The 10 Best Free Synth VST Plugins (2023)
There are plenty of free synth VST plugins where you can get very high-quality sounds without spending a dime. Here are 10 of the best ones available.
Synthesizers use digital frequency oscillators to generate almost any type of sound. This enables them to produce a wide range of sounds, from instruments to sound effects to pure noise.
I’ve gone over some free synth VST plugins in this article to aid you with your music without having to spend any money. Tal Noise Maker, a superb synth plugin with three oscillators and a customizable envelope module, is one of the best options!
Let’s get started.
1. Tal Noise Maker
Tal Noise Maker is a virtual analog synth with syncable oscillators. It is available for both Mac and PC and comes in VST/AU/AAX formats.
The freely customizable module, which also serves as a superb editing tool, is a fantastic feature of this synth. You can use this to make customized envelopes to be used in an LFO shape. This LFO can then be used to modulate a variety of other parameters, including filter cutoff, oscillator volume, and modulation levels.
It, like all other synths, comes with a large number of presets that cover practically every application. This plugin is particularly useful for creating noise and effects. As a result, it’s an excellent plugin for House music. This plugin is also noted for its Juno-style twin chorus effect, which, when combined with its versatility, makes it an excellent pick.
Apart from the features above, this plugin includes effects like reverb, delay, filters, as well as phase control. The many features are only complimented by the ease of use and, therefore, the result is a high-quality plugin.
2. Matt Tytel Helm
Matt Tylel Helm is a virtual analog synth with a multi-compatible nature. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in VST/VST3/AU/LV2 formats.
A formant filter component is included in the plugin as well as a stutter effect module. Both of these effects can be used in a variety of ways to create a unique sound. The software is superb, containing a source code that may be changed to fit your workflow.
The plugin has been known to have some stability issues and bugs. This does not, however, make the plugin a bad one because the problem isn’t well-known and may be fixed with small updates. The plugin is still fantastic because of its user-friendly interface and useful functionality.
Matt Tylel Helm features some amazing controls that help fine-shape your sound. Features like amplitude envelope, filter envelope, and mod envelope are just the tip of the iceberg. It also has a step sequencer and keyboard mod along with reverb, delay, and distortion effects.
3. U-He Tyrell N6
Tyrell N6 is another free synth with a fairly straightforward and classic-looking user interface by Urs Heckmann, the man behind virtual synth classics like Zebra2 and Diva. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in VST/AU/AAX formats.
It comes with a huge preset library making it a suitable choice for beginners who are unfamiliar with the sound design process and need to learn it.
It includes two oscillators, as well as a noise generator and ring modulation. There are also ADSR envelopes and two syncable LFO modules with eight waveforms on the synth.
Aside from that, additional features like a modulation matrix, unison mode, loopable envelopes, and built-in overdrive make this synth stand out and one of the best synths available to any musician or producer for free.
4. Digital Suburban Dexed
If you’re looking for a free VST version of Yamaha’s renowned DX7, Digital Suburban Dexed is an ideal substitute. This free plugin has a sound that is quite similar to Yamaha DX7, which makes it a good choice. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in VST/AU/LV2 formats.
The Dexed is a completely free FM synthesizer. It includes real-time VU meters and 144 DAW automatable parameters. It can also load and save SysEx applications for DX7/TX7.
Dexed’s only drawback is its user interface. This VST will take some time and effort to understand and utilize for a beginning or inexperienced producer. This only gets worse if you’ve never used an FM synth before.
On the bright side, it’s free and it also comes with presets which can be used as a reference to learn the plugin and FM synths in general.
5. DiscoDSP OB-Xd
To begin with, the user interface of OB-Xd is not very appealing. However, despite this, the quality and use of this virtual analog synthesizer are exceptional. Tom Oberheim’s iconic OB-X polysynth is emulated in this instrument. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in a standalone or VST/AU/AAX format.
The tone does not match the sound of analog gear, however. The sonic characters, on the other hand, are well mimicked and captured. The plugin includes two oscillators, as well as a unison and a noise generator. It also has two envelopes, an LFO, and a filter that can be used in a variety of ways.
The OB-Xd produces a great-sounding vintage thick and rich analog sound that many people enjoy. Its simple user interface makes it easy to use and learn for a novice.
It’s an excellent instrument for learning your way around subtractive synths, and it comes with a lot of presets to help you get started.
Vital is arguably the most modern synth on this list. It’s a freeware alternative to flagship synths such as Serum and Massive. However, due to the limited number of wavetables and presets, Vital remains an alternative for many artists and not a first preference.
The user interface has a modern appearance and a simple workflow. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in VST/VST3/AU/LV2 formats.
Vital is a wavetable synth with spectral wrapping. This distinguishes it from the rest of the analog synths on this list and makes it a must-have in your collection. It’s a flexible tool since it has highly adjustable oscillators, filters, effects, and modulators, allowing for practically unlimited modulation possibilities.
If you like the synth, Vital also has a paid version that you can upgrade to. It will take you from 75 presets and 25 wavetables to over 40 presets and 150 wavetables in the most advanced version, as well as other features. The free version remains a powerful beast, in any case, and most producers will not need to upgrade.
7. Vember Audio Surge
Surge is open-source software, making it a wonderful alternative for those who want to get down and dirty and dig deeper into the source code. With a dual synthesis engine, this is a powerful hybrid subtractive synth. It supports Mac, PC, and Linux and comes in VST3/AU formats.
Surge includes 3 oscillators and 12 oscillator algorithms, including conventional analog waveform, frequency modulation, and wavetable synthesis. As a sound source, it can also use an audio input. It also includes modulation filters, LFO modules, effects, and a variety of other sound design tools.
Surge is an excellent choice for all levels of artists and producers because of its open-source architecture. You may import and configure various skins and GUI designs. This means you can easily change it according to your workflow.
8. VK-1 Viking Synthesizer
Viking is a freeware synth that was created to look and sound like Moog’s popular Voyager synth. As a result, it closely mimics the real synth in terms of control layout as well. It supports Mac and PC and comes in VST formats.
Viking is also a monophonic synth, just like the Voyager. Three continuously morphable wave oscillators, noise generators, filters, and modulation busses are included with it. The plugin also comes with a large number of presets, making it an excellent choice for newbies.
If you’re seeking a vintage Moog synth sound, I recommend giving this synth a try. Because it’s a free plugin, it can also serve as a good substitute for someone who can’t afford the actual Moog Voyager synth.
9. T Force Alpha Plus
The T Force Alpha Plus is a subtractive synthesizer with frequency modulation capabilities. It has three oscillators as well as a separate noise oscillator, making it an extremely versatile synth. Unfortunately, it is only compatible with PC and is only available in VST format.
T Force Alpha Plus also includes a multimode resonant filter, ADSR envelopes for the amp, filter, mod, and oscillators, two LFOs, and lots of effects to help you accomplish the perfect tone.
This synth was created with Trance-style electronic music in mind, but it may be used for any type of sound design. It’s a synth you should try using and experimenting with if you have a Windows workstation.
PG-8X is another emulation synth of the famous Roland JX-8P. Roland JX-8P was a very popular 80s synth and this emulation gets very close to the analog instrument both in terms of sound and features. It supports Mac and PC and comes in a standalone or VST format.
Warm pads and heavy bass notes are hallmarks of this synth. It’s frequently employed in synthware, or electronic music inspired by the 1980s. It’s particularly well-known for its filters. It has a three-stage HP filter and a 24 dB resonant LP filter which are used in some other software synths as well.
For a beginner, the interface can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, this synth will be a terrific addition to your collection.
It should go without saying that you don’t need pricey gear or plugins to get a good sound out of your song. As you can see from the list above, there is a wide range of freeware synths available that come near to analog gear.
Check out our article on the best VST plugins for more options on the best pro plugins to get your hands on.
Beginners and new users will find this extremely helpful in learning and comprehending the sound design process and texture of many commercial analog synths. Furthermore, all of this is free, so you won’t have to pay anything to get any of these plugins.
So, what exactly are you waiting for? Make use of all the free resources available and begin exploring and learning. Remember to incorporate what you’ve learned and explored into your compositions and musical projects. Good luck exploring!!