9 Best VST Plugins For Trance 2022


9 Best VST Plugins For Trance 2022

What is the most critical VST plugin for trance producers? Synthesizers. As it turns out, it is the most crucial element to the production process.

And while you may only use one to three synths per track, having access to a variety of sounds is something many creators prioritize.

And fortunately for you, it’s a synth wonderland out there. There isn’t a shortage of amazing, great sounding, versatile, feature-rich products these days, and here we look at several.

In this guide, we’ve narrowed it down to the following best VST plugins for trance.

VPS Avenger by Vengeance Sound – Best Premium Option

VPS Avenger by Vengeance Sound – Best Premium Option

Vengeance Sound’s VPS Avenger is another highly rated synth that wants to be the be-all end-all of synthesis in your VST arsenal. With great sounds and extensive versatility, VPS Avenger even has a growing library of sound designer created sounds.

Amazona called it versatile, AudioNewsRoom thought it was a “must” for bleeding edge producers, and Computer Music said it was inspiring, absorbing, versatile, and phenomenal sounding.

With VPS Avenger, you can harness the power of up to eight OSC modules, eight ARP modules, eight Step EQ modules, eight pitch envelope modules, four AMP modules, four filter modules, four SHAPER modules, four LFO modules, drum sequencer, routing system, Modmatrix system, MACRO controllers, up to six free routable FX busses, and wave table envelope / editor. And there’s a lot we could say about each!

Other features include mixer page, Keyzones / Velzones, MIDI support, Global Shuffle Factor, parameter lock, UNDO function, monophonic mode, preset selector, and more.

In total, you get over 1,000 factory presets, 620 multi-samples, 218 special samples (attacks, noises), 154 resample waves, 168 drumkits, 168 drum sequences, 596 wavetables, 291 granular samplers, thousands of OSC shapes / waveforms, 30 FX types (analog chorus, reverb, phaser, and more), 47 filter types, and up to 1,000 playing OCSs. We could go on…

Producers would be well-advised to remember that features are nothing if the sound isn’t there. But in this case, the good reviews for VPS Avenger aren’t just hype. The sounds coming from this synth truly are huge, rich, stunning, and perfect for electronic music.

It may cost a little more than the rest, but not by a huge margin. And that makes it a shoo-in for our best premium option.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

SynthMaster 2 by KV331Audio – Best Budget Option

SynthMaster 2 by KV331Audio – Best Budget Option

The beloved SynthMaster 2 is yet another powerful, versatile synth with plenty to offer. This award-winning, semi-modular software synth comes with 2,000 factory presets with multiple synthesis methods – VA, Additive, Wavescanning, Wavetable, Phase Modulation, Pulse Width Modulation, Ring Modulation, Frequency Modulation, Amplitude Modulation, Physical Modeling, and SFZ Sample Playback synthesis.

The included presets were created by the likes of Arksun, Aelux Design, Bluffmunkey, Aiyn Zahev, Frank ‘Xenox’ Neumann, BigTone, Kevin Schroeder, Nori Ubukata, Vandalism, Rob Lee, Vorpal Sound, Gercek Dorman, Michael Kastrup, Umit Uy, Teoman Pasinlioglu, Ufuk Kevser, and Brian ‘Xenos’ Lee.

The basic oscillators handle several types of waveforms, including Sine, Square, Triangle, Sawtooth, Pulse, and Noise. The wavetable oscillators allow waveforms to be scanned through up to 256 waveform shapes, and the additive and vector oscillators are eight basic oscillators running together.

You also get an arpeggiator, four modulators, two filters, four ADSR envelopes, two multistage envelopes, two 2D envelopes, two LFOs, four keyscalers, vocoder bands, MIDI velocity, aftertouch, pitch bend and MIDI CC, and more.

There are 11 built-in effects, including distortion, LoFi, ensemble, phaser, six-band EQ, compressor, vocoder, delay, chorus, tremolo, and reverb.

It’s no surprise that so many producers love SynthMaster 2 so much. There’s an insane amount of customization here, and many of the sounds are stunning. All this is available at a rather stunning price, so it’s the obvious pick for our best budget option. It may not do everything the last two we looked at, but as you probably guessed, SynthMaster 2 does a lot.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Sylenth1 by LennarDigital

Sylenth1 by LennarDigital – Best Overall

Doubtless, there are many synths to choose from. But plenty of trance producers favor Sylenth1, or at the very least, keep it in their arsenal for when they need it. So, what makes Sylenth1 so great, especially given the sheer volume of powerful synth VSTs available?

Sylenth1 is a virtual analog synth, and it was designed from the perspective of a producer, emphasizing sound quality.

It comes with four alias-free unison oscillators generating analog shaped waveforms. Each oscillator features eight unison voices in full stereo, with up to 32 voices per note. 16-note polyphony means up to 512 simultaneous voices are possible.

The two filters come with four filter stages with nonlinear saturation. The resonance control can be turned up well past the point of self-oscillation, and the drive control lets you dial up to a scream without going past the point of unusable.

Additionally, there are two ADSR envelopes, two LFOs, amplitude envelopes, velocity, keyboard track or modulation wheel, and plenty of great effects – arpeggiator, distortion, phaser, chorus / flanger, equalizer, delay, reverb, and compressor.

Sylenth1 isn’t a new plugin by any means, and its core functionality hasn’t been updated in a long time (though it continues to be supported with compatibility and interface related updates). But it’s still considered a must by many electronic music producers. That’s because this plugin still sounds great, it’s easy to use, there are loads of great presets, and it’s backwards compatible.

So, if you’re wondering what everyone’s top recommended synth is going to be, just know that Sylenth1 is going to be up there. Which makes it an easy choice for our best overall VST in this guide. It may not be new, but sometimes you don’t need new, you need classic. You need something that just works. Sylenth1 is exactly that.

Learn more: Splice

LuSH-101 by D16 Group

LuSH-101 by D16 Group

It’s no secret that trance producers (and electronic music producers in general) love to obsess over synths of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Everyone has their favorites!

LuSH-101 is one among many that pops up here and there. And it’s not much of a surprise to us, because we’re aware of the quality of products D16 Group produces. Their reputation precedes them.

Wusik Sound Magazine called LuSH-101 “impressive,” producer / DJ / label owner Lenny Dee called it a “must have studio weapon,” and Waveformless said it expands on the original.

This highly rated synth comes with a multilayer architecture, making it an easy to use and powerful instrument. If layered sounds are what you’re after, LuSH-101 makes mincemeat of them.

LuSH-101’s feature set is quite extensive:

It includes Saw, PWM, and Noise oscillators with Supersaw and HardSync options, sub oscillators (five waveforms), self-oscillating multimode filter, passive high-pass filter, up to eight voice unison with Tune, Cutoff, and Panorama spread, two LFOs with tempo synchronization and re-triggering modes (Trig, Gate, Arpe, None), and two envelopes with re-triggering modes (Trig, Gate, LFO1, and LFO2).

And that’s just the synthesis! In terms of effects, you get chorus, string ensemble, phaser, flanger, distortion, vowel filter, decimator, and tremolo. Modulation sources include note velocity, pitch bend, modulation wheel, expression pedal, sustain pedal, keyboard’s aftertouch, note pitch, and arpeggiator’s output.

The arpeggiator includes a step sequencer (Gate and Tie per step), six Run modes (Up, Down, Up and Down, Down and Up, Random, and Manual), Chord mode (Gater), three Hold modes (Normal, Toggle, Trigger), Shuffle, and Tempo multiplier (Full notes, Dotted notes, and Triplets).

The mixer includes one parametric EQ per channel strip, one compressor per channel strip, up to 11 assignable stereo output busses per instance, and Send FXs (reverb, chorus, and delay with tempo sync). There are also over 1,600 factory presets (with five categories – whole synth, single layer, arpeggiator, reverb, delay), preset browser, advanced MIDI learn, parameter mapping for VST / AU automation, selectable GUI size, and much more.

We could go on. But at the end of the day, it’s a matter of whether you enjoy the sound of LuSH-101 or not. So far as we can tell, though, there are plenty of built-in sounds well-suited to electronic music. Check out the video below to see for yourself:

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Hive 2 by u-he

Hive 2 by u-he

Developer u-he always likes to delight and surprise with their highly versatile, specialized, and great sounding synths. And their Hive 2 has not gone unnoticed by the electronic music community at large.

The VST has a perfect rating by its users, and producer-songwriter-musician Jake Morelli loved the dimensional, lush, and inspirational sounds.

Hive 2 boasts an easy workflow with a streamlined interface. It’s even CPU-friendly.

Its features include three synth engines, two oscillators with standard waveforms or 2D wavetables (up to 16x unison, tunable sub-oscillators), drag and drop modulation assignment, 12 x 2 modulation matrix slots with modifiers (curvature, rectification, quantization, sample and hold, and slew rate), and four user definable XY control pads.

You also get an eight-step sequencer with four independent outputs, arpeggiator, scale quantizer (with a pre-defined list of scales), two function generators (which can work as extra envelopes, gate generators, LFOs, slew limiters), and seven rearrangeable effects (distortion, chorus, delay, phaser, EQ, reverb, and compressor).

Additionally: Hive 2 includes panel presets for oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs, sequencer, FX and modulation matrix, solo buttons, microtuning support, 2,400+ NKS-ready factory presets, resizable UI, and more.

Which is all quite impressive to say the least. Hive 2’s sound quality is really something too, and the sheer range of sounds you can draw out of it could blow your mind. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find it here – pads, leads, basses, FX, or otherwise.

Whether you’ve never heard of Hive 2, or you’re in desperate need an ultra-versatile synth, this instrument is worth a look.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Spire by Reveal Sound

Spire by Reveal Sound

Reveal Sound’s Spire has shown up in our guides on several occasions. And like Sylenth1, the sentiment here is along the lines of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Spire has an enduring history, and to this day, it stands as an achievement of simplicity, beauty, and versatility. It will handle most if not all of what you can throw at it.

We like its design, its simplicity and usability, as well as its overall sound quality.

1,000+ factory presets make it easy for you to get up and running with Spire, and they are a thing of majesty. You won’t be digging for hours to find your favorite electronic sounds either. They’re all right there, ripe for the taking.

Give Spire a listen. You won’t regret it.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology

Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology

AIR Music Technology’s Hybrid 3 is a hit among the trance producer community. Combining the warmth of analog synths with digital manipulation, Hybrid 3 gives you access to everything from the familiar to the brand new.

1,200+ presets await the new user, with wobbles, pads, arpeggios, poly synths, basses, leads, sequences, and more. So many options!

Hybrid 3 also includes three oscillators and a sub oscillator for each (with multiple digital wavetable algorithms – Multi-Square, Saw Sync, Saw Cross Modulation, Saw Multi, Square Sync, Square Cross Modulation, Square Pulse Width Modulation, and Wavetable), multi-mode filters and saturation modes, and four LFOs per part.

Envelope editors, Hype algorithm, two Doubling knobs, 16-step sequencers, modulation matrices with 16 assignable modulation sources, four morph groups with pan, filter, or amplifier, effects (reverb, delay, chorus), and a great deal more are part of the VST synth’s expansive feature set.

There are plenty of lush, ethereal sounds built into Hybrid 3. Also check out the video below to get an idea of what it can do.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

DUNE 3 by Synapse Audio Software

DUNE 3 by Synapse Audio Software

Want to know what else trance producers are raving about? Synapse Audio Software’s DUNE 3. Built on the award-winning DUNE 2 synth (already favored by many), DUNE 3 improves upon its predecessor, while integrating a variety of requested features.

DUNE 3 features over 1,000 patches, dual multimode filter (with Balance and serial / parallel routing), dual arpeggiator with MIDI Import, two oscillator stacks (32 oscillators each) with VA, FM, and Wavetable synthesis, third oscillator and white/pink noise generator, 8x unison (up to 520 oscillators per note), new effect algorithms like distortion, chorus, phaser, EQ, delay, and reverb, Wavetable editor, and WAV file editor.

You also get analog-modeled zero-delay feedback filters, four graphical envelopes (MSEG), three LFOs, modulation matrix for synth and FX parameters, two master FX busses (with nine effects each), and more.

One listen to DUNE 3 should show you exactly why so many electronic music makers love it. The sounds are full and warm, with plenty of variety.

Learn more: Splice

Icarus 2 by Tone2

Icarus 2 by Tone2

Developer Tone2 calls Icarus 2 the “most powerful synthesizer on the planet.” We don’t know how many people agree with that claim, but there are more than a few creators who are excited about it, and for good reason – this is another monster of a synth with powerful features.

Icarus 2 comes with 54 synthesis methods including 3D wavetable synthesis, classic wavetables, resynthesis of samples, vocoder, additive, subtractive, analog, FM (with up to six operators), formant synthesis, waveshaping, PWM, sync, ringmod, AM, noise, physical-modeling, phase-distortion, time-stretching, granular, pitch-shifting, samples, harmonic-morphing, FFT-filtering, lofi, import of custom waveforms and wavetables, and more exclusive methods.

The filter section offers 63 filter types, over 300 filter algorithms, two modular filter blocks with true stereo-architecture, flexible routing and multi-mode filters, and two stereo-distortion sections (each with nine modes).

There’s also an arpeggiator, drum sequencer, 54 effects, 21 microtuning modes, grid-based glitch sequencer, equalizer, multistage envelope generators, and more.

As you would expect, this is a versatile synth with plenty of great sounds. Given its extensive feature set, the interface can feel a little overwhelming at times. There’s just so much to tweak, and those who don’t enjoy the process of dialing in tones my not favor this as much. Still, there are many presets you can take advantage of without having to start from scratch.

Aside from that, it’s hard to find any faults with Tone2’s Icarus 2, and it certainly has its place in a trance producer’s VST library.

Learn more: Splice

VST Plugins For Trance, Final Thoughts

There are a lot of great trance synths out there and there’s simply no way we could cover them all. That said, we have covered the best ones that keep coming up in conversation when it comes to trance. If it’s not here, well, we either don’t know about it yet, or it may not be all its been cracked up to be!

How many synths do you ultimately need? We think most producers will be able to do most everything with just two or three, though you will find that many producers have up to five options ready in their library, just in case!

Trance is all about creating an addicting vibe, and we have no doubt the above VST synths are more than competent in helping you create tracks that put your listener in a real trance. Happy shopping.

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