Any new cheap of free synths that sound great

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Synthack
KVRian
656 posts since 4 Dec, 2021

Post Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:55 pm

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Last edited by Synthack on Sun Feb 13, 2022 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SeBaer
KVRist
324 posts since 3 Oct, 2019

Post Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:48 pm

Introspective wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:06 pm Oh, I forgot to mention this one. It's $60, which may or may not fit in your "cheap" bin, and it's not SUPER new, but I feel like it's overlooked. The sound is really quite good, for the price, and it's REALLY flexible. It's even got a bit of a Pigments (albeit V1) vibe: HY-POLY. Recommended.

https://hy-plugins.com/product/hy-poly/
And it does even come with a slimmed down free version.

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BlackWinny
KVRAF
4536 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:27 am

When looking for cheap synths (meaning less than $50) I would add ME80 and Messiah from Gunnare Ekornas:
ME80 ($40)
MESSIAH ($40)
The third one, Memorymoon, is not yet 64-bit, reason why I don't add it to this list.

You can get almost any of the awesome synths made by Cherry Audio. Examples from the best synths I use:
Elka-X ($39)
Miniverse ($39)
Dreamsynth ($39)
Quadra ($39)
Memorymode ($39)
PS-20 ($29)
Eight Voice ($29)
Polymode ($29)
CA2600 ($25)
DCO-106 ($25)
And a new one which will be released... tomorrow!
And these discounts are quasi-permanent at Cherry Audio.

I would also recommend Adam Szabo JP6K:
JP6K (€25)

I would also recommend several synths made by Christopher Gill (Superwave). Examples:
Equinoxe (£19.99)
Ultimate (£19.99)
Tarkus (£14.99)
P80 (£14.99)
Performer (£14.99)
Wavelight VMI (£19.99)

I would also recommend Fathom Pro (huge wavetable modular for only $25):
Features — FATHOM SYNTH

I would also recommend Rob Papen Go2:
Rob Papen Go2 virtual synthesizer ($49)

I would also recommend PluginBoutique Carbon Electra:
Carbon Electra ($49)

I would also recommend Ascension from W.A. Production:
Ascension ($49)

Of course some of these synths are not brand new but they are so great that it would be a shame not to consider them.

And there are so many freewares (some with easy workflows some with very complex workflows) which are of awesome quality, sometimes even way better than many paywares: all the synths made by Full Bucket Music (many Korg emulations but also many original synths), Analog Mafia RC-808 (totally underrated, a comprehensive synth behind each or its elements, the plugin is developed by the original engineers who made the hardware device for Roland in the 80's), VK-1 Viking (Moog Voyager emulation), Dexed (Yamaha DX7 emulation, and don't forget the Dexed Cart in the middle of the page), OB-Xd (it IS freeware, you have to pay only if you want to make commercial works), all the awesome matrix synths from KX77, Manda Audio MT Power Drum Kit (a great free acoustic drum kit), Matt Tytel Helm and Vital, Martin Lüders PG-8X (Roland JX8P emulation), Novation B-Station and V-Station which are now free, Nusofting Sinnah and Strings-Dream Synth, SonicBits Exakt Lite (Yamaha TX81Z emulation and more), Taron Lord Of The Springs, The Wave Warden Odin2, U-He Podolski, U-He Triple Cheese, U-He Zebralette, U-He Tyrell N6 (links to download are near the beginning of the page), Surge XT, and I miss others...
Last edited by BlackWinny on Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:02 am, edited 7 times in total.
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

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BlackWinny
KVRAF
4536 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:42 am

15 days ago I bought KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 at WA Production for only $40 instead of $200.

With nothing else than it I can do almost everything I do with all the other synths.

But if your interested, hurry up... because the discount ends tomorrow!



A list of its features:
  • Advanced Simulated Analog Modular Synthesizer and Effect Unit.
  • Full Modular patching of synth Components and Controls.
  • Patches are built using Generators, Filters, Amplifiers, Controllers, Effects and Modulators.
  • Internal high-frequency digital simulation of analog voltage levels.
  • Oscillator with phase, Detune and Pulsewidth that generates standard synth waveforms.
  • Dual Oscillator with Detune, Hardsync and Ring modulation.
  • Sampler, 16/24/32 bit Mono/Stereo multi sample player that imports WAV/SF2/SFZ files.
  • Multisample editing with Key/Velocity-ranges and Loop-Points.
  • Additive and Pad module with waveform and Harmonic Magnitude/Phase editors.
  • User defined waveforms and built-in presets of up to 1024 harmonics.
  • Granular module for sample-based granular synthesis with variable grain size/rate.
  • 2/4 Pole Resonant Multimode Filters with Cutoff, Resonance, Saturation and Drive.
  • Resonant Filters (LP/HP/BP/BS): SVF, SVF2, SKF, Zolzer, Moog, Moog2, Acid, and MS20.
  • Additional filters include Formant, Comb, Allpass, Parametric and Shelving.
  • EQ3, 3 band equalizer with adjustable crossover frequencies, and 2 and 4 pole modes.
  • 10-band digital and 31-band simulated analog Graphic Equalizers.
  • Amplifier and Stereo module with Panning, Volume and Velocity control.
  • Two channel Mixer with Ring modulation and Circuit Bending Bit Shuffle operations.
  • Inverter for Amplitude Modulation, and Mid/Side module for stereo separation.
  • Delay, Reverb, Phaser, Chorus/Flange, Pitchshift, BitShuffler and Distortion effects.
  • Soft-knee Compressor with Peak/RMS detection and optional Sidechain,
  • Folder, Limiter, Repeater, Soft Clipper and 3-band Multiband Compressor with Peak/RMS detection.
  • 10 Octave/12 Note Pitch control with Detune, Portamento and Pitchbend support.
  • Choose between Mono, Legato, or up to 16-voice true Polyphony.
  • Controllers for Frequency Modulation (FM) and frequency/phase control.
  • Support for Linear FM, Phase Modulation, and Exponential FM with Exponential Sync (EXS).
  • Generators support Through-Zero frequency, and optional High Quality (HQ) 16x oversampling.
  • Up to 16 channel Unison controller with Detune and Stereo pan spread.
  • 32 step, 4 octave Pattern controller with Hold, Loop, Legato, Sustain and programmable Arpeggiator.
  • Custom arpeggiator note masking with programmable scales and 30+ scale presets.
  • Scope Module with synced, multi-layered oscilloscope, frequency and phase displays.
  • Keyboard module for MIDI visualization and manual MIDI triggering, with Pitchbend/ModWheel.
  • Bipolar/Unipolar LFO with Tempo Sync, HFO with FM/Phase Modulation option + Fade and Keyb. Tracking.
  • ADSR and Multipoint Envelopes with Linear, Exponential, Hermite and Cubic curves.
  • 32 step Step Sequencer, Envelope follower, Sample & Hold and Decay modules.
  • Shaper module for custom waveshaping.
  • Output module with Panning, DC removal, Volume and Clip control.
  • Noise generator, filtered Pink, White and Brown Noise with Frequency Sync control.
  • PanSpread stereo expander with individual low and high spread + crossover frequency adjustment.
  • Sonic Maximizer emulation module with Low Contour, Process and Peak Detector.
  • Input generator so synth can function as an Insert effect.
  • SubPatch generator and effect modules for re-using patches within other patches.
  • Number of simultaneously running modules supported per patch is practically unlimited.
  • Full stereo support (selected modules can run in mono to save CPU cycles).
  • Expression option, so parameters can respond to MIDI Mod.Wheel, Aftertouch and Velocity inputs.
  • Instant visual feedback on all controls. Frequency, Time/Amplitude, Modulation, etc.
  • Visually see signals, and knob's and slider's modulation-values in real-time, as they are modulated.
  • Fast trigger and output response, with zero latency and tight latency compensation.
  • Up to 128 simultaneously running internal voices (Polyphonic and Unison combined).
  • MIDI modulator modules for MIDI Controller, Velocity, Aftertouch and Pitchbend input.
  • MIDI Polyphonic Expression support (MPE) for per-note Pitchbend, Aftertouch and Timbre.
  • Synth frequency can be offset from "Concert Pitch" (from 440Hz to e.g., 432Hz).
  • 128 user-assignable Automation controls with MIDI Learn.
  • Control Panel & Patch Browser for quickly navigating patches and banks with search filtering.
  • Fully skinnable GUI: Skins bundled with the installation support HiDPI/Retina GUI scaling up to 200%.
  • Fully customizable GUI resolution of up to 4096 x 2048 (default is 1500 x 1000).
  • Customizable GUI patch-cables can be shown as linear, curved and dangling.
  • 5 banks of pre-made KarmaFX patches + Extra userbanks. (More than 1000+ patches total).
  • Additional Online Banks can be downloaded and installed from inside the synth.
  • Full VST 2.4+ support on PC/Windows and Audio Unit/VST 2.4+ support on Mac/OS X.
  • A 120+ page User's Manual in PDF format is included with the registered version.

And visually it looks like this :

Image
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

BBFG#
KVRAF
6909 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 9:02 am

In these ever expanding lists of "cheap or free", how many are actually "new" as the OP/subject line asks for?

Korg Supporter
KVRist
484 posts since 4 Oct, 2016

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:18 am

BlackWinny wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:27 am When looking for cheap synths (meaning less than $50) I would add ME80 and Messiah from Gunnare Ekornas:
ME80 ($40)
MESSIAH ($40)
The third one, Memorymoon, is not yet 64-bit, reason why I don't add it to this list.

You can get almost any of the awesome synths made by Cherry Audio. Examples from the best synths I use:
Elka-X ($39)
Miniverse ($39)
Dreamsynth ($39)
Quadra ($39)
Memorymode ($39)
PS-20 ($29)
Eight Voice ($29)
Polymode ($29)
CA2600 ($25)
DCO-106 ($25)
And a new one which will be released... tomorrow!
And these discounts are quasi-permanent at Cherry Audio.

I would also recommend Adam Szabo JP6K:
JP6K (€25)

I would also recommend several synths made by Christopher Gill (Superwave). Examples:
Equinoxe (£19.99)
Ultimate (£19.99)
Tarkus (£14.99)
P80 (£14.99)
Performer (£14.99)
Wavelight VMI (£19.99)

I would also recommend Fathom Pro (huge wavetable modular for only $25):
Features — FATHOM SYNTH

I would also recommend Rob Papen Go2:
Rob Papen Go2 virtual synthesizer ($49)

I would also recommend PluginBoutique Carbon Electra:
Carbon Electra ($49)

I would also recommend Ascension from W.A. Production:
Ascension ($49)

Of course some of these synths are not brand new but they are so great that it would be a shame not to consider them.

And there are so many freewares (some with easy workflows some with very complex workflows) which are of awesome quality, sometimes even way better than many paywares: all the synths made by Full Bucket Music (many Korg emulations but also many original synths), Analog Mafia RC-808 (totally underrated, a comprehensive synth behind each or its elements, the plugin is developed by the original engineers who made the hardware device for Roland in the 80's), VK-1 Viking (Moog Voyager emulation), Dexed (Yamaha DX7 emulation, and don't forget the Dexed Cart in the middle of the page), OB-Xd (it IS freeware, you have to pay only if you want to make commercial works), all the awesome matrix synths from KX77, Manda Audio MT Power Drum Kit (a great free acoustic drum kit), Matt Tytel Helm and Vital, Martin Lüders PG-8X (Roland JX8P emulation), Novation B-Station and V-Station which are now free, Nusofting Sinnah and Strings-Dream Synth, SonicBits Exakt Lite (Yamaha TX81Z emulation and more), Taron Lord Of The Springs, The Wave Warden Odin2, U-He Podolski, U-He Triple Cheese, U-He Zebralette, U-He Tyrell N6 (links to download are near the beginning of the page), Surge XT, and I miss others...
You forgot HY-Poly ($60), TB Flowtones ($60 but $25 on Black Friday) and the Plogue plugins are 50% off on Black Friday ($25 DX7 Emulation!).

mixyguy2
KVRian
555 posts since 2 Mar, 2018

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:00 pm

chk071 wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:01 am Don't want to sound snobby, but, I'd think about if messing with free stuff in general makes sense.
Absolutely it does. No-brainer.
I personally regret that I wasted my time with freeware so long, before starting to buy stuff. There's so much quality payware out there that it's worth a consideration saving up,
There's also tons of quality free stuff, especially in recent years. I don't regret checking out freeware and in fact in hindsight, knowing what I know now, would have really regretted not doing so and missing out. "You get what you pay for" simply doesn't apply with any consistency to ANY kind of plugin.
IMO, the best of the best isn't found in the "free" domain.
I think some of it is actually (for ex. I'd take Vital over most synths I've tried, paid or not), but certainly not all.

To the OP's questions, not sure how new "new" must be, and some already mentioned, but offhand ones I've used and I think are all great and easily worth the download:

Vital
Surge
AAS Swatches
Anything by u-he
Anything by Full Bucket (retro synths)
ob-xd

And there were others which I didn't think were anything great in general, but there was something about them that made them worth keeping...maybe a particular feature they had, or some presets I really liked, etc.

mixyguy2
KVRian
555 posts since 2 Mar, 2018

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:19 pm

Introspective wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:56 am
phreaque wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:28 am Martinic AX73 fits in perfectly as it sounds great and very affordable.
No. $120 is not "cheap."

It may be a "reasonable" price, but it is not cheap.

I suppose the OP should have been more specific.
You're right, $120 is far from cheap (or depending on the person, even affordable). And yes, some qualifiers on what "cheap" or "new" means to the OP would have helped.

Korg Supporter
KVRist
484 posts since 4 Oct, 2016

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:09 pm

mixyguy2 wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:19 pm
Introspective wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:56 am
phreaque wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:28 am Martinic AX73 fits in perfectly as it sounds great and very affordable.
No. $120 is not "cheap."

It may be a "reasonable" price, but it is not cheap.

I suppose the OP should have been more specific.
You're right, $120 is far from cheap (or depending on the person, even affordable). And yes, some qualifiers on what "cheap" or "new" means to the OP would have helped.
When AX73 was first on sale, I changed my VPN to a different location and got it for $20! Apparently, Martinic realized people were exploiting its website's "poor location discount" feature and doesn't seem to allow for it anymore.

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BlackWinny
KVRAF
4536 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Sat Oct 08, 2022 4:24 pm

Korg Supporter wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:18 am
BlackWinny wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:27 am When looking for cheap synths (meaning less than $50) I would add...
You forgot HY-Poly ($60), TB Flowtones ($60 but $25 on Black Friday) and the Plogue plugins are 50% off on Black Friday ($25 DX7 Emulation!).
Exact. My list was simply a sample among many things that can be found as cheap and excellent.

I see that you are a Korg supporter. I'm too. It makes me think that I could have added some of the first synths included in the KLC. They are still available separately, for less than $50 each one. The Mono/Poly and the Polysix, for exemple, can easily hold their heads up compared to current synths. Having many knobs and/or "modern faces" doesn't mean having better sounds and better modulations...
:)

Thus I'm not sure that "New" is a correct criteria. "Cheap" of "Free" I can understand, yes, but "New"... Hmm... Because some "old" plugins remain excellent after years and years, even for nowadays music. Most of the Korg Legacy Collection are excellent, and recently Korg updated the GUIs to make them fit with the screen resolutions of today (what many other developers don't do, i.e Native Instruments, GForce, etc.)
:tu:
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

wilkins_micawber
KVRist
46 posts since 21 Feb, 2021

Post Sat Oct 08, 2022 6:15 pm

Download Oatmeal. Amazing number of community presets. Unique sound

Korg Supporter
KVRist
484 posts since 4 Oct, 2016

Post Sat Oct 08, 2022 6:47 pm

BlackWinny wrote: Sat Oct 08, 2022 4:24 pm
Korg Supporter wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:18 am
BlackWinny wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 4:27 am When looking for cheap synths (meaning less than $50) I would add...
You forgot HY-Poly ($60), TB Flowtones ($60 but $25 on Black Friday) and the Plogue plugins are 50% off on Black Friday ($25 DX7 Emulation!).
Exact. My list was simply a sample among many things that can be found as cheap and excellent.

I see that you are a Korg supporter. I'm too. It makes me think that I could have added some of the first synths included in the KLC. They are still available separately, for less than $50 each one. The Mono/Poly and the Polysix, for exemple, can easily hold their heads up compared to current synths. Having many knobs and/or "modern faces" doesn't mean having better sounds and better modulations...
:)

Thus I'm not sure that "New" is a correct criteria. "Cheap" of "Free" I can understand, yes, but "New"... Hmm... Because some "old" plugins remain excellent after years and years, even for nowadays music. Most of the Korg Legacy Collection are excellent, and recently Korg updated the GUIs to make them fit with the screen resolutions of today (what many other developers don't do, i.e Native Instruments, GForce, etc.)
:tu:
I didn't include the Korg stuff because they are well-known. I was giving more obscure examples ;). I love the new GUIs, but the VST3 versions of the legacy plugins do not display properly on my Windows computer.

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atya
KVRist
480 posts since 17 Sep, 2014 from LPGC

Post Sun Oct 09, 2022 9:36 am

wilkins_micawber wrote: Sat Oct 08, 2022 6:15 pm Download Oatmeal. Amazing number of community presets. Unique sound
One of my alltime-favs that for some reason wasn't too stable on my old PC but works like a charm on my new machine. BIG :tu:

nusound mind
KVRist
384 posts since 21 Jan, 2017

Post Sun Oct 09, 2022 2:48 pm

The best softsynth imo for price to quality ratio that I've come across is Tone2 Warlock. Depending on what you're using it for, personally speaking I use it fairly regularly over other more expensive synths in my synth stable.

It's like 50bucks or somewhere in that range. Depending on your currency of course.

Korg Supporter
KVRist
484 posts since 4 Oct, 2016

Post Sun Oct 09, 2022 3:31 pm

nusound mind wrote: Sun Oct 09, 2022 2:48 pm The best softsynth imo for price to quality ratio that I've come across is Tone2 Warlock. Depending on what you're using it for, personally speaking I use it fairly regularly over other more expensive synths in my synth stable.

It's like 50bucks or somewhere in that range. Depending on your currency of course.
Tone 2 stuff is awesome! I tried the demo for Warlock, and I like it better in most ways than Razor. The FX may not be the best, but the sound engine is so satisfying.

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