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Native Instruments Alicia's Keys Reviews

3.5 stars based on 11 customer reviews
  • Chris Gill
    from Wichita, KS March 28, 2012Music Background:
    Recording & Mixing Engineer, Instrumentalist, Song Writer


    I've had my eye on this for a LONG time and after reading countless reviews and watching every YouTube video available, I finally bought my own copy. WOW is all I have to say! NI really outdid themselves! I was skeptical about buying a virtual piano but am not disappointed in ANY way. The touch, expression, and fullness (along with a good set of monitors or headphones) will have you feeling like your playing the real thing.

    The overall sound is perfect because of it's imperfection. Anyone who's ever spent time with an acoustic piano knows that even a 'perfectly' tuned piano starts to sound 'out of tune' the lower or higher you go on the keyboard. I don't know all the technical reasons for this, but I've played digital stage pianos that don't sound quite right and I always end up figuring that it's because the notes are perfectly stepped from one another. They don't have that harmonic resonance you get from the real thing.

    The sampled pedal and key noise is exquisite. I was recording an artist who said to me, "WOW! I don't know what it is, but I keep thinking I'm playing a real piano!" Then I turned off the 'noise' and she said, "I don't know why, but it doesn't feel as real anymore." When she came back into the control booth and I showed her that she was actually playing through a software program she couldn't believe it!

    I typically don't use the convolution reverb (since I like to run all my tracks through the same verb send), but it sounds amazing as well! It's a wonderful tool to have when running in stand alone mode. Having a nice Hall verb really gives you the feeling of writing your music on a Yamaha C3 Neo that just happens to be sitting on a renowned concert hall stage.

    I have 2 midi controllers that I use; one that has 88 fully weighted keys and one that's just a 49 key, synth action board. When I close my eyes with the 88 key controller, it's easy to imagine playing a full grand piano. The thing that really surprised me was that I got the same feeling from my 49 key synth controller! If that isn't a testament to how full and rich the sound is, I don't know what is!

    It seems to me that this particular piano sound is geared toward R&B and mellower type music. I'm not saying that it couldn't be used for other genres or styles, but I think NI has other virtual pianos that have more of that tight, pop sound that a lot of people are looking for. This piano has a darker sound. I'm sure you could use EQ to get more top end, but in my opinion, it takes away from the natural tonality of the piano.

    One more little note before I wrap this up. I'm running Alicia's Keys on a 2.4gHz Dual Core Mac Mini and haven't had a single problem with CPU usage. Even when running it through my DAW (Presonus Studio One Pro 2) I've never experienced any performance issues.

  • R.N Records
    from Miami, Florida December 6, 2010Music Background:
    Musician/Producer, Recording Engineer

    Sounds amazing

    Fully editable. you can create and produce inacledible sounds , It depends just of your creative... It sounds amazing for the price!

  • William Mcknight
    from Nashville, TN May 11, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Producer, Musician

    And The Dominance Continues

    Native Instruments just keeps dominating in the world of sample based instruments. This plugin can go from one of the cleanest sounding pianos to one of the most dreamy sound instruments you have ever heard. Now with all of the free and cheaper VST's out there I hardly spend money on a plugin that is just one instrument but this was worth the money by far. It immediately made its way to the top of my most used VST's.
    Be for warned I have a custom made PC(I built myself) dedicated to running nothing but Virtual Instruments, If you plan on using this at the lowest possible latency you better have a big boy computer because its a HOG!

  • stevesg
    from Philly area January 21, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, composer, recording engineer/producer

    Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys

    Really nice high-end Yamaha piano sound. Tweak till you're content. Superior to other NI piano libraries. Quality/price ratio unbeatable!

    Caveats: it's not a Steinway D...don't expect Rachmaninoff sounds.
    I run a win7 x64 i7 quad core 3.2 GHz rig 18 Gig RAM, w/ a NI K6 USB2 card...this piano needs the horsepower!

  • ep
    from NY, NY February 1, 2012Music Background:
    producer, composer, musician

    Great, not perfect

    Really amazing sounding. it is however a major resource hog on my machine (equivalent of like 5 reverbs) and has significant latency issues.

    I have come to track with something else then switch to the AK for the mixing

  • Clint Young
    from Springfield,OH June 3, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Production

    GREAT Product

    Solid Stuff, you may need to twerk it to suite your tracks, great ambients ~

  • Victor Guadalupe
    from Houston, TX January 6, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Great Piano Sounds

    Great sounds from this plug-in. I will say that the piano tone is definitely geared towards R&B (not Latin or Classical), but that's what I was looking for anyway.

    It is a memory hog like the other reviewers say, but my Mac i7 2.8GHz 8GB RAM handles it pretty good.

  • Chad Wilson
    from Springfield, Ohio May 21, 2010Music Background:

    Less Hoggy

    Well I put the samples on a faster external drive and it seems to be working much better. I think I will keep it. The sound is amazing for the price.

  • John Patrick O'Keefe
    from Buffalo, NY May 9, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Audio Engineer, singer / songwriter


    KILLER piano sound ! That's the upside. If you're running WINDOWS XP 32 bit, you will need all of 4 GB RAM and a pro sound card to get a 44.1 sound from this software. I am using a DELTA 1010 with a Intel duocore 3.0 processor and 4 GB of RAM and it's barely enough as the latency is barely passable. If I tweek my soundcard anymore, I get crackles and glitches ahoy. I guess this was made for the next generation of PC's. Maybe MAC users will have better luck (WINDOWS 32 only recognizes up to 4 GB RAM).

  • John O'Keefe
    from North Tonawanda' NY August 11, 2010Music Background:
    Pro musician and gold (2) / Platinum (1) record holder

    I've changed my mind......

    I left a review a while ago, but after building a new sampler box with WIN 7 and 8 gigs of ram - Alicia's keys still occasionally glitches. This software is a PIG. Don't buy it unless you have an "uber-mac" or something with a Intel i7 procesor. Tried loading samples on a seperate drive and it did jack squat. Sorry - if I could get my money back at this point - I would.

  • Chad Wilson
    from Springfield Ohio May 18, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/ Video Producer/ Worship Leader

    A Hog on the CPU

    Sounds great but dogs my machine down. I can't get it to work with out 512 buffer setting which introduces latency that is unacceptable. I may try to send it back. I know trouble shooting pretty well too.

    Running 2.66 dou core intel mac with 4 gigs of ram- should do better???

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