10 Best Synth Plugins of 2023: The Ultimate Guide - Sampley

10 Best Synth Plugins of 2023: The Ultimate Guide

10 Synth Plugins of 2023: The Ultimate Guide

The year 2023 has brought us a plethora of innovative and impressive synth plugins that cater to various genres and styles. This comprehensive guide will explore the top 10 synth plugins of 2023, detailing their unique features and functionalities. If you're a music producer or sound designer looking to expand your sonic arsenal, look no further. Let's dive into the world of cutting-edge synthesis technology.

1. BA-1 by Baby Audio

Inspired by the 80s

Baby Audio has consistently delivered hit after hit, and the BA-1 is no exception. Drawing inspiration from the iconic 80s Yamaha CS01 analog monosynth, the BA-1 expands on the original with new features, making it a worthy contender in the synth plugin market.

Enhanced Filter and Effects Chain

Fans of the original compact hardware synth will appreciate BA-1's enhanced filter. Additionally, the effects chain has been meticulously modeled after 1980s rack hardware, featuring a guitar-pedal-like overdrive and classic affordable hardware tones for reverb, chorus, and delay.

Additional Highlights

The BA-1 offers increased polyphony, a second blendable oscillator, and frequency modulation. Other standout features include a dedicated sidechain input with internal and external routing modes, a 'Re-Gen' button for patch creation, and a resizable interface with a retro aesthetic.

2. SSL SubGen by Solid State Logic

Enhancing Low-End with Subharmonic Synthesis

Subharmonic synthesis is a powerful way to add low-end to your sounds in the mix. Unlike boosting lows with EQ, subharmonic synthesis plugins generate new harmonic content using the type of oscillator found in a synth. SSL SubGen utilizes this technique to bring thunderous, synthesized low-end to your tracks.

Advanced Bass Synthesis Algorithm

Powered by an advanced bass synthesis algorithm, SubGen generates a bipolar waveform one octave below the original source material, elevating the low-end presence of tracks. Comprehensive controls for gain, stereo width, and frequency across its four synthesis bands make SubGen a highly versatile bass synth plugin.

3. Tomofon by Klevgrand

Ambitious and Innovative

Klevgrand has a reputation for pushing the boundaries with each release, and Tomofon is no exception. Though it may veer into sampler territory, Tomofon is undoubtedly a soft synth with a unique approach to sample-based synthesis.

Granular and Wavetable Synthesis Hybrid

Tomofon combines elements of granular synthesis and wavetable synthesis, allowing users to manipulate audio samples in innovative ways. Time and velocity settings enable stretching and pulling sounds, while a looping sustain effect provides unique and unpredictable results. Capture, deconstruct, and rebuild audio with this innovative tool from Klevgrand.

4. Oddity3 by GForce

A Tribute to the ARP Odyssey

The Oddity3 is a virtual rendition of the much-loved ARP Odyssey from the 1970s. GForce has evolved the plugin since its original release in 2002 while remaining faithful to the revered hardware synth.

Vintage Knob and New Effects

The latest iteration of the Oddity features a 'Vintage' knob that dials in analog-style imperfections, new distortion and reverb effects, and 250 new presets. This plugin brings the legendary sound of the ARP Odyssey to your digital studio.

5. Minimonsta2 by GForce

The Evolution of a Classic

The Minimonsta2 is the next evolution of GForce's acclaimed Minimonsta synth. Building upon the iconic Minimoog emulation, the Minimonsta2 boasts warm analog-style sound, dual voice mode for rich layering, a powerful arpeggiator, and a versatile modulation matrix for precise control over parameters such as pitch, filter cutoff, and resonance.

Enhanced Interface and Additional Features

The Minimonsta2 features a resizable interface with three distinct looks, the removal of patch morphing, and the inclusion of an additional low-end integrity filter. This synth plugin packs a punch despite its "mini" moniker.

6. Tangle Synth by Toybox Audio

Inspired by Eurorack Modules

Toybox Audio's Tangle Synth draws inspiration from renowned Eurorack modules, providing rich, complex tones for your productions. With two distinctive oscillators, wave-folding, and FM capabilities, Tangle Synth is a customizable monophonic synthesizer that deserves a place in your plugin collection.

Modulation Effects, Delay, and Reverb

Tangle Synth includes essential elements like modulation effects, delay, and reverb, making it a powerful workhorse for any music producer or sound designer.

7. Quanta 2 by Audio Damage

Robust Upgrade to a Granular Synth

Audio Damage has unveiled Quanta 2, a significant upgrade to their renowned granular synth plugin. The original Quanta featured a full-featured ten-voice true stereo granular synthesizer with up to a hundred 1000ms grains per voice and full control over the grain state. Quanta 2 builds upon this foundation with new features and enhancements.

Enhanced Granular Engine and Interface

Quanta 2 boasts two virtual analog oscillators and an enhanced granular engine with pitch detection and note quantization. The revamped interface is even easier to use than before, with a simplified menu replacing the more complicated modulation matrix from the previous version.

8. MS-20 Filter by Arturia

Honoring the Korg MS-20

Although not a full synthesizer, Arturia's standalone MS-20 Filter deserves an honorable mention. Arturia has used their renowned True Analogue Emulation technology to faithfully replicate the filter section of the iconic Korg MS-20. This plugin allows users to process any sound in their mix with the bite, snarl, and character of the original hardware.

9. MiniFreak V by Arturia

Virtual Version of a Hardware Synth

The MiniFreak V is a virtual version of Arturia's hardware synth, the MiniFreak. Initially intended to accompany its real-world counterpart, the MiniFreak V's popularity led to Arturia making it available for individual purchase. This plugin offers the same powerful modulation matrix, distinctive sequencer, and arpeggiator features users have come to love from the hardware version.

Stunning Analog-Style FM Bass and More

Expect stunning analog-style FM bass, cinematic brass pads, and captivating shimmering leads from the virtual MiniFreak. This plugin is a must-have for fans of the hardware synth and newcomers alike.

10. Sines by Cherry Audio

Multiple Sound Generation Techniques

Cherry Audio's Sines synth plugin is a standout addition to the synth world in 2023. This polyphonic synth seamlessly blends multiple sound generation techniques, transforming pure sine waveforms into intricate and diverse sounds using subtractive, additive, and FM synthesis.

Extensive Modulation Capabilities

Sines offers extensive modulation capabilities, advanced routing, and an integrated effects engine, allowing users to create sounds ranging from mellow to white-hot. This plugin is a testament to the innovative heights synth VSTs have reached in 2023.

In conclusion, 2023 has proven to be an exciting year for synth plugins, with numerous innovative and powerful options available to musicians and sound designers. Whether you're looking to expand your sound palette or stay informed about the latest developments in virtual instrument technology, this guide has got you covered. Happy synthesizing!

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