6 of the most ridiculously large synth workstation plugins that can handle every part of a track: "This powerhouse of a synth has all of the sounds you need"

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Plugin
(Image credit: Spectrasonics)

Synth workstations like the classic Korg Triton offer a complete production suite in a single unit; synths, samples, effects, sequencing and arrangement capabilities all coming together to create a one-stop shop for track-building. 

These aren't only found in hardware form, though, and if you're looking to save on studio space, there are plenty of synth workstation plugins on the market that provide all the music-making power one could ask for in a single software package. 

Here, we round up six of our favourites from respected developers like Steinberg, Spectrasonics and UVI. 

1. UVI Falcon 3

UVI Falcon 3 Plugin

(Image credit: UVI)

Price: $349 | Buy

In many ways Falcon is the greatest software polysynth… and sampler… and effects box. All the power does cost, it’s not the prettiest, and you need a large monitor to get the best from it.

And yes, it does pretty much everything with a layer hierarchy that’s based on oscillators that cover just about all synth and sampling types. There are huge modulation options too and you can even construct your own scripts: sequencers, MIDI effects and so on.

2. Native Instruments Kontakt 7

Native Instruments Kontakt 7 Plugin

(Image credit: Native Instruments)

Price: £269 | Buy

With so many synth titles (many free or low cost) to load into this instrument ecosphere, and so many hands-on controls for sound design for many of them, we’d argue that Kontakt is challenging definitions of workstations, softsynths, ROMplers and more. It’s so complete that any such definitions are pretty worthless.

3. Roland Zenology Pro

Roland Zenology Pro Plugin

(Image credit: Roland)

Price: $2.99 to $19.99 per month | Buy

Zenology Pro basically allows you to enjoy the Roland multiple platform system in your DAW. You can load in thousands of Roland classics and new sounds into a ROMpler stacked with features, tweak away and then load them into compatible Roland hardware. If you are fan of classic (and new, to be fair) Roland sounds, this is it.

4. IK Multimedia SampleTank 4 MAX

IK Multimedia SampleTank 4 Max Plugin

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)

Price: €200 | Buy

Now at half its original price, SampleTank takes some beating as the most content-packed ROMpler. It’s over 260GB in size, with 120,000 samples, and over 8000 instruments. There are even 7500 loops, plus 4000-plus MIDI patterns to get you going if you’re not inspired enough.

5. Spectrasonics Omnisphere

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 Plugin

(Image credit: Spectrasonics)

Price: $499 | Buy

Omnisphere is widely regarded as a classic for good reason. This powerhouse of a synth has all of the sounds you need – some 14,000 plus 58 effects – and now even integrates with hardware synths so they can control it.

6. Steinberg HALion 7

Steinberg HALion 7 Plugin

(Image credit: Steinberg)

Price: £300 | Buy

With HALion 7, the latest version of one of the longest-standing software workstations, Steinberg has got rid of some of the dead wood and seem to have rejuvenated this giant of a plugin. Like others here, it still boasts massive specs though: 15 instruments, 70 effects and over 3700 presets should be enough to keep you occupied and creative. 

The modulation has been overhauled to make it that much simpler, more effective and a speedier workflow and its good-looking UI makes it look like one of the new kids on the workstation block, belying its age.

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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