Retro Keys VII Is A FREE Vintage Piano Plugin By ZAK Sound


ZAK Sound offers Retro Keys VII, a free vintage-style piano plugin for macOS and Windows.

Retro Keys VII is a free plugin with seven presets, each with a different retro flavor.

A simple but effective GUI shows controls for Width, Room, Highpass, Pitch, and Envelope (ADSR) down the left-hand side.

In the center, the preset selector sits below a large Vinyl knob that increases the lofi effect for a more vintage sound.

The seven included presets are:

  • Old Days
  • Good Memories
  • Tiny Box
  • Classic Brown
  • Lofi Space
  • Getting The Tone
  • Choir Piano

We’ve covered a few free pianos this month, and remarkably, they all offer something different.

We have the ultra-cinematic Foundations Piano from Heavyocity. A gorgeous hybrid piano for the free Kontakt Player.

We’ve also had The 88E from Impact Soundworks, which is the result of a YouTube experiment gone mad (in a good way). This one is all about impact, and also for the free Kontakt Player.

Now, with Retro Keys VII, we have a cool retro vibe that should suit a wide range of projects, from Chillout tracks to Funk and Soul.

Although it’s a relatively simple plugin, the available controls provide enough sound-shaping potential to put some distance between your sound and the presets.

We generally try to get away from presets in our music-making, and understandably so. But, with certain instruments, we don’t need to worry so much about a unique sound and focus more on how we use it. Retro Keys VII falls into that category, so with or without tweaking, the presets are good to go.

We asked ZAK Sound for more info about the Retro Keys VII creation process:

“We used an upright acoustic piano and recorded it with different microphones. 3 of the presets are based on a condenser microphone, and 4 presets are based on a pair of small-diaphragm (condenser) microphones. Then they were then processed in the studio to get that vintage sound. Some presets like “lofi space” or “choir piano” were mixed with ambient textures (pads) to generate a unique sound.”

ZAK Sound is currently offering a range of freebies worth checking out.

Sticking with the cinematic piano theme we’ve had this month, there’s Infinite Space Piano. A piano and ambient texture hybrid.

Raizes Series is a base plugin for free instruments, including Chill Piano, Drum Box, Tono Bass, Soft Strings, and Ambient Pads.

Downtown Colors is a freebie that offers the sounds of the city; it could be ideal for video projects.

Outside of the freebies, ZAK Sound offers some relatively cheap instruments like Orange Dreams. A lofi/chill-inspired instrument with 62 presets covering basses, synths, strings, etc.

Thanks to ZAK Sound and the others who have made this a great time for free pianos, keep them coming (enough is never enough).

Download: Retro Keys VII (64-bit VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)


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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

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