SONiVOX Vocalizer Pro Review

Isn’t it convenient that, in this day and age, we have such an abundance of awesome effects, plugins, and virtual instruments to take advantage of?

Something that was literally unimaginable just a decade or two ago is now something we use every day.

With this in mind, there are plenty of very potent and exciting plugins that we can use in our DAWs.

One of those is most certainly Vocalizer Pro, designed and developed by SONiVOX.

Although its name might suggest that it’s a vocal processing plugin, Vocalizer Pro is more than just that.

This powerful piece of software allows you to process any instrument, virtual instrument (played on a MIDI controller), or vocal track in your project.

And all of these processed tracks get that voice-like vibe to it, kind of like the wah-wah effect, but with more parameters. So let’s dig into this intricate plugin and see what it’s capable of.

What does the Vocalizer Pro do?

Sonivox Vocalizer Pro at a glance

Maker: Sonivox
Main Features: 4 Spectral Synthesis Modules, 8 snapshot pads + 8 chord pads, MIDI integration, pitch, format processing, frequency spread, vocoding, re-synthesis and signal processing.
Supports: 64 & 32 bit, AU, VST, RTAS and AAX.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
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Well, to put it simply – it does everything!

Okay, that is obviously an overstatement, as there are no omnipotent plugins. But still, all jokes aside, Vocalizer Pro is a very powerful tool that you can apply to any recorded track, virtual instrument, full mix, or a whole song.

What’s more, you can also use it standalone through any type of MIDI controllers and in combination with a microphone.

For instance, you can play a keyboard, make this wonderful preset on it, and change the tone color while singing or speaking into a microphone.

Kind of similar to the standard talk box for guitars, only a bit more complex.

So you take this track, sing or speak into your mic, and the plugin does its magic.

You can add harmonies, you can de-harmonize it, you can control the pitch, or whatever.

Basically, it’s a MIDI and microphone-controlled processing plugin capable of re-synthesizing the audio that’s coming into it.

Individual tracks of instruments and vocals or even full mixes can be processed through it. It can be used in the studio, but it’s pretty exciting and comes really in handy for live settings.

Important features

Looking at the plugin’s layout, you have four almost identical Spectral Synthesis Modules.

You can move them around, turn them on and off, switch them, and edit their individual parameters as you wish. On each of them, you can find controls for pitch, envelope filters, as well as resonance and saturation controls.

On the bottom part of the window, right below all these four modules, we can find 16 pads organised in two rows by eight pads.

The upper row features the so-called “Snapshot Pads” that recall the presets of all the set effects parameters.

The bottom row of eight pads, on the other hand, is called “Chord Pads” and recalls chords and keyboard notes.

Right below the pads, we have the keyboard, that works in sync with your MIDI keyboard controller. This is where all the action is taking place. You’ll be using the keyboard to adjust the pitch and other characteristics of the preset. In this section, we can also find a few other standard controls.

We have glide control that lets you adjust the glide between two notes, pitch, modulation, and learn. The “learn” control lets you pick your MIDI controller’s physical controls and assign them Vocalizer Pro functions.

There’s also an additional section for formant processing, adjusting the overall pitch and other sonic properties, including the frequency spread.

Performance

At first glance, Vocalizer Pro might look a bit complicated.

To be fair, it is kind of tricky to get used to, which is what many users have been complaining about. The thing about it is that it might be a bit confusing.

And not just for the beginners, even for some intermediate and advanced users.

Aside from the not so intuitive design, controls, as well as the overall layout, it’s actually not that easy to create tones that you want to. What’s more, some have also complained about a fairly impractical installation and setup process.

On the other hand, it’s also not impossible to create these desired presets. You need to bear in mind that this is a fully professional tool that lets you create some of the most unique tones.

But don’t get fooled, it’s not like everything you make with it will be too chaotic for normal use. In fact, if you’re experienced enough, you’ll be able to create great effects with high practical value.

The whole plugin is very responsive to MIDI controllers, all of the parameter settings, and – most importantly – the microphone.

With some patience and experience, you’ll be able to dial in even some great choir-like presets that will, in combination with your microphone, give some very convincing tones. At the same time, you’re also able to create some very synth-like sounds.

But what’s really exciting here is that you can change the presets in real-time. This is especially useful if you have a more complex midi controller with assigned pads that let you shift through “Snapshot Pads” as well as “Chord Pard” in Vocalizer Pro’s interface.

This is extremely useful for live performers. If you want, you can put entire mixes or entire songs through the plugin and completely shift them and reharmonize them.

Conclusion

We’ve seen many people complain about Vocalizer Pro and its overall functions and layout.

While we most certainly understand them, you can’t really expect such a plugin to be simple.

If it was, then it would not actually be that good.

The discontent among some of the users was probably due to the company’s own failure to promote it among the desired targeting audience.

Other than that, Vocalizer Pro is a very high-end product that’s certainly more than worth the money. You just need to know how to use it, that’s all.

Eardial Review- Is It Worth It’s Price?

Despite the technological changes in the past six or seven decades, one thing about music remains the same – we still like it loud.

No matter the genre you’re into, if it’s not blasting you in your chest, then it’s not loud enough.

While all this definitely sounds like fun and games, we do sometimes forget about all the possible consequences.

Yes, hearing damage and tinnitus should be your concern.

While it might seem kind of lame for some to have hearing protection on live shows or any music events, this is something every loud music lover should consider having.

Besides, these find many other uses outside of music – your work or other hobbies might involve loud noises and loud environments.

After all, as a recent study found, staying in music venues for over 15 minutes with constant noises above 100 dB significantly increases the risk of permanent hearing damage.

Many of the products out there might not be that practical or they might just feel too uncomfortable to have them jabbed in your ear canals for extended periods of time.

However, there’s one pretty interesting product we thought we should check out. Called EarDial, these are described as first-ever “invisible smart earplugs.”

The hype seems to be real- With over 1000 reviews averaging at 4.5 out of 5, this has to be one the best ever ear plugs:

Read all reviews here.

So let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Eardial Features

Eardial features at a glance

Maker: Eardial
Main Features:
High-fidelity noise filter,
Flat 20db attenuation,
Earwax protection,
“Hidden” design- not visible to naked eye,
iOS + Android app.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
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First off, things started off a few years ago as a crowdfunded project. The goal was to have “smart” earplugs that would not take away any enjoyment from any kind of live music experience.

EarDial plugs are made from completely transparent hypoallergenic silicone.

The idea here was to make them as discrete as possible and not cause any kind of irritating reactions on your skin.

Although pretty light, these earplugs are well made and are not that easy to damage.

Being so elastic, they’ll fit well into an average ear. They’re designed to be easily inserted and pulled out via a special grip bump and grip indent.

But EarDial’s secret weapon is their high-fidelity noise filter inside the silicone construction.

This filter is designed to filter out all the messy parts of the spectrum and let only the good stuff through it.

You should hear all the music without being too much affected by the plugs while also being able to talk to people around you without anyone yelling in each other’s ear.

The plugs themselves offer flat 20dB attenuation, which should be more than enough for any average concert, music event, or anything involving loud noises.

At their very end, there is also earwax protection that will keep the precision filter intact and clean.

They come along with a very compact aluminum casing with a specialized storage tray.

Nothing too fancy, but it’s surprisingly practical. After all, you want to keep them clean and not carry these in your pocket without a casing.

Comfort and Design

The first thing that we could notice is that the material is really soft, making them pretty comfortable to hold in your ears, even for extended periods of time.

In addition, they’re fairly unnoticeable.

They won’t stick out of your ear, unless for the small pull-out handle. If you’re in a standard music venue, there’s almost no way someone will notice you have something in your ears.

Why are they called “smart” earplugs?

These earplugs come with a specialised app for iOS and Android devices. Well, it’s nothing that works with the plugs themselves – there aren’t any Bluetooth or other connections in the EarDial.

The app is actually measuring the intensity of noise around you. It then calculates how much time at this level you’ll be safe from permanent hearing damage, with or without EarDial plugs.

There’s also some additional info about how noise may affect your hearing in the app itself.

It’s nothing high-tech so the “smart earplugs” label is not fully justified. Nonetheless, the app is still pretty useful.

How they compare to “conventional” hearing protection

Despite this, the EarDial is significantly different compared to any other conventional earplugs out there.

The first and most important thing that we can notice is that they don’t “suffocate” the music. While they reduce the noise and keep you safe from noise, many of the plugs you find today make everything sound so muddy.

Thanks to the sophisticated filter, EarDial plugs do 20dB flat attenuation. This way, the sound spectrum is not significantly altered and you don’t get that heavy bottom-end boost.

EarDials are also smaller compared to other plugs.

This is pretty useful for aesthetic reasons, but it might be just a bit annoying when you want to pull them out. Some have even complained that they’re too small for bigger ear canals and that they don’t hold too tightly in their ears.

On the other hand, the size and the material make them pretty comfortable compared to standard foam and silicone plugs. They’re pretty soft and elastic and are, in most cases, easily adaptable to ear canals.

Obviously, they’re significantly more expensive compared to most of the standard earplugs.

However, we would argue that the price is justified.

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First, you get great comfort, making it possible to have them in your ear for hours without being bothered too much.

Secondly, they’re pretty easy to carry around in the small compact aluminium casing.

The biggest strength comes with the high-fidelity noise filter. It’s as if the unwanted noise magically disappears with music and speech getting through the filter just fine.

If you’re constantly exposed to loud music or just loud noises, then EarDial will definitely be worth the price. If you’re a frequently gigging musician, earplugs are a must (especially if you’re a drummer).

But as most earplugs are not exactly comfortable and tend to make everything sound too muddy, some may get discouraged to get themselves a pair. EarDial, on the other hand, will be the perfect solution.

Some have also argued that these help with shooting ranges or high-noise construction works and loud machinery.

We didn’t test them out in these particular scenarios, but would rather recommend you go with other designated hearing protection for those settings. As for concerts, music events, and your own live performances, EarDial is the way to go.

Minimal System Group Dreamscape Review

Whatever is the instrument that you play, whether you sing, or whether you prefer to make synths and other virtual instruments in your DAW – you can’t make music with a completely dry sound.

Well, you technically can, and nobody is stopping you, but there’s hardly any chance you’ll make it sound appealing and enjoyable.

This is why the use of atmospheric effects has been an important part of every mix since way back in the 1950s. To this day, musicians of any genre are still using delay and reverb effects to give that new dimension and feel of “spaciousness” to whatever they’re making.

But these effects became more complex as time went by. For instance, any type of a reverb – whether it’s a rack-mounted unit or a pedal – had more features and parameter controls that would add a different “flavor” in real-time or to recorded audio tracks. Eventually, we got an abundance of great plugins that would serve this purpose, mostly in the studio for recording and mixing.

There’s one particular reverb plugin that we’re interested in here, and it’s called DreamScape.

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This plugin was conceived, designed, and created by a company called Minimal Systems Group. Featuring some very detailed and advanced control, this plugin was released back in 2013 and is still in use today.

The idea with such a plugin was to decrease the CPU usage and bring more of that analog “warmth” in the output, which is something that’s becoming increasingly popular these days.

Since there are plenty of interesting features in this one, we decided to look into DreamScape and examine it closer.

So if you’re looking for a new reverb plugin for your own work, or are generally interested in reverbs, come right in and check this one out.

Features

It does not take more than a glance at it to realise that DreamScape is a plugin with very detailed parameter controls.

It’s intended as a fully custom effect with its special atmosphere generator.

There are some pretty unusual analog modelling characteristic controls on it, intended for making those rich and lush atmospherics effects. Everything is enhanced with the company’s specially designed reflection algorithm.

For the purpose of creating detailed effects, the DreamScape plugin is divided into two main sections. We have the added filter and modulation section, in addition to the main part of the plugin dedicated to basic and advanced reverb parameter controls.

In the main part, we can find a total of 12 virtual knobs and four virtual switches on it.

First off, we have the essential reverb parameters, like pre-delay, reflections, room size, and the inevitable mix/blend control.

Now, there are a few other interesting parameters here, concerning the room shapes and dimensions. For instance, there are two knobs labeled as “low floor” and “high ceiling” that further help shape the room feel.

In addition, we can also find other advanced controls, like the amplitude curve, time curve, as well as reverb start and reverb stop. And since this is a stereo reverb plugin, there’s a control determining the stereo “width” of the effect.

The filter and modulation section gives some interesting controls, as well as the possibility to tweak left and right channels individually.

This section can add somewhat of an “unconventional” tone to the standard reverb. You’ll be able to get some experimental and even synth-like tones using this section.

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Performance

Overall, the DreamScape reverb plugin gives an abundance of options. You can use it for pretty much any instrument or vocal track.

In addition, you can use it with or without the filter/modulation section. The graphic interface is pretty intuitive and easy to get by with, so there’s hardly any chance that you’ll have issues with using the plugin.

As promised by Minimal System Group, the plugin does indeed have a low CPU usage.

However, there’s a huge drawback with the fact that this is a 32-bit plugin. You can use it on a 64-bit system, but you’ll need to use the jBridge software in order to make it work. Not exactly the most practical solution for just another reverb plugin.

While the reverb itself can be used in some conventional ways, any additional advanced parameter tweaking goes into experimental territories.

For an average producer, this will be a huge letdown, as the resulting tones are something that would be appealing to those who love meddling with weird and unusual reverbs and feedbacks.

Like we already mentioned, using the filter and modulation section, you get some vintage synth-oriented overtones. And, to be perfectly honest, this can be somewhat annoying. We’d rather have a lush and spacious reverb, rather than an experimental platform for wacky sounds that have no practical value in modern music.

Conclusion

To put it simply, DreamScape is a good reverb that won’t break your wallet.

It scores well in terms of versatility, and its intuitive design, as well as the experimental-friendly environment, deserve a nod. It’s a good entry level reverb with some advanced features and a good price. On occasion, you’ll be able to find some super cheap deals on it, going well below the $10 mark.

We have a very low CPU usage, which is all great. The intuitive graphic interface and easy-to-use controls are something that everyone loves.

If you want a serious advanced level spacious and lush reverb plugin, we’d rather advise you go with something else. In case you feel experimental and would really love to play around with a few unusual analog-like reverb presets, then wait for the price to drop and get DreamSpace.

iZotope Nectar 3 Review

It’s not that often that you stumble upon a great vocal processing plugin.

In fact, if you’re producing or mixing vocals, you’re usually left with a bunch of various plugins that you need to combine to process these vocals properly.

For instance, you’ll need to use separate compressors or limiters, EQs, distortion, saturation, delay, reverb, and other effects.

But wouldn’t it be great to have an all-in-one plugin and not have everything scattered around different softwares?

Well, there are actually some multi-purpose options out there, like iZotope’s Nectar.

In early 2019, iZotope updated their Nectar to the third version, with some graphic interface improvements and various “intelligent” mixing features.

With this move forward, they came closer to some of the most prestigious software on the market these days, raising the standards in the world of vocal processing.

While there are some same effects and options, Nectar 3 does bring some exciting functionalities that its predecessors lacked.

In fact, we could easily say that this version made iZotope a huge breakthrough with all the new additions.

And we’re not the only ones to think that, some legendary producers, such as Mike Dean, producer for 2pac, kanye west, etc etc, have come forward with praise for izotopes vocal processing tool:

It also gets 5 stars from pluginboutique users, with close to 30 reviews:

With all this being said, we figured we could take a closer look, examine Nectar 3, and see what it can actually do.

Features

iZotope Nectar 3 At a Glance

Maker: iZotope

Features:
Auto Level Mode
MIDI Controlled Harmony Parts
Vocal Assistant AI
RX 7 Breath Control
AI learning

Modules:
Pitch, Gate, EQ, Dynamic Processing, De-esser, Delay Module, Dimension Module, Compressor Module, Saturation Module, Reverb Module

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The first important thing we need to note is that Nectar 3 now includes iZotope’s special AI learning, the Vocal Assistant that we can also find on a few other of their products, like Neutron and Ozone.

There are some styles that you can choose right out of the box, like Modern, Vintage, and Dialogue, along with the options for Light, Moderate, and Aggressive intensities.

Nectar 3 then listens to your audio input and does its own custom EQ tweaking, compression, de-essing, level balancing, reverb, and even pitch correction.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Vocal Assistant in Nectar 3 offers even more features for customizing presets for your needs.

Called Unmask, this particular feature works with two tracks. So first, you need to add the Nectar 3 plugin to two tracks and let them work parallel. If they have any corresponding and clashing frequencies, the Unmask feature sorts things out on its own.

This same feature can work with other iZotope plugins that have the Vocal Assistant, like Relay or Neutron.

So the Unmask feature then analyzes these two tracks, and if there’s any frequency matching involved, it adds a static EQ to one of the tracks.

While this is a very useful approach, the downside comes with the fact that you can’t further edit this EQ curve and would need an additional EQ plugin to do some minor tweaking.

This may come as a downside to some, but it’s still a very easy solution. Of course, the Unmask feature can also come in handy for processing and mixing instrument tracks.

The plugin’s EQ now features 24 bands with 16 different shapes.

There are also so-called Dynamic Gain and Dynamic Frequency modes that can assist in dealing with different peaks over the spectrum.

At the same time, the quieter parts stay unaltered in the Dynamic Gain mode.

As for the Dynamic Frequency mode, you can both boost or cut frequencies, all while tracking the nearest moving harmonic peak.

Along with the Nectar 3, we also get the RX7 Breath Control that’s mostly like the Breath Control from the previous version.

With it, you can significantly reduce the volume of all the unwanted breath sounds. The downside here is that it can’t be included into Nectar’s track strip, but rather before or after the Nectar plugin.

There were many advancements with the plugin’s GUI. As a result, the whole interface is more practical and uses all the space better.

The most in-depth and useful guide to this software we’ve found online is by sweetwater, who break down this great piece of software in this 26 minute video:

For many, this is one of the biggest advantages of Nectar 3 as it made things a lot easier for users. This was a significant improvement compared to Nectar 2 where there were many unused empty blocks in the graphic interface.

It’s nothing crucial or spectacular but does make things run smoother. This is especially the case with the EQs, gates, and compressors, where it’s now much easier to dial in everything in detail.

Performance

So it’s obvious that we have many other useful additions here compared to the previous versions, like different Saturation modes and even additional voices for the Harmony mode.

But one of the strongest points, at least in our experience, is the pitch editing. Compared to Nectar 2, in the third edition, we have Melodyne Essential by Celemony. But, on the other hand, this particular plugin is not as advanced as some others available out there. It can cover some basic issues with pitch.

Overall, the automatic settings are pretty useful, and you get finalized presets right out of the box.

This makes Nectar 3 pretty useful even for less experienced users. We can also say the same about the Unmask assistant as it does wonders for vocal tracks.

Unfortunately, we weren’t really satisfied with how it performed with different instruments or synths. So it’s a quick solution, maybe not the perfect one for every EQ problem. The same could be said about the Dynamic Frequency feature that helps a lot with vocals but it’s not exactly the best thing for instruments.

While the plugin, overall, is offering some mindblowing features, we’d like to point out that fine-tuning for most of the parameters is not possible.

Nectar 3 Rent-to-Own vs Purchase

You’ve got two options when it comes to buying iZotope’s Nectar 3: You can use a rent-to-own service such as splice to pay a monthly fee until you’ve paid the full price, or you can buy it outright from vendors such as pluginboutique, or amazon.

One quick note: with both types of purchase, you’ll get free access to melodyne, a great DAW made by celemony.

At time of publishing, Nectar 3 was retailing at around 250$ for the full purchase, and at 9.99$/ month for the rental.

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Final Thoughts and Tips

It’s pretty clear that this is one very diverse and useful package all summed up into one plugin.

Our assessment tells us that it can be a very useful tool both for beginners and professionals.

In conclusion – this is one mighty fine plugin with so many automated features, something that’s useful for those who don’t feel like bothering with too much tweaking.

One final tip- Groove3 has a great course on iZotope Nectar 3. It contains more than 2 hours of content on this piece of software and it will blow your socks off.

If you do end up buying this plugin, we recommending spending an extra 20$ on the course.

Imprint by W.A Productions Review

In this day and age, there are plenty of ways that you can enhance the sound of basically any type of recording.

Yes, you first need to have quality input, so getting quality mics, instruments, cables, and mixers is a must.

This basic foundational factor just cannot be enhanced in any meaningful way. However, with an abundance of great products, including great DAWs and very useful plugins, a lot of them free, with detailed parameter controls, the bar is set quite high.

You not only have to use so many different tools, but you need to know how to implement them in practice.

For instance, aside from compression, EQs, saturation, and other effects that come in handy for mixing, it wouldn’t be bad to use tools like transient shapers- This technique is now essential in modern music production.

This is exactly why we decided to look more into one of these transient shaper plugins. The one we’ll be discussing here is made by W.A. Production and it’s called Imprint.

There are a few interesting key features about it that could potentially make it a great choice for any modern producer.

What’s more, the plugin is relatively cheap, which is one of the main reasons it caught our attention in the first place.

Here’s a quick glance at this plugin:

Imprint by W.A Production- At a glance

Maker: W.A Production
Plugin Type: Transient Shaper
Main Features: 3 band transient shaper, 20+ presets, width / smooth / attack / releas controls, output level and master gain control
Our Rating: 4.8/5
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Transient shaping

Before we get into it, let’s first clear things out for those who are not familiar with transient shaping.

After all, you don’t hear about it that often.

This concept has to do with the beginning of the sound sample and its attack.

In some cases, we need a stronger and more pronounced attack, like with kick drums. In some other cases, we want something smoother and softer.

Transient shaping plugins come in handy for creating better tones for samples where you need a stronger and more defined attack.

Things are not that simple though, as you can’t just add a strong attack to a certain sample and thing that everything is going to be alright.

With transient shaping, you bring all the much-needed nuances of these tones. Essentially, with these plugins, you’re able to bring life to tones that need more attack, especially components like bass drums.

Features

Imprint brings a few features that allow detailed transient design.

First off, it allows you to work with three frequency ranges, along with the adjustable crossover points.

Of course, these three frequency ranges are flexible and customizable. Thanks to the very clear graphic interface, setting up these ranges is made easy.

What you do here is add equalization while also tweaking the attack curve.

Each of the three frequency bands is adjusted with a simple control below it.

The amount is determined by percentage and you’re essentially creating a ratio of these three custom set ranges.

On the side, there’s also the gain control, which boosts the overall output of the plugin. You can also completely bypass any of these three frequency ranges individually.

The more functionality comes with the option to open advanced settings for each of these three bands.

Just click on the arrow below, and you’ll get settings for attack, release, width, and smoothness. With width control, you can set the width of the peaks that you want to target and alter, while the smooth control can smoothen out the peak shapes.

Right above the gain control, you can see the overall output with dB meters. This way, you’ll also be in total control if there’s any potential clipping involved.

The main part of the display, and its largest portion, shows the realtime output waveform. This comes as a useful feature where you can see any odd shapes that need correction.

For a quick look at this plugin, check out the video below:

Performance

The most important thing to note is that the interface is fairly easy to use. It features a pretty straightforward and intuitive design that makes it so simple.

The most common use is with samples with a strong attack that needs more definition, mostly drum components and certain synth basses.

However, it works fairly well with various types of synths or pads with at least a somewhat pronounced attack.

But the interesting part comes when you try to apply it to an entire drum track, even if it’s one separate audio file. It manages to “sharpen up” the overall tone as if you processed each component individually.

Like we already mentioned in the features section, the graphic interface makes it fairly easy to use. It’s turned on and off by clicking on the Imprint logo at the bottom left.

The frequency bands are extremely easy to control. All you need to do is just drag their edges left and right to set the width and to drag them up and down to set the output volume of each frequency, according to your preferences.

Also, the waveform can help you in determining the amount and whether each frequency range is causing any clipping.

The option to bypass these individual frequencies is pretty useful.

You can customize it to pronounce only the highs, mids, or lows for the selected track that you’re processing. Those additional controls for each band that we mentioned are where it gets really interesting. These features allow some serious tone shaping and very detailed controls for controlling attack and release.

Those additional controls for each band that we mentioned are where it gets really interesting. These features allow some serious tone shaping and very detailed controls for controlling attack and release.

Basically, anything from subtle and smooth up to sharp and intense tweaking is possible through the very simplified graphic interface.

Conclusion

W.A. Production refers to this plugin as very “advanced” control of one track’s attack. What’s rather interesting is that the plugin itself is not exactly advanced but rather simple. Nonetheless, with some patience and experience, you’ll be able to do very detailed tweaking of each custom set frequency range.

In the end, the price of the plugin is pretty affordable. Which is not a surprise as the Imprint is fairly simple to use. However, we would argue that it’s worth every penny and wouldn’t complain if it was 50% more expensive. It’s safe to say that this is a good purchase for any home or professional studio.

The Best Amp Simulator VST – Our Top 8 Choices [2022]

Editor’s Note: In this article, we will go into the best amp simulator VST plugins in the market as of 2022. If you’re looking for the summarised version, check out the table below, for a full breakdown, read on. Please keep in mind that this article is constantly updated so make sure you bookmark it for future reference.

If you are on a mobile device, this table might seem broken. Make sure you scroll to the right to see all the products and scroll inside the cells to see all the contents in them.

If you just narrowed it down yourself to Guitar Rig versus Amplitube, we have a very popular article on this here on iDesignSound.

Without further ado, here are our picks for 2022:

Product
Amps simulated
Price
Editor’s Choice
Positive Grid Bias FX 2
Over 100. Check full list here Under 100$CHECK PRICE
Overloud TH3 Over 200. Check full list here 200$ to 300$CHECK PRICE
IK Multimedia Amplitube 5 145 different amp sims. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 7 amps, 27 cabinets, 54 effects. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Ignite Amps – Emissary Only one FREE
UA FENDER 55 Only one 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Studio Devil Amp Modeler Pro 15 different amp sims, 32 cabinets, distortion, compressor, eq and more. Full list here 100$ to 200$CHECK PRICE
Line 6 Helix Native 60+ amps, 30+ cabinets, 100+ effects. All in one solution for guitarists. Full list here 300$ to 400$CHECK PRICE

Whatever musical direction you’re taking, there’s a high chance you’ll be using at least some distortion. This effect was popularized back in the old days by blues and rock ‘n’ roll guitar players, who sometimes even damaged their equipment to get this tone.

Luckily for us today, achieving distortion is not that hard, and there are plenty of safe and affordable ways of doing it. Of course, the first association is often the guitar-oriented music, but great-sounding distortion can be found even in electronic music.

Even EDM musicians resort to using Amp Simlator VSTs, actual distortion pedals or guitar-related gear.

But if we’re talking about music production, mixing, and working in any DAW, it’s definitely easier and way more practical to rely on plugins. Sometimes, you can get some pretty great guitar tones, for whatever purposes, by using some great amplifier simulation plugins.

Whether you’re a guitar player, bassist, DJ, instrumentalist, or even a vocalist – here are the best amp sims for you to check out. Although mostly focused on guitar-oriented music, you’re always free to experiment and use them for other purposes as well. Here it goes.

Positive Grid – Bias FX 2 – Our choice for BEST Amp Simulator VST

A new amp simulator by Positive Grid, the Bias FX 2 amp sim brings a whole universe of options in creating one’s tone. On the other hand, the best thing here is the price. Sure, it’s the cheapest offering in the list, but it’s the best because it can do just about everything that the others can do for a fraction of the price.

The Positive Grid Bias FX 2 Amp Simulator VST is not a product focused on limited types of tones and musicians.

The newest in the Bias amp series brings an abundance of different amps, cabinet simulations, pedals, and microphones, all extremely realistically representing the respective models that they’re imitating.

You should know that if you can spare more cash, there is an Elite version and also a Pro one available.

There’s a wide variety of high gain amps for our metalhead readers, as well as a bunch of experimental effects to get your creative juices flowing.

Talking about amps and cabinets, Positive Grid teamed up with Celestion to bring digital replicas of the legendary speakers found in many of the prestigious cabinets. You can check the full list of amps here.

Overall, the Bias FX 2 brings some pretty advanced stuff with a surprisingly simple operation, making our favorite amp sim in the market right now. It comes as a great option for any level of playing and musicianship. Even beginners will find it easy to use, and the Bias amp can be a great way for them to get acquainted with the world of guitar amps and pedals.

It also provides a free demo if you are not sure you want to switch to a paid Amp Simulator VST.

Check out the video review below:

Overloud – TH3 – Simple but Effective Amp Simulator VST

Overloud’s TH3 amp simulator and plugin works in a similar way compared to the Bias, with a bunch of amp, cabinet, pedal, and mic models.

When it comes to guitars, there are 89 different amps, as well as 50 cabinets. Bass players, however, don’t have that many options, since there are only 4 bass amplifier models and 2 bass cabinet models.

Going over to the pedals and other effects, there are 77 different emulations to choose from. The choice of microphones is decent, with 18 different models and the possibility to choose up to 4 mics per one cabinet.

In total, the Overloud TH3 puts 1000 different presets on the table that will help you get great amp simulations right out of the box.

What’s more, Overloud collaborated with some of the famous amp brands, including Randall, to recreate their guitar tones.

Ignite Amps – Emissary – Our Free Choice for Amp Simulator VST

Ignite Amps have a few interesting solutions for amp simulators, all of them giving some really solid tones, both for Clean and Distorted situations. The one we found worth mentioning on this list is the Emissary plugin, a super fun high gain amp.

Although focusing on just one amp model, the Ignite Amps – Emissary still provides a solid amount of possibilities and great tube-oriented modern metal tones.

The physical amp that it replicates is also called Emissary and was made by Ignite for Ryan Huthnance. It may not be as versatile as some of the other plugins here, but its strength lies in a very realistic representation of this tube amp.

It has two channels, Clean and Drive, along with standard controls and some additional switches for additional EQ shaping. And the best part?

It’s free! Make sure you also check out our 400+ Mega List of FREE VST Plugins.

IK Multimedia – AmpliTube 5 – Our Value Choice.

Made by IK Multimedia, AmpliTube has been around for quite some time now. The fifth instalment in the series takes things to a whole new level, with some of the modern guitar heroes expressing their admiration for this plugin. They also did a major overhaul of the user interface, making it scalable now and optimised for Retina displays. Also you can now do parallel processing.

Amplitube 5 Amp Simulator VST brings an abundance of great amps of all the different eras of modern music, stompbox models, cabinet models, mic models, as well as possibilities to create intricate and non-linear signal chains.

Things get pretty interesting with the virtual microphone and cabinet placement, providing some very realistic-sounding amplifier tones. You can place microphones in virtual 3D settings, which is a pretty exciting feature.

We have a very nice article that compares Amplitube to Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig Pro and we recommend you read it here.

Universal Audio – Fender 55 Tweed Deluxe Amp Simulator VST

Now, this plugin is a little different. First off, it focuses on just one amp which, expectedly, limits its versatility and leaves you with not many options. However, this was actually Universal Audio’s intention, to have just one amp and recreate it as realistically as possible.

The piece in question is Fender’s good old vintage gem, the ’55 Tweed Deluxe. This plugin was done in collaboration with Fender, who helped them out in digitally recreating this amp’s legendary circuitry. It may have somewhat of a narrow use, mostly those who are looking for those sparkly vintage-oriented blues tone.

But the recreation is just astoundingly realistic, coming very close to the original. Take the good old Tweed Deluxe and mic it up with different microphone simulations.

Studio Devil – Amp Modeler Pro VST

Although intended for guitars, the Amp Modeler Pro by Studio Devil will also give great amp models, distortions, and other effects for electronic music makers as well.

There are about 15 different preamps that come with it, 32 cabinets, plenty of different pedals and rack-mounted effects, as well as different controls and elaborate EQs.

It’s a somewhat cheaper option compared to the other entries on this list, although it definitely manages to convincingly reproduce classic and modern amplifier tones.

Native Instruments – Guitar Rig 6 Amp Simulator

October 2020 update: Native Instruments just announced the new version of Guitar Rig 6. Guitar Rig 6 comes with a new interface, pictured below, more effects, and new AI tech. It’s been almost 5 years since the latest update to guitar rig, so the expectations were high within the music production community, and in our opinion, the new version lives up to the hype.

The first thing you’ll notice with Guitar Rig 6 is it’s brand new interface. It’s looking way cleaner and simpler to use. In addition, 16 new effects were added, including the following softube amps: RC24, RC48, CV2A, VC2A, VC76, and CC160.

All in all, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 is one of the most diverse guitar amp simulators at the moment, with a great workflow and a very nice sound.

At the same time, it’s very accessible and is one of the best options for beginners who want to learn more about amplifiers, cabinets, pedals, and other effects and units.

Comparable to AmpliTube and Bias products, there’s a fair amount of amp and cabinet simulations with more than 50 effects and an option to use up to 8 different microphone models on one cabinet at the same time.

This is one of the Native Instrument’s most popular products and does well in comparison to Amplitube 5.

Line 6 Helix Native – Our High End Choice

Last but not least, we have the Line 6’s Helix Native.

This is a great model to get that vintage rock sound, perhaps even the best amp simulator on this list. It’s priced on the high-end though and not exactly beginner friendly, so unless you have some experience under your belt, we’d recommend trying out an easier to use guitar amplifier simulator such as the Bias FX 2.

However, if you do know what you’re doing, the Line 6 is a great piece of software. It includes over 100 effects and 60 amps, including some of the legendary amps used by Hendrix et al (Mesa Boogie, etc).

If you’d like to have a go at the Helix Native Amp Simulator VST, Line 6 does offer a 15 day free version.

Final Thoughts and Overall Winner

And there you have it, the very best amp simulator available for purchase right now. Combined, they represent thousands of amps, cabinets, and stompboxes.

So take your time, read about the amps offered by each, and make your decision. If you’re looking for an expert opinion we’d go with the Positive Grid Bias FX 2 because you’re just getting A LOT for what it costs. Still, you are good with any of the Amp Simulator VST products listed in this article.

Rock on!

Overtone by Soundspot Review

At a glance

Maker: SoundSpot
Plugin Type:EQ
Main Features:
Intelligent Channel Linking
Notched Frequencies
Solo – Stereo & Mid/Side
Saturation
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Getting things sorted out with your home studio might not be the easiest task, but it’s not impossible to have everything the way you intended it to be.

Whatever genres and styles of music you’re recording or creating, there are all sorts of tools that can help you in your endeavors.

This goes both for hardware and software. But it’s not that hard these days to find a great computer and a solid audio interface.

Of course, there should be some investments involved in the process, but if you saved up enough, you pretty much know which components and sound cards and other accessories you’re supposed to get. You’ll even be able to get a pretty great DAW for free or for a pretty affordable sum.

But problems might occur when you’re trying to get the proper plugins and other accompanying software that will help you tweak your sound the right way.

Things usually become really difficult with those “boring” plugins, like compressors, equalizers, and other software tools that help in the mixing and mastering process.

They’re actually way more delicate and complicated than one might think.

This time around, we’ll be looking into one of those kinds of plugins. The one in question is the Overtone EQ, made by a company called Soundspot.

Knowing that they have a whole bunch of great stuff to offer, for more than a decent price, we figured we could check out this EQ and see what it can do.

Introduction

Described as having “analog warmth and clarity” along with “the convenience of software” by its creator and engineer JD Young, there were quite a few exciting features when it comes to Overtone.

Basically, anything that a classic analog mixing console can do, Overtone can do as well.

And it’s all packed into one very easy-to-use plugin.

The whole interface design is intended to replicate the operation of old analog EQs. The approach might feel a bit old-fashioned for those who are not familiar with these concepts, but it’s not that hard to get used to.

As the company explains, when you’re “deprived” of the excessive visual information, you’ll trust your ears more and will be able to do a mix that sounds better rather than to rely on different indicators.

You supposedly should not look into those “conventional” EQ curves we see these days in different online tutorials.

While we understand what Overtone creators meant by this, there could have been some more user-friendly features with it.

It’s not bad by any means, it just might make it more difficult for those less experienced with analog equipment.

Features

Another important thing they figured they could do with this plugin is to go away from the expected bright and clear tone, and instead add something with its own coloration.

Neutral-sounding EQ plugins are available in many shapes and forms, so it is in a way quite a refreshment to get something “warmer” and just slightly “muffled” to replicate the old school tones.

This is achieved through the use of the classic saturation effect, which is technically a form of mild distortion.

Saturation is added only to the boosted signal, and it just adds a little bit of harmonic content and warmth.

What this means is that you can cut the unwanted frequencies and keep the classic conventional clarity to the tone. It’s only when you boost certain frequency ranges that the saturation does its magic.

And another thing – whether or not Overtone will add saturation also comes down to the type of signal you’re feeding into it.

If it’s a lower gain input, then no saturation will be applied. But if you’re feeding it with something high-gain, then saturation kicks in. It’s somewhat comparable to how tube amplifiers and preamps work.

Another exciting addition is the ability to tweak the entire stereo image and the “mid/side.”

This means that you can first get the entire mix done, and then switch to this other mode to create a more open audio image. Using the solo buttons, a user can also individually process both sides. This is a very useful feature.

And then we come to the notched frequency ranges and creating different overtones in the style of the old “boutique” mastering and mixing hardware.

It might sound weird for those used to the modern “transparent” tone of standard EQ plugins these days. Nonetheless, they’re adding some very ear-pleasing structures to the tone.

Last, but not least – we have the channel linking feature.

The EQs usually make a direct copy from the left to right channel with this feature. However, with Overtone, you have more flexibility where you can select different controls on each side and then have it mirrored.

For a quick tour of the plugin, check out the video below:

Conclusion

Look, we all love the good old analog mixers. But having an old school analog mixer might not be the cheapest solution, so Overtone presents a very useful substitute.

Yes, it will require some getting used to for those who are not familiar with vintage stuff or just mixing and mastering plugins that are inspired by vintage gear.

But at the same time, we should note that Overtone is intended for those looking to have a vintage twist to the mix. Like we said, this was the intention and no one is saying explicitly that this is a better approach than having the “clear” and completely flat basis to work on. This is just something different that will, as the plugin’s name suggests, add some slight overtones to the mix. It’s as simple as that.

With this being said, we don’t recommend the plugin for those who are not specifically looking for a vintage “boutique” approach. However, if you’re somewhat experienced and are interested in getting into the analog-inspired stuff, then this could be a good way to start.

All in all, it’s one of the best EQ plugins we’ve tested, specially for that old-school EQ feel.

Stanton STR8-100 Review [2020]

Whatever is the genre you enjoy writing in or performing, it’s of absolute importance to get the proper equipment.

Well, you don’t actually need anything prestigious, unless you’re planning to become a professional. But there should be at least something decent to get the job done right.

In this case, we won’t be talking about an instrument in the conventional sense. After doing a bit of our own lurking and research about the good old classic DJ turntables (the classic kind of lurking you do when you’re bored), we remembered one old piece that brought back some great memories. The turntable in question is Stanton STR8-100.

Since we’re huge fans of digging up old stuff that everyone seems to have forgotten, we’ve decided to take a closer look into the STR8-100 and see what actually makes it so special.

It’s a fairly older piece, not exactly the widely-known and a “mainstream” one, so it was kind of tricky to dig up all the details and find all the nuances about its operation.

Nonetheless, we love challenges, especially when it comes to older and somewhat obscure-ish stuff out there. Well, here it goes.

Main features

Now, despite being an older product that’s not manufactured anymore, it’s still fairly popular on the market of used turntables thanks to its features, qualities, operation, and reliability.

First off, it’s a straight arm turntable, and this is one of its very popular features.

While some may argue that straight arm turntables ruin records faster, a lot of the turntable lovers actually look for this particular feature since it holds down to the groove better, which makes it more reliable when it comes to the control. Whatever you might think of it, it’s a fact that a lot of people out there are fond of straight arms.

Speaking of its arm, it is designed to be completely height-adjustable and to prevent any kind of skipping, as much as it’s possible.

Next up, it’s important to note that STR8-100 can play records at three different speeds, both in forward and reverse. These speeds are 33 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm.

Not only does this allow you to work with all the different kinds of vinyl to play at original speed, but it also allows you to play stuff slower or faster, which does improve the overall creative potential that this piece provides and makes it a great buy for sample diggers.

There are options for either phono or standard line outputs. This means that you can plug it directly into the mixer without a ground or a “phono in” cable.

The exciting stuff comes with the “Key Correction” feature.

With it, you’re able to change the record speed but without shifting its pitch.

This is a pretty rad little thing to have on board of a turntable and is yet another thing that gives more room for musician’s creativity.

The only thing we would like to address here is that a more proper name for the feature would be “Pitch Correction.”

There are a few other important features to note here. For instance, there’s the retractable target light, blue LED indicators, and the adjustable feet.

When it comes to some additional outputs and inputs, it also includes S/PDIF as well as a standard 3.5 mm line input. The addition of the S/PDIF allows a digital input which opens up the world of possibilities if you want to connect it to a computer.

Performance

A short version of the performance review? It works fantastic! To explain it further, we’ll look into the features explained above and how well they present themselves in practice.

With the Staton SR8 1000 everything is so easily accessible and it’s built with practicality in mind. The skip-proof system works like a charm. There’s almost no way for your needle to skip in any standard settings so you won’t need to worry about that.

While most of the turntablists and DJs do not use 78 rpm records, it’s still nice to have this feature. Especially knowing that there’s the pitch adjustment feature that can allow you to play the material faster without going high in pitch.

Of course, the controls work solidly and nothing seems to be going out of the ordinary. If you know what you’re doing, this is the perfect tool for you.

There are probably a few more or less minor details, one of them being the lack of a dust cover. As of performance, this is a fully professional piece that can still find use in this day and age.

Design

Speaking of the design, this is usually a subjective issue. Although we would point out that the bright silver finish is just wonderful. It’s all rounded up with an addition of blue LEDs that both serve their function (provide light to the controls in darker settings) and are a nice touch to the design.

But what’s really important to note here is that Stanton STR8-100 is a very well-built turntable. You won’t have any worries even with some rougher handling. It’s built to last.

Conclusion

In their official material that you get with the STR8-100, Stanton explains how “reinventing the wheel is not an easy job.”

This might be a bit of an overconfident remark, but this turntable is actually pretty good. So good that you’ll actually find many people today actively looking for this particular product.

And we don’t blame them. With such a tight arm, different outputs, and most of all three speeds that play both forward and in reverse, and the pitch correction at different RPMs ñ it’s no wonder. We would be surprised if it weren’t so highly sought after.

These days, you’ll be able to find one of these somewhere above $400 and below $500, depending on the turntable’s overall condition. We’d say that it’s worth it. Just make sure that you’re already familiar with turntables and how they work. Such an older piece (dare we say “retro”?) might not be the best option for beginners.

400+ Best Free VSTs by Category [2022]

Yes, you read that right- 400 VST plugin tools completely free of charge (Audiounit versions for Mac OS are also available).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our list for best FREE VSTs is continually updated, so make sure you bookmark this page for future reference and share it with your friends.

We’ve spent countless days digging through the web to find the very best free plugins – both VST and AU/Audio Unit. We found more than 400 free VSTs of all types, including one VST whose sole purpose is to crash your DAW.

👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

We did our best to group these plugins by category, but some VSTs were simply impossible to classify. This list includes effects too, but if you’re looking for a list of the best vst SYNTHS, you can find it here.

But enough talk, without further ado, here is our list:

Best Free Amp Simulator VST

Traditionally used to emulate that vintage guitar sound that is unique to some old school amps, amp simulators can also be used with other instruments to achieve a unique sound.

Interested in more AMP SIMULATION? Then check out our list of BEST AMP SIMULATORS ON THE MARKET.

Below are our favorite free amp sim vsts. Blue Cat’s and Voxengo’s free amp simulators are some of the highlights.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Black Rooster Cypress TT-15 Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Free Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
LePou Amp Suite Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Nick Crow 8505 Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Boogex Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance  bx_rockrack V3 Player Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Audio Ace Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps Emissary Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
U-he Protoverb Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Boogex Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tube Amp Amp Simulator DOWNLOAD
ADHD Audio Tools Levelling Tool Level Amp DOWNLOAD

Best Free Autopanner VST

Manually changing the pan knobs is so last year. These plugins are free and will add some cool effects to your mix effortlessly.

Also you should check our list of BEST Rent-to-own VST plugins here in case you want to get a lot of VSTs but are strapped for cash.

Our favorite?
Well, PanCake is pretty cool.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Cable Guys Pancake 2 Autopanner DOWNLOAD
Melda MAutopan Autopanner DOWNLOAD

Best Free Bass Instrument VST

Bass VSTs nowadays can be anything from 808s to Upright Jazz.

Below, in no particular order, you’ll find a huge variety of bass sounds. Some come with interfaces, others don’t.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Ample Bass P Lite Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ample Sound Ample Bass P LITE II Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Steinberg Model E Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD
Twin Bass Bass Instrument DOWNLOAD


Best Free Bitcrusher VST

Bitcrushers are all the trend right now. And to be honest, they’re not that hard to program.

If you want to dive straight into world class VST SYNTHS (not free), here is our own list of BEST SYNTH PLUGINS right here.

Also, our list of BEST FM SYNTH Plugins is handy.

The plugins outlined below will give you some really good glitchy lo-fi sounds- for free, of course.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Xfer DeltaModulator Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
Tritik KrushBitcrusher DOWNLOAD
TAL-Bitcrusher Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
MDA Degrade Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD
Bittest Bitcrusher DOWNLOAD

Best Free VST Bundle

This section contains no one type of VST. Instead it aggregates all bundles.

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat Audio Bundle DOWNLOAD
MFreeFXBundle Bundle DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-ins Pack II Bundle DOWNLOAD
Native Instruments Komplete Start Bundle DOWNLOAD
Snap Heap Bundle DOWNLOAD

Best Free Chorus VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Acon Digital Multiply Chorus DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Chorus Chorus DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Chorus WS-1 Chorus DOWNLOAD
Multiply Chorus DOWNLOAD
TAL-Chorus-LX Chorus DOWNLOAD
Xfer Dimension Expander Chorus DOWNLOAD


Best Free Compressor VST

A compressor is a must have plugin for any producer or engineer.

Fortunately, some of the free plugins we’ve listed below are pretty much at the same level of the state of the art paid plugins made by waves and others.

Our favorites are the Density mkIII and the Klanghelm MJUC Jr.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Acustica Tan Compressor DOWNLOAD
Audio Damage Rough Rider 2 Compressor DOWNLOAD
FXPansion DCAM FREECOMP Compressor DOWNLOAD
Beatskillz MAX1 Compressor DOWNLOAD
DC1A Compressor DOWNLOAD
Density mkIII Compressor DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-COMP 87 Compressor DOWNLOAD
Feedback Compressor II Compressor DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm MJUC Jr. Compressor DOWNLOAD
Melda MCompressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
ReaXcomp Compressor DOWNLOAD
Stereo Bus Compressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
ThrillseekerLA Compressor DOWNLOAD
UltraComp Compressor DOWNLOAD
Vladg Molot Compressor Compressor DOWNLOAD
Xfer OTT Compressor DOWNLOAD

Best Free Delay and Echo VST

Another essential plugin to have in your library.

Once again, the free options are almost as good as the paid ones. Voxengo Tempo Delay 2.0. is the pick of the litter for us.

Voxengo Tempo Delay 2.0.

Maker: Voxengo
Features: Filter section, Tremolo section, Delay signal panning, Stereo processing, 64-bit floating point processing, Preset manager, Undo/redo history, A/B comparisons, Contextual hint messages, All sample rates support, Zero processing latency,
Our Rating: 4.6/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Delay Studio KVR12 Delay DOWNLOAD
E-phonic Tape Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Delay Studio Delay DOWNLOAD
Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Musical Entropy Spaceship Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Delay Studio Delay DOWNLOAD
PPD Echobox Echo DOWNLOAD
Puremagnetik Driftmaker Delay DOWNLOAD
TAL-DUB-III Delay DOWNLOAD
Tempo Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Valhalla Freq Echo Echo DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tempo Delay 2 Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Latency Delay Delay DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Tempo Delay Delay DOWNLOAD

Best Free Distortion VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MBitFun Distortion DOWNLOAD
Melda MWaveFolder Distortion DOWNLOAD
Temper Distortion DOWNLOAD

Best Free Drum VST

My mother always told me “march to the beat of your own drum”, but I guess she was wrong, because I found a bunch of really good free drum vsts.

You should also check out this cool drum plugin by Loopcloud here.

Amongst them, is the T.REX 606, a classic sound that could have easily cost hundreds of dollars, but for some reason is free:

Roland T.REX 606

Maker: Max Project
Features: 7 samples, Master volume, Reverb.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Alan Vista Cymbalistic Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Alan Vista Royotoms Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Alexis D-Four Drum Sampler DOWNLOAD
AREX 2011 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ample Cloudrum Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
AudioSpillage MiniSpillage Drum Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
BeatSkillz Beat Factory Drums Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Decomposer Sitala Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Drumatic 3 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dub Turbo DrumTroop Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Elektronic Sound Lab SL Drums 3 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Melda MDrummer Small Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Mix Project T.Rex 606 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
MT Power Drumkit Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
MT Power Drumkit 2 Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Real Drum Samples Line of Legends Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Sean Pandy Drums Multi Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
SimpleRecorder DjinnDrum Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Steven Slate Drums SSD5 Free Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Studio Linked Drum Pro Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD
Teragon Kick Maker Drum Kit Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Dynamic Processor VST

Are you processing your own voice? Then why not check out this list of BEST MICROPHONE ARMS AND STANDS listed on Amazon.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
The Monster Extreme Dynamic Processor Dynamic Processor DOWNLOAD

Best Free EQ VST

We all need some balance in our lifes. And so do our mixes, that’s why you should definitively download a free EQ plugin.
Our favorite here is TDR Nova by Tokyo Dawn Records.

Tokyo Dawn Records- TDR Nova

Maker: Tokyo Dawn Records
Features: Parametric equalization, Dynamic equalization, Frequency selective compression, Multi-band compression, Wideband compression.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Bee-Happy 550 EQ DOWNLOAD
Black Rooster VHL-3C EQ DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Triple EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-EQUA 87 EQ DOWNLOAD
GEQ Graphic EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps PTeq-X EQ DOWNLOAD
Melda MEqualizer EQ DOWNLOAD
MEQ EQUALIZER EQ DOWNLOAD
N6 Paragraphic Equalizer EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Elysia Niveau Filter EQ DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance SPL Free Ranger EQ DOWNLOAD
TDR Nova EQ DOWNLOAD
TDR Slick EQ EQ DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Overtone GEQ EQ DOWNLOAD

Best Free Filter VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Filter Bank Filter DOWNLOAD
Melda MBandPass Filter DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_cleansweep Filter DOWNLOAD
Bark of Dog filter DOWNLOAD
TAL-Filter Filter DOWNLOAD
TAL-Filter-2 Filter DOWNLOAD
u-he Triple Cheese Filter DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Overtone GEQ EQ DOWNLOAD

Best Free Flanger VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s Flanger Flanger DOWNLOAD
Melda MFlanger Flanger DOWNLOAD

Best Free Frequency Analyzer VST

Voxengo SPAN

Maker: Voxengo
Features: Stereo, mid-side, surround spectrum analyzer, Stereo correlation meter, RMS, true peak level and clipping detector, EBU R128 LUFS/LU metering, Preset manager.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s FreqAnalyst Frequency Analyser DOWNLOAD
SPAN Frequency Analyser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Fuzz Pedal VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Audio Damage Fuzz Plus 3 Fuzz Pedal DOWNLOAD

Best Free Gate VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Bob Perry Gate Gate DOWNLOAD
Eareckon FR-GATE 87 Gate DOWNLOAD

Best Free Glitch VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Glitchmachines Fracture Glitch DOWNLOAD
Glitchmachines Hysteresis Glitch DOWNLOAD


Best Free Granular Effect VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Eugene Yakshin Ribs Granular Effect DOWNLOAD

Best Free Guitar VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ample Guitar M Lite II Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD
DSK Dynamic Guitars Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD
Native Instruments Guitar Rig Player Guitar Instrument DOWNLOAD


Best Free Instrument Tuner VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Algae Software Tune it! Instrument Tuner DOWNLOAD

Best Free Limiter VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Eareckon FR-LIMIT 87 Limiter DOWNLOAD
Diablo Lite Soft Limiter DOWNLOAD
George Yohng W1 Limiter Limiter DOWNLOAD
Limiter №6 Limiter DOWNLOAD
LVC Audio ClipShifter Limiter DOWNLOAD
Melda MAGC Limiter DOWNLOAD

Best Free Mastering VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
AAMS (Auto Audio Mastering System) Mastering DOWNLOAD
You should also check out our here

You should also check out our article on online mastering services here.

Best Free Orchestral VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Alan Vista Chau Gongs Orchestral Percussion Instrument DOWNLOAD
Versilian Studios Chamber Orchestra 2 Community Edition Orchestral Synth DOWNLOAD

Best Free Oscilloscope VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MOscilloscope Oscilloscope DOWNLOAD
Melda MStereoScope Oscilloscope DOWNLOAD

Best Free Overdrive Pedal VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Mercuriall Greed Smasher Overdrive Pedal DOWNLOAD

Best Free Phase Distortion VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Extent of the Jam Digits 2 Phase Distortion DOWNLOAD

Best Free Phaser VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Blue Cat’s Phaser Phaser DOWNLOAD
Melda MFreeformPhase Phaser DOWNLOAD
Melda MPhaser Phaser DOWNLOAD
SupaPhaser Phaser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Piano Instrument VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
DSK The Grand Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Keyzone Classic Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Piano One Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD
Sound Magic Piano One Piano Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Pitch Correction VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Auburn Graillon Free Pitch Correction DOWNLOAD
Melda MAutoPitch Pitch Correction DOWNLOAD

Best Free Audio Player VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Applied Acoustics Systems AAS Player Player DOWNLOAD

Best Free Reverb VST

Valhalla Supermassive

Maker: Valhalla
Features: Galactic sound, Pitch warping, Modulation, Shelving eq, Presets that sound great out of the box.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ambience Reverb DOWNLOAD
epicVerb Reverb DOWNLOAD
Valhalla Supermassive Reverb DOWNLOAD
Melda MConvolutionEZ Reverb DOWNLOAD
OldSkoolVerb Reverb DOWNLOAD
Smartelectronix Ambience Reverb DOWNLOAD
TAL-Reverb 2 & 3 Reverb DOWNLOAD
TAL-Reverb-4 Reverb DOWNLOAD

Best Free Saturation VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Creative Intent Temper Saturation DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm IVGI Saturation DOWNLOAD
Melda MSaturator Saturation DOWNLOAD
Softube Saturation Knob Saturation DOWNLOAD
Wave Arts Tube Saturator Vintage Saturation DOWNLOAD

Best Free String Synth VST

VST NAme
VST Type
Download Link
2getheraudio Cheeze Machine String Synth DOWNLOAD

Best Free Saxophone VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
DSK Saxophones Saxophone Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Free Spectral Analyzer VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MAnalyzer Spectral Analyser DOWNLOAD
Voxengo AnSpec Spectrum Analyser DOWNLOAD
Voxengo SPAN Spectrum Analyser DOWNLOAD

Best Free Stereo Width Control VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
A1StereoControl Stereo Width Control DOWNLOAD
Polyverse Wider Stereo Width Control DOWNLOAD
Aegean Music Doppler Dome Stereo Effect DOWNLOAD

Best Free Stompbox VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Ignite Amps ProF.E.T. Stompbox DOWNLOAD

Best FREE Synth Instrument VST

Welcome to the most popular category of this article.

A good synth can make or break a song, and you’d be surprise how far a free synth can go.

A great example is Synth1 by Daichi Labs. Artists such as Noisia have confessed to using it extensively and it sounds just amazing. Check for yourself:

Synth1

Maker: Ichiro Toda
Features: 2 Oscillators, FM modulation, ring modulation, sync, modulation envelope. 4 types of filters, distortion. 2 LFOs (synchronized with host). Arpeggiator (synchronized with host). Tempo delay (synchronized with host), stereo chorus/flanger. Legato mode, portamento. 16 notes polyphony. 128 presets.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
DOWNLOAD
VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
2getheraudio Cheeze Machine String Synth DOWNLOAD
Lyra 8 Organismic Synthesizer Atmospheric Synth DOWNLOAD
Ample Sound Cloudrum Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Charlatan Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Audjoo Helix Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
DCO-6 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
BIGROOMKIXSYNTH Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Blamsoft VK-1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Bruce Sutherland JuceOPLVSTi Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dead Duck Deducktion Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Dexed Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Full Bucket FB-3300 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Full Bucket ModulAir Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Ichiro Toda Synth1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Matt Tytel Helm Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Metric Halo MH Thump Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
MPT Deep House Synth Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Muon Tau Bassline Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
NUSofting Sinnah Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Plogue Alter/Ego Voice Synth DOWNLOAD
Seaweed Audio Fathom Mono Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Soca Labs PAPU Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Synister SYNISTER Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Synth1 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
SynthMaster Player Free Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
TAL Vocoder Vocal Synth Vocoder DOWNLOAD
Tunefish 4 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Tyrell N6 Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Vember Audio Surge Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD
Wavosaur VST Speek Synth Instrument DOWNLOAD

Best Text Editor

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MNotepad Text Editor DOWNLOAD

Best Transient Shaper

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Auburn Couture Free Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD
Flux BitterSweet v3 Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD
Diablo Lite Transient Shapper DOWNLOAD

Best Tremolo

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Adam Monroe Tremolo Tremolo DOWNLOAD
PechenegFX Tremolo Tremolo DOWNLOAD

Best Trigger Gate

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
A1TriggerGate Trigger Gate DOWNLOAD

Best FREE Tuner VST

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
Melda MTuner Tuner DOWNLOAD

Best Uncategorized Plugins

These are plugins that we could not categorized or still haven’t had the time to use and assign a category.

VST Name
VST Type
Download Link
AquesTone 2 DOWNLOAD
Bark of Dog DOWNLOAD
BitterSweet DOWNLOAD
Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-ins Pack II DOWNLOAD
Boogex DOWNLOAD
BuzMaxi3 DOWNLOAD
bx_solo DOWNLOAD
bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
Clip Shifter DOWNLOAD
Correlometer DOWNLOAD
dbVU DOWNLOAD
DC1A DOWNLOAD
Dexed DOWNLOAD
discoDSP OB-Xd DOWNLOAD
dominion DOWNLOAD
Doppler Dome DOWNLOAD
Double MS DOWNLOAD
dpMeter 4 DOWNLOAD
Fine Cut Bodies La Petite Excite DOWNLOAD
Flux Stereo Tool v3 DOWNLOAD
Forbice DOWNLOAD
Free Ranger DOWNLOAD
Grind Machine DOWNLOAD
HOFA SYSTEM Basic DOWNLOAD
http://www.airwindows.com/ DOWNLOAD
https://sonic.supermaailma.net/plugins DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps NadIR DOWNLOAD
Ignite Amps SHB-1 DOWNLOAD
IK Multimedia Syntronik FREE DOWNLOAD
ISOL8 DOWNLOAD
IVGI DOWNLOAD
iZotope Vinyl DOWNLOAD
iZotope Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series DOWNLOAD
Klanghelm DC1A DOWNLOAD
KOMPLETE Start DOWNLOAD
Kx-Polym-CSE DOWNLOAD
LePou LeCab 2.0 DOWNLOAD
Leveling Tool DOWNLOAD
Lisp DOWNLOAD
lkjb Luftikus DOWNLOAD
LMC-1 Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
LoudMax DOWNLOAD
Luftikus DOWNLOAD
Marvel GEQ DOWNLOAD
MAX 1 DOWNLOAD
MDSP Smart Elecontronix Livecut Beat Chopper DOWNLOAD
Melda MChannelMatrix DOWNLOAD
Melda MComb DOWNLOAD
Melda MFreqShifter DOWNLOAD
Melda MLoudnessAnalyzer DOWNLOAD
Melda MNoiseGenerator DOWNLOAD
Melda MRing Modulator DOWNLOAD
Melda MTremolo DOWNLOAD
Melda MUtility DOWNLOAD
Melda MVibrato DOWNLOAD
Melda MWaveShaper DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Cab DOWNLOAD
Mercuriall Tubes Creamer 808 DOWNLOAD
MHorse DOWNLOAD
Midside Matrix DOWNLOAD
Minimojo DOWNLOAD
MJUC jr. DOWNLOAD
ML PG8X DOWNLOAD
Molot DOWNLOAD
Mono/Fury DOWNLOAD
MrRay73 DOWNLOAD
MrTramp2 DOWNLOAD
MS Controller DOWNLOAD
MSED DOWNLOAD
MultiInspectorFree DOWNLOAD
mvMeter2 DOWNLOAD
Nabla DOWNLOAD
niveau filter DOWNLOAD
Nova-67P DOWNLOAD
OBXD DOWNLOAD
Ohm Force SymptOhm PE DOWNLOAD
One Small Clue Grace DOWNLOAD
OrilRiver DOWNLOAD
Overtone GEQ DOWNLOAD
Ozone Imager DOWNLOAD
PanCake 2 DOWNLOAD
Panipulator DOWNLOAD
Phutura DOWNLOAD
PitchedDelay DOWNLOAD
Pitchproof DOWNLOAD
Plogue Sforzando DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx Bx_solo DOWNLOAD
Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_subfilter DOWNLOAD
preFIX DOWNLOAD
Proximity DOWNLOAD
PTEq-1a DOWNLOAD
Puremagnetik Expanse DOWNLOAD
QRange DOWNLOAD
R2R DOWNLOAD
ReFine DOWNLOAD
Retro Boy DOWNLOAD
Retro Delay DOWNLOAD
REVIBER DOWNLOAD
Revival DOWNLOAD
Rough Rider & FuzzPlus DOWNLOAD
S.L.A.X DOWNLOAD
S3O DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Saturation Knob DOWNLOAD
Scratch it! DOWNLOAD
SCS Channel DOWNLOAD
SEQ Classic EQ DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Audio SGA1566 DOWNLOAD
Shattered Glass Code Red Free DOWNLOAD
SIM3X DOWNLOAD
SlickEQ DOWNLOAD
SlickHDR DOWNLOAD
Sound Delay DOWNLOAD
SPAN DOWNLOAD
SPAN DOWNLOAD
Spitfire Audio LABS DOWNLOAD
SQ8L DOWNLOAD
SSD5 DOWNLOAD
SSL X-Orcism Windows Mac DOWNLOAD
Stereo Touch DOWNLOAD
sTilt DOWNLOAD
Supercharger DOWNLOAD
SuperSpread DOWNLOAD
T-RackS 5 Custom Shop DOWNLOAD
TAL-Dub’s DOWNLOAD
TAL-Effects DOWNLOAD
TAL-NoiseMaker DOWNLOAD
TAL-Tube DOWNLOAD
TAL-Vocoder DOWNLOAD
TAN DOWNLOAD
TDR Kotelnikov DOWNLOAD
TDR Nova DOWNLOAD
TDR Proximity DOWNLOAD
TEQ Tilt EQ DOWNLOAD
The deputy Mark II DOWNLOAD
the fish fillets DOWNLOAD
Thomas Mundt Loudmax DOWNLOAD
Thrillseeker XTC DOWNLOAD
TinyQ DOWNLOAD
Transpire DOWNLOAD
Tube Amp DOWNLOAD
Tube Amp DOWNLOAD
Tune DOWNLOAD
Tunefish 4 DOWNLOAD
TX16Wx DOWNLOAD
TX16Wx Sampler DOWNLOAD
u-he Tyrell N6 DOWNLOAD
u-he Zebralette DOWNLOAD
U-NO-60 DOWNLOAD
UVI Workstation DOWNLOAD
VCV rack DOWNLOAD
Venom VB-303 DOWNLOAD
Vinyl DOWNLOAD
Vocal Doubler DOWNLOAD
Voxengo Correlometer DOWNLOAD
Voxengo MSED DOWNLOAD
VS Upright DOWNLOAD
Width Knob DOWNLOAD
Wind Chimes DOWNLOAD
XaKT DOWNLOAD
Xenakios PaulXStretch DOWNLOAD
Youlean Loudness Meter DOWNLOAD
Zebralette DOWNLOAD

Final Thoughts

And that’s it folks! If you’ve got any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below, or contact us. And remember, stay tuned on this article as there are constant updates!

The Best VST Synth [2022] – Tested and Compared

Our list for best VST synth is continually updated, for a summarised version of the current best plugin money can buy, check the table below. Quickie: The best VST Synth in our opinion is Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Synth
Features
Rating / Price Range
Omnisphere 2
  • Over 14 000 presets,
  • 57 FX Units,
  • 8 LFOs, 12 Envelopes,
  • compatible with over 30 hardware synths, and much more.
5
$$$
CHECK PRICE
Arturia Pigments 2
  • Very intuitive and extensive modulation matrix,
  • Granular synthesis,
  • Built-in sequencer,
  • Best VST right now for learning synthesis
4.9
$$
CHECK PRICE
Vengeance Sound VPS Avenger
  • 8 OSC Modules, more than 10 OSC transformation parameters,
  • 8 ARP Modules,
  • 8 Step SQ Modules,
  • 8 Mod Envelope Modules,
  • 8 Pitch Envelope Modules,
  • 4 AMP Modules,
  • 4 FILTER Modules,
  • 4 SHAPER Modules,
  • 4 LFO Modules,
  • Master Filter Module,
  • 6 free routable FX busses
4.8
$$
CHECK PRICE
WA Production Babylon
  • Over 2300 presets,
  • 257 waveforms,
  • multi-voice oscillation,
  • FM, RM & AM modulation,
  • modulation matrix, and much more.
    4.6
    $
    CHECK PRICE
    Xfer Serum
    • Wavetable editor,
    • over 450 presets,
    • 10 effects modules,
    • stack a single oscillator to up to 16 voices, and much more.
      4.8
      $$
      CHECK PRICE
      U-he Diva
      • Authentic, unrivaled analogue sound,
      • Built-in oscilloscope,
      • Sweet-sounding filters,
      • Multithreading support for modern CPUs.
        4.9
        $
        CHECK PRICE
        Sylenth1
        • 4 alias-free unison oscillators,
        • 8 unison voices per OSC,
        • up to 512 voices simultaneously,
        • 8 filters,
        • 2 ADSR envelopes and 2 LFO,
        • 2 extra amplitude envelopes,
        • velocity, keyboard track or modulation wheel,
        • 7 professional quality sound effects and an arpeggiator
        4.8
        $$
        CHECK PRICE
        Native Instruments Massive
        • 1 300 presets,
        • 85 wavetables,
        • advanced loop mode,
        • stepper mode,
        • performer mode, and much more.
        4.7
        $$
        CHECK PRICE
        Nexus 3
        • 20 modulation slots,
        • 2 799 presets,
        • 95 effect presets, and much more.
          4.5
          $$
          CHECK PRICE
          Soundspot Union
          • 300 presets,
          • 2 analogue-style oscillators,
          • 9 FX modules,
          • wavetable generator oscillator,
          • up to 32 voices per oscillator, and much more.
          4.7
          $$
          CHECK PRICE

          There’s nothing like making your own music from the comfort of your home studio.

          But whatever your goals are, whether you’re an amateur or a professional, there’s an abundance of ways for you to get some realistic and full-sounding virtual instruments.

          A great deal of attention is directed towards VST plugins, and these can be heard in a variety of genres, either as an addition to instrumental music or as lead virtual instruments on their own.

          They can also be great sound design tools, used to explore new textures and jam with a band or solo.

          #1 Best Overall VST Synth – Specstrasonics Omnisphere 2.0

          Its really hard to choose a best VST synth. At the end of the day, music is very subjective and the best VST will depend upon the musical genre and personal taste.

          However, if somebody pointed a gun at us and made us choose the absolute best overall option, we’d choose Omnisphere 2.

          Here’s why:

          • It’s the most versatile option in the list, with over 500 high quality analogue waveforms and digital wavetables available.
          • It’s compatible with an enormous amount of hardware.
          • Very simple interface
          • Over 14 000 sounds included + simple drag and drop sample loader
          • 58 FX units
          • Medium to high end price range

          But in addition to all that, omnishphere 2 just sounds good. Out of the box, the presets and sounds sound pretty great and can be used for EDM, hip-hop, and even rock.

          If you’re looking for a versatile synth to buy for life, Omnisphere 2 is our recommendation.

          Also, don’t forget to check our updated MEGA-LIST of 400+ FREE VST here.

          Check out the video below for a sample of the Omnishpere 2 sound:

          CHECK PRICE (Omnisphere 2)

          #2 Budget Choice VST Synth – Serum

          While we already mentioned it above as simply the budget choice, Xfer Serum does really come as one of the best VST synths of all time.

          Here’s why:

          • Very easy to use, with a huge focus on simple visual displays
          • Retails at a lower price point compared to competition
          • Industry standout oscillators, which produce cleaner sounds than other VSTs.
          • More than 140 wavetables to choose from. They all sound great!
          • Ability to make your own wavetable
          CHECK PRICE (Xfer Serum)

          The video below should give you a pretty good overview of how Serum works, as well as how it sounds:

          #3 Sylenth1 VST synth

          Then we have Sylenth1, another great soft synth VST that’s also used by some of the industry leading professionals these days.

          It can be heard in a lot of classic EDM hits these days, and we can understand why. It’s presets sound great for the genre.

          It might not be as versatile as Serum, but it still provides some fantastic presets. And just like Serum, it’s reasonably visual-oriented and easy to use. Plus it has THE BEST 303 emulation preset out there, very well fit for it’s plastic sounding oscillators.

          Note: Sylenth1 is also available as a rent-to-own plugin through splice.

          CHECK PRICE (Sylenth1)

          #4 Native Instruments Massive VST synth

          Then we would also like to mention Native Instruments Massive, a VST synth that found its way into the dubstep or bass music world. In fact, some argue that it’s a very foundation of the genre.

          And just like its name would suggest, the tones you can get from this synth are pretty massive. It also comes with great set of specialized high quality preset packs.

          If you are already on the Native Instruments ecosystem, this is a no brainer. Retailing at around 149$, we found this to be a great price/quality ratio as it really is one of the leading synths in the industry.

          CHECK PRICE (Native Instruments Massive)

          #5 Arturia Pigments 2 VST synth

          Oh boy do we love this. I mean, just look at it! Fire up a complex preset and see everything move.

          This is right now the go to learning synth and we highly recommend you to do so, even if you consider yourself to be advanced. Not only subtractive synth, but also granular and wavetable.

          Yes you have the option to load your own samples in it and yes there are effects and a sequencer too. So it is not only packed with features but also sounds extremely profound and intense. It is also MPE compatible so get your controller ready for this monster of a synth.

          CHECK PRICE (Arturia Pigments 2)

          Here is a demo of the patches, notice how playing style is important for this VST:

          VPS Avenger vs Xfer Serum

          If you’ve been making your music for a while now, you’re probably aware of both VPS Avenger and Xfer Serum as some of the most popular synths these days.

          So it’s pretty expected to see people still discussing which one of these is a better choice. Before we get into it, we need to point out that both are great synths. It’s just about what works better for you.

          With this said, some have pointed out that the Avenger runs better and is somewhat more comfortable to use, while the Serum got some lousy rep for glitches.

          On the other hand, Serum has a really great wavetable synthesizer, offering more versatility and possibilities in this regard compared to the Avenger, which has a wavetable size maximum of 256.

          Avenger, on the other hand, also has some more synth sources to choose from.

          But then again, you can do pretty much all of the same sounds in Xfer Serum.

          Overall, it comes down to what works best for you.

          You won’t go wrong with either of these, but it would be best to try them out first and see what fits your style of work.

          Here’s a quick video showing all the features and sounds of VPS Avenger:

          CHECK PRICE (VPS AVENGER)

          And here’s what you can expect from Serum:

          CHECK PRICE (Xfer Serum)

          We couldn’t finish this list without mentioning our #1 choice Omnisphere. Now on its second iteration, omnisphere has stood out due to its compatibility with an incredible amount of hardware. The new version comes with a new and improved Arpeggiator, over 50 FXs, and over 14 000 sounds.

          Omnisphere is often compared do Serum. We’ve down or own analysis of how the two compare in this post.

          CHECK PRICE (Omnispehere)

          Also check our list of favourite FM Synths here.

          Honorable mentions:

          Defiant WT is a fantastic new free VST synth, significantly upgraded in 2020.

          It might come as an excellent solution for those who just got into synths and want to try things out.

          But aside from that, it provides some superb synth tones and presets with its two analog oscillators and eight waveforms. So far, it’s only available for Windows.

          Roland came out with their new synth plugin in 2020, the digital version of the small TB-303 Bass Line produced back in the early 1980s.

          The idea behind the original product was to emulate and replace bass guitars, but it didn’t see much commercial success.

          However, the synth itself was pretty good, and this new synth plugin VST version does the old product some justice and will do wonders for those tight bottom-end tones you need in your music. Perfect for the fans of the vintage ’80s stuff.

          Nexus 3 came out in late November 2019 and was one of the most anticipated VST synths of the year.

          It is essentially an upgrade to Nexus 2, and the prices are lower for those who already own the previous version. Knowing how reFX did great on all the other stuff they did, including Nexus 2, we’re pretty confident that this brand new synth is worth it.

          CHECK PRICE (Nexus 3)

          Best Free Synths

          There is an abundance of great synths that you can get for free today. One of the examples is Dexed, made by Digital Suburban.

          The main idea behind this one was to have a complete digital replica of Yamaha’s legendary DX7 synth, made back in the 1980s.

          Dexed has been praised as one of the best FM-style VST synths of all time, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

          Then we have Togu Audio Line’s TAL-Elek7ro VST, very well-known for its simple layout and a high range of possibilities.

          Playing around with its oscillators and the wide-range LFO will feel like a breeze. It’s interesting how close it is to analog synths, especially because it’s completely free.

          MinimogueVA, made by Voltkitchen, is another excellent example of free synths that you can get your hands on these days. As its name suggests, it was designed to replicate the well-known Minimoog analog synth. If you’re into the 1970s vibe in your music, then this is the perfect solution for you. Just remember the good old tones that you could hear in songs by Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, and Stevie Wonder.

          Also worth mentioning is Ichiro Toda Synth1, which is a replica of the old Nord Lead 2 keyboard which came out in the 1990s.

          Funnily enough, this free plugin is pretty close to the original product, which is not exactly cheap if you stumble upon it these days.

          The plugin features two oscillators along with ring and FM modulation, sync, and modulation envelope. What’s also great is the fact that Toda is optimized Synth1 for slower CPUs.

          Final Thoughts

          We’ve decided to keep this list short and sweet, but there are hundreds of amazing synths on offer.

          We’ve kept our list focused on high end and free synths for electronic and pop music production, but there is a vast array of more niche focused plugins that are cheaper and pretty cool- guess we’ll keep them for another article.

          Thanks for reading and please leave any suggestions in the comment box below.

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