The Best Synth VST. Most affordable, most versatile synth to learn and create sounds on.
Serum is the most affordable, versatile wavetable synth you will find. It includes 2 oscillators and a sub-oscillator, 3 envelopes and 4 LFO's for modulation, with a vast modulation matrix that you can modulate anything with. It comes with a suite of professional FX, the largest range of unique filters in any synth we've used (for the price), and an incredible sound engine that's light on the CPU, but produces fantastic results. Although only 2 oscillators, you can create anything in Serum. From drum sound design to FX, to chords, dubstep growls and piercing leads – Serum is a beast. We'd recommend it for beginners to learn as there's huge support for it in the community and a plethora of tutorials online. If you're advanced and want something to create more cinematic sounds, go for a power synth, like Omnisphere or Falcon.
- Serum (Rent to Own): $9.99/month – 0% interest, freeze at any time, pay small monthly payments to own.
- Serum: $189
Best Sounding Analog Emulation. Incredibly accurate analog sound, beautifully warm and versatile.
Diva is a semi-modular analog synth that uses PSpice technology to model the original circuits of classic hardware synths. It is the best-sounding analog emulation we've tried and is the cheapest when compared to synths like V Collection. You get 5 oscillator modules that each have their own set of waveforms and unique quirks. You also get 5 filter modules based on the classic hardware and a tonne of modulation control, with 2 LFOs, a unique voice drift module (for analog detune) and 2 effects slots with a plethora of FX. You also get 2 envelope modules and a library of the most pristine sounding presets. One downside to Diva is it eats CPU like crazy and isn't as versatile as a digital wavetable synth for sound design. That's not what Diva is for though – it has been designed to produce an accurate analog sound – and it does that exceptionally well.
Endless Sound Design Possibilities. Over 70GB of content & more included!
Omnisphere is a power-synth that has endless sound design possibilities. With 4 oscillators and the ability to open 8 different instances of each, alongside the channel mixing functionality – Omnisphere is practically a DAW inside a synth. Included are, over 14000 built-in sounds, 70GB+ of unique samples, 500 DSP waveforms (that emulate classic hardware), and over 58 professional FX that model old compressors, distortion units, and more. On top of all that, there is also support for 65 external hardware synths – meaning you can use Omnsiphere directly off your hardware! And, if you think it couldn't get any better, Omnisphere supports granular synthesis (offering its own module), alongside including FM & ring modulation, wavetable shaping and so much more that we can't fit in this short description. It's incredible for finding unique sounds that not many producers have access to and is THE BEST for cinematic sounds. However, it eats CPU a lot and is extremely expensive.
FL Studio has been a favorite among music producers and sound designers worldwide, serving as a digital audio workstation (DAW). Its vast array of plugin instruments or synths is one of the many reasons for its wide acceptance. Whether you're looking for classic analog sounds or cutting-edge digital synthesis, we've crafted this article to help you. By the end of this article you'll know some fantastic synth plugins for FL Studio and know the best choice for you.
What are the best synth plugins for fl studio?
Here's the complete list of best synth plugins for FL Studio:
- Rapid Synth
- Phase Plant
- Massive X
- Reaktor Blocks
Compatibility: Win10, Win11, Win7, Win8, Apple Silicon, macOS 10.10+, Linux Ubuntu 18, VST, VST3, AU, AAX, LV2, 64-bit
✅ Award winning analog sound quality that puts the digital vs analog discussion to bed.
✅ Over 1200 phenomenal presets that will have your mouth open in shock each time you play one.
✅ A nice range of effects units and modulation options that allow for in-depth sound design
✅ Beautiful voice detune mode that allows you to edit each tone of each voice,
✅ Amazing modular capability. You can choose from over 5 different hardware synth units and mix and match them as you please
✅ Simple UI that's an analog users dream.
✅ 4k support
❌ Very CPU hungry… that's it.
❌ Only two effects slots
❌ Can be very overwhelming for a new user attempting to learn synthesis
FL Studio users can experience the unparalleled virtual analog synth, U HE Diva. This synth is deemed the finest-sounding virtual analog synth on the market today, and is routinely chosen by music producers to inspire creativity and innovation in their soundscapes.
The range of sounds that Diva can produce is extensive, including clean lead sounds as well as warm, fuzzy bass tones and thick, lush chord beds. The design of the synth was inspired by 50 years of analog hardware technology, resulting in a semi-modular hardware synth that can easily fit inside your DAW.
Diva includes an exciting aspect that sets it apart from other software: its semi-modularity. With this feature, users can combine various classic hardware synths to form an innovative hybrid mix. There are 5 oscillator models influenced by classic hardware synths, and 5 filter models that have different filter types. Additionally, there are 2 host-sync LFOs with multiple waveforms that can be controlled, as well as 2 stereo effects slots that include Chorus, Reverbs, Phasers, Rotary Speakers, and Delays.
Diva employs PSpice software to simulate outdated analog circuitry, down to each individual component, resulting in a precise and clear sound resonance with immediate filter response feedback. However, Diva's usage of PSpice increases CPU usage substantially, but a multicore feature is available to lessen the impact on the CPU slightly.
Diva stands out with its bundle of 1200+ presets, making it a cost-effective plugin that packs a punch. The presets exhibit top-notch quality and are far from the typical mundane trap/dubstep sounds that come with other VSTs.
Diva is a fantastic semi-modular, analog synth that delivers top-notch sound quality, making it an ideal tool for producers who seek distinctive and captivating sounds to infuse into their FL Studio ventures. In essence, Diva is a divine beast of music production.
Here is a production I made using Diva, and some sounds presets below that showcase the quality sound:
Here's some sound examples of Diva for you to check out:
Compatibility: Win7, Win10, Win8, Win11, Apple Silicon, macOS 10.11+, VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
Price: $189, or $9.99/month
✅ Xfer Serum is highly regarded by music producers and sound designers due to its exceptional sound quality output, making it a preferred option.
✅ The interface has been designed with ease of use in mind, striking a balance between simplicity and advanced functionality, ensuring that anyone from a novice to an expert can use it without difficulty.
✅ Serum offers a vast collection of presets in its library, which serves as an excellent foundation for those who are into sound design and seeking new possibilities.
✅ With its impressive wavetable synthesis feature, Serum provides users with a multifaceted synthesizer that makes it effortless to produce and modify intricate waveforms.
✅ Serum's modulation capabilities are very advanced, offering a plethora of options that permit the effortless creation of sounds as they dynamically evolve over time.
✅ Splice's RTO option, provides an economical $9.99 per month, with the ability to freeze at any time
✅ With a significant level of popularity, Serum has an abundance of educational materials and guides available for new producers to learn it
❌ High price when bought outright
❌ Resource-intensive: Serum requires a lot of processing power, which may be problematic for users with older or less powerful computers.
❌ No built-in arpeggiator: Unlike some other synthesizers, Serum does not have a built-in arpeggiator, which may require users to use additional plugins or tools to achieve this effect.
Serum is an excellent choice for music producers looking for a high-quality wavetable synthesizer. With over 150 wavetables to choose from, the sound it produces is top-notch and its sound engine is ranked among the best virtual instruments in its price range. Despite its simplicity compared to other popular synths like Diva, Omnisphere, and PhasePlant, it is still capable of producing amazing sounds with minimal processing .
Serum is distinguished from other synthesizers by its extensive collection of filters and FX divisions, encompassing a broad range of miscellaneous filters and the usual low, high, and band pass filters. Although it doesn't produce the same analog sound as Diva, you can attain a comparable sound by applying a few techniques.
Serum's defining strength lies in its effortless capacity to manipulate a variety of sounds. While the Mod Matrix may require some deep learning (and you definitely should learn it fully), the intuitive interface and drag-and-drop options make it a productivity-oriented synthesizer capable of producing remarkable sound quality and adaptability.
Serum additionally includes four oscillators that operate independently, with A & B allowing you to choose waveforms, and the noise and sub oscillator allowing you to add bass and noise samples to your synths for texture.
Remember when we spoke about the modulation matrix? It's equipped with four macro controls, as well as three envelopes and four LFO modules, with the ability to modulate literally anything under the sun. Additionally, it houses a wealth of filter types, totaling over 75 options, and 10 exclusive effect rack units.
One of the greatest selling points of Serum is its highly-affordable pricing structure. Given that it is connected to Splice, you have the opportunity to enter into payment plans that will facilitate rent-to-own without accruing any sort of interest on the VST synth software. These plans are highly adaptable, providing clients with considerable convenience by allowing for payment suspensions in the event of budgetary constraints, and simply picking up where you left off once your finances have stabilized.
Serum has the ability to produce a wide range of sounds through its sound engine, which can generate clear, high-quality wavetables without burdening your computer's CPU like Diva or Omnisphere. While it may not match Omnisphere's cinematic sounds, it's still an impressive synthesizer that comes at a much lower cost.
Serum offers boundless possibilities when it comes to producing sound, allowing you to craft intricate drum and keyboard patches with ease. Whether you're an amateur or a seasoned professional, your imagination and expertise will be your only limitations. Consequently, we suggest beginners to start with Serum as their initial synthesizer for optimal proficiency.
Serum is a great software synthesizer that can be used to create several sample packs as it uses very little CPU power and the filter options are immense, greatly improving your sound design. It's difficult to provide a comprehensive summary of all that Serum has to offer, but for an in-depth understanding of its abilities, take a look at our review of Xfer Serum VST.
I've personally used Serum to make entire sample packs from scratch
Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.13+, 11.6.5 No VST, VST3, AU, 64-bit, 32-bit
✅ 8 different layers with 3 oscillators to choose from
✅ Incredible library of factory samples, wavetables & presets
✅ 32 modulation routes
✅ Great sequencer which can be used to create constantly evolving and interesting sounds.
✅ Arp control is extremely precise
✅ Tonnes of MIDI & interesting arp presets
✅ Easy to use interface
❌ A little overwhelming at first
❌ Not widely used yet, so 3rd party sounds rarely available
Rapid Synth is a fantastic power synth VST plugin, with an astonishing sound quality and a vast collection of timbres. The plugin merges a sampler instrument with a wavetable synthesizer, transforming it into an extraordinary tool that can create intricate and unparalleled sounds.
Although this is not necessarily a new invention, the sheer amount of patches (8 total), the fantastic library of samples, and the modulation possibilities give Rapid Synth its edge. For instance, you can have 8 patches, with the same 4 OSC, samples etc. all layered on top of each other, allowing you to create incredibly in-depth sounds.
Rapid Synth utilizes wavetable synthesis and a great sample library, much like Omnisphere, for crafting intricate and unique sounds with its modulation features. While it leans towards EDM, it could be viewed as a more affordable substitute for Omnisphere.
Although it doesn't match the exceptional sound quality of Omnisphere, Rapid Synth is the ideal tool for crafting high-energy EDM tracks with a distinct clarity and punchiness that packs a real wallop, while Omnisphere is best for creating rich, textured soundscapes with a cinematic flair.
Rapid Synth offers an extensive range of functions, such as 250 wavetables, 22 effects, three oscillators, four envelopes, four LFOs, four sequencers, and an arpeggiator that reads MIDI. Although it is one of the most complete software synthesizers accessible in the market, it has not achieved much recognition in the music production community, but we have no idea why, because it's incredible for the price.
The array of available sounds in the preset library is extensive and impressive. One noteworthy category is Melody which features ready-to-use MIDI files. It's advantageous because it permits simultaneous playback of distinct sections like a chord progression, a bass line, and an arp. Though the sequencer draws attention, it may pose a few difficulties during operation; and the preset library may start to feel repetitive.
The Rapid Synth is skilled in generating lofi and cinematic audio effects, but its real forte manifests when it comes down to producing crisp and impactful EDM sounds.
When I'm aiming for a sound that is more electronic in nature, I find that Rapid Synth is the perfect tool to incorporate in my workflow. It shares similarities with Omnisphere in terms of functionality, but I often refer to it as the more economical choice (or the poor man's Omnisphere)
It's a fantastic, affordable entry synth to the world of power synthesis.
Compatibility: Win10, Win11 10.14+, VST, VST3, AU, 64-bit
✅ Wide range of synthesis techniques, including wavetable, granular, and FM synthesis, making it suitable for a variety of musical genres and styles.
✅ Incredible sound engine, that sounds clean and you can mess around with to just about create anything under the sun.
✅ Advanced controls are very advanced. There's so much you can do with modules, and you can patch them in any way that you like. Even with the ability to code your own performance modules… it's insane.
✅ Sample-based synthesis capabilities, allow you to load your own samples or some from the already incredible library of samples that come with it.
✅ Expandable packs are cheap and great quality.
❌ Very expensive for a synth plugin, but decently priced for a Power Synth
❌ Extremely hard to get your head around learning it.
❌ Very CPU intensive and only for advanced users.
Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon, VST, VST3, AU, AAX 64-bit
Price: $199, or $7.99/month
✅ Offers a wide range of synthesis methods, including wavetable, FM, subtractive, and sample-based synthesis, giving you endless sound design capabilities
✅ Clean and easy to navigate UI, for beginners and professionals
✅ Modular architecture, giving you the possibility to create extremely complex patches easily. Also gives you a blank canvas to create as you please
✅ Very good sound engine offering high-quality sound and a small impact on the CPU + RAM
✅ Unique features, like being able to create custom wavetables, add samples and more
❌ No built-in effects directly in the plugin, you have to install “Snap-Ins” from KiloHearts. Many are free, but some are paid.
❌ No built-in arpeggiator or sequencer, these come as “Snap-Ins” again, which can be annoying to some.
❌ Very hard to learn. Because of the semi-modular nature, it can be overwhelming, especially with a blank canvas. We recommend starting with presets to learn how they are made
❌ Quite expensive when purchasing extra Snap-Ins and packs
❌ The preset library is unfortunately small compared to other synthesizers in the same price range, which offer the same capabilities
Kilohearts' Phase Plant is a software synthesizer admired by sound designers, composers, and producers for its versatility, flexibility, and potent sound designs. The exceptional wavetable synthesis engine offers an array of sound creation options, and advanced modulation capabilities and effects permit the construction of intricate and layered sounds.
The modular design of Phase Plant provides users with the ability to create complex audio compositions utilizing multiple modules and effects. Utilizing this modular approach allows users to have complete control over their sound designs, allowing for the creation of custom and distinctive audio compositions.
Although Phase Plant offers an extensive range of features and options, it may prove to be a drawback for certain users due to its steep learning curve. For those unfamiliar with the synthesizer, the abundance of possibilities may lead to a feeling of being inundated, and mastering its use may take a considerable amount of time.
Phase Plant is an excellent choice for those seeking a robust and adaptable wavetable synthesizer. The advanced design of its synthesis engine, together with an extensive range of modulation and effects possibilities, make it a trustworthy solution for music producers and sound engineers.
Acquiring the skill to master it can be challenging, but once achieved, you'll have a distinctive and personalized audio output, elevating your music production and sound designing abilities.
Compatibility: Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.13+, VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
✅ Unique hybrid synthesis engine that combines virtual analog, wavetable, and sample-based synthesis, allowing you to blend between all of them.
✅ UI is extremely clean, easy-to-use and has a modern, sleek look to it
✅ The modulation system is fantastic, and has huge routing capabilities and a plethora of modulation sources, allowing for the mapping of anything
✅ A huge collection of amazing presets made by top producers and sound designers
✅ Unique morph mode that allows you to blend between wavetables, and different synthesis types, giving you the best of both worlds.
✅ Brings analog synthesis into the new digital age, adding morph modes, modulation, effects and so much more
❌ Quite CPU intensive so if you have a bad PC it's not going to fair well
❌ Difficult to learn because it is so feature rich
❌ Some complaints about the arpeggiator and sequencer are that they are too simple compared to other plugins
❌ Doesn't allow you to import samples! Why?!
The user-friendly interface and compelling sound design capabilities of Arturia Pigments have made it a favored software synthesizer among music producers and sound designers.
Pigments is well known for its wavetable synthesis engine, which offers users numerous choices to develop and manipulate sounds. Furthermore, the synthesizer boasts advanced modulation features like multiple LFOs, envelopes, and a modulation matrix, that enable users to enhance their sounds with intricacy and motion.
It also has a brilliant UI that lets users navigate and alter their sounds effortlessly. Alongside an impressive collection of top-notch preset settings. As a result, it's perfect for music producers who want to kickstart their projects.
Despite its benefits, Pigments suffers from a few drawbacks such as consuming a lot of CPU power while processing intricate patches or running various instances. Additionally, its audio quality may not match up to that of other wavetable synthesizers found in the market.
In the quest for a potent wavetable synthesizer, Arturia Pigments represents a sturdy and user-friendly alternative. Despite any probable drawbacks, the modulation alternatives and wavetable synthesis technology available on Pigments have helped to establish it as a sought-after selection among music producers and sound designers alike.
Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.9+, VST, VST3, AU, AAX, NKS, 64-bit
✅ A one-of-a-kind futuristic virtual synth.
✅ Highly innovative “splice waveforms” feature.
✅ Excellent for self-oscillating drones and soundscapes.
✅ Save time while creating complex dubstep Bass and Glitchy leads.
✅ Two XY performance pads for automating your modulations.
✅ Excellent graphics for an immersive experience.
❌ Very steep learning curve if you want to master it.
Waverazor, is a software synthesizer with remarkable sound design capabilities, is gaining widespread recognition among sound designers, composers, and producers. MOK partnered with Plugin Alliance to develop this outstanding tool.
Waverazor's oscillator technology sets it apart with a distinctive feature. With its patented system, users can create complex waveforms and sounds with ease. This exceptional ability, along with Waverazor's cutting-edge wavetable synthesis engine, provides an abundance of options for users to produce and manipulate a broad spectrum of sounds.
Waverazor's modular design empowers its users to craft intricate sounds using diverse modules and effects. This approach fosters an abundance of creativity, providing utmost control over sound creation resulting in unique and custom tones.
With Waverazor, users are equipped with various advanced modulation elements, comprising a matrix for modulation, multiple LFOs, and envelopes. These functionalities authorize individuals to elevate their audio experience to a new level of complexity and vibrancy.
The complexity of Waverazor can be a hindrance for those attempting to become proficient in its use. Its impressive technological capabilities and vast array of features and choices may perplex inexperienced individuals, leading to a prolonged learning curve.
Are you searching for a modern and advanced wavetable synthesizer with tremendous strength and innovation? Consider exploring Waverazor. With advanced oscillator technology, a customizable modular design, and exceptional modulation features, Waverazor is the ultimate choice for both music producers and sound designers. While it may take some effort to comprehend and regulate, obtaining Waverazor is undoubtedly beneficial for anyone dedicated to producing music and designing sound.
Compatibility: Win8, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, 10.14+ VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
✅ Over 1500 community designed presets, post-processed to get the highest possible quality.
✅ Oscillators emit a pristine sound, devoid of any aliasing.
✅ Oscillators use custom waveform editing with MeldaProduction Envelope System (MES)
✅ Automatic Gain Compensation (AGC) to judge presets at a standard volume.
✅ Smart Randomization selects best-sounding combinations of parameters.
✅ Modulation FX section is a creative patch-bay area with over 100 effects and endless possibilities.
✅ Polyphonic Arpeggiator with innovative shuffle, note-length, probability and smart randomiser features.
✅ Multiparameters can be used to smartly morph between banks of settings. Lets you automate multiple parameters using a single multiparameter.
✅ 8 modulators switch between an LFO, level follower, midi/audio triggered ADSR enveloper, randomiser and pitch detector.
✅4 macro controls for each preset, automatically assigned to standard MIDI controllers.
❌ Intimidating for beginner to intermediate level producers.
❌ Could've had a “Quick-Help” function while hovering over a parameter.
❌ No details about terms used in the Arpeggiator section. More likely to stumble upon a desired sound than actually design one.
❌ Lot of the best features like the ‘Sample Analyser' are hidden within poorly named sections like ‘Harmonics'.
❌ The ABCD Morphing on the right side is a potent tool with little to no information.
MPowerSynth is a power synth that has advanced functionalities that cater to music producers with diverse expertise levels, making it their preferred choice. In this piece, we'll shed light on the distinctive qualities and advantages of MPowerSynth.
MPowerSynth has a unique feature that sets it apart from other synthesizers – its oscillators have exceptional functionality. With a bank of over 1200 presets and 233 waveforms, you are able to produce an extensive range of distinct sounds. The oscillators also have different modes, such as additive, subtractive, and frequency modulation, making it effortless to find the perfect tone for your music project.
It also has an extensive modulation system that is independent of its impressive oscillators. With over 100 modulation sources, including LFOs, envelopes, and step sequencers, this synthesizer allows users to assign these sources to any parameter. This feature provides comprehensive control and customization, making every sound created distinct and tailored to the user's unique needs.
Moreover, it boasts a variety of built-in effects that amplify sound customization and control, including but not limited to reverb, distortion, and delay. These effects can conveniently blend into any audio for optimal enhancement, allowing for infinite experimentation with diverse tones and attributes. Its interface is effortlessly navigable, thanks to its intuitive and user-friendly layout that enables effortless sound exploration.
It exhibits expertise in producing sounds that are particularly suitable for electronic dance music productions, owing to its versatile oscillators and modulation system. Its capacity to fabricate lively basslines, alluring leads, and ambient pads that are commonplace in EDM tunes is noteworthy. Furthermore, the software comprises diverse effects that prove to be useful in the sound creation process, thereby enabling the development of a refined mix with a professional touch.
MPowerSynth is a cutting-edge synthesizer application that offers users a plethora of features and customization options. Its interface is user-friendly, allowing music producers to create unique and diverse sounds with ease. Whether one is a novice or a seasoned professional in music production, MPowerSynth is applicable for all. If you are seeking a reliable synthesizer that can produce EDM-friendly sounds, MPowerSynth is the ideal choice.
Compatibility: Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon macOS 10.5+, VST, VST3, AU, AAX 64-bit
✅ Stunning sounding oscillators with great filters that sound analog, and can be used to further shape your sound design
✅ Routing and modulation is really easy to use, you just drag and drop on certain effects and use the modulation matrix to further refine, making it great for workflow
✅ Brilliant selection of modulators, LFOs, performance modules and more. If you're an original Massive fan you'll know how great the performer modulators are
✅ Great selection of built-in effects that can be modulated and sound fantastic. Things like LFOs, envelopes can be applied to really technically shape your sounds
✅ Wonderful selection of presets
❌ Quite expensive for a synth
❌ No ability to load your own samples or waveforms
❌ Not as versatile as other wavetable synths on the market
Massive X is a wavetable synthesizer by Native Instruments. The wavetable engine is incredibly potent and multifaceted. With more than 100 wavetables that can blend and morph, unique and complex sounds can be produced. The oscillator section has various modes, like FM and phase modulation, that enhance the creative potential when used in combination with wavetables.
The wide range of modulation options is one of the most outstanding features of Massive X. Its modulation matrix allows the user to assign a plethora of sources, including LFOs, envelopes, and MIDI controllers, to various parameters with ease. Additionally, Massive X includes multiple LFOs and envelopes, each with unique characteristics and possibilities to discover.
Massive X offers an extensive range of effects that enhance and elevate audio quality in diverse ways. Aside from conventional features like reverb, chorus, and distortion, it also offers innovative tools including the ‘Bend' effect, which is perfect for adding subtle or significant pitch modulation to your audio.
The synth boasts a visually appealing and user-friendly interface, allowing for effortless navigation and simple usage of its controls. It also has an impressive selection of categorized presets, which serve as a valuable aid to quickly jumpstarting the sound creation process.
Massive X's potential drawback lies in its high CPU usage. The load that multiple instances or complex patches can place on the synthesizer may be overwhelming. Nonetheless, Native Instruments has taken a proactive approach to improving the software's efficiency by introducing regular updates.
Massive X is a highly versatile and powerful wavetable synthesizer that boasts an array of advanced features within an intuitive interface. Featuring a broad wavetable engine, modulation capabilities, and an effects section, it has become a top choice for producers and sound designers.
Compatibility: Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, 10.5+ No VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
✅ FM8 uses FM synthesis, which can be used to create extremely precise and intricate sounds
✅ The sound quality of FM8 is top notch, providing a clarity, depth, and richness
✅ 8 operators alongside 60 algorithms, expanding largely on the original DX7 FM unit, and giving a world more possibility to sound design sessions
✅ Incredibly in-depth modulation matrix, which allows you to control anything
✅ Large 900+ preset library with some great presets to get started with
✅ Vast array of effects, an arpeggiator and sequencer as well as a morphing X/Y pad feature to easily control tension throughout a piece
✅ Comes with Native Instruments Komplete
❌ FM synthesis is notoriously complex for people to learn, and FM8 doesn't make it easy with a difficult to understand interface
❌ Old interface which hasn't been updated since 2011
The robust sound generation functionalities and adaptability of Native Instruments FM8 software synthesizer have made it highly favored by sound designers and music producers.
With its FM synthesis engine, FM8 offers a one-of-a-kind feature that enables users to create intricate sounds that are typically challenging to generate via alternative synthesis methods. The synthesizer is equipped with a wide variety of tools for sound shaping and manipulation, including advanced modulation capabilities, envelopes, and filters.
The interface of FM8 has been designed in such a manner that it is easy for users to navigate through and customize their sounds with ease. With a range of high-quality pre-programmed patches already available, music producers can simply get started with their music production process without any delay.
Some users may struggle with learning FM8 due to its sophisticated nature, resulting in a challenging learning curve. The abundance of features and options available in the synthesizer may be overwhelming to some users. Furthermore, when utilizing complex patches or multiple instances of the instrument, the CPU requirements can be demanding.
Many music producers and sound designers opt for FM8, a strong and potent software synthesizer, due to its ability to generate intricate and distinct sounds. Even though mastering its usage can be time-consuming, FM8 is equipped with advanced modulation features and dynamic sound creation options that make it a valuable investment for those looking to elevate their music production and sound designing abilities.
Compatibility: Win8, Win7, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, 10.12+ No VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
✅ Highly realistic copycat emulation of a hardware analog modular synthesizer, using circuitry emulation technology to perfectly emulate the intricacies of analog, modular hardware
✅ Over 20 utility modules and 6 oscillator generation modules included
✅ Modular design allows for patching of any module between any other module, giving total freedom to create
✅ Includes emulations of authorised Euro Rack synth modules, which sound strikingly similar to the original units
✅ Fully expandable with 3rd party modules built and authorised by original makers
✅ Standalone is available too
✅ High-quality effects included to get you started, with filters, delays and more
✅ Can be linked up with hardware Euro Rack units to expand the possibilities of sound design without breaking the bank on new modular units
❌ Very hard to learn for a beginner and it can be overwhelming
❌ Collecting 3rd party modules can become very expensive and not many modules are initially included
Softube Modular is an emulation of a modular analog synthesizer in software form. The software synthesizer's modular design allows users to combine numerous modules and effects to generate intricate sound designs. It offers an extensive range of modules, such as oscillators, filters, sequencers, envelopes, and more, supplying users with a vast selection of sounds.
Modular stands out from the crowd, with it's incredible range of 3rd party, licensed Euro Rack modules that you can purchase separately to build on your collection. Another incredible feature is the extremely active community that creates presets and patches which are shared freely on the platform.
For a modular synth the interface is actually fairly simple to use with, both novice and experienced modular synthesis enthusiasts, being able to pick it up. Users can effortlessly connect and disconnect modules by dragging and dropping, allowing for effortless exploration of a broad range of sound design options.
Softube Modular presents a great option for those seeking to delve into modular synthesis but desiring to sidestep the substance and intricacy of an actual modular synthesizer. It provides an excellent alternative that eliminates the need for high expenses and maintenance of physical equipment.
It's a great tool for music producers and sound designers who want to achieve intricate and unparalleled soundscapes. Thanks to its modularity, a broad spectrum of modules, and intuitive interface, creating extraordinary sound designs has never been easier. This software is a dependable option for individuals of all levels, whether they are just starting out or are seasoned professionals.
Compatibility: Win8, Win7, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, 10.12+ No VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
✅ Incredible modular environment providing a tonne of different synths, effects, modulators and more to choose from
✅ Possible to code your own instruments and effects (similar to those who know about Ableton's MaxMSP)
✅ You can patch any series of instruments and effects together, linking them up with wires how you would in a modular environment
✅ Included with Komplete collection, which comes with loads of instruments, high quality samples, synths and more
✅ Moog synth emulation included in the 70+ included instruments
✅ If you have a Maschine or a Komplete Kontrol, this perfectly links with the hardware, allowing you to create patches using your hardware instead of mouse clicks
✅ Incredible user community that share patches, presets, blocks they've made themselves and brilliant search that allows you to find all of these inside the plugin – giving you endless presets etc.
❌ Very difficult to learn completely. Initially the modular aspect is easy to pick up and NI have made it simple, but the coding and creation of your own blocks is where it starts to get veteran difficulty
❌ Blocks can be intimidating for beginners, and may require a significant amount of time and effort to master.
❌ Very CPU heavy when you start creating in-depth sounds
❌ Very expensive for a modular synth, but definitely one of the most customisable and cheapest available considering you don't have to purchase 3rd party modules and can create your own or use the vast user-library submitted stuff
Native Instruments' Reaktor is a modular software synthesiser that has many built-in pre-built module blocks, you can string together in any order you like to create sounds, much like you would in a normal modular synth.
But, what sets Reaktor apart from the other modular synths, is the possibility (much like Max4Live) to code your own blocks in the software and share them to the community online.
This is great, because, if you are a tinkering sound designer, you can create anything you like. However, even if you're not a coder/technical guy, you can browse the massive library of modules that have been built by the community.
What makes this so great is the integration with the software. You can directly search for modules inside the application without leaving, and it's extremely smooth. You can download Moog emulations that have been built, special reverbs and loads more. It's one of the most limitless synths in terms of sound design, but is quite difficult to learn and very expensive.
Reaktor comes with a user-friendly interface that enables the creation of customizable modular synthesizers, sequencers, samplers, and various other sound-creating devices. Its modular system allows users to produce unique moments and audio effects that would be hard to come by in other software or hardware.
Compatibility: Win8, Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon, macOS 10.13+ VST, VST3, AU, AAX, 64-bit
Price: $249 – $4069
✅ Huge library of sounds, including pianos, strings, brass, and synths, with over 4,000 presets available
✅ The sounds included are exceptional for EDM and have been designed by professional EDM producers and sound designers
✅ Piano for electronic music is perfect in Nexus. If you're looking for a classic House Piano sound, it's all in here
✅ Simple, intuitive interface that offers quick browsing and rapid selection of sounds. You can search by genre, key, etc. etc.
✅ Arpeggiator and sequencer are great for adding more complex patterns to your sounds
✅ Modulation routing and matrix is vast, giving you full control over your sound and expanding your possibilities massively
❌ The editing of sounds is very limited compared to other synthesisers, and it's much like a more advanced sampler. Some people might not like this factor.
❌ Quite expensive for producers coming in at $249 just for a starter edition, going all the way to $4069 for complete
❌ Takes up a huge amount of HDD space
❌ Not many effects included compared to other synths
reFX Nexus, is a highly adaptable and user-friendly tool with a vast selection of superior presets tailored to EDM. Its extensive range of pre-made, mixed, pristine sounds makes it the perfect solution for those in need of high-quality audio samples and synths for production.
Although not fully customizable, the synth's top-notch quality and user-friendly features make it a must-have instrument for any music producer or composer.
This instrument provides an array of premium sounds and presets that are easy to access through its intuitive interface. The library boasts over 8,000 presets that cater to a wide range of muxsical genres including EDM, Hip-Hop, orchestral, and cinematic. The presets are neatly categorized, making it a breeze to find the perfect sound for your creative output.
The reFX Nexus is a synthesizer that boasts both superior sound creation capabilities and remarkable sound quality. Its effortless configuration and user-friendly controls are also noteworthy features, and the synth's graphics only serve to further elevate the overall user experience.
Although it may not provide the utmost level of synthesizer personalization, the reFX Nexus stands out for its ease-of-use and convenience. This synthesizer is perfect for those who desire top-notch sounds and presets without the need for extensive adjustments.
This music tool is highly favored by EDM producers, as it caters exclusively to their needs. It presents an array of features similar to Kontakt or Komplete. If you're looking for quick and exceptional EDM sounds, this tool is amongst the top options out there.
However, for some, the potential purchase may not seem worth it due to both the restricted sound editing features and its high cost.
So, by now you should have a wide selection of synth VST plugins to choose from for FL Studio. We'd personally recommend picking one synth and sticking to it, learning it inside and out. If that's a stock synth, then so be it, just pick one and learn.
If you want something versatile, easy to learn and with great sound design capabilities, we'd pick Serum. You can pretty much make anything in Serum, but it does have some limitations when you get more and more advanced at sound design. We personally still use Serum in all our tracks and productions, but also own other synths for more in-depth sounds. Serum is perfect for low CPU, great sounds, and ease of use.
If you want something to build upon Serum, and that has semi-modular capability, we'd go with Phase Plant. You can blend, analog, digital, FM and other types of synthesis, as well as have more control and power over your sound. However, the filters and effects section is pretty drawn back in Phase Plant.
If you want an analog synth, with semi-modular capability, Diva is the absolute best for this. The emulation accuracy is second to none and you can mix and match different analog synths from different hardware as modules – it's fantastic. However, if you want precise control over the sound design process, it's not anywhere near as accurate as something like Serum.
To recap, here's the complete list of best synth plugins for FL Studio:
- Rapid Synth
- Phase Plant
- Massive X
- Reaktor Blocks
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.