Free Synthesisers

Synths listed here are very good. There are others of course, but I use these regularly and can recommend them.


This little synth is more impressive than it looks. It’s based on the Nord Lead. It was created by Ichiro Toda.

It has two oscillators, two LFOs, a good arpeggiator, osc sync, effects, etc. It is usually the number one downloaded synth on the KVR download charts.

I use it for teaching as its clear interface helps to cut through the crap and get to the basics of synthesis.

If you are serious about learning synthesis, it’s much better to start with Synth1 than with Massive.

Get it here.



ElectroStudio Synths

Something of a mystery, these ten superb synthesisers are offered for free in a single, zipped, pack of ten. They have been created by Robert Krzywicki.

There have been some reports that they have a bug resulting in an annoying noise on some systems. All I can say is that I have never experienced any problems and I strongly recommend that give them a go. If you would like to read a thread about them, there’s one here.

Let’s take a look at them. Link is at bottom of page.

Micromoon is a very nice Micromoog emulation (the original is here). It’s a subtractive analogue monosynth with a surprisingly convincing Moog Bass preset.

it's not a moog

it's not a moog

The Octet is my personal favourite. It is a drum / percussion machine of the old school variety. It features an eight track step sequencer and the ability to tweak all the sounds. At first you might not ‘get it’ but once you have opened up the little box in the bottom right, all becomes (almost) clear. I own an old Formanta drum machine and this is a similar kind of beast. I love it.

the magic is behind that little box, bottom right

the magic is behind that little box, bottom right

Each track has a corresponding slot in the little box. Click the slot and then control the parameters for that track when this displays the box below. This really does sound like an analogue percussion synthesiser.


ODSAY is a very nice emulation of the Arp Odyssey (the real one is here).

not an arp

not an arp

Or2v is based on the Oberheim Two Voice (the real one is here).

It is very useable and features an eight stage CV sequencer – perfect for those retro basslines.

not an oberheim

not an oberheim

Rhythmus is based on classic, cheesy, lovely old rhythm boxes. If you open up the hood at the top, you can tune the drums, pan and level them. This one must have been a labour of love.


SxMJune (Sixth Month June) is a very good emulation of a Roland Juno polysynth (the real one is here). It has a rich, warm buzzy kind of quality. Easy to program, too.

not a juno

not a juno

Tapeotronic is a nice emulation of a Mellotron. It only has three sounds: flute, strings and choir. They are classic sounds though, and you get to play ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ pretty convincingly.You can open up the hood and change the ‘bias’ on the tape loops, which makes for uncomfortable listening.

not a mellotron

not a mellotron

Moon Sono SX emulates the Moog Sonic Six (the real one is here) synth capable of being duophonic (that’s two notes at a time). Pretty peculiar, actually.

moon sono sx

eSLine String synth is an emulation of the Arp Solina String Machine (the real one is here). It’s good for synthetic string sounds and has an analoguish warmth to it. If you want that 1970s disco strings sound, look no further.

eSLine String: nice warm strings

eSLine String: nice warm strings

There is also the Davosynth – a weird little synth that you can best ignore for now. Or not.

The pack is available from the Elektrostudio website which I think is Polish. If you get the Polish webpage, just click on the Union Jack (yay!) at the top and it will suddenly seem less foreign. You need to click on the link marked Oryg 10 Analog Pack, and then follow the DOWNLOAD instructions. There are nice messages from the developer, to whom many people are feeling very grateful.

Get it here.

That’s enough synths for one post.


1 comment so far

  1. B on

    I Must say i stared using these vst plug-ins a while back there FN Amazing!!!!

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