Surge XT 1.0, the successor of the free Surge synth plugin, remains open-source and free but now powered by the JUCE framework and tons of new features.
Finding great-sounding free synthesizers for Windows and Mac is not difficult these days. A lot has happened and the quality has increased significantly. One of the epic projects of recent years is Surge. An open-source synth plugin maintained by a developer community. Vember Audio distributed the synth as a commercial plugin for a long time. In 2019 the synth became an open-source project.
Thanks to a huge supportive community, the almost-dead synth plugin was given new life. There have been many updates over the past 2 and a half years that brought better UI, tons of new features (Mutable Instruments algorithms, tons of filters, new effects…). And today they have probably taken the most important step. They have ported the plugin to the JUCE framework. This is celebrated with a new name and many new features and improvements
Surge XT 1.0
For the developer community, this was an important step to make the synth ready for the future. According to them, this transition makes the plugin far more reliable and giving them more dev tools. The synth is now called Surge XT, is still open-source and free. There are also tons of new features for the JUCE version celebration.
Starting with the visuals. The entire UI is now accessible to screen readers and other accessible tools for near-complete accessible navigation and editing. The sound engine has also been massively expanded. It offers a new tri-pole filter mode, 38 new waveshape types as well new modulators. You can now use vector (vectorized/indexed) modulators with more than one output simultaneously as well formula modulators. The latter allows you script your own modulator type with the LUA language.
The modulation engine also features a new modulation list which lets you navigate and modify all modulation routings in one view. This is a significant improvement that makes modulations easier and quicker possible. Also new is the FX section allowing twice as many FX per patch.
Plus, there is a new spring reverb and several new excellent algorithms from Airwindows. Patch browser also got an upgrade with a new patch search and favorite functions.
Surge XT also comes with new micro-tuning features, including and extensive tuning editor and analyzer. The developer community also fixed tons of bugs and added many clever UI features. For example, more use of drag and drop, windows which can tear out, and keyboard shortcuts. And to highlight all this, it also comes with a lot of new patches. Check out the full change log here
A big step for the multi-engine Surge, now Surge XT Synthesizer plugin. It’s almost unbelievable that you can get this huge synth plugin for free. A big thank you to the community that makes this possible.
Surge XT is available now as a free download and runs as a VST3 and AU on macOS (Intel/M1), Windows, and Linux.
More information here: GitHub