Finding the best retro synth VST can be painstaking. There are tons of them scattered about on the internet and each claims to be a realistic emulation of those coveted 80’s retro synth sounds.
Fret not, we have done the graft and collated a list of the best retro synth VST plugins that combine the sonic firepower of an analogue synth with polyphony, patch memory and dependable tuning of software synthesizers.
These plugins are reliable and offer a ton of options such as velocity layers, recall and more polyphony. To top it all, these plugins are still far more affordable than what it costs to have the keys on a Minimoog rebushed. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
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5+ Best Retro Synth VST 2023
A multitimbral analogue-modeling synth, Lush 2 was formerly called Lush 101.
Lush 2 comprises 8 101 units, a mixer and a modulation matrix. You can craft some mighty fine analog bass tones with the Lush 2 VST which is popular for its deep low end and clean sounds.
Not to mention, a preset browser housing tons of polysynths, sublime leads, pad and FX, brass, string section and more.
All in all, the Lush 2 is suitable for composing dance music whether it be EDM, disco or new-wave.
Modelled close on the heels of a 1970s synth, Repro offers a bright and punchy synth tone. Particularly, its brass and keys sound smooth and lush. Repro comprises a monosynth called Repro-1 and a newly added polysynth called Repro-5.
Repro-1 is a raw sounding monosynth with classic design ethos and intuitive graphical user interface built with simplicity in mind. However, the soundscaping potential is limited.
Repro-5, on the other hand, is a new polyphonic synth that sports similar design and somewhat same sonic DNA but offers new sounds.
Repro-5 especially comes in handy for playing thick unison leads and warm chords while keeping the realistic analogue sound intact. All together, Repro is one of the best retro synth VST plugins on the market.
A digital recreation of the legendary Synthi AKS, Arturia’s Synthi V is a modular synth that opens up a sonic gateway to creating experimental retro music.
Just like the Synthi AKS which was used by veritable bands such as Pink Floyd on their 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Synthi V also offers a staggering array of sounds such as wild noises, ambient chimes, and exotic soundscapes.
For starters, it features a trapezoid, pin matrix and on/off knobs in its envelope that can dial-in mainstream synth sounds such as keys, pads, brass and more.
PolyKB III by XILS Lab is a marvelous French polysynth that is a programmed soft synth emulation of the RSF PolyKobol 2 synth of the 1980s.
Interestingly, unlike the original, Polykb III features 3 morphing oscillators (instead of 2) which allow it to achieve triple-oscillator Minimoog-esque harmonic results.
You can sweep and modulate between waveform shapes thanks to PolyKB III’s brilliant oscillators with morphable waveforms. PolyKYB III comes with a polysequencer, 2 LFOs, 3 Envelopes, retro effects and a nifty arpeggiator.
5) Diva by U-he
Rounding off our list of the best retro synth VST is Diva by u-He.
A popular analogue-sounding soft synth with an impressive lineup of pads and strings, Diva is a dream machine synthesizer that comprises envelopes, oscillators, and filter sections emulating some of the best synths of the 1970s and ‘80s such as the Korg MS-20 and Moog Minimoog.
What’s more, you can detune voices individually and dial-in some beautiful analogue sounds by setting the overall oscillator drift. In a nutshell, Diva offers the sound of over 7 vintage synths in one compact plugin at a mere fraction of a cost.