13 Best Free Synth VSTs: Elevate Your Music Production with These Top Picks

When it comes to making music, having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference.

Enter the world of free synth VST plugins: a treasure trove of virtual instruments that can help elevate your music production game.

Today, I'm diving deep into 13 free synth vst download top picks you should definitely check out 👀:

13 Best Free Synth VSTs: Elevate Your Music Production with These Top Picks

Surge VST by Vember Audio

13 Best Free Synth VSTs

Starting off our list is Surge, considered by many as the most powerful free synth VST available. This virtual powerhouse offers wavetable and subtractive synthesis capabilities to cover a wide array of sounds across numerous genres.

With its extensive modulation options and user-friendly interface, Surge is an absolute must-try for any producer.

Noise Engineering Synth Plugins

Noise Engineering Synth Plugins

Noise Engineering offers a collection of unique and experimental synth plugins for those who love to push sonic boundaries.

Known for their analog-inspired hardware units, their digital counterparts provide a rich palette of sounds to explore and manipulate in your digital audio workstation (DAW).

Roland Virtual Instruments

Roland Virtual Instruments

Roland is one of the industry's leading names when it comes to electronic instruments, and their virtual synths are no exception!

Their range includes emulations of classic Roland hardware like the legendary SH-101, as well as innovative new offerings designed exclusively for use within your DAW.

Native Instruments Free Synths

Native Instruments Free Synths

From their industry-standard Kontakt sampler to powerful synthesizers such as Massive and FM8, Native Instruments have built an impressive lineup of premium music software over the years.

Thankfully for budget-conscious producers or those just starting out, they also offer some excellent free synthesizer software worth checking out!

Vital: Spectral Warping Wavetable Synth

Vital: Spectral Warping Wavetable Synth

Vital is a stunning wavetable synthesizer that boasts an intuitive visual interface and a seemingly endless array of sonic capabilities.

With its flexible modulation system and unique spectral morphing capabilities, Vital is a true game-changer in the world of free synthesizer plugins.

Dexed: FM Synthesizer Plugin

Dexed: FM Synthesizer Plugin

If you're looking for a free plugin to dive into frequency modulation (FM) synthesis, Dexed is your answer.

This powerful software recreation of the iconic Yamaha DX7 offers six operators, 32 algorithms, and an extensive library of presets to help you create classic 80s-inspired synth sounds with ease.

U-He: Versatile and Powerful Synths

U-He: Versatile and Powerful Synths

U-He is another well-respected name in the music technology world, providing both premium and free synthesizers suitable for all types of electronic music production.

Their range includes everything from virtual analog beasts like Tyrell N6 to cutting-edge wavetable synths such as Bazille.

New Fangled Audio Plugins

New Fangled Audio Plugins

New Fangled Audio's plugins are known for their innovative sound design tools that challenge conventional synthesizer conventions.

As they offer unconventional synthesis methods like chaotic oscillators and fractal modulation, these free VSTs are perfect for those seeking to create truly unique sonic textures.

Digital Suburban Dexed: Yamaha DX7 Emulation

Digital Suburban Dexed: Yamaha DX7 Emulation

Another fantastic option for fans of the Yamaha DX7 is Digital Suburban's Dexed plugin. This accurate emulation offers most of the features found in the original hardware synth while bringing it into your DAW environment for easy integration into your projects.

LANDR Chromatic: Unique and Expressive Sounds

LANDR Chromatic: Unique and Expressive Sounds

Online mastering service LANDR has also released Chromatic, a range of free VST plugins featuring unique instruments designed by innovative sound designers.

These expressive virtual instruments are perfect for adding color and character to your electronic music productions.

Matt Tytel Helm: Open-Source Synthesis Powerhouse

Matt Tytel Helm: Open-Source Synthesis Powerhouse

Helm is a versatile, open-source synthesizer developed by Matt Tytel. Its easy-to-use interface and powerful sound engine make it a top choice for anyone looking to explore the world of subtractive synthesis without breaking the bank.

u-He Tyrell N6: Analog Modeling Powerhouse

u-He Tyrell N6: Analog Modeling Powerhouse

The u-He Tyrell N6 offers an impressive array of analog-modeled synthesis features, making it an essential addition to any electronic musician's toolkit.

Despite being free, its capabilities rival many premium synth VSTs on the market today.

DiscoDSP OB-Xd: Oberheim OB-X Emulation

DiscoDSP OB-Xd: Oberheim OB-X Emulation

Rounding out our list is DiscoDSP's OB-Xd, a highly-regarded emulation of the iconic Oberheim OB-X synthesizer.

With its lush pads and soaring leads, you'll quickly see why this free VST has earned its place as a favorite among music producers.

Comparing Free and Premium Synth VSTs

While free synths offer amazing value and can help you create professional quality sounds, remember that they may not always match up to their premium counterparts in terms of features or sound quality.

However, by understanding the strengths and limitations of each plugin, you can make informed decisions about which ones are best suited to your music-making needs.

Cross-Platform Compatibility Considerations

Cross-platform compatibility is a big deal when it comes to VST plugins. You see, not all synth plugins are created equal, and sometimes, you'll find one that's got you all excited only to discover it's not compatible with your DAW or operating system.

Yeah, it's a real bummer.

So, what's the lesson here? Do your homework before you fall head over heels for a shiny new VST. You'll save yourself time, frustration, and possibly a few bucks, too. Here's what you should look out for:

  1. DAW Compatibility: Make sure the VST is compatible with your Digital Audio Workstation. Some plugins are exclusive to specific DAWs, while others work across the board.

    Do a little research, and double-check that your plugin will play nice with your DAW.
  2. Operating System Compatibility: Are you team Windows or team Mac? Maybe you're rocking Linux? Either way, you've got to ensure that the VST is compatible with your operating system.

    Sometimes, developers will release plugins exclusively for one platform, or maybe the plugin hasn't been updated to work with the latest OS update. Keep an eye on this to avoid heartbreak.
  3. Bit Depth Compatibility: This one's a bit more technical, but it's essential. Check if your plugin is 32-bit or 64-bit and if it's compatible with your DAW's bit depth. Many DAWs have moved to 64-bit, and some no longer support 32-bit plugins.

    Don't worry – there are bridging solutions out there if you're really set on using a specific 32-bit plugin, but it's best to know what you're getting into beforehand.

Installing Free Synth VST Plugins on Your DAW

The process of installing free synth VST plugins is generally straightforward:

1. Find and download your desired plugin.
2. Extract the plugin file if necessary.
3. Copy the plugin file to your VST plugins folder.
4. Open your DAW and scan for new plugins.
5. Start using your new synth in your projects!

Exploring and Finding the Right Free Synth VST for Your Project

With so many options at your fingertips, it's important to explore different synths and find those that mesh with your style and workflow. Don't be afraid to spend time experimenting with various plugins until you find the perfect fit.

Experimenting with the Parameters of Each VST Plugin

I learned to give myself time to understand the basic functionality of each synth. It's okay to feel a little lost at first, but eventually, things started to click. Once I got the hang of it, I realized I was ready to take it a step further – exploring their individual parameters and modulation capabilities.

What I found was that tweaking those parameters is like opening a Pandora's box of creativity.

You might stumble upon a mind-blowing sound, or you might end up with something that sounds like a cat stuck in a washing machine.

But hey, that's the beauty of it! You'll learn from your mistakes, and soon enough, you'll be creating sounds that make you go “Wow, I made that?”

One time, I was experimenting with an arpeggiator on a synth, and I accidentally turned the attack way up. The result?

A weird, swelling sound that made me feel like I was underwater. But instead of scrapping it, I thought, “Why not roll with it?” I added some reverb and delay, and suddenly I had this ethereal, dreamy soundscape.

Embrace the unexpected. Sometimes, those happy accidents can lead to the most unique and inspiring sounds.

And remember, it's all about the journey – those little discoveries you make along the way that shape your sound and help you grow as an artist.

So, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Dig into those VST plugins, experiment with parameters, and see where it takes you.

Using Multiple Free Synth VSTs to Layer Sounds

Honestly, I used to be so clueless about the whole idea of using multiple synth VSTs to create unique sounds. But, hey, we all start somewhere, right?

First things first, layering is where the magic happens. It's all about combining different sounds to create that depth and complexity we all crave.

I used to be scared of this, thinking I'd just create a chaotic mess. But, you know what they say, “practice makes perfect.”

When you're starting, keep it simple. Try layering two synths with similar or complementary sounds. Then, as you gain confidence, you can go wild and create those oh-so-lush soundscapes by blending more layers.

One thing to remember is to always mind the frequencies – you don't want to overcrowd a particular frequency range.

A cool trick I learned is to pan different layers in the stereo field. It adds that extra dimension and really opens up your mix. Just imagine yourself as a painter, using sounds as colors to create a beautiful sonic masterpiece.

Creating Custom Patches for a Personal Sound Library

As you experiment with different free synthesizer plugins, don't forget to save any custom patches or presets you create along the way. These will not only serve as a valuable personal library but also help define your unique sound as an artist.

In conclusion, there are many amazing free synth VSTs available for modern music producers.

With some exploration and experimentation, these virtual instruments can easily become invaluable additions to your electronic music production toolkit. So go ahead—dive in, have fun, and unleash your creativity!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle