Some of my colleagues here at eMusicAdvisor assert that you simply can’t get pro results without pro gear – but personally I’m in the camp of “free synths are better than no synths!”. With that in mind, I went shopping for some gratis (or donation-based) softsynths a while ago, and found Togu Audio Line.
There’s a wealth of options in the product line – including emulations of some classic hardware synths, and subtractive synthesizers of TAL’s own creation. TAL-BassLine does exactly what it does on the tin, providing some beefy low-end monophony. I’ve found it works really well as a Sine generator, either for that can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it sub energy, or as a squealing lead.
TAL-U-No-62 (no prizes for guessing the unsubtle reference here) is, as you’d expect, a user-friendly emulation of Roland’s JUNO-60 – and the number of organ sounds is generates is staggering.
The TAL-Noisemaker and TAL-E lek7ro give off some unreal sounds (remember you don’t even have to pay for this quality), and if you combine them with each other, multiple instances of different patches, or the synths you already use, you’ll quickly be into unchartered sound-design territory.
Each of the TAL synths comes pre-packed with too many presets to use – all of which sound great, and some of which have inspired me to create whole tracks around them. There’s also a number of effects on offer, such as two standalone filters; vocoder; reverb; Dub-style echo/delay; flanger/phaser/bitcrusher and distortion for all your guitarists’ needs; and that classic Juno Chorus? Yep, it comes as a standalone “TAL-Chorus-60″ plugin too.
Available as VST or AU for both PC and Mac (although in Logic you get more presets running VSTAU manager rather than going the component route).
As you can clearly see, I love these plugins, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, like Reaper, TAL start to steadily increase the price once more people cotton onto the bargain on offer here.