In this list we’ve compiled our top 10 Free Vintage Synth Emulations which work on both PC & Mac in a 64-bit format. We’ve tested all of the plugins below in 2022 to confirm they are working. Let’s get started!
1. Oberheim OB-X — OB-Xd
- Most likely the best free vintage synth emulator.
The Oberheim OB-X became one of the most iconic synthesizers of all time.
Its new, completely free emulator captures all of its magic in a VST form. It's really well designed from the very detailed, ultra-realistic, fat sound, up to the visual details. It comes with a huge selection of presets, so it's a must have!
2. Roland Jupiter 8 — TyrellN6
- A Roland-inspired synth from the makers of Diva.
The Roland Jupiter series was incredibly influential, with its prices currently reaching tens of thousands of dollars.
Luckily, you're able to get very close to its sound completely for free!
The developers of Diva (u-He) made a free plugin called Tyrell N6, which is inspired by the design of classic Roland synths like the Jupiter and Juno. It sounds incredibly realistic - it's like a free version of Diva!
Definitely a must-have.
3. Roland Juno — Tal Noisemaker 5
- Juno-style free synth with modern features.
The Juno-60, just like the Jupiter, is one of the absolute most sought-after vintage synths of all.
The developers TAL, famous for their emulation of the Juno-60, offer also a free Juno-inspired synth called the Noisemaker. It's very similar in design to the Juno, and offers everything from huge bass sounds to soothing analog pads. It includes the signature Juno two-mode Chorus for the maximum lush effect.
4. Roland JX-8P — PG8X
- Amazing Roland retro synth emulation.
The Roland JX-8P (1985) offered the best of both worlds: bright, metallic FM-style sounds, as well as classic analog tones.
All of its magic can be found in the free emulator (PG8X). It gives you very intuitive controls - you can quickly make both 80's style sounds and modern analog patches. It also loads the original "Sysex" files from the JX-8P, so you have tons of patches to download.
One of the coolest free synths of all, perfect for synthwave tracks.
5. Korg Mono/Poly — Mono/Fury
- One of the most famous Korg synths of all.
The Mono/Poly (1981), a sister of the Polysix, was an amazing sounding, very flexible analog synth used by plenty of iconic musicians.
The modern recreation of the Mono/Poly is totally free! Not only does it give you the incredible, super fat mono bass sounds, but it nicely reproduces the polyphonic mode, so that you can play chord patterns as well. It's definitely an amazing emulator.
6. Korg DW-8000 — FB-7999
- Fun to program, retro sounding hybrid Korg synth.
The Korg DW-8000 was a digital-analog synth released in 1985. It gave you 16 digital oscillators and analog filters. The result was super rich timbres with the warm feel of analog filtering.
The modern recreation of the DW-8000 sounds incredibly rich, and at the same time gives you a very cool retro feel. You can easily choose between the different waveforms - programming your own patches is very convenient. The plugin won't overload your CPU, so there's no reason not to get it!
The developer FBM also gives you 8 other free Korg emulations.
7. Moog Minimoog – Steinberg Model E
- Lightweight version of the greatest synth of all time.
The Minimoog was the first portable synthesizer, which made it the most influential synth of all. Today its prices are incredibly high and it continues to be used by countless professionals.
The free emulator of the Minimoog is developed by Steinberg, the company behind the iconic Cubase DAW. It gives you even more than the original hardware - instead of limiting you to one voice, it features up to 64 voices of polyphony! The synth sounds absolutely amazing, giving you very fat tones which can definitely compete with some of the other expensive emulators.
8. Moog Concertmate MG-1 — Surrealistic MG-1 Plus
- Ultra-accurate, super fat Moog monosynth.
The Moog Concertmate MG-1 (1981) was a rare monosynth with an incredible tone.
Its new, free VST version sounds incredibly rich too, giving you some of the fattest Moog-style bass sounds out there. It also features a polyphonic mode with which you can play more than one note at the same time. This modern recreation of the rare synth is definitely worth checking out!
9. Yamaha DX7 — Dexed
- The most iconic FM synth of all time.
The Yamaha DX7 (1983) was one of the biggest breakthroughs in synth history, offering bright, metallic timbres unheard before. It became the most popular synth of the 80s, and appeared on countless iconic tracks.
The modern free emulation of the DX7 (Dexed) offers everything the original did, plus a very open control panel and easy access to countless presets. It sounds absolutely stunning and allows you to import original "Sysex" patches from the hardware synths.
10. Kawai K1 — Nils’ Kawai K1v
- Rompler from 1988, similar to Roland D-50.
Even though the Kawai K1 used to be described as the budget version of the Roland D-50, it still sounds remarkably good.
The free VST version of the Kawai K1 features all of its extra cartridge patches, as well as its amazing 4-way joystick controller which allows you to easily morph between soundsources. Solid retro sounds which can be still used in countless tracks.