Surge 1.8 free Synthesizer is here and the plugin has got a huge, community-based update with tons of new features including new vintage filters, modulators & more.
One of the most exciting open-source Synthesizer projects is currently the Surge plugin. Initially a commercial plugin, it went open-source in April 2019. The plugin benefited enormously from this change. A large developer community has formed around it and is constantly updating the plugin with great features.
This version 1.8 is a huge update and has a lot of new features that also come from other open-source projects. I can’t write about all of them because otherwise, the article will be too big. So my focus will be on the most important ones.
Surge 1.8 Free Synthesizer
Let’s start with the optical. In Surge 1.8, the developers added new skins including the new “Royal Surge” skin that you can see just above this text. Plus, it comes with improved graphics for the classic and dark skins. The synthesis also got a major upgrade especially the filter section. It comes with two new vintage 4-pole lowpass ladder filters (vintage ladders), filters from the open-source synths OB-Xd, Odin 2, Chowdhury, and a new all-pass bi-quad filter.
They have also implemented 24dB/oct variants for the existing bi-quad bandpass and the notch filter types. Plus improvements for the comp filter and filter menu. Insane how many filters are now in Surge. The modulation system also got an upgrade with a new fully editable MSEG modulation source. This includes a large number of curve types, various editing option, supports up to 128 nodes and has a maximum length of 128 phase units. You have now MIDI controller modulators (breath, expression, sustain pedal) and per-voice modulators (alternate and random) as well.
Also in the effects, one was not idle. It now has 59 open-source effects from Airwindows and effects can be reordered via drag & drop. The effects already available have been improved in version 1.8 and improved in various points.
More Is More
Besides these big feature updates, there are countless small improvements to the engine including an improved FM3 oscillator, better voice management, and more. Here is the changelog where you can read all changes in Surge 1.8. The new version also ships with new wavetables and many new patches. Surge has now more than 2000 ready-to-use presets, yes 2000.
All in all a huge update for Surge. I’m always excited about how much work and passion the community has put into the plugin. If you compare it with the features of current commercial plugins, it can easily keep up with them.
Surge 1.8 is available now as a free download for PC & Mac (VST, AU) and Linux VST3.
More information here: Surge Team