I am relatively new to working with VST. I'm not intending to spend on studio technologies right now as I'm a hobbyist. While searching for a "free" vst for a "good" grand piano sound, I came across this: Iowa Piano. The file size for windows-32 bit (340 MB) is much larger than the ones I've used before (approx. 5 - 10 MB). I've earlier made a recording or two using those low end VSTs and didn't encounter any problem in doing so. However, when I'm trying to add a virtual instrument track in reaper from this Iowa Piano sample, reaper stops responding and I have to exit. Also, this VST sample opens 32 separate tracks in reaper when I load it in one. However, I could never see what could be done next as the software always hangs without letting me even see what's happened. I've gone through a lot of YouTube videos and tried changing a couple of settings but could never make it work.

What is causing this problem? How can I make it work?

Could this be because my PC has low specs compared to what's required for these? This is a summary of my PC's specs:

CPU           :    Intel Pentium-4 (dual core) E5700 @ 3 GHz
                            (core-2-quad, core-2-extreme)
RAM           :    DDR3 4 GB (1 chip)
Sound card    :    Intel HD sound card
OS            :    Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

1 Answer 1


I don't personally use reaper but use every other major one Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools, Reason, Etc, . just as a recap - VSTs come in generally 2 flavours, Instruments (VSTi's) and FX (VSTs). VST Instruments can be anything from a very simple synth,sampler,Rompler to some truly wierd and wonderful things.

VST FX can be amp simulators,delays,flanges,choruses,eq's,compressors,distortion units,looping sampler players etc and some really out there creations as well. Now your problem - it could be a few things things.

  1. your loading up a VST instrument sampler that stores all the piano samples for each key which would roughly explain the 300+MB size you mentioned and its demanding a lot of processing power from your cpu and causing it to hang (if it's freeware - it could be poorly written and have a bug causing the hang/crash), but your specs seem ok (unless you've got a ton of stuff running in the background).

2.It could be a VST synth that specifically mathematically emulates a real piano, which if properly done would really hammer your CPU usage an memory(the maths involved is truly staggering).

  1. this is what i think is really happening -32 channels are opening for audio so what I think you've got is a sample library for a piano that should be loaded into a sampler INSIDE Reaper - read through Reaper's instructions and find out how to use its own sampler if it has one and learn how to load the pack into that. Good luck and check out as many tutorials as you can. :)

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