Dubspot Top Picks: 10 Choice Synthesizer Plugins

In this Dubspot Top Picks guide, we look at a selection of our favorite synthesizer plugins that offer incredible sound, impressive features, and unique interfaces.

Synthesizer Plugins


u-he Diva | Analogue Synthesizer

u-he Diva

Diva captures the spirit of various analogue synthesizers by letting the user select from a variety of alternative modules. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. The oscillators, filters, and envelopes closely model components found in some of the greatest monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers. What sets DIVA apart from other emulations is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of the zero-delay-feedback filters, when pushed to the limit, clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach. Read more at u-he


Output SIGNAL | Expressive Pulse Engine

SIGNAL is a cutting-edge combination of rich analog synths and beautifully recorded live instruments, all controlled by a fun and intuitive interface. Output describes SIGNAL as “The World’s most powerful pulse engine.” This uniquely expressive virtual instrument harnesses a massive 40GB library that combines the warmth of analog and beautiful sounding digital synths with a diverse collection of sampled organic instruments. After an extensive run with this innovative music maker, there’s no denying that SIGNAL is truly capable of creating infinitely unique pulses for an entirely new type of sound. Read more at Output


Future Audio Workshop Circle² | Semi-Modular Synthesizer


Circle² is an innovative software synth that combines powerful digital oscillators and wavetables with an analogue-style semi-modular architecture. The esteemed user-centred design approach is forward-thinking and highly intuitive providing an improved workflow and user experience for both novice and experienced users. The unique interface reveals every parameter in a single window that is very accessible and easy to operate without having to click around to find hidden controls and submenus. The complex sounds crafted from the simplistic operations of this modern looking synth allows the user to focus on creativity rather than technicalities, which makes it a must have tool for your arsenal. Read more at Future Audio Workshop


Xfer Serum | Advanced Wavetable Synthesizer

Xfer Serum

Serum is an impressive wavetable synthesizer that allows you to create, import, edit, and morph wavetables in real-time. Serum’s powerful sound engine and a variety of sound shaping features make this synth a must have. The built-in Wavetable Editor allows you to import your own audio and create custom wavetables that can be manipulated in various ways with ease. The modulation system allows for drag and drop connections between mod sources and destinations. An array of unique filter types presents endless creative ideas. A suite of 10 effects modules can be re-ordered and modulated to get your sound all the way to the finish line. Read more at Xfer Records


Arturia Jupiter-8V | Recreation of the Roland Jupiter-8

Arturia Jupiter-8V

Roland’s famous Jupiter-8 was known for its lush pads and haunting leads, its ability to split and layer sounds and its flexible arpeggiator. Jupiter-8V not only provides the original features, but it also provides the original sound.
 Jupiter-8V offers a host of modern features including an advanced step sequencer, an array of analog effects, and a Galaxy module for advanced LFO modulation capabilities. All in all the Jupiter-8V is a perfect blend of the classic and modern approaches. Read more at Arturia


KORG M1 | Legacy Collection


The M1 software synthesizer reconstructs KORG’s legendary M1 workstation synthesizer. The M1 software synthesizer provides numerous new functions that were often requested for the original M1 such as filter resonance, VDA modulation and compressor effects, and more. While the original M1 had two effect processors, this new software incarnation boasts two insert effects for each of the eight multi-timbral parts, as well as two master effects, for even greater sound processing capabilities. In addition, the M1 software synthesizer provides all of the PCM, Program, and Combination data found in the original M1 and the M1EX internal PCM expansion, plus the PCM data and Program/Combination data from all nineteen optional ROM cards. With a total of more than 2,700 preset sounds, this is truly the ultimate M1. Read more at KORG


FabFilter Twin 2 | Modulation Synthesizer

FabFilter’s Twin 2 synthesizer is designed with an innovative user interface that focuses on three areas: uncompromised sound quality, creative and virtually unlimited modulation, and an adaptive, easy-to-use interface. The oscillators and filters, the most important building blocks of every subtractive synthesizer, are rock-solid, smooth and powerful and give Twin 2 its distinctive analog character. Complementing this is a comprehensive modulation system that lets you easily modulate almost any setting by a practically unlimited number of modulation sources, from XY controllers and programmable step sequencers to any type of MIDI data. Simply use drag-and-drop to create modulation connections, which are conveniently grouped with the modulation source. The interface always shows which parameters are modulated, and you can instantly view all related modulation sources and slots. Read more at FabFilter


Rob Papen SubBoomBass | Bass Synthesizer

Rob Papen SubBoomBass

SubBoomBass is filled with excessive amounts of low-end ammunition to detonate your tracks! With presets designed by the legendary Rob Papen and other guest artists, this dedicated bass synth will supply you with huge cone-rattling sounds that will body any music track. SubBoomBass has been carefully crafted to provide you with the tools to create fresh new bass lines and drum sounds. In addition to creating powerful bass sounds, SubBoomBass also includes unique tuned drum percussion samples. Other features included are two effects slots which can be modulated using midi from any of the synthesizer parts, an innovative ‘Wave-sequence’ feature, an ‘Easy Edit’ page, and a unique ‘Quick Browser’ system that will allow you to find the sounds you need quickly and easily. Read more at Rob Papen


FXpansion Strobe2 | Circuit-Modelled Analog Synthesizer

Strobe2 is a software polysynth that retains the cult-classic original’s signature character – a ‘super-oscillator’ with stacking, detuning and sync, a warm saturating VCA, the acclaimed TransMod modulation system, and a powerful multimode filter with 22 responses for massive tonal variety. It builds on the original’s realistic analog modeling and deep but intuitive synthesis with a slew of enhancements and requested features. Highlights include a stunning effects section, revamped arpeggiator, deeper modulation processing, preset-morphing, randomizing, and a scalable vector interface for retina and 4K displays. Read more FXpansion


Sugar Bytes Egoist | Groove Instrument

Sugar Bytes Egoist

Egoist is a groove instrument and effects plugin that allows you to load any audio file and easily create complex sequences using the onboard bass, beat, and effects units. The Slicer arranges up to 16 slices of the loaded sample. You can apply different parameters like Reverse, Attack, Decay, Level, and Pitch with the sequencer. Egoist includes a great sounding bassline synthesizer/sequencer with different lowpass filter flavors and overdrive. The internal beat box offers kick, snare, and hi-hat samples, along with a simple sequencer. The Effect unit brings an array of manipulation possibilities with effects such as tapestop, looper, reverb, and filter. The Slice Keys feature turns Egoist into a slice keyboard! Play the sequencer steps on the keyboard, with all their settings and effects, you will not believe how cool that is! Read more at Sugar Bytes

“I can’t think of another software instrument that allows you to freely manipulate a sample in this manner. The GUI (Graphic User Interface) just stimulates creativity. You gotta give it up to the guys designed this instrument. Especially in the effects section. A long day with this can equip the user with unlimited amounts of creativity. As I’ve said before, you may think you have another software instrument that does something like this, but in fact, you don’t!” ~ Mike Huckaby


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

What’s Included:
Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

Click here for detailed information on this program, including start dates and payment plans.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.