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Synth (Analogue / Subtractive) Plugin by Daichi Laboratory (Ichiro Toda)

Synth1 has an average user rating of 4.13 from 54 reviews

Rate & Review Synth1

User Reviews by KVR Members for Synth1

Reviewed By lucknow13 [read all by] on November 9th, 2022
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows.
Last edited by lucknow13 on 16th November 2022.

Aside what the previous review by meru was. Does she need glasses or is her computer strange. I found nothing valid in her review. Synth1 is not overrated and is perhaps the most popular free synth out there and has been for years. Everything, at least on my computer is easy to see and adjust and has it's own unique sound. What to speak of the thousands of available banks for this great synth. The complaint that the Gui is ugly is hardly a valid point as it can be make very nice looking with adjustable custom colours and the fonts are clear. In her review he does not recommend any free synths that could be comparable. That would be a plus if it were so. At any rate she is no doubt in the minority on this. Long live Synth1.

Reviewed By meru [read all by] on November 8th, 2022
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by meru on 10th November 2022.

It's a good (albeit overrated) synth with an extremely messy, ugly GUI (not talking about the color).

I give it a generous 3 stars because it sounds OK and the plugin is one of the most CPU efficient.
However, functionally it's just one of the thousands of generic subtractive plugins, but the GUI is among the worst i've seen in this category.

- There's a lack of space, around the visual controls and also between some labels.
- Combine that with ridiculous abbreviations, and you get gems such as "timedephatefdbktoned/w"
- The knobs are not aligned.
- The 'm.env' and 'dest.' buttons aren't aligned either...
- The 'phase' knob label is a different size.
- The monospace font makes the fonts harder to read.
- The only point for using monospace today, is aligning words and characters, yet many labels are vertically misaligned.

But hey, at least you can change the color...

Conclusion: Unless you're using a very old computer, and need an extremely low-CPU synth (which is the only remarkable feature), there's nothing you would miss using one of the many subtractive synths with more features and better GUIs - some of which are free (check out TAL NoiseMaker, u-he Tyrell N6, or even better, Vital!).

Reviewed By purplepat69 [read all by] on December 4th, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.13beta on Windows

I could be niggly and knock off one star because this doesn't sound "hi fi" in terms of raw audio quality, but I can't knock a free synth that has literally thousands of presets that sound fantastic. I am simply blown away by the number of presets for this thing (I know there was a contest to make stuff with this synth), but I downloaded one file that has 16,000 presets (a link to a 25,000 preset mega download is apparently down). I'm not a fan of the dated-looking GUI; it would be great if this could be updated with a graphical presentation that matched the awesomeness of this synth. A must-have.

Reviewed By nonewwavenofun [read all by] on August 23rd, 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

Still the gold standard for a free synth VST. Would definitely recommend to learn how to program synths. I'm very sad so I used the colour editor to make it look like a Nord Lead.

Reviewed By MacGyver [read all by] on May 14th, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.13b8 on Mac

Sadly completely buggy / unusable as 64-bit version, at least on macos. No bugfix for this since 2015. Very sad. That's why I giving now only a single star, sorry.

In detail:
- Filter doesn't work in the 64-bit version
- Preset manager doesn't properly work
- GUI doesn't properly work

Workaround for macos users (until Apple removed any 32-bit support from the OS):

- Strip away the 64-bit part from the universal binary using the terminal command "ditto". Search Hanz Meyzer's post here in the forum.
- Do a plugin rescan in your DAW

Reviewed By LimeflashlightL [read all by] on December 8th, 2019
Version reviewed: latest on Windows

it resets to the first preset when i press my spacebar so 3/5 otherwise would of been 4, if i can figure out how to fix it i'll give 4.

Reviewed By rootaudio [read all by] on August 1st, 2019
Version reviewed: beta8 on Mac

It's amazing but the latest mac version has a broken 12db slope lp filter and I wish I could download an earlier version.

Reviewed By b4nr [read all by] on January 23rd, 2019
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by b4nr on 6th February 2019.

Downloading and adding patches is easy once you figure it out. It looks like a great option for designing your own sounds for free. I use it on soundbridge and It works great.

Reviewed By Eine Alte Oma [read all by] on December 4th, 2018
Version reviewed: 100000 on Windows

i don't know how long i use this synth already... it's still my go-to synth when i want a fast and inspiring workflow that gets me into trance as well. whenever i install my daw on a new machine synth1 is one of the first 3rd party plugins i install.

Reviewed By VELLTONE MUSIC [read all by] on July 31st, 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by VELLTONE MUSIC on 31st July 2018.

If there is a free synth which can be compared to the top notch hardware like VIRUS or NORD LEAD.

it's Synth1.

No other free VST has such distinguish hardware analog temper and sound .

Many times i prefer to use simple construction preset and unbelievable sound from this less than 1 MB amazing VST than to start complex work on complex synths which may or may not sound 'right' in the end.

It is so inspirational working with it you can make entire composition just until you look for something else.

And there is so many free presets made for it, you just have to sort what your mix need or the ones made by advanced designers if need something 'pro'.

Free hardware synth in a small VST box :).

Reviewed By dlawlis [read all by] on March 28th, 2018
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows.
Last edited by dlawlis on 28th March 2018.

One of the best (if not the best) free synths of all time! It works with every host that I've ever tried (granted I'm on Windows and I don't use any weird/obscure hosts). Could use a GUI update and maybe a more intuitive preset browser, but then again it's free! Kinda sad that it's become Abandonware.

Reviewed By fluxmachina [read all by] on January 14th, 2018
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows.
Last edited by Ben [KVR] on 8th November 2022.

Awesome VST synth! There are hours and hours of enjoyment contained in this efficient little monster.

Reviewed By kingjimmy10 [read all by] on December 29th, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.38 on Mac

I absolutely love this! A good sounding synth. This is by far one of, if not the, best free vts out there.

However after recently updating to logic pro 10.3.3 the image of the synth has been shifted upwards so the image of the buttons don't actually match the actual button placement making it incredibly difficult to use.

Would be 10/10 if this issue is sorted.

Reviewed By Hierophlex [read all by] on August 26th, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows.
Last edited by Hierophlex on 26th August 2017.

This is by far the best freeware soft-synth I've ever encountered..! Reading some of these user reviews about odd sound glitches and other 'bugs' makes me wonder... I've used Synth1 for years, updates n' all, and never had any problems! It plays and obeys MIDI gracefully, the programming is very intuitive ... And most importantly, the broad range of inspiring sounds you can churn out from this little beast is staggering! My suggestion: Forget the presets and just have fun with it.

Reviewed By inkwarp [read all by] on July 25th, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows

this is an amazing synth esp. when considering it is freeware.

the whole interface is in one compact and clear interface. and it sounds amazing even if you just play with the presets. and it is CPU light. i use it on almost every project now.

a great all round synth esp. for someone like me who is perpetually skint :)

Reviewed By ZacoOne [read all by] on July 23rd, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.13 b3 on Windows.
Last edited by ZacoOne on 23rd July 2017.

Excellent free subtractive synth! Tens of thousands of presets you can find online. Will serve you well for years to come.

Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on April 2nd, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows

I love Synth1. It is probably my favourite softsynth, over even commercial synths I own. Making patches on it is a joy and it sounds fantastic.

I wish I could leave it at that, but there's one major persistent and worrying problem with Synth1 that is the only thing preventing me from giving it a 10: on many patches, when any of the low-pass filter are engaged, Synth1 outputs some quite extreme very-low-end noise.

Like if you look at a frequency spectrum analyzer while playing one of the (very very many!) afflicted patches, you can see peaks at around 15-30Hz that are higher than the sound you actually intend to produce! It can be that extreme, and the noise is so persistent that EQing or filtering it out with another plugin downstream is very difficult, it's incredibly persistent output.

It takes something like ReaFIR or a very very steep high-pass filter (like -48db/oct and beyond) to get rid of it, otherwise you have this incredible amount og extreme low-end energy in your track! Very bad.

It's painful to say that, especially since the fellow who maintains it appears to have lost interest, so it may never be fixed. Would be a terrible shame, but all the best to the developer anyway.

Reviewed By dpy4bd [read all by] on August 31st, 2016
Version reviewed: 10 on Windows

8/10, would definitely recommend! I've had this synth tucked away for a while now and need to start using it more often. The range of sonic characteristics it provides is unmatched for free plugins and it shouldn't be hard at all to cover at least a handful of elements in a track. The arpeggiator offers an ideal level of control.

Only reason I rated 8/10 is because the interface is a little difficult to grasp, but only at the very beginning. It's very easy once you get the hang of it, which takes almost no time. My advice for what its worth is to save your money and try using Synth1 for whatever you might want to try. Onboard frequency modulation and other effects are an amazing value. It also plays really nice with Ableton, such as being able to automate everything with ease, and also map parameters to MIDI controls if I'm not mistaken...

Safe to say, you'll be hard pressed to find a free synth plugin that is as versatile and feature-rich as this one.

Reviewed By Cruba [read all by] on July 7th, 2016
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by Cruba on 23rd August 2019.

I installed Synth1 maybe 10 times and also removed it 10 times. Half a year ago I installed Synth1 for the 11th time (rofl) cos' so many people can't be wrong! Comon' Synth1, what's your secret. I downloaded the mega 14.000 presets collection, listen, listen, listen... No, also 14.000 Presets didn't offer me a reason why Synth1 should be so cool.

For my actual concept album (70's psychadellic/progressive rock sound & rules melt with 90's techno sound & rules), I was in the need for a very nasty, analog accoustic sounding bassguitarish sound celebrating the 70's. It took me 3 days Synth1 try & error and big fails, but in the end I got a bass directly from worsest 70's psychadellic mothership... lol

The way you could control the behaviour of a sound is the Synth1 big advantage and the most weird fact: It sounds always clean in the meaning you don't have this nerving sidesounds other synths produce and you can't trap Synth1. What I mean? Synth1 has something like extremly polished manners. You could do a rough and harsh sound, but it follows the rule not to go on nerves. You want an ultra lowend calm bass? You will get it, but not missing power and not making problems with vibrating headphones or speakers. Synth1 sounds always brilliant with the accoustic, dirty, nasty, electronic touch you give the sound.

The first 3 Songs for my concept album was made with different synths, the 4th song was born out of playing around with Synth1 and opening an instance more and an instance more...

For the 5th song, I was speaking about before, first time I designed all sounds myself. No try & error, when needing a bass, I was learning how to reach the goal as long as it was the bass I wanted. Out of this work my 1st bank was done. It contains 74 selfdesigned Sounds.

I have a socalled init sound. It has nothing on, just adjusted, that you hear a simple sound.

I was putting my 5th song online yesterday and was speaking with some people about Synth1's capabilities. I was showing some people my 5th track and they didn't believe it's pure Synth1, just the bassdrum is from Marvin VST.

Synth1 is a beast and not a smally one! Fact.

Synth1 in action: 13 instances, 12 out of 74 self designed sounds out of Cajhmere's 72 bank was used
additional Effects: Dust Bucket 64-bit & Distorque Azurite 64-bit (chorus), NastyDLAmkII 32-bit (delay), Poor Plate 64-bit & Abstract Chamber 64-bit (reverb), Bark of Dog 64-bit (saturation), space360 32-bit (room), 5band Luftikus 64-bit (Equalizer)

Reviewed By tfanatic [read all by] on May 18th, 2016
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by tfanatic on 18th May 2016.

Unfortunately, very long I searched but did not find anything better to compose music disco polo, and I salute worship ago GOOD japanese men authors this plugin who wrote this plugin, really heartbreaking when interviewing those analog sounds, Example 1 Example 2. he is all the time since 2005 unflagging number one for me and there is no really what to replace it with a sound bank every year more and more modern and better sound bank to show in internet.

Reviewed By Kel [read all by] on March 5th, 2016
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows

This synth1 is really a gem of the gems. Given its time of development and its simplicity I always find myself coming back to it, pressing the VST button to add another instance... pure satisfaction.

Some people may think its not capable enough just because it does not have a lot of oscs. Or the capabilities seems somewhat limited. But let me tell you that under good hands, anything good should came of it.

For example, I was doing a very difficult electric bass patch and tried to make it sound realistic. After two months of tweaking I got to the point of it sounding almost as exact as a sample. The same can be said with a lot of instruments, but for complex patches you will need several instances and a lot of workarounds. But in the end, its really similar to his big brothers (sylenth et all). You can have a look at the professional level patches that some designers do and be amazed (kaiyoti, Ann, brok, etc).

For it size and its price... it is a bargain. Let synth1 help you and you will be amazed.

Btw Im still working for synth1 and doing patches for it after many years of use (from 2005). Thanks Ichiro, my respect.

Reviewed By precedence [read all by] on July 5th, 2015
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows

Amazing. I'm really not sure why people by sylenth. Sylenth might beat this, but not by 139 Euros.

Reviewed By SynthJocky [read all by] on June 23rd, 2015
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows

When I first discovered Synth1 I was sceptical about its functionality due to the simplistic graphics on the VST's GUI and the rather clunky design of the controls. Now that I have spent a good hour or so toying with the parameters on different preset banks I now officially love this synth. First and foremost I have to say that the FM synthesis in Synth1 is more than capable of emulating the classic FM synthesis, making it comparable to that of any hardware synth legend of the 80s and 90s. Synth1 would be the perfect synth for all you lovers of oldschool EDM.

The waveforms generated from its oscillation units are solid, sturdy and make for virtually all leading roles in most electronic genres of music; particularly leads, pads, sequence notes, basslines and sweeping wave sounds residing in Synthpop, New Wave, Techno and Eurodance. Within 5 minutes of messing around with the filters and effects I was able to replicate so many classic sounds from numerous hit singles through the ages of synth; ranging from Europe's "The Final Countdown" epic polysynth, to Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" synth lead, to Toto's "Africa" synth pad and sequenced bell riff and so on. Eurodance comes easy to this synth due to the thickness of the sawtooth waves. Just get 'em wired up with a sequence tool and you're rolling :)

What's more is the impressive amount of variables on the control surface for a freeware synth, which in turn will provide producers with a sophisticated range of synthetic algorithms and choice of manipulative techniques to achieve the sound they want. The generous choice of controls and features will also give beginners in digital music composition an excellent opportunity to become familiar with a VST's inner workings and parameters without excessive limitations. There aren't many free synths out there with an equaliser unit built into the synth itself, as far as I'm aware anyway. Synth1 also has the bonus of enveloping strict low demands on CPU usage, benefiting musicians with even the most basic of motherboards in their computing system. Overall a must have for newbies and professionals alike.

My only recommendation to any first time users is for you to research Synth1 sound banks and grab as many as you desire from the internet (though Synth1's limit is 99 banks, so you may want to filter out any banks and/or sounds you don't need.) The factory bank is too comparable to that of a GM bank on a Yamaha keyboard which I didn't find particularly flattering. The secondary downside to this synth (although it is fairly minor) is that the preset browser is poorly constructed mapped on the GUI, however this overall does not ruin the experience of generating some cool sounds from this neat plugin.

Conclusively I think Ichiro Toda still has some patching to perform to make the experience of using this synth all the more worthwhile for producers. Other than that this synth would make a great substitute to virtually all pricey frequency modulator synths, particularly if you're on a low budget or simply looking for a synth that meets all your basic requirements for hobbyist or commercial production. My rating - 7/10.

Reviewed By sjm [read all by] on June 8th, 2015
Version reviewed: v1.13b on Windows

I know this classic doesn't really need another review, but it's easily my favourite free synth and one of my favourite synths overall. I was also one of those people who didn't understand the hype about synth1 a decade ago - the stock presets were terrible attempts at emulating a GM soundset and my knowledge of synthesis was basically "turning the knobs changes the sound".

At some point I then decided that learning the basics of synthesis might be a smart thing to do, and synth1 was the synth I learnt it on. It's a fantastic synth for learning: there's enough meat to get your teeth stuck into, but it's basic enough both in terms of signal flow and layout that it's hard to get lost once you have a basic idea what you're actually doing.

And while there are some obvious limitations, like only 2 LFOs with limited routing options, these are not nearly as limiting as you first think. There's a nice choice of LFO waveforms and the noise/random LFO in particular opens up possibilities that many of the other top free synths don't have. It's great for evolving pads, for example, when set to a very low speed to add an extra layer of movement that isn't constantly repeated. It's not going to ever beat HG Fortune's specialised synths in this regard, but it can do a very passable job.

In fact, you can create most types of sounds in synth1, albeit some will sound better than others. I've made synthetic drum sounds (kicks, snares, hi-hats), gated trancey pads, leads, basses, e-pianos and much more besides. You can even get harsh, gritty distorted leads out of it with a bit of practice. For this reason, it's my go-to synth when I need to quickly dial in a basic sound - there's not much you can't do and it's quick to get the job done. That's not to say there aren't other synths that I'll turn to for certain types of sounds, as synth1 isn't the best synth for everything and it only covers subtractive synthesis (although there is limited FM which is nice for bellish sounds).

There are a few shortcomings, but nothing serious. I sometimes get crackles that aren't reproducible and generally go away of their own accord. Not sure if this is synth1 or my host (FL studio), and it's rare. I'm also not the biggest fan of the flanger, but you can add your own FX in your DAW anyway.

The UI is utilitarian, although that doesn't bother me personally. This is easily offset by the fact that you can change the size - unlike some other plugins from yesteryear, the UI isn't the size of a postage stamp.

So really, there isn't much not to like. It sounds good, it's versatile, and of course it's free. Unless you already have a plethora of killer synths, you really should have synth1 in your VST folder.

Reviewed By dirtrobot [read all by] on February 2nd, 2015
Version reviewed: 8.1 64b on Windows

Just for reference, I've been noodling with this synth since the early 2000s. Back then I thought it was a really basic poor man's softsynth, but that's because I had no idea how to make synthesis work for me. Once I properly learned synthesis on hardware, I found myself drawn to synth1 again based on some demos I had heard.

In today's usage, all I can say is this synth is so insanely versatile it's mind-boggling when you look at how simple the interface is. I guess the credit lies with nord since that was the inspiration.

At any rate, I use it on every track - it really excels at doing those late 80s Roland sounds, it does acid lines, and easily handles FM-esque percussive sounds and keys. It also works fantastically well for modern EDM, you just need to know how to process it. With a little work it can do long evolving pads.

I can't find any negative other than the modulation matrix should be blown wide open in a separate page so anything can modulate anything. And I would kill to be able to use my own waveforms, or at least have the waveform list expanded.

This should be every synth enthusiasts first softsynth, no question, and it should be in every tool box - it's just that flexible and good sounding.

Don't listen to the forum trolls, they can't handle the fact that a free synth blows away their premium softsynths.

Thank you Ichiro Toda - your gesture of goodwill is still making waves in modern music production.

Reviewed By assbot [read all by] on January 17th, 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

This is better than many commercial soft synths. The fact that it's light on resources and easy to program helps a lot. I can create nearly any sound I want. If you can't get good sounds from Synth1 you should probably learn how to program and synthesize sound.

Reviewed By KoolKool [read all by] on January 8th, 2015
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows

From the first look, Synth1 look like a cheap toy, poor made VST....many people may ignore and underestimate it.

but then, the more you use and dig deep into it for synthesis, you will realize you are wrong about Synth1.

Sound creation is totally outstanding, with each knobs to any parameters for any possibility.. from basic to unique sounds. The sound quality is very high but still low cost&very-friendly to CPU usage.

Synth1 is strong at brass, lead, key, pad, FX sounds......but then it's weakness is bass, bass sound is quite hard&cumbersome to make on synth1, to achieve a full rich bass require alots of tweaking efforts.

the built-in effects filters on synth1 are quite nice but not really high-class, especially it missed Reverb, you know what i mean, Synth1 will be much better if the developer add Reverb effect unit.

Overall, i really love Synth1, i use this mighty tiny VST a lots for my music projects and i feel really satisfied until now! So 9/10.

And remember, Synth1 is TOTALLY free, COST YOU NO MONEY! There is no perfect thing, so don't expect too much on it, if you don't like it just because your bla bla...bla whatever...reasons...so just move to use another synths...that's all.

What the hell problem with create&load patch, bank? it's super easy once you understand how it work! it's not that complicated.

I am looking to see more improvements on newer versions from this VST synth! love the latest one, support 64-bit, fully compatible.

Reviewed By Hanz Meyzer [read all by] on November 4th, 2014
Version reviewed: Recent on Mac.
Last edited by Hanz Meyzer on 4th November 2014.

Synth1 is just the best cross platform freeware synth. It perfectly fits for pads, leads, basses with an analog and slightly randomized touch. It even features a mono stable stereo widener, very good sounding unison features. Only the Mac version seems to be quite unstable, it also crashes when it comes to preset saving/loading, at least on OS X 10.9+. The gui code has a bunch of bugs. preset loading can be a pain because of bugs. A pity the author doesn't seem to fix it anymore. You can use Synth1 for kick drums, too, but then you should sample it, because of the unstable sound character. Synth1 is one of the rarely synths that features oscillator sync. What's missing for me is another filter that doesn't colorize the sound so much as the current filter does.

Reviewed By jobromedia [read all by] on August 30th, 2012
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows

Synth1 is one bastard when it comes down to software synthesizers. Take it from a pro, I've been using Synth1 since I think around 2003, always loved this plugin a lot. It gives the user almost a hardware feeling to the sound. You can hear me using Synth1 on most of my skweee albums. The presets is rather awkward, and doesn't hold the quality one really wants to have. But there is a mother lode of banks made by users who love this synth. The delay and chorus has some anomalies from time to time, but the phasers is spot on. I always use external chorus and delay effects anyways. Still if you want a really cool sounding synth with that 80s flavor then I'd say that it's the time to give it a try. It certainly cannot hurt anyways.

Reviewed By Conslaw [read all by] on August 4th, 2011
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows
If i could only have one freeware softsynth, Synth1 would be it. I guess that's why it has the name, duh. Supposedly Synth1 is modeled on the Clavia Nord Wave 2. Whatever it is modeled on this synth is all muscle and no fat. It can do the whole gamut of analog synth sounds. It has plenty of polyphony, and there are literally thousands of user-created sounds available for download. One of the soundbanks appears to be based on a General Midi bank. How many times do you see an analog synth attempting to do all the General Midi sounds?

If Synth1 has a significant failing it is the user interface. The fonts and layout are ugl-, well let's just say a matter of taste. While you can choose the basic color scheme, you can paint a pig, but it's still a pig. Don't be put off by appearance though, Synth1 has a great personality and is fun to be around. This bird can sing. Did I mention that it's free? I guess it's getting better looking all the time.
Reviewed By rasputin [read all by] on May 11th, 2010
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows.
Last edited by rasputin on 9th June 2015.

One of the best free synths out there, I think. It was originally released back in 2002 I think. That's 8 years ago now.
It's criminal that there isn't a review newer than 2007. After a couple year hiatus the developer has made an enormous number of improvements.
I agree with another reviewer that if you just download this and try a few of the presets, you might be disappointed. But if you just persist and spend a little while intelligently experimenting with it you will be amazed.
As mentioned at top it is architecturally modeled after the Nord Lead 2 Red. It is extremely light on the CPU and you can use a whole stack of them on any halfway new PC.
The other thing to note is that there are at least two dozen patch banks contributed by various users--check those out as well.
Soundwise that is obviously a personal choice. I find the sounds have a cleanliness and clarity that make this an excellent choice for lead sounds of all kinds. Like many synths it can benefit from a little filtering, reverb and processing but what doesn't? Simple GUI, very easy to use. Oh, one important thing: a one page GUI-no flipping around to different tabs forever (yes, I know that more complex synths need more complex GUIs)
The English documentation is still a little quirky as the author is not a native English speaker, but it has improved since 1.07. Again, the device is intuitive enough that this is not a huge issue.
Stability; I have never seen a hang or crash that I can attribute to use of this. I have used it on Windows 2000 and XP systems.
Definitely a 10/10 overall all factors considered. Besides, what's the risk in at least trying it out.
I gave the customer support a 5 since I have no idea about it.

Update 2015: still a must have, and the new patch bank handling system is great. Now you can have 128 banks of 128 patches all arranged in a hierarchy. I guess I'll be spending the rest of my life auditioning user-contributed patches. Now with resizable GUI and as mentioned above the one-page GUI is wonderful for quick tweaking. It still seems stable as a rock on my older Windows 7 system, and light enough on CPU I can use many instances.

Reviewed By JensJohansson [read all by] on January 5th, 2007
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows
I absolutely fucking love this thing, I have used it on so many productions it's not even funny! If synth1 was a man I would consider becoming gay. OK, maybe not but..

The sound is as you would expect from a very well written digital "analog simulation" instrument, clean and fat.. well my ears can't detect any problems in the software anyway.

The user interface is straightforward and very easy to understand if you have any idea of how a "normal" additive synth works. It gives you a very solid feel, you DEFINITELY don't worry about this thing sinking your machine with a blue screen or something.

The feature set is close to perfection.. there are no overwhelming amount of choices and "getting from point a to point b" is in no way tedious.

I also think it looks great, and as another reviewer pointed out, the ability to actually change the size of the interface is such an amazing idea you wonder why you don't see that more often. Screen sizes vary wildly!! Perhaps the buttons etc aren't "iconized" with fixed bitmaps and scaling was easy to accomplish.

Also this thing has this added emotional bonus: you will know that you are using something that was created out of love and giveen to the world for free... just for the act of giving something really nice and useful. And you're not compromizing one bit by using something that was just given to you...... the quality of this thing is awesome!!!
Reviewed By juffi [read all by] on July 5th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.07 on Windows.
Last edited by juffi on 2nd December 2006.
This is probably one of the best freebie synths out there. Aside from its sound, there arent many VSTis, that are THIS low on Cpu.

It has 2 oscillators only, so someone could say: hey thats not enough. Think again. This synth can do pretty heavy virus-like basses, i reprogrammed this on it. Amazing. It has a supersaw, even some commercial synths dont have this actually. There is a FM section also. Synthesis structure is modelled after Clavias Nordlead2, so you can imagine what it can sound like , although i doubt it can sound excatly like it.

Filter is absolutetly fine for me and i dont miss much here .

The arpeggiator is very nice to use, it cant compete with albino's arp, but i did quite nice ebm-like sequences.

Many people complain that is has no mod-matrix. First question: do you need actually 16 modulation targets?
Anyway, a little modulation matrix could be fine. You can check out LFO1 + LFO2 of course.

Gui department is something to debate about: it is not a pretty modern gui, on the other side, it shows nearly everything what i like to see. You can change color AND size of the gui. Even commercial synths dont offer this.

Preset management is cumbersome at first, you have to set the path where your presets are. But if it is done, it is one of the best preset management. Why? Because you can access presets without "load" and so on and you can browse all of them in a host. Perfect. Would be nice if we can access 16 Banks in that gui.

There is a button says "OPT". Now if you hit this, you can access the settings area. There you can see your controller assignments. Furthermore this baby has midi learn cc. In this OPT-Menu you can turn off slider window, thats seems to be annoying. If you want a virus like black color try this one: Panel = #08080f and Text = #c8c8c8. But write down your old values first ;)

Effects department is nice also, there is nothing to complain about. In Version 1.07 there is Compressor, ring modulator, decimator, Distortion1+2, Phaser. There is also an EQ between, delay and chorus are also on board.

It has a decent unison mode. Although you only can switch it on and cant say how many voices you want to use, it sounds great to me. Next to it there is stereo spread, so you can do ultrafat stereo spreaded basses or leads/pads.

A new option there is "Lissajous", so if you hit it it can sound a little bit warmer, the bottom end of frequency is more up. You can only hear if you have decent headphones and try some basses.

Documentation is also on his website, what more you can ask? Some parts are japanese : http://www.geocities.jp/daichi1969/synmanu/readmeeng.html

Dont get fooled by the standard preset bank, download all other banks and try them out.

Sometimes i wish, it could have a suboscillator and a reverb. If Ichiro Toda continues with this and would announce it can import sysex from Nordlead2 i think that would be insane.
Reviewed By Dj Mu7!L80R [read all by] on June 30th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.0.7 on Windows
I was testing this synth since a few months ago, I realized that the presets sucks (honestly), really crappy, but indeed the Synth1 is a great VSTi, I'm making a soundbank on it and will be released soon.

About the fx... really good chorus, delay, unison, filters and extras, the oscillators are cool! but the pulse isn't totally squared, I think that could be better.

The FM control isn't alias-free, the filter section is just awesome, the envelope control works perfect, you can make a really good sounds on it, but about the equalizer, it's very simple and could be better...

It doesn't has enough documentation, the skin of the program (user interface) looks poor and could be better too (yeah, I know that we can change the colors but it looks too flaky). About the sound, sounds cool but there are a few things that could be better.

Stability... it never crashes but I've made a arp with LFO in filter... the speed of the LFO isn't the same when you open the program again, just in the first preset. there's something wrong.

It's free, its great but could be better, it just needs some adjustements and the synth1 will be probably the best free v/a in the world! but remember... the factory presets sounds awful, don't judge this synth by it's presets! It's better than you can inmagine!
Reviewed By Arksun [read all by] on June 29th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.0.7 on Windows.
Last edited by Arksun on 29th June 2006.
On the list of update points for ver 1.7 the last one is stated as:

"Internal processing improvements."

That would be putting it mildly, the aliasing has well and truly gone and what we have is one of the smoothest, most wonderful sounding soft-synths around at this time, freeware or commercial.

I actually tried out the Synth1 when it first came out, wasn't too impressed, threw away. But recently I decided to give it another chance with this latest version.

Wow, just a lovely sound to it, very easy to program and capable of a wide scope of rich warm dense sounds.

I have the preset bar a low score because quite frankly the presets that come with it are pretty aweful. Spend time programming this thing and you'll get to realise just what makes the synth1 really special.

The filter does remind me a little of the Nord hardware synths and you could certainly class this soft-synth as having somewhat of a weighty 'hardware' sound to it.

I can very much see myself using this in future productions.

Its free so what ya got to loose, check this beauty out!

Reviewed By origami [read all by] on December 7th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows
There are many free synths. That is something great and that helps a lot musicians like me who tried to make their first steps into electronic music creation and didn't or couldn't spend much money.

But there's always a but. Many of these free synths are not that good. Ok the good intention is there, but when you try the thousands and thousands of free synths available, you see there're only 2 dozens that are really good.

Synth 1 is one of the best.

What does this synth have so special? It has 2 oscillators, that's nothing uncommon. It has 2 lfos which can be linked to the filters, the oscillators, the envelopes, etc. well... It has a filter, a chorus, a delay...

But what a filter! what a delay! what a chorus! All top quality. Only a look at some of its presets can make you aware that this is not another synth. They say it's based on Clavia Nord. Maybe, maybe not. It just sounds great. You can not only create any type of sound: bass, pads, strange effects, etc. You can create great bass, great pads, great effects.

It has an arpeggiator to make things better. And fm synthesis too. and ring modulation too.

This synth could perfectly cost around 100 euros and wouldn't be expensive related to the price of other soft synths. Many who have tried this synth know the great and many qualities of this synth. (great sound, versatility, analogic feel, ridiculous low cpu usage...you can even change its colour!)

And apart from the fact that it sounds great, it's so easy to understand! Synth 1 has been the synth that's helped me to learn substractive synthesis.

Now that I've bought Reaktor I know my studio has improved a lot. But Synth 1 will always have a special place in my songs. There are things that one always knows.

Buy it, I mean, get it. It's free but you won't make allowances. It's just one of the best soft synths available.
Reviewed By drfx [read all by] on October 4th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0.6 on Windows
Hello, my nick is DrFx and I'm a Synth1 addict. I have tried a disintoxication program, but the fact that this particular synth is freely available and the rush it gives to its users is awesome makes it hard for me to quit. Sure, people will say, have you tried others, then maybe you will be able to leave it alone. Well, I tried the other VSThadone treatments out there, some I have even paid for, but nothing beats a good old Synth1 VA fix! Yes, you get it from a Japanese dealer, and you can't understand a word he says about how to use it, but just keep pressing those little buttons and you'll have it installed in a cinch! And what other VST lets you have the GUI colour and size any way you want them? This little synth can do (almost) anything, sounds GODLY, costs NOTHING ($$$ or CPU-wise), is obscenely easy to use and never fails you! Only one problem, though! Their developer went strangely AWOL many months ago, probably kidnapped by Angry Swedish Emulatees or Mad Native Instrumentors, so development stopped. Anyway, who gives a rat's ass? It's the best free VST out there in terms of balance between CPU, versatility, ease of use and pure genius! GET IT NOW!
Reviewed By puerileboy [read all by] on July 12th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows
Ok, there are over a billion 'analog' emulation vst synths out there. Some with one OSC, some with eight. I have always found two to be the best compromise in sound vs resources. Maybe because i grew up on a Micromoog instead of a Mini. Anyway, I played around with Synth1 for a few months, and found it very easy to use. Everything did what I expected it to do. It is unusually light in the resources hit, and never had it crash.

Okay, so then after all this time I download some of the banks other people have created and was completely blown out. If you do not have this synth in your arsenal your crazy.
Reviewed By brok landers [read all by] on September 26th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows.
Last edited by brok landers on 27th October 2006.
this review applies to the version 1.06

well ... i`ve been using the synth since the very first release, wich was 1.01 i believe.
and after all the time i can only say one thing:
this synth is a reference for coding. it uses allmost no cpu.
after a few updates it got allmost uncrashabe stable.
up to now (since 1.04) it never crashed on my system.
that and the cpu-issue means a lot, especially when you are doing your work allmost entirely on the computer.

the gui :
i like it.
could look better, but it`s very intuitive, very easy to use, and it even supports the scrollwheel on your mouse.i wish i could say that from way enhanced plugins, even most very expensive plugins don`t do that. WHY ???
and it has a really unique feature that no plugin has.
it can be resized to the size that you need, regardless to the resolution of your grafic card. why noone else ?

the funktionality :
ok ... it says it´s modeled after a nordlead 2.
not at all. there are many cool features still missing in this synth that the nordlead 2 has. most of all i miss the incredible morphing function. imo this is the real advantage of the nordlead. anyway, what the synth 1 does is like expected, so its cool ... remember, it`s free. but my personal wish is a 24 slot-modulation matrix, where you could route the desired internal and external controllers to the desired destinations, and then set the amount of each (linplug-like). this would lift it to my ONLY favourite.
and the delay coud be pingpong, alternating left and right only.

the sound :
far away from real analog. has to deal with some serious aliasing, so all thats analog is the substractive synthesis.but thats the price to pay for surprisingly loving your cpu meter when playing the synth ;=).anyhow, see this relative, because thats the fact with most of all digital synths, wether ther´re hard or software.the saturation of the filter starts too hard even on lowest setting, could be way smoother. but all in all it sound good somehow, and unique.however, i use it a lot, and somehow it allways surprises me again and again, after all the time i use it.
the presets are, lets say, by far not representable for what you can do with this plugin, but thats a matter of taste. i f.e. personally don`t need the 1000st brass.

value for money :
simply untouchable. big plug for no money. developers of pay-plugs should start to think. if freeware gets slowly but surely better than theirs then what? i love you, ichiro ;=)

support and manual :
japanese support, so if you`re not capable of japanese, you`re out of this, as ichiro doesn`t seem to spreak english. anyway, if you know about substractive synthesis just a bit, you don´t need the manual wich actually is in english. the development seems to go straight forward, and there`s hope for an english website, i read. cool.

all in all this is a big step forward in the history of free vst synths and it shows, that a good algorithm (though not the best) does not necesserally eats up all your cpu. if this synth grows on, i would even pay for it, if it reaches the state i wish ...
thanx ichiro, and go on !

brok landers
Reviewed By Rozzer [read all by] on September 9th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows
There's probably enough reviews here, but I'd like to add another, if only because this little synth deserves it. I will, however keep it short, so as not to repeat whats already been said

Many synths now seem to suffer from what I call "patch bloat". Presets are made to sound huge and lushious for that immediate Wow factor. You won't find that with Synth1. It has a very clean sound that cut through a mix in a very refreshing way.

My only negative comment is that I get stuck notes sometimes in Cubase, which can be annoying, but at the end of the day, its free, it lovely... go grab it :)

Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on August 20th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows
What can I say that hasn't been said before..? This synth is fantastic..! It sounds gorgeus, easy to program, there's a great patch saving feature and there's a lot of patches available for it (probably because it's so easy to program). Since I've had it, I've used it on almost every song, it's part of my default song now.

I've just read that back and realised it doesn't sound like a review - just praise. Well so what! This is one of the best VSTi's ever (IMO), and it's FREE..!

If you don't already have it, stop wasting time reading reviews and download it.... NOW!
Reviewed By Dingo865 [read all by] on February 8th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows.
Last edited by Dingo865 on 8th February 2003.
I cannot believe I've been using this gem for 6 months or so, and yet never reviewed it!

If you've ever dreamt about owning a Nord Lead, you'll be shocked: at the moment, this is as close as you can get - free or otherwise! It's not an emulation, but the overall character of Synth 1's sound is so clean, crisp yet powerful, and bright that you feel like you're staring into the crystal-clear blue depths of a forgotten lake high in the snow-covered mountains of middle-earth...:) I've never heard another VSTi that makes two oscillators sound like a suite of synthesizers, yet doesn't 'muddy' the sound with all sorts of unwanted noise and distortions.

The devil is in the tiny details, though: how easy it is to program, the stunningly well-thought-out, built-in patch management system it offers, the customizable size and colors...

...and the arpeggiator. You know the situation when a certain feature, one that you can often find on many other synths too, happens to integrate with a certain VSTi so well that you get perfect synergy? Like Crystal and its envelopes, z3ta and its x-y pad, etc.? Well, Synth 1's arpeggiator elevates this gem to be much, MUCH more than the mere sum of its features. I found entire songs hidden in it just by my messing around for a couple of hours, and you can actually get it to sound like a whole orchestra!

You don't want to get it? GREAT! It's too dangerous a weapon to allow anybody from the competition to get their hands on it...:)

As to the points: I gave 10 both for documentation and for support, because even though they're missing, this VSTi is so ingeniously designed that you never need them.
Reviewed By Midiworks [read all by] on February 6th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.41 on Windows
What to say ?
Its all been said before...
Simply the BEST comercial or free virtual analog synth out there.
And this one is FREE !

Get some of the 3rd party sound banks from KVR
and you will understand what every body is raving about.

Ohh yes, trash the sound bank that comes with SYNTH1.

Have fun

Docuentation 10 because NOT needed
Customer Support 10 because NOT needed
Reviewed By VitaminD [read all by] on February 5th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows.
Last edited by VitaminD on 24th August 2003.
this will sound like a record being replayed from whats already been said but..

synth1 is very clean and rich sounding.. i realized after really exploring this synth that its all in the onboard-fx.

edit: after using synth1 for a year+ now... I can definately tell that it aliases pretty badly in some circumstances. So watch out.. there is a very defined tiney/chimey aliasing noise if you try to push synth1 too hard.

mainly the chorus... it has (1x,2x and) 4x for ultra-silky leads..

one thing though that gets to me is the knobs. When one selects a knob, a bar automatically pops up to show you the amount. however, since the gui is so close-together, this leads to not being able to get to other knobs UNTIL i click something far away from what i really want!!

edit: about the paragraph above, i resolved this by simply clicking the "opt" button and selecting a larger gui!!! (you can resize the synth's gui in percentages, 150% did it for me) as a result im editing the score.

edit: "the color selection is a novel idea, but i would have rather had a locked gui with a more professional design." -- Im changing my opinion.. I like the ugly gui of synth1.. the ability o change colors has kept the look fresh for me.

sonically though, this synth is stunning (and free to boot)

I wish more developers would read this and realize this is what we want.. crystal clear sounding synths with loads of options that are easy to program and use little cpu(even at relatively high polyphony)!

-rgcaudio, bigtick, linplug.. are you reading this!?

In short, (and IMO) Synth1 is the best VA on the VSTi market.
Reviewed By wannabe [read all by] on January 26th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows.
Last edited by wannabe on 26th January 2003.
This synth is so sweet to explore...

(It took me 5 minutes to figure out,how the presetmanagment runs...)

Then you started to play...
And it didn't take long till you find out , how *****EXPENSIVE***** this thing sounds:

So clear and confident.

The provided GeneralMidi(!!!)-bank seems just want to show that synth1 can even do this,... you'd better try the banks in the banks/forum-section.

For trance-tweakin'-fellows this is absolutely a must:

You can control every parameter, and there are lots of them.

A Delay- and Chorussection is highly reasonable implemented and gives you an additional dimension for soundcreations.

The build-in appregiator had made me think: "...at last !!!".

CPU? whatareyoutalkinbout?!

Sync?? Everything you need.

Documentation? Is there one for the ZR-1 in japanese ?

Costumer service? Is there one for the ZR-1 in japanese ? :)
Actually I didn't need some,... for what ?

It never chrashes and it's worth a thousand times the cost for downloading.
Reviewed By mistertoast [read all by] on January 26th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows
Somehow, Synth 1 almost always lands somewhere in each new song or sketch I whip up.

The patch handling is done by Synth 1. This concerned me at first, but it's so well done that I now champion this idea. The patches are all there, waiting for me in each different host I use or try out. The initial presets are a gutsy attempt to show the variety of sounds that can be made, but this synth really got good when people started putting new banks out there. I think Synth 1 is going to have to go to 100 banks of 128 patches, instead of just 10.

Synth 1 never crashes or crackles. Like IBlit, Crystal, Vivaldi, Drumatic, Crazy Diamonds, and precious few others, this is a synth that just seemed to drop from heaven. I'm eager to see what comes next. No, not eager--impatient to a maniac degree.
Reviewed By gassle [read all by] on January 26th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows.
Last edited by gassle on 8th February 2003.
The best thing about this VSTi is its filter quality and simple but flexible layout. The filter is not very fat but WILD. Excellent for crazy bass/arpegio lines with resonance and extreme filter movements! It does not sound cheap at all like most of the free VSTi's and many commercial ones. The quality is very Nordic, really.

The GUI is not very cool but the ability to change the colours is nice. It is extremely low on CPU and the onboard delay, chorus and arpegiator is great bonus!

My only problem with it is that the latest version still appears to be detuned when used in 48khz. And the presets that come with it do not show the real potential of this synth.

Probably the best everyday synth among free vsti's.
Reviewed By NEKO [read all by] on December 5th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.05 on Windows
This is the best VSTi ever. It is hard to understand why the commercial VSTis have a hard time living up to this one. Easy to maneuver, low CPU usage, a good sound and quite good looking too. Easy to control and do own presets, and the saving function (for the presets) is very well made. If this machine does not have good enough sounds, it takes seconds to make your own! The sound migt be a bit flat, but that can be compensated with proper FX.

You can change colors on it ^o^
(I like it #980000 and #00000)
Reviewed By warbug [read all by] on December 1st, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.05 on Windows.
Last edited by warbug on 15th August 2003.
the sound is ok but it lack something its too flat. i have not been able to squeeze a sound out of it that i could use in any of my songs. i really don like the GUI; those little level indicators that pop up when a knob is moved is quit enoying and seems to get in the way. the installation of the synth was very troublesome cubase did not recognize it rightaway.
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on November 25th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.05 on Windows.
Last edited by Funkybot on 26th November 2002.
Ok I've really tried to love this synth but something about it just won't let me. The sound of this just doesn't get me excited the way some other softsynths do. There's nothing about the oscs or the filters that really has me jumping up for joy, but again I can't nail what it is I don't really like about them, they just seem a bit to nonspectacular to me. Even as a freebie I think FreeAlpha and the CM101 sound better, but Synth1 does have a few things up on the others. For instance the arpegiator, why don't all softsynths have one? It's just so much fun to play with and really brings some life to what I consider to be a less than spectacular synth. Also there's DXi version. Big ups to the developer for doing this, again I hope other devs take note of this. Let's not forget the inclusion of a mono/legato mode, some devs have been known to overlook this at times. The last super cool thing about this (aside from it being free of course) is the CPU useage. Wow does this thing hardly take up any CPU! I'm convinced I could run 15 instances of this before I'd get near spiking the CPU. The GUI needs some work, it's not bad, but some nice textures would really help out. All in all this is staying on my hard drive if only for it's strong points, but I'm not otherwise overly impressed by this.
Reviewed By AudioWhore [read all by] on November 20th, 2002
Version reviewed: v1.05a on Windows.
Last edited by AudioWhore on 20th November 2002.
Freeware or not, this beast is one of the most incredible machines for tracey arpeggiated synthlines in existence!! It's got lovely sweeping filters, syncable lfo's, now 48/96 khz support and it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Here... take my Nord Lead 2.. For FREE! Sounds too good to be true. This thing uses way too little CPU for how good it sounds. It has eq, and a very flexible chorus/flanger + a syncable delay.

I feel sorry for commercial soft-synth developers right now because the standards for them has risen another bar. Which is only a good thing..err for me :)

The user interface scored an 8 because I think it is easy to see what does what, and despite it's relatively plain appearance, it feels solid. The sound got a 10 because it deserves it. Have a listen to the ever increasing list of user-presets for this synth to see what I mean. It's so quick to get a great new sound.
Features also got a 10 because of all the syncable options which are now available and the cool fm, ring and sync features that can drastically change the sound. Also it's so quick to find patches. Though it would be nice to have a 'right click and assign to controller feature' but hey, this is made by one man, not Native Instruments. The Documentation is pretty low right now as you have to be online and run it though a Jap-to English converter to see it.. But really, who cares. This is to easy too use to require a manual! Just experiment.. The Presets are pretty nice gm-style sounds but I'd prefer some wacky synth creations. Lucky there are plenty floating around the net and on this site. We all know 'value for money' deserves a 10.. I don't know about customer support but because I haven't needed it I'll give it a 10! Stability is 10 because it has never-ever crashed on me!

Best free synth of 2002 (IMHO!) If you don't have it yet then you are really missing out..

BTW this is both for DXI and VSTi
Reviewed By x_bruce [read all by] on November 6th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.x on Windows.
Last edited by x_bruce on 6th November 2002.
Synth 1 seemingly came out of nowhere. It is a simple but functional interface design that leaves some room for improvement. As it stands you can redesign background and text colors and resize the interface which are nice touches.

Sounds included are of all things General Midi however some are quaint. This is the first analog VA to include such a thing and they are not as uninteresting as one might think. There are 10 banks of 128 patches available and already resources for additonal patches here at K-v-R, get them, they will show off the instrument's capabilities more effectively.

Read the specifications above. This seemingly standard synth with nice features but nothing earthshakingly new to add packs quite a punch. It's more on the digital side of analog meaning it's easier to get harsh sounds rather than lush analog. That hardly matters as the range of Synth 1 is huge. Great for leads, pads, effects - especially effect and some basses are all there and in a easy, fast interface that a novice could experiment with and get good sound.

What's missing? No footpedal sustain support, ocasional grainy and crackling sound while moving controls. There is a popup bar for each control, convienient but sometimes annoying as it stays active until you click elsewhere to dismiss it.

Download it, marvel at it's sonic character and go nuts filling up the remaining 896 patch locations. And don't forget the patches at K-v-R. If you need a starting place or just a more convincing idea of how good Synth 1 is load these presets.

Synth 1 does for VA analog/digital what Crystal did for exotic FM implementation. With these two, a lead synth like Triangle and a soft sampler found in most hosts these days you have an effective studio for next to nothing.

Although there is room for improvement Synth 1 beats many commercial synths for sound quality and character.
Reviewed By AndreasE [read all by] on November 6th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.04 on Windows.
Last edited by AndreasEhrhardt on 6th November 2002.
This is one of the best synths (free or commercial).

The sounds are great and most presets are fine. It has a great flexibility to produce most different sounds. And the included arpeggiator is phantastic.

It has a nice and clear GUI, which makes it easy to work with in a very short time.

The docs are only in Japanese, so I cannot say if they are good or not. But do one need them for that easy to handle synth? And as I have no problems with that synth, I didn´t need support yet.

I had no stability problems at all.

As it is free, the VFM is the best possible.
Reviewed By counterfeit [read all by] on November 2nd, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.04 on Windows
My first review here, been hanging around here for a while though..
Once again another cutting edge VSti,
I think this one is the best (by far) free virtual analog on the market..and the more "pro" sounding
The Gui is not wonderful but functionnal,
but the sounds...My god, the filter is superb, remind me a lot of NI type of filter like the one on the pro 52.
It is capable of a wide range (from superb pads to fat sounding Basses to crazy LFO sounds) of sounds with the build in effect (delay and a fat chorus) which are excellent.
The modulation capability (LFo) are really impressive too and very flexible to my opinion.
The integrated arpeggiator is really good too (but it won't replace my good old ORION arpeggio)
The manual is in japanese and i can't read japanese so...
Don't be fooled by the presets, this synth is capable of more beautiful sounds.Read the topics about this synth in the forum, you'll find links to very good presets by teksonic and audiowhore..
Oh ! and i forgot to say it doesn't crash once in Orion Platinum 3.51....
Put a proper manual in english (or french :)), give us full banks of presets, a more "Pro" GUI and i'll give 10/10 in every category to this impressive VSTI
By the way sorry for my "crappy frenchy" english...

Latest 54 reviews from a total of 54

Comments & Discussion for Daichi Laboratory (Ichiro Toda) Synth1

Discussion: Active
29 August 2012 at 6:06pm

briandc... using a VST fail *facepalm*

29 August 2012 at 7:07pm

Mhh... so a 5/10 rating, because your Linux software isn't capable of running VST's correctly? Just saying, because on any Windows host i tried Synth1 in, the arp, delay and polyphony work correctly... there's also no need to improve the synth, but the software you tried it in.

22 January 2013 at 7:03pm

Linux runs on UNIX, windows does not.


19 May 2013 at 6:29pm

What does that even mean? Unix is an operating system, Linux is a kernal that drive other operating systems... the statement makes no sense. Might as well claim that Windows runs on Mac.

19 August 2016 at 6:02am

No Prolems running this VST under Linux - using Reaper. Everything works fine.

29 August 2012 at 10:10pm

May be you'd better stop now using this configuration.Because you obviously don't know how to use VSTs on Linux.A lot of users reported Synth1 working perfectly with Wine or Vestige.

You'd better stick with Windows or Mac OS X...or learn HOW to use VSTs on Linux.

But if you post bad reviews every time a VST don't work right on Linux, you are going to use your fingers soon.

Reviews are not for troubleshooting things like "this VST don't work on my Linux with a beta wrapper" if you know what i mean ;)

ppl will be hard (like me) but you really searched it by playing the 'i'm smart because i use Linux to run VSTs" whereas you can't even use the simplest and most stable simple freeware synth

31 August 2012 at 4:02pm

If you can link me to others who run it in Vestige without problems I'd be very grateful. :)

30 September 2013 at 9:35am

Hey guys, I'm intrested in synth1 on linux also, I think briandc is onto something, can you help us out?


31 August 2012 at 7:07am

Maybe it would be better to deal with the message, rather than just shooting the messenger??

I've tried about 200 different free VSTs in VeSTige. Many of them have nice working interfaces, good arpeggiators, mono/poly functions that work just fine.

It's not my fault that Synth1 doesn't perform as well. (I even re-installed it, thinking the md5sum was bad. No difference.)

Oh, one more thing: some of the patches actually make Synth1 crash. (Something that no other VST instrument I've tested does.


Why should I lie?



1 September 2012 at 9:09pm

I think that all the reviews should respect the fact that testing adapters in beta stage the results depend on the adapter and not the plugin. This review about a linux adapter is out of place...

2 September 2012 at 12:32am

Festige will do about 50% of vsts in linux, dssi-vst about 20%, while reaper

is about 90%, and you need nvidia graphics, and pci audio, or the numbers go down somewhat,

as the gui are often the failpoint. Synthmaster creations fail the most, some Synthmaker apps have a

few quirks, module dependant, while dongled apps, or those with custom copy protection intertwined with windows code unsupported by wine, always fail. As they should!.

Wine has proven to draw gui better this year than last, as is it's history. New linux users who are musicians, should avoid updating a working daw box to the 'newest' linux, but they fall for it over and over and over.

Musicians with supported hardware, a linux using friend, or the desire to learn the OS beyond audio production, have a bright future, as at least 5 audio production distributions are improving apace.

The 400 meg Studio 1337 (yeah, Steinberg, I said 'meg') is astounding. Pro-Tools needs that much code

just to use a mouse. @ briandc, for best longterm 'luck', become familiar with puppy, rpm and deb based

distributions. The hardware detection and support are different, and nuances of software are different.

A particular failure in one type of distro, is often fine in another.

The crashes based on Synth1 presets are probably based on not using reaper to host your plugins,

or an arcane sublimity in wine math calculations not liking a motherboard chipset.

I experienced some of those, but not in the last three years. A sound designer

I asked looked at the presets, and saw no obvious symptoms.


5 September 2012 at 3:37pm

Just a note to say that I've been testing Synth1 with the Festige software on AVLinux 5.0.1. It works nicely here, and I've been testing it with various soundbanks. Great synth, very straightforward design with excellent sound quality.

I won't give it a rating, I agree that it's a bit bogue to evaluate a Windows-based VST while running it on Linux. But as I said, IMO it's a great synth.

8 September 2012 at 12:22am

Been using Synth1 for about 18 months now! I've auditioned just about every (popular) synth on the market (especially the FREE ones). I hate to admit this but Synth1 is even better than a few of the "paid version" synths. If you know synthesis, you can achieve some very nice sounds from this synth.

Don't judge it based on the many presets available. Instead, use them as a "guideline" and create your own according to your needs & style of music.

13 September 2012 at 9:02am

I am aware that VSTs are made for Windows. FeSTige is made to run these apps in Linux, and many of them work very nicely. (I'm using KXStudio, which is built upon Ubuntu Studio, which is Debian-based.)

So my point is, if other "less popular" VSTs work so well, it's a shame that this synth, which has been highly regarded here at KVR, is not able to work correctly. At least, not on KXStudio. Maybe AVLinux is better, but I don't know, since FeSTige should be the same in either distro.

So there must be something in other VSTs that make it more compatible, that is missing in Synth1.

Again, it's not that I can't get Synth1 to work at all. It works. But the arpeggiator doesn't, and the mono/poly control is a bit confusing, since sometimes it indicates "poly" but I can't get more than one note at a time. Finally, some sounds cause it to crash entirely.

The people at KXStudio are currently working on the issue, so hopefully we'll see things change soon. Especially since I'd really like to be able to use this synth to its fullest. :)


13 September 2012 at 4:15pm

Hi briandc. I have Synth1 running perfectly smooth with a configuration similar to yours, but with Reaper and wineasio. I know that Reaper is propietary software, but in not expensive, plus it has really good VSTis support under Linux. I have regular Ubuntu 12.04 with KXStudio repositories. You just need to install "wineasio" (should be installed with KXStudio) and install Reaper. Mine works flawlessly. Hope this helps.

13 September 2012 at 6:28pm

Hello again brian. I managed to run Synth1 also with dssi-vst. Just type in a terminal vsthost followed by the path of the dll for Synth1.

14 September 2012 at 8:43am

Hi juandaco,

thank you for taking the time to help me out. :)

I have tried dssi-vst, but it didn't behave any better than FeSTige (still had no luck with arpeggiators, mono/poly, etc). But I will certainly take a look at Reaper.

I have wineasio installed in my KXStudio installation, and the people behind the project are working on integrating Synth1 into the Carla host. If that succeeds it'll be a great step ahead for the entire community, imo..


15 September 2012 at 4:18pm

Silly me! I already had a Reaper demo in KXStudio!! (insert facepalm here)

So anyway, a very happy ending. Synth1 is now working just fine, arps, polyphony and all. And no presets cause crashes. ;) Lots of neat effects and things, too.

I don't know if it's my favorite yet, but I certainly give it an 8. The controls are clear and responsive. Very nice! :)


29 October 2012 at 12:40am

New to this. My first post. Have to contribute 10 posts before I can rate and review this truly excellent free 10 out of 10 gem. Been loving this one for simply ages. It's the cats pyjamas. Oops, I guess I just reviewed and rated it ;o) Only another 9 posts to go, then I'll give this Synthesiser the proper review I feel it deserves.

19 February 2013 at 6:59am

The website in English... yay!

4 June 2013 at 10:49am

Damn, I need it in Dutch! LOL.

3 June 2013 at 12:46pm

I'm having troubles editing the synth knobs from Intone Keys host. Every time I touch a knob, the CPU goes to 50% and the plugin is freezed for a sec. I don't have any probs with other synths...

Could it be because of the 9000+ presets loaded? Removing them didn't make any difference, because the banks associations are still there and loaded in the VST host.

3 August 2013 at 10:44am

This tune is made solely by synth 1 (at least 95% of sounds): https://soundcloud.com/dreaml4nd/dreaml4nd-synth1-draft1.

15 August 2013 at 10:42am

Hey what does the "det" knob do on osc1 (I'm using current version of mac synth1). Certainly doesn't just simply adjust pitch. Usually detune would require more than one voice. It makes it sound quieter like a super weak sounding hoover. It's totally rubbish. Is it a mistake?

3 November 2013 at 1:56am

9/10 because it needs to become an AU instrument.


Audio Freak
Audio Freak
18 May 2014 at 10:54pm

Is the current version 1.12 Windows download set up to work in 64-bit Windows7 ??? If so, is the install pretty straight forward and does it include some presets (how many?) thanks in advance...

30 August 2014 at 6:46am

I don't get this working on mac (10.8.4). I install it but logic wont recognize it, and wont appear in au list. what to do? it says not apple supported au or something.



28 November 2014 at 5:37am

I just loaded synth 1 and five banks of presets to get started. Call me silly? I'm sure someone will. I cant seem to get any of the banks to load. Can someone give me advice on how to load presets into this thing? Is it supposed to come with initial presets? It seems make one sound on all the preset choices.

25 December 2014 at 6:30pm

how do you download one of these lol.

26 January 2015 at 1:10am

I've just found a very nice tool to manage the banks of Synth1. It's a quite old tool but it could still interest probably all the Synth1 users. It is very simple to use... and of course it is free:


3 July 2016 at 1:17pm

Win only : (.

3 July 2016 at 1:48pm

Are you joking !?

Beside the picture at the top of this present page you have two links "Download". One is for Mac ! And where does it drive you ? To the links for MAC ! And not only in 32-bit but also in 64-bit .

3 July 2016 at 1:55pm

Ah yes... I understand now... you were talking about Designermonkey, not about Synth1 itself.

I'm pretty sure that there is somewhere an equivalent for OS X.

But in fact it is a management tool which makes a bit easier the management of the banks, and if you use the zip format (which is perfectly managed by Synth1) you could certainly make your own equivalent using a script language.

But I'm pretty sure that there is somewhere an equivalent of Designermonkey for OS X.

21 May 2015 at 1:50am

please a Linux version.
Linux users would be very grateful.


9 June 2015 at 12:46pm

On a completely different note:

1. Newer versions, with whatever other bug fixes and enhancements may be included, is essential due to the new patch-maintaining system.

2. As someone pointed out, google translate does a nice job, at least in English, of translating Toda-san's website. Give it a try.

3. His operation guide is concise and useful, but there are a couple controls that don't seem to be documented labeled "det". Does anyone know what they do?

Thanks for your help, .

GY Rasputin.


9 June 2015 at 1:27pm

det - osc/unison detune.


15 June 2015 at 9:52am

the new LPLD filter in 1.13 beta 3 2014.7 has a bug that generates a CPU load of 100% when the amplitude release is maximum and the cutoff is modified in real time or with recorded automation immediately after altering the resonance and while playing fast alternating MIDI notes.

Jesus C
Jesus C
29 July 2015 at 5:34am

There is another bug when you link the saw LFO to the filter and automate the freq... the LFO sounds weird! and I notice a strange behavior on certain point when I'm linking to LFO the PWM and the FM using square oscillators, it's been a while... like one year, since Ichiro Toda made the last update... the past time was like 4 years waiting from 1.12 to 1.13 beta so, someday he will fix it.

(Ichiro Toda from Daichi Labs, The Synth1 Creator, if you read this, please make the program "Open Source" so we, the users, can improve the program and fix bugs... oh, and change the GUI for sure! I absolutely love this synth, I'm not using anymore Massive neither Sylenth1 or something else, this is incredible and I never imaginated that this would replace forever my commercial plugins, if you could hear what I've done with your Synth1... woah)



Jesus C
Jesus C
6 August 2015 at 4:17pm

Bugs found in Synth1 1.13 beta 3 until now:

>When you automate the LFO depth linked to the filter in saw wave using the mod wheel, it sounds strange.
>The Ping Pong delay sometimes acts like a normal delay and it doesn't pan around the stereo field
>Strange behavior in FM at certain points
>Sometimes the pitch bends triggers itself.


Jesus C
Jesus C
8 August 2015 at 9:27pm

I've found another bug on Synth1 1.13 beta 3:
>When you use the LFO in Saw linked to Amp, it sounds some strange clicks and pops, for example, you make a sound using det 40 FM 77m 2 osc +15 tune +51 ADSR 0-127-127-77 2 (same with filter) frq 33 res and sat 0 trk 127 Unison 4 det 96 pitch -12 with nothing above 2.5kHz and you add 2 LFO's linked to Amp in key, first at (1) and amt 100, second at (4) and amt 55; you will notice a strange behavior, that's really sad because I don't like those "clicks and pops" in a dark sound. It would be easier if I could upload a picture and show you guys : (.

30 August 2015 at 5:06pm

My banks are not displayed in alphabetical order. They are displayed by the number of characters in the filename. See this image below. How do I get them to display in alphabetical order? This is weird, Synth1 has never given such a strange thing before.


30 August 2015 at 5:36pm

Hoiwz about saving them individual patches into a new bank in the order you prefer? Alphabetically? Most of the performers might save them in order of sequence for songs in a set. Then reload them for a particular performance program. Yet some of us save them by genre or sound type or by purpose, like FX and solo melody, monophonic, etc..

It's a cool synth. Programming it takes time. Try to find a work around solution. I think the idea behind it besides the obvious emulation of our favourite synth is being lightweight.

30 August 2015 at 8:46pm

I could go one by one and sort them myself but there's no guarantee that will work. And there's hundreds of them. Too labor intensive. And Synth1 does sort them right on my other two PCs. It's only my new laptop with a clean install that gets it wrong. Here's my other computer that gets it right (picture on link).




16 November 2015 at 2:10am

Too bad that the best free softsynth (Synth1), does not support the best free OS (Linux) ...

17 November 2015 at 8:18pm

First of all, I have never seen that sort of non-alphabetical behaviour in Synth1. Very strange, indeed. You might have been good enough to list your OS when posting the issue, as I very much think it is a setting within your PC that is causing this. This is because you say only that one machine does this. That's the culprit if using same version synth and same OS on each PC. Can't help you if we don't know anything at all about your actual hardware. Next, let me tell you about Synth1 patches, banks and what I, personally, did about them: I have salted away every bank I think was ever released for this wonderful synth. One week a couple of years ago I was asked to 'babysit' some friends' recording studio while the owners were on a brief 1-week convention trip. The place was only open for a few of their friends to drop by, do a bit of independent work, etc., and I was there just to watch over things. I spent several days auditioning just about EVERY Synth1 patch from every bank, re-arranged them into more logical banks, by type and quality, and tossed out perhaps a THIRD of all patches, as they were clearly complete rubbish made by idiots. But in some cases I found the very best patches in banks that were 50/50 in usability. Even though I mainly play the best commercial synths, I love Synth1 so much and so respect its creator, Mr Toda, that I will always be using it when I can. The effort was great but well worth, and I have all patches just where I can access now in mere second or two. Consider doing patch re-banking to solve your issue, consider putting in some 'sweat equity' of your own for being given such a respected AND free gift.

I hope the lot of you complainers are aware that the latest couple of releases of Synth1 are BETA releases, and as such are not finished works and should be expected to have issues. If you can't handle this, why don't you simply install older versions and be done with all your grief?!?! I use version 12 still and have never had an issue - NO BUGS, NO COMPLAINTS. I am a working musician and simply have no time or tolerance for such nonsense. Why are you messing with betas, then having fits when you encounter trouble?

Regarding kobraaji's LINUX issue, DO note that almost NONE of the commercial plugins that cost real money are available for LINUX, so why would you think that a softsynth of the quality of Synth1 that is not only free but also took many years of unpaid labour to reach its current state would come in a LINUX version, which would take many more hours of free labour and testing to port into that Operating System format? I think the burden should be on the one receiving the gift of this synth, to install an OS on his/her machine that is more generally accepted for making music. Or use Wine wrapper and just stop complaining. Next, you kiddies will demand that someone appear at your door and play the synth FOR you! Why don't you all take on some RESPONSIBILITY for yourselves to make Mr Toda's gift work on compatible systems and stop all this ridiculous whining. Spoiled children you most certainly are.

18 November 2015 at 12:41am

"I'm a working musician and simply have no time or tolerance for nonsense"

very good; but usually the professional musicians really did not bother to discuss in forums free software (in this forum I could be tiesto :)

"Almost none of the commercial plugins that cost real money are available for Linux"

this is true, but more and more
u-he plugins (beta);

"Why do you think a software synthesizer Synth1 quality that is not only free but also took many years of work paid not to reach its current state would come in a version for Linux?"

the quality of linux (not forget that it is linux and manages servers social networking and web browser you use every day)
just the fact opensource would do the job again as happened with oxefmsynth.

"Stop all this whining ridiculous. You certainly spoiled children are."

yeah, I'm a spoiled, and true artists too :)

You may never come to linux, but this is the forum to share thoughts respectfully.

Ichiro Toda, you have the best free softsynth the world, and although I can not enjoy it, thank you from the community. Linux once again in the wait :)
health and life...

18 November 2015 at 6:25pm

"yeah, I'm a spoiled, and true artists too :)" ... well, at least you are honest.

So ... didn't have time to cover all in my effort to defend Synth1, but I use LINUX Ubuntu everyday but mostly just to connect to the internet. I've toyed with doing audio/music and wasn't pleased with much of anything -- latency, behaviour in general, compat, you name it. Still have Audacity install, just in case must edit or playback and 'see' files, you know? Suggested Wine to you but actually I hate it, tho others love it.

Only use LINUX to be more web-safe. Otherwise, I think it is clunky and stupid. Devs calling their software "canonical" and other stupid terminology. It is no wonde to me that LINUX never really made the big leagues and never will, considering the goofs in charge of it all. They offer software that is compat, you go to all this extra trouble to download and install, and the stuff is crap or doesn't work at all -- like they NEVER test any LINUX software, free or commercial. Everyone running LINUX is a bunch of Ibiza fruits. Screw them.

Yes, I know, 'cause Synth1 is a freebie I am supposed to be too good to play it. Screw people who think that way, too. They aren't rich, famous and likely don't even have pot to pee in. Let them be losers and snobs and blind to good sounds and getting anywhere in music. I know a fantastic synth instantly when I heard this one. Mr Toda is a blessing to us all, even the dummies on snob sites. Let them waste their money on synths that have 300-page guides take two years to learn and four to get a decent sound! Meanwhile, some of us are livin' the high life, good lots of aclaim and don't associate with twisted wannabees.

Enjoy your Synth1. Some amazing presets if you hunt, and programming easier than on most synths and with few limitations.

Äxxl Force
Äxxl Force
16 December 2015 at 2:04am

Hello everyone, .

I'm having some problems using this great sounding plugin. For me Synth1 seems to introduce latency when playing back. My MIDI notes are aligned to the grid but I can clearly hear, that the sounds from Synth1 are too late compared to the metronome. I used a negative delay to compensate and it was something between 30-40ms. It's not system latency because that way metronome and Synth1 would be delayed the same amount of time, right? It seems to affect all presets I tried so far. Any ideas?

best regards.


16 December 2015 at 8:27am

Axxl, Synth1 introduces no -- that is, zero -- latency. It must be something in your setup. What interface, what soundcard, how powerful is your computer? You did not spec any of these. The average cheapest interface these days should get you no more than about 6-7 ms roundtrip latency. Whatever the cause, Synth1 (or any other synth) has nothing to do with it. Latency is a system thing. Have compensation for latency in other plugins in your DAW? If not, why not. Good luck.


Äxxl Force
Äxxl Force
16 December 2015 at 3:07pm

Marla thanks for you help.

I checked back and you're right, there are some presets like a kick drum for example that don't have "latency". So it must be the presets I've been testing. Is it normal that e.g. synth strings need 30-40ms to actually "be there"? If yes how can I tweak the settings so they are tighter, means need less time to build up the tone. At the moment when I align my synth strings to the grid they are too late.

I never played keyboards before. Maybe if a human is playing that synth he would correct that already in his playing if that's a typical behavior for synths?

thanks & best regards.


16 December 2015 at 4:44pm

Oh ...! That explains so much, believe it or not. I can tell you are a little new to softsynths and their behaviour, but that's fine. I think you explained the whole thing without us needing to talk gear and numbers for 15 minutes before solving.

Yes, indeed, it can take quite a few milliseconds for the strings to "be there"? Great way of putting it, by the way. Most folks will immediately just assume you had a setup/interface/line/DAW issue the minute anyone says "latency" because 99 times out of 100 ...

Okay, so ... some sounds and instruments, maybe most of all bowed-sounding strings, have very laid-back attacks when activated by a key on a controller keyboard, whereas most drum/percussion items have ultra-fast attack times. BANG, there's the snare or kick! A bowed note may go an entire measure before even reaching its full intended volume, almost like a true fade-in. Having little or no audible attack is a part of what can make stringed instruments sound so sweet, too.

Still need to guess, but I think this explains all about what you are hearing. Some FX plugins, limiters, compressors can have significant latency, with hope made up for by the workstation's Latency Comp settings, but almost no VSTI (plugin instruments) cause any latency in the first place (unless they employ their own on-board FX set heavy, etc.) That's what was puzzling when you mentioned latency and Synth1 in the same sentence.

So, what you are hearing with various soft-sounding string patches/presets and many other nice pad sounds is not actually latency but is instead a soft, slow volume increase happening along with a long and drawn out attack, the onset of the note. I'll admit, they can sound like true latency at times. Latency= nothing, no sound for X ms, then suddenly the overdue note. A swell with very soft attack=no sound, then gradually you begin to hear a little of the note, growing louder until it peaks. That's key: listening carefully, you should hear a little something albeit faintly with a swell. Put a graphic analyser plugin on there right after the instrument, and you should see at least a tiny rise of activity in some frequency (ies), even if very low dB. With true latency you see nothing, until note.

1 January 2016 at 3:06am

EDM Soundset for synth1 - 50 high quality EDM presets useful for many genres of EDM (Electro house, dubstep, future house, hard dance...), you can find lazers, leads, 808 bass, pitched hardstyle kicks, arps, dubstep synths, screeches, plucks and more !!.

Download here : https://sellfy.com/p/askw/

Enjoy ! :)

4 January 2016 at 10:28pm

Does someone already have a problem with Logic Pro X ? I have to click 1 cm under a key to active it .

13 January 2016 at 10:30am

Button sliders don't really work in Mac OS El Capitan. As soon as you click on any parameter, the mouse flies off to the other corner of the screen. Unusable.

2 March 2018 at 11:07pm

Hi, hoshino and everybody who has the mouse problem with latest macOS versions. There are 2 solutions:

1. Run 32-bit host. Not the best option, but it works.

2. Disable slider window in Synth1 options. Yes it has options! Press "opt" button at the bottom and uncheck "Slider Window" box.

6 February 2016 at 8:27am

Completely right with you hoshino .

5 March 2016 at 4:00pm

Any beginners tutorials for synth1?

5 March 2016 at 6:12pm

Check Youtube. Loads of those there. :)


12 March 2016 at 1:10am

What is a good patch to start with from a beginners point of view?

Jesus C
Jesus C
12 March 2016 at 6:09pm


12 March 2016 at 8:33pm

They sound good the pads.

13 March 2016 at 8:17pm

Sorry for the newbie question but am I right in thinking to create a pad sound you use 2 sawtooth waveforms in both oscilators?

27 March 2016 at 9:07am

Hello .

I have a mistake with synth 1.

I load a MIDI track in Logic. I load a sound a sound from a soudbank. When i press play, the sound return on init sound .

Impossible to save the sound from synth 1.

Can someone help me ?


8 December 2019 at 10:35pm

i'm having the same problem byt i just remind myself not to press space.

3 April 2016 at 1:21pm

Hi, .

Synth1 is awesome, the sound is very versatile.

But I have a problem of "shadow bank window" (stay in screen) ableton running in McOS platform.

Sometimes the window does not disappear, it does not react to mouse click.

I have to close abletonv in order to make it disappear.

Anyone have this problem? help.

Thank in advance.


4 April 2016 at 5:47pm

Borges: I can confirm the same happens under OS X Yosemite (various versions), with Synth1 1.13beta8 64-bit 2015.5.

I find that clicking on "List/Info" twice will hide this "shadow bank window".

4 May 2016 at 3:56am

WOW this synth sounds great! getting stable results with ableton/el capitan. so far, no issues at all. but the ugliness of the GUI was bothering me and i didn't like any of the skins i have seen on the web. so here's a very pretty skin i made by total random happy accident. it's called "plum", let me know if you like it! I think its very nice on the eyes :)



6 June 2016 at 11:34pm

Guys, how do i load a specific preset on Ichiro's Synth 1 V1.13 beta (AU 64) 2015.5 on Logic pro x on my mac, i can't seem to find a way to open the .fxp preset i have in synth 1, i tried everything. Sorry for the possibly noobish question, thanks let me know :). Have a good one guys! Where do i put to .fxp file? When i click the opt button, these is no browse option in the mac beta version of synth 1.

25 October 2016 at 3:40pm
1 November 2016 at 8:52am

Hi, Im having trouble using Synth1 with logic x mac.

Seems to crash once, then crashes again while re opening logic.

Can anyone give me some advice? is the latest version ok with mac?

Seems like a great synth with lots of 3rd party presets so id love to use it regularly.

1 November 2016 at 9:29am

Hi, if you read my review (Blessing or Curse? A Synth1 Review) above you'll see that Synth1 has issues on Mac OS, while the Windows version is very stable.

Mac OS version has more updates than Windows, but still not functioning properly, I tested it in Cubase 8.5 and Logic 9 and had the same experience.

4 November 2016 at 2:48pm

I have two major problems with the MAC AU version on 10.6.8 (32-bit):

-Logic/MainStage won't validate it, which is no biggie, if you bypass it.

-While switching presets sometimes it just makes a loud click (or a periodic clicking sound) and then becomes unresponsive. This can be handled with sending a MIDI panic message, but can be a serious PITA when you're using it live.

Does anyone know of a solution to these?

2 January 2017 at 6:26pm

The Download page for this received a Page cannot be displayed? geocities.jp. Not working. Available anywhere else?

2 January 2017 at 6:44pm


Then you choose the first link which appears bellow the blue title.

Or directly for the current 1.13 beta3 : http://www.geocities.jp/daichi1969/softsynth/Synth1V113beta3.zip


9 March 2017 at 9:40pm

I have collected 173 free sound banks with over 14.000 sounds for Synth1 here: https://goo.gl/n8Jf7d

It's just one small ZIP file, with instructions on how to extract it and configure Synth1.

If you should know about other banks that I have missed, PLEASE email them to me at pc@frankplads.com and I'll include them in the next update. Thanks.

Hope it's OK to post this here, just wanted to make life easier for all us Synth1 fans. :)

29 April 2017 at 3:12pm

Hi, folks. I wonder if anyone has issues with Ableton, most recent Mac OS and Synth 1. I can't seem to get it to appear in either my VSTs or AUs. It used to, so I don't understand what has changed. Can anyone give me some pointers on getting my mac to recognize it again? Any help would be very much appreciated. Cheers!!.

30 April 2017 at 1:44am

Hi mesuma, I know it is sort of a nuisance to rescan your entire VST library, but that may help if you have not done so? Options>File folder>Plugin sources... hold down the Alt key when you hit the "rescan plugins" and that will start the ball rolling. Hope this helps.

30 April 2017 at 9:44pm

Yep, I tried that every few weeks for the Iast year in the hope it would somehow recognize it. eventually got it working as an AU yesterday but it doesn't open in my saved sets as the original VST. So I need to open my old PC and see what the sound was originally then re-program the VST. It's a pain and a bit risky as I'm sure my old lappy is ready to burst in to flames. Glad I got it back but it doesn't really solve the problem, just adds more work on. Thanks for your reply anyway, man. Much appreciated.

1 May 2017 at 1:59am

while I've not had THAT particular set of issues...esp with synth1, I am well familiar with the famous "I am now reaching around my butt to get to my other elbow" scenario. No fun any way you cut it. For what little it's worth in THIS case, I have noticed that over the versions (from about 7 to 9...) Live has gotten increasingly better about the total rescan... I own an embarrassing amount of plugs as I've been at this since God was a wee lad...and doing a total rescan in Live used to require several hours and moving shortcut alias's, etc etc... but now Live DOES seem to be able to 'pick up where you left off' in some instances when a scan crashes out...

That said- you MAY want to try installing synth1 to another location and then creating a shortcut to that location and pulling that shortcut into your Live VST library? may be worth a go? Hope this helps too?

1 May 2017 at 7:02am

Although Synth1 has many some issues, especially on Mac it is still a great synth.

A review comparing the goods and bads: https://synthmorph.com/blogs/news/synth1-ichiro-toda-review-blessing-curse.

And a free Synth1 bank with some additional twist: https://synthmorph.com/collections/all.

4 May 2017 at 7:00am

this synth is absolutely amazing for a free plugin, but i am way bummed by its stability running logic 10.3.1 on OS Sierra 10.12.4 it will sometimes crash the whole program or it will make an extremely loud distorted noise randomly. logic is my only daw and i am dying to use this more stably. does anyone have any tips or suggestions?

17 January 2018 at 9:48pm

It's known to have some issues when running inside 64-bit host, if it's not critical (and usually it's not) — run its 32-bit version.

31 January 2018 at 2:16pm

[Self promotion warning ;) ].

If you're having difficulty navigating around your massive patch collections, you might find this useful: http://www.kvraudio.com/product/synth1-librarian-by-neutrino-sky

31 January 2018 at 2:44pm

Nice tool to use as complement to Synth1. Thank you.

12 June 2018 at 7:14am

It's an awesome synth!!

I created a preset bank to download and share for free, with a few of my favourite presets I selected from the nearly 10.000
available online, tweaked to create some nice acid house tracks for the LemonLife project, you can listen right here:
Download the presets right here:



3 July 2018 at 4:58am

Hello, .

I have been looking all over their website: http://www.geocities.jp/daichi1969/softsynth/ in search for licensing information and I have found that the software labeled as "freeware". Which is good, but I still need to see a license file or something that tells me whether or not I can use the Synth1 synthesizer for commercial purposes.

I haven't been able to track the developers down (sent an email to the only address I could find, but have not got a reply.) Do you know where I can find this information or a better place to contact the devs?

Thank you.

3 July 2018 at 11:20am

Of course you can use it for commercial purposes. You aren't using anyone's copyrighted material in your song to start off with (Synth1 is not a sampler).

It also is clearly understood that the purpose of a synth is to make music, so any restrictions on the use for that prpose would need to be explicit. This is because there is a reasonable expectation (or whatever the legal term is) that an instrument is intended to make music.

29 September 2018 at 10:38am

Synth1 is Virus and Nord Lead software baby, cool definition - if use fx on it becomes Steroid baby :):):).

31 March 2019 at 8:03pm

The official website has been shutdown for good from today. RIP.

31 March 2019 at 8:12pm
2 May 2019 at 8:33am

Confirmed RIP of website : "As of March 31, 2019, Yahoo! Geocity's service has ended. Thank you for your continued patronage."

Hoping there will be another one to continue the adventure... ?

24 July 2019 at 8:12pm
6 March 2020 at 2:36pm

Sometimes it takes forever to load Synth1 (~1 minute), Windows Task Manager tells me that Antimalware Service Executable is taking its time. It seems that at random points in time ASE is triggered by loading Synth1, stalling the latter until it is done scanning.

10 March 2020 at 12:33pm

Hello good people, .

I'd really like to use Synth1 again but Logic Pro X simply won't let me. Pressing 1 button wihtin the interface causes an immediate LPX-crash. I'm on OS Catalina and I'm using the 64-bit version of Synth1. This Synth1/Logic Pro X - issue has been known for a very long time. Is there ANYONE who has been able to find a workaround /trick or whatever to make it work? I'd be VERY VERY happy if someone could help me with this issue !!!.

Greetings, Rogier.

25 March 2021 at 4:16pm

A year later...the same wish. How I would love to use this synth again in Logic on a Mac. It really is a bummer this beautiful sounding synth will be forgotten in a few years from now.


23 August 2020 at 2:04pm

Personally I downgraded to "Sierra". Not High Sierra, not Mojave, but plain ol Sierra. Think Apple moves way to fast for my liking. I think I'll be sticking to old hardware and old setups for music on Apple. Time to get an iLok it seems too (never in my life did i think id say that) as software will most likely break and authentication will only work this way I'm sure. Wish I could enjoy Reapers MIDI transport and editor, but I can't. Think you'll have better luck on Sierra with the best compromise for 32-bit and 64 living together. Now if anyone can actually help me get fxp files to load into synth1 that would be great, or sadly it'll suck (seems that it doesnt like any of the files listed here for mac, or im doing something wrong).

15 January 2021 at 1:12am

I don't get it, the old daichilab geocities link is obviously dead, the current mentioned here brings to a potential scam page (viral alert), so here is what seems to be the official website to download synth1. This page really should update it's sources.

15 January 2021 at 3:37pm

I think it's good that gearlegend located another download site. The old sakura one seems to still be there (and in Japanese; Google Translate does a pretty good job on web pages if you don't read that language). Both it at the new daichilab.com site have the "flavor" of legitimate sites -- that is, scammers would not usually put that kind of effort into a fake site.

just be careful and make sure you take normal precautions on anything you download. It would be valuable if someone who has downloaded the latest version and are satisfied it is clean could post the size and checksum on kvraudio.

still at this late date I use synth1 frequently, and I just gave a copy to a friend who makes music on a Windows 8.1 system--he has found it very inspiring. Do note that there are some unfortunate bugs in the most recent version (see messages above) at least the Windows version) but the program seems stable overall.

19 June 2021 at 8:04am

I just got the synth, its apparently updated june 2021 version, Japanese site. I'm running Catalina and I use Logic, it does not want to open and fails to validate the plug in.
But then it works perfectly in Garage Band.

Error code in Logic Pro:
ERROR: 1 IN CALL MusicDeviceMIDIEvent

Synth download:

3 July 2021 at 4:51am

I use the beta11 (6/19/2021) version AU file with Catalina (10.15.7) and Ableton Live 11 and it works perfect for me.

3 July 2021 at 5:32am

Nice, it's been updated! I did not know that. It's also fully validated in my mac now

"2021/06/19 Fixed validation error in V1.13 beta11 Logic."

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