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Best Synthwave Plugins 2024

Synthwave with its retro-futuristic vibes and nostalgic soundscapes, uses a diverse array of synthesizer sounds, from lush pads to iconic lead tones. Innovators like Vangelis, John Carpenter, and Tangerine Dream were among the first to use synths in music. The 80s synth craze was sparked by the employment of synth leads, pads, sound effects, etc. in science fiction, action, arcade games and horror film scores and albums. As the genre has grown in popularity over the previous decade due to shows like Stranger Things.

Softube Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer

Softube’s Model 84 Polyphonic Synthesizer is a software emulation of the iconic Roland Juno-106, a polyphonic synthesizer renowned for its warm and rich sound. The Model 84 has been praised for its faithful recreation of the Juno-106’s sound and interface, with some users noting that it is an extraordinarily accurate representation of the original synth.

The Model 84 is intuitive and simple to use, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced producers. It comes with both the original presets as well as new artist presets, allowing users to quickly recall classic sounds or explore new sonic territories. The plugin also includes a chorus module, which has been noted for its clean and pleasing sound. In terms of sound quality, the Model 84 has been described as beautiful and joyful, with a sound that is very close to the original Juno-106. It has been praised for its ability to replicate the unique sonic characteristics of the Juno-106, including its warm and rich tones, as well as its distinctive unison phase sounds.

The Model 84 also includes some modern features and extended functionality, such as support for velocity and aftertouch, which were not present in the original Juno-106. The user interface of the Model 84 is inviting and visually appealing, with a design that closely mirrors the look of the original Juno-106. The plugin is also not as resource-intensive as some other software emulations, making it a more accessible option for users with less powerful computer systems.

This is the best Synthwave Plugin in 2024.

u-he Diva

u-he Diva is a software synthesizer that has garnered significant praise within the music production community, particularly among synthwave, electronica, and progressive house producers. It is recognized for its meticulous emulation of the eccentricities of core analog synthesizer components, offering a high-quality sound that has drawn favorable comparisons to classic hardware synthesizers.

The plugin’s ability to model the characteristics of iconic analog synthesizers, such as Moog’s Minimoog, Roland’s Jupiter 6 and 8, Alpha Juno, and Juno 60, as well as Korg’s MS20, has made it a sought-after tool for achieving authentic retro-futuristic sounds. Its oscillators, filters, and envelopes closely mirror those of the vintage hardware instruments, allowing users to create warm, rich, and distinctive analog textures.

In addition to its sound quality, Diva is lauded for its user-friendly interface, which encourages hands-on tweaking and customization. The plugin’s ability to evoke the spirit of analog synthesis, combined with its versatility and ease of use, has cemented its position as a top-tier software synthesizer for producers seeking to capture the essence of classic analog sound.

This is the best Synthwave VST in 2024.


The Roland JUNO-60 synthesizer is emulated by the U-NO-LX. It includes all of the parameters of the original device, as well as some additional features like plate reverb, filter modules that improve workflow. When comparing the two instruments, there’s absolutely no discernible difference, and the TAL version is certainly the superior value if you’re on a budget.

The U-No-LX is separated into four distinct components. The presets menu is located at the top of the page. The main portion, which includes all of the oscillators, filters, ADSR, and the iconic chorus, is seen below. Following that are controls for LFOs, portamento, and an arp. The keyboard, which is positioned at the bottom, is the final component.

Because the TAL-U-No-LX doesn’t have any built-in effects, which might potentially muddy the sound (save for the chorus), the majority of the patches sound very clean. If you’re into Synthwave, Vaporwave, or modern pop music, the plugin comes with everything you need to make the iconic hardware synth sounds we all know and love. Aside from the pleasant sound, it’s a terrific instrument for learning analog synthesis, and even if you don’t want to produce your own sounds, it comes with a large preset library. Because TAL provides a free demo version of the synth on their website, you may try it out for yourself and create your own judgement.

UJAM Usynth 2080

The Usynth series is a new set of instruments that make creating sounds and performing live simple and intuitive. Usynth 2080, Caramel, and Euphoria are the three flavors available. The Caramel makes it simple to produce ambient soundscapes, but the Euphoria focuses on synth sounds for electronic dance music, such as plucks, powerful leads, organs, arpeggios, and FX. The Usynth 2080 has a hundred different synth modes. The plugin creates its “modes” or presets by combining multiple modules. When you load a Synthesizer preset, you’re actually loading a small synth that you may tweak using the user interface’s numerous knobs.

First, the Dark/Bright knob, which regulates many parameters in the sound engine to vary the overall character, can be used to control the brightness of the synth. Second, the Fast/Slow knob changes the speed of the sound by controlling various envelope generators. The parameters that it modifies, however, are determined by the preset type. Slowing down a synth pad, for example, might result in a slower attack and a longer release, whereas a pluck would just modify its release because a sluggish attack wouldn’t make sense like a vinyl records.

Similarly, below the Synthesizer section, you’ll discover three “software knobs” that control the preset’s most important settings. Character, chord, reverb sound and distortion; character, dirt, and pushed; and so on, depending on what the sound designer deemed important for sample packs and drum samples. While they don’t provide you complete control, they do allow you to drastically speed up your workflow.

On the surface, Usynth 2080 appears to be a beginner’s plugin, yet the sound quality and efficacy indicate otherwise. I like to think of ujam’s simple designs as time savers. In most circumstances, you’d spend hours working on a sound just to wind up with something that the developers have already created. From synth pads and keys to leads, plucks, and sound effects, there’s something for everyone. The sequencer presets, as well as the Finisher modes, allow you quickly develop and polish a composition. So, if you’re interested in making Synthwave or Chillwave music, give this plugin a shot and see if it saves you time and effort.

u-he Repro 1

u-he Repro-1 is a highly regarded synth plugin that has gained popularity among music producers, particularly those in the synthwave, electronica, and progressive house genres. It is an emulation of Sequential Circuits’ classic Pro-One analogue synth, offering raw analogue-style power in a digital environment. The plugin has been praised for its ability to recreate classic 80s synth sounds, making it a valuable tool for achieving the warm, juicy, and analogue textures characteristic of the synthwave genre.

The Repro-1 is known for its vivid and live sounds, closely emulating the hardware it is based on. Its unique angle as an emulation of a classic analogue synth, combined with the reputation of u-he as a developer with a strong pedigree in the market, has positioned the Repro-1 as a standout choice for music producers seeking authentic and high-quality synthwave sounds.


UJAM Vice is a drum machine that specializes in producing beats for retro music genres such as Synthwave and Chillwave. Vice is part of the brand’s Beatmaker package, which is a collection of beat-making plugins with a focus on ease of use. The package is also included in my list of the top plugin bundles. The bundle includes various plugins, such as Vice, that are each dedicated to a different genre.

Vice includes eight vintage-sounding drum kits. It also has built-in loops, fills, and grooves to help you quickly compose drum patterns. Additionally, several parameters allow you to perform simple mix adjustments and add effects to dramatically alter the sound. While the simple user interface may appear to be a beginner’s tool at first glance, advanced users will enjoy how quickly it produces results.

This plugin includes ten drum kits. These samples are based on well-known analog drum machines from the 1980s. Similarly, there are 690 groove patterns spread throughout 30 musical genres. The basic New Wave-style beats that define the Synthwave and Chillwave genres, as well as modern variations, are among them. Intro, verse, fills, chorus, breakdowns, and closing pattern variations are all included in each style. As a result, you might use the built-in patterns to complete the drum part of a song.

Vice is proof that UJAM’s Beatmaker series is a lifesaver if you’re having problems producing drum patterns. Similarly, its high-quality sound is an excellent addition to the arsenal of a seasoned user. Vice will also assist you in ensuring that the drums aren’t the cause you fear deadlines when creating Synthwave and Chillwave music for a film or game.

XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color

XLN Audio’s RC-20 Retro Color is a creative effect plugin that has gained popularity among music producers, including those in the synthwave genre. It is designed to add life and texture to recordings, recreating the warm, cozy feeling of vintage recording equipment while also being suitable for modern production settings. The plugin offers six unique FX modules, allowing users to replicate everything from vinyl records to VHS machines by adding noise, wobble, and dropouts to tracks. Its raw distortion and crunchy bit reduction can add grit to bass and other sounds, making it a versatile tool for achieving retro-futuristic textures and effects.

The ease of use and simple GUI make it accessible for both beginners and experienced producers. The plugin’s ability to create vintage coloration effects, enhance productions with warmth, and add character and analog warmth to tracks has made it a valuable addition to the toolkit of many music producers. In the context of synthwave music production, RC-20 Retro Color is often praised for its ability to make crisp-clean synths and drums sound old school and analogue. Its features, such as noise generation, wobble and flutter, and tape emulation, are particularly well-suited for creating the nostalgic, retro-futuristic sounds that are characteristic of synthwave music.

Wavesfactory Cassette

Wavesfactory Cassette is an audio plugin that emulates the distinctive sound and character of vintage cassette tapes. It is designed to provide users with a high-quality tape simulation algorithm that captures the essence of the analog medium, complete with its quirks and sonic idiosyncrasies.

The plugin features an innovative “Re-Cassette” parameter that processes the audio multiple times to enhance the tape effect, and an “Artifacts” control that allows for the simulation of random tape issues such as the tape being momentarily caught. Users can cycle through various presets to hear how the plugin affects a mix, adding a layer of lo-fi vintage tape warmth to the audio.

Cassette offers four different tape types, each delivering distinct sonic characteristics. Type I, featuring a ferric-oxide coating, was the standard format that first appeared in the 1960s. Type II, with a chromium dioxide formulation, was introduced in the early 1970s. The plugin meticulously models the random high-frequency loss, crosstalk, stereo imbalances, and other nuances of these tape types. The user interface of Cassette is straightforward and clean, modeled after classic tape decks, making it deceptively simple-looking yet powerful. The central virtual tape deck provides options for both Deck and Tape type, configuring the fundamental properties of the effect. Users can engage or disengage various elements of the effect, allowing for a tailored tape emulation experience.

Cassette is praised for its ability to add character and cohesion to music, with subtle pitch modulations and randomized noise that enhance the overall sound. It is particularly effective on pads, drums, and mix buses, offering a blend of retro texture and tonal destruction depending on the settings used.

Arturia Jup-8 V

Arturia’s Jup-8 V is a software emulation of the iconic Roland Jupiter-8, a polyphonic analog subtractive synthesizer. The Jup-8 V has been praised for its convincing analog sound and its innovative features. The Jup-8 V is a 32-voice instrument that can be used standalone or as a plug-in, supporting all major formats. It features a pair of oscillators per voice, a dual filter design, standard ADSR envelopes, and a pair of LFOs. Built-in effects processors and an arpeggiator are also included.

One of the standout features of the Jup-8 V is the Galaxy module, which acts as an automated X/Y vector controller. This unique modulation source adds a layer of complexity and inspiration to the sound design process. The sound of the Jup-8 V has been described as warm and alive, reacting smoothly to real-time tweaking. It is capable of creating simple patches that are indistinguishable from the original Jupiter-8, and it comes very close to replicating the original synth’s sound for more complex pads and washes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Synthwave Music?

Synthwave is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the early 2010s. It is characterized by its nostalgic, futuristic sound that draws heavily from 1980s film soundtracks, video games, and pop culture. Synthwave music typically uses synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers to create a retro-futuristic sound.

What Makes a Good Synthwave Plugin?

A good synthwave plugin should be able to emulate the sounds of classic 80s synthesizers. It should offer a wide range of sounds, from lush pads to sharp leads, and should have a warm, rich, and authentic analog sound. The plugin should also be user-friendly and versatile, allowing producers to customize and create unique sounds.