We are nearing the end of the year, so now is the best time to gather some of the best free audio synthesizer plugins released in 2020 (or plugins for which you had to pay in the past and starting this year are offered for free). In this article, you will discover free creative software synthesizers, wavetable synths, organs, drum machines, free instruments, developed by well-known companies, or even by independent developers. Everything is new and fresh, let’s see what it’s all about.
Software Synthesizers / Virtual Instruments
Vital (Basic) is a free complex spectral warping wavetable synth plugin developed by Matt Tytel, and maybe one of the best releases of this year. Vital is available for Windows and macOS in VST, VST3, AU, and LV2 plugin formats. With VITAL you can turn your own samples into wavetables by using Vital’s pitch-splice or vocode wavetable converter. Create wavetables from scratch using the built-in wavetable editor and even generate wavetables from text!
You should know that in addition to the free version, there are also two paid versions Vital (Pro), $ 80 or $ 5 per month, and Vital (Plus) for $25. The difference between the two versions is in the amount of included presets and wavetables. I highly recommend you to try the free version and if it catches you, I think $ 5 a month is a bargain. You may forget about the other synthesizers you are already using.
SporeSound releases Graphite, a free (donation-ware) wavetable synthesizer plugin available as a 64-bit Mac VST, VST3, AU plugin. Graphite plugin was built using the Juce Framework and use two filters with parallel, serial, and split modes, wavetables with 2048 samples in WAV format, and an FX section with two types of reverb, flanger, chorus, tube preamp, compressor, delay, and simple arpeggiator. Besides all these, Graphite software synth features an antialiasing method designed for quality sound and low CPU usage.
Graphite is available for free, but you can make a little donation on the developer’s website and support him to update and create new plugins.
Tonetta Blue from Flanders Tech is a free semi-modular 8-voices polyphonic synthesizer plugin available in VST3 (64-bit) format. The GUI brings two types of oscillators, each with 19 waveforms to choose from, analog-style filters, curve and LFO modulation, waveshaper, and a convolution reverb. Turning the “magic” back-button, reveal a second modular panel with internal and additional signal sources and destinations, signal splitter and mixer, step sequencer, S&H, and additional, modular effects. A well-written user manual with detailed documentation about the synthesizer’s features is also included with the download.
Monique by Monoplugs (released in 2016) is a deep and powerful sounding synthesizer for creating deep basses and aggressive lead sounds using a very special morphing feature that gives you the capabilities of up to 8 different programs in one — and it’s pure fun! Monique virtual synthesizer is available starting with 2020 for free and comes in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.
Exakt Lite is a FREE intuitive and user-friendly FM SOFTWARE synthesizer plugin. Capable of creating a wide range of sounds, from harsh digital and cold sounds known from the FM era to warm and organic sounds, Exakt Lite will unlock new creative ideas for sure. Exakt Lite features 4 aliasing-free operators which can be arranged in the classic 8 FM algorithms with feedback on operator D.
Each operator has got different waveforms such as the basic sine, saw, square and triangle. Additionally, the 8 classic waveforms from the Yamaha TX81Z are emulated. Each operator has got a separate amplitude envelope generator supporting the classic 5 points TX envelopes. These envelopes have been modeled to mimic the TX characteristics. The plugin UI is very user-friendly and has been created using vector graphics and supports blur-free resizing.
KEYS OF THE 70S
Keys Of The 70s is another cool free waveform synthesizer, it can play all types of samples. The sample banks are compressed in a proprietary rks type format. It was developed using the Juce framework, exactly like the Graphite plugin presented above. Keys Of The 70s plugin features Reverb, Chorus, Tube amp cabinet simulation (overdrive), Tremolo, Sample files are quite small thanks to the new compression format, ADSR envelope control, Mix of Tine for the sounds of Rhodes.