When Steinberg gave us Neon, the very first VST instrument, as part of the Cubase 3.7 update back in 1999, little did we know quite how transformative the arrival of the plugin synth would be.
Sure, we thought the idea had legs, but we couldn't have predicted how quickly and totally the concept of DAW-friendly software sound makers would come to dominate the music production landscape.
In the intervening 16 years we've seen numerous recreations of classic synths, new instrument designs that tip their hats to the past but take advantage of the additional benefits that software has to offer, and radical, forward-thinking plugins that break new sonic ground. What's more, some of these releases have become classics in their own right.
You'll find all of these virtual instrument flavours in our 2015 round-up of the best VST/AU plugin synths in the world today. The running order was decided by your votes (of which there were thousands - thanks for that), and long-time followers of our annual poll will be intrigued to learn that we have a new number 1.
We’ve included our own star ratings and links to the full reviews of the synths that have made it into our prestigious list, too.
A couple of things to bear in mind before we dive in: we're dealing with synths only here (so you won't find any drum machines or samplers) and only paid-for instruments are included. If you're looking for freebies, check out our guide to 12 of the best free VST/AU plugin synths.
With that, let the countdown begin...