Over the past decade or so, there’s been something of an arms race in the realm of plugin synths. Since the likes of NI’s original Massive and, a little later, Xfer Serum kicked off the boom in ‘power synth’ plugins, developers have been throwing more and more features at each new instrument released.
This isn’t something we should complain about though; the result is an abundance of choice in eye-wateringly powerful plugins that offer tons of flexibilty at a far more affordable price than their hardware counterparts. For less than £200, you can pick up an instrument stuffed with every oscillator type you care to think of, a host of filters, and an abundance of effects and modulation tools.
This issue, we’re celebrating the best of those power synths. We’re counting down our 10 favourite plugin synths and taking a deep dive into what makes each tick. We hope you enjoy the issue.
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Olafur Arnalds – The Icelandic producer, composer and innovator on his latest LP and cutting-edge new software tools
Kingdom – Talking R&B production and dark electronics with the Fade To Mind boss
Shlohmo – The LA-based WEDIDIT founder on his artistic inspirations
The Track: Maxim Lany – The Belgian producer builds a groove from scratch on video
Classic Album – Drum & bass legend Dynamite MC talks us through World Of Dynamite
The 10 Best Software Synths – The ‘power synth’ arms race has gifted us a generation of jaw-dropping plugins. We round up the best and show you how to get the most from each
Producer’s Guide – Get under the hood of the epic Moog One
Native Instruments Maschine+
Roland Zenology Pro
Roundup: Kontakt Vocal Instruments
iZotope RX8 Advanced
Akai MPK mini Mk3
Mammoth Chords – Fill the full frequency spectrum with this pack of thick, stacked synth chords, served as one-shot stabs and melodic loops
Tape World – Get warm and ambient with this bundle of fuzzy, atmospheric and evocative tapes loops – perfect for adding a little texture to your tracks
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs, newly updated and expanded for 2020 with over 18GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!