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Synth (Hybrid) Plugin by Image Line

Sytrus has an average user rating of 4.25 from 12 reviews

Rate & Review Sytrus

User Reviews by KVR Members for Sytrus

Reviewed By CyberJunkie [read all by] on June 1st, 2019
Version reviewed: latest on Windows

Great VST, great price.

Has a bit of everything and controls to modify/manipulate to the users desire in order to create an abundance of musical yumminess :).

Reviewed By levendis [read all by] on October 22nd, 2017
Version reviewed: current on Windows

i love this synthesizer so much that i automatically reach for it first.
Light on system resources, great modulation system, rich FX section, intuitive overall design, adaptable oscillators (operators)... by far my most treasured synthesizer plugin.

Reviewed By ZacoOne [read all by] on July 23rd, 2017
Version reviewed: 2.6.73 on Windows.
Last edited by ZacoOne on 23rd July 2017.

My workhorse. Period. One of the best if not most underrated FM synths out. There's so much potential if you spend a little time to get to know it. Ask Seamless.

Reviewed By johnny.w [read all by] on May 4th, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.6 on Windows

The sounds of Sytrus are a 10, the variety ditto. Tho many have complained about the small-size GUI my Sytrus issue is that the product does not have a browser. Any synth without a good browser--like Tone2'a Rayblaster or Electra 2--is not something I can work with. Clicking on "Presets" and having a large "spreadsheet" (in small font) splattered on the screen is NOT GOOD. After selecting a preset the screen retracts. I need a browser that stays put so I can audition presets properly, without working backwards. People praise Image-Line products, but IMO the company policy evinces a sort of arrogance, unresponsiveness or indifference to their captive market, and a disregard for user or would-be user criticism.

Reviewed By AoPenguix [read all by] on February 26th, 2016
Version reviewed: 2.6.73 on Windows.
Last edited by AoPenguix on 27th February 2016.

Sytrus is a monster but a cute monster.

It's both powerful and gentle with CPU. It features crazy amount of controls with 6 oscillators each with own envelopes, LFOs and panning, 3 filters also with own envelopes and LFOs, Sytrus is quite old but it doesn't feel that at all. It has a great feature which allows to easily create any waveform and save is as wav. file so it can be used with other synths. It also comes with large amount of presets and is included in FL Studio producer edition and up.



  • too many to count (・ω ・).


  • no distortion/compression FX.
  • window size is VERY small and It's hard to see so UI scaling option would be great /_ (>_<) (I use 720p monitor and It's already hard to see).
Reviewed By x_bruce [read all by] on December 20th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows.
Last edited by x_bruce on 21st December 2004.
Sytrus is Fruityloops most complex and best quality synth to date. Combining equal parts Native Instruments FM-7 and Big Tick Rhino 2 for inspiration it finds an equal balance between the two and brings a very strong analog sound, particularly in it's basic programming mode.

* excellent sound and equally excellent synth programming that shows off the capabilities of Sytrus
* well designed interface that makes programming FM easier than the prior champ, FM-7
* DX-7 sysex import that is very faithful
* easy interface that is sufficient for many users to program without getting involved in FM synthesis programming.

* non-resizeable interface which is on the small side on screen resolutions 1024x768 or higher.
* too many knobs on the easy interface makes programming a bit difficult at times
* try as I have, and by looking at my ratings I think highly of Sytrus, but feel it is a bit too inspired by Rhino 2's feature set

The last I'll mention is *I* feel Sytrus is so fundementally good it didn't need to seemingly "borrow" so much for Rhino 2. I felt this way when I first tried it and still do having learned the Sytrus way. It is obvious the programming is exemplary and makes me wonder what we could have looked forward to without this influence.

Now, for the great news; Sytrus sounds fantastic and if you at all were waiting to purchase Fruityloops XXL this is reason enough. Sytrus has an amazing capability of sounding nothing like what you'd expect of a FM synth. All of it's digital nature can be tweaked out of it making for a great sounding analog in digital clothing. And yet Sytrus is currently the best implementation of FM synthesis. Imported DX-7 sounds are excellent in translation which means you have thousands of patches ready to get for free and able to be supercharged by Sytrus' enhanced sound engine.

My favorite use for Sytrus is to use some tired old FM sounds, I'm not enamored of the DX-7 sound until you can do more modern signal processing, and Sytrus has the goods. There are multiple onboard effects including distortion, delay and modulation effects. Beyond this there are some wickedly good filters that are quite suitable towards the digital nature of sound that FM exudes.

Besides giving FM a pair of balls, there is a lush sound due to the flexible delays and simple programming of FM that makes it so much easier to get sounds that FM was always known for as well as those it wasn't, like sweeped filters, airy blown sounds or flat out analog-styled saws.

You can go from etherial and delicate to harsh and squelchy via FM synthesis, effects or filters. There are many ways of getting to what you want in Sytrus, a feature I expect of any synth that I take seriously. And at it's $179 asking price you better be in a serious mood as this is a lot of scratch for a synth; putting it into z3ta, Rob Papen's Albino (1400 patches and some 3rd party extras to make you wonder what synth was being used); you get the idea. That's why it's a no-brainer to consider Fruityloops Studio XXL. It's the most effective means of purchasing and has come a long way. Now at 5.0 and sporting all kinds of new, included synths, not to mention a studio to work Sytrus through, you have a pretty damn good setup.

I can't help think this was part of Sytrus' pricing. Spend a bit more and you have a lot of kit besides Sytrus to work with. And since FL is both host and client ReWire as well as a VST host and synth, you can use Sytrus anywhere you might not have considered as well as Fruity and whatever features excite you, or perhaps Fruity will become your favorite host.

So is Sytrus a pawn in the Image Line desire to take over your musical chores? In some sense yes, and if you like cutting your nose to spite your face just by Sytrus. Otherwise spend a bit more and get lots of fun things to work with. The bottom line is Sytrus is a serious synth that can justify it's cost. It is $179 good and for FM programming you will get no better unless you prefer FM-7's interface. If you do you'll get less synth for your dollar but an amazingly small CPU footprint compared to Sytrus which is good in its own right.

The X/Y controller is helpful in getting sounds moving and waveshaping is excellent at creating warmer sounds than traditional FM. Waveshaping can also be used to go beyond anything you've thought you heard in digital for you FX and noise freaks.

My prior exception noted and suggestion you try the other synths, FM-7 and Rhino 2 which Sytrus owe lineage to you'll find one of those three to be what you're looking for.

A good synth that misses greatness - barely. I need glasses to work with Sytrus and that's enough to slow me down when working. Workflow is good on Sytrus beyond that and could easily be your main synth.

I use Sytrus for evolving pads, soundscapes and leads mostly. It has a great bass sound and does excellent percussion sounds; it is a FM synth after all!
Reviewed By kovacs [read all by] on September 16th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
I have had Sytrus since it was launched and find that I use it more and more in other applications than FL Studio. Recently I use it in Ableton Live 4, but sadly there is an incompatibility problem which Image-Line promise to fix "soon". But apart from that I am having a great time with this synth.

A reviewer below thinks it sounds bland. I couldn't disagree more. I own Absynth 2 and while I don't think (as some do) that Sytrus is an Absy-killer, it is most definitely a synth with incredible capabilities. Editable waveforms, multiple oscillators, grid FM control...a lot of thought has gone into the making of this app.

Image-Line's price policy is that by pricing this higher than their other stuff it will appeal to more people. I don't know if that works. $179 is not "cheap", but for a synth with capabilities like this it is certainly not expensive. Still, I wonder if buyers will not look at the slightly more expensive alternatives like Absynth and Z3ta.

But for those who feel a bit adventurous I highly recommend this synth. I use it to create synth patterns in jazz/fusion music as well as some endeavors into electronica, and it works great in both genres.

Graphically it is a stunner - my biggest gripe is Image-Lines stubborn "small font" interface policy - it is hard to read some of the text under buttons etc. Also, a lack of a decent, printable manual is a problem for me since I am sick and tired of wading through HTML help files. I want a manual to read in bed...

Customer support is no problem. Image-Line is a responsive company and I've never had any problems with them in any way.
Reviewed By sdv [read all by] on September 9th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows.
Last edited by sdv on 3rd March 2006.
I received this synth as part of the FL "XXL" package and initally I was very excited to get into all it's presumed juicy goodness. While it is arguably the cleanest sounding FM in the soft-synth market there is very little which inspires me to push this synth with my programming efforts.

It is very difficult to get anything other than the signature "FM" timbre in any of the patches. Just take a listen to the presets, that signature tone is there patch after patch. It does great bells, leads & strings in Vangelis fashion.... makes me wonder about the underlying algorithms. It can make some meaty rhythmic pads, but not really fantastic moving pads.

I'll admit, the multi-point envelopes are the most advanced of any of the commercial synths at this point [cool and novel element for some rythmic beat pads]. They are fun and easy to play with and tweak.

Some complain about the GUI and I'll admit the slider knobs are small. IL always make the slickest interfaces and Sytrus is there. What I'll give props to is the switchable envelope windows... this allows for easy scanning of paramters... no drop-down menus, very ingenious.

What Sytrus needs is:
1) ability to load/morph soundfonts with each oscillator. That way you could put the velocity and keymod to amazing use with the envelopes plus bring in more sonic design,
2) HUGE library of envelopes... how about 200 arp patterns for starters,
3) microtuning to warp the sound even further.

Sytrus seems cobbled from a bunch of code IL has used in other projects and it is really meant to be used best with FLS as there are issues with other hosts when using it as a VSTi (such as not being able to load native .fst files).

With v2 out I have to rethink the above review... there is alot more charatcer to the sounds now, I suppose improved alogrithms somewhere in the app. Sytrus is on it's way up, perhaps joining the regular monsters here at KVR in short order? Anyways, glad the sound quality is up to speed with the intuitive GUI.
#1 on my list will never happen, but with more envelopes Sytrus will be a rhythmic beast!!
Reviewed By gbles [read all by] on April 24th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by gbles on 26th April 2004.
I've been using the demo since it came out and bought it a week ago. Therefore, my review should probably be updated after more use........Oh, and I don't give 10s unless something has no room for improvement :-)

Laid out in a clear way that I love. Everything is easily accessible and in a logical place. A small point, but I
prefer its tabbed form elements to drop downs - I'm zipping around the synth making tweaks and enjoying it......for the most part :-) If I have one complaint its that the harmonics editor is too small. I have a good 19" CRT running at 1280*1024 and find it very difficult to set harmonic levels. A small nitpick, but when you have a synth as good as Sytrus then I think you should aim for perfection.

Excellent is all I should say, as sound is so subjective. I love FM synths and Sytrus goes a step further. For example, filter implementation is very good. For each of the three filters you can select how much of the signal is routed to low, band, and hi-pass, and you can also route it to the next filter in line. If you're interested then go download the demo. If you want adjectives that mean nothing......then it is 'glassy, bubbly, fat, chunky, sugary, opaque, semi-opaque, transparent, transparently opaque, virus-like' :-)

Just some of the important features...
*Unison mode for big sounds.
*Spline-based envelopes for almost every aspect of an operator. The same goes for the filters. There is a lot of room for creativity with this synth.
*Effects are good, though there aren't as many as some of the other FM synths have - just chorus and delay (3 units).
*Oversampling up to 64x

Seem pretty good. I haven't had much of a need for them to be honest though.

Ships with 220 varied presets. There are quite a lot of usable ones, and then the show-off ones.

Haven't had it long enough to answer this properly. Prior to buying Sytrus I fired off a few questions at Gol and he answered everything quickly and, more importantly, honestly. If I ask a dev if they plan on implementing a feature then I'd rather be given a blunt 'no' than a 'maybe when we get time'. That way I know what I'm buying, not what I might be buying. Also, IL has a lively forum where you can go for answers.

This is my first Image Line purchase, so I'm not buying it because of some supposed 'blind loyalty' to Fruity products that some people hint at. Also, I bought FL Studio along with Sytrus, getting them both for $179.
I love the sound of Sytrus. I've used demos of other FM synths for some time (I'm a slow buyer) and I believe that Sytrus has more features. The others do have some things in them that I'd like to see in Sytrus, but then Sytrus has a lot that they don't. A synth this good with a (VST usable) host thrown in for $179? A steal, in my opinion. To me, it is very good value for money.

It hasn't caused a single problem for me so far. I've seen no bugs. I use Tracktion as my host.
Reviewed By Arksun [read all by] on April 17th, 2004
Version reviewed: on Windows.
Last edited by Arksun on 17th April 2004.
The times they are a changing. I'd say the past year has been a real turning point for soft-synths, i finally feel that they've grown up and shown what they're trully capable of. Deep fat meaty sounding soft-synths are here at last! and one of those at the very forefront is this beauty, the Sytrus.

Developed by a software company behind Fruityloops, this is without a doubt one of the finest soft-synths ever made.

I've noticed a lot of people have confused this with being an FM only soft-synth, in the vein of the FM7. Whilst this is a very capable and powerful FM synth, for me personally, it is the subtractive side that totally blew me away!.

The stats speak for themselves, specifically, the 6 oscillators, with waveshaping, 3 filters (which can run as lo-pass, band and hi simultaneaously each!) and a 9-voice Unison mode that puts most of the Unison modes on hardware synths to shame!.

Add to that up to 64x oversampling and this trully is one hell of a beast!.

Of course stats don't mean anything unless it sounds good. To my ears, this is one of the most versatile and solid sounding synth engines ever made. It can do everything, from soft smooth FM style sounds, to rich dense subtractive sounds and full on agressive monster saw leads.

The modulation possibilities is mindblowing!. Rather than going for a set number of lfos and envelops, which can be 'patched' to whatever other part of the synth engine with limited number of modulation slots, they've given each individual osc and filter their own set of env's and lfo's each for virtually every aspect!. The level of which you can tweak them is just astounding, with infinite point env's that have adjustable curve tension so you can fine tune a sound like never before!.

If you were looking for a synth that combined high oscillator count and waveshaping of the z3ta+, but with extra meaty filters, oversampling that can go way beyond 2x, an extremely high level of modulation flexibity and the kind of unison found on hardware synths, not to mention an excellent built in chorus and delay, THIS is the synth you've been waiting for!.

Yes, it really is that good!.

The price for the VSTi/DXi may seem a little pricey but when you realise just what it is you're getting for your money you'll understand the price is more than justified.

It all sounds too good to be true, so what's the catch?

Well the catch is, as with the other all new super soft-synths out there right now, the CPU hit can be rather huge. That is the price you pay for a supreme sound, but you can always set oversampling to zero in draft mode for realtime playing, then render at any level after, you just have to be aware of the difference in sound.

Also the manual could have been more in depth for beginners that struggle to learn synthesis. The gui does take a while to get used to, but once you do, you realise just how versatile and friendly it truly is.

All in all, an awesome synth!.
Reviewed By Carbonboy [read all by] on April 15th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Carbonboy on 15th April 2004.
I have seen a lot said about Sytrus as an FM synth and compared to FM7 in the forums here on KVR, well comparisons to FM7 sell this synth way short. Yes sytrus can do FM (possibly better than FM7) but it also does RM, Subtractive and Plucked synthesis has complex envelopes (you can make any shape you want) wave-shapers, chorus, unison and more.

Programming Sytrus can be as complex or simple as you want to make it. I tend to err on the simple side myself as I am not an FM guru, however the matrix does make it a lot easier to come to grips with than other FM synths I have used. I mainly use Sytrus as a 6 OSC subtractive synth (with custom wave-forms).

It's early days however there is already an impressive set of patches shipping with the synth, I expect this will rapidly grow as more people discover this synth.

Most importantly for me the sound quality is very impressive, deep powerful bass to sweet crisp highs it's all there. Finally, with up to 64X oversampling we have one future-proof VST.

However enough talking download the demo and try it yourself :)
Reviewed By tconrardy [read all by] on April 15th, 2004
Version reviewed: V1 on Windows
Sytrus Vsti Image Line FL studio
6 FM Operators.
FM / RM Matrix.
Up to 64x Oversampling.
3 Selectable Filters.
XY Controller.
Effects (Delay & Chorus).
Editable Spline Envelopes.
BPM Sync / Snap.
Editable Waveshaping.

While I was on the beta and preset making team, I saw right away that this was not just another FM synth. The modulation possabilities was staggering. The point envelopes were intuitive,and you could use an envelope to modulate almost any parameter including pan, velocity, aftertouch curves and more. Using an adjustable envelope to create LFO shapes I thought was unique. You are not tied down to traditional LFO waveshapes.

In creating my presets for Sytrus, I actually used a real DX7 and my Atari editing software ( Dr T's Dx-heaven) as reference, and could copy over my original patches over to the Sytrus model of FM. I was amazed at the sound and could get quite close to the original patch.

However I was also amazed that you can get excellent sound just from 2 oscillators and well placed effects.

I was quite pleased that the VSTi version is now out with some very nice improvements such as a 3 band EQ to beef up the sound,and DX7 import, while not perfect, allows you to get usable patches from the thousands of DX7 sysex banks available on the internet ( witness my DX7 page: http://tamw.atari-users.net/dx7.htm )

The most well placed critisism on Sytrus is the CPU usage, however it is possible to optimize patches for less CPU use, and there are many excellent presets that do just this. While there are many presets that come with sytrus, the meat is in creating your own sounds, after all: thats what all those buttons and sliders are for. A simple tweak can go a long way.

Being an FM fan, the sound is excellent on Sytrus. Being a subtractive fan, you can also create patches without even using the FM functions.You can also create custom waveshapes with the waveshape maker.

All in all, a very fruity and juicy bit of kit. Highly recommended.

Latest 12 reviews from a total of 12

Comments & Discussion for Image Line Sytrus

Discussion: Active
2 March 2016 at 7:28pm

Sytrus is gentle (in FLS) with CPU because IL's Fruity Loop Studio cares a much more about FL native plugins.

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