Best Free Synthesizer Plugins For PC & Mac (VST/AU) (May 2020)

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Here is the SYNTH ANATOMY list of the best free Synthesizer plugins for PC & Mac ranging from virtual analog, FM, percussive to modular synthesis concepts!

If you want to produce music, you need a digital audio workstation (DAW) and for some sound options also some good plugins. Unfortunately, many musicians can’t afford very expensive plugins. For this reason, I would like to briefly present my favourite Synthesizer plugins which are available for free for PC and Mac.

I’m pretty sure there are far more plugins available but I want to consider here both worlds: the PC and the Mac universe. Last update: May 16th, 2020

best free synthesizer plugins

Free Synthesizer Plugin Highlight 2020/1: Surge

Surge is probably the most powerful free Synthesizer plugin on the market right now. It’s open-source and it can do a lot. 2 layers, 3 Oscillators with 8 algorithms including virtual analog, wavetable, window, FM and more. These are supported by two filter units with 8 different configurations, a 5-shape waveshaper, up to 12 LFOs that can act also as DAHDSR enveloper generators.

Sounds can be refined with 8 effects units arranged as 2 insert per scene, 2 sends and 2 master effects. Available are 10 different high-quality effects ranging from delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, rotary speaker, frequency shifter and more. Surge comes with over 1000 patches and 183 onboard wavetables. Well, I can name even more features but what I can only repeat: this is a must-have for every music producer.

Sound Demo

free synthesizer plugin

Virtual Analog Synthesizers

FM Synthesizers

Phase Modulation Synthesizers

Morphing Synthesizers

 

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Multi-Engine Synthesizers

8-bit & Retro Synthesizers

Modular Synthesizers

Special Synthesizers

 

Ok ok, you don’t want to spend money on commercial plugins, all these synthesizers are enough for you. Well, if you buy your next hardware from Thomann, you can support the Synth Anatomy website also! Big thanks in advance

free plugins

 

String Machine Synthesizers

Sound Effect Synths 

6 Comments

    • Hello Paul
      ArtPyrite is only a Windows Synth and doesn’t fit to this list. I consider for this only cross-platform freeware synths. There are hundreds of Windows Synths available but only few for PC & Mac. Beatzille is a unfortunately no longer available for free only via a physical magazine purchase (BEAT Magazine Workzone). Cheers Tom

  1. Good article and some excellent choices. Part of the challenge when starting out is limiting yourself to just a few tools so you don’t get paralyzed by the number of choices. I like that you stuck with synthesizers (not ‘players’ or samplers.)

    That said, Synth1 and OBXD would have made my list.

    Maybe do a similar article for major effects (best delay, best free reverb etc.) and limit it to two or three good choices….

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