If you’re a music producer wondering what the most expensive VST plugins are, you’re in the right place.
This list is a compilation of some of the lesser-known VSTs out there, but still pack a mighty punch in terms of features and deserve more light for what they contribute to the music producer community.
1. Synthmaster ‘Everything’ Bundle
SynthMaster is an ‘all-around’ semi-modular software synthesizer and effect plug-in that features many different synthesis methods including:
- Wave scanning
- Phase Modulation
- Frequency Modulation
- Pulse Width Modulation
- Ring Modulation
- Amplitude Modulation
- Physical Modeling
- SFZ Sample Playback Synthesis.
With its multi-synthesis oscillators, analogue modelled/digital filters, flexible effects routing with 11 types of high-quality effects and a massive modulation architecture with 95 separate modulation sources and 650+ modulation targets; SynthMaster is a ‘must-have’ for all synthesizer enthusiasts!
Weighing in at $425.51 this synth is a burn on your wallet but a wise investment for any committed any synth head. So if you need a great synth VST I’d consider looking at the SynthMaster Everything Bundle.
2. Piano V3
The Piano V now brings to the V Collection the king of all instruments, including a studio full of faithful models of various pianos, plus the ability to shape your piano sounds for a whole new level of control.
The Piano V delivers, not one, but twelve different world-class pianos that we’ve meticulously crafted using our critically acclaimed modelling technology. Because they’re models, you not only get a wide range of true pianos, we’ve been able to give you controls over different components and characteristics that have never been accessible before. You can play pianos that are the pinnacle of realism or get as radical as you want with unconventional sounds. The versatile Piano V is an indispensable foundational instrument for any keyboardist, writer or producer in any style of music.
Costing $278.74 this piano is an all-around choice for any music producer or musician with enough versatility to keep you going for years because with Piano V there is no need for any other piano library.
3. Rhodes V8 Pro
Rhodes presents the V8 Pro Edition, a groundbreaking choice for audio enthusiasts who crave complete mastery. With an aim to amplify the already expansive sonic capabilities of the V8, this edition elevates control, precision, and intricacy to unprecedented levels, delivering an unrivalled experience. The V8 Pro Edition meticulously incorporates the intricate characteristics of the MK8 FX board, showcasing a meticulous simulation of the VCA Compressor and Phaser, accompanied by the dynamic Bucket-Brigade Chorus and Delay effects.
With a vast collection of 30,000 samples, all meticulously taken from Rhodes’ prestigious MK8 piano, the V8 captures every nuance and subtlety of the original instrument. This comprehensive sampling includes an impressive range of up to 127 velocity layers, 14 distinct articulations, and even authentic mechanical noises, further enhancing the realism of the virtual instrument. Moreover, the V8 incorporates a cutting-edge hyper-real modelling engine, raising the bar for sonic authenticity to an unparalleled level, setting it apart as the ultimate electric piano virtual instrument.
Costing $322.34, this electric piano is one of the best I’ve used in years.
4. Krotos Igniter
Krotos Igniter is one of the stranger VST plugins on this list, as its a synthesizer designed for creating and automating the sound of vehicles straight into your digital audio workstation, including sports cars, motorbikes, planes, helicopters, spacecraft, drones or anything else that you can possibly imagine.
Here are some use cases pulled directly from the product page:
- Vehicle Movement – Design vehicles with automation and eliminate the time-consuming elements of vehicle sound effects. Follow along to your footage on screen as you design, with a flexible and quick workflow.
- Driving Pass-Bys – Add a Doppler effect to any preset in Igniter instantly, and perform the movement of a vehicle through a space, or as it moves past the viewer. Save and recall this movement for easy adjustments later in the edit, or save your presets for use in another project.
- Vehicle Foley – Sweeteners, car doors, windows, windscreen wipers, interiors or exteriors – deliver your full vehicle scene in one. The One Shot tab contains a collection of samplers which can be loaded with sweeteners to add an extra dimension to your designs.
- Electric Vehicles – Access a number of electric vehicle assets directly in Igniter’s File Browser, and ready-to-go electric vehicle presets to generate fully realistic electric vehicle effects instantly.
- Perspectives & Changes – Mix and Automate between Engine and Exhaust perspectives for each vehicle to get the perfect mix. Use Igniter’s built-in Convolution Reverb to switch between interior and exterior perspectives, even drag and drop your own Impulse Responses from your own library.
- Movement on Surfaces – Igniter’s Loop system allows you to sequence loops along a timeline to design dynamically changing loop-based systems. This feature allows your vehicle to move across different surfaces, wind speeds, or to create loop-driven systems for vehicles using static rev band recordings.
- Complex Actions – Maximise Igniter’s potential for adding revs, acceleration, brakes, engines and exhausts. Quickly sketch your vehicle’s behaviour with your mouse or midi controller, and perform along to picture right away.
- Drones & Aerial Vehicles – The ground is not the limit! As well as on-ground vehicles, Igniter contains a large selection of aerial sound effects, ideal for designing helicopters, and drones.
- Sci-Fi & Futuristic Spaceships – Travel through time and space and design spaceships, sci-fi textures and vehicles of the future using Igniter’s Synth tab.
Costing $392.71, this synthesizer is perfect for any producer or sound designer.
5. Buchla Easel V
The Buchla Easel V is the first recreation of Don Buchla’s iconic instrument that helped define experimental West Coast modular synthesis in the early ‘70s. Our enhancements translate to vastly expanded possibilities for sound design and avant-garde music.
You’ve always wanted to paint with sound. Now you can with the Buchla Easel V.
One look at the Buchla Easel V and you know this is a different beast. In fact, it makes you think differently about sound right from the start—and the soundscapes you can design with it are as unique as the front panel array. To put that experience at your fingertips, we meticulously recreated the rare 1973 Buchla Music Easel right down to the component level. As you’ve come to expect from our other V-series instruments, we’ve gone the extra mile by designing in an enhanced feature set including polyphony, innovative new modulation/control sources, step sequencer, effects, and more.
Costing $166.80, If you like to paint outside the lines, Buchla Easel V is the perfect artistic tool for you.
6. Matrix 12 V
The massively powerful Oberheim Matrix-12 has been resurrected at last. Using our TAE™ modelling technology, we are able to recapture this beast of a synthesizer and bring it to you.
The Matrix 12 was the first programmable analogue synthesizer that took the best features of a preset voice path and modular flexibility. This bold combination made it a force of nature and something that had not been seen before. It also had a 15-mode filter system that enabled it to have sounds that had never been heard before.
Costing $166.80 if classic synth emulation is what you need in your productions, I wouldn’t give this one a miss.
7. DX7 V
The DX7 V accurately models the FM digital synthesizer that became synonymous with the sound of the ‘80s. Our enhancements add more of everything to make the new DX7 V sound for all time.
In 1983, the DX7 changed the world of music. Today, the DX7 V gives you the power to change it again.
Nothing says ‘80s like the sound of the DX7. Our authentic recreation gives you all the same FM digital technology and sounds that earned the instrument a revered place in the history of both keyboards and contemporary music. We didn’t stop at just replicating it, though —we re-imagined it. New operator waves, extensive modulation additions, arpeggiator and onboard FX chains enhance your sonic possibilities exponentially. For bonus points, an intuitive graphic interface makes what was once a daunting programming task a creative joy today.
We put booster rockets on the instrument that created innumerable ‘80s hits. Now you can create the definitive sounds of today and tomorrow.
Costing $166.80 the DX7 V is perfect for any synthesis maniac.
The oscillators, filters and envelopes closely model components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in real-time. The behaviour of zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach.
Costing $202.06 Diva is a complicated synth for truly seasoned Sound Designers, If you need a synth that packs a punch and is rich in features then Diva is for you!
Spire is a software polyphonic synthesizer that combines powerful sound engine modulation and flexible architecture, a graphical interface provides unparalleled usability. Spire is the embodiment of the best opportunities, within software and hardware synthesizers.
Costing $257.87 is essential for any music producer looking for a powerful synth that can do it all!
10. Stutter Edit 2
Stutter Edit 2 is a multi-effect plugin and is a cheat code for producers, built by BT in partnership with iZotope, Stutter Edit 2 offers an effortless way to achieve the renowned “stutter” editing effect. With just one button, you can slice and dice your samples, tracks, and mixes, unleashing a world of creative possibilities. Elevate your creations with the all-new Curve Editor, granting you precise control over effects synchronized to the tempo. Delve into a wealth of fresh banks, brimming with pre-made presets, encompassing soaring gestures, mesmerizing glitched-out breakdowns, and more, allowing you to explore boundless musical horizons.
Costing $273.40 makes adding amazing stutters to your beats easy.
11. Solina Redux
Solina Redux gives you access to the original Solina sounds, including a model of the Ensemble chorus effect, but includes a modern virtual analogue synthesizer as a sidecar. The combination of these two synthesizers provides a sound palette that is both retro and modern or anything in between at your discretion. Each synth includes a multi-mode filter, amplitude and filter envelopes, LFO modulations and send effects.
To top it off, Solina Redux adds in two fully programmable step sequencers, one for the Solina instrument and one for the analog synthesizer. Play one note and out comes a modern orchestra unlike any you’ve heard. Each step sequencer gives you per step control over the pitch of each note, the volume of each note, the filter cutoff of each note, and the panning of each note. Other controls include gate time, tempo sync, time division, swing, note order and octave shift.
Costing $64.47 Solina Redux makes complex synthesis easy.
12. NOVO Modern Strings
Heavyocity had one goal in mind when they set out to create NOVO: “Make strings new again.” Recorded at the famous Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios, of course, NOVO is a world-class, deeply-sampled orchestral strings instrument. But that’s where its similarities to other orchestral VI’s end. Beyond the almost 40GB of fully-customizable sound-designed string samples, NOVO enables composers to tweak, process, layer, and sequence like no virtual instrument ever has before. Imagine the possibility of fusing superior orchestral strings with Heavyocity’s signature sound design; it’s a new frontier in hybrid film, game, and television scoring. Simply put, there has never been a cinematic strings instrument quite like NOVO. And in all likelihood, there probably never will be.
- 38 GB uncompressed (25 GB on Disk with NI lossless compression)
- Available as direct download only
- 21,254 Samples
- 308 Snapshot Presets
- 57 NKAs
- 8 NKIs
- 6 Traditional Sections (Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, High Ensemble, Low Ensemble)
- String Designer
- Loop Designer
- Intuitive Sample Browser
- CYCLE page for advanced granular & rhythmic playback
- MACRO knob for dynamic multi-parameter control
- Stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX
Costing $652.49 Modern Novo Strings is provides an amazing go-to option for any producer and easily adaptable to any genre.
GRAVITY is not just another virtual instrument – it’s like having an award-winning sound design team at your fingertips. Experience the most dynamic collection of Modern Scoring Tools ever assembled.
Developed by Heavyocity’s award-winning team of professional composers and sound designers (Interstellar, Gone Girl, Godzilla), GRAVITY covers the gamut of intangible scoring elements; complex Pads, evocative Risers, other-worldly Stings, and earth-shattering Hits. With over 12GB of production-ready instruments in an inspiring new interface, GRAVITY delivers a stunning sound and visual aesthetic. Get Pulled In and make the Heavyocity sound your own.
- 12 GB uncompressed (9.2GB on Disk with NI lossless compression)
- Available as direct download only
- 2200+ Sound Sources
- 815+ Snapshots
- 325+ Motion Presets (NKA’s)
- 1200+ NKIs
- 780+ Pads
- 390+ Stings
- 19 Riser Menus
- 9 Hit Menus
- Two new “Designers” for Hits and Risers
- Motion page for advanced volume, pitch, and pan pattern creation
- Playable Trigger FX™ for real-time control
- Stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX
Costing $532.56 Gravity is an expensive option but packs a punch for any studio set up.
14. AEON Collection
The AEON Collection delivers over 720 presets with 27 GB (14GB on disk) of organic and synth Melodic Instruments, cutting-edge Loops, Arpeggiated Instruments and epic One-Shots. This unique collection combines traditional, ethnic, and orchestral instruments with searing synths and edgy samples, all created with Heavyocity’s signature quality. Create lush melodies, dark lyrical phrases and devastating synth and bass lines directly within a deeply customized user interface. Also be sure to get both The AEON ‘Melodic’ and ‘Rhythmic’ components either as a bundle to the AEON Collection or separately.
The AEON Collection is available as a download only. (AEON also runs in the free KONTAKT 5 Player or in KONTAKT 5)
- 14 GB (compressed)
- Available as direct download only
- 10,100+ samples, 48kHz/24-Bit
- 725+ NKIs
- AEON Melodic
- 130+ Organic Presets
- 160+ Synth and Hybrid Presets
- 39 Signature AEON Hits
- AEON Rhythmic
- 9 Tonal Loop Menus
- 315 Single Loop Presets
- 46 Loop ARP Presets
- 43 Three Loop Combo Presets
- Distortion, Modulation, Delay, Reverb, ADSR, Filter, EQ, and LFO controls
- Advanced Trigger FXTM performance controls
- Advanced Arpeggiator (AEON Melodic)
- Loop Mutator (AEON Rhythmic)
- Stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX
Costing $473.22 The AEON Collection is an excellent choice for any dedicated beat maker looking to expand their colletion of melodic instruments and organic synths.
The last plugin on our list is the most expensive VST of all, MXXX is a modular multi-effect plugin and provides a comprehensive array of effects in a sleek, user-friendly interface. You can seamlessly navigate its automatic routing matrix and harness the power of super-versatile modulators and beyond. From straightforward equalization and compression to the most audacious and imaginative processing, MXXX empowers you to achieve limitless possibilities and take your audio to unprecedented heights.
Developed by MeldaProduction it includes 70+ quality processors which include a Flanger, compressor, dynamic equalizer, filter, delay, reverb, convolution, harmonizer, spectral dynamics and much more.
Check out its list of features:
- The most advanced user interface on the market – stylable, resizable, GPU accelerated
- Unique visualisation engine with classic meters and time graphs
- 1-6 fully configurable independent bands
- Adjustable oscillator shape technology
- M/S, single channel, up to 8 channels surround processing…
- Smart randomization
- Automatic gain compensation (AGC)
- Safety limiter
- Sinc interpolation
- Adjustable up-sampling 1x-16x
- Synchronization to host tempo
- MIDI controllers with MIDI learn
- 64-bit processing and an unlimited sampling rate
- Extremely fast, optimized for newest AVX2 capable processors
- Global preset management and online preset exchange
- Supports VST, VST3, AU and AAX interfaces on Windows & Mac
- No dongle nor internet access is required for activation
- Free-for-life updates
Costing a total of $1,085.85, this plugin is ideal for any producer or sound designer looking to keep all of their multi-effects needs under one hood.