Best Free Synthesizer Plugins For PC & Mac (October 2023)

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Here is the SYNTH ANATOMY list of the best free Synthesizer plugins for PC & Mac ranging from virtual analog, FM, percussive to modular synthesis concepts!

If you want to produce music, you need a digital audio workstation (DAW) and for some sound options also some good plugins. Unfortunately, many musicians can’t afford very expensive plugins. For this reason, I would like to briefly present my favourite Synthesizer plugins which are available for free for PC and Mac.

I’m pretty sure there are far more plugins available, but I want to consider here both worlds: the PC and the Mac universe. Last update: October 1, 2023

Best Free Synthesizer Plugins 2023

Free Synthesizer Plugin Highlight 2023: Vital

Vital Synthesizer is like Serum but for everyone. It is one of the best free synthesizer plugins for PC / Mac available today. Wavetable synthesis merged with innovative features and top-notch sound quality equivalent to the big commercial plugins, but affordable for everyone. Better than cracking VST plugins. Furthermore, Vital does not spy on you, nor does it install unsafe software on your system in the background. It’s safe and complex enough to occupy you for months or years.

If you want more ready-to-use sounds, you can do this by buying a bundle and support at the same the developers work.


Vital is a wavetable powerhorse: 3 oscillators, sample slot, two filters with 32 types, 3 envelopes, 4 audio-rate LFOs, and more. A plug-in with which every hobby and professional musician can design varied sounds without spending a lot of money. Thus, it’s a must-have for every musician. The full article about Vital is available here.

Virtual Analog Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSound DemoPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
discoDSPOB-Xd 2.0VST, VST3, AU
(AAX with license)
Full Bucket MusicFury-800SDVST, AU
Togu Audio Line (TAL)TAL-Noisemaker v4SDVST, VST3, AU, AAX
U-heTyrell N6SDVST, AU, AAX
U-hePodolskiVST, VST3, AU, AAX
Ichiro TodaSynth1VST, AU
FutucraftKairatuneVST, AU
GreenoakCrystalVST, AU
Matt TytelHelm SynthesizerVST, VST & AU
LV2 (Linux)
Archetype InstrumentsLokomotiv SDVST, AU
SteinbergModel EVST
KV331 AudioSynthmaster Player FreeVST, AU, AAX
Martin LüdersPG-8XSDVST
Yooz MusicYooz BL-303VST, AU
Full Bucket MusicFB-3300SDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicFB-3100SDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicStigmaSDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicMono/FurySDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicKernVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicThe BloooSDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicFB-3200VST, AU
Full Bucket MusicRagnarökVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicSequencAirVST, AU
Tunefish-SynthTunefish v4VST, VST3, AU
Mae AudioMonoChordVST
HY-PluginsHY-MonoSDVST, VST3, AU
HY-PluginsHY-Poly Free VersionVST, VST3, AU
SoundemoteRhythm & Pitch VST, AU
Soda Devices LithVST, VST3, AU
D10LaboMSyn1mini VST, AU
D10 Labo ModSynthMonoVST, AU
UhhyouSyncSawSynthVST (mac alpha version!)
UhhyouTrapezoidSynthVST (mac alpha version!)
SamplesonPushVST(mac alpha version!)
Phuturetone GR-8VST3, AU
2Rule2RuleSynthSDVST3, AU
Full Bucket MusicBucket OneVST, VST3, AU, and CLAP
Novation V-Station
NovationBass StationVST, AU (no Apple Silicon support)
Fabric 70ExplorerVST3, AU
Audio DamageBasicVST, AU, (no Apple Silicon support)

Mensla MS-2

FM Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Dexed Dexed Synthesizer VST3, AU
Digital Systemic EmulationsSyncla-XVST, VST3, AU
SonicbitsEXAKT LiteVST, VST3, AU
Joakim FrostegårdOctaSineVST
Beatassist.euKuma 508VST, VST3, AU
MS-2Menslaexperimental FMVST3, AU

nakst Regency

Phase Modulation Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Extent of the JamDigitsVST, AU
Regency phase distortionnakstCLAP, AU, and native FL Studio plugin

U-he Zebralette

Wavetable Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSound DemoPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Vital AudioVital SynthesizerVST, VST3, AU
LV2 (Linux)
U-heZebraletteVST2, VST3, AU, AAX
Full Bucket MusicWhispAirVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicFB7999SDVST, AU
VAST DynamicsVaporizer 2VST, VST3, AU, and AAX
SocaLabsWavetable, AU, and LV (Linux)


Morphing Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
KlevgrändSyndtSphereVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicThe QyoooSDVST, AU
Digital Systemic EmulationsK3-V ExtendedVST, VST3, AU


Support the free plugin list & the Synth Anatomy website with a plugin purchase from Plugin Boutique or my other partners. Thanks for the support.

Pluginboutique - VST Plugins Buy Instruments Effects and Studio Tools



Multi-Engine Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
TheWaveWardenOdin 2VST3, AU
VST3, LV2 (Linux)
Vember AudioSurge XTSDVST3, AU
USynth DriveUjamVST, VST3, AU, AAX

TheWaveWarden Odion 2

8-bit & Retro Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Soca LabsSN76489VST, AU
Soca LabsRP2A03VST, AU
Soca LabsCommodore 64VST, AU
D10LaboLowBitMonoSynVST, AU
Onsen AudioOS-251VST3, AU, LV2 (Linux)


Modular Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Full Bucket MusicModularAirVST, AU
Native InstrumentsReaktor Player / Block BaseVST, AU, AAX
Soonth BlocksVST, AU
Cardinal (VCV Rack clone)DISTRHOCLAP, LV2, VST2 and VST3
Voltage Modular NucleusCherry AudioVST, VST3, AU, AAX

String Machine Synthesizers

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Full Bucket MusicThe Deputy Mark IISDVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicNablaSDVST, AU
2getheraudioCheeze Machine 2SDVST, AU, AAX
Full Bucket MusicPECSVST, VST3, AU, CLAP
Full Bucket MusicNy VST, VST3, AU, CLAP


Sound Effect Synths 

DeveloperPluginSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
Soca LabsSFX8VST, AU
NoisemakersSirenVST, AU, AAX
Synthiv IvysirenaAntifreeze 2.0VST3, AU


Ok ok, you don’t want to spend money on commercial plugins, all these synthesizers are enough for you. Well, if you buy your next hardware from Thomann, you can support the Synth Anatomy website also! Big thanks in advance

free plugins


U-he Triple Cheese

Experimental Synthesizers (West-Coast, Drone…) 

DeveloperPluginSynthesisSDPlugin Format (PC/Mac)
EventidePendulatewest-coastSDVST, VST3, AU, AAX
Mike Moreno DSPLira-8 Organismic SynthesizerLyra-8 emulationVST
U-heTriple Cheesecomb filterVST, AU, AAX
NusoftingSinnahcomplex waveshaperSDVST, AU
AudiospillageMiniSpillagedrum synthesisVST, AU
PlogueAlter/Egovocal synthesisVST, VST3, AU, AAX
NusoftingNoisestarnoise synthesisVST, AU
Madrona LabsAALTO Solowest-coastVST, AU
Soca LabsVocvocal synthesisVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicThe Scrooospectral formant synthesisVST, AU
Full Bucket MusicMPSmusical parameter synthesisSDVST, AU
WavosaurRaveGenerator 2sample-based synthesisVST, AU
VST (Linux)
SoundDemoteLittle Spiral Generatorfractal synthesisVST, AU
Native InstrumentsMikro Prismmodal synthesisVST, AU, AAX
UhhyouWaveCymbaldrum synthesisVST (macOS alpha version!)
UhhyouFDNCymbaldrum synthesisVST (macOS alpha version!)
UhhyouIterativeSinClusteradditive synthesisVST (macOS alpha version!)
UhhyouEnvelopedSineadditive synthesisVST (macOS alpha version!)
Noise Engineering Sinc Vereorshaping synthesis VST3, AU, AAX
Noise EngineeringVirt Vereorshaping synthesis VST3, AU, AAX
ChowDSP Chow Kickdrum synthesisVST, AU
FellusiveNettlescanned synthesisVST, AU
KrishnaSynth LegacyFKFXframe analysisVST3, AU
PhosphorAudio Damageadditive synthesisVST, AU (no Apple Silicon Support)
SymptohmOhmforcesyncgrain synthesisVST, AU and AAX (no Apple Silicon support)
EXC!TE CYMBALThe Center for Haptic Audio Interaction Researchphysical modeling drum synthesisVST3, AU
EXC!TE SNARE DRUMThe Center for Haptic Audio Interaction Researchphysical modeling drum synthesisVST3, AU
Synful SynfulReconstructive Phrase ModelingVST, VST3, AU, AAX



    • Hello Paul
      ArtPyrite is only a Windows Synth and doesn’t fit to this list. I consider for this only cross-platform freeware synths. There are hundreds of Windows Synths available but only few for PC & Mac. Beatzille is a unfortunately no longer available for free only via a physical magazine purchase (BEAT Magazine Workzone). Cheers Tom

  1. Good article and some excellent choices. Part of the challenge when starting out is limiting yourself to just a few tools so you don’t get paralyzed by the number of choices. I like that you stuck with synthesizers (not ‘players’ or samplers.)

    That said, Synth1 and OBXD would have made my list.

    Maybe do a similar article for major effects (best delay, best free reverb etc.) and limit it to two or three good choices….

  2. it would be great to have a update log at the beginning or end of the list to see which VSTs were added in the update.

  3. Why is “cross platform” relevant for a list like this ? I am on Mac and are not interested in PC plugins and probably this is vice versa for the PC owners.

    • because I took the decision for it. There many other synths out there for Windows, many are made in the Synth Edit or other platforms. They often sound the same and gives me nothing extra. Also often people complain why this plugin or this is not available for macOS or Windows. So I decide just to highlight the synths that are available for both platforms. Thus both user groups are happy.

  4. i would also add beatmachines as it is also samplers basically
    AKAI MPC, Sitala, RitMix maybe
    and for instr synths i would also add KeeBass and such samplers as SampleTank\Syntronik\Kontakt player, it has some good instruments for example melda also has released MonasteryGrand piano this year.

  5. in fact i would also add free DAWs, kinda as a basic multi instrument
    because they also had some synths sometimes and can be used as samplers and everything
    Cakewalk, Tracktion, LMMS, SoundBridge, Ardour, Studio One Prime, Pro Tools First
    while it’s better to have no limitations for DAW like qTracktor, but sometimes best means it has better features and stable working.

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