free synth plugins ableton: the best ones!

Showcase your creativity with the important tools of electronic music production. Enter into a world of limitless sonic possibilities with our very own-made selection of the best free synthesizer VST plugins that can be compatible with both Mac and PC digital audio workstations. If you are seeking more software categories, feel free to explore our range of free VST plugins.
These VST synths that we listed go beyond ranking. Each virtual instrument we display owns a unique standout feature. This sets it apart from the rest of the synth VST plugins that are free.
Examine the best free synthesizers below and dive deeper into each instrument’s specifics. We made a lot of effort to give you all-inclusive details about the virtual synths highlighted in this article.

Surge by Vember Audio

If you are looking for the current leading free synthesizer VST plugin, Surge by Vember Audio is the one. As a hybrid subtractive synth, it houses incredible power. It highlights three oscillators per voice, eight algorithms per oscillator, two multi-mode filters with eight filter types, an incredible twelve LFO modules per voice, and a dual synthesis engine. All of these will provide you with limitless creative possibilities.
Furthermore, it’s the wavetable synthesis of its oscillators, frequency modulation, and classic analog waveforms deserve appreciation. It can also tackle audio input for sound manipulation flexibility. If you want to explore deeper into sound design, it has a modulation matrix and a preset manager for you to use.
Surge also became more user-friendly with its recent updates. A dedication to regular bug fixes and feature enhancements are some of its new updates together with a fully resizable interface. All of these as well as daily updates and nightly builds can be achieved for free. Just keep an eye on the GitHub project page for the latest Surge updates.
It is also worth noting that Surge wasn’t always free. However, it is now your ticket to limitless musical creativity. Additionally, the same team that handles it is working hard on ShortCircuit XT. It is an open-source sampler plugin inspired by ShortCircuit. So make sure to not miss out on the Surge experience, download it today.

Vital Basic by Matt Tytel

Vital Basic by Matt Tytel is an exceptional free version of the commended wavetable synthesizer, Vital. If you are nervous about its “Basic” moniker, you should not. Even if it is for free, it is a potent of its paid counterparts. However, it has a smaller selection of wavetables and presets.
The thing that sets Vital Basic apart is its flexibility. They continue to challenge flagship synths like Xfer Serum and NI Massive. You can create extraordinary sounds due to its vast feature set and limitless modulation capabilities. Vital Basic comes out as one of the primary visual synthesizers combined with universal filters, modulators, and effects.
Vital Basic also makes sure that users will achieve an enjoyable and user-friendly experience due to its thoughtfully designed user interface. Although reinforced with intricate modulations, navigation can be done with ease. Because of this, you will never wonder which source modulates which parameter.
A go-to for sound design, Vital Basic shines in cinematic sound effects such as transitions, impacts, braams, and whooshes. It also excels in creating cinematic bass sounds and leads. Its free edition provides 75 presets and 25 wavetables. On the other hand, the Vital Plus upgrade houses an additional 250 presets and 70 wavetables. However, if you want to have the most advanced experience, Vital Pro is also available with over 400 presets, 150 wavetables, exclusive perks, and text-to-wavetable functionality.

Tyrell N6 by U-He

Another true gem among free VST synths is the Tyrell N6 by U-He. Long before Surge took the limelight, Tyrell N6 was our favorite free VST synth. It was developed by Urs Heckmann who is the same person behind virtual synth classics like Zebra2 and Diva. Furthermore, the collaborative vision of the forum was utilized to shape its features. Yes, you read that right. It is a “dream synth” brought to life through the creative input of an online community.
The Tyrell N6 is a virtual instrument that deserves to be included in every music producer’s synthesis arsenal. It houses a pair of oscillators with a ring modulation and an added noise generator at its core. Diving deeper into its signal chain, you will find two host-syncable LFO modules featuring eight waveforms, snappy ADSR envelopes, and a twin filter design inspired by an early U-He Diva prototype.
Moreover, it has an inclusion of over 500 presets and several sound banks that are available online for free. This proves that Tyrell N6 is one of the world’s best free synths.

Zebralette by U-He

One gem that our team could not resist is the Zebralette by U-He. It is a freeware synth that is very powerful. U-He’s flagship Zebra2 synthesizer is its birth giver through its oscillator module.
Zebralette can be thought of as a “Mini Zebra”. It houses a single oscillator with a flexible 16-slot waveset. The freedom to shape and customize the waveform in unique ways due to its GeoBlend, SpectroBlend, and GeoMorph features.
However, the real magic is revealed by Zebralette’s 24 spectral effects. Transforming and twisting the frequency content of any sound can be achieved easily due to these effects. Something a basic subtractive synthesizer cannot achieve easily. Furthermore, Zebrallete provides a lot of modulation options, 16-voice polyphony, a 32-stage envelope generator, and 2 LFOs.
If you are overwhelmed by all this information, you will be happy about the next thing that we will tell you. U-He has meticulously included 300 presets so that you can start your creative journey with this incredible plugin. What are you waiting for, download Zebralette today and experience the power of U-He’s revolution in your music production.

Dexed by Digital Suburban

Another free FM synthesizer that we recommend is the Dexed by Digital Suburban. After going through its subtractive synthesis, let us enter the world of pure FM synthesis. In this category, Dexed leads the way.
This incredible synth accurately emulates the iconic Yamaha DX7, one of the most legendary FM keyboards ever created mimicking the legendary Yamaha DX7, which is one of the most legendary FM keyboards in the market. The mimicry is so good that Dexed can smoothly load DX7 presets. Just make sure that you have a DX7 patch editor and a SysEx manager by your side to make the most of this feature.
Moreover, Dexed can also emulate the feature set of the Yamaha DX7 with just a single software. The thing that sets it apart is its easy access to all 144 synth engine parameters for DAW automation directly from the front panel. Although the user interface may take time to get used to, specifically for those who are new to FM synthesizers, the accuracy and deepness of sound creation are truly exceptional.
If you find the FM synthesis complex to use but still want to utilize it, we recommend you explore Digits 2. It is a free-phase distortion synthesizer that mimics the Casio CZ-101 keyboard. Download Dexed today and discover the realm of FM synthesis at your hands.

Exakt Lite by Sonicbits

One exceptional FM synthesizer that stands out from the crowd is the Exakt Lite by Sonicbits. Compared to the Dexed plugin, which mimics the vintage Yamaha DX7, the made its course. It was created to help modern music producers.
This FM synthesizer is not just user-friendly, it also houses eight classic FM algorithms and a twelve-voice FM synthesis engine with four operators. It features a scope of standard waveforms like triangle, saw, sinewave, and square together with eight emulated waveforms borrowed from the Yamaha TX81Z synthesizer module. These are specifically offered by its operators for users to have an aliasing-free performance.
With Exakt Lite, a sync-able LFO, a resonant multi-mode filter, and five-point TX envelopes for volume modulation can be found. Furthermore, its real-time waveform display can elevate your creative process.
It also has an intuitive interface, which sets Exakt Lite apart from others. Moreover, being an FM synthesis professional is not needed for you to create impressive sounds with this plugin. This is because simplified controls are included which can be accessed by anyone who has a basic understanding of synthesis.
Exakt Lite is available in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for both PC and Mac digital audio workstations. Download Exakt Lite today and experience the future of FM synthesis.

VCV Rack by VCV

We will reveal to you the limitless realm of sound with CV Rack by VCV, an innovative free modular synthesizer. Although it operates as a software that is standalone, an unofficial port named VeeSeeVSTRack will allow you to utilize its potential as a synthesizer VST plugin within the digital audio workstation that you prefer.
If you want to dive deeper into the world of modular synthesis, VCV Rack is perfect for you. Whether you are a professional synth aficionado or just a beginner, VCV Rack opens the door to boundless sonic experimentation.
For people who yearn for a powerful virtual modular synthesizer but want a more compact package, explore ModulAir by Full Bucket Music. It is a great entry point for beginners to the world of modular synthesis. It can be your stepping stone before going deeper into the vast modular landscape of VCV Rack. Whether you are an aficionado or a novice, VCV rack and ModulAir offer unrivaled possibilities for sonic exploration. Download VCV Rack today and embark on a modular synthesis adventure like never before.

Module Air by Full Bucket Music

Discover the world of modular synthesis with ModulAir by Full Bucket Music. This modular virtual synthesizer houses an incredible lineup of 31 modules. It provides you with up to eighteen modules per patch. In contrast with VCV Rack, ModulAir may not support third-party modules. However, it aids with easing the access of integration as a VST plugin within the digital audio workstation (DAW) that you prefer.
ModulAir shows a lot of captivating features for modular synthesis aficionados. With up to 64 voices of polyphony, you can enter into a realm of limitless sonic possibilities. You can import TUN/SCL micro-tuning formats due to its MIDI learn capabilities, smooth support for importing, and double-precision audio processing.
You can visit their website to learn more about Full Bucket Music’s collection of free synths. Moreover, you can check their portfolio which has a wide range of incredible virtual instruments, as well as faithful emulations of classic Korg synths.
Download ModulAir today and enhance your sound design and music production. It can be your companion as you embark on a modular synthesis journey like never before.

HY-Poly Free by HY-Plugins

Enter the world of subtractive synthesis with HY-Poly Free by HY-Plugins. This remarkable freeware synth is a close sibling of the premium HY-Poly plugin. It provides you with numerous modulation options despite having a few feature limitations.
Let us go deeper into what HY-Poly Free has to offer. This free synthesizer VST has a versatile pair of oscillators. This pair can smoothly morph between saw and pulse waveforms, offering vibrato, PWM, and oscillator sync capabilities. Moreover, it includes a pair of multi-mode filters, a sub-oscillator, and a noise generator that can further upgrade your sound.
However, the thing that truly sets HY-Poly Free apart is its mod section. It becomes a playground, specifically for synthesis aficionados. This section will show you a pair of LFOs, S&H (Sample and Hold), three-step sequencers, and four ADSR envelopes. Furthermore, the plugin also includes three built-in effects: delay, chorus, and a utility tool.
Additionally, its intuitive modulation workflow feature stands out among the rest. It provides a wide range of selections to incorporate life into your presets. This also makes modulation routings easier to perform.
To make things even better, all modulation connections are visibly represented on the GUI. This guarantees that you will never lose track even if you are creating complex patches. Your creativity will have limitless bounds with HY-Poly Free. Download it today and take your sound design to the next level.

Helm by Matt Tytel

Allow us to introduce Helm by Matt Tytel, a versatile subtractive synthesizer crafted for all major operating systems. It can smoothly operate as both a standalone application and a synth plugin. This can be applicable for Windows, macOS, or Linux, which provides convenience and flexibility.
A harmonious balance between ease of use and flexibility can be experienced with Helm’s contemporary interface. Moreover, it can excellently consolidate all controls into a single UI panel, despite having a rich feature set. It can also discard the need for extensive menu navigation. All of these can enhance the overall user-friendliness of the synth and it can accelerate the programming process as well.
Helm provides a few unique additions that are rarely found in freeware synths while delivering all the expected features of a subtractive synthesizer. Features that stand out include the stutter effect and arpeggiator module. The stutter effect is perfect when creating glitchy and pulsating sounds. Meanwhile, the arpeggiator module can smoothly integrate with the built-in step sequencer of Helm. So, download Helm today to enhance your sound design capabilities and enter a world of limitless sonic possibilities.

Synth1 by Ichiro Toda

Discover the classic virtual world of sound with Synth1 by Ichiro Toda, an iconic freeware synthesizer plugin that lasted with time since its debut in 2002. It comes as no surprise that Synth1 remains important. Wikipedia mentioned that it holds the honor of being one of the most downloaded VST plugins in history.
Synth1’s lasting appeal can be credited to three key factors: minimal CPU impact, the wealth of freely accessible presets, and its distinctive digital sound. Yes, you read it right, there are a lot of benefits that the Synth1 has. Furthermore, it is created by both professionals and well-known sound designers, all available for download at no cost.
It also houses a versatile multi-mode filter, a sub-oscillator, two LFO modules, two envelopes, an arpeggiator, three primary oscillators, and a collection of built-in effects. All of these are included because they mimic the well-known Nord Lead 2 synthesizer.
The Synth1 also provides a more disciplined experience compared to analog-emulating VA synthesizers. This is due to its purely digital sonic character. As a result, it makes the Synth1 the perfect choice for layering on top of other instruments in a busy mix. Download Synth1 today and start on a sonic journey with a classic that never runs out of sparkle.

TAL-NoiseMaker by Togu Audio Line

Uncover the boundless potential of TAL-NoiseMaker by Togu Audio Line, a free and versatile synthesizer plugin. This instrument offers limitless sonic creativity to its users. This is due to its multi-mode filter, two LFO modules, and dual oscillators.
However, the feature that makes it stand out is its fully editable envelope. It allows users to create intricate LFO shapes that can modulate everything from filter cutoff to oscillator tune, frequency modulation, ring modulation amount, and output volume.
Captivating sounds with complex modulation and timbres can be crafted using these custom LFO shapes. These sounds are rarely replicated by other virtual analog synthesizers. Moreover, it is furnished with a list of incredible features including reverb, built-in effects, delay, Juno-style dual chorus, and bit crusher.
This is also ideal for modern electronic music enthusiasts as it can generate classic analog sounds and complex patches. It is also worth noting that TAL-NoiseMaker received an update with a fresh, user-friendly interface last July 2021. Download TAL-NoiseMaker today and unlock a galaxy of sonic possibilities.
Charlatan by Blaukraut Engineering
Welcome the beauty of simplicity with Charlatan by Blaukraut Engineering. This sublime synth VST plugin is the embodiment of minimalism. A versatile multi-mode filter, two ADSR envelopes, an LFO module, unison, a no-frills subtractive synthesis engine, and two oscillators are featured in this instrument.
Although it seems basic, you should not allow it to fool you. It provides a rich resonant filter, snappy envelopes, and lifelike oscillators. This makes it an outstanding pick for creating authentic analog synthesizer sounds. Download Charlatan today and experience the art of minimalism in sound design.


Explore the world of retro analog magic with PG-8X by ML-VST. It is an exceptional mimicry of the legendary Roland JX-8P hardware synthesizer. This virtual instrument provides a gold mine of authentic 80s analog sounds. It is because of its ability to capture the importance of its analog counterparts.
If you want to recreate the era or robust bass tones, vintage analog leads, and warm pads, then the PG-8X is the perfect go-to free synth VST option. This instrument emulates the JX-8P bringing nostalgia as it transports you to the days of vaporwave, synthwave, and other 80s-inspired electronic music genres.
You can also think about OB-Xd which is another virtual synth by discoDSP. This instrument faithfully replicates the Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 hardware synthesizers, making it the ideal companion to PG-8X. Download PG-8X today and let your music production journey rewind to the golden age of analog synthesis.

OB-Xd by discoDSP

Experience the timeless analog allure with OB-Xd by discoDSP. It is an iconic synthesizer plugin that faithfully replicates the classic OB-8, Oberheim OB-X, and OB-Xa analog synthesizers. All these while adding its unique touch of distinction and enhancement. Even if it is not a 100% replica of the original software, it can expertly capture the sonic essence of its analog ancestors.
This plugin was primarily drawn from the Oberheim OB-X. it highlights a noise generator, a pair of envelopes, an LFO, and a sublime filter. It also provides users with an authentic and rich analog sound. Moreover, it offers an enjoyable user experience and serves as a remarkable entry point for those who want to dig deeper into the world of subtractive synthesis.
To add more, OB-Xd houses an extensive library of presets that can take you back to the classic Oberheim OB-X tones. All VST plugins on Windows, and macOS. And ios ver. If you have a thing for vintage analog synths, don’t miss out on this free synthesizer VST plugin. Download OB-Xd today and let the nostalgic analog vibes infuse your music production.

Crystal by Green Oak

Enter the vintage realm of sound with Crystal by Green Oak. It is a synth plugin that has been on the market for quite a while but continues to lead a committed following. Although Crystal’s interface design radiates a nostalgic charm, its synthesis engine remains a force that a lot of musicians go for.
A combination of FM and subtractive synthesis is provided by this semi-modular wonder. It offers substantial modulation abilities that allow users to modulate to a maximum of 90 synth engine parameters. Moreover, a broad scope of built-in effects can be accessed which will enhance your sound design prowess.
However, the list still goes on. Crystal can easily maneuver program morphing, and dabble in granular synthesis, and wave sequencing. And if you have an old soul who craves nostalgic feels, you can utilize its SoundFont files as the source of its distinct sounds.
Even if Crystal is not the first choice for beginners, it shines the brightest when handled by experienced sound designers. Upgrade your sound design game and download Crystal by Green Oak to experience its timeless allure.

VK-1 Viking Synthesizer by Blamsoft

Discover the sonic power of the VK-1 Viking Synthesizer by Blamsoft. It is an incredible synth VST plugin that emulates the revered Moog Voyager hardware synthesizer. Priced before at $59, it became an exceptional freeware VST and AU plugin for both PC and Mac.
The Viking Synthesizer is nothing but a real jewel. It mirrors the attributes and control layout of Moog’s well-known Voyager synth. Furthermore, it preserved all of the signature elements of Vogager. These include a pair of ladder filters, oscillator sync, continuously morphable oscillators, and two modulation buses.
This is not the end of its surprises because VK-1 is integrated with a wide collection of over 200 presets. This will guarantee that you can experience boundless sonic possibilities at your fingertips.
So, if you are a Moog Voyager enthusiast, but are limited on a budget, the VK-1 Viking Synthesizer is the perfect solution. Download it now and experience the legendary Moog Voyager sound without breaking your wallet.

Cobalt by Leslie Sanford

Introducing a highly recommended free synthesizer VST plugin, the Cobalt. It was priced at $35 originally. However, its developer, Leslie Sanford, released this freeware treasure in 2016.
Introducing Cobalt, the free synthesizer VST plugin that comes highly recommended. Originally priced at $35, developer Leslie Sanford generously re-released this gem as freeware in 2016. Cobalt is a true delight for enthusiasts of late 80s hybrid digital synthesizers. It truly is a delight for 80s hybrid digital synthesizer aficionados.
Furthermore, its sound elicits the spirit of digital classics like the Korg DW8000 and the Ensoniq ESQ-1, even if it is not a direct emulation of any specific hardware synth. A subtly lo-fi yet irresistibly warm sonic character is produced after these legendary instruments combined digital oscillators with analog filters.
Cobalt also provides a selection of 26 digital waveforms paired with an analog-modeled filter. Transporting towards the golden age of the iconic 80s synth soundtracks can also be achieved due to its generous selection of presets. Its straightforward programming is also a great advantage for users.
So, if you are someone who wants to create synthwave or 80s-inspired music, Cobalt is an absolute essential. Download this free synth now and infuse your compositions with its nostalgic charm.

Pendulate by Newfangled Audio

An incredible free synth VST crafted by Newfangled Audio and offered by Eventide without the need for an iLok is waiting for you to discover it – Pendulate. This exceptional plugin can be downloaded for free at Eventide’s website.
An innovative oscillator technology is at its heart. It got inspiration from the complex physics of a double pendulum. Right after this alluring oscillator section, you will find a low-pass gate and wavefolder which was inspired by the work of Don Buchla.
When it comes to dark and glitchy sonic landscapes, Pendulum excels in creating them. A total of 169 simultaneous modulation routings is supported by its robust modulation architecture. Moreover, it includes various internal and external modulation sources.
Additionally, its 136 presets guarantee an easy journey for anyone who wants to start with sound design. Download Pendulate today and unlock the potential for captivating, experimental sounds that push the boundaries of creativity.

kHS ONE by Kilohearts

Another incredible free synthesizer plugin is waiting for you to experience its sonic wonders. It combines a user-friendly interface catered for beginners and the richness of analog sound. With kHs ONE, you are geared with two filter modules, three envelopes, two LFOs, a waveshaper, a chorus, a sub-oscillator, a delay, a duo of primary oscillators, and a versatile modulation matrix. It is also worth noting that this plugin can provide a selection of filter modes, including the unique Vox filter, which is rare in modern synthesizers.
As you enter the world of Khs one, you will immediately notice its high-quality oscillators and filters, as well as its intuitive user interface. Just like Charlatan by Blaukraut Engineering, kHs ONE radiates a warm and analog character without damaging your CPU. However, you must note that the plugin is no longer under development, so seize this opportunity to enhance your sonic palette without spending money.

In conclusion, a wide range of outstanding free synth VST instruments are waiting for you. If you are someone who just started with sound design recently, we recommend starting with Charlatan and Tyrell N6 because they are user-friendly ones. These are great choices when you want to grasp the fundamentals of subtractive synthesis. Once you have shaped your skills, then it is time to use powerful virtual instruments like Surge and Vital Basic. They will take you into the limitless world of sonic possibilities. The universe of free synthesizer plugins is at your fingertips, so let your creative journey take off.

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