Which VST Has the Best Sounds? [2024]

Video: The MUST HAVE Vsts for 2023 | The Best Vsts of 2023.







Have you ever wondered which VST (Virtual Studio Technology) has the best sounds? As musicians, audio engineers, and sound designers at Uniphonic™, we understand the importance of finding the perfect VST to enhance your music production. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of VST plugins and explore the top contenders for the title of the best sounding VST. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Quick Answer

When it comes to the best sounding VST, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each VST has its own unique characteristics and sound quality, catering to different musical genres and personal preferences. However, after extensive research and testing, we have compiled a list of the top 10 VST plugins that consistently deliver exceptional sound quality and versatility. So, without further ado, let’s explore these plugins in detail.

Quick Tips and Facts:

  • VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology and refers to software plugins that emulate hardware synthesizers, effects, and instruments.
  • VST plugins are widely used in music production to enhance and shape sounds.
  • The quality of a VST plugin’s sound depends on factors such as the developer’s expertise, the algorithms used, and the quality of the samples or synthesis methods employed.

Background: The Evolution of VST Plugins

purple and blue light illustration

Before we dive into the top VST plugins, let’s take a moment to appreciate the evolution of VST technology. Over the years, VST plugins have become an integral part of music production, revolutionizing the way we create and manipulate sounds. From the early days of basic synthesizers to the complex and realistic emulations we have today, VST plugins have come a long way.

1. Serum by Xfer Records

Video: Serum Best factory presets, sounds (no talking).







Serum by Xfer Records is a powerhouse synthesizer that has taken the music production world by storm. With its intuitive interface and cutting-edge wavetable synthesis, Serum offers unparalleled sound design capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.5
User Interface 9.0
Versatility 9.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality with a wide range of presets and wavetables.
  • Intuitive user interface that allows for easy sound manipulation.
  • Versatile modulation system for complex sound design.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

Serum is a go-to choice for many producers across various genres, from EDM to hip-hop. Its powerful sound engine and extensive modulation options make it a must-have in any music producer’s arsenal.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | Xfer Records Official Website

2. RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio

Video: FROM A DIFFERENT UNIVERSE?? || RC-20 Retro Color.







If you’re looking to add vintage warmth and character to your tracks, RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio is the perfect choice. This plugin emulates the imperfections of vintage gear, allowing you to recreate the nostalgic sound of old recordings. Let’s explore its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.5
Versatility 8.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.0

Pros:

  • Authentic vintage sound with a wide range of effects.
  • Intuitive user interface with easy-to-use controls.
  • Versatile options for adding character and warmth to your tracks.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Limited to vintage-style effects, may not suit all genres.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

RC-20 Retro Color is a favorite among producers who want to add a touch of nostalgia to their music. Whether you’re working on lo-fi hip-hop or retro-inspired pop, this plugin will transport your tracks back in time.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | XLN Audio Official Website

3. V Collection X or Analog Lab V by Arturia

Video: The New Arturia V Collection X Sounds Amazing!







Arturia’s V Collection X (or Analog Lab V) is a comprehensive collection of vintage synthesizer emulations. With over 28 legendary instruments recreated in stunning detail, this plugin offers endless possibilities for sound exploration. Let’s take a closer look at its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.5
User Interface 9.0
Versatility 9.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.4

Pros:

  • Authentic sound and feel of vintage synthesizers.
  • Intuitive user interface with easy navigation and preset browsing.
  • Extensive collection of instruments for versatile sound creation.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Large library of instruments may be overwhelming for some users.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

Whether you’re a fan of classic analog synths or looking to explore new sonic territories, Arturia’s V Collection X (or Analog Lab V) is a treasure trove of vintage sounds that will inspire your music production.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | Arturia Official Website

4. Ozone 10 Advanced + Neutron 4 by iZotope

Video: Everyone can mix now! || iZotope Neutron 4.







iZotope’s Ozone 10 Advanced and Neutron 4 are a powerful combination of mastering and mixing tools. These plugins offer professional-grade processing and analysis capabilities, allowing you to achieve polished and balanced mixes. Let’s explore their features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.5
User Interface 9.0
Versatility 9.0
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • High-quality mastering and mixing tools for professional results.
  • Intuitive user interface with powerful analysis and visualization features.
  • Versatile processing options for precise control over your mix.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

If you’re serious about achieving professional-sounding mixes and masters, iZotope’s Ozone 10 Advanced and Neutron 4 are essential tools that will take your music production to the next level.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | iZotope Official Website

5. PORTAL by Output

Video: 5 Best Ways to Use Output Portal | Granular FX Plugin.







If you’re looking to push the boundaries of sound design, PORTAL by Output is the plugin for you. This granular synthesis effect takes your audio and transforms it into something otherworldly. Let’s explore its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.5
Versatility 9.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • Unique and innovative granular synthesis engine.
  • Intuitive user interface with creative modulation options.
  • Versatile effects for transforming audio into otherworldly textures.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • May not suit all musical genres or production styles.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

PORTAL by Output is a playground for sound designers and experimental musicians. If you’re looking to add a touch of the extraordinary to your music, this plugin will open up a world of sonic possibilities.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | Output Official Website

6. Pigments 4 by Arturia

Video: Why Arturia Pigments is Perfect for Generative Music and Sequences.







Arturia’s Pigments 4 is a powerful hybrid synthesizer that combines the best of analog and digital synthesis. With its extensive modulation capabilities and unique sound engine, Pigments 4 offers a wide range of sonic possibilities. Let’s take a closer look at its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.5
User Interface 9.0
Versatility 9.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.4

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality with a wide range of presets and synthesis options.
  • Intuitive user interface with easy-to-use modulation and sequencing features.
  • Versatile synthesis engine for creating unique and evolving sounds.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

Pigments 4 is a favorite among producers and sound designers who crave sonic exploration. Whether you’re looking for classic analog warmth or futuristic digital textures, this plugin has you covered.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | Arturia Official Website

7. XO by XLN Audio

Video: XO by XLN Audio | Next Level Drum Sequencer | Tutorial & Review of Main Features.







Finding the perfect drum samples can be a time-consuming task, but with XO by XLN Audio, it becomes a breeze. This plugin combines a powerful sample browser with intelligent pattern generation, making it easier than ever to create compelling drum tracks. Let’s explore its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.5
Versatility 9.0
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • Intuitive and visually appealing user interface.
  • Intelligent pattern generation for quick and inspiring drum track creation.
  • Versatile sample browser with extensive editing and manipulation options.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Limited to drum samples, may not suit all musical genres.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

XO by XLN Audio is a game-changer for producers who want to streamline their drum production workflow. With its intelligent pattern generation and vast sample library, this plugin will revolutionize the way you create drum tracks.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | XLN Audio Official Website

8. Rift by Minimal Audio

Video: WATCH THIS before you buy Minimal Audio RIFT | Distortion VST Review.







Rift by Minimal Audio is a powerful wavetable synthesizer that offers a wide range of sonic possibilities. With its intuitive interface and extensive modulation options, Rift is a versatile tool for sound designers and music producers. Let’s take a closer look at its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.5
Versatility 9.5
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality with a wide range of wavetables and presets.
  • Intuitive user interface with easy-to-use modulation and sequencing features.
  • Versatile synthesis engine for creating unique and evolving sounds.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

Rift is a hidden gem in the world of VST plugins, offering a powerful and versatile sound engine that will inspire your creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned sound designer or a beginner producer, Rift has something to offer.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | Minimal Audio Official Website

9. VocalSynth 2 by iZotope

Video: How to Use iZotope VocalSynth 2 | Vocal Synthesizer.







If you’re looking to add unique vocal effects to your tracks, VocalSynth 2 by iZotope is the perfect tool. This plugin offers a wide range of vocal processing options, from subtle enhancements to futuristic robotic effects. Let’s explore its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.5
Versatility 9.0
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.2

Pros:

  • Versatile vocal processing options for creative sound design.
  • Intuitive user interface with easy-to-use controls.
  • Realistic and natural-sounding vocal effects.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Limited to vocal processing, may not suit all musical genres.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

VocalSynth 2 is a go-to plugin for producers and sound designers who want to take their vocal tracks to the next level. Whether you’re working on pop, electronic, or experimental music, this plugin will add a unique touch to your vocals.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | iZotope Official Website

10. RX 10 Standard by iZotope

Video: RX 10 Elements Noise Reduction Plug-in | Overview.






iZotope’s RX 10 Standard is a powerful audio repair and restoration tool. Whether you’re dealing with noise, clicks, or other audio imperfections, this plugin offers advanced algorithms to clean up your recordings. Let’s explore its features:

Aspect Rating (1-10)
Sound Quality 9.0
User Interface 9.0
Versatility 9.0
Performance 9.0
Value for Money 9.0
Overall 9.0

Pros:

  • Advanced audio repair and restoration capabilities.
  • Intuitive user interface with powerful editing tools.
  • Versatile options for cleaning up audio recordings.
  • Efficient performance with low CPU usage.

Cons:

  • Limited to audio repair and restoration, may not suit all musical genres.
  • Relatively high price compared to other VST plugins.

RX 10 Standard is a must-have tool for producers, engineers, and podcasters who want to achieve pristine audio quality. With its advanced algorithms and intuitive interface, this plugin will help you rescue and enhance your recordings.

CHECK PRICE on: Amazon, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Plugin Boutique, zZounds, Loopmasters | iZotope Official Website

FAQ

audio control on volume down

What VST do most producers use?

The VST plugins used by producers vary depending on their musical genre and personal preferences. However, some popular VST plugins that are commonly used by producers include Serum by Xfer Records, RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio, and Ozone 10 Advanced + Neutron 4 by iZotope. These plugins offer exceptional sound quality and versatile features that cater to a wide range of musical styles.

Read more about “What VST Do Producers Use? …”

The most popular VST plugins can vary over time as new plugins are released and trends change. However, some VST plugins have consistently remained popular among producers. Serum by Xfer Records, with its powerful wavetable synthesis and intuitive interface, has gained a massive following and is considered one of the most popular VST plugins. Other popular plugins include RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio and V Collection X or Analog Lab V by Arturia, which offer unique and versatile sound design capabilities.

Read more about “VST Plugins for OBS: Enhance Your Streaming Experience …”

What plugins do professionals use?

Professionals in the music industry often rely on a combination of different plugins to achieve their desired sound. Some commonly used plugins by professionals include Ozone 10 Advanced + Neutron 4 by iZotope for mastering and mixing, Serum by Xfer Records for sound design, and VocalSynth 2 by iZotope for vocal processing. These plugins offer professional-grade features and exceptional sound quality, making them go-to choices for professionals in the field.

Read more about “Best VST Plugins for Vocals 2024 – Unleash Your Vocal Potential”

What is the best VST for soundscapes?

When it comes to creating immersive soundscapes, PORTAL by Output is a top choice. This granular synthesis effect plugin allows you to transform audio into otherworldly textures, perfect for creating atmospheric soundscapes. With its intuitive interface and versatile modulation options, PORTAL offers endless possibilities for sound design and experimentation.

Conclusion

photo of black turned on turntable

Choosing the best sounding VST ultimately depends on your musical genre, personal preferences, and specific needs. However, after thorough research and testing, we have identified the top 10 VST plugins that consistently deliver exceptional sound quality and versatility. From Serum by Xfer Records to PORTAL by Output, each plugin offers unique features and sonic possibilities that will enhance your music production.

Remember, the best sounding VST is the one that inspires you and helps you achieve your creative vision. So, explore these plugins, experiment with different sounds, and let your imagination run wild. Happy producing!

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