Overall: 10 8 10 2
30-Day: 10; 7-Day: 24; Yesterday: 23
Clearly one of the best free VST synths along with "Vital", loads of usable presets both installed and from the community.
Personally I think sound is up there with top level paid vsts.
I think the GUI could be better and it is possible to crash it in sound design but do not let that put you off this is a must have vst.Read Review
For those of us not skilled in synthesizing, Surge has a lot of presets both installed by the installer and downloadable from communities. From there you can modify and customize sounds, even make your own with some practise. You'll have a hard time to find any better free synthesizer.Read Review
Reviewed By loungedumore
July 11th, 2022
VA, Wavetables, FM based synth with multiple options of each type.
Massive amount of easy to use modulation .
Mutable Instruments Plaits & Clouds, OB-Xd filters, Oden II filters, Air Windows fx all built in.
It's one of the best, most flexible synths period ...that also happens to be free and open source.
Just surface scratches really stop reading this review and go Download it.Read Review
Amazing synth that is absolutely jam packed with features, including lots of stuff that is "under the hood". Many oscillator options and many great sounding filters with various sub-modes, tons of modulation options, wave-shaping, tons of FX; just had everything you really need.
It'll do EDM supersaws, vintage, dubstep growl, wavetable, fm, string, ambient/textural stuff, experimental and complex stuff. Really versatile and functional, well thought-out, and complex.
A huge thing is that is sounds excellent and has many features to affect the tone like oscillator pitch/drift variation, wave-shaping, oscillator brightness, random modulation (which can affect pitches, envelopes, etc), and insert/send FX to really give it a rich character and allowing to you make it sound "warmer" and more vintage, based on how far you want to go and the limits of your own abilities.
Comes with a lot of good presets, but this thing truly shines when you dig deep and learn it inside and out. It's easy to write off because of it's non-flashy but practical interface, by it's native presets, or by the fact that it's free; but it is really really amazing. The user manual is a must read to really get into the deeper aspects as there are features that aren't quite obvious right out of the gate.
I have personally narrowed down my digital synth library down to Surge XT and logic pro native plugins, to fit my personal goal of minimalism and creative limitation; focusing on full mastery of what is available rather than grasping for new plugins all the time. I could tell you that I really don't miss or care about using the other synth plugins anymore and have gotten rid of that "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" mindset, and that this synth serves as both my standard bread-and-butter synth and in situations where more complex modulation is required.
A+++++++ would buy if it costed anythingRead Review
Ever since going open-source, Surge has been quietly accumulating more and more features. With the Surge XT release, it's blossomed into a real "Swiss Army Synth", covering nearly every category. OK, it doesn't have multisampled instruments - but it does, in fact, have a fair few samples buried in its numerous oscillators, which now include the content of the well-regarded Eurorack macro-oscillator "Plaits". Besides oscillators, more filters and effects are also present, giving it a huge timbral range. The architecture lets you layer, ring-mod and FM, waveshape, filter, and feedback, and modulation capability is effectively infinite because it now lets you execute Lua code as a modulator, on top of many standard LFO and envelope options. If you can't make the synth sound you want with this, you probably just don't know what you need to tweak to get there. (Hint: most synths get their distinctive character from oscillator EQ.).
While at a glance, the big panel it opens up with is intimidating, it's not deeply nested and presents just about everything in a few pages. It is intuitive enough to program if you've been working with synths for a while and grasp working with a modulation matrix, and in many cases it has a "more than one way to do it" quality that makes it simple for bread-and-butter sounds but also possible to switch your approach to something deeper. For example, you can start using FM by using the 2op and 3op oscillators which do FM synthesis directly; or you can use multiple oscillators and the FM signal path to create more complex uses of FM, incorporating other oscillator types. You can start with a simple waveform and add post-filter waveshaping to give it complexity; or you can switch to using wavetable synthesis. And so on.
All that and it's now free and open-source, no strings attached. So even if you don't have a need for a sound design tool, the presets available for it are plentiful.Read Review
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