In this vast world of VST instruments and plugins, choosing the best ones is not easy. Especially as an indie producer where your budget is limited.
SO, I always come up with the best VST instruments and other pro audio tips to help you in this. Whether it’s a Top 50 FREE VST Plugins For Perfect Vocal Mixing or Top 52 VST Plugins Under $100 For Home Studios, all these articles help my readers to choose the best VST plugins out there.
Today, I’ll introduce you to the 31 best Synth VST instruments for indie producers who want something extra with their limited budget.
But before introducing those synth VST instruments to you, let us first discuss,
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How to choose Synth VST instruments as a newbie producer?
SO, what criteria you check for a synth VST before purchasing?
In this section, I will guide you on what should you see in a synth VST instrument?
Features you should see in a Synth VST plugin
- Compatibility – The synth VST instrument that you are going to purchase should be compatible with your DAW and MIDI controller. If it’s not compatible with your DAW and MIDI controller then you should avoid this. However, most of the first-liner synth VSTs are compatible with all major DAWs and MIDI sources.
- User Interface and Functionality – Your synth VST should have an easy-to-use user interface that you could operate without hassle. If you go with a synth VST instrument with a complicated user interface then you will kill your time finding the functions. It will affect your production speed.
- Budget – Assuming you are an indie producer, I can tell you your budget is limited. So, always try to purchase a synth VST under your budget. There are VST instruments of more than $1000-$2000 price and others come under $100 yet powerful ones. So, first, try the demo version before purchasing. This way, you can evaluate the plugin as per the price and your need before purchasing.
- Sounds and samples – Without good sounds and samples, a synth VST is crap. So, before purchasing the full version always try the demo version so that you can get a basic idea of the sounds and samples in the full version of the VST instrument.
These are some of the common features you should see in a synth VST instrument before purchasing it.
Now let’s jump into the list…
Best Synth VST Plugins for indie producers
The first one is,
1. Arturia Pigments 2
Arturia Pigments 2 is a popular software synth that allows you to create stunning music sitting back in your home studio. It’s one of the best VST synths for indie composers.
The user interface is not so complicated and can be easily used by any synth player. The sound quality of Arturia Pigments 2 is amazing.
Let’s have a look at the features of Arturia Pigments 2
- Intuitive and lightning-fast workflow
- Powerful and awesome-sounding architecture
- 100s of amazing presets from legendary artists
- Extensive factory preset library
- NKS controller compatible
- Virtual Analog triple OSC engine
- Complex Wavetable engine
- Sample and Granular engine
- Powerful Effects Section with Insert or Send routing and modulable parameters
- Polyrhythmic Sequencer and Arpeggiator
I have used OmniSphere and I can tell you it’s one of the best VST synths out there. the new OmniSphere 2 is the flagship synthesizer of Spectrasonics.
This instrument has extraordinary power and versatility.
Top music producers all over the world used Omnisphere in their creations.
Omnisphere is the only software synth in the world that offers you a Hardware Synth Integration feature that allows you to connect your hardware synth with this amazing synth VST.
- 14,000+ sounds for all genres
- Hardware Synth Integration allows hands-on control of Omnisphere
- Audio Import feature allows you to import own audio file as a sound source
- Amazing arpeggiator with many unique features
- 500+ DSP Waveforms
- Sound Match™ feature
- Creative “Psychoacoustic” sounds
- Sound Lock™ feature
- Wavetable Synthesis
- Vast Hardware Library
- Powerful Granular Synthesis
- 58 incredible FX Units
- ORB circular motion interface
- Up to 20 oscillators per patch
- High Resolution resizable Interface with zooming
- Polyphonic Timbre Shifting/Crushing
- Eight full-featured LFOs per patch
- Deeper FM/Ring Modulation capabilities
- Flex-Mod™ modulation system
- Stack Mode interface
Download Omnisphere presets
If you want to download OmniSphere presets from top artist then click on this link.
3. Xfer Records Serum
Xfer Records Serum is a premium synth VST instrument.
It’s a wavetable synthesizer VST that gives you a truly high-quality sound, visual, and creative workflow-oriented interface, and the ability to create / import/edit/morph wavetables, as well as manipulate these on playback in real-time.
The built-in wavetable editor allows you to create your wavetables in a variety of ways.
Here are the features of Xfer Records Serum.
- You will get ultra-clean morphable oscillators that can be easily manipulated to your liking.
- 10+ sound effects with unique capabilities.
- Cool wavetable synthesizer with an easy learning curve.
- Superb and slick user interface.
- “Drag and drop” features.
- Fast and Intuitive user interface.
- Limitless modulation options for the synth players.
- tons of complex filters compared to other synths.
- Free lifetime updates.
Checkout Serum presets on Plugin Boutique.
4. Native Instruments Massive X
Native Instruments is one of the biggest players in the production of VST instruments. However, they also have hardware products. But, if we talk about the VST instruments then Native Instruments is the king.
I have used many Native Instruments plugins. Massive X is one of those.
If you work in various genres then Massive X is built for you. With immaculate sound and complete sonic freedom, it’s built for advanced sound design.
Massive X Features
- In Massive X you will get over 170 wavetables and 10 oscillator modes.
- Sate of the Art Filters and FX
- It can quickly generate voice variation for both mono and polyphonic modes
- Intuitive user interface
- 9 slots for LFO and envelope modulation
5. Arturia V Collection
Arturia V collection is a mid-range synth VST collection for all types of genres.
It is a suite of 28 software instruments including analog synths, organs, acoustic pianos, digital synths, electric pianos, and string machines.
All of them are emulated using exclusive analog and physical modeling technology to get unparalleled realism and in-depth sound exploration.
Arturia V Collection Features
- Arturia V Collection includes 28 software titles: Emulator II V, Vocoder V, Jun-6 V, OB-Xa V, Mellotron V, Synthi V, CZ V, Analog Lab V, Clavinet V, CMI V, DX7 V, Buchla Easel V, Synclavier V, B-3 V, Mini V, Piano V, Stage-73 V, Matrix-12 V, Farfisa V, Solina V, SEM V, Wurli V, Jup-8 V, ARP 2600 V, CS-80 V, Prophet V, VOX Continental V, Modular V.
- You will get more than 10000 high-quality sound presets.
- All presets can be browsed and edited from a single browser
- Common interface for all instruments
- It allows you to search anything from tags, instruments, sound designers to styles
- The concert panel and Stage View allow you to prepare and perform with ease on stage.
- An integrated effects section is given to add color to your sound
- Machine learning algorithms
- Ready for integration with Arturia and other MIDI controllers
- ‘Multi’ sounds that can combine 2 instruments
- Mapping for all instruments and presets
6. Native Instruments Reaktor 6
Another Native Instruments VST synth is Reaktor 6.
It’s not just a synth but a master brain that gives life to synths like Native’s RAZOR and MONARK,
REAKTOR also provides the platform for modular synthesis that you can build in the form of Blocks. With Reaktor, you can patch the building blocks together to create new and unique modular synthesizers, effects chains, complex sequencers, etc.
- Blocks ecosystem that helps you to create custom modular synthesizers, effects chains, complex sequencers, etc.
- 70+ included instruments and thousands of sounds in the User Library
- Granular synthesis engine
- MIDI, OSC, and CV/Gate connectivity
7. u-he Diva
U-He Diva comes with over 1,200+ presets spanned on various categories. You just have to select a folder from the bottom left panel, then a preset from the main area to assign the preset.
The oscillators, filters, and envelopes are modeled from analog synthesizers.
These modules can be mixed and matched to build authentic analog sound. All these can be done with a low CPU load.
- Comes with authentic, unrivaled analog sound
- Low CPU uses.
- Multithreading support for modern CPUs
- Big library of great organic presets
- Resizable editor window as well as alternative skins available shortly
- The combination of 7 or 8 vintage synths with low cost.
8. Plugin Boutique Carbon Electra
Carbon Electra is a famous synth VST presented by PluginBoutique, the biggest online plugin retailer. However, Plugin Boutique is involved as an online plugin retailer, from time to time they introduce their plugins.
Carbon Electra is one of them.
Let’s have a look into the features of Plugin Boutique’s Carbon Electra Synth VST.
- Carbon Electra is equipped with a powerful synth engine that is easy to learn and use.
- there are 4 Analog style sync-able oscillators with adjustable pulse width, oscillator unison, and frequency modulation multiple wave types including pitch-able noise
- You can run the amp section into the built-in optional limiter within the main output, which creates a modern hyper-compressed sound
- Super flexible unison control allows you to create from subtle warmth to massive super saw or super square sound
- Multiple stereo width parameters are given that allow you to get high precision control of the stereo field
- You can also recreate classic analog sequences and acid lines with a modern twist by using its note sequencer.
- You can create aggressive tones with the distortion modes and oscillator unison given in this synth.
9. KV331 Audio Synthmaster
SynthMaster is one of the best semi-modular software synthesizers as well as an effect plug-in.
It features many different synthesis methods including Wavescanning, Phase Modulation, VA, Additive, Wavetable, Frequency Modulation, Ring Modulation, Amplitude Modulation, Pulse Width Modulation, Physical Modeling, and SFZ Sample Playback synthesis.
With its analog-modeled/digital filters, multi-synthesis oscillators, 11 types of high-quality effects, and a massive modulation architecture of 95 separate modulation sources and 650+ modulation targets SynthMaster should be in your Synth VST library.
10. u-he Hive
u-he Hive has been established itself as an industry-leading VST synth, with its 3 different synth engines and a host of different modulation options.
u-he Hive’s clear and easy-to-use layout allows you to create stunning patches without wasting time.
- Low CPU usage and 3 different synth engines give a seamless performance.
- You will get 2 oscillators with standard waveforms or 2D wavetables.
- Drag & drop modulation assignment is available for easy use
- 12 x 2 modulation matrix slots are given
- 4 user-definable XY control pads
- 4 independent outputs and unique 8-step shape sequencer
- step sequencer and arpeggiator with real-time recording
- Scale quantizer with a pre-defined list of scales
- 2 function generators are given that can serve as extra gate generators, envelopes LFOs, slew limiters
11. Kilohearts Phase Plant
Kilohearts Phase Plant is the best VST synth for those who have just started their music production journey and installed their first DAW.
It gives you more options and flexibility that can make things as big or small as you need without compromising the workflow.
Let’s see its features
- Four types of signal generation
- 3-Band EQ, chorus, delay, gain, limiter, and stereo effects
- Phase Plant is loaded with 400+ sounds
- You can macro-control your things with hundreds of parameters given in this award-winning synth VST plugin.
12. Reveal Sound Spire
Reveal Sound Spire is a polyphonic synthesizer combines with powerful sound engine modulation and flexible architecture. The graphical interface provided in this VST synth gives you unparalleled usability.
Here are the features of Reveal Sound Spire that will entice you to buy this one.
- 4x multimode polymorphing oscillators (Classic, Noise, FM, AMSync, SawPWM, HardFM, Vowel)
- 9x unison voices on each oscillator that spread unison voices by chords and octaves
- 15x Matrix slots each equipped with 2x sources and 4x targets
- Multiband Compressor and 3-band EQ
- 4x Macros, 4x Envelopes, 4x LFOs with morphing shapes,
- 2x multimode filters with analog and digital types of filtering
- High-quality effects such as Shaper/Decimator, Phaser/Vowel, Chorus/Flanger, Delay, Reverb
- Over 900 factory presets including complex arpeggios and bass sequences
13. LennarDigital Sylenth1
LennarDigital Sylenth 1 is an entry-level VST synth instrument. Yet it’s powerful enough to produce industry-grade music.
In this software synth, you will get 8 unison voices in full stereo mode, 4 filter stages with nonlinear saturation incorporated, 2 ADSR envelopes, and 2 LFO’s which can be used to modulate a whole set of different parameters and master FX chain.
Its master FX chain features Arpeggiator, Distortion, Phaser, Chorus/Flanger, Equalizer, Delay, Reverb, and Compressor effects.
14. Arturia Prophet V
Arturia Prophet 5 is one of the modern VST synthesizers. It was the first programmable synthesizer on the market.
This synth became the basis for all other polysynths present today.
The analog warmth and thickness Prophet 5 provides make it perfect for the throwback 80’s sound and the modern techno chord stabs.
- 3 types of synthesizers in one VST Prophet 5, Prophet VS, Prophet Hybrid
- You will get all the original parameters of the Prophet 5 and Prophet VS
- Modulation matrix switch for the 2 synthesizers
- Chorus and Stereo delay effects
- 400+ presets created by world-class musicians and synthesizers specialists
- Compatible with the Presets of the original synthesizers
- 1 resonating low pass filter
- 1 multimode resonant filter
- 2 analog oscillators
- 4 wavetables oscillators
- 5 envelopes: 2 ADSR; 3 5 point envelopes
- Polyphony of 2 to 32 voices with the unison possibility
- 1 Mixer with joystick and automation
- 3 LFO that can be synchronized with the tempo
15. Native Instruments Kontakt
Native Instruments Kontakt is not a VST Synth software but I would like to put it on this list.
Because it’s the world’s best host for VST instruments that make you feel like you are playing the original instrument.
I have been using Native Instrument Kontakt for 5 years and I know its capability in music production.
You can simply buy any synth compatible with Kontakt and host with the help of your Kontakt host software.
Over the last 2 decades, KONTAKT has become a highly-developed sound engine for creating and playing sampled instruments.
- 3 instruments for the KONTAKT library, that offers pristine, contemporary sound in a creative and streamlined interface
- Wavetable synthesis module
- you can modulate your sound with Choral, Flair, and Phasis effects
- You can also drag and drop your own samples into instruments
- Enhanced effects
- Standalone application dedicated to improving the library creation and editing process.
16. Sub Lab By Future Audio Workshop
When we talk about synth VSTs we can’t neglect bass lines. However, these are not the part of synth but we should need them to fill the sub side of the song.
So, I thought that I should introduce you to a great sub-bass VST instrument that will help you make awesome bass lines.
Sub Lab by Future Audio Workshop is a versatile sub-bass VST instrument.
Let me show you some great features of this VST instrument.
- You will get an analog-style synth engine with sine, triangle, sawtooth and square wave options
- Factory library of 250 kicks and 808s
- Internal maximizer
- Loop mode
- Low-cut and hi-cut filtering for sculpting
- Sub-bass oscillator
- Distortion with Fatness control
- Overdrive distortion
- Auto sidechain compression
- Analog modeled processing
- and many more…
17. Avenger by Vengeance Sound
Avenger is another great synth VST instrument for newbies and experienced players.
With a state-of-the-art user interface and analog modeled sounds it allows you to produce awesome compositions without hassle.
- VST / PC & Intel Mac AU / AAX / VST supportable plugin
- 64 Bit architecture
- 1000+ factory presets
- 620+ multisamples
- 218+ special samples
- 154+ resampler waves
- 168+ drumkits and drum sequences
- 596+ wavetables
- 219+ granular samples
- Tons of OSC shapes (waveforms) available
- 30+ FX types including Analog Chorus, Reverb, Phaser, etc from ArtsAcoustic
- 47+ Filters
- Built-in Resampling / Wavetable Generator
- Freeform OSCs
- Alias free OSCs
- Easy drag and drop mod matrix
- 4K ready UI
- 8 step sequencers, 8 arps, 18 envelope generators, drums sequencer
- 16+ individually routable sub outs for DAWs
- Routable FX bus and send effects
18. Korg Collection Special Bundle v2
As you know, Korg is one of the biggest electronic music instrument manufacturers. However, it’s active in Synth VST instruments and has a wide range of synth VSTs.
If you have a decent budget then you can go for Korg VST plugins as they are not cheap as other ones listed in this article.
Recently Korg introduced Korg Collection Special bundle V2 for synth players who want to play Korg synths with their MIDI keyboards.
19. Lethal Audio
Lethal is a very powerful software synth that provides a simple, yet comprehensive interface to suit every type of producer and genre. It’s easy to use and comes with a dynamic interface with impressive features and functionality.
Lethal makes your music creation process faster and simpler, yet offers the sophistication, complexity, and quality that you require to produce great songs.
- 5GB+ library of quality sounds.
- 1100+ instruments & presets.
- 2100+ crisp percussion & drum samples.
- Stunning core features and FX.
- Specially crafted banks for all genres
20. Native Instruments FM8
I have already introduced you to the 4 Native instruments synth VSTs above in the list. Now, I want to introduce another Native instrument VST Synth ie; FM8.
With 960 presets and sharp, crystal-clear FM sounds it’s one of the best FM synths in the world.
FM8 gives you the FM synthesis into a sleek user interface and innovative advanced features.
Here are the features of Native Instruments FM8.
- Matrix composing
- Smooth Operators
- Envelope and Morphing
- World-class arpegiator
- And many more
21. reFX Nexus 2
reFX Nexus is my favorite software synth. I have produced several songs around different genres with Nexus.
I love its sound library and the simple-to-use interface. Equipped with the state-of-the-art interface and world-class sounds it’s one of the best software synths in the world.
- 3 columns for easy navigation with display counters for folders, categories, and presets.
- 16 layer arpeggiators
- 256 steps pattern length
- Four insert effects, four equalizers, filter, reverb, delay, impulse, and limiter.
- You can create the most complex patterns with multiple notes per step and set the velocity individually.
- New Vector-Based GUI
- Cloud-Sync Feature
- reFX Cloud App
22. Softube Modular
Softube Modular gives you awesome quality sound with the flexibility and expandability of a true analog modular synthesizer.
It’s more than just another virtual synthesizer plug-in—but an entirely new modular synth standard. Softube Modular includes 6 modeled Doepfer modules and over 20 utility modules.
Modular offers a wide range of expertly designed presets, that make it very easy and fast to produce music just by dragging it into the editor.
- It is a cross-platform modular synthesizer plug-in, features emulations of modules from well-known Eurorack brand hardware
- True dynamic circuit-emulation
- Contains 6 Doepfer modules
- Contains over 20 Utility modules
- Simple to use design
- Drum channels and EQ can be used as separate modules for owners of Heartbeat
- More than 200 quality presets
- High internal sample rate within the system enables true feedback
23. iZotope Iris 2
Iris 2 is one of the best synth instruments by iZotope.
With iZotope Iris 2 you can create and discover musical sounds that have never been heard before. It’s an inspiring sample-based synthesizer.
Let us see its features,
- 11 GB Sample Library
- OSC WAVs
- You can create your own Sound Library
- Spectrogram Display
- Spectral Filter
- Selection Tools
- Over 100 Modulatable Parameters
- Advanced ADSR envelopes
- Morph and Visualize Shape Changes with Real-Time Animation
- MIDI Controllers and Macro Controls
- 5 effect types
- And many more…
24. Image-Line Harmor
Image line Harmor is a WIndows based synth VST with a powerful additive/subtractive synthesizer, image synthesizer, and audio synthesizer.
It is driven by a powerful additive synthesis engine. Harmor’s modules are familiar to subtractive synthesizer enthusiasts.
- Additive / Subtractive modules
- Image Synthesis
- Audio Resynthesis
25. Native Instruments Absynth 5
Another Native Instruments VST synth is Absynth 5. Absynth uses up to 3 independent oscillation modules in parallel.
All parameters that are used can be modulated in real-time for expressive, dynamic, and easy interaction.
- Single and Double oscillator modes:
- FM feature combines 2 waveforms and uses them as carrier and modulator.
- Ringmod option combines 2 waveforms in a ring modulation mode.
- Fractalize: used to fold a waveform into itself to create additional harmonics.
- Sync Granular is a Re-synthesize option that allows a waveform to generate breathy sounds.
- 22 sample categories including acoustic instruments, morphing textures, percussion, and vocal sounds.
26. Parawave Audiodesign Rapid
Rapid synth is one of the best synths for use in different genres. You can easily produce layered sounds with its multiple synthesis layers in no time.
It is powerful, yet not overwhelmed by the interface and so easy to use.
With its multiple layers feature, effects modules, wavetables, and samples, this is the first liner in VST synths.
Features of AudioDesign Rapid
- Smooth algorithmic Reverb module.
- Single-Dual, and Tonal Delay module.
- Sidechain and Trancegate.
- Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, and Ensemble.
- Multi-Band Saturator module.
- Time-Manipulating Glitch.
- Tape stop.
- Master Compressor/Limiter.
27. Propellerhead Software Europa
Europa was actually come with Reason but now Propellerhead recently made it into a standalone plugin for everyone to try.
However it’s released as a standalone VST synth, Europa had such an impact on Reason 10’s version with a separate AU/VST instrument.
Europa is a very popular wavetable synth among the players and producers. It’s one of the most powerful, modern, and biggest-sounding synths.
Europa key features
- Free for Reason 109 owners
- Four envelopes
- 30+ wavetables
- 24 filter types
- Wavetable synth
- Three spectral waveform engines
- 500+ presets
- Three LFOs
28. Synapse Audio Dune 3
DUNE 3 is built from an award-winning DUNE 2 synthesizer. It comes with several patches crafted by expert sound designers and artists.
The factory library size of Dune 3 is more than 1000 patches. With the scalable user interface that supports Full HD, as well as Retina displays on the Mac, it’s one of the finest created VST synthesizers in the world.
Here are the features of Dune 3,
- Dune 3 is a flexible synthesizer with virtual-analog oscillators, FM synthesis, and wavetable.
- 2 Parallel tone generators that are equipped with 32 oscillators each, 8-fold Unison
- Up to 520 total oscillators with 16-Voice polyphony
- Dual filter with balance
- Zero-delay feedback filter
- Extensive wavetable editor
- 3 LFOs
- Versatile 32-fold modulation matrix
- 4 Graphic envelopes
- 2 Master effects buses with 9 effects in each module
- Innovative arpeggiator with MIDI import
- 1000+ presets
29. u-he Repro-1
Repro-1 is a mono synth, which is hard-working, sounds raw, and immediately playable. The classic design of Repro-1 is simple and intuitive but it has a deep feature set capable of producing a wide range of sounds.
It’s inspired by analog synths, meticulously modeling from 2 famous synthesizers. The original sound of analog synth was captured using component-level modeling technology that allows the creation of the most authentic model possible.
- Unashamedly monophonic sound
- The 4-pole resonant lowpass filter module
- Glide control
- Arpeggiator with latch mode
- Sequencer with two 32-step patterns
- 3 modulation sources controlling 5 destination
- 2 additional “performance” modulation assignments
- 5 effects modules include wavefolder/distortion, delay/chorus, EQ/resonator, reverb, sonic conditioner/dynamics processor
- 500+ factory presets
- Powerful analog sound
- 2 oscillators
- White noise generator
- ADSR envelope
- Host-syncable LFO with 3 waveforms
- Resizable UI
- And many more…
30. Audio Damage Phosphor 3
Phosphor is modeled from the alphaSyntauri, a vintage digital additive synth used in the early 80s. The original alphaSyntauri analog synth required an Apple IIe to operate, but Audio Damage has eliminated the middle-man so Phosphor 3 can be played in any DAW.
- Two Voices
- Modulation Panel
- Dual Delays
- TUN File Support
- Cross Modulation
- Additive Wavetable Oscillators
- Noise Sources
- ADSR x 2
- MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression)
- Factory Presets
- All-New Preset browser
- Cross-Platform Preset Format
- Vintage Modes
- LFO x 2
- Voice Modes
- T-Rand modulation
- Software Keyboard
- Fully Resizable Hi-Dpi/Retina GUI
31. UVI Falcon
UVI Falcon has an advanced and truly unlimited hybrid interface, with an extensive collection of cutting-edge effects, oscillators, modulators, and event processors.
Falcon delivers a workflow-adaptive and highly scriptable environment. With Falcon, you can create and manipulate sound with unparalleled precision and finetune, from basic sample slicing.
UVI Falcon Features
- 16 oscillators
- 90+ effects
- Modulation sources
- MIDI processors with scripting
- Advanced sample engine with time-stretching
- Slicing and granular
- Pure synthesis with subtractive, PM, FM
- Additive, and physical modeling
What’s Your Choice? 31 Best Synth VST Instruments For Indie Producers
Choosing the best audio production plugins and hardware is not an easy job. You have to research a lot to get something good, Otherwise, you will lose your hard money choosing the wrong one.
Well, above I have introduced you to the 31 best synth instruments for indie composers and beginners. Now it’s your time to choose one from this list.
And, after choosing your synth, don’t forget to comment below the name. It will help others to get better VST instruments without wasting money.
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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.