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 DUNE 3 by Synapse Audio is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Product DUNE 3
Developer Synapse Audio
Price (MSRP)
Type / Tags Synth (Analogue / Subtractive)Polyphonic
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Operating System Availability
Download Released
Downloads Released
Downloads Released
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionOnline Activation (Challenge / Response)

DUNE 3 is a powerful polyphonic synthesizer that combines VA/subtractive, Wavetable and FM synthesis with an extensive modulation system, named the Differential Unison Engine (DUNE).

A unique feature of DUNE 3 is the ability to synthesize a very high number of oscillator voices, regardless of the synthesis model in use. At full polyphony, up to 8320 oscillators can be active simultaneously.

The synthesizer output passes through two high-quality FX chains, containing EQ, Delay, Reverb, Distortion, Phaser, Chorus and Compression, in order to polish the sound yet further.

Features (excerpt):

  • Two oscillator stacks with up to 32 oscillators each.
  • Third oscillator and pink/white noise generator.
  • 8x Unison, resulting in up to 520 oscillators per note.
  • Polyphony up to 16 voices.
  • Zero-Delay feedback filters.
  • All-stereo signal path.
  • Powerful Wavetable Editor.
  • Four graphical envelopes (MSEG).
  • Two master FX busses containing 9 effects each.
  • Modulation up to audio-rate.
  • Multi-threaded processing.
  • Nice, clean HD interface with several sizes to choose from.

Compatibility Note

DUNE 2 and DUNE 3 are not compatible with DUNE 1. All versions of DUNE run just fine in parallel, however.


Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.86 from 7 reviews

Reviewed By kenshini
December 13, 2018

Amazing synth, the new filters are so warm and analog brings more punch to the sounds, effects are top quality. Best all around synth today.

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Reviewed By ubailey
December 11, 2018

Downloaded the demo yesterday. I went through the presets and they were all pretty impressive. the design looks real good. this is a kick ass vst. The sounds are off the chain. 5*.

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Reviewed By Clifton
November 3, 2018

I have to admit that this is one of the best software synth in it's class and can be very addictive. I come to realize that the possibilities are endless that I'm just now scratching the surface of how easy it is to program. The most thing I really like about it is it's programming potentials and another best feature is the arpeggiator mode. You can even record and export your own MIDI files and then later import your MIDI files you've already recorded and play them as an arranging instrument. (Hey not bad). Not too many software synths has that kind of feature as what Dune 2 has and what its capable of doing. Dune 2 is such a great software synth as it is as with Halion 6 and Serum. Icarus on the other hand has great sounding potential but programming Icarus is very limited. With that being said when programming Dune 2 you are creating your own patches from scratch and importing your own custom wave tables and at least you have something to work with in a better feel and nothing else is missing. This is just one of many software synths I'm comparing with Dune 2. All I can say so far that this is an outstanding software synth and I went nuts over it. You guys keep up the good work there since I'm looking forward for dune 3 later in the future.

Pros. Great innovative software synth with just enough everything you need for your work flow.

Cons. May not replace your hardware synths like the maybe yamaha DX7 or the casio vz-1 etc.

Overall. Great instrument to have along with with your other digital instruments you may have since the sky is the limit.

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Reviewed By Saukar30
April 19, 2018

I've had Dune 2 since it was released. I always have had a soft spot for Synapse products because Orion was the 1st DAW that I actually liked and started working with immediately about 18 years ago.

Dune 2 is my #1 synth.

Is this the most punchiest sounding synth? No.

Is this the most feature ridden synth? No.

Is this the synth with the best fx or filters? No.

Is this the best wavetable synth? No.

What Dune 2 is though is versatile. Dune2's sound fits a nice modern space due to he power of it's oscillators and how they can function. From the amount of voices, to the tuning, to the layers, to the different synthesis types... you have the potential for a really rich deep smooth sound that can work in all genres. Notice I said SMOOTH. Dune2 isn't something you grab for edginess, and it wasn't really designed to be. It was designed for you to add on sound sources & keep some flexibility in 1 synth.

What throws most people off about Dune 2 is they expect Massive or Sylenth fatness, or Serum or Spire power. Dune 2 is its own field. Dune 2 can do these type of sounds with some love from you programming them, but it's focus is rich & smooth. Dune 2's focus is not the leading man/woman of your sound stage... it's for everything else.

I use Dune 2 a lot for drums. Most ppl dont consider this a very percussive synth, but again, you can layer with this thing and make any kind of percussion you want. I also use it for basses, pads (of course), & atmospheres. It is super light on the CPU considering how many oscillators you can use, so using multiple instances isn't an issue in a modern computer. The reverb is so lush.. though sometimes maybe too lush LOL. The envelopes aren't the snappiest, but you can also use the MSEGS for that if you choose.

Which brings me to the problem. Dune 2 is one of those synths that fits its certain space SO well, that you which it could do more. A deeper modulation matrix. More flexibility to the arp, More envelopes, more LFOS. Better implementation of the wavetables with a wavetable editor. Multitimbrality & Multiple Outputs for the unison voices. Etc, etc. Currently Synapse is working on a version 3, and I cant wait to see what they have in store. Usually, from my experience of using their products & hearing requests, its something between what people want & what people aren't thinking of.

Even in its current state, it is one of the most top notch synths. If you are looking for a synth that may not focus on modern edginess or classic flavor, this is the synth to get. Put Dune 2 in your arsenal. You won't regret it.

(NO I wasn't paid for this LOL)

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Reviewed By kevvvvv
June 23, 2015

This is more a series of user impressions than a template review.


Dune 2 is about high quality fresh sound.

I came down the Dune CM trail to Dune 1, and now to Dune 2.

It's got a definite sweet colour of its own, really musical to my mind.

- and boasts really splendid presets of all varieties.

And though there aren't many 3rd party presets.

- the Rob Lee work is pretty good and worth considering.

When mixed with Kontakt tracks, Dune 2 needs its reverb taking down, or it can sound a bit fake next to samples.

The arp is quite wonderful with its MIDI file input.

It's good having loads of oscillators too, though I don't always use Dune 2 this way as it sounds too much "like a trance synth" albeit a very good one.

I often use it more like an analog synth as the oscillators & filters are so thick and nice.

- and while I like analog sounds, I'm not a purist.

So most Moog etc emulations sound pretty good to me these days.



Recently I've worked with Blue 2, Massive and Sylenth - and now pass on all of them.

Dune 2's only serious competition is from high end Omnisphere 2, rather than other similarly priced top spec synths.

- as buying a synth in this range is always very much a personal preference.

But even Omni can't sound like Dune does!

Dune 2 isn't as broad a synth as Blue 2.

- but much less synthetic sounding than Massive.

- and much more interesting than Sylenth as it does more.

- but not as experimental as Serum or Synthmaster, which I don't own.

Dune 2 is very decent on CPU for such a fast detailed sound.

- while the price is average for a full-on totally pro synth.

Should you buy.


I started with Dune CM and was immediately impressed by how good, and how different it sounded - never mind that it was free.

So if you can get a copy of Dune CM, try this instead of a Dune 2 dem download.

Dune CM ain't Dune 2, but it's still got that same special something.

- so it'll always be a keeper instead of another duff demo to get rid of.

This vid walks you through the Dune 2 presets.


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Discussion: Active
6 May 2014 at 11:08am

Synapse Audio you did a killer job on Dune 2. Sound, Look and Function are superb and I would love to get the full version.

12 May 2014 at 8:12pm

I am really impressed with DUNE2. The direct unison voice editing is huge improvement now allowing to take advantage of the unison engine fully.

14 May 2014 at 9:07pm

I cannot express how much love I got for this amazing synth.

23 May 2014 at 6:02am


For me it's not just an version 2. It's a whole new synth, and a good one.

14 July 2014 at 11:42pm

Agreed! DUNE II is now in my top 3 favorite VST synths list along with Blue II and Sylenth1. It has also fixed some serious limitations with DUNE and made the whole interface much better. It's really easy to use, it sounds GREAT (think hardware), and the patch save/load system is freaking genius! Each patch is it's own file, and the VST automatically numbers them when loading from a folder, so theoretically a single patch folder can contain up to 999 sounds. Even if it's limited to only 128, that's still simple to expand by creating another folder and starting to drop sounds into it. This also makes backing up patches very easy. Highly recommend this one!!.

28 July 2014 at 10:01pm

Great job but Image-Line's Synths are much better than this. I think the only advantage of Dune 2 is its Arpeggiator supporting Chords via MIDI import. I have used lots of synths till now but the capability of micro tuning provided by Image-Line's Sytrus and Harmor synths and also their fast loading is fascinating that I have not seen in other synths like Dune 2. The other facility of Dune 2 is its supporting of 8 parallel channel of oscillators that is included in LuSH-101 too. After all I prefer Sytrus and Harmer. They are my goddesses.

8 August 2014 at 8:00am

I bought Dune2 yesterday and I gotta say it sounds absolutely fantastic! Very versatile synth and the internal effects (especially the reverb!) sounds awesome.

27 August 2014 at 5:49pm

Dune 1 I tested and tested again over the years but didn't like it. Dune 2 I'm only testing since one week and still love it.

- great user interface
- great synthese features
- great effects
- great MSEG envelopes
- great OSCs
- better sound quality
- better filter quality.

OK, the LFOs and the standard envelopes could react a little bit finer and noble and the stepsequencer could have 64 or better 128 steps and the option to save own presets, too (!) ... but this are only little wishes, this synth still is wonderful.

Thank you, great work.

17 November 2014 at 11:43am

I agree with all the positive reviews. I've tried many synths all those years. the biggest problem for me is that all those synths are all boring to use. Imagine if you have an acoustic piano, which has only one sound - the piano sound, but you can play it all day without boredom. Any synth I've tried always has hundred sounds, but almost none of them has the power that could make me play whole night. So what really happens is that I would spend few hours just browsing presets, every preset for few seconds. Dune 2 did something really different, the presets are amazing. Not all of them is my kind of sound, but still there are many of them have the power that could make me play for at least one hour before I got bored. It is definitely something different. The soft synths are no compare to acoustic instruments so far, no matter how many companies already have been trying for all those years. But Dune 2 is very close to be one. That is something really incredible.

DJ Warmonger
DJ Warmonger
6 December 2014 at 11:41am

Next time someone asks me "how to make it sound big", I will answer Dune 2. Sick unison for dummies, just out of the box. Also, it has great syntheis possibilities despite simplicity. I think I'll cut my wishlist just to fit Dune in.

14 January 2015 at 8:07pm

Would love to see visual representations of oscillator, ADSR and LFO's etc but sounds great.

aaron aardvark
aaron aardvark
13 June 2015 at 4:12am

I was able to put Ghost Dog and Cubrick Soundset soundbanks into Dune 2 folders. Wasn't able to figure out the other two. Haven't tried them yet, but thank you for the patches, I'll try them in the near future.

23 December 2015 at 5:56pm

Amazing new analog envelopes and filters in version 2.5.

11 January 2016 at 5:22pm

one of the best VST synths on the market PERIOD.

12 January 2016 at 3:11pm

I had saved up the $169.00 but found out there is 20% VAT to add on top bringing this to $200 mark.

12 January 2016 at 11:58pm

Hi SunlightSpirit, .

the VAT is now inclusive regardless of location, we changed our pricing model recently. So you should see exactly $169 when adding DUNE 2 to the shopping cart.

Best Regards, .

Richard / Synapse Audio.

3 February 2016 at 3:07pm

I love the new Dune 2.5 Kevin Schroeder and Cuebrick presets.

I use them in everything.

Any more planned soon?

8 February 2016 at 7:39pm

impressed with DUNE2, really looking forward to buy the Cuebrick preset.

8 February 2016 at 8:24pm

Cuebrick presets are free.

The recent Dune upgrade is brilliant for presets.

like bags of Kevin Schroder presets, and a couple of hundred Ambients by someone I don't know.

The only shame is that the MIDI files in Dune presets can't be exported as midi. But that's a very minor thing. Dune just keeps getting better.

22 March 2016 at 2:00pm

Good sounding synth, but the interface is terrible. How anyone can like this interface...

Still it's worthy for good sound.

17 May 2016 at 3:08pm

Can't really imagine what's exactly terrible about it. Everything is clear, no clutter, tweakable colors, very fluent envelope editing — I just love it.

5 September 2016 at 1:13am

I for one cant stand multipage synths. i like dune 1 cause you can have most things in one single screen.

I just wished 1.4 had al the filters from dune 2. those sk filters are sweet.

5 September 2016 at 6:52am

Yeah it's nice if everything can be fit on one screen. But Dune 2 has many more parameters than Dune 1. Synths of this complexity are always multi-page, there is simply no other way. In Dune 2 all the key areas like the Oscs, Filter, Mixer, ADSR etc are always visible though, so the need to switch pages is greatly reduced.


8 September 2016 at 3:53pm

I realize dune 2 is more complex than dune 1.

So... its alright i guess, .

Have you thought of maybe adding the extra filters to dune 1 for an upgrade price? Id buy it.

12 September 2016 at 11:03pm

Dune 2 is due for an upgrade IMO. It sounds good though.

14 March 2018 at 12:29am

First comment of 2018.

5 November 2018 at 8:54pm

I think Dune2 has changed my whole life around and I'm going nuts over this amazing synth. What make it better if you have a wave editor you can copy wave forms from any old hardware synths into dune2. Look what you'll be having? Truly amazing.

12 December 2018 at 5:39am

The copy protection that's mentioned here says "serial" but that's very misleading. Typically when this is mentioned it means it's strictly simple serial via offline registration. Dune 3 is unlike version 2, and requires either online authorization with your serial, or offline challenge / response which is based on your specific system hardware configuration.

12 December 2018 at 8:45am

You're right. The page was from Dune 2, hence it inherited a lot of information from there.

It seems Ben has now updated the copy protection to "Online Activation" which is correct. It is a one-time authorization with a given serial. Note that after successful authorization, the plugin will never connect to the internet. Furthermore, Offline activation is available as well.

13 January 2019 at 2:59pm

Dune 3 is an amazingly power synth with a great sound! Very versatile and capable of a wide range of sounds. From cinematic pads, to hard dubstep basses, to trance arps, and loads more.

The Dune 3 sound bank by New Loops has a good audio demo and a free demo pack to download - https://newloops.com/products/universal-dune-3-presets

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Average user rating of 4.86 from 7 reviews

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