Iowa Piano
by bigcat Instruments
4.3 / 5     (27 votes)
Win32 Win64 OSX
Iowa Piano is a Steinway Grand Piano with almost every note sampled and 3 velocity layers.

It is based on the free samples from the University of Iowa.

Andrea Oct 04 2023
Oct 04 2023
For anybody with issues of not working: I had such problem and fixed it pasting the two downloaded files into the plugin folder in the Steinberg folder. Nice piano btw
Jordan May 24 2023
(5 / 5)
May 24 2023
Hey Y'all, anyone know how to get this to work on Logic? Should I download VST? Or AU? Thanks so much. Peace and Love to you
Andrea Oct 04 2023
Oct 04 2023
Hi Jordan, I fixed it copying and pasting the downloaded files into Steinberg plugins folder. Hope that works for you too
Sergio Dec 19 2022
Dec 19 2022
Reaper, Windows 10 64, just not working. From the basics, how do I install it properly? Put the 64.dll file on my plugin directory, where should I put the .mse file? I open it and Reaper says that it can`t find instrument. Thanks.
John Burns Sep 14 2022
(3 / 5)
Sep 14 2022
Works fine. I'm not keen on the sound though. Feels a bit weak and poxy somehow.
GusLatho Sep 10 2022
(5 / 5)
Sep 10 2022
This really is an amazing piano. Was looking around for some free piano VST's for my demo and this one sounds just fantastic. Put a 0.6x midi velocity modifier before it and sounds so gentle and warm. Thank you for making this available.
Geoo Aug 22 2022
Aug 22 2022
I have a macbook m1 2020 and the vst is not showing up on Ableton, Does anyone have an answer ?
billythehippo May 17 2022
May 17 2022
I have tested the IOWA Piano on Linux OS's (in my case - Debian, Mint, Manjaro) with Wine and LinVst - it works properly.
Bert Apr 12 2022
(5 / 5)
Apr 12 2022
I'd like to take this opportunity to say what an amazing vst this really is. This piano sounds so realistic and you can even play it soft or hard it still sounds great. If you need a real piano sound in your music, I highly recommend this synth. I normally do not have high praise for free synths because they are mostly garbage. But this synth is worth downloading. I was skeptical myself but after hearing how great it sounded I made a short 4 minute piece of music with this vst. This piano is really inspiring, don't believe me just watch what I was able to do with it.
Anonymous Mar 13 2022
(5 / 5)
Mar 13 2022
It's a very nice sounding piano. Has a realism to it .
zayaa Mar 09 2022
Mar 09 2022
Why does it say instrument not found when I load it but it is in my vst folder on fl ?
jose polanco May 19 2024
May 19 2024
vst and .mse file must be in the same folder
Anonymous Aug 24 2021
Aug 24 2021
Fichier 32 bits OK pas de problèmes et super vst merci
KingJulian Aug 19 2021
Aug 19 2021
Instrument not found, but it appears in my vst folders in Ableton. Any idea how to fix this? I have this problem with other free vsts such as,room piano, and love-fi lite.
kilp Feb 14 2022
Feb 14 2022
Most likely forgot to add the instruments into your VST folder
L Smith Jul 22 2021
(5 / 5)
Jul 22 2021
Sounds great and it doesn't use a ton of resources. Sounds as good as 4Front Pianos
John G Jun 30 2021
(5 / 5)
Jun 30 2021
Surprisingly realistic
Anon AUS Jun 06 2021
(4 / 5)
Jun 06 2021
For a small free plugin, worked like a treat. But I just got it to fool around, don't actually play piano.
Anon Apr 12 2021
Apr 12 2021
Downloaded it but could not run it in Ardour for Mac.
Ryan H Oct 07 2020
Oct 07 2020
Holy cow. In addition to the problems listed below, notes held only by the pedal stop instantly (no release, decay or reverb) on pedal up. A startling and unpleasant surprise. This is unusable! HELP. _/\_
Achileys Oct 06 2020
Oct 06 2020
MAC Catalina & Logic - How can I make this visible? I can't see any instalation - and I copied VST into library / audio and component on its library /audio/component - still no luck, any help? thankz
Ryan H Oct 07 2020
Oct 07 2020
This solution worked for me on OS X Catalina: 1. add the AU (.component) to Library>Audio>Plug-Ins>Components 2. Restart the computer (I found no other way to force a scan) 3. OSX will find Iowa Grand, but refuse to use it, because because the publisher cannot be verified. 4. Open System Preferences> Security&Privacy and unlock the lock at the bottom of the "General" tab. 5. Open Garageband/Logic. The plugin will appear. Load it. You will receive a message that the file cannot be opened... **6. Security&Privacy will now tell you it has blocked Iowa Grand. A button appears next to this message: Click "Allow". This will temporarily allow the file to be accessed. 7. Back in Garageband/Logic, load the plugin again. The warning message "the publisher cannot be verified" appears, but now includes a button to ALLOW/CONTINUE. Do so. Permission is now permanently granted and the plugin works. However, I have the same problem as other users: --Midi notes are off by an octave (and this can't be fixed in Garageband) --mono/stereo and spatial issues between samples of the same note --persistent static clicks on virtually all notes
Bryden Sep 22 2020
Sep 22 2020
This does not appear as an instrument in mainstage 3 after the component file was placed in Library>Audio>Components on MacOS X Catalina. Can anyone help with this? Thanks
Ryan H Oct 06 2020
Oct 06 2020
Bump! Add another user unable to get Logic or Garageband to recognize the .component under Catalina. Help!
Ben Sep 18 2020
Sep 18 2020
Can this be used in/with Sibelius??
Morris Jul 20 2020
Jul 20 2020
Hi, may i know how can i activate this Iowa Piano plugin into my Macbook pro make it as virtual piano assign to my laptop keyboard ?
cam Jul 13 2020
Jul 13 2020
Which file would be best for the MacBook, and how do I import the file into FL Studio?
Russell Jun 24 2020
Jun 24 2020
It seems as though I downloaded the zip folder properly (for Windows 64 bit). I've opened it. I see the file folder and APP extension. I don't know what to do next to make this work. Any help is appreciated. What can I do?
Bruno Savron Jul 06 2020
Jul 06 2020
Copy the file Iowa Piano 32./or Iowa Piano 64.dll in Folder Steinberg/Cubase 5/Vstplugins , ..Or better, on all Vstplugins folders..!
Dave May 25 2021
May 25 2021
Copy the file into the VST plugins folder whatever program you are using uses to find all of the VST effects and sounds. Even as a folding with other files inside, if you software scans for new software or effects at each startup, it should find it. If not, do a VST scan to add that to the library.
Jarif Ahmed Jun 09 2020
Jun 09 2020
What to do with the .mse file in windows 32bit?
shir Jun 22 2020
Jun 22 2020
im looking for the answer too. when i open it in reaper it sais no instruments found(when entering iowa piano in reaper)
Musicianaire Apr 12 2020
Apr 12 2020
If the panning didn't shift on the higher keys, this would be perfect. I can deal with the octave offset by changing the settings on my keyboard, but the stereo shift is a deal breaker unfortunately. Such an authentic sound, but poorly executed.
New Reaper User Mar 20 2020
(2 / 5)
Mar 20 2020
It's offset -1 octave for me, for some reason. Also sounds kinda dull
Musicianaire Mar 28 2020
Mar 28 2020
Same here. Don't see a setting to change that. A bit disappointing to say the least
Isa Apr 03 2021
Apr 03 2021
John G Jun 30 2021
Jun 30 2021
Just hit the "Octave Up" button on your control surface
Pernell May 22 2019
May 22 2019
AWESOME PLUGIN!!! FINALLY!!! I found a great Steinway & Sons grand. Yours is better than all the ones I've paid a lot of money for. Awesome job! THANK YOU!!!
n8974w6th4gwr Jan 07 2019
(3 / 5)
Jan 07 2019
It's free ok. What can you expect? Some samples are in mono, where most are in stereo. Some higher register notes pan to the left, contrary to the key position. On some notes the chorusing effect, probably from piano is noticeably more pronounced than in others. Generally it sounds like piano samples, not piano. But hey, it's a fee sampled piano. So, what can you expect? Not even near recording quality, does okay for practicing and poking notes randomly.
Matthew Jun 15 2018
Jun 15 2018
How can I open file .mse in Iowa Piano? I have FL Studio and still return information "Cannot find any instruments", set path to directory with mse file, but not working. Please help I'm tired..
aya Sept 03 2018
Sept 03 2018
It is not necessary to open the mse file. Please set the top file to path. If you use windows(64bit), you have to set path with Iowa_piano_-_64 folder.
Peter Matos Dec 31 2017
Dec 31 2017
Just downloaded this in my neverending search for a GREAT free Grand Piano Vst. IT is honestly very warm sounding and that is good but it does not seem to respond to velocity action, the note seems to be the same regardless of how hard or soft you push on the key. It also seems to not play the bottom dozen notes on the keyboard of my 88 key controller. Perhaps that is by design but it seems odd. There is not a lot of adjustment in it either but for free it is not too bad really. I prefer the free vst The Grand to this so far even tho it seems to have a bit colder sound overall. The action on it is a lot better and the whole keyboard is in play. Just some random thoughts so far on this.
piano lover May 09 2019
May 09 2019
if you are still having that problem with the bottom dozen notes, try clicking on the octave arrow buttons on your controller keyboard and click to move up one octave. that may enable you to play the whole 88 keys. I love BigCat's VSTs, but some of them are off by an octave up or down, so you may need to compensate using the controller's arrow keys. hope that works for you.
piano lover May 09 2019
May 09 2019
Here are two much better quality pianos - both freeware: Safwan Matni: General - a beautifully sampled piano. Velocity variations but no settings to change / customize. Very clear, sharp sound. Neo Piano Mini: THIS is the prize - a sampled Yamaha C7 concert piano. If you bought a real physical version of the piano, it would cost you $30,000.This Neo piano has lots of settings for customization, velocity variations, and just sounds amazing. This is my main go-to piano VST.
Sam Sept 17 2017
Sept 17 2017
Does anyone know how to make it work with Sibelius 8 64 bit (downloaded the right 64 bit version)? The program recognises it but no sound helpppppp
Neil B. Aug 20 2017
Aug 20 2017
Can't get it to work with my Reaper daw it says can't find instruments and I've tried a lot there is an instrument file that comes with the dll which I also load into the VST folder,still no instruments I have 64-bit Windows 10 most annoying any advice out there?
Anonymous Aug 03 2017
(4 / 5)
Aug 03 2017
I have a problem with this vst when i load it in REAPER, it need to add output tracks so it can work, can anyone tell me what is this error ?
Alv Jul 15 2017
(3 / 5)
Jul 15 2017
I love the sound of this. there is not much latency too!! but I do have one problem, I wanna move the middle C, how do I do that?
GigitoEQ Oct 28 2018
Oct 28 2018
I guess you'll have to do that in your DAW instead of on the plugin.
Could be better May 20 2017
(2 / 5)
May 20 2017
Hate to the be that guy but there are far superior piano soundfonts out there that are configured way better as the soundfont designers are usually aiming for extreme fidelity and orchestral accuracy. Load them up via a simple VST soundfont host like Take1 and you're good to go.
bigcat May 23 2017
May 23 2017
Thanks for trying this piano and I understand that it isn't to everyone's taste. There are certainly many options and many wonderful pianos available, just be aware that soundfonts are not always sourced from legal material. You are personally responsible for the legality of samples you use in any songs you release publicly. VST4Free and I are very careful about our sources. In fact some instruments I've prepared but never released because I couldn't accurately track down the licensing. I urge you and everyone else who visits to exercise due diligence in tracking the origins of your samples.
Anon Jun 25 2017
Jun 25 2017
Have the mono/stereo issues been fixed?
Anonymous Mar 04 2017
Mar 04 2017
Not working 64 bit on my Macpro both with Cubase 8.0 and Protools 10. Sad...
Anonymous Apr 15 2017
Apr 15 2017
Mac doesn't use 32-bit and 64-bit instruments. Those file types are for windows. Mac uses .vst (VST) and .component (AU) formats; check to see which vst type your DAW supports
Anonymous Nov 01 2020
Nov 01 2020
as of Catalina the Mac will only use 64 bit plugins
Martin Place Jan 12 2017
(5 / 5)
Jan 12 2017
I use this VST as a piano for live performances. The quality is easily good enough, and the overall tone of the piano is perfect. I wouldn't use it to record, but for gig purposes it's ideal.
Jimmy Dec 21 2016
Dec 21 2016
Really inspiring piano, thank you!!
Anonymous Oct 28 2016
Oct 28 2016
Can't seem to get it to work. I load it in fl studio 10 and it says cant find instrument. Im running the 32bit version
Rob Jun 17 2016
(5 / 5)
Jun 17 2016
I've tried some very expensive plug ins trying to get around the shortcomings of iowa piano. But it seems all the "better" ones lack the life that this piano has in spades. If they could fix the shift of low C to B on the lowest velocity setting, I would have no complaint about hiss and pops.
bigcat Mar 05 2016
Mar 05 2016
Hi friends. I took a shot at making the Iowa Piano better. Hopefully it works. I didn't use normalized samples, but dropped out a few of the samples that had problems. Hopefully this makes for a more consistent sound, but without the normalization issues.
Erick Dec 29 2016
Dec 29 2016
Thanks for the your insight. And thanks for your work! I've been learning about this myself, having been working on a lot of my own sample libraries lately. That's what makes it so hard about velocity layers. If you don't get it loud enough, and feel you have to increase the volume, then the static will increase, and that's actually worse than just keep the "ghost" note without "normalizing" the sound.
n8974w6th4gwr Jan 07 2019
Jan 07 2019
Normalizing increases the sample level, including noise. It doesn't matter if you increase the level digitally or at your amp, sampled noise is going to increase its level too. If you're talking about static that generates in the playback equipment, then that's a fault in the playback equipment, not in the vst, and the vst should not be developed for substandard equipment in mind.
Mars from Quebec Canada Feb 06 2016
Feb 06 2016
Excuse my ENGLISH ... Great sound piano ,BUT , the last velocity of the first A shift to A# , and A# shift to C , and B shift to C also . i think it's a big bugg . I prefer the old version cause it has not this problem .
kenobi Dec 24 2015
Dec 24 2015
I really love the sound of the piano, because it's simple and pure, but it still has a lot of noise on it. I hope you guys are working on a new version with better mics. I tryed almost every piano vst (also expensive ones ) but this one could be the best if you can fix the whitenoise and crackle issue.
Boris K�ster Dec 22 2015
(5 / 5)
Dec 22 2015
Great sound, thanks a lot for the work. This piano sound is very very inspiring.
Anonymous Dec 08 2015
(4 / 5)
Dec 08 2015
My only problem with it is that all the notes are panned differently and it can sound weird.
Piano Lover Feb 20 2016
Feb 20 2016
I agree... great sound but the panning of some notes results in some weird, uncomfortable sounds when one note in a triad plays in a different place in the stereo picture than the other notes in the triad.
Vilhelm Moerschbacher Nov 28 2015
Nov 28 2015
I love all of this dev's plugins.... they are large, but worth it... CPU load not bad either. Wonder if Bigcat has a newsletter, letting us know about new stuff?
Steve from Portland Nov 03 2015
Nov 03 2015
Anyone using Chainer with this? Loads, but no sound, and no menus.
Dominik Sept 27 2015
Sept 27 2015
Great plugin! I really like the sound, except one problem is killing me - some tones are at the specific velocity MONO not STEREO like others... :/
Dylan Nov 12 2015
Nov 12 2015
Yeah the D and the A key does that around the 50-70 velocity range. I hope they fix it.
bigcat Nov 20 2015
Nov 20 2015
Try these new versions (T2), the notes are all normalized.
Anonymous Dec 24 2015
Dec 24 2015
No, still the same
Piano Lover Feb 25 2016
Feb 25 2016
BigCat - this has not been fixed. Those two keys are mono at certain velocities - stereo at higher velocities. This is a beautiful sounding VST, hope you can fix those two notes.
Jax Sept 25 2015
Sept 25 2015
How to install .mse file?
Anonymous Sept 25 2015
Sept 25 2015
Copy and paste everything as it is in the zip.
India Country Jun 24 2019
Jun 24 2019
Those who are not able to add this plugin. Put the .zip file (or .rar file, or whatever archive format the plugin came as) where you put your VST plugins. Extract the .zip file into that directory. Don't move any files once it's extracted, just leave the file structure the way it is. Hope it works for you. Love, From India.
Nicholas B Macnutt Sept 16 2015
(5 / 5)
Sept 16 2015
I have played many piano plugins and this one beat them all hands down. It is well worth the download but remember to adjust the decay to sound more robust. I was not disappointed!