Best Synth VST Plugins The Definitive List 2020

 by 

Jay Von K   -  


Updated: October 17, 2020

Looking for some soft synth magic to level up your music?

Good news!

Here you can find everything you need!

In this article, we will present you with the top recommendations for Synth VST plugins!

Best Synth VST Plugins
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But why is it so hard to find a decent synth plugin?

No doubt, synthesizers have continued to evolve in recent years, perhaps beyond everyone’s expectations.

Granted, synths have become must-have providers of breathtaking sonic possibilities for so many musical genres.

But with all the old and new arrivals, one thing is for sure- all available synths aren't the same. While some give so much control and sound-shaping possibilities, others are somehow limiting.

So maybe you’ve already been thinking about getting one or two useful synth plugins but can’t figure where to start?

Fortunately for you, here you‘ll find some great options for out of the box music production.

Want to know more? Stay with me…

The 10 Best Synth VST Plugins of 2020 include:

  • Native Instruments Massive
  • Lennar Digital Sylenth1
  • Xfer Serum
  • Refx Nexus 2
  • Reveal Sound Spire
  • Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2
  • U-he Diva
  • iZotope Iris 2
  • D16 LuSH-101
  • AIR Music Technology The Riser

1. Native Instruments Massive

Native Instruments Massive
General

If you've been in the business of music production, then the Native Instruments label needs no introduction.

Why?

It’s merely one of the most popular of quality VST plugins producers around.

Back to this- Massive is NI’s hybrid synth anchored on ideas and inspirations from wide-ranging sources.

Massive

You must be wondering what its most exceptional offerings are.

Well, it features an extensive collection of wavetable oscillators, which makes it possible to generate different sounds.

Think of anything from plain analog-style to more complex and evolutionary sounds and everything thereabout.

With the wave oscillators, you can gradually adjust waveforms using a dedicated knob to match your needs.

What else?

Eight intuitive macro controls you can connect to your midi controller.

You have an ingenious modulation mechanism that makes everything easy to program.

And considering Massive comes with about 600 presets, you won’t have to sweat it out to enjoy the full potential.

Native Instruments Massive


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Native Instruments Massive:
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2. Lennar Digital Sylenth1

Lennar Digital Sylenth 1
General

If you’ve ever thought of investing in a virtual analog VSTi synthesizer, maybe this could be it.

On the face of it, one can quickly rule it out.

Why?

There are so many alternative analog synths in the market (perhaps with a better visual appeal).

So why should anyone pay attention to the Lennar Digital Sylenth1?

To begin with, the Sylenth1 is built from the producer’s perspective.

It only means you can expect far better performance.

Sylenth 1

And it does so producing superior quality sound with clarity and realism second to none.

How cool?

I should mention- the drivers behind the impressive functionality include four unison oscillators, two innovative filters, and multiple modulation options.

And that’s not all.

The puzzle is completed by the Master FX section, which features up to seven pro-grade sound effects and an arpeggiator.

If you are bothered about getting your hands dirty, not by any chance.

The interface makes interaction seamless, so nothing hinders your creativity.

Lennar Digital Sylenth1


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Lennar Digital Sylenth1:
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3. Xfer Serum

Xfer Serum
General

Whether you are a seasoned hand or a newbie just getting started on matters sound design, there are more reasons to love the Xfer Serum than not.

As expected of synth that has become a staple for many music producers, it boasts of a visual and innovative workflow-oriented user interface.

So unlike alternatives which take serious work, here creating and shaping sounds is fun rather than tedious.

Apart from the easy-to-use design, Serum supplies a massive variety of usable presets.

Serum from XFer

The presets are especially handy if you don't want to do much of your own design.

Yeah, really!

A little tweaking on what’s available, and you can have new sets of unique tones for your tracks.

Other killer features include ultra-clean oscillators with 3D wave morphing, up to 8 multi-point LFOs, PNG wavetable import, real-time wavetable manipulation with options, various filters, built-in effects, and so much more.

And this is just a brief rundown.

I could go on and on.

Xfer Serum


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4. Refx Nexus 2

REFX Nexus 2
General

Now get this...

The Refx Nexus 2 is essentially an all-in-one next-generation ROMpler optimized to deliver wide-ranging options of production-ready sounds.

Perhaps what sets Nexus 2 apart from its peers is its rich library of high-quality sounds that includes pianos, guitars, and drums, and more.

In practice, it provides access to over 700 presets in 16 categories, essentially offering plenty of choices and convenient sound creation possibilities.

So, yes!

You can curate a whole track without needing any other ROMpler.

Isn’t that awesome?

Nexus 2 by Refx

As if that is not enough, you have a user-friendly interface that makes it a breeze to adjust settings with simple turns and tweaks.

Similarly, basic synth features such as reverb, delay, and filter modification are also available.

In a nutshell, Nexus 2 makes a good pick for sound designers in need of a synth providing a blend of quality, quantity, and variety of sounds to kickstart instrumental production needs.

Refx Nexus 2


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Refx Nexus 3:

5. Reveal Sound Spire

Reveal Sound Spire Synth
General

For starters, Spire by Reveal Sound is simply another incredible subtractive synthesizer for your DAW.

Yes, so what about it?

Well, as a versatile hybrid synth, it holds the capability of designing a broad array of sounds from simple to more advanced multi-stage waveforms.

But wait...

...it gets better.

Its immense potential is anchored on the seemingly intuitive user interface that provides optimal flexibility in the management and sound processing efficiency.

Spire

And guess what?

At the core of its operations are four oscillator modules that provide different modulation choices and settings.

Shaping outputs to achieve varying timbres can’t get any easier.

That’s not all.

Because you have multiple voicing modes coupled with glide functions to enable further edits and adjustments of pitches.

To top it off, Spire features powerful unison and signal controls, a modulation section, and a cocktail of filters and effects section.

It means, there's nothing left to chance as far as enabling endless sound creation possibilities suiting different yet particular production requirements.

Reveal Sound Spire


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Reveal Sound Spire:

6. Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2
General

First off, there is no denying that Spectrasonics Omnisphere has evolved to become one of the most expansive synthesizers around.

And the Omnisphere 2 goes along in solidifying this observation.

Improving on its predecessor, this is basically a rich sounds and rhythms source emulating hardware realistically like never before.

You'd be happy to know, the secret to its immense potential lies in the powerful engine that does the magic layering and mixing sounds.

Omnisphere 2

And unlike the original Omnisphere, whose creativity was limited by the samples available, here you have an expanded sound library of oscillator wavetables with the added possibility of importing your own audio.

What's more?

You have even better sound-shaping systems, an easy-to-use browser, and striking vintage analog architecture.

Most of all, the offerings are everything you can ask to re-engineer your sound design needs.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2


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Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2:
Spectrasonics Omnisphere Presets

7. U-he Diva

U-He Diva
General

Looking for a synth to help you craft big rave music anthems?

If yes, the U-he Diva could be just the right fit.

Why is this?

It turns out this is one classic analog synth that samples the best of relevant historical hardware elements to put together an incredible and detailed recreation.

This is to say:

Diva isn't just a mere emulation but a deeply and meticulously organized plug-in that goes beyond scratching the surface.

Diva

Beyond that, it features several oscillators, multimode filters, dual envelope generators, and two LFO’s and effects slots.

Don't forget!

It also comes with a modification tab for advanced control and a top-notch oscilloscope visualizer.

You will also find advanced features, impressive modulation options, and fine-tuning voice capabilities.

So basically, Diva offers all you need to curate realistic analog sound.

The only downside is that it will most likely take a hit on your CPU.

But that should be fine given the sound crafting potential.

U-he Diva


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U-he Diva:
U-He Diva Presets:

8. iZotope Iris 2

Izotope Iris 2
General

Think about a stimulating sample-based synthesizer that rides on the power of a sampler, the flexibility of a modular synth, and the pleasure of spectral filtering (you can’t be any far from Iris 2 by iZotope).

Now hang on there!

Iris 2 boasts of a unique sound generation mechanism, which makes it a great virtual audio canvas.

Remarkably, it produces sound by playing back up to four audio files at a go.

That means:

It allows mixing of found sounds, instrument samples, and synthesizer waves into infinite combinations.

Iris 2

And better yet.

It has a catchy Spectrogram interface with spectral filtering capability that enables audio manipulation by unleashing creative filtering possibilities like never before.

Needless to say, it also features an epic library of patches.

And so, finding inspiration to generate fresh and detailed sounds remains a breeze.

Then again, you have the modulation feature, which makes it a reality to bring movement and expression to your sound.

Think of dynamic tremolo effects, expressive vibrato, and more.

One more thing, Iris 2 isn't complete without iZotope's award-winning signal processing technology.

From distortion to chorus and stereo delay effects, it is by far a modern conventional synth.

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9. D16 LuSH-101

D16 Lush-101
General

Quite merely, LUSH-101 by D16 is a multitimbral polyphonic synth that is practical yet powerful.

For all it's worth, it comes as an easy-to-use virtual instrument that allows users to hit sounds in no time.

Ideally, it is built from a combination of modules found in different contemporary virtual synthesizers, which form one compact and constructive layout.

But that's scratching the surface.

At the core of the LUSH-101 is the multilayer architecture, with eight independent layers giving access to the world of unlimited sound-shaping possibilities.

Lush-101

Apart from that, you have significant effects to fine-tune your sound, innovative oscillator algorithms to provide unique processing paths, and an out of the box modulation matrix to expand creative manipulation of parameters.

Another key takeaway is the specially-designed arpeggiator section, which comes with self-supporting presets to get you started.

What else?

It features an integrated mixer that makes it possible to mash up everything together.

Still not enough?

There is the multi-core support to provide flexible processing options and skinning capability in case you need to try out different UI flavors.

D16 LuSH-101


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10. AIR Music Technology The Riser

AIR Music Technology The Riser
General

As the name suggests, The Riser is one powerful instrument designed for the sole purpose of generating rise and drop effects.

In other words, it offers sound designers the chance to create different transitions that will pass unnoticed even by the keenest listener.

In use, it functions by combining three editable sound generators, namely Sweep, Noise, and Chord, with a bunch of parameters that have known onset and endpoints.

This way, users can shape movement, timbre, and tonality of transitions without much ado.

the Riser

And if you can't figure where to start, The Riser has about 300 professional-grade presets that offer split-second inspiration whenever necessary.

The best part is:

You can edit, deconstruct copy, distort, and implement them hassle-free into your music.

All in all, this virtual instrument is designed with electronic music producers in mind.

So if you're looking for progression and hype brimming sound, you can be sure it got you covered.

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AIR Music Technology The Riser:
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