1Novation SuperNova/SuperNova II
The SuperNova and SuperNova II are virtual-analogue synths that deliver a lovely, rich sound. Most commonly found as a rack module (a keyboard version does exist), the synth’s extensive control panel provides oodles of MIDI-recordable hands-on control over the instrument. The version 2 model has an external audio input, too.
Circa £550 (used). More info here.
The Roland Cloud is a subscription-only service that provides access to a collection of software instruments modelled on the company’s back catalogue of era-defining synths and drum machines. The library includes: Jupiter-8, Juno-106, SH-101, D-50, JV-1080, TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303.
£18.50/month/$19.95/month. More info here.
3Arturia Synclavier V
Arturia’s exquisitely detailed model of the original NED Synclavier takes you right back to the dawn of the digital-synth era. The plug-in was developed in partnership with the original Synclavier’s programmer Cameron Jones and at €149, is a tiny fraction of the staggering price you would have paid back in the day.
€149. More info here.
The Korg Z1 is essentially a polyphonic version of its earlier Prophecy mono synth. Its MOSS tone generator features both physical and analogue modelling, as well as an FM-like method called VPM. The instrument has a great sound, with full-bodied analogue synths, good brass and woodwind sounds, and excellent electric pianos and organs.
Circa £600 (used). More info here.
5IK Multimedia Modo Bass
Modo Bass is a bass-guitar synthesizer that truly shows off the power of physical modelling. When designing the Modo Bass model, IK has taken into account every element of an electric-bass guitar that contributes to the overall sound. The result is a startlingly realistic instrument that puts sampled bass guitar to shame.
€359. More info here.
6Arturia Modular V
Moog is a legend of subtractive analogue synthesis, a reputation that started with its Modular synthesiser, first released in 1965. Original examples of this monster change hands for many thousands of pounds/dollars – thankfully, Arturia’s modelled version is much less expensive, yet delivers a very close emulation of the real thing.
€149. More info here.
For more buyer’s guides, check here.