Gear Of The Year: Best software synth of 2020

This year has seen a mammoth set of world-class software synths that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their hardware counterparts. Here we decide who came out on top...

WINNER: Arturia Pigments 2

Price Free update from v1 £90
Contact Arturia

An update that supercharged Pigments from a straightforward palette to a vibrant beacon of intelligent and colourful soft-synth design, Pigments 2’s two synth engines coupled with its sample-import abilities and MPE functionality make it a deeply rewarding tool. With its onboard sequencer and effects, this is a wonderful performance instrument too, as well as a creative boon for sound sculptors, thanks to its randomisation options.

Read our full review here.

Highly commended: Slate and Ash Cycles

GOTY Soft Synth Slate + Ash Cycles

Price £270
Contact Slate + Ash

Bristol-based Slate + Ash brought its wholly original approach to soft-synth creation to Cycles, sitting the synth engine alongside a step-based sequential and looping element. Though there’s some crossover between the two, this is far more than a simple loop-based instrument and can be exploited in a variety of ways. It boasts a pleasingly straightforward but never boring UI too.

Read our full review here.

Also nominated:

To check out other GOTY categories, click here.

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