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A plugin is a software synthesizer which can be accessed within a DAW. Usually the plugin is loaded on a MIDI track.

Instrument plugins interface with your DAW through one of a handful of standards. Steinberg's VST is a standard supported by many DAWs. AudioUnit (AU) is widely supported on Mac computers. RTAS is used by ProTools. Put simply, you should check your DAW's user manual to see what kind of plugins you can run.

In some synths portamento/glide doesn't work properly when microtuned. Examples are Xfer Serum and LinPlug synths. There may be others, so it is recommended to test this function before making a purchase, if it is important for you.

Synths to add: all Homegrown Sounds synths

Name
Description
Platform
Tuning ability
Tuning method
Cost
alphacanal Automat
Subtractive synthesizer with FM and waveshaping
Mac, AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
Free
Applied Acoustics Chromaphone 2
Physical modelled percussion
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX/RTAS
Full-keyboard microtuning
Scala file import (is kbm supported?)
$199
Applied Acoustics Lounge Lizard EP-4
Physical modelled electric piano
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX/RTAS
Full-keyboard microtuning
Scala file import (is kbm supported?)
$199
Applied Acoustics String Studio VS-2
Physical modelled strings
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX/RTAS
Full-keyboard microtuning
Scala file import (is kbm supported?)
$199
Applied Acoustics Ultra Analog VA-2
Virtual analog
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX/RTAS
Full-keyboard microtuning
Scala file import (is kbm supported?)
$199
Big Tick Angelina
Vocal formant synthesizer
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
Free
Big Tick Rhino
Hybrid FM
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$99
Cakewalk Dimension Pro
Combines real instruments with advanced synthesis
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
comes with SONAR Platinum
Cakewalk Rapture Pro
Multisample synthesizer
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
$149
Cakewalk Z3TA+2
Waveshaping synthesizer
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
$99
Camel Audio Alchemy
Additive synthesizer/spectral sampler
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
No longer available
(it is now part of Apple Logic Pro X)
Garritan Personal Orchestra 4
Sample-based orchestra library
Windows/Mac,
VST/other?
Supposedly full-keyboard microtuning, though nonoctave scales are buggy
scl/kbm file import
$149.95
Humanoid Sound Systems Enzyme
Scanned synthesis
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$79.99
kv331audio Synthmaster and Synthmaster One
Flexible semi-modular synthesizer
Windows/Mac,
VST/AU/AAX
? probably
scl file import
$79
$69
Imageline Harmor
Additive synthesizer
Windows only, VST/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
(cannot adjust reference frequency properly)
€139
Key Tuner JSFX Script
MIDI note retuning
Runs in ReaJS in Reaper
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
Free
LinPlug Alpha
Subtractive synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
discontinued
LinPlug CRX4
Sample manipulation synth
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$99
LinPlug MorphoX
Subtractive synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU (and Mac-only RTAS)
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$129, €99
LinPlug Octopus
Modulation synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
discontinued
LinPlug Organ 3
Organ emulation
Windows/Mac, VST/AU (and Mac-only RTAS)
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
discontinued
LinPlug SaxLab
Saxophone emulation
Windows/Mac, VST/AU (and Mac-only RTAS)
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$99, €79
LinPlug Spectral
Additive/subtractive synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$149, €119
Madrona Labs Aalto
Semi-modular synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
$99
Madrona Labs Kaivo
Semi modular synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
$129
Madrona Labs Virta
Sound-controlled synthesizer and effects
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
$89
Mark Henning AnaMark
Virtual analog/modulation synthesizer
Windows, VST
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
Free
Modartt Pianoteq
Physical-modeled piano
Windows/Mac/Linux, VST/AU/RTAS/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl/kbm file import
€249-€399
Native Instruments Absynth
Virtual modular subtractive synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/standalone
Limited to 12 note scales, each note ±50 cents from 12-edo
User input
$199
Native Instruments FM8
FM synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX
Limited to 12 note scales, each note ±50 cents from 12-edo
User input
$199
Native Instruments Kontakt 5
Sampler
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
Kontakt script
$399
Plogue Alter/Ego
real-time singing synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import
Free
Plogue chipsounds
Emulation of classic arcade/console sound chips
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
(IIRC buggy with nonoctave scales)
scl/kbm file import
$95
Plogue Sforzando
Sampler, .sfz soundfont format
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/standalone
Limited to 12 note scales
scl/kbm file import
Free
Reveal Sound Spire
Subtractive synthesizer with flexible oscillators
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX, 32/64 bit
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl file import with adjustable reference pitch
$189
Spectrasonics Omnisphere
Rompler/synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$499, €379
SynthFontVSTi
Soundfont player (sf2, sfz, sfark, gig, dls, etc.)
Windows, VST
Limited to 12 note scales
Manual entry or choose from a list
Free
TAL BassLine-101
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
€55,80
TAL sampler
Sampler/Synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$60
TAL U-NO-LX
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
€55,80
u-he ACE
Virtual modular analog synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
€69
u-he Bazille
Virtual modular synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$129
u-he Diva
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$179
u-he Zebra
Various synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU (and Mac-only RTAS)
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$199
UVI Falcon
Hybrid synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
scl/kbm file import
€349
VAZ Modular
Virtual modular synthesizer
Windows, VST/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
£129.99
VAZ Plus
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows, VST/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
£14.99
Vogue MK2
Virtual analog and wavetable
Mac Standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTX
Free
Virtual CZ
Virtual emulation of classic digital synthesizer
Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAX
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
€70
Xen-Arts FMTS2
FM/spectral synthesizer
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or import MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xen-Arts IVOR2
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or import MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xen-Arts IVOR
Virtual analog synthesizer
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or import MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xen-Arts Xen-FMTS
FM/spectral synthesizer
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or
import
MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xen-Arts XenFont
Soundfont (sf2) player
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or
import
MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xen-Arts XenFont2
Soundfont (sf2) player
Windows, VST (32-bit)
Full-keyboard microtuning
MTS messages, or
import
MIDI tuning dump
Free
Xfer Serum
Wavetable synthesizer
Windows, OSX, VST/AU/AAX 32/64-bit
Full-keyboard microtuning
tun file import
$189
ZynAddSubFX
Various synthesizer
Windows/Linux, VST/standalone
Full-keyboard microtuning
Direct input of values, or import
scl/kbm file
Free

$59 for 3.0 version