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Best Pop Synth VST

Want to jump straight to the answer? Our choice for the best Pop Synth is Parallels by Softube!

Pop music has evolved from literally meaning “popular music” to becoming its own genre. That transition began in the early 90’s as pop stars such as Britney Spears came on the scene with a whole new sound that didn’t fit into rock, hip hop, R&B, or anything else and thus was dubbed “Pop.” In current times Pop music has developed and matured its own sound further and is characterized by a blending of real and virtual instruments (with a heavy emphasis on the virtual side). 

To adapt and survive in popularity, companies and engineers have developed synths that can complete a wide range of tasks well so as to be used in as many projects as possible. Now this is not always helpful since an extremely well made synth that focuses on one type of sound can be more useful than one that does a bunch of sounds good enough. That is why we pulled together this list of some of the best Pop synth VSTs out there to help you know what to look for. 

Quicklook: Best Pop Synth VST

  1. Parallels – Best For Depth in Your Synth
  2. The Sub – Best For Low End and Sub Bass
  3. Omnisphere – Best For Everything
  4. Jun-6 V – Best For Modeled Analog Sound
  5. Serum – Best For Compatibility and Customization
  6. Super 8 – Best For Vintage Sounds

What To Look For When Choosing a Channel Strip Plugin

When we made the list we were looking for quality of sound and how applicable it would be in different settings (with a focus on Pop music). There are however, other factors beyond the sound to keep in mind when looking at a plugin or virtual instrument, so remember to look at these factors. 

Pricing

The pricing for synths will vary based on what it is you are trying to do. If you want one that focuses on one area of expertise, you are more likely to find it is cheaper. If you want a general synth that can be used as a keyboard with pads leads, and build a whole song with, they run roughly around $100. When you start to move into more sounds and instruments with a synth like Omnisphere, the price can increase dramatically. 

Compatibility – System Requirements

Like any other plugin or DAW, you need to know your computer can effectively run the synth you are using. Normally, they will not draw any more processing power than most other plugins. 

DAW Compatibility

Synths are one of the easiest plugins to use on any DAW. The compatibility is what many companies consider right off the bat as one of the most important factors. So basically any synth you find in this list and in other lists will work with any popular DAW out there (unless it is otherwise mentioned). 

Frequency of Use

Finding a synth you love and can use over and over again with great results isn’t as hard to find as you’d think. Once you get comfortable behind the controls of a pop synth VST you can manipulate it to almost any sound imaginable. This makes getting your money’s worth from use extremely easy to attain. 

Skill Level

Many of these pop synths require some sort of aptitude for digital instruments and general synth understanding. It takes time and practice to know what knob to twist and what switch to flip to get the right tone, but what better way is there to learn other than trying it yourself?

Jump to:

6 Best Pop Synth VSTs

1. Parallels – Softube

Softube Parallels
Parallels – Softube

As a soft synth, Parallels adds a new life to its sounds with the two built in oscillators (which can individually be turned on and off). Beyond even the amazing pop synth sounds you can create yourself, there are presets from amazing artists and engineers to help point you in the right direction.

Best For: Depth in Your Synth

Price: 

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Pro Tools

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
Operating System10.7 – 10.14Windows 7, 8, or 10

2. The Sub – Iceberg Audio

This is going to be the simplest of any synth VST you will find, but also one of the most crucial. Low end and sub-bass sounds have become extremely popular in pop not only for background sound improvement but also in prominent points of the mix. Just look at “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish. With an overall high-quality sound and an amazing variety of presets, it is no wonder users have called it, “The Solution for Sub Bass.”

Best For: Low End and Sub Bass

Price: $59.00

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Reason

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM8 GB recommended 4 GB RAM8 GB recommended 
Operating System10.10 and higherWindows 10

3. Omnisphere – Spectrasonics

Spectrasonics Omnisphere
Omnisphere – Spectrasonics

Omnisphere is literally the synth for any occasion. The never-ending list of presets and settings is enough to get lost in for days. With all of the amazing capabilities at your fingertips, it’s no wonder artists such as Steve Aoki and The Chainsmokers have used them on their own songs. You can get sounds for strings, pads, bass, piano, keyboards, and much more for your tracks. 

Best For: Everything

Price: $479

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with FL Studio

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM or more recommended8 GB RAM or more recommended
Operating System10.11 and higherWindows 7 and higher

4. Jun-6 V – Arturia

Arturia Jun-6 V
Jun-6 V – Arturia

Modeled after the Roland Juno -6, this synth is full of amazing chorus effects and arpeggiators. Completely driven to sound as close as possible to the original, which can be heard on songs from Madonna, indisputably one of the biggest pop stars ever. With this VST it truly feels like you’re sitting behind an actual Juno-6. 

The Jun-6 V can be found in the V Collection 8 on Splice. This is a collection of vintage keyboards and synths that Arturia has masterfully emulated.

Best For: Modeled Analog Sound

Price:

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Cubase

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
2 GB Hard Disk Space
4 GB RAM
2 GB Hard Disk Space
Operating System10.13+ (64-bit only)Windows 8.1+ (64-bit  only)

5. Serum – Xfer Records

With many Synths, you have to look for just the right waveform to match the sound you are looking for, with Serum you can import your own that you know you’ll love. Since its release in 2014, Serum has impressed users over and over again in both functionality and sound. Due to the founder of Xfer Records history with the artist and distinctive sound, Serum has been associated with deadmau5 many times before. With artists like that in your history, you cannot expect less than excellence from this VST. 

Best For: Compatibility and Customization

Price: 

  • Rent to Own Price on Splice – $9.99 for 19 months, pause or cancel at anytime 
  • Total Price on Plugin Boutique – $189

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with FL Studio

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM
More recommended
8 GB RAM
More recommended
Operating System10.10 and laterWindows XP and Later

6. Super 8 – Native Instruments

The sounds of the Super 8 can range across so many different styles it is hard to pinpoint just how it works best in a song. It definitely has sounds relating back to more vintage gear which is becoming prevalent again in modern pop sounds. When you combine this with a Komplete Kontrol Keyboard, there is automatic parameter mapping that helps streamline how you work with VSTs from Native Instruments. 

Best For: Vintage Sounds

Price: $99.00

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Logic

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
Operating System10.14 or 10.15 (latest update)Windows 10 (64-bit)

Synthesized Success

In the audio world the word synthesize brings certain virtual sounds and instruments to mind that differ from the literal meaning of the word. Synthesize simply means, “to make something by combining different things.” Essentially every mix and every song is synthesized for the final product with all of the tracks and instruments involved. You use the same method when pushing your career and experience. You have to build your career with experiences from every aspect from, mic placement, to eq and compression, to interactions with clients, and much more. Just like a Synth, you have to look at the big picture of how each individual piece can help build and effect the whole.

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