The amount of synth plugins out there is enough to keep you busy for 1000 lifetimes. Going cost-free narrows the selection down but still leaves thousands of amazing plugins to sort through. We’ve compiled a list of ten great synth plugins that you can add to your library for some sweet new sounds – absolutely free! Make sure you don’t miss the great free bonus synth bundle at the bottom.
If you don’t have a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to insert plugins into we collected our ten favourite free DAWs here or if you just want to play around with them there’s a great list of VST hosts here.
TAL-NoiseMaker by Togu Audio Line (Windows & Mac)
NoiseMaker is an improved version of the great, also free TAL-Elek7ro with a new synth engine and great sound. With 256 varied presets and a massive number of parameters to edit, like reverb, delay, LFO’s and much more, NoiseMaker lives up to it’s name – It makes noise and a great variety of it.
Mikro Prism by Native Instruments (Windows & Mac)
Modelled on the pricey Reaktor Prism this synth gives you the gorgeous sounds of a premium synth and plenty of range to play around with. Considering it’s a scaled down version of another synth the amount of excellent sounding presets is astounding. Customisation isn’t vast but still offers plenty with decays, filter, flanger, echo and a few more settings to play with.
Download Mikro Prism here (You’ll need NI’s free Reaktor 6 Player to use this synth)
Nightlife by Acoustica (Windows)
We wrote about Nightlife last month shortly after it came out. It’s a great package with 3 oscillators, beat sequencers, various filters and effects, and more. It’s design is similar to the other synths but Nightlife is dedicated to the nightlife; helping you make easy dance, dubstep, D&B, etc.
Synth1 by Ichiro Toda (Windows & Mac)
Synth1 is modelled on the critically acclaimed Clavia Nord Lead 2 Red Synth. Designed meticulously by Ichiro Toda, Synth1 features 128 presets with 16 notes polyphony. Tweak your sound with 2 oscillators, FM modulation, ring modulation, 4 types of filter, arpeggiator and a number of effects.
Freehand by Angular Momentum (Windows)
This wavetable synth is capable of loads of sounds. “I’ve heard that before, what does it do differently?”. Something quite unique actually. Freehand allows you to draw, save and load 3 separate waveforms all within it’s synth interface. This means you can precisely adjust the tone and sound you want in addition to loads and loads of other parameters that make customisation beautifully accurate and free.
TyrellN6 by U-HE (Windows & Mac)
TyrellN6 was the result of German site amazona.de asking their readers what they’d want in a hardware analogue synth. With a design close to Roland’s Juno 60 the project proved too ambitious so they handed development over to Urs of U-HE. The culmination of Amazona, their readers, and Urs made for an outstanding and crazily deep synth.
Download TyrellN6 here (Get ready to translate your page unless you’re German)
Helm by Matt Tytel (Windows & Mac)
Helm is a soft synth capable of an unreal level of customisation with waveforms and dials covering the interface (neatly). Helm stands out from the others because it’s source code is open, so you can dive in there and develop the synth sound you want on a whole other level. It doesn’t sound as nice as the others (by a long shot) but its more your ability to affect that sound than the sound itself with this synth.
Super-7 by CFA-Sound (Windows)
Everyone loves a good saw synth. Super-7 is a polyphonic virtual-analog modelled synthesizer based on the lauded Supersaw sound of the Roland JP8000/8080. This synth doesn’t have the hundreds of settings that a lot of the others do but there’s enough there for a nice variety of saw sounds on top of the 20 presets included.
VACS by Noizefield (Windows)
VACS stands for virtual analog club synth and is great for EDM tracks. This softsynth features 3 oscillators with an incredible 64 waveforms each. Customisation is as deep as you must have come to expect by now with a great feature set allowing intense modification of the 128 presets. Sounds vary from bizarre to banger material – check it out.
OBXD by Datsounds (Windows & Mac)
Unsurprisingly to those who know it OBXD is based on Oberheim’s classic gem, the OBX synth, and excels at recreating that heavy, spacey analog sound. OBXD 2 comes with a number of controls for oscillators, mix, control, filter, modulation, envelopes, and voices. Whilst it’s capability doesn’t stray too far from it’s core it’s an awesome sound that continues to sound great as you play with it’s variables.
Blocks Wired by Native Instruments
Native Instruments’ Blocks Wired bundle is a bundle of 3 free synths you don’t want to miss. These 3 modular synths have a wonderful level of options and sound absolutely fantastic (as you’d expect from NI). Lummiko recreates the classic sound of West Coast monosynths. XY is an expressive sequenced synth with an incredible amount of modulation possibilities. Last but not least Submotion produces step-modulated timbres, bass sequences, and dark sequenced textures. You do NOT want to miss out on this free bundle.
Download Blocks Wired here (as with Micro Prism you’ll need NI’s free Reaktor 6 Player to use these synths)
There’s our ten favourite free Synth plugins plus a brilliant bonus bundle. Get downloading and start creating music now, we want to hear what you come up with!
- Apple has completely removed their Music Memos app - March 5, 2021
- Audio is the best thing for productivity, Spotify finds - March 5, 2021
- Joox are flexing their K-Pop catalogue on their main rival Spotify - March 4, 2021