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Synth (Hybrid) Plugin by Surge Synth Team
Surge Classic Skin
Surge Dark Skin Surge Royal Skin
Favorite Free Virtual Instrument - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2020
Surge by Surge Synth Team is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS, Windows and Linux. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin and a VST 3 Plugin.
Copy Protection
Open Source
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
383 KVR members have added Surge to 44 My KVR groups 507 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+39 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 22   18   22   5

30-Day: 25; 7-Day: 29; Yesterday: 28


  • Synthesis method: Subtractive hybrid.
  • Each patch contain two scenes which are separate instances of the entire synthesis engine (except effects) that can be used for layered or split patches.
  • Category-based patch browser.
  • MPE support.


  • 3 oscillators per scene.
  • 12 versatile oscillator algorithms: Classic, Modern, Wavetable, Window, Sine, FM2, FM3, String, Twist, Alias, S&H Noise, and audio input.
  • Classic oscillator is a morphable pulse/saw/dual saw oscillator with a sub-oscillator and hard sync.
  • Modern oscillator is a mixable saw/pulse/triangle oscillator with an optional sub-oscillator mode for triangle (and it can also change to sine or square) and hard sync.
  • FM2 and FM3 oscillators consist of a carrier and 2 or 3 modulators and various options.
  • String oscillator uses two filtered waveguides to emulate plucked or bowed string sounds.
  • Twist oscillator is based on a very famous Eurorack macro oscillator, and it offers a myriad of synthesis options in a very easy to use way.
  • Most algorithms (except FM2, FM3, Twist and Audio Input) offer up to 16-voice unison at the oscillator level.
  • Oscillator FM in 3 different configurations and ring modulation between oscillators 1-3 and 2-3.
  • Most oscillator algorithms (except FM2, FM3, Sine and Alias) are strictly band-limited, yet still cover the entire audible spectrum, delivering a clear punchy yet clean sound.
  • Noise generator with variable spectrum (available directly in the oscillator mixer).

Filter Block:

  • Two filter units in 8 different configurations.
  • Feedback loop available in 7 of those configurations.
  • Available filter algorithms: Lowpass (12 and 24 dB/oct, each with 3 variations), Legacy Ladder Lowpass (6-24 dB/oct), Vintage Ladder Lowpass (2 variations, each with and without gain compensation), Highpass (12 and 24 dB/oct, each with 3 variations), Bandpass (12 and 24 dB/oct, each with 3 variations), Notch (12 and 24 dB/oct, each with 2 variations), Allpass (3 variations), Comb (positive and negative), S&H.
  • Open-source additions to our filter bank contain: K35 and Diode Ladder filter types from Odin 2 synthesizer, 12 and 24 dB/oct multimode filters from OB-Xd, and weird but fascinating Cutoff Warp and Resonance Warp filters by Jatin Chowdhury.
  • Filters can self-oscillate (with excitation) and respond amazingly fast to cutoff frequency changes.
  • Waveshaper (5 shapes).


  • 12 LFO units available, 6 are per voice and 6 are global for the whole scene.
  • DAHDSR envelope generators on every LFO.
  • LFO shapes consist of 7 deformable LFO waveforms, step sequencer, and a fully-fledged multi-segment envelope generator (MSEG), with various curves and up to 128 nodes.
  • Voice LFOs allow envelope retriggering in step sequencer mode.
  • Extremely fast and flexible modulation routing. Almost every continuous parameter can be modulated.


  • 8 effect units arranged as 2 inserts per scene, 2 sends and 2 master effects.
  • 24 effect algorithms:
    • 3-band fully parametric EQ.
    • 11-band graphic EQ.
    • Exciter (based on a famous "type B" studio rack unit).
    • Resonator (inspired by a resonator from a vintage polysynth that rhymes with "vogue").
    • CHOW (maximally truculent distortion with compressor-like controls).
    • Distortion.
    • Neuron (distortion based on Gated Recurrent Unit).
    • Tape (based on the awesome ChowDSP ChowTapeModel!).
    • Combulator (like resonator, but using comb filters instead).
    • Frequency Shifter.
    • Nimbus (a famous Eurorack live input granularizer).
    • Ring Modulator.
    • Treemonster (pitch-tracked ring modulator from Shortcircuit 2!).
    • Vocoder.
    • Chorus.
    • Ensemble (BBD-based or clean!).
    • Flanger.
    • Phaser.
    • Rotary Speaker.
    • Delay.
    • Reverb 1.
    • Reverb 2.
    • Conditioner (low/high EQ, stereo image and limiter).
    • Airwindows (itself containing 53 wonderful effects of various kinds!).

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.68 from 22 reviews

Reviewed By Trader One
November 23rd, 2021

Very good synth, its similar to KV331 Synthmaster1 and its free. It means that there is a lot of patches available. Sound is very good - it has 2 layers. FM is bit limited but with envelope modulation you can still do interesting FM sounds.

Its must have synth.

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Reviewed By Q9000
May 15th, 2021

* sounds good to great.

* offers a effect VST with lots of effects for sound design.

* free.

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Reviewed By melodyz
April 24th, 2021

I just downloaded this after the 1.9 update. I have to say this thing is powerful. i have tried so many plugins free and paid for. This one should be near the top! I think what intimidates users is the complexity of the layout but once you understand it and why it has all those options you will love it.

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Reviewed By KalleConatus
March 9th, 2021

One of the best synths out there, extremely flexible and it sounds really good! Highly recommend it.

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Reviewed By JStolarski
January 29th, 2021

Has lots of adjustments. I have no process, except random tweaking of knobs till I find a strange sound. Haven't done any music in 4 years. Mix pc died, so I'm on a free version of Waveform 11, and putting a few plugins in it. Not disappointed in the Synth. I'm a fiddler and tweaker. It's what makes it fun. You can check my Soundcloud, gonna put some unmixed stuff on there. I like making spacy experimental stuff that makes your head feel weird.

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Comments & Discussion for Surge Synth Team Surge

Discussion: Active
27 January 2012 at 9:23am

Had this one for a while now and it definitely fills the part of being the "odd VST amongst your normal ones".

What I like about it the most is the attack and the digital kind of grittiness.

And as said before the GUi is actually very user friendly. For example, the way you drag and drop assign things in the modulation matrix by "drag and drop" is something I really miss on more expensive plugins. Vember has really ignored fancy looks (yeah it's ugly ) and instead focused on making a practical tool.

7 April 2012 at 7:56pm

It just seat in every mix. It's truly a powerhouse and a learning tool for modulation and the effects routing is genius.

2 July 2012 at 9:16pm

I would like to say that Surge is the only synth I've used that I've been able to make crazy-scary renditions of acoustic sounds from woodwind to brass to dog vocal tracts. Surge is definitely one of the only synths on the market that allows you to explore these things because of its combination of featureset and tweakability. To tap into this, just enable the feedback routing, add feedback, add resonance in the filters, enable keytracking of filter, etc.

I will, however, agree that it does not sound sweet like modern synths. But what modern synths lacks, Surge definitely has. Its tweakability invites insanity.

3 August 2012 at 9:36pm

Hello everyone, just wanted to say I purchased Surge in Feb 2012 and haven't looked back yet.

Though it may not be the most technically advanced soft-synth out there it definitely has a certain something about it. I keep finding myself creating really exciting and attention-grabbing sounds whenever I just sit down and start experimenting with it. This is something I have not really found with the two other synths I have taken the time to learn in depth - Albino and Zebra.

Those 'in the know' say it is best to just pick one machine and learn to program it really well, as opposed to purchasing all the vsti's out there. So, following on from that I have made Surge my number one sound-software, along with Reaper and Halion 3. Surge seems to do a really good job of most of the basic sounds like bass, drums, keys and fx.

I think what makes it for me is it's fundamentally rock 'n' roll sound quality, everything sounds so fat and juicy with a great attitude - it seems incapable of making bland sounds. Claes, the developer, really has done a great job on this synth - it looks like he really knows about programming nice sounding oscillator and filter algorithms.

That's all for now, I've just got to go and program a totally overdriven, pulse-width-modulated, digitally aliased, resonant-comb-filtered, waveshaped, step-sequenced and delay-drenched monstrosity! Dave.

13 May 2013 at 12:36pm

This Synth is an absolute BEAST!!!!! How this doesn't get more attention or credit is beyond me. I cant wait to see what Vember puts out next cause I'm a huge fan of theirs. Anybody who hasnt tried this synth out needs to ASAP!!! Amazing work to those involved in the development of this great machine. Please tell me you guys are working on VST's to release soon or in the near future.

30 November 2014 at 12:13am

+10 from me. probably used this longer than most other synth plugs but i still find things it can do. once you know your way around it can pretty much fill any sound needs. a brilliant bit of kit :)

30 November 2014 at 10:11am


I agree, for me too, this is the synth that i have been using for the longest time. It has a unique sound and a great user interface, and even if it can't really compete with modern synths like Spire and SynthMaster, when it comes to modern edm sounds, it still has "it" and is great fun to play around with. To bad Claes/Vember Audio doesn't develop it anymore. I guess that Bitwig took all of his time.

18 August 2016 at 4:17pm


An evergreen in Software Synthesis with his a own digital character. Intresting how many still using these synth.

Good work.

28 September 2018 at 12:33am

Surge is now free and open source, the price and links should be updated.

Purple Six Recordz
Purple Six Recordz
22 October 2018 at 12:46pm

This VST is a keeper. So many sound presets and options for free VST is amazing. Love that there are a lot of sounds with dark, creepy vibe to them. :).

I also made a demo video for the VST for people to check out before downloading.


16 May 2019 at 6:14am

Thank you for synth and for opensource.

How about a portable version of one?

It'd be really great.

Big up.

18 June 2019 at 7:04am

Just wanted to say I've created a FB group:

A few people from the project have already joined -- hopefully the group will help the synth grow. I'm a big fan of the synth myself, I think the modulation system is absolutely brilliant, combining LFO and envelopes that way. I'll be spending a lot of time with this synth :).

22 September 2019 at 12:19pm

I am impressed with this synthesizer. Its wide possibilities impress me. This is one of the best synthesizers to date. Although free.

24 September 2019 at 7:57am

Oh wow, have just discovered Surge - as others have noted, it's a bit odd, but once you start playing around with it, the capability really shines. Early days for me yet, but just mucking about with the A/B dual and split scenes takes me back to the good old days of hard synths where it was a norm (at least on all the machines I've used). Add to that the arsenal of patches already available, quality of sound and and parameter controls it's awesome - and goddam it, this baby is free!!!! Despite only a couple of hours in, the control layout, which initially threw me off, is actually very intelligently designed - the patch management is very clear and functional (love being able to add a comment and add my own category), the FX management looks very comprehensive, love the routing / filter configuration approach) and the wavetable capability looks very comprehensive, very quick to create an interesting sound.


3 November 2021 at 2:44am

I've had Surge for some time and I started wondering if you could combine presets, say a sequence with a pad and its doable. Bring up a sequence preset, right click on A and copy it, then open up a pad preset and right click on B and paste. Click Dual for both A and B then presto you have two presets in one without reinventing the wheel. You can save it to your User folder with a new name and for added fun turn on more oscillators.


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