Updated: Nov 30, 2018
The best free synth VST & AU plugins. A new synth can really spark some creativity in your work. Not only with the sound it produces, but also with workflow and capability.
There's a ton of free plugins out there, some with a price, and some are free. You'd be surprised, some of the free synths actually outperform their paid counterparts.
Dexed is a pretty advanced synth for being free. It has an enormous soundbank, so if you're not into sound design, this plugin will keep you busy for a quite a while.
Get it here: Dexed VST/AU/LV2 synth (free download)
Helm is another robust plugin, enabling performance in many genres. With its modern design and it being so user-friendly, it shows how the visuals of a plugin can really affect workflow as well as inspiration.
Get it here: Helm VST/AU/LV2 synth (free download)
This is a plugin you'll probably want to use for making music for video games, but Podolski is great for other genres of music, as well as making your own sound effects.
Not only is it a good synth, but it also comes with a pretty sophisticated arpeggiator, yet its simple enough to actually wrap your head around how it works.
Get it here: Podolski VST/AU/AAX synth (free download)
Now it looks a bit confusing at first, but this synth dishes out some pretty unique sounds. Scorpius comes with some great presets to get you going until you figure out the controls to start designing some sounds of your own.
A lot of the sounds have a retro feeling to them that can inspire your next soundtrack or song.
Get it here: Scorpius VST synth (free download)
Its looks aren't the prettiest, but don't let that fool you. Synth1 is a pretty strong tool for sound design. There are also plenty of preset banks you can find online.
Get it here: Synth1 VST/AU synth (free download)
The NoiseMaker's name speaks for itself, when it comes to making some noise, there's a lot this can do.
Packed with some incredible presets, this plugin is capable of producing diverse and unique sounds such as drums, chiptune effects, and much more.
Get it here: TAL-NoiseMaker VST/AU/AAX synth (free download)
Although this plugin doesn't come with the biggest preset library, it sure comes with the capability of making your own.
A built-in side-chain, trance gate, various filters, and 3 oscillators will let you produce many different sounds without relying on external effects.
Get it here: T-Force Alpha Plus VST synth (free download)
The sound made from this synth holds its own unique characteristics. From the way a sound is created to the way the effects are programmed, making something stand out from other synths won't be hard.
Get it here: Tunefish VST/AU synth (free download)
A masterpiece for that Indie game vibe. The overall sound and feel of this synth really resonates with game music as a whole.
The quality of presets goes without saying. It is, after all, made by U-He.
Get it here: TyrellN6 VST/AU/AAX synth (free download)
The team at u-he really does an amazing job with sound design, and this plugin lets you have a taste what their capabilities are.
You'll get some sounds out of this synth that you probably wouldn't expect to find.
Get it here: Zebralette VST/AU/AAX synth (free download)
So there you have it. Those are the ten synths that you really should get if you're interested in sound design, video game music, or even electronic music.
Of course, you can apply it to different genres, but these really suit those styles well. And even if you have paid synths that get the job done, it's definitely worth picking up at least a few of these free ones to experiment with.
I hope you enjoyed the list and if you think we missed a really good one, please, let us know in the comments! And as always, thanks for watching