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The VST plug-in synth market is now incredibly varied and ridiculously large. You’ll find hundreds of instruments out there, each billed as more authentically analogue-sounding or more boundary-pushing than the last.
So how do you know which synths have got it where it counts? Which ones deliver the best user experience, have the best features and - most importantly of all - the finest quality sound?
What follows is our guide to the 39 best VST, AU and RTAS plug-in synths in the world today. Compiled over the course of several years, it’s been updated to reflect the market in 2013, and is bigger and better than ever.
The countdown is decided by MusicRadar users’ nominations and votes. We’ve also included our own star ratings and links to full reviews of the synths that have made it into our prestigious list.
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 the 27 best free VST plug-ins in the world today.
Got that? Let’s get started then.
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