etc.,
  3. The sampled piano has several technical limitations such as audible quantization noise and uneven variation of the timbre (from ppp to fff).

Despite many recent attempts to enhance the sampled piano sound by adding convolution reverb and other post processing effects, the technology as such has too many limitations when it comes to achieving a truly vivid and convincing piano sound.

What makes Pianoteq unique

Pianoteq offers many unique qualities and features that make it superior to other virtual pianos:

  • Vivid: The piano creates the sound in real time while you are playing and takes into account all the complex factors that make the piano a truly vivid instrument, such as the interaction between strings, the use of pedals, the cabinet resonance and the position of the hammers. It will feel like you have a real piano in front of you... as if you could just lean over and touch the strings!
  • Versatile: Pianoteq introduces new possibilities to adjust the piano sound just the way you like it! Things that until now were dedicated for piano tuners are now possible directly from the interface. Within seconds you can adjust the sound to a particular type of music or playing style. The many choices can be saved as a customized setting which you can share with other Pianoteq users.
  • Expressive: All the detailed variations of the timbre are there, from the weakest pianissimo to the strongest fortissimo! What you express on your keyboard will also be what you actually hear. The sound of even the weakest pianissimo is absolutely pure without any audible quantization noise.
  • Convenient: Convenient: Thanks to its rather modest system requirements, Pianoteq is suitable to run on a modern laptop, convenient for the travelling musician. The small size (less than 50 MB) and the fast interface means no loading time. Just a few mouse movements to start playing.

Pianoteq interface

The many adjustable parameters make it possible to not only adapt the existing piano model but also to create new piano sounds. This is one of the advantages of a truly modelled piano — it opens up new possibilities for the creative musician.

Pianoteq lets you improve the tuning in ways that are usually available only to piano tuners. Example: diapason (414-467 Hz), different kinds of temperaments (from equal to well tempered), microtuning, unison tuning (for changing the timbre or colour of the sound), octave stretching and direct sound duration. Screenshot of the Pianoteq upper panel.

Screenshot of the Pianoteq upper panel

Another task for a professional piano tuner is to "shape" the piano sound according to the pianist's taste. By adjusting hammer hardness it is possible to adapt the piano sound from mellow to bright in great detail. There is not just one adjustment, mellow to bright, but a very detailed slider for each major velocity: pianissimo, mezzoforte and fortissimo.

The next feature is something that not even a piano tuner can do — changing the soundboard impedance. You will get a total control of overtones. This makes it even possible to change the size of the piano, from A size to D size, even up to a 10 meter (33 feet) grand!

Enlarged keyboard

The Pianoteq Steinway D and K2 virtual grand pianos offer an extended keyboard range of 105 keys. This range makes it the largest ever available in a piano.

Grand pianos that offer an expanded keyboard range are rare and extremely expensive. A very well-known example of such a high class instrument is the Bösendorfer Imperial Grand, with its 97 keys expanding the bass range. Stuart & Sons have also built innovative 102 keys pianos, increasing both the bass and the treble range of the piano.

MODARTT takes up the challenge by providing an unprecedented extra-large key range for its Steinway D and K2 virtual grand pianos, with no less than 105 keys (17 keys more than the standard keyboard range), ranging from ultra-low rumbling bass to very high bird-like pitches.

The keyboard range expansion was developed to correspond to an increasing demand from Pianoteq users for additional notes. The extended sound palette, obtained thanks to the powerful Pianoteq physical modelling, can be used e.g. in certain prominent piano works by Debussy, Ravel and Bártok where the extended range is utilized. If playing gentle octave chords, the extended bass notes will add a rumbling sound that will strengthen the effect. Below is an example of where the pianist makes use of the extended keyboard range.

La Campanella
Composers: F. Busoni, F. Liszt, N. Paganini
Performer: J. Felice

In this particular arrangement (suitable for 4 hands), Pianoteq demonstrates its capacity where most other pianos will fail. Based on transcriptions of Paganini's last movement of his second Violin Concerto, Pianoteq's extended keyboard range brings out the complete tonal colour palette. The highest D#, which constitutes Paganini's original 'La Campanella' (The Bell), exists in an octave higher than every other commercial piano library in the world. Many rumbling ultra-low octave notes are also prominently featured.

Version 8

8.1.1 (2023/06/02)

  • Fix a random deadlock when loading multiple instances at once.
  • Fixed the file overwrite warning of the MIDI file save (Windows, Linux).
  • Slightly better popup menu behaviour with touch screens.

8.1.0 (2023/05/15)

  • Hammer noise low frequency content has been improved (it was a bug, all instruments improved).
  • (iOS only) The swipe gesture for the touch keyboard did not work on some iPhones, it is fixed.
  • (iOS only) Reverb impulse loading has been enabled, it was missing in the previous version.

8.0.9 (2023/05/03)

  • iOS version released.

8.0.8 (2023/04/03)

  • Fix broken record button.
  • Fix for rare issue where parameter updates randomly stop from being applied.
  • Fix bug when opening MIDI devices on Linux.

8.0.7 (2023/03/29)

  • Workaround for Logic Pro crashes when opening some projects on a M1/M2 mac.
  • Note naming convention changed to 'Scientific pitch notation' : the middle C key is now named C4 instead of C3.
  • Concert Harp: revert the default glissando behaviour as it was in Pianoteq 7.
  • Display arrows over note-edit buttons that can be dragged.
  • SysEx messages (realtime-tuning for example) with device ID 0 are now accepted.
  • Fix disappearing instrument image when changing zoom level.
  • Minor bug fixes.

8.0.6 (2023/03/27)

  • The aax plugin is now compatible with Pro Tools 2023.3 (Apple Silicon aax plugin added).
  • Lower CPU usage when the application/plugin is idle.
  • Updates of note FX params (tremolo and vibrato depth) are now applied to already sounding notes.
  • Hammer bounce can be extended after the key release by using the sostenuto pedal.
  • UI toolkit updated.

8.0.5 (2022/12/22)

  • Fixed rare crash on plugin instantiation.
  • (2023/01/03) Fixed issue where the plugin failed to load on macOS 10.11 and macOS 10.12.

8.0.4 (2022/12/20)

  • Add a switch for the glissando pedal that toggles between auto-glissando and manual glissando.
  • Fix crash during midi-learn for some buttons.
  • Add compact-view entry in the magnification menu if the options / interface panel.
  • Fix a crash with some hosts.
  • Small improvements to the chords detection.
  • Fixed the VST3 compatibility with Digital Performer.

8.0.3 (2022/12/08)

  • Fix crash when randomizing some morphing or layers configurations.
  • Improved response of the menus to touch screens on Windows.
  • Note attack envelope parameter is fixed.
  • Improve sound stability with extreme pitch-bending.
  • CPU load meter fixed.
  • Indicator for current preset in mini-preset menus is fixed.

8.0.2 (2022/11/24)

  • Fixed Monophonic output in FL Studio.
  • Fixed Giusti harpsichord key switches.
  • Fixed guitar model internal error.
  • (2022/11/24) Red dot appearing when selecting velocity curve presets.
  • (2022/11/24) Fixed guitar keyswitch menu.
  • (2022/11/24) Fixed 12 Strings guitar preset.

8.0.1 (2022/11/19)

  • Fixed accessibility issue with preset menu.
  • Fixed channels selection on macOS.
  • Fixed harpsichord midimappings.
  • Fixed issue with the LV2 plugin in some hosts.
  • (2022/11/20) the macOS installer is now compatible with 10.9 and 10.10.

8.0.0 (2022/11/16)

  • New instrument model: the Classical Guitar.
  • All contemporary acoustic pianos, the Vintage Reeds electric piano and the Concert Harp have been revoiced.
  • Interface with updated graphics.
  • New 'Note Effects' panel, with Tremolo and Vibrato.
  • The LV2 / VST3 / AudioUnit plugins can receive an optional audio input, which is used to excite the string resonances (STD/PRO versions).
  • Added a loop button for the MIDI sequences (standalone), and also ability to select a part of a MIDI file.
  • New option for using stereo effects when the selected instrument output is mono.
  • New midimappings option for using one MIDI channel per guitar string or harpsichord keyboard.
  • New 'stretch points' note-edit panel (PRO version).
  • Improved presets menu, with favorites.
  • Bypass switch when right-clicking on the output-level bar.
  • And many bug fixes..
  • (2022/11/17) Fixed Digital Performer compatibility.
  • (2022/11/17) Fixed a few crashes.

Version 7

7.5.4 (2022/02/11)

  • Fix issue with plugin window size on Windows, when multiple displays with different scaling are used.
  • Fix issue with full-screen mode.
  • Fix small metronome issue in JSON-RPC api.

7.5.3 (2022/01/20)

  • Fix MIDI bluetooth crash on macOS.
  • Fix crash on linux with some window managers.
  • Improve JSON-RPC api.
  • Fix silent note handling in yamaha XP midi mode.

7.5.2 (2021/12/17)

  • Fixed semi-random freezes of Pianoteq plug-ins, especially when multiple instances are loaded simultaneously.

7.5.1 (2021/12/16)

  • Fix issue with velocity preset not being properly saved.
  • Fix "Preferences..." menu entry being greyed on macOS.
  • Fix crash on macOS 10.9.

7.5.0 (2021/12/15)

  • Revoicing of NY Steinway D, HB Steinway D, Steinway B, Ant. Petrof, Petrof Mistral, C. Bechstein DG, Steingraeber, Blüthner.
  • Added option for damping notes when the sustain pedal is pressed, either with low velocity note-on MIDI or aftertouch (option available in the velocity menu).
  • It is now possible to disable external tuning (MTS-ESP, MIDI tuning) in a preset.
  • External tuning can switch between continuous (sounding notes are re-pitched) and new notes only (sounding notes do not change).
  • External tuning now sounds much better when the amount of retuning applied to notes is large.
  • (Standard & Pro) New temperament menu entry for importing the current MTS-ESP tuning as a Pianoteq tuning.
  • Fixed sostenuto pedal when used with diatonic mode.
  • Delay reduced when playing with the Celeste pedal at a very low velocity.
  • Metronome volume and speed are now MIDI controlable.
  • Unsaved MIDI mappings can be restored from the midimapping menu, in options / MIDI.
  • Italian manual added.
  • Preview: for advanced users, Pianoteq can be remote controlled with a JSON-RPC api when started with the "--serve localhost:8081" option.

7.4.2 (2021/07/19)

  • Fix memory leak.
  • Fix random crash on Linux when MIDI inputs are added/removed.
  • (2021/10/11) fix activation issue on Linux.

7.4.1 (2021/07/05)

  • Fix random crash of the plugin version.
  • Restore compatibility with macOS 10.7 and 10.8.
  • Damping duration reduction in all Jazz presets.

7.4.0 (2021/06/29)

  • Celeste pedal improved for acoustic instruments (string instruments and chromatic percussions).
  • ‘Felt’ presets added to each contemporary grand piano.
  • New 'Concert Hall' reverb preset.
  • New option for reversing the celeste pedal and adjusting the felt thickness.
  • Added a unison width humanization option.
  • NY Steinway D revoicing (timbre and dynamics).
  • Better keyboard navigability of the interface (using tab / shitf-tab, or C-J), new option to highlight the interface element having keyboard focus.
  • Accessibility for blind users: VoiceOver (macOS) and Narrator (Windows 10) support added.

7.3.0 (2021/04/07)

  • Introducing Petrof 284 Mistral concert grand piano.
  • Improved repetition model benefiting all acoustic pianos.
  • Piano lid removal now possible (double click on lid).
  • Steinway B update: bass range and upper range revoicing.

7.2.1 (2021/03/30)

  • Support the MTS-ESP tuning API ( http://oddsound.com ).
  • Fix issue with the aupreset files exported by the --export-au-presets command-line option.
  • Add a --export-lv2-presets command-line option for the Linux version.
  • Enable drag'n drop of the current Pianoteq MIDI file into other applications.
  • Fix random crash of the Linux version on startup.

7.2.0 (2021/02/12)

  • NY Steinway D update: power/duration increased in the bass range, upper two octaves revoiced in the ppp-mp range.
  • Fixed bug in the harmonic and sustain pedals resonances.

7.1.0 (2021/01/08)

  • 64-bit ARM binaries are now available on macOS (M1) and Linux.
  • A dedicated toolbar button for the freeze filter is available, and a default freeze filter can be set.
  • For instruments where it is applicable, the 'mono' and 'stereo' outputs can be converted to 'sound recording' output (Pianoteq Standard and Pro).
  • When the pedals of the interface are clicked while a MIDI sequence is recorded (in Pianoteq standalone), the matching MIDI events are inserted in the recorded MIDI sequence.
  • Performance should be slightly improved with respect to version 7.0.
  • (2021/01/25) Workaround for UI freezing issue of the VST3 plugin with Cakewalk (Windows only).

7.0.5 (2020/12/06)

  • Reduced memory consumption of Pianoteq 7.
  • Fixed issue when loading/saving files in a folder containing non-ascii characters with Pianoteq 7.
  • (2020/12/07) Fixed crash of version 7.0.5 on macos 10.7.
  • (2020/12/08) Re-updating the Windows version, as an issue with the Windows file browser seems to be remaining on some older versions of windows 10.

7.0.4 (2020/11/25)

  • Fix a few glitches that occur when switching between presets.
  • Fix blurry interface with some VST hosts on scaled displays.
  • Fix for a crash related to the A/B button.

7.0.3 (2020/11/12)

  • Fix random crash with some VST hosts -- upgrade is very recommended.
  • Fix silent pedal noises for a few instruments.

7.0.2 (2020/11/11)

  • Fixed crash when morphing some very old instruments.
  • Pianoteq will now only load the most up-to-date version of KIVIR.ptq and bells.ptq.
  • Fixed bug in Linux arm version.

7.0.1 (2020/11/10)

  • Fix issue which prevented some users from using KIVIR.ptq.
  • Fix issue (cracks and pops) with some VST hosts.

7.0.0 (2020/11/10)

  • All instruments improved (physical model improvements, and re-voicing).
  • New instrument added in the Model D pack: the New York Steinway D.
  • New feature: instrument morphing.
  • New feature: preset layers.
  • The macOS, Windows and Linux versions are now 64-bit only on x86 processors (linux/ARM still 32-bit).

Version 6

6.7.3 (2020/06/05)

  • Fixed ugly noise issue when loading Pianoteq 6 VST3 in FL Studio.
  • (2020/07/31) Fix font issue with Intel Clear Linux.

6.7.2 (2020/05/25)

  • Fixed issue with the sostenuto pedal.
  • Fixed wrong sample rate for 88200 Hz wav export in the standalone.
  • (2020/06/01) Fixed sostenuto pedal again.

6.7.1 (2020/05/05)

  • Fixed rounding error when exporting WAV files from MIDI in the standalone application, which could cause the rendered WAV file to be too slow or too fast by up to 0.1%.
  • (2020/05/18) Fix HiDPI issue with the plugin on Linux.

6.7.0 (2020/03/18)

  • Introducing the Karsten Collection.
  • Resonance equalizer added in the equalizer panel (Pianoteq STD and PRO).
  • Keyboard shortcut for MIDI panic added.
  • Fix issue where the pedal noise was sometimes interrupted by a silent keypress.
  • Fix issue with multi-channel output on Linux.

6.6.0 (2019/09/18)

  • New instrument added to the Harp instrument pack: the Celtic Harp.

6.5.4 (2019/08/12)

  • Extended range on some historical and chromatic percussion instruments: use +- on the left of the keyboard to switch between original and extended range.
  • Volume reduction on some MKII presets.

6.5.3 (2019/07/04)

  • Fixed wrong sound with the MKII when used at a very low internal sample rate.
  • Fixed internal error with the Kalimba at low internal sample rate.
  • Fixed issue where the default audio output is automatically selected when the current soundcard becomes unavailable.
  • Fixed a few clicks at the tail of notes in some MKI presets.
  • Minor update to the Model D Classical preset.

6.5.2 (2019/06/25)

  • MKII update: revoicing and four new presets: MKII Spark, MKII Piano Bass Gritty, MKII Piano Bass Snappy, MKII Bass & Piano split.
  • Inharmonicity model improvement, allowing for more progressive variations w.r.t. string length.
  • New instrument added to the Celeste pack: the Kalimba.
  • The interface of Pianoteq STD/PRO can switch to a compact interface, which looks like the STAGE interface.

6.5.1 (2019/05/23)

  • Restored the scrollbar in the instrument list options panel.
  • Fixed issue with the note-edit window when restoring a saved window configuration.
  • Improved performance on the ARM platform -- cpu requirements of version 6.5.1 are still higher than version 6.4.1, but they are lower than 6.5.0.

6.5.0 (2019/05/15)

  • Improvement of hammer noise model in all instruments, providing more edge to the attacks.
  • Small improvement of the string resonances in all instruments.
  • Revoicing of Steinway D and Bechstein DG grand pianos.
  • Kremsegg collection default range set to full range (21:108).
  • German translation of the manual.
  • Keyboard shortcut added for saving/restoring window configurations.
  • A warning is displayed when duplicated MIDI events are received.
  • Reverb switch entry added in the freeze filter.
  • Trim manually recording MIDI files in the standalone to remove any silence at the beginning.

6.4.1 (2019/01/30)

  • Fixed a bug with the MIDI recorder (random crash).
  • The linux executable is no more PIE as some Linux file managers do not recognize PIE files as executables.

6.4.0 (2019/01/16)

  • New instrument: the C. Bechstein Digital Grand.
  • Revoicing of grand pianos Steinway D, Steinway B and K2.
  • The VST3 plugin is now able to take into account the "tuning" parameter of VST3 note events (useful for users of alternative tunings in Dorico).
  • When navigating in the MIDI sequence, Pianoteq will restore the position of the pedals.
  • SysEx messages are now kept in midi files when saving (instead of being removed).
  • The metronome tic toc sound has been slightly changed.
  • The tempo / time signature of the metronome is now embedded in midi files recorded with Pianoteq.
  • When using external reverb impulses, Pianoteq will store (if possible) the path of the WAV file relative to the Pianoteq presets folder, or to the user home folder.

6.3.1 (2019/01/04)

  • Fixed issue in the attack of some notes at low velocities.

6.3.0 (2018/09/26)

  • New instrument: the ANT. PETROF grand piano.
  • Fixed multi-channel MIDI mappings.
  • (2018/09/27) Fixed crash when loaded as a plugin.

6.2.2 (2018/07/19)

  • Workaround for the AU plugin in Studio One 4.
  • Improve the detection of true-stereo impulse files.
  • The VST3 can now load with 5 channels in REAPER.
  • Fixed wrong positioning of labels in the presets manager.
  • Small adjustment to the Blüthner Grand, making the sound a bit less wet.

6.2.1 (2018/06/18)

  • Fix for the 'Buff stop' pedal and the 'Mute' slider, which were broken in v6.2.0.

6.2.0 (2018/06/13)

  • New instrument: the Steingraeber E-272.
  • New pedal: the Mozart rail.
  • Minor revoicing of all grand pianos.
  • Pianissimo behaviour improved for all grand pianos.
  • The preset manager can now be resized (when detached from the main window).
  • On Windows and Linux, the main menu is automatically hidden in fullscreen mode.
  • (2018/06/14) Fixed an issue of the trial version that could sometimes produce a loud noise on first note played.

6.1.1 (2018/03/02)

  • Documentation updated.
  • The soundcard 'auto-restart' feature should be working again.
  • The Perf panel of the options dialog has been updated to display the real-time cpu performance index.

6.1.0 (2018/02/28)

  • New spatialisation technique which brings more air and presence to the instruments, increasing realism.
  • Minor re-voicing on some instruments/presets.
  • Support for the NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) extended plug-in format from Native Instruments.
  • The most recently used presets (up to 5) are displayed in the presets menu.
  • The loudness should be more even when the reverb amount is changed.

6.0.3 (2017/10/31)

  • The issue where an unavailable soundcard would sometimes freeze the interface on startup should be fixed.
  • An old issue where sometimes a parameter change would fail to apply has been solved.
  • (2017/11/02) updated the STAGE version in order to fix an issue with non-global midimappings.
  • (2018/01/17) Better handling of multitouch events for the graphical keyboard.
  • (2018/01/17) Fix automation of pedals, and diapason.
  • (2018/01/17) Fix issue where sympathetic resonnance was not working with the --multicore max option on Linux.
  • (2018/01/17) Added command-line options --midi-channel and --midi-transpose to the standalone version.

6.0.2 (2017/10/11)

  • The VST3 plugin should now be listed next to the old 'Pianoteq 5' vst2 plugin in Cubase, instead of being in the 'Synth' folder.
  • The issue with the VST3 plugin on Dorico has been fixed (simultaneous 'All Notes Off' and 'Note On' events).
  • Fixed malfunctioning random button in the spectrum profile note edit.
  • Allow larger ratios to be recognized in the microtuning component.
  • The command-line export of large MIDI files on macos is fixed.
  • Stability improvements.
  • A workaround for the AVIRA false positive malware warning has been found.

6.0.1 (2017/09/12)

  • Fixed an issue where the presets saved with the STAGE version would sound different when reloaded.
  • Add an option to disable the chord detector (in options / general).
  • Fixed stuck tremolo issue when the depth was brought to zero.
  • Partial fix to the issue where touchscreens do not work with Pianoteq 6 popup menus.
  • Partial fix to the issue where the LV2 plugin window would not resize correctly.
  • Fixed issue where the Pianoteq STD AudioUnit would sometimes refuse to load in Ableton Live .
  • Fixed issue where the Pianoteq VST3 would produce a buzzing sound in Dorico.

6.0.0 (2017/09/06)

  • All 49 instruments available in Pianoteq have been overhauled (the pianos, EPs, percussions, etc, including KIVIR).
  • Modelled sustain/damper noises in all contemporary pianos.
  • VST3 plugin format support has been added (plugin formats supported in Pianoteq 6: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX (64-bit), LV2).
  • A MIDI playlist is now available.
  • The MIDI auto-recording and archiving is improved and more configurable.
  • The MIDI Mappings feature is more configurable -- MIDI Mapping can now be either global, or preset specific.
  • Audio export in MP3 or FLAC format has been added.
  • New tuning tool (available in Pianoteq Std and Pro only).
  • A simple chord detector has been added.
  • The Linux version is now available for ARM architectures.

Version 5

5.8.1 (2016/11/25)

  • Fixed issue with audio glitches when changing parameters on some presets (electric pianos in stereo mode).
  • Small improvement of the ALSA output latency on Linux.

5.8.0 (2016/11/02)

  • New instrument: the Grotrian Concert Royal grand piano, authorized by Grotrian.
  • New effects presets, by K.P. Rausch.
  • Pianoteq can now open MIDI and FXP files from the 'Open With' contextual menu of the MacOS Finder and Windows explorer.

5.7.1 (2016/06/08)

  • New instrument: the electric piano "MKII", included in the "Electric" instrument pack.
  • For consistency, the "R2" instrument has been renamed to "MKI".
  • The dampers algorithm has been revisited (all instruments), improving their behaviour for fast successions of Note-On/Note-Off.

5.6.2 (2016/04/22)

  • Fixed a sustain pedal bug in the trial version.
  • Added missing parameters in the midimappings menu (harpsichords registers switches).

5.6.1 (2016/04/14)

  • Fixed an activation issue for users that were upgrading from version 5.5
  • Fixed pictures and some labels in the harpsichord voicing/tuning/design panels of Pianoteq STD/PRO.

5.6.0 (2016/04/13)

  • New instrument: the Ruckers Harpsichord, with its 3 registers.
  • The 'lute stop' pedal has been renamed as 'buff stop'. Its sound has been largely improved.
  • The control nodes in the velocity / equalizer editor can now be moved with the keyboard arrows.
  • The linux lv2 plugin version has been brought up-to-date (no more deprecated extensions).
  • Support for multichannel keyboard mappings has been introduced in Pianoteq std/pro, allowing full keyboard range on scales with up to 128 notes per octave, with keyboards such as terpstrakeyboard.

5.5.1 (2016/02/02)

  • Correction of a minor resonance bug for the piano instruments.
  • KIVIR.ptq is updated as well -- due to compatibility issues, the new Kivir.ptq works only with version 5.5.1
  • Clavinet and clavichord: better behaviour of the pitch variation on note attacks.

5.5.0 (2016/01/27)

  • New instrument: the Model B Grand Piano.

5.4.2 (2015/10/03)

  • Fixed incorrect plugin window size when the graphical keyboard was hidden.
  • Fixed issue with some reverb impulses that could not be loaded.

5.4.1 (2015/10/02)

  • Fixed crash with the Pianet when some combination of parameters is used.
  • Fixed GUI being wrongly displaced by the random button.

5.4.0 (2015/09/29)

  • New instrument added in the Hohner collection: the Pianet N.
  • A fuzz effect has been added.
  • In the standalone version, it is now possible to delete parts of the MIDI sequence loaded (right click on the sequence).
  • Fixed issues with the attachment of a midimapping to a specific preset.

5.3.0 (2015/06/30)

  • New instrument: the Concert Harp.
  • New pedals: glissando and pinch harmonics.
  • Diatonic mode switch for the keyboard (the small 'D' button on the left of the graphical keyboard).
  • New effect: the 3-band parametric equalizer.
  • Copy/paste of all notes now available in the spectrum profile editor (Pianoteq Pro only).

5.2.1 (2015/04/28)

  • Fixed an issue with excessive CPU usage.
  • Fixed the pickup sliders for the Hohner instruments.

5.2.0 (2015/04/21)

  • The Clavinet instrument pack becomes the Hohner collection including two new instruments: the Pianet T and the Electra.
  • A phaser effect has been added.
  • Added an "ignore the sustain pedal" switch for the sostenuto pedal.
  • The wav export settings are now recalled.
  • Fixed engine issue when running at 192kHz.

5.1.4 (2015/01/23)

  • D4 Grand update: una corda model revisited, slight revoicing, in particular from ppp to p.

5.1.3 (2014/11/26)

  • New instrument: the Toy Piano.
  • Small update to Bluethner (revoicing, mainly in the upper range).

5.1.2 (2014/11/13)

  • Fixed an unexpectedly low output volume on some instruments (electric pianos) when stereo or mono output mode is selected and multicore rendering is disabled.
  • Fixed a rare crash involving simultaneous notes and bad luck.

5.1.1 (2014/10/09)

  • Fixed an issue with the AAX version on OSX.

5.1.0 (2014/10/08)

  • KIViR collection brought up-to-date with Pianoteq 5.
  • Binaural model improved for all instruments.
  • D4 Grand slightly revoiced.
  • Extended keyboard range switch available in the interface.
  • MIDI realtime-tuning support.

5.0.1 (2014/05/26)

  • Small updates to D4, K2 (lowered a few longitudinal modes) and Bluethner (voicing).
  • Fixed issue with the AU plugin that was not recognized by a few hosts (STAGE version only).
  • Metronome fixes (1/1 time signature begin silent, accent on first not being recalled).
  • Velocity curve fixed to allow silent notes.
  • Supersostenu was missing from the list of midi-assignable parameters.

5.0.0 (2014/05/21)

  • All instruments brought up-to-date with latest model improvements, D4 and YC5 re-built from scratch.
  • Nine new instruments: Grand K2 and the Kremsegg Collection.
  • The free KIVIR instruments are still those of version 4, but we are working on them and a very improved version will be available soon. Stay tuned.
  • Directional microphones support, which can be rotated in all directions.
  • Many microphone models, with various directivity patterns, are available.
  • Microphones can be linked together, and then moved or rotated together.
  • The polarity of a microphone can be reversed (for M/S recording situations, typically).
  • The four pedals of the interface can be re-assigned to a few parameters such as Rattle, Lute Stop, Celeste, Super Sostenuto.
  • Improved key noises, with an optional humanization of the parameters.
  • Pianoteq presets (FXP files) can now embed a short MIDI excerpt.
  • Dithering added to the audio export in Pianoteq Standalone.
  • Small metronome improvements.

Version 4

4.5.5 (2014/04/11)

  • Fix the incorrect aftertouch velocity curve for the W1 electric piano presets.
  • Fixed crash with Tracktion 5 on mac.
  • (2014/04/17) Fix for the documentation that would not open in the 'help' menu.

4.5.4 (2013/11/18)

  • Workaround for an issue with Maschine 2.0 (crash when loading the VST plugin).
  • Fixed bug of STAGE version where a wrong mic configuration could be sometimes selected after loading a reverb preset.
  • Fixed sostenuto pedal behaviour when the sustain pedal is engaged.
  • Handling of scala KBM files with more than one occurence of the same note is fixed.
  • (2013/11/21) Fix for interface freezes and keyboard issues of the VST plugin with Ableton Live (on Windows).
  • (2014/01/15) The electric pianos have been renamed as "Vintage Tines R2" and "Vintage Reeds W1".

4.5.3 (2013/10/28)

  • Fixed an issue with CoreAudio on MacOS X 10.9 (Mavericks), where Pianoteq would sometimes freeze on startup.
  • Fixed a crash that happened on some specific conditions (typically Pro Tools with a buffer size set to 1024, for some presets).

4.5.2 (2013/09/16)

  • Pianoteq is now available as an AAX plugin for Pro Tools 11.
  • French translation of tooltips available.
  • The condition slider is correctly saved and restored in Pianoteq STAGE.
  • (2013/10/07) Fixed a crash occuring on some instruments when the damping duration was set to a very high value.

4.5.1 (2013/04/12)

  • Fixed a crash in the delay effect.
  • Fixed issue where the ASIO sample rate was not correctly restored on startup.
  • Bluethner picture is back in the preset window.
  • Linux archive permissions fixed.
  • (2013/04/16) fixed crash with midi automation of some sliders.
  • (2013/04/16) fixed U4 wall being dragged out of reach.

4.5.0 (2013/04/11)

  • New add-on instrument: the upright piano U4.
  • The others grand pianos benefit from model improvements: D4, K1, YC5 and Bluethner have been updated and improved.
  • New 'Condition' parameter: turn a perfect instrument into a worn out, detuned and broken instrument, with a single click.
  • New 'Unison Balance' parameter (available in Note-Edit with Pro version, and via right-click on the unison slider in Pianoteq Standard).
  • Fullscreen mode.
  • Linux version is now also available as a LV2 plugin.

4.2.1 (2012/12/12)

  • New instrument in the KIViR collection: the Neupert clavichord.
  • Pianoteq now has a velocity curve for the aftertouch (polyphonic AT and channel pressure).
  • The graphical keyboard of the interface can also trigger aftertouch messages by clicking a key and dragging the cursor up and down.

4.2.0 (2012/09/19)

  • New optional add-on instrument: The Bluethner Model 1.

4.1.0 (2012/07/04)

  • The electric piano R1 has been replaced by its successor, the R2.
  • The old R1 presets have been moved in a legacy add-on.
  • New parameter for R1: tines sound.
  • Improved the Chorus effect.
  • (2012/07/13) Fixed crash with some VST hosts.
  • (2012/07/13) Fixed behaviour of the delay polarity switch when controlled by MIDI messages.
  • (2012/08/23) Fixed regression in the pedal noises.

4.0.4 (2012/06/13)

  • New steeldrums/steelpans/tank drum instruments.
  • Performance issue with effects fixed.
  • Fixed a bug where custom effect presets were not being enabled when loaded.
  • Fixed automation issues of the STAGE version with some parameters.
  • The windows version now releases the audio/midi device when the computer is being suspended.
  • The windows version correctly shuts down when the computer is being turned off.
  • Slow WAV export in the standalone version fixed.
  • The panic button also resets the midi connections when clicked.
  • The 'no audio device' dialog has been improved.
  • Better behaviour with low velocity repeated notes when the sustain pedal is used.
  • Added 'clear menu' entries in the recent MIDI files menu.
  • Added a '--midimapping' command-line option.
  • (2012/06/18) Fixed random crash on startup.

4.0.3 (2012/05/16)

  • Renamed Pianoteq PLAY to Pianoteq STAGE.
  • Fixed issue with some realtime MIDI messages (MIDI clock etc) on Macos.
  • Undo/redo behaviour when a slider is being dragged should now be really fixed..
  • Fixed magnification issue with the spectrum profile note-edit.

4.0.2 (2012/04/27)

  • Disabled multicore rendering for Pro Tools in order to avoid freezes.
  • Grand K1: correction for an unwanted difference with the K1 of Pianoteq 3.
  • Standalone version: single-step through midi files using the left/right arrows of the keyboard.
  • Allow drag&drop of impulse response WAV files for the reverb.
  • Improve diagnostic message when an external impulse response is not available.
  • Fix issue with some midimappings not working on startup.
  • Better undo/redo behaviour when a slider is being dragged.
  • Do not truncate exported WAV files when the sound tail is long.
  • Linux version: handle SIGUSR1 nicely.
  • Linux version: solve incompatibility issues with realtime kernel variants.

4.0.1 (2012/04/20)

  • Fixed a random crash happening in VST hosts when switching effects.
  • Fixed a few issues on Linux (wrong MIDI port name, crash when detaching windows with xmonad).

4.0.0 (2012/04/18)

  • New Grand D4 instrument, with an improved soundboard and sound radiation model.
  • New set of effects, including a convolution reverb.
  • Resizable GUI.
  • New feature in the standalone version : Recently played on the keyboard
  • and many more...

Version 3

3.6.8 (2012/01/16)

  • Fixed a bounce issue with Logic 9.1.6.
  • The pianoteq VST dll is now autonomous, it does not depend anymore on the pianoteq standalone executable.

3.6.7 (2011/06/14)

  • Native VST for the Linux version.
  • Fixed an issue with the trial versions.

3.6.6 (2011/01/17)

  • Add a "MIDI Dialect" option for high resolution MIDI messages: The "Disklavier XP" mode enables the recognition of "extended precision" midi files recorded on high-end Disklavier pianos, such as the ones available on the international e-piano competition website. The "Hi-res CC#88" mode enables recognition of the MIDI high resolution velocity prefix for note-on and note-off messages, such as the ones sent by the VAX77 MIDI keyboard.

3.6.5 (2010/10/20)

  • Key range of K1 and C3 grand piano extended to 105 keys.
  • Keyboard transposition can be controlled with the computer keyboard, or custom MIDI mappings.
  • Pianoteq Standalone now recalls both A and B presets on startup.
  • (2010/10/25) fixed issue with Gamelan.fxp.
  • (2010/10/25) fixed activation issue on windows.

3.6.4 (2010/09/15)

  • New Xylo add-on, featuring Xylophone & Bass Marimba.
  • Added drag and drop for microtonal Scala files on the Pianoteq interface.

3.6.3 (2010/07/05)

  • Fixed an occasional crash of repeated notes with some velocity curves.

3.6.2 (2010/06/30)

  • Introducing the Celesta and Glockenspiel instruments.
  • Added a humanize option to the Strike Position slider (right click on the slider).

3.6.1 (2010/05/20)

  • The Mac version now includes a 64-bit version of the standalone application and the Audio-Unit plugin.
  • The preset menu was reorganized.
  • Fixed issue with multi-channel pitch-bend messages when used for microtuning purposes (with devices such as http://www.h-pi.com/ ).
  • (2010/06/10) Fixed issue with the Pianoteq PLAY version not recalling a few settings (reverb switch etc)

3.6.0 (2010/03/24)

  • New K1 Grand Piano instrument.
  • User selectable folder for user presets and add-ons.
  • The default MIDI file for the standalone version can now be changed.
  • Jack MIDI support for the Linux version.
  • Increased the filter sweep speed for the wah-wah effect.
  • Minor bugfixes and features.

3.5.3 (2010/02/17)

  • Updated engine and interface for the new Clavinet add-on.
  • New "Mute" parameter in the actions panel.
  • Added a Wah-Wah effect section.
  • 29400Hz is now available as an internal sample rate in the options/perf panel (provides excellent sound quality with lower cpu usage).
  • Improved the audio load curve, and added a warning in the options/perf panel for suboptimal buffer sizes.
  • Various optimizations for netbooks, Pianoteq 3.5.3 runs smoothly on an atom N280 netbook when using an internal sample rate of 29400Hz.
  • Minor bugfixes and features.

3.5.2 (2009/12/15)

  • Updated engine for the new Cimbalom add-on.
  • Minor bug-fixes.
  • (2009/12/16) Fixed a crash of the RTAS version.

3.5.1 (2009/11/05)

  • Fixed VST-specific bug when loading old projects or FXB files in the VST plugin.
  • Fixed crash when loading some custom keyboard mappings.
  • Slightly improved performance of multicore-rendering on windows.
  • Minor adjustement of the damper model. KIViR.ptq also updated.

3.5.0 (2009/10/28)

  • Engine upgrade, with improved resonances, for all instruments.
  • C3 and M3 pianos have been revoiced, and their soundboard replaced.
  • Small improvements on the electric pianos, a new preset R1 Bark has been introduced.
  • The KIViR historical instruments have been updated (small improvements).
  • Note Edit for DETUNE and VOLUME in Pianoteq Standard.
  • Note Edit for other parameters in PRO version.
  • Note Edit, Sound Recording, and Preset Manager window can be detached from the main interface.
  • Added a note-off velocity curve, and a sustain pedal position curve.
  • New parameters available for most instruments: (hammer) Strike Point, and Damper Position.
  • Adjustable playback speed for the standalone midi player, adjustable volume for the metronome.
  • The compare button has been replaced by an A/B button, for switching between two presets.
  • Pitch bend range extended to +- 2400 cents.
  • Direct Sound behaviour improved with respect to Unison Width and Soundboard Impedance.

3.0.5 (2009/07/16)

  • Added 'Rock Piano' optional add-on.
  • Added a few command-line options for the Linux version
  • (2009/07/21) Fixed redrawing issues on Linux
  • (2009/07/27) Fixed a small performance regression
  • (2009/08/05) Updated the windows version in order to fix an "always on top" issue of the standalone application

3.0.4 (2009/06/04)

  • Fixed a crash when using pitch bend as a VST parameter.
  • Reduced the default tremolo rate for Electric R1.
  • (2009/06/18) fixed cpu count detection on Linux
  • (2009/06/18) fixed plugin reset at the beginning of tracks on Logic

3.0.3 (2009/05/15)

  • Native Linux (x86) version now available, with Jack and ALSA backends.
  • Added vibraphone model.
  • Auxiliary output buses available for the AudioUnit version.
  • (2009/05/18) A few fixes for the Linux version.

3.0.2 (2009/04/10)

  • Minor modifications to the C3 instrument sound: more punch in fortissimo, slightly longer notes and slightly longer harp resonance.
  • Auxiliary channels available for Pro Tools.

3.0.1 (2009/03/07)

  • Performance improvements for G5 cpus.
  • Fixed bug with midi mapping presets (saving / loading / etc)
  • Various small bugfixes.
  • (2009/03/20) Fixed some random "lag" issues with Logic / Garageband 5 / Pro Tools on Mac.

known issue: there is a 'mouse offset' bug with Pro Tools on Mac. When this bug occurs, a workaround is to move the mouse cursor over the bottom of Pianoteq interface.

3.0.0 (2009/02/19)

  • New acoustic model
  • Mic position - up to 5 mics
  • Multi channel - up to 5 channels
  • New grand pianos C3 and M3
  • Supports electro-acoustic pianos R1 and W1
  • Unlimited perspectives
  • Advanced preset and parameter managers
  • (2009/02/20) Fixed bug preventing from loading FXP presets saved with pianoteq 2

Version 2

2.3.0 (2008/06/18)

  • Improved reverb
  • Various small bugfixes

2.2.2 (2007/12/29)

  • Fixed an initialization bug occuring in some VST hosts when the audio device is not running at 44100 Hz
  • Improved linux compatibility (not supported) (2008/01/12)
  • Improved multi-users installation (2008/01/26)
  • Fixed an automation bug with Live (2008/03/06)

2.2.1 (2007/12/20)

  • Model update for the CP-80 add-on
  • Added flat temperament
  • Fixed bug concerning export of VST parameters

2.2 (2007/10/01)

  • New preset, C2 chamber, with a closer, intimate, ambiance and clarity
  • Added resonances for 'dry' notes (without sustain pedal), particularly noticeable when playing staccato chords (C2 chamber and C2 concert)
  • Improvement of space location for harp and sympathetic resonances
  • Slightly re-voiced C2 concert for better transparency
  • Some convenient keyboard shortcuts were added to the standalone version
  • (2007/10/09) fixed the vst and rtas plugins of the windows trial version

2.1 (2007/07/17)

  • New preset, C2 concert, with an improvement of the piano model at fortissimo and increased dynamics
  • Improvement of the string resonance
  • Improvement of the harp resonance with partial pedalling
  • RTAS version (Mac and PC) for Pro Tools 7.3 or better
  • Pitch bend support (bug fixed on 2007/07/27)
  • Drag and drop for midi (stand-alone only) and fxp files
  • Instantiation as a mono AU or RTAS plugin (2007/08/03)
  • Fixed a crash which could happen with the gui closed (2007/08/03)

2.0.1 (2007/05/05)

  • Multicore rendering (for dual-core CPUs and hyperthreaded Pentium 4, can be enabled in the 'options' menu)
  • Receptor compatibility (distributed as a single dll in a zip file)
  • Fixed parameter automation
  • Small modification in the sympathetic resonance model (some resonances were too loud) (2007/05/15)
  • Stand-alone: added 'clear menu' entry in the various recent files menus
  • Stand-alone: output channel selection for ASIO sound cards
  • Stand-alone: metronome volume now adjustable
  • Stand-alone: fixed wav export bug

2.0.0 (2007/04/04)

  • New soundboard model for all presets
  • New piano preset, C2
  • Stand-alone player
  • Microtuning with Scala support
  • Key release velocity
  • Stereo width slider
  • Lid position, open/half-open/closed
  • Smooth adjustment of parameters during play

Version 1


  • Many small bugfixes
  • Midi controllers pre-assigned to the various sliders of the interface
  • Handle program-change midi messages (VST only)


  • Small adjustments of the default settings for the C1 presets


  • The Universal Binary version of Pianoteq is now available
  • Minor performance enhancements were achieved for Athlon and Core CPUs
  • Fixed a bug in the fxp load/save under MacOS
  • Fixed the installer so that Pianoteq now works with MacOS 10.3.9 (Panther)


  • Added "Load FXP" and "Save FXP" entries in the options menu, allowing AudioUnit and VST users to exchange Pianoteq presets easily
  • Fixed a bug preventing Pianoteq from loading in Logic