With so many VST instruments available, it can be hard to know where to start!
If you're looking to make Makina or similar genres (Hardcore, Trance, Euro Dance etc), these are the VST's I personally use and would highly recommend! - Infinite
Since buying Xpand2 in 2020 it has quickly become one of my most used VSTs. I grabbed it from Plugin Boutique in their sale for around £10 but would have happily paid full price as I’m using it much more than most of the plugins that I’ve paid hundreds for. The huge variety of presets are ideal for quickly flicking through and finding some quality sounds to start building your track. There’s so much to choose from including Piano, Bass, Guitar (electric and acoustic), Strings/Pads, Synth, Brass, Choir, Arps and loads more, all sorted into categories so it’s really easy to find what you need. Whether you’re a confident sound designer or not, it’s really easy to tweak and layer the sounds to come up with something unique.
• 2500+ Total Presets and Parts
• ‘Smart Knobs’ to easily tweak the sounds
• Excellent built in Effects (50 effects to choose from including Reverb, Delay, Chorus etc)
• Layer up to 4 different sounds to create your own unique combinations
• Similar to ReFX Nexus but much more affordable
Spire is an absolute beast of a synth, capable of producing huge, fat sounds that will stand out in your tracks. The unison settings make it incredibly easy to make supersaw / trance leads and the 'wide' and 'x-comp' knobs instantly make everything sound fatter! The variety of oscillator options are excellent, including Classic, Noise, FM, AMSync, SawPWM, HardFM and Vowel. There's an impressive range of built-in effects and even the delay and reverb have 'Wide' knobs which make a huge difference!
Spire comes with over '900 factory presets including complex arpeggios and bass sequences, a versatile assortment of leads, exhilarating pads, plucks, drums and FXs'
Serum is a really well-known and highly respected synth, with loads of presets and tutorials available online to help you get the most out of it. The ability to import and create your own wavetables makes this a really versatile VST capable of making everything from soft and smooth to gritty and distorted sounds, with loads of possibilities to tweak, modulate, and get creative. The rent-to-own option on Splice makes it really affordable to buy Serum through low monthly payments, which is handy if you don’t fancy forking out a few hundred quid upfront like you have to for some of the other popular VSTs.
• Import / Create your own WaveTables
• Sampler, Sub Osc and 2 Wavetable Osc’s with up to 16 voices each
• Drag ‘n’ Drop modulation connections
• Huge choice of Filter types
• Lots of built in Effects
• Very versatile synth with endless possibilities
Roland Cloud is an absolute dream for producers of any genre. Dive into a huge collection of VST remakes of classic hardware synths and other more modern instruments which provide you with pretty much any sound you could need. Some of my favourites from the Roland collection are the JV1080, SRX Orchestra, and the TB303! Roland Cloud is only available through subscription which means ongoing monthly payments but you do apparently get to choose 2 VSTs a year to own for life, although this is not documented very well on their site for some reason. I have claimed 2 VSTs so far (JV1080 and SRX Orchestra!)
• Amazing VST remakes of legendary synthesizers
• Incredible sound quality
• Unbelievable amount of sounds at your fingertips
• New instruments and expansions added regularly
• Really easy to use whether you are a sound designer or preset browser
• Affordable subscription service
Korg M1 is a remake of the classic M1 synth that was very popular in 80s and 90s dance music. There's an unbelievable amount of sounds and presets packed into this instrument, making it really easy to flick through and find something that fits nicely into your track. Before I got Roland Cloud this was my go-to VST for orchestral and realistic sounds like Piano, Strings, Flute, Bells, Choirs etc for many years. For less than 100 dollars this is an absolute steal!
• 33,000 preset sounds!
• Classic sounds that defined the 80s/90s including the famous M1 Piano, Organ bass and Choir used in countless Dance Anthems
• Incredible layering possibilities (up to 18 sounds at once!)
• Ability to set different areas of the keyboard or different MIDI channels to play different sounds (ideal for playing one instrument with the left hand and another with the right, or having one MIDI file that plays a variety of instruments)
Sylenth is incredibly popular and one of the main go-to synths for a lot of producers. There’s loads of built in presets and an abundance of free soundbanks and tutorials online for a wide range of genres.
We also offer a lot of Makina and Hardcore presets for Sylenth in our store!
Sylenth is a good VST to start learning sound design with as its not overly complicated and the layout is pretty user-friendly.
The monthly payment option is great and once it’s paid off, it’s yours for life!