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The 9 Best Wavetable Synths for Music Producers

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Wavetable synthesis is one of the most used forms of synthesis in music production, and they’re the most user-friendly, easiest-to-learn synths that are extremely versatile. Lightweight, digital synthesizers that allow you to load wavetables from samples, or directly load them from analog synths are one of the greatest musical inventions. In this article we’ll be diving into the different wavetable synth plugins, and showing you which are best, based on our 8 years experience of music production. We’ll examine the attributes, pros, and cons of each plugin and spotlighting specific strengths and weaknesses, we aim to assist both seasoned and novice producers alike in their quest to discover the perfect wavetable synth plugin for their creative endeavors.

What Are The Best Wavetable Synth Plugins?

Here’s a complete list of the best wavetable synth plugins:

  1. Serum
  2. Omnisphere
  3. Rapid Synth
  4. Falcon
  5. Phase Plant
  6. Pigments
  7. Waverazor
  8. Massive X
  9. Vital

What Is A Wavetable Synth?

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Wavetable synthesis is a software synthesizer that utilizes special samples called wavetables to generate sounds. These wavetables contain numerous waves that can be smoothly scanned through and altered to deliver intricate and ever-changing sounds.

What makes wavetable synthesis different from static sample-based synthesis is the ability to scan the sample, and play through the waves to allow the morphing of one wave sound into another.

This allows wavetable synths to accurately capture the intricacies of acoustic instruments in the form of a wave that can be used inside a synthesizer to build upon sonically.

Inside wavetables you can input textures, and other sampled sounds alongside waves like a saw or square for instance. This gives the wavetable synth a unique advantage over other synthesizers. However, it does have it’s drawbacks (explained below)

Wavetable synths can load different wavetables which can be sampled from real life recordings, made from JPEGs and even drawn in software.

They are digital synths that use digital processing to read wavetable files and turn them into audio. You use wavetables alongside each other to blend different timbres and characteristics together to create an altogether, different sounding instrument.

A popular example of a wavetable synth is Xfer’s Serum.

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In this synth you can create wavetables from scratch by drawing, import audio files as wavetables and even create wavetables from JPEGs. It additionally has other features including modulation, a suite of effects and enveloping abilities.

Serum is a digital VST plugin.

What is a Wavetable?

A wavetable is a sample that contains 256 different waves that make up that sample. These different waves can be cycled through to accurately capture an analog sound like an instrument or analog synth wavetable, allowing the synth to read the fluctuations in sound, and accurately re-create the original sound.

They are a fantastic, lightweight way to creating real-sounding, analog instruments with little impact on the CPU and a great array of sound design possibilities at your fingertips. However, they do have some drawbacks.

When playing wavetables that have been sampled from acoustic instruments, they do not capture velocity, things like plucks or expressiveness. Additionally, when created from audio files, wavetables can only be played in a short 1-2 octave range before sounding bad, and they must be cycled through, using modulation to re-create the acoustic sound, or they will just play the static sample.

When modulated, they have to be modulated exactly to the note release of what you’re playing. This is because they’ll cycle through and end up on a static wave at the end (unless an LFO is used). However, if an LFO is used, it can begin to sound like a loop and a bit boring.

This is where you must use modulation cleverly to make your synth sounds interesting.

What is Wavetable Synthesis Used For?

The versatility of wavetable synthesis makes it well-suited for various musical applications, such as creating textured sounds, pads, and evolving soundscapes in electronic music production, film and video game sound design. Consequently, it has become a favorite among many artists due to its adaptability and capacity for generating intricate and comprehensive audio.

With wavetable synthesis, one can produce common synth sounds such as basses, leads, and plucks while obtaining the advantage of generating exclusive modifications and modulations. Furthermore, numerous wavetable synthesizers provide users the capability of importing personal wavetables enabling them to invent distinctive sounds and textures.

In general, wavetable synthesis is an adaptable and robust method of generating sound that presents endless aural variations, thus becoming a trendy option for both music performers and sound creators.

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02/22/2024 05:25 am GMT

WhAt Are The Differences Between Wavetable, Analog, FM or other styles?

Here are the differences between wavetable synthesis, FM and analog:

  • Analog – uses electrical circuits and voltage to create sounds and amplify them, giving similar qualities to that of an acoustic instrument, with variation in sound due to small voltage changes.
  • FM – creates through the modulation of a singular frequency on one oscillator, with another oscillator. They are good for bell and metallic sounds
  • Wavetable – uses wavetable samples that are scanned through to create evolving synthesis sound. Commonly digital and can be used to make any type of sound, not having a particular style

Serum

Xfer Serum
4.4
$189, or $9.99/month

The most versatile, user-friendly wavetable synth on the market. Serum is easy to use, sounds incredible & is extremely affordable.

Sound Quality:
4.0
User Interface:
3.5
Ease of Use:
5.0
Presets:
5.0
Features:
4.0
Value for Money:
5.0
Pros:
  • Highly regarded by music producers and sound designers due to its exceptional sound quality output
  • 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 rent-to-own option, provides an economical $9.99 per month, with the ability to pause at any time
  • Best user base and community, thousands of tutorials and presets available online
Cons:
  • Not cheap!
  • CPU and RAM hungry (not the worst though)
  • No built-in arpeggiator, you need to chain it with another plugin or tool
OS Compatibility: Win7, Win10, Win8, Win11, Apple Silicon, macOS 10.11+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX

Serum provides access to a wide selection of 150 wavetables, making it a sophisticated wavetable synthesizer. Compared to other synthesizers such as PhasePlant, Diva, and Omnisphere, Serum is more simplistic, but it can still create remarkable sounds with minimal processing.

It stands out from the other synthesizers on this list thanks to its exceptional FX and filter section, which features an extensive range of miscellaneous filters and standard low, high, and bandpass filters. Although it may not emulate analog sounds like Diva, you can manipulate Serum to produce similar-sounding analog-style sounds using a few techniques.

Serum offers tremendous flexibility, speed, and remarkable audio quality. What sets it apart is the ease with which you can modulate almost anything. With its streamlined drag-and-drop interface, Serum is the ideal synthesizer for those who value productivity without sacrificing sound excellence and exceptional features.

It also includes of 4 distinct oscillators, including 2 wavetable oscillators, a noise generator that can be tweaked as per your liking, and a grungy sub-oscillator. Additionally, it features a vast selection of over 400 handcrafted patches and sounds to lend a distinct flair to your musical creations. The modulation matrix with 4 macro controls, 3 enveloped, and 4 LFO modules support endless sound design possibilities.

Serum has a plethora of options with its extensive library of more than 75 filter types and 10 distinct effect rack units. Its affordability relative to its features is a standout feature, as it provides rent-to-own packages that can be availed through Splice without any interest charges. These flexible plans empower users to discontinue payments temporarily and resume them at a later time when financial stability is regained.

All patches made in Serum – Purple Slush Lofi Pack

All songs made with sounds from (created with Serum) – Purple Slush Lofi Pack

All synths made in Serum – Redd Velvet Hyperpop Pack

All songs made with Serum patches from – Redd Velvet Hyperpop Pack

Serum is capable of creating any sound, and the sound engine it uses allows for pristine, clean and loud wavetables that don’t destroy your CPU, like the Diva or Omnisphere. It’s a little more stripped back than Diva or Omnisphere, but don’t let it fool you – you can create virtually anything.

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It won’t be able to match the huge cinematic sounds of Omnisphere, but then again, it’s not $400+ and is a fraction of the price.

You can make anything from Drums, to Pads, to realistic sounding Keys patches. It all comes down to your imagination and capability when using the synth. We personally would recommend new producers to learn on Serum before picking up any other synth.

I have personally used Serum as my sole synth for designing multiple sample packs. It’s low on the CPU and you’d be surprised what you can achieve with the few oscillators it offers. In my opinion it has some of the best, most intruiging filter types, which will heavily improve your sound design game, as a lot of sound design is about filtering, modulation and shaping.

Omnisphere

Spectrasonics Omnisphere
3.5
$479.00

Omnisphere is a powerful software synthesizer and sound design tool that offers an extensive library of diverse and customizable sounds for music production.

Pros:
  • Omnisphere offers an extensive collection of high-quality sounds, including a wide range of synthesizers, sampled instruments, and textures, making it suitable for various musical genres.
  • The software provides an array of powerful sound manipulation tools, including a comprehensive modulation system, extensive effects, and granular synthesis capabilities, allowing for highly creative sound design.
  • Despite its complexity, Omnisphere's user interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easier for both beginners and experienced producers to navigate and experiment with its features.
  • Omnisphere includes a "Live Mode" feature that facilitates real-time performance by offering quick access to patches and allowing for dynamic sound changes on the fly.
  • Spectrasonics regularly releases updates and additional sound libraries, ensuring that users have access to new and exciting content to keep their music production fresh.
Cons:
  • Omnisphere is known for its high system requirements, which can be demanding on your computer's CPU and RAM, potentially causing performance issues on less powerful machines.
  • The software comes with a relatively high price tag, which might be a barrier for some musicians, especially those just starting out.
  • Due to its extensive feature set, Omnisphere can have a steep learning curve, particularly for newcomers to sound design and synthesis.
  • The software and its sound libraries can take up a significant amount of storage space, which might be an issue if you're working with limited storage capacity.
  • While having a vast sound library is a pro, it can also be a con as it might be overwhelming to navigate through so many options, potentially slowing down the creative process.
OS Compatibility: Windows 10+, macOS 10+
Plugin versions: VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit
02/22/2024 05:25 am GMT

Omnisphere 2 is aptly named the king of software synthesizers when it comes to sound design, and for good reasons.

Omnisphere 2 may be pricier than its counterparts such as Diva and Serum in the world of VST plugins, but it undeniably provides an unmatched level of options for sound design. The plugin includes an extensive collection of over 14,000 sounds, a whopping 70GB of samples, 500 distinctive DSP waveforms that mimic traditional analog hardware synthesizers, and the convenience of having 8 instances open in a single patch. That signifies one can have up to 32 oscillators per patch without any hassle.

Omnisphere goes beyond just providing basic sounds. It offers an extensive array of modulation options and effects that give your music an added layer of complexity and depth. Its vast library of unique sound selections enables you to create sounds that set you apart from the crowd, giving you an undeniable advantage in music production.

The modulation features of Omnisphere 2 are remarkable, with every instance offering eight LFOs, twelve envelopes, thirty-four filter options, and fifty-eight modern and classic effects units. Among these, our favored effect is the retroplex – a delay unit with a vintage feel that creates exceptional sound quality.

Additionally, with Omnisphere, you have the ability to incorporate your own audio files as a sample and access a variety of wavetable/sample editing tools.

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  • An incredible granular synthesis engine
  • Detune & unison
  • FM modulation,
  • Ring modulation
  • Wavetable shaping + bitcrush & distortion.

It’s also currently the only synth plugin that offers support for external hardware synthesizers, with a list of support for 65 different classics. If you own any of the following, then you’re in for a real treat!

omnisphere synth plugin hardware synthesizer compatibility

Omnisphere’s arpeggiator is one of the aspects we love most, and for good reason. While still packing all the features of a standard arpeggiator, it offers a vastly expanded selection to meet your needs.

The arpeggiator has additionally been greatly improved and is incredibly feature rich, with the ability to add chords or pitch slides to the each step and more.

With Keyscape, the largest collection of collector keyboards worldwide, Omnisphere can be combined to create some of the most pristine sounds.

As a music producer, there’s no denying that this investment is a significant one, but it’s also the most valuable one you’ll ever make. This virtual instrument is precisely what you require if you’re after distinctive sound design that sends shivers down the spine.

Here is a composition I made using Omnisphere (no mix or master):

Omnisphere produces a sound quality that is simply extraordinary. Its cinematic sounds far surpass those of other similar programs like Serum or Phase Plant. This software is specifically designed for those who want to create music for the big screen or television.

Just because many Trap producers have Omnisphere in their setup doesn’t mean it is exclusive to that genre either.

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This VST synth may be pricey, but it’s definitely worth every penny. It’s ideal for those seeking to produce peculiar and distinctive sounds through sound design.

For most of my productions, I have exclusively utilized Omnisphere. When accompanying Keyscape and Trilian (Spectrasonics’ Bass and Keyboard expansions), an array of incredibly lifelike, spine-tingling sounds can be created.

Rapid Synth

Parawave Rapid Synth
4.8
€179.99

Rapid is an incredible value for money, a power synth that seeps creativity. There are no limits with modulation, the factory samples and content are vast, and the workflow of Rapid makes sense. Despite minor usability issues, it’s the best value money for a synth we’ve used.

Ease of Use:
4.0
Sound Quality:
5.0
Value for Money:
5.0
Presets:
5.0
Features:
5.0
Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • A little overwhelming at first
  • Not widely used yet, so 3rd party sounds are rarely available
OS Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon, macOS 10.13+ 11.6.5
Plugin versions: VST2, VST3, AU
rhodes
lofi melody
trance melody
donk bass

Rapid has become a highly regarded wavetable synthesizer in a short amount of time and has gained a reputation as one of the top contenders on the market. It flaunts a plethora of capabilities making it a fitting option for sound designers, producers, and composers alike.

The wavetable editor of Rapid is a striking feature that allows users to easily develop and modify their personalized wavetables. When paired with the synth’s robust modulation system, this feature offers an abundance of sonic possibilities that exceed boundaries.

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Rapid boasts an assortment of incorporated effects that amplify the sonic quality, lending it a unique and rich texture. Additionally, the synthesizer features an intuitive interface that simplifies maneuvering for novices.

Despite the numerous features Rapid offers, it may prove to be too complicated for novice users. Also, the absence of familiar analog-style filters in the synth may impose limitations on its adaptability for certain users.

If you’re searching for a top-notch wavetable synth, Rapid is a fantastic choice. Despite the fact that it may require some investment to become skilled at, its sophisticated features and broad sound design options make it an outstanding asset for producers and sound designers.

Falcon

UVI Falcon
4.5
$349

One of the most powerful and deep synth plugins available. Sound design in Falcon truly has no limits (unless you don’t have the CPU). It’s the fastest, best-sounding power synth on the market.

Ease of Use:
3.5
Features:
5.0
Sound Quality:
5.0
Value for Money:
4.5
Pros:
  • 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 of great quality.
Cons:
  • 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.
OS Compatibility: Win10, Win11 10.14+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU
falcon granular pad
falcon sine chords
falcon glissando
falcon deep bass
falcon hard bass

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falcon organ

UVI Falcon is a robust software synthesizer equipped with a diverse collection of tools suitable for composers, producers, and sound designers.

Falcon’s adaptable structure is a remarkable attribute, granting users effortless sound creation and manipulation. The synthesizer encompasses an array of techniques for sample playback and synthesis, along with superior modulation and routing capabilities.

In addition, Falcon offers a vast array of sound options such as presets, samples, and wavetables, rendering it a preferred selection amongst music production experts. The synthesizer features a simplistic yet personalized interface that can be easily maneuvered to suit one’s specific preferences.

Falcon may not be the most beginner-friendly or affordable synth as it comes with a high price tag. Furthermore, its broad range of features and options may be too intricate for some users to navigate.

Falcon is a remarkable software synthesizer that offers a broad spectrum of functionalities and attributes, making it an ideal pick for those in search of a powerful tool. Though it is relatively expensive and intricate, Falcon is an outstanding investment for users committed to music production and sound designing. Its advanced features make it more suitable for professionals in this field.

Phase Plant

Kilo Hearts Phase Plant
$199, or $7.99/month

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.

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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
OS Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX

Kilohearts’ Phase Plant software synthesizer has earned a reputation as a favorite tool for sound designers, producers, and composers. This popularity can be attributed to the synthesizer’s flexible infrastructure and ability to create commanding sound designs.

Phase Plant’s exceptional capability lies in its highly developed wavetable synthesis mechanism, enabling users to have an array of sound creation and manipulation options. Equipped with numerous advanced modulation capabilities and effects, the synthesizer enables users to impart intricate character and depth into their sounds.

Phase Plant offers a modular structure that enables users to generate intricate audio by incorporating various modules and effects. This modular approach grants users significant mastery over their sound designs and empowers them to fashion distinct and personalized audio compositions smoothly.

Phase Plant’s learning curve may pose as a disadvantage for some. With its vast array of features and options, newcomers to the synth may find themselves inundated with information and it could take a while for them to become proficient in its usage.

If you’re searching for a wavetable synth with impressive power and versatility, then Phase Plant is definitely worth considering. Its modular design, cutting-edge wavetable synthesis engine, and broad spectrum of modulation and effects options make it a reliable option for producers and sound designers alike. Although it may require some effort to become proficient with it, Phase Plant is a wise investment for anyone committed to honing their sound design and music production skills.

Arturia Pigments

Plugin Boutique Arturia Pigments
$199

Pigments is well known for its wavetable synthesis engine, which offers users numerous choices to develop and manipulate sounds.

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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?!
OS Compatibility: Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.13+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX

The software synthesizer Arturia Pigments has gained popularity among music producers and sound designers for its powerful sound design abilities and user-friendly interface.

Pigments’ most notable characteristic is its wavetable synthesis engine. It grants users a vast array of alternatives for crafting and altering sounds. The synthesizer further presents several cutting-edge modulation abilities, including a modulation matrix, numerous LFOs, and envelopes. With these features, users have the potential to impart movement and intricacy to their sounds.

Pigments offers a user interface that is simple to use, enabling users to effortlessly browse and alter their sounds. Moreover, the synth is furnished with a collection of top-notch pre-programmed settings, rendering it perfect for music producers seeking to begin their work right away.

Pigments may pose a drawback with regards to its usage of CPU, especially when dealing with complex patches or multiple instances. Furthermore, its sound quality might not measure up against that of other wavetable synthesizers available in the market, which could be discouraging for some users.

Looking for a robust and easy-to-use wavetable synthesizer? Look no further than Arturia Pigments. With its top-of-the-line wavetable synthesis technology and wide range of modulation options, it’s a popular choice for both music producers and sound designers alike. While some users may worry about its CPU requirements, Pigments is definitely worth the investment for those seeking to craft engaging, one-of-a-kind audio.

Waverazor

Tracktion Waverazor
4.8
$159

The Waverazor is a futuristic synth that can create tormented futuristic sounds for film scores as easily as it can produce biting leads and glitched-out basses for Dubstep. A highly attractive GUI in 21 languages with an intuitive XY pad sets this synth apart. While this synth has tremendous potential for creating one-of-a-kind sonic textures, the learning curve is quite steep.

Ease of Use:
4.0
Sound Quality:
5.0
Filters and FX section:
4.5
Macros and XY Pads.:
5.0
Film Scoring & Sound design capabilities.:
5.0
Utility, Graphics & Ease in navigation.:
5.0
Pros:
  • 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.
Cons:
  • Very steep learning curve if you want to master it.
OS Compatibility: Win7, Win8, Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.9+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX, NKS
modulating chords
arp
melody

MOK, in collaboration with Plugin Alliance developed Waverazor, a software synthesizer that is renowned for its exceptional sound design abilities, and has gained popularity among sound designers, composers, and producers.

Waverazor boasts a distinct characteristic in its oscillator technology. Its patented technology permits users to craft intricate waveforms and sounds with immense simplicity. This unique capability, in harmonious concordance with Waverazor’s state-of-the-art wavetable synthesis engine, endows users with an extensive plenitude of alternatives to generate and manage a diverse range of sounds.

By using various modules and effects, Waverazor’s modular design enables users to produce intricate sounds. This method allows for maximum creativity and hands-on control over sound creation, culminating in customized and exclusive tones.

Waverazor comes packed with an assortment of sophisticated modulation features such as a modulation matrix, multiple LFOs, and envelopes. These capabilities permit users to take their audio to greater heights of intricacy and dynamism.

Waverazor comes with a disadvantage of being difficult to master. Due to its exceptional technology and extensive range of features and options, new users may find it challenging to comprehend, which can take some time.

Looking for a cutting-edge wavetable synth with immense power and ingenuity? Check out Waverazor. Boasting state-of-the-art oscillator technology, a customizable modular structure and next-level modulation capabilities, Waverazor is the perfect pick for both producers and sound designers. Although it may require some effort to fully understand and control, investing in Waverazor is definitely worthwhile for anyone committed to producing music and designing sound.

Massive X

Native Instruments Massive
$179

One of the best synthesizers, because of its robust wavetable synthesis engine, intuitive interface, and a reputation for delivering powerful and unique sound design possibilities.

Pros:
  • Stunning sounding oscillators with great filters that sound analog, and can be used to further shape your sound design
  • Routing and modulation are 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 and envelopes can be applied to really technically shape your sounds
  • Wonderful selection of presets
Cons:
  • Quite expensive for a synth
  • No ability to load your own samples or waveforms
  • Not as versatile as other wavetable synths on the market
OS Compatibility: Win10, Win11, Apple Silicon macOS 10.5+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX

Massive X boasts an enormously potent and versatile wavetable engine which features over 100 wavetables that can morph and blend together to produce intricate and exceptional sounds. Furthermore, the oscillator section houses a range of oscillator modes like FM and phase modulation, which when combined with wavetables, allow for even greater creative potential.

Its’ modulation capabilities are one of its most impressive features. With a vast modulation matrix, users can easily assign parameters to an extensive variety of sources such as LFOs, envelopes, and MIDI controllers. Furthermore, Massive X comes equipped with numerous LFOs and envelopes, each boasting distinct features and options to explore.

Massive X also boasts an impressive selection of effects, capable of refining and enriching audio in a myriad of ways. Along with traditional options like distortion, chorus, and reverb, the effects section provides innovative tools such as the ‘Bend’ effect – ideal for adding nuanced or drastic pitch modulation to your sounds.

Additionally the synth has a remarkably impressive interface that appeals both to the eye and user experience. The layout is effortless to manoeuvre, and the controls are easy to use. The synth boasts a collection of excellent presets, categorized systematically to aid in quick searches. These presets come in handy as they can jumpstart the sound creation process.

The excessive CPU usage of Massive X poses a probable disadvantage. Multiple instances or complex patches can burden this synthesizer with resource demands. Yet, Native Instruments has been proactive in enhancing the synth’s efficiency through software updates.

Massive X presents itself as an extremely versatile and potent wavetable synthesizer that comes with a diverse range of advanced features incorporated into a user-friendly interface. With an extensive wavetable engine, modulation capabilities and effects section, the synth becomes the favorite choice for sound designers and producers.

Vital (Free Wavetable Synth)

Vital (Free Wavetable Synth)
Free Download

Vital is a wavetable synth that features more than 500 wavetables in its library, and users can also import their customized wavetables, thereby expanding the range of available sound possibilities.


Pros:
  • Wavetable synthesis with 3 oscillators, incredible range of effects and filters
  • Endless modulation possibilities with a simple drag and drop approach, which allows you to modulate anything
  • Very similar layout to Xfer's Serum, making it very easy to use and some calling it the free version of Serum, however the sound engine is entirely different
  • UI is intuitive and easy to navigate, with a sleek and modern design.
  • Very affordable price. It's either free or only $80 to purchase the pro version which unlocks everything
  • Nice library of presets to choose from which help aid the sound design process
  • Great modulation matrix that is easy to understand and use, allowing you modulate literally anything
  • Possible to load own wavetables, create wavetables from samples and load samples, meaning you don't have to purchase the full version
  • Active community that shares presets, wavetable packs and more
Cons:
  • Free version is stripped back, you only get a few wavetables to use
  • Not as good as Serum, but offers a more affordable option to Serum
OS Compatibility: Win10, Win11 Apple Silicon, macOS 10.12+
Plugin versions: VST, VST3, AU, AAX, LV2

Vital is a wavetable synth that features more than 500 wavetables in its library, and users can also import their customized wavetables, thereby expanding the range of available sound possibilities.

It has a versatile modulation system that is one of the most impressive features for a synth that’s free. This system comprises of a vast diversity of modulation sources, that is LFOs, envelopes, and macros, rendering it an unmatched synthesizer in terms of sound evolution. Depending on the user’s preference, these modulation sources can be easily tailored to any parameter of the synth, facilitating a seamless process in creating intricate sounds.

Vital stands out with its incorporated effects as one of its exceptional features. The synthesizer encompasses a multitude of top-notch effects like delay, reverb, and distortion. These effects are equipped with various parameters that can be tweaked to generate distinctive audio outcomes.

Moreover, Vital boasts an interface that is simple to navigate, enabling users to craft unique sounds with ease. The synthesizer also features a diverse array of top-notch presets that have been sorted by category and are searchable, thereby providing an excellent foundation for those looking to delve deeper into sound design.

Vital’s high resource utilization may prove problematic. The synthesizer demands a considerable portion of the CPU, particularly if multiple instances are running or complex patches are in use. Nevertheless, Vital has undergone optimization procedures that aim to enhance its performance.

Vital, a wavetable synthesizer, packs a punch with its advanced features like a flexible modulation system, built-in effects, and high-quality presets. It has an intuitive interface which makes it a popular choice among sound designers and producers; it is versatile and powerful.

Summary

So, now you should have a list of the best wavetable synthesizers to choose from. If you want the most affordable and versatile pick, I’d personally go with Serum. It’s the best pick for beginner to intermediate producers. However, if you’re a little more advanced it might be limiting. That’s not to say that it isn’t powerful, you can pretty much make anything with Serum and I’ve made entire sample packs just using Serum. However, if you’re a really professional sound designer, you might want a few more toys to play around with.

If you want an upgrade from Serum, with more capability, go with Phase Plant. It’s semi-modular and contains FM, analog, wavetable and sample synthesis all in one and doesn’t hurt the bank too much. However, it falls back in the filtering section and the effects suite.

If you want a true powerhouse and you don’t care about the cost, go with Omnisphere. It’s hands down the most powerful synth on the list, with so much to play around with. 8 instances, 4 OSC each, with 52 analog modelled effects, granular synthesis, a mixing window and so much more.

Falcon is also a great choice for people in that price range, and is a little more complex than Omnisphere. If you’re into coding and modular style synths, Falcon is an amazing pick over Omnisphere.

And, finally if you want a budget version of Falcon or Omnisphere, there’s Rapid Synth. It’s nowhere near as good, but it’s a fantastic start to the power synth world if you don’t have much money to blow.

To recap, here are the best wavetable synths:

  1. Serum
  2. Omnisphere
  3. Rapid Synth
  4. Falcon
  5. Phase Plant
  6. Pigments
  7. Waverazor
  8. Massive X
  9. Vital

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