Plugin Boutique is back with another Top 5 Friday, this time taking a look at budget synthesizer plugins.
Here’s Tim’s thoughts on his top 5 picks:
5. TAL-U-NO-LX by TAL Software
If like me you love a bit of Roland you’re in for a treat – TAL-u-no-LX is the first of two Roland emulation in this roundup, recreating as it does the classic sounds of the Juno-60 This is one for the analogue purists, emulating the original synth as closely as possible, and only adding a couple of enticing extras, such as filter self-oscillation, LFO sync, and an extra six voices, making for 12 in total.
4. ACE by u-he
ACE stands for Any Cable Everywhere, and that means this patchable semimodular synth is a playground of sonic possibilities. ACE offers two oscillators, two filters, two envelopes two LFOs and two ramp generators. Because of the way ACE is set up with its virtual patch cables, you can connect anything to anything, and use oscillators as LFOs and vice versa. Also onboard are a suite of effects and an oscilloscope. In many ways, this is a full-on modular patching experience, but you don’t need to do any patching whatsoever to get a decent sound, and there are plenty of presets onboard if you’re not a huge synth boffin.
3. LuSH-101 by D16 Group
Lush-101 is a recreation of the famous SH-101 synthesizer, that pushes the concept way beyond its original design. LuSH-101 is multitimbral, meaning that it can play up to eight different layers – effectively eight whole synth setups – which can be layered, or split between MIDI channels or keys. Also unlike the original 101, Lush-101 is polyphonic, with a SuperSaw mode for the saw wave and a Pulse Width control for the square wave. D16’s 101 also soups up the arpeggiator, and it adds a choice of eight effects – one for each synthesis layer you’ve set up. Although, if you do want to get the sound of the original Roland SH-101, it’s very capable of that particular sonic throwback.
2. SubBoomBass 2 by Rob Papen
The original version of SubBoomBass is highly respected, and it’s worried more woofers than a loose rhino in a dog shelter. Version two is deeper, darker, and even bassier than the original. This synth gives you two oscillators, each with a sub oscillator slaved alongside it. The oscillator waveforms themselves give you a choice of classic analogue, sampled complex waveforms, and the new-for-version-2 Spectral waves and string modelling oscillators. SubBoomBass 2 also offers two filters with 22 types and plenty of saturation and distortion options to get that bass sound. And, if you don’t want to use every single parameter in SubBoomBass, there’s an Easy Mode view, where you can strip the interface back to the bare necessities.
1. SynthMaster One by KV331 Audio
KV331’s original SynthMaster synth is a feature-laden monster, and we included it in our video for the top five synths. In our budget synth round-up, it’s got to be SynthMaster One. This isn’t anything like a cut-down version of the original SynthMaster – this is a ground-up build of a new synth, inspired by the things that made the more complicated one so great, but in a simpler setting. Now, for a budget synth, this is still a huge piece of work! SynthMaster One includes 150 wavetables sampled from classic synths, and also lets you import your own. Next, you choose a waveshaping type and mess with the waveform’s Tone and Shape. Naturally, SynthMaster One is chok-a-blok with synthesizer staples: two filters with 13 types, two LFOs, four envelopes, modulation routing, 11 tweakable effects… the list goes on!
Check out these and many more synth plugins at Plugin Boutique.