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8 of the Best Modular Synth VST Plugins for Music Producers

Introduction to Modular Synthesis

Modular synthesis has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its innate ability to create complex and compelling analog sounds. These sounds are the direct result of using a combination of tweakable parameters and complex wiring schemes.

Moreover, the fact that modular synthesis can now be used in digital recording has further increased its appeal. In this article, we will explore the rise of modular synthesis and take a look at some of the best VST plugins available.

Rise in Popularity of Modular Synthesis

The rise in popularity of modular synthesis can be directly attributed to its ability to produce analog musical sounds. Analog sounds are warm, dynamic, and highly sought after in the music industry.

However, it was only possible to achieve this sound through the use of hardware in the past. This focus on hardware came with significant drawbacks, such as lack of portability and steep costs.

With the advent of digital modular synthesis, these issues have been largely resolved.

Furthermore, the complexity of modular synthesis has always been a significant barrier to entry.

But, with digital emulations of classic analog modules and the advent of software synthesisers, modular synthesis has become more accessible and easy to use.to Digital Modular Synthesis

The transition from hardware to digital has been relatively smooth, and analog translates well to digital. Several digital emulations of classic analog modules sound as good as the hardware counterparts, if not better, for instance, Softube Modular, Zebra2 by u-he, and PS-20 by Cherry Audio.

Softube Modular Best Overall

Softube Modular is an excellent VST plugin that emulates a Eurorack system with a good selection of Doepfer modules. This plugin offers dynamic circuit emulation, utility modules, Softube Heartbeat drum channels, and a sample rate up to 96 kHz. Its intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality make creating music an enjoyable process.

Zebra2 by u-he Best Premium Option

One of the most powerful and feature-rich wireless modular synths on the market is Zebra2 by u-he. It is an excellent option for sound design and is easy to navigate for both beginners and experts.

It features wavetable oscillators, FM oscillators, mod-matrix, morph fader, and macro parameters. The sound quality is fantastic, and it offers a wide range of preset options to help users get started quickly.

PS-20 by Cherry Audio Best Budget Option

PS-20 by Cherry Audio is a perfect option for those on a budget, as it offers a lot of unique features that aren’t present in other VST plugins in its price range. One of the stand-out features of the PS-20 is its patch panel, which mimics the Korg MS-20’s layout.

It is also polyphonic and comes with a sequencer, distortion, modulation echo, reverb, and a chord memory mode.

Modular V by Arturia

Modular V by Arturia is an emulation of Moog synths, including some of the best Moog modules. This VST plugin creates a true analog emulation with a high internal sample rate.

It features a 24-step sequencer and TAE engine, providing a wide range of options for sound shaping.

Factory by Sugar Bytes

Sugar Bytes’s Factory offers complex organic sounds, microtuning, looping envelopes, multi-stage envelope generators, and Arpiculation arpeggiator. This VST plugin stands out for its creative and fun approach to sound design.

Multiphonics CV-1 Modular Synthesizer by Applied Acoustics Systems

Multiphonics CV-1 Modular Synthesizer is a great option for those looking to learn the art of modular synthesis. The patch creation system is intuitive, and the tutorial series by Clifton Develle provides an easy-to-understand and comprehensive overview of the VST plugin’s abilities.

It features a mod-matrix, 16-note polyphony, and customizability, making it a great learning tool for anyone interested in this type of synthesis.

SynthMaster 2 by KV331 Audio

SynthMaster 2 is a semi-modular VST plugin that uses additive synthesis, SFZ Sample Playback synthesis, polyphonic wavetable, pulse width modulation, and microtuning. This VST plugin is perfect for sound designers looking for a high degree of control over their sounds.

ACE by u-he

ACE (Any Cable Everywhere) is a modular synthesiser that emulates ARP 2600 routing and includes LFOs, Unison, FM, and microtuning. With its simple but powerful interface, users can easily create complex and rich sounds.

Voltage Modular Ignite by Cherry Audio

Voltage Modular Ignite is ideal for those who want to explore the world of modular synthesis. The VST plugin comes with 45 modules and 296 presets, making it a great starter kit for anyone looking to experiment with modular synthesis.

It features a vintage sound and is powerful, customizable, and easy-to-use.

Conclusion

In conclusion, modular synthesis continues to grow in popularity as an essential tool in modern music production. With digital emulations of classic analog modules and software synthesizers, modular synthesis is more accessible than ever before.

We’ve reviewed some of the top modular synth VST plugins on the market, and each has its unique features and capabilities. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting, there is undoubtedly a modular synth VST plugin on this list that can help you create the perfect sound.

Modular synthesis is an exciting genre of music production that continues to grow in popularity amongst musicians and producers alike. Its ability to produce complex and compelling analog sounds has made it an essential tool in modern music production.

And, as we mentioned earlier, the transition from hardware to digital has been relatively smooth, and the use of software synthesisers have made modular synthesis more accessible and easy to use. In this article, well take a closer look at some of the top modular synth VST plugins available, and discuss their features and capabilities in greater detail, starting with Softube Modular.

Softube Modular is an excellent VST plugin that emulates a Eurorack system with a good selection of Doepfer modules. In-keeping with analog-style synthesis, Softube Modular offers various dynamic circuit emulations and utility modules.

Furthermore, it features Softube Heartbeat drum channels that make it incredibly intuitive to create the perfect beat.

Additionally, Softube Modular supports various sample rates, going as high as 96 kHz, making it possible to produce punchy and crisp sounds.

Another great feature of Softube Modular is the drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to create music by simply dragging and dropping modules onto the interface. This VST plugin is excellent for beginners and experts alike as it provides concise guidance while offering customization and flexibility.

Zebra2 by u-he is another fantastic VST plugin that is primarily designed for sound design. This VST plugin is incredibly feature-rich and powerful, and it is easy to navigate, even for beginners.

Some notable features of Zebra2 by u-he include wavetable oscillators, FM oscillators, mod-matrix, morph fader, and macro parameters. With its gorgeous looking interface and ability to create complex, evolving sounds, Zebra2 by u-he is a popular choice among professional producers.

For those looking for a more vintage feel, a modular synthesizer that provides unique FM synthesis, this VST plugin is a one-stop-shop. PS-20 by Cherry Audio is a great budget option for those looking to add a modular synth to their setup without breaking the bank.

The PS-20 comes with a patch panel that mirrors the layout of the Korg MS-20 synthesizer, making it easy to use and navigate. Additionally, the PS-20 is polyphonic and comes equipped with a sequencer, distortion, modulation echo, reverb, and chord memory mode, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a complete synthesizer solution.

With a range of great-sounding presets and a straightforward interface, the PS-20 is a great VST plugin for beginners or those looking to experiment with modular synthesis at a lower price point.

Modular V by Arturia is an emulation of Moog synths and features some of the best Moog modules. The reproduction of true analog synthesis in a digital environment is exceptional, with a high internal sample rate offering excellent sonic quality.

With its user-friendly interface and intuitive 24-step sequencer, Modular V is perfect for those who are just starting with modular synthesis. However, the power of this VST plugin goes beyond just the basics.

Experienced analog synth connoisseurs can also benefit from its advanced features, making it a versatile choice for producers of any level. Sugar Bytes’s Factory is an exciting VST plugin that offers complex organic sounds and fun arpeggiator options.

Combining old-school and modern sounds, Factory has a unique approach to sound design. The VST plugin offers a range of looping envelopes, multi-stage envelope generators, and microtuning options to create music filled with rich harmonics and compelling textures.

The Arpiculation arpeggiator takes things further by giving users a wide range of customization options, making Factory a formidable choice for those looking to create complex and diverse sounds.

Multiphonics CV-1 Modular Synthesizer by Applied Acoustics Systems offers an intuitive tutorial series for those looking to learn about the world of modular synthesis. With its mod-matrix, 16-note polyphony, and customizability, the CV-1 Modular Synthesizer is an excellent place to start.

Clifton Develle’s tutorial series is a reliable guide that covers all the basics of modular synthesis, from making connections to the signal flow. The intuitive patch creation system makes it easy to experiment with different sounds, making the learning process a fun and enjoyable experience.

SynthMaster 2 by KV331 Audio is a versatile and powerful semi-modular VST plugin that goes beyond the basics of analog-style synthesis. With complex additive synthesis and SFZ sample playback synthesis, as well as a polyphonic wavetable and pulse width modulation, SynthMaster 2 offers enormous flexibility and creative possibilities.

Moreover, it allows microtuning, giving users access to the music of other cultures. With an intuitive interface and easy-to-use wavetable editor, this VST plugin is an excellent choice for producers looking for complete control over their sound.

ACE (Any Cable Everywhere) by u-he is a modular synthesizer offering a comprehensive range of options for sound creation. Emulating ARP 2600 routing, ACE is incredibly versatile.

It features LFOs, Unison, FM, and microtuning. ACE’s simple and intuitive interface makes it easy to experiment with sound and music producers can create and manipulate sounds in extraordinary ways.

Voltage Modular Ignite by Cherry Audio is an excellent entry-level modular synthesizer that comes with 45 modules and 296 presets. This VST plugin offers a vintage sound with a mix of traditional and modern modules.

Designed to be an easy-to-use and customizable synthesizer, Voltage Modular Ignite has a power-optimised framework that fits perfectly for music production on any modern computer.

Conclusion

Modular synthesis offers an excellent opportunity for music producers to create diverse and unique sounds. This article has outlined some of the most innovative VST plugins for modular synthesis currently available, such as Softube Modular, Zebra2 by u-he, and PS-20 by Cherry Audio.

Each of the VST plugins covered has its own unique features and capabilities, making them suitable for both novices and experienced producers alike. Modular synthesis is an essential tool in modern music production, thanks to its ability to create complex and compelling analog sounds.

The transition from hardware to digital has been smooth, with the use of software synthesisers making modular synthesis more accessible and easier to use. This article has discussed some of the top modular synth VST plugins available on the market, such as Softube Modular, Zebra2 by u-he, and PS-20 by Cherry Audio.

Each VST plugin is unique in its own right, making them suitable for novice and experienced producers alike. The use of a synthesizer provides enormous flexibility and creative possibilities for music producers, helping to push the boundaries of music creation and sound design.

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