The sound of a Minimoog is practically indispensable. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that, since the 70s, it has defined the very construct of synthesizers and electronic music. And it remains an important, timeless sound to this day.
What artists, composers, producers, and engineers alike tend to love most about the Minimoog is the deep bass, soaring leads, and vintage warmth of the original.
Given that VST plugins are digital in form, can they even come close to the vintage hardware units in terms of sound quality? More so than you even know!
And here we cover the best Minimoog synthesizer style VST plugins.
Mini V by Arturia – Best Overall
When it comes to Minimoog sounds (and classic synths in general), developer Arturia has got a few horses in the race.
The Mini V, though, is like their dedicated tribute to the classic sounds that defined the 70s and have hardly lost their luster in four or five decades. Basically, this is the Minimoog in software form.
Jake Wherry of The Herbaliser found the synths “very usable,” Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5) thought it was the next best thing if you don’t have access to hard-to-find vintage hardware, and French composer Jean-Michel Jarre loved the convergence of vintage and modern technologies on display in the Mini V.
Developer Arturia collaborated with engineer Bob Moog himself to recreate the interface of Mini V while modeling the internal characteristics of its sounds that made the Minimoog so iconic. And that fact alone will probably compel a few to buy.
Additionally, the latest version of Mini V includes a more accurate filter design to help you achieve your favorite, deep bass sounds as well as powerful leads that made the Minimoog so sought after.
In total, you get three voltage-controlled oscillators with five waveforms, 24 dB/octave filter, two ADSR envelopes, LFO with seven waveforms, noise generator, VCA, mixer, external audio input, and external oscillator and filter modulation input.
Additionally, the Mini V features a modulation matrix with up to eight connections (15 sources and 35 destinations), arpeggiator, vocal filter (automatable formant-based effect with LFO), up to 32 voices of polyphony, unison mode, 1,000+ presets (created by top notch sound designers), stereo chorus and delay, soft clipping, and advanced automation mode.
There is simply no getting around that this is an amazing sounding VST plugin. And while that should not come as a surprise, especially given that Bob Moog himself had a hand in it, there are plenty of developers that talk a big game and don’t deliver. Mini V delivers what it promises. The tones are quite organic and authentic.
We also love the authentic feel of the interface. It’s very realistic looking, and it puts all the familiar controls at your fingertips for near limitless tweaking. It takes much of the guesswork out of the equation, especially if you’ve used a Minimoog before, because you’ll know how to use the controls to get the results you want.
Overall, it could be that the only thing better is the real thing. But if you love the convenience of a VST plugin you can rely on (versus vintage hardware that’s known to have certain quirks and “behavioral” issues), give Arturia’s Mini V a go. You’ll be able to rely on this any day of the week.
Although all other VST plugins featured here have their strengths, there are few dedicated Minimoog VST synths, especially of this quality. So, our best overall pick is, without hesitation, this – Arturia’s Mini V. Have a listen!
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Syntronik 2 by IK Multimedia – Best Premium Option
It’s no secret that IK Multimedia’s Syntronik 2 is a huge collection of legendary synths whose sounds continue to inspire and adorn hit songs. But because of the size of the collection, it will only appeal to those whose classic synth VST library is a little scarce. If you already have multiple premium synths VSTs covering some of your favorite sounds, this synth pack probably isn’t for you.
That said, there is a lot to love about Syntronik 2. It comes with up to 33 synths, 54 hardware synths and string machines, multi-sampled oscillators, four classic circuit-modeled filters, mix and match oscillators with filters, true four-part synth, four dynamic arpeggiators, 71 high-quality effects, more than 200 GB of sounds, over 5,500 presets, resizable interface, and more.
The exact number of features will vary based on which one of the four versions you get – Syntronik 2 CS, SE, standard, or MAX. And, by the way, the CS version is free to try, though a little limited in its scope. It would give you a taste for the plugin set at least.
As the video below demonstrates, you can easily get the classic synth sounds you know and love using Syntronik 2. They really do sound great. And, of course, the Moog sounds are quite capable too. Minimoog type sounds would probably require a bit of dialing in though.
Again, if your classic VST library is a little scant right now, Syntronik 2 will load you up with sounds too numerous to count, but if you’re looking for a VST that specializes in Moog sounds, there are better options on this list.
Overall, though, Syntronik 2 is excellent value and it’s nice to know that it’s out there. You would be hard pressed to find a collection that sets you up with this many classic synths at this price point. And that makes it our best premium option. No other VST on this list can do everything this one can.
Learn more: IK Multimedia
Polyscape Pro by KIaranyl Sounds – Best Budget Option
Occasionally, we come across a product that’s affordable, unique, and can’t help but pique one’s interest. Klaranyl Sounds’ Polyscape Pro is one of those rare entries that’s hard to leave alone. Thus, its inclusion here.
It should be noted upfront that this isn’t exclusively a Minimoog emulation, though it does incorporate classic Moog sounds.
This Kontakt instrument is no one-trick pony. It will empower you with ambience, soundscapes, vintage synths, and more. Inspired by a variety of genres and synth sounds from the 80s and 90s, Polyscape Pro features meticulously handcrafted Moog, Oberheim, Sequential Circuits, and Nord Lead patches.
Polyscape Pro comes with 130 full-scale presets, 40 synth modules, 80 adjustable controls, a vintage organ module, as well as 40 cinematic soundscapes and moving pads. For mixing and matching, and combining layers of sounds, this VST is a ton of fun.
Check out the video below and you will see for yourself, there are plenty of deep, lush, layered, analog sounds built into Polyscape Pro. You will find some highly usable sounds, especially pads, without having to tweak and overdub endlessly to arrive at huge, mix-ready tones. And as its name would suggest, it is ideally suited to creating ethereal soundscapes.
That said, Polyscape Pro probably isn’t going to be for those who need Minimoog sounds exclusively. You will find some nice patches here, but they may not be exactly what you’re looking for if those classic bass and lead tones are what you require for your projects.
If you’re looking to adorn your tracks with lush and dramatic soundscapes, though, you will love Polyscape Pro. And at this price, we couldn’t help but add it here as our best budget option.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Diva by u-he
u-he’s Diva does a lot of things well. There’s a reason why it keeps coming up in top VST synth lists as well as more specialized ones.
Diva landed a perfect score with its users, and this “dinosaur” synth really is a bit of a beast in terms of all the vintage greatness it offers – monophonic sounds, polyphonic sounds, hybrid sounds, and more, all authentically modeling the analog sounds of vintage synths people love so much.
u-he makes no promises of this VST being “lightweight,” but that is a sacrifice we’re willing to accept (and you’ll probably be willing to accept too), when the results are this phenomenal. More than 1,200 presets set you up for synthesizer success and showcase just how versatile this VST instrument truly is.
Tweak your sounds using the filters, envelopes, effects, modifiers, trimmers, scopes, and even mix and match modules to develop your own signature tones.
Those who love to spend a lot of time dialing in and crafting their favorite sounds will find Diva an utter delight, as this level of customization is hard to find. You can do things with this software synth you’d be hard pressed to do with a hardware equivalent.
If a Minimoog is all you need, or you aren’t looking to cover any other classic, analog synth sounds, you may not require a sophisticated solution like Diva. Otherwise, the appeal of this burgundy synth is hard to deny, and it’s a top shelf VST instrument in its category.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Modular V by Arturia
Arturia’s Modular V is another compelling option for those who want that authentic Minimoog sound along with near limitless modular customizability.
Keyboardist Mike McKnight found the sounds “fat and unique,” keyboardist Geoff Downes called it the “full ticket,” and producer-engineer Gareth Jones found it amazing and reliable.
Again, in partnership with Bob Moog, Arturia puts this classic modular synth (though not “mini,”) right at your fingertips. It comes with nine oscillators, three filter slots, two LFOs, six envelopes, VCAs, mixers, sequencers, and more. If versatility is what you need, you will love this setup.
Some rare module replicas are also included – Bode frequency shifter, 928 sample and hold – along with some fun effects like Arturia’s formant filter and ring modulator.
You also get more than 600 presets, mono and polyphonic modes (up to 64 voices per instrument), soft-clipping, stereo delay and chorus, 24 dB/octave low-pass filter, and more.
Modular V is a ton of fun to mess around with. And that should be the case, given what it’s emulating. The sounds are warm and lush, and you’ve got plenty of categories of presets to choose from too – bass, brass, FM, guitar, keys, lead, organ, pad, percussive, sequence, SFX, and strings. It’s very well-organized.
It’s obviously more than a mini, but given its quality and power, we couldn’t help but highlight Modular V here. If you like authentic Moog synth sounds, you will like Modular V a lot.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
The Legend by Synapse Audio Software
Synapse Audio Software’s The Legend is sometimes mistakenly called “Legend.” This error is understandable, but let’s just say there is a difference between legend (one among many) and the legend (singular and authoritative). We imagine the naming was intentional here.
Either way, The Legend boasts accurate circuit simulation, Early and Late models, an 8x oversampled engine, vectorized core (Unison, Mono, and four-voice Polyphony modes), and a stunning 530 patches.
With The Legend, Synapse Audio Software sought to model the voltage-controlled oscillators, voltage-controlled filter, and voltage-controlled amplifier of their original to the nth degree. Even the subtlest of effects like temperature drift or power supply effects have been recreated to give you the most authentic experience possible.
Having sampled the goods, I love the smoothness, warmth, and versatility of The Legend. Even the most discerning of players will probably love the sound of this VST plugin. Check out the video below to hear The Legend in action.
And this plugin is good bang for buck too. It’s a must-see if Minimoog sounds are your thing.
Learn more: Synapse Audio Software
What Should I Look For In A Minimoog VST Plugin?
Obviously, if you’re looking specifically for a Minimoog style VST, your options are limited. It’s not such a bad thing, in this case, given that Arturia partnered up with Bob Moog to create the likes of Mini V, which should satisfy all your senses. The Legend also isn’t half bad (slight understatement).
But there are other capable VST synths, depending on what you need. Some are more specialized, like the Modular V or The Legend (a very capable standalone Minimoog emulation). Some cover a broader range of sounds, like Diva and Syntronik 2. And others aim to offer something a little different, like Polyscape Pro, tailor made for soundscapes.
Fortunately, this should help minimize decision paralysis. There are only so many options to choose from, and if you’re clear on what you need, we can’t imagine you’ll be lost at any point.
That said, there are certain factors that might make or break a purchase. So, we cover the main factors to consider when buying a Minimoog VST plugin. Here they are:
- Sound quality and authenticity
- Features and versatility
Let’s talk about each.
Sound Quality & Authenticity
The sound quality of a specific VST instrument is obviously a point of interest. These days, the bar is higher than ever, even for free plugins. So, that’s working in your favor. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when you could spend a lot of money on a plugin whose sound wasn’t up to snuff.
Still, when it comes to virtual instruments, keyboards and synths are starting to sound more authentic by the day. Developers have gone to great lengths to capture and emulate what they loved about vintage hardware gear.
This isn’t to say sound quality is a non-factor at this point. Obviously, there is still a difference between each plugin, so you need to listen and choose what works best for you. But overall, it is less of a concern because of how invested developers are in creating amazing virtual instruments that faithfully emulate the hardware counterparts.
So, we do recommend watching video demos and reviews and listening to sound samples if they are available. You want to get a plugin that meets your needs and leaves you feeling satisfied. It’s not as important what other people think assuming your purchase leaves you happy and empowered.
But if you’re looking for a Minimoog VST plugin, sound is bar none one of the most important factors to consider.
Features & Versatility
If authenticity is important to you, then chances are you’re looking for a Minimoog VST that features the same general layout and functionality of the original. Extras are nice, but only if they don’t sacrifice authenticity. Right? So, extra features probably aren’t going to make that much of a difference.
But in this guide are some interesting hybrid options like Diva and Polyscape Pro. You’re probably only interested in these if you’re looking for a versatile synth or something that incorporates the famous sounds of the Moog but isn’t necessarily a faithful recreation of such.
Another factor might be presets. It’s all well and good to build sounds from scratch. It can be a lot of fun. But if speed and capturing ideas is of the essence to you in your production environment, then having plenty of great sounding presets at your fingertips can obviously improve your workflow.
Ultimately, there aren’t really any “bad” options on this list, but it’s going to depend a lot on your needs.
And if money isn’t an object, you could potentially outfit yourself with multiple plugins, if that’s what you need. Which segues nicely into…
Some plugins cost more than others. Most featured here are in the same price range, but not surprisingly, IK Multimedia’s synth pack is the most expensive.
Budget is a good thing to consider when you don’t have any other filters to put your purchase through. If you have less to work with, then there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a lesser plugin for now. You can always upgrade later.
We don’t recommend going into debt to purchase a synth VST. It’s always best to be conservative with decisions concerning money.
Top Minimoog VST Plugins, Final Thoughts
If you don’t already have an authentic Minimoog style synth VST, you’re probably going to need one sooner or later. It’s a classic, sought-after sound, and it’s quite versatile too. There are so many ways of using a Minimoog in any given project, and if you’re working with clients, some are bound to request it.
Though there are an abundance of synth VSTs out there, there are a limited number of Minimoog VSTs, and assuming you know what you’re buying, we don’t think you can go wrong with the above. Happy shopping!