4.7 / 5     (58 votes)
Win32 Win64 OSX Linux
Surge is a subtractive hybrid synthesizer.

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. Features a quick category-based patch-browser for the 1010 factory sound patches.
  • 3 oscillators/voice.
  • 8 versatile oscillator algorithms: Classic, Sine, Wavetable (183), Window, FM2, FM3, S/H Noise and Audio-input.
  • The classic oscillator is a morphable pulse/saw/dualsaw oscillator with a sub-oscillator and self-sync.
  • The FM2/FM3 oscillators consists of a 1 carrier with 2/3 modulators and various options.
  • Most algorithms (except FM2, FM3, Sine and Audio-input) offer up to 16-voice unison at the oscillator level.
  • Oscillator FM/ringmodulation.
  • Most oscillator algorithms (except FM2/FM3) are strictly band-limited yet still cover the entire audible spectrum, delivering a clear punchy yet clean sound.
  • Noise generator with variable spectrum.
  • Two filter-units with arrangeable in 8 different configurations.
  • Feedback loop (number of variations inside the parenthesis).
  • Available filter-algorithms: LP12 (3), LP24 (3), LP24L (1-4 poles), HP12 (3), HP24 (3), BP (4), Notch (2), Comb (4), S&H.
  • Filters can self-oscillate (with excitation) and respond amazingly fast to cutoff frequency changes.
  • Waveshaper (5 shapes).
  • 12 LFO-units available to each voice (6 are running on each voice and 6 are shared for the scene).
  • DAHDSR envelope generators on every LFO-unit.
  • 7 deformable LFO-waveforms + 1 drawable/stepsequencer waveform.
  • LFO1 allows envelope retriggering when used as stepsequencer.
  • Extremely fast and flexible modulation routing. Almost every continuous parameter can be modulated.
  • 8 effect units arranged as 2 inserts/scene, 2 sends and 2 master effects.
  • 10 top-quality algorithms: Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Phaser, EQ, Distortion, Conditioner (EQ, stereo-image control & limiter), Rotary speaker, Frequency shifter, Vocoder.
Jared Feb 28 2023
(5 / 5)
Feb 28 2023
I can't say enough good stuff about this. it has a TON OF PRESETS, so you don't have to tweak for hours. it sounds great and a lot of the sounds, the ones I have gotten around to, are great. for free, amazing. the effects is a separate vst and good if you don't have any effects, but I wouldn't run this through "surge effects". use your fave effects and off you go........
Nx Sep 17 2022
(1 / 5)
Sep 17 2022
Can't change path of installation.
Proteus Aug 02 2022
(5 / 5)
Aug 02 2022
A Classic!
Digital Rules Apr 04 2022
(5 / 5)
Apr 04 2022
Such a great digital synth.
Changed my music... so great Jan 27 2022
(5 / 5)
Jan 27 2022
Example of what we did with Surge sounds speaks for itself... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9tuhTw4FL4
Jeff Jan 10 2022
(5 / 5)
Jan 10 2022
Best hands down. Free or paid. Endless possibilities for sounds
MPG Nov 11 2021
(5 / 5)
Nov 11 2021
One of my all time favorite synths, if you like to make sounds from Scratch, Surge is one of the must have synth's
afton Oct 22 2021
(2 / 5)
Oct 22 2021
I honestly dont get the whole hype about this plugin, not too many useful sounds, the key/synth patch only has like 7 presets, I dont mind sound designing to create more presets, but this isn't intuitive to me at all, if your gonna use this then get some preset packs, cause without them this plugin isnt all that good.
Jeff Jan 10 2022
Jan 10 2022
You must not have it installed correctly. There are endless sound possibilities
Daniel Abou-Assaly Feb 17 2022
Feb 17 2022
Jeff is the plugin royalty free though? May I make money off of it?
Phil Aug 23 2021
(5 / 5)
Aug 23 2021
Very useful and good quality sounds - This is a keeper!
John Burns Aug 09 2021
(5 / 5)
Aug 09 2021
Excellent. Comes with tons of patches and they are quite easy to navigate through. The tones are nothing special but quite good nonetheless. Some very big and complex sounds here but the presets I've tried still sound musical, not all glitchy and freaky like some of the flashier synths out there. I think this is one of those must have, classic VST synths like Synth1 and Dexed where the basic tones are decent and useable and someone else has done all the programming for you and now it's up to you to simply find a sound you like.
andy Aug 06 2021
Aug 06 2021
Pity the installer doesn't let you choose where to install files. If I do install it I will have to find all the components and move them to my VST folder.
saisiot Jun 23 2021
Jun 23 2021
I can't open surge in cakewalk. How can I open it?
Xent Mar 08 2021
Mar 08 2021
I don't know, error win32 don't valid for 32 bit, what?
aBlueFire Jul 16 2021
Jul 16 2021
Works perfectly in my Windows 7 starter tho
ShebenMuzik Mar 01 2021
(5 / 5)
Mar 01 2021
A must have !
Roque Marciano Jan 22 2021
(5 / 5)
Jan 22 2021
Great sound design Synth! All-in-one synthesizer.
P Jan 12 2021
(2 / 5)
Jan 12 2021
Great sound, but it crashes DAW everytime
Jimbosan Dec 07 2020
(5 / 5)
Dec 07 2020
Surge is absolutely my #1 goto synth for recording. Has just about everything you need, and the presets are incredible. Love this thing!
Digital Rules Oct 26 2020
(5 / 5)
Oct 26 2020
Awesome synth!
Cyrus Wirth Oct 21 2020
(5 / 5)
Oct 21 2020
Love this damn synth my friends. Slapping it all over a project im working on. I find it kind of has its own character to it. I'd recommend turning off built in effects on any presets you use, but it's full of amazing unique tones.
absolutefunnyman Oct 08 2020
(5 / 5)
Oct 08 2020
I'd literally pay for this, such a complete synth! You cant get much better than this for free! If you like this I'd recommend trying out ZynAddSubFX, another FOSS soft synth that's really powerful!
Bob Angelo Aug 31 2020
(5 / 5)
Aug 31 2020
A few very minor bugs : if re-scaled, the UI resise when changing presets, and depending on how the presets are changed it does'nt update the new preset name on the UI (FL Studio x32). Despite these minor annoyances, this synth is a true gem ! I really love the very logical interface, the amazing sound, and the incredible potential and power of this synth. Really excellent !!!
N.K.Em Jul 26 2020
(5 / 5)
Jul 26 2020
Astonishing. MPE works perfectly. Such a nice and powerful synthesizer!
Alano May 14 2020
(5 / 5)
May 14 2020
Just Wow! A must have Synth! Thanks you for this!
soulmuzicproductions Apr 13 2020
(5 / 5)
Apr 13 2020
BEST FREE SYNTH EVER. Subtractive, FM, Wave-table(supports import) Hybrid synthesis(even allows for audio input). This thing is in a class of its own, free or paid. Extremely flexible. Low on the CPU. Not much it can't do. 5/5
PC-Edy Feb 27 2020
Feb 27 2020
Surge is an excellent virtual synthesizer. It offers a large number of patches that allow it to be used in any project. An aspect to highlight is the possibility of crossing waves in each of its oscillators; which allows modifying the timbres and trying to find what you are looking for. I think it should be one of the first on the list.
Andrei Nov 30 2019
(1 / 5)
Nov 30 2019
Don't understand the hype about Surge – it sounds terrible. It's just so thin that you would think it comes straight from 2001. I prefer ZynAddSubFX over this overhyped toy.
Digital Rules Dec 01 2019
Dec 01 2019
How dare you?! Infidel! Just kidding. =) But seriously I think people like Surge so much because of the very wide range of sounds it can produce. Surge has a rather unique and complicated synthesis architecture and that gives you a huge sonic palette. Also Surge is 10+ years old so maybe that is why it may sound thin to some.
Proteus Dec 25 2019
Dec 25 2019
Surge is more than a good decade old synth so it is understood that it can hardly compete with the current synths. Though I think it still has a very special and unique sound and character. It can make very uncommon and uncharted sounds and noises.
Digital Rules Oct 27 2019
(5 / 5)
Oct 27 2019
When you want to hear how beautiful digital can sound, try this beauty! It is free so you have nothing to lose, only a lot to gain! This is a truly beautiful purely and proudly digital sounding synth!
Mato Jan 09 2020
Jan 09 2020
I absolutely agree! Surge is a fantastic synth freebie! <3
Vaz Oct 04 2019
(5 / 5)
Oct 04 2019
Probably the best sounding free synth with Tyrell ns6 and TAL noisemaker. (and Synth1 of course !). The UI is resizable (v Comes with really nice presets. note 5/5
Bob Angelo Sept 22 2019
(5 / 5)
Sept 22 2019
Not perfect, I use FL in 32bit and noted two problems, the windows resize is buggy when changing patches, and when browsing patches, the patch names doesn't update.... Still, even with those small issues, I give it 5 stars ! It has an easy and straightforward user interface. The patches are numerous and quite good for my taste (and a good starting point for further tweeking). The help file is very well written. It is a extremely powerfull and polivalent synth and still pretty easy to understand.
Proteus Dec 25 2019
Dec 25 2019
You should report these bugs to the developers, I am sure they will do their best to fix them, they are very good at bugfixing.
Korridor May 08 2020
May 08 2020
This wil be fixed in version 1.7 :)
Kuac Sept 19 2019
(5 / 5)
Sept 19 2019
One of my favorite synths, thanks for the Linux version
Samhooey Jul 22 2019
(5 / 5)
Jul 22 2019
Can't go wrong getting this.
CORE zone5 Jun 27 2019
(5 / 5)
Jun 27 2019
This thing is so awesome I could make an entire project only using this plug in for all the midi stuff ^^ You can do so much with it! It's kinda scary at first to see all of the stuff in a small window but after a while it get's better and better!
Thoz May 26 2019
(5 / 5)
May 26 2019
This is a beast !! sounds so great... as good as commercial synths. Number 1 free synth.
KuacGraxa May 11 2019
(5 / 5)
May 11 2019
Very cool Thanks for the version for Linux: D
Darko Feb 24 2019
(5 / 5)
Feb 24 2019
Awesome news, folks! Surge got a big update and is now Windows 32-/64-bit VST/VST3, Mac OS 64-bit AU/VST/VST3 and Linux 64-bit VST/VST3! It is now actively being developed by new, cool and dedicated developers. How cool is that?! Surge sounds brilliant by the way! =)
Erisian Feb 27 2019
Feb 27 2019
Fantastic. I'll keep my eyes open.
Mato Apr 08 2019
Apr 08 2019
WOW! Awesome news indeed! Surge sounds excellent! Thank You very much to all the new Developers! <3
Erisian Feb 19 2019
(4 / 5)
Feb 19 2019
Possibly the only synth you'll ever need. I usually prefer hardware emulations but this makes excellent use of digital excellence. I don't know if I will use anything else from now on, except just for fun. The presets on their own are awesome, I can only imagine what can be done with some thoughtful programming. Sounds fantastic!
Darko Feb 23 2019
Feb 23 2019
Why the 4 stars out of 5 grade?
Erisian Feb 27 2019
Feb 27 2019
Aargh! The mouse slipped. It should have been 6/5. ;)
FL Studio 20 User Jan 08 2019
(5 / 5)
Jan 08 2019
My new favorite vst
SoulTaco Nov 25 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 25 2018
This + Crystal... All I need
Mato Nov 23 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 23 2018
This is incredible! Very capable and powerful sound engine! This must have been exceptional when it was first released! Thank You very much Vember Audio! <3<3<3
msea Nov 21 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 21 2018
Sounds a bit hokey on its own but in a mix it can be really useful
AM Nov 18 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 18 2018
This is a very nice sounding synth.
Proteus Nov 14 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 14 2018
Excellent sound! If only the GUI was resizable.
Thoz May 26 2019
May 26 2019
It is now (since 1.6) ;)
Proteus Dec 25 2019
Dec 25 2019
Awesome! Surge rules!
Natious Nov 05 2018
(5 / 5)
Nov 05 2018
First class Synthesizer now free, Thanks!
VstZippy Oct 28 2018
(4 / 5)
Oct 28 2018
Once commercial now free that is neat
Darko Oct 28 2018
(5 / 5)
Oct 28 2018
For a 10+ years old synth this sounds surprisingly good! Thanks a lot Vember Audio! <3
Fazil Irak Oct 11 2018
(5 / 5)
Oct 11 2018
Awesome synth. I love this synth so much.
Acid Lady Oct 10 2018
(5 / 5)
Oct 10 2018
Awesome soft-synth and free. Thanx!
AtmanActive Oct 10 2018
Oct 10 2018
This version is not portable anymore. :-( Version 1.5 Win32 is portable. Pity.
JayBones Oct 10 2018
(5 / 5)
Oct 10 2018
I love this synth! Thanks Man .. I appreciate the hours, the months, and the years of coding work ..
Anonymous Oct 10 2018
(4 / 5)
Oct 10 2018
Kinda Nice...Sounds good. Shalom, birdsongz.
tapenade May 13 2022
May 13 2022
Wavetable synthesis has always been my favorite technique. Surge was ahead of the game. I'm kinda shocked at how recently it's become popular. People were looking down their noses at some of us early Surge adopters back in the day. But now Surge is well accepted and there's a lot more competition all of a sudden. Anyways, it's always been and still is a really nice synth. It does NOT have to be used for recent trendy sounds or just for the presets. It's fairly capable of a lot of things. With proper additional EQ and compression, you can get some pro sounds that work well in an actual production mix. Also, the single cycle waveforms in WAV form are somewhat interchangeable between Image-Line Harmor, Image-Line Toxic Biohazard, and Vember Surge. AKWF's is also compatible. (Adventure Kid WaveForms)