7 - 12 minute read
Our recommended top 5 synthesizer plugins for 2022 are about to completely change the way you make music. If you’re looking to elevate your sound to new heights, go no farther than these 5 highly regarded synthesizers, each of which offers exceptional effects, rich and thick tones, and infinite sonic possibilities. These plugins include everything you might want, from a better replication of the ARP Quadra to the ethereal tones of a hybrid analog/digital synthesizer like the Cherry Audio Dreamsynth. This is your chance to add these essential synthesizers to your collection, so don’t waste it.
What’s a good synthesizer? Sound quality matters. A synthesizer should produce many timbres and sound natural. A decent synthesizer should have many parameters and choices for sound customization. You don’t want to waste time figuring out a complicated UI. Finally, a good synthesizer should work with your music production software and gear. Let’s examine 2022’s top five synthesizer plugins that meet these criteria.
Cherry Audio’s Elka-X emulates the rare Italian analogue synthesizer ELKA Synthex from the early 1980s. It sounds and works like the original Synthex but adds velocity response, a complete arpeggiator, stereo echo and reverb effects, and over 600 professional patches.
A two-part multitimbral synthesizer with 16 polyphonic voices, mono, and unison modes, it lets users play two patches at once in keyboard split or stacked layer mode. It has a panel control for selecting layers and a utility function for switching settings between lower and higher sound layers or presets.
Cherry Audio’s Lowdown simulates the 1970s and 1980s bass pedal synth. It accurately models the original’s synthesis circuits for a powerful synthetic bass experience. Dual oscillators, a 24dB/octave lowpass filter, and one-button access to Bull, Tuba, and Bass factory presets.
It also has a configurable live-panel mode with one-button Glide, Decay, and Octave controls. It has over 40 browsing presets and limitless user preset storage. AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone versions are available for Mac and Windows.
Cherry Audio’s Miniverse virtual synthesizer accurately emulates the 1970s Minimoog. Its interface and authenticity are modelled after the original instrument. It has three oscillators with different waveforms, a four-pole, 24dB/octave ladder filter, and the option to save custom MIDI controller mappings globally or per preset.
It contains over 200 professional sound designer-created factory preset patches, monophonic and polyphonic modes, and up to 16 voices. MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and DAW automation for all controls are also supported. AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone versions are available for Mac and Windows.
Dreamsynth is a virtual synthesizer developed by Cherry Audio that is inspired by hybrid analog+digital synthesizers of the mid-to-late 1980s. It has three dual-waveform oscillators, a fully polyphonic 16-voice string synthesizer, OB-style multimode stereo filters, 20 mod sources and over 40 destinations, and an effects section with multiple distortions, a phaser, chorus, flanger, and rotary speaker effects, as well as delays and reverbs.
It also supports MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and includes over 1100 presets. It is available in AU, VST, VST3, and AAX formats.
Quadra, an upgraded virtual synthesizer, emulates the 1978 ARP Quadra. Four distinct portions allow layering and separating. Sound quality and patch storage have improved.
Quadra replicates the integrated phaser effect and adds a stereo chorus/flanger, syncable echo, and reverb. Over 400 industry-created presets, a drift control for analogue realism, and a tempo-syncable LFO. Quadra is AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone.