Big Fish Audio - True Keys: Pianos - The true piano virtual instrument
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True Keys + VI Labs

True Keys: Pianos

The true piano virtual instrument
True Keys: Pianos - The true piano virtual instrument
Instrument Type:
UVI, Plug-in
  Please make a selection above
  • Instrument

"True Keys Pianos provides three superior, deep-sampled, highly playable pianos in one package" - Sound On Sound

What is True Keys?

True Keys is a Piano Virtual Instrument. It was created by recording nearly 50,000 audio files using some of the best microphones and recording equipment available today. Then, the audio files are matched to their corresponding piano, note, microphone position and velocity to build an electronic version of the piano. Next, the audio files are loaded into a software playback device called an engine that runs on a sophisticated scripting language to mimic the natural sound and playability of a real piano.

Traditional keyboards that have piano sounds built-in are typically built from modeling or by using samples. Models are mathematical representations of sound much like a synthesizer. A modeled piano is essentially a very large math equation used to mimic the sound of a piano. Samples are based on real recordings of an instrument. True Keys is built using real audio samples in every aspect of the software. From the individual microphone positions to the samples sympathetic resonance. Everything you hear is real.

Three Pianos

We sampled 3 of the most popular grand pianos in the world for True Keys. We chose the pianos for this collection based on their craftsmanship and general tonality to ensure a wide array of tones between the library. From the pronounced low end and bombastic sound of the Italian Grand to the sweet and subtle nuances in the American Grand and everything in between we designed True Keys Pianos to be a versatile asset in your recording studio or for your live performance.





A Virtual Studio

Three phase-aligned microphone setups, plus a stereo mixdown of all three offer a wide variation of tonal colors from each piano. The Side position is mono and mid-side compatible.

Grand pianos are large instruments and can be challenging to record really well. A microphone in one position of the piano may sound great for a jazz ballad but may not fit for a classical piece. In a studio recording situation, microphones can be adjusted and moved to suit the recording. Instead of limiting True Keys to one tonal option acquired during recording, multiple discreet setups were used and are selected and mixed on the interface.


The sympathetic resonances within a real piano are what bind the sound together to make the sound rich and full. Unlike other sampled and digital pianos, True Keys uses real samples for both sympathetic and sustain pedal resonance.

Long sustains are rich with harmonics that naturally evolve just like real life grand pianos. True Pedal Action and Repedal add additional harmonics and enable the sound to be "repedaled" with the damper pedal. These features have been carefully developed to mimic the real pianos.

Una Corda

True una corda sustain and release samples give the soft pedal more realism. Use a soft pedal, or simply switch on the una corda from the interface, and experience the warm variation in tone with these samples.


Release samples are carefully recorded and voiced for each key and are numerous and timed for the utmost realism. Most noticeable is having true staccato release trails that make staccato playing more enjoyable and realistic. Listen to the energy of a long bass string as it's dampened as well as the ringing trails of treble notes. Along with resonances, the release trails give body and depth to the real pianos.

Half Pedal

No part of the sound in True Keys is modeled or synthesized in any way, nor is the half pedal feature. When the sustain pedal is held near a user-defined halfway point the effect known as half pedaling can be heard.

In a real piano, the dampers at half pedal are very light on the strings, and the sound is only partially dampened with resonant trails left over. The use of actual samples in True Keys makes this effect truly real. Also, the damper pedal noise volume can be adjusted and will respond to the speed in which the pedal is used.


You have full control over the response of the library. From the minimum velocity to the velocity curve or the dynamics, you have all the tools to match your keyboard response and your taste.


When we started developing True Keys, sampling technology was adequate in many ways, but not perfect. Our first goal was to find a technology partner that shared our obsession with quality and detail. After searching we began working with a company based out of France called UVI. They are the company behind many popular sound products such as Mach 5 by MOTU. And True Keys now uses this engine and the free player that we provide: the UVI Workstation.
- 50,000 Samples

- Mac OSX 10.5 (intel) or greater or Windows XP SP2 or Higher

- UVI Engine 2.0.8 or greater (included) or MachFive 3
Minimum system requirements: Intel Core 2 Duo System or equivalent,

- 2GB of RAM required--4GB or more suggested

- 64 GB of free disk space required for all three pianos

- Supports RTAS, VST, and AU Plug-in formats

- Tone Control & Convolution Reverb built-in

- Standalone or plug-in operation modes

- Full mix control of 3 stereo mic pairs and a fully mixed setting.

- Full samples, no loops

- iLok Required

Download Sizes

Version Compressed Download Size
Plug-in/UVI Download includes
  Windows Installer:  Website
  Mac Installer:  Website

*When ordering the download product from Big Fish Audio you will be given one or more links for each of your product purchases. The links will be active for 24 hours. During this time you should download the file and expand it. You can return to your Big Fish Audio account at any time and download your products. You will find your products in the "My Products" area of your account page.

License Agreement

The Following End User License Agreement is included with True Keys: Pianos. This License is only valid for the individual who has purchased an unopened, new and lawfully made copy of True Keys: Pianos from a dealer or distributor authorized by Big Fish Audio.

"Software License Agreement NOTICE TO USER: THIS IS A CONTRACT. BY INSTALLING THESE SOFTWARE AND SOUNDS, YOU ACCEPT ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT. This copy of the Software is licensed to you as the end user. Please read this Agreement carefully. This VI Labs LLC (“VILabs”) End User License Agreement accompanies a VI Labs LLC computer software program and sounds and its documentation and other related explanatory materials (collectively, the “Software”). In addition to the program and the documentation, the term “Software” shall also include any upgrades, modified versions or updates of the Software licensed to you by VILabs. ALL USE OF THE SOFTWARE IS SUBJECT TO THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT. BY CLICKING ON THE “ACCEPT” BUTTON BELOW, YOU ARE AGREEING TO ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT, AND CONSENT TO BE BOUND BY AND BECOME A PARTY TO THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ALL OF THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, CLICK THE “DECLINE” BUTTON AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY LICENSE TO ANY PART OF THE SOFTWARE. VILabs ACCEPTANCE IS EXPRESSLY CONDITIONED UPON YOUR ASSENT TO ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHER TERMS; IF THESE TERMS ARE CONSIDERED AN OFFER BY VILabs, ACCEPTANCE IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO THESE TERMS. 1. License Grant, Use, and Restrictions. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, VILabs hereby grants you a nonexclusive, nontransferable license (the “License”) to use the computer software program in machine executable object code form only, and only in accordance with the applicable end user and technical documentation provided by US. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. YOU MAY: (a) use the enclosed Software on a single computer; (b) physically transfer the Software from one computer to another provided that it is used on only one computer at a time and that you remove any copies of the Software from the computer from which the program is being transferred; (c) make copies of the Software solely for backup purposes. You must reproduce and include the copyright notice on a label on any backup copy, and must take reasonable measures to ensure that any copy is used only as allowed by the terms of this Agreement. YOU MAY NOT: (a) distribute copies of the Software to others; (b) rent, lease or grant sub-licenses or other rights to the Software; (c) provide use of the Software to third parties, or in a computer service business, network, time- sharing, multiple CPU or multiple user arrangement without the prior written consent of US; (d) translate or otherwise alter the Software without the prior written consent of US; (e) reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or other- wise attempt to discover the source code of the Software, except and only to the extent applicable statutory laws specifically prohibit such restrictions; nor (f) create derivative works based on the Software, This License does not specifically entitle you to any updates, enhancements, or improvements to the Software. VILabs may release these at times, and from time to time, at its sole discretion. 2. Title, Copyright, and Other Rights. The Software is owned by VILabs, and its structure, organization and code are the valuable trade secrets of VILabs. The Software is also protected by United States Copyright Law and International Treaty provisions. As between the parties, VILabs and/or its licensors and suppliers retain all right, title and interest in the Software and all copies and portions thereof. Title, ownership rights, and intellectual property rights in and to the content accessed with the Software is the property of the applicable content owner and may be protected by applicable copyright or other law. This License gives you no rights to such content. You may use trademarks only to identify printed output produced by the Software, in accordance with accepted trademark practice, including identification of trademark owner’s name. Such use of any trademark does not give you any rights of ownership in that trademark. Except as stated above, this Agreement does not grant you any intellectual property rights in the Software. 3. Disclaimer of Warranty. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND VILABS AND ITS LICENSORS AND SUPPLIERS MAKE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON- INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD-PARTY RIGHTS, AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. VILABS AND ITS LICENSORS AND SUPPLIERS DO NOT AND CANNOT WARRANT THE PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS YOU MAY OBTAIN BY USING THE SOFTWARE. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW EXCLUSIONS OF AN IMPLIED WARRANTY OR LIMITATIONS ON HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY MAY LAST, SO THIS DISCLAIMER MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. 4. Limitation of Liability. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY, NEITHER VI LABS LLC NOR ITS LICENSORS AND SUPPLIERS SHALL BE LIABLE WITH RESPECT TO ANY SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS AGREEMENT UNDER TORT, CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY (A) FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, DATA, PROFIT OR SAVINGS, WORK STOPPAGE, OR COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR (B) FOR ANY DAMAGES IN EXCESS OF VILABS LLC LIST PRICE FOR A LICENSE TO THE SOFTWARE, OR (C) FOR ANY CLAIM BY ANY THIRD PARTY; EVEN IF VILABS, ITS REPRESENTATIVE, OR ITS LICENSORS OR SUPPLIERS SHALL HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THIS LIMITATION AND EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. 5. Termination. The License granted in Section 1 will terminate automatically if you fail to cure any material breach of this Agreement within thirty (30) days of written notice, or immediately without notice in the case of a breach of Section 1. Upon termination, you shall immediately cease all use of the Software and return or destroy all copies of the Software. Except for the License granted in Section 1 and except as otherwise expressly provided herein, the terms of this Agreement shall survive termination. Termination is not an exclusive remedy and all other remedies will be available whether or not the license is terminated."

Sound On Sound

True Keys Pianos provides three superior, deep-sampled, highly playable pianos in one package. Pristinely recorded from three mic positions, the Steinway, Bechstein and Fazioli concert grands collectively cover
a wide tonal range and can be used for virtually any...

Read Full Review


Virtual Studio

Release Trails


Una Corta

MIDI Resonance

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