Free VSTi covering Classic Analog Synthesizers - List

Write guides and how-tos about LMMS for other members.
Edit Feb 12 : Changed title of thread.

This will be a thread for Free VSTi Synthesizers emulating Classic Analog Synthesizers from the 60's to 80's that works with 1.0.x / 1.1.x (including 1.0.9x beta) releases of LMMS. They could have been posted to the Wiki directly but I have included a short description and supporting links for these plug-ins and it would crowd the Wiki.

It's an attempt to give back something to the project and forums.

I've been playing around with LMMS on and off (mostly off) for maybe a year, mainly making noises with Free VST synths. No composing whatsoever. For Win 7 32/64-bit the VeSTige is very good and just a few really big complex synths have been a bit unstable and crashing LMMS.

They all have been trough a brief test process outlined on the LMMS Wiki. Presets in VeSTige done and saved, Projects saved with adjusted knobs to see if the changes persists and one or two controls assigned to hardware with MIDI-Learn from within VST (where available) or assigned through LMMS. So note that the test is far from complete but should give a good indication if the plug-in works or not.

This first post will post the Computer specs, OS, LMMS version and other hardware used. The following posts will list instruments by manufacturer (the hardware being emulated) with a short description and some additional info such as manuals when available. If the mods think it will be too many posts just shout out and I'll put everything in one big post.
So.... let's start!

Computer :
Toshiba Portege Z935 Ultrabook, Intel Core i5-3317U @ 1.70GHz.
4 GB RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
Toshiba USB-3 Docking station with 2x ACER 23" 1920 x 1080 monitors + built in 13"
Built-in sound card.
Creative 2.1 computer speakers (not bad at all for its size).

LMMS version : 1.1.0 (32-bit)
All instruments have been used but not tested as per the Wiki on LMMS 64-bit version 1.0.3 / 1.0.9x / 1.1.0.
Reason for using the 32-bit version is that there were some posts indicating that there was less clicks and pops than the 64-bit version (don't know for a fact if this is true, if not then just ignore this).

MIDI hardware :
M-Audio Oxygen 49, using MIDI over USB.

All VST unless otherwise noted are 32-bit versions available from http://www.vst4free.com

This is not an attempt to compare the plug-ins to the originals as I don't have them or have even been in the same room as most of these. Just take it as a list of cool free synthesizers to play around with.
Enjoy, hopefully some will find this useful!

:)
Original Manufacturer and Model : Oberheim Two Voice (http://www.vintagesynth.com/oberheim/2voice.php)
VST : Electrostudio Or2v

This VST is an emulation of one of the (if not the) first programmable polyphonic synthesizers, the "Oberheim Two Voice" from 1975/76.
The "Two Voice" is duophonic but achieves this by having two (SEM) modules which means that each voice had to be individually programmed, it is like playing two independent synthesizers with one keyboard.
There were also a four and eight voice version being sold, imagine setting up 8 voices independently.
Each synthesizer module (SEM) have 2x VCO Osc and an envelope (ADS) control for each Osc, a VCF, and LFO for modulation.

The two independent voices can be used in unison for creating really nice analog sounds.
Run several instances of this with a MIDI controller to emulate a Four or Eight voice. The sound is FAT!
On top of this there is an 8-step CV/Gate sequencer.

Works perfectly in LMMS. Changes on the UI persists after reload. Did not try to save a preset from VeSTige but assume this works.
MIDI-Learn function also works in LMMS.
Edit Feb 11 : Loading a patch from within crashes LMMS. This seems to be common for all Elektrostudio synthesizers.

The layout is almost identical to the original making it easy to use the original user manual as a reference.
URL : http://www.synthmanuals.com/manuals/oberheim/two-voice/

---------------------------------------------------------

Original Manufacturer and Model : Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa, OB-8
VST : OBXD (32-bit, also available as 64-bit)

This is a really nice emulation of the Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-8 polyphonic analog synth from 1979-1985. Not sure which it emulates best so let's just call it an emulation of the 'OB' Series.

The GUI is really nice and easy to use. Does not come with presets but who needs that :) ;). There are controls for panning of each voice directly on the GUI. The function existed is the originals but was hidden away and not really meant to be messed with. Nice function to make the sounds have a lot of.... hmm... 'space' and 'volume'.

This one also works perfectly in LMMS. Presets can be saved, changes to buttons on the GUI are saved with the LMMS project and finally the MIDI-Learn function works.
Again, running multiple instances of this sounds really good and could be used to emulate the layering feature from the OB-Xa (the 8 voice could be split into 2x 4 voices and then layered).

The GUI is a close remake of the originals, again meaning the original manuals can be used.
Manuals:
OB-X : http://www.synthmanuals.com/manuals/oberheim/ob-x/
OB-Xa : http://www.synthmanuals.com/manuals/oberheim/ob-xa/
OB-8 : none found
Original Manufacturer and model : Moog Minimoog Model-D

Several VST plug-ins will be listed here.

This next section covers Moog Minimoog inspired emulators, and there are quite a few free ones that sound good (do they sound like a Mini-Moog? No idea) and are laid out and designed in the same way as the original hardware.
Yet again they are so similar to the original that the manuals can be used as a reference when programming them.

Probably the most well known synthesizer there is. It came out in the late 60's ('70 for the production Model D ?) and was/is a 3 Osc (VCO) monophonic analog synth with an ADS envelope VCA, 24dB/oct LP filter with cutoff/resonance/envelope control and keyboard tracking. The third osc can be used as a LFO.

Original Minimoog Manual. URL : http://www.synthmanuals.com/manuals/moog/minimoog/



VST : Cyclick Freemoog

This instrument looks very similar to a real Mimimoog and can indeed be used and programmed just like one but it comes with some bonus features. There is an option for polyphony with up to 8 voices as well as the option to use 2-8 of them in unison.
There is also a Matrix Modulation function, Arpeggiator and a CV Sequencer available and an extra LFO generator (select Mod Panel ON, lower left corner). Didn't have much success in understanding the sequencer. A Manual would have been great. Comes with 36 presets, sounds great.
There is no MIDI-Learn but controls can be assigned from within VeSTige. Presets can be saved and changes to knobs persist when saving the complete project.


VST : Elektrostudio Model Mini

This instrument is monophonic and also this one is laid out much like the original. There is no extras functionality added and following the original manual seems to work just fine. It is also easier to use because of the lack of extras.
Can't say anything about the originality of the sound more than it sounds good and works as expected.
MIDI-Learn works. Presets can be saved and changes to knobs persist when saving the complete project.
Comes with 64 presets.
Edit Feb 11 : Saving and loading patches from within VeSTige does not work but in this case LMMS doesn't crash.


VST : Robertson Audio RA Mowg 1.2

Looks like the real thing, easy to learn and use. True to the original manual. No extra functions.
Does not have MIDI-Learn but controllers can be assigned from within VeSTige but the knobs all have the same label so it's difficult to figure out which one does what.
Have not used this one much at all but it seems to work fine. Comes with 16 presets.


VST : Glen Stegner MiniMogueVA

The last one in this category is a VST that is based on the Minimoog for sure but have a few extras just like the Freemoog (polyphony & Arpeggiator) but also (as it seems) has a bit of Minimoog Voyager Oldschool flavor to it. Whatever it is, it sounds really good.
If you look at the original Minimoog and strip away the other major add-ons (Delay, Chorus, extended LFO control) the similarities and differences becomes a bit more clear.
This VST has ADSR envelope for Filter contour and Amplifier instead of ADS. Osc 1 has a Freq control instead of none at all. The master Tune from the original is gone. 'Filter Modulation' from the original is done differently and looks to be replaced by a 'VCO3 Filter Mod' control. The 'Pink/White' noise gen from the mixer part is gone and replaced by two noise wave forms available on Osc 3. On top of this all three Osc now also have a sine wave as an option.

MIDI-Learn is available and works in LMMS. Changes made to knobs on the VST persists and are saved with the project. Saving a preset works but trying to load it back crashes LMMS.
ARP Odyssey is one of the analog classics from yesteryear. The original is a 2 Osc Mono/Duo phonic synthesizer. In the Duo pphonic mode the second voice tracks Osc 2 when a second key is pressed which is a very characteristic feature of the Odyssey. Very special effects can be made with this mode.
Four free emulators are listed here and all of them are very close to the original in terms of layout with small variations. All of these are fun to play around with.
The Elektrostudio version has some additional Modulation and Echo functions added through controls on the right side of the keyboard.
Original Manual & Path book URL : http://www.synthmanuals.com/manuals/arp/odyssey/


Original Manufacturer and model : ARP Odyssey Mk III
VST : EFM Odd-SE

The design replicates the look of the Mk III with orange on black. It differs from the original in that the pitch bend range can be set to 2, 12, or 24 (octaves?) and it appears that it is monophonic only. If someone finds the option for Duo please post it. The Duo mode can generate some very nice sounds.

There is no MIDI-Learn option but the controls can be assigned to hardware from within VeSTige but the labels on the knobs visible on the plugin control are very generic and it is hard to find which one does what. It does however work.
The changes made to knobs are saved with the LMMS projects.
Patches can be saved but LMMS crashes when loading. Beware.


Original Manufacturer and model : ARP Odyssey Mk II
VST : Roberson Audio Oddy-Free v1.4

This looks like a recreation of the Mk II model with gold on black and colored sliders. The only functional diference from the original is yet again the lack of a Duo/Mono phonic mode selection. This one however is duo phonic by default.

Changes to the GUI are saved with the project, pathes can be saved from VeSTige but once again LMMS crashes when reloading the patch. VeSTige bug? (RemoteVSTPlugin.exe reports some parameters could not be loaded).


Original Manufacturer and model : ARP Odyssey Mk III
VST : Synthschool Odyssey

Yet another Mk III with a faithful look but this one can be set to 2-32 voices of polyphony. The characteristic Duo phonic mode is missing and the polyphony works like a 'regular' synth.

No MIDI-Learn function in this one either but the buttons in the VeSTige plugin control are labelled and it is fairly easy to select the correct button when assigning hardware controls. Patches can be saved and reloaded from within VeSTige.


Original Manufacturer and model : ARP Odyssey Mk II/III
VST : Elektrostudio ODsay

This one is a Mk 'something' :) probably a Mk III but with different colors and it looks really good. It has a (as far as I can see/hear) a correct implementation of the Duo phonic mode. On top of an additional A-440 reference signal there is also a master tune control, and extra Echo and Mod functions added. The Echo and Mod can be disabled with the extra buttons down on the right side of the keyboard just in case anyone want to follow the original Odyssey patch book and tutorial/manual.

MIDI-Learn exists and works in LMMS. Changes to knobs on GUI persists and are saved with the project. Patches can be saved from within VeSTige but once a gain LMMS crashes when loading. That is really to bad since this is my favorite variant of the ones here.


Edit : Added another Odyssey inspired VST.

Original Manufacturer and model : ARP Odyssey
VST : Cescato, Trans Computer Maschine II

It might be a stretch to list this VST in this category since it has been extended in many ways beyond the original. However the layout, looks, and programming is clearly made to replicate one.
Allegedly is was designed to be a sequencer / controller and maybe that is what it is supposed to be used as but it does sound great.

It is an interesting and well sounding semi-modular VST with 3 oscillators instead of 2 in the original. There is also an old-school 16 step sequencer built in (with many more functions way beyond my knowledge). The sequencer can be Synced with the tempo set in LMMS.
It is monophonic and does not try to emulate the duo-phonic mode of the Odyssey but has a selector to select the lead-mode (that is how the keys are triggered) between Odyssey, MiniMoog, ARP 2600 and the Synthi.

There is no MIDI learn function but the buttons in the VeSTige plugin control are labeled. Even the sequencer settings can be remote controlled.
Well worth a download.
Wow, such information :)

Although I don't see why people want to list all VST(i)s that work in LMMS cause there is like 99% that does and 1% that doesn't, it is nice that you make us aware of these synths
:)

The point of this was to list VSTi that emulates or try to recreate classic analog synthesizers. They are not very complex and are easy to use and invites to experimentation and play. The other nice part is that there is a lot of info and tutorials for old instruments like this including manuals.....

It's absolutely correct that most VSTi do work and there are hundreds out there for free. Many are so big complex there is almost no way of grasping them and getting anything done. I will not list any of these and restrict this to VSTi related to 'classics' that did and do exist. Should probably change the title to reflect this.

The biggest problem with VSTi in LMMS is saving and loading patches from within VeSTige. Loading many times result in a LMMS crash. Is this due to different VST protocol versions or bugs in the VSTi itself or in LMMS... no idea?

The next post will be a few implementations of the EMS VCS3 and then that'll probably be it. Maybe a post about a sampler that is geared towards sound design and not one of those massive GB sample playback machines.

Thank you for reading and commenting :)
Time for another post in this thread (besides the recent addition to the Odyssey family, check it out).
This time it is about a classic oddball that can be used for classic leads but probably mainly known as an effects machine used by for example Pink Floyd and Jean-Michel Jarre.

Yes it is the EMS VCS3 released in 1969 and the related models Synthi A, Synthi AKS and the monster Synthi 100 that came out in the following years.
A 3 oscillator synth with a routing matrix that will result in hours of tweaking and experimentation. Welcome to geek heaven. :)
The original manual can be found here : http://www.thesynthi.de/index.php?/arch ... anual.html

Three options is listed here. Two are true to the original in looks and functionality and the last one is a super version with polyphony and a ton of extras. Check out more VSTs from this man, they are all excellent.


Original Manufacturer and Model : EMS VCS-3 / Synthi A / Synthi AKS / Synthi 100
VST : Cynthia from Ninecows (32-bit, also available as an FX version that can be used as an effect)

True in layout and functionality to the original, use the original manual for reference.
Like all others from this group, prepare to spend hours creating sounds and effects.
Knob settings persist within a LMMS project that uses it and the labeling of the VeSTige knobs are fairly clear and assigning the knobs to a controller works.
Presets can be saved from VeSTige but loading them will not work. This seems to be common to many VSTs (problem with VeSTige itself?)
There is an 8 step CV control sequencer but I couldn't figure out how it works,


Original Manufacturer and Model : EMS VCS-3 / Synthi A / Synthi AKS / Synthi 100
VST : Synthia2 from EFM (32-bit)

Very similar to the first one with a few knobs moved around and lack of sequencer. Original manual can be used for this one too.
Assigning knobs to controls work but the labeling of knobs is poor so it can be hard to use.
Knob settings persist within the LMMS project but yet again loading presets does not work and LMMS crashes.


Original Manufacturer and Model : EMS VCS-3 / Synthi A / Synthi AKS / Synthi 100
VST : V5 KX-SYNTH-X16 from KX77FREE (32-bit)

This last one is a VCS-3 variant on steroids. It is very complex and will take time to learn.
Up to 6 voice polyphony and an advanced CV control sequencer. The settings from teh main panel apply to all six voices BUT there is also a control panel for each voice individually meaning it can work like the Oberheim Two, Four and Eight voice synthesizer. There is also a UNI option to overlay all 6 voices (or just the ones activated) into one. With 3 osc for each voice this means that you can make a sound using all 18 oscillators!
Fat sounds will fill the room.

Luckily there is a MIDI learn function (right click the control) that works since the vast number of control makes it practically impossible to make assignments using the 'wrench' in VeSTige.

Do not save and load presets from VeSTige as LMMS will crash hard. Saving and loading works fine from the VST GUI by using the small button labelled 'Bk' in the lower left corner.

This is a really great synthesizer. Check out the others from KX77FREE. Top notch work.
Good support from the website too : http://kx77free.free.fr/English-page-vst.html

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