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On the hunt for a new synth plugin or two? We’ve picked out ten of our favourite new VSTs from late 2014 and 2015 so far.
Producers are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to all the synth options on the market. There are so many new plugins released each month that it can be hard to keep track of which are worth checking out and which are a waste of your time and hard-earned cash.
We’ve picked ten of our favourites from the last year, representing everything from straightforward virtual analogue synths all the way through to exotic approaches like finite difference time domain modelling.
As always in Ten Of The Best, our picks are presented in order of price. We start with a simple, affordable option that has more to offer than first meets the eye.
Bigger, more powerful, more and more feature-packed… The arms race of synth design has grown out of control in recent years, driven largely by the implicit assumption that producers want more of everything.
Of all the synths on our list, Audio Damage’s Basic is the cheapest and the most, er, basic. The USP here should be fairly self-explanatory: Audio Damage developed Basic to address a gap in the market for a simple, intuitive synth for newcomers to computer music. But before you assume that this one’s for beginners only and move on to the next on the list, don’t judge Basic by its feature set alone.
As well as being one of the most skilled software developers around, Audio Damage’s Chris Randall is also a musician. When he decides to make a simple synth for beginners, he doesn’t sacrifice sound quality or usability. Just because the feature set is limited doesn’t mean this is only for beginners – after all, some of the most popular synths ever built have been simple, from the Minimoog to the 303 and beyond.
Basic has an intuitive interface, just enough options to make it flexible, and, most importantly of all, it sounds great. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a cheap plugin to learn synthesis with, or a more experienced producer who just wants something quick and efficient without all the unnecessary bells and whistles of so many over-designed synths, Basic is a great option.