SURGE is a free, open source synth that’s available for macOS, Windows & Linux.
The software synth is described as a ‘subtractive hybrid’ design.
Each patch contain two ‘scenes’ which are separate instances of the entire synthesis engine (except effects) that can be used for layering or split patches.
- 3 oscillators per voice
- 8 versatile oscillator algorithms: Classic, Sine, Wavetable, Window, FM2, FM3, S/H Noise and Audio input
- Most algorithms (except FM2, FM3, Sine and Audio-input) offer up to 16-voice unison at the oscillator level.
- Oscillator FM/ring modulation
- Noise generator with variable spectrum.
- Two filter units in 8 different configurations
- Available filter algorithms: LP12 (3 variations), LP24 (3 variations), LP Ladder (1-4 poles), HP12 (3 variations), HP24 (3 variations), BP (4 variations), Notch (2 variations), Comb (4 variations), S&H
- Waveshaper (5 shapes)
- 12 LFO units available, 6 are per voice and 6 are global for the whole scene
- DAHDSR envelope generators on every LFO-unit
- 7 deformable LFO waveforms + drawable/step sequencer waveform
- LFO 1 allows envelope retriggering when used as step sequencer
- Extremely fast and flexible modulation routing. Almost every continuous parameter can be modulated.
- 8 effect units arranged as 2 inserts per scene, 2 sends and 2 master effects
- 10 top-quality algorithms:
- Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Phaser, EQ, Distortion, Conditioner (EQ, stereo-image control, and limiter), Rotary speaker, Frequency shifter, Vocoder
SURGE is available now as a free download.
4 thoughts on “Free & Open Source Software Synth, SURGE, Now Available For Linux, macOS & Windows”
I was thinking to buy a 2nd-hand Access Virus Indigo-2.
On paper, this looks better !
In the ear, it sounds pretty good. Especially with some kind of MPE controller.
Kudos to CDM for doing this. The instrument holds up well in comparison to other things. Nice clean GUI, too, which you don’t always get. I once had too big a hardware stack; now it all resides on a Mac. Newbies, buy a couple of solid commercial softsynths for your base, drop a few like SURGE into the toolkit and blend it with a decent controller/main hard-synth in the middle. It doesn’t take much to possess the power of Greyskull if built in measured steps. P.S.: Its not a bad idea to make one softsynth a powerhouse like Falcon. Some allow you to drop in WAVs or build your own wavetables. If you use Logic, Alchemy will have you covered.
I’d be curious what people think would be “solid commercial softsynths” that could be used as a base. I have Dune 2, and SynthMaster, which both seem pretty solid. I also have Z3ta, which is ok (good mod matrix). I have Arturia MiniMoog V, and AAS UltraAnalog. Not sure where any of those fall on the quality scale. I have Kontakt & Reaktor, and a few other AAS synths.
I have MainStage 3, but the only synth I use in there is the excellent Sculpture.
I know U-he’s synths are considered to be top notch.