Table of Contents
About 6 years ago, I was introduced to VSTS. It was honestly life-changing. With the advancement of VSTS, you can do find beautiful pads that sound just like the real thing, and also give you a ton of different abilities to tweak. There are a few pad VSTS or synth VSTS that I find amazing and haunting.
In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best pad VST’s currently available. I have used all of these on recent productions and I am thrilled to present to you the list below.
The best pad plugins emulate some incredible analog synths and actually sound incredibly realistic. I’ve created a list below that breaks down the best pad VSTS for each style of music.
Quick Look At Some Great VSTS For Pads
After spending the last 6 years playing these plugins, here are the best pad VSTs currently available.
|EDITOR’S CHOICE||Jupiter 8||
|Budget Pick||Orchestral Companion||
|Alternative Pick||REV Output||
All of the above options are extremely popular options that are used by some of the biggest producers in the industry today.
Similar Guides That Will Help Music Production
The following are all guides that I’ve written to help you on your journey. A lot of these articles are informational articles that I think you will learn a lot from.
If you’re someone who enjoys pads, I would also recommend checking my out review of the best presets for Massive. This plugin has some great pads and a lot of these presets are perfect for those who use pads frequently.
What To Look For In A Pad VST
First off, the sounds and the number of presets are always what I value the most. For pads, I want to have a ton of different options that I can go in and tweak.
Sounds: If you don’t love the way your VST sounds, you may want to search for other options. There should be something that catches your ear upon searching through the presets.
Price: Some options can get pricy, however, there a few that are expensive that I really love and truly recommend. Those options being: Jupiter, Output, and Serum.
CPU: How much storage space your VSTS take up is extremely important. There’s nothing more frustrating than completely bogging down your Macbook or PC with huge libraries that you rarely use.
Type Of Music Pad VSTS Are Used In
Pads are used in just about every style of music. They’ve always blown my mind as certain pads can completely transform your ideas or songs. An example that always comes to mind is “In The Air Tonight.” This song has some incredibly haunting pads that were created from analog synths.
Certain software synths are going to be better at different things. The reason why I like synths that were known for their pads is the fact that they could be used for so many different styles of music.
Best Pad VST Plugins
Below is an in-depth look at each of my favorite options. I personally use these daily and I believe that these can up your game greatly.
Jupiter 8 – By Arturia
The Jupiter 8 is modeled after the iconic Jupiter 8 synth by Roland. I've had the pleasure of playing this synth in person and it sounds incredibly warm. This particular plugin is very close to the real thing and I've used this with my band on multiple songs.
The Jupiter 8 soft synth is hands down one of the best options available. This is modeled after one of Rolands most famous synths: the Jupiter 8. This synth helped put Roland on the map in the 80s as a serious competitor.
The Jupiter 8 is completely known for its lush pads that absolutely take over your track. You can tweak some beautifully warm sounds with this VST quite easily as well.
I believe that this is easily one of the best VSTS available for pads. If you’re a fan of the 80s, you will fall in love with this immediately.
Rev By Output – Haunting Pads
I can't emphasize enough how cool Rev is. If you're a fan of reversing sounds, this plugin is a must. I've found myself scrolling through presets with this for hours on end as so many of the sounds inspired new ideas.
Rev is made by the company, Output. Output has been putting out incredibly sophisticated plugins now for a few years and they are out of this world. This plugin is used all over pop music right now and it is extremely powerful.
One important thing to note is that it is very CPU intensive. It takes a ton of space up and you need a fast computer or Macbook to run it.
My overall thoughts on Rev are that it is definitely worth the money. While it’s expensive, I know for a fact that you will find a lot of use out of it.
U-HE Diva – Amazing Low-End Sounds
Diva is one of my favorite plugins hands-down. The warmth of this synth is incredible and somewhat surprising. If you're looking for thick lower pads, this is a great pick.
I absolutely love the sub sounds on this VST. With that being said, Diva also has some great sounding pads. They sound extremely warm and the low end that it packs is impressive.
I first got to use this about 2 years ago while recording with my band for our second album. I was blown away by how fat it sounds.
The filters are what makes this VST so popular. Each filter closely resembles analog filters.
Diva is an amazing option for professional producers. I wouldn’t say this is a straight-up pad VST, as it is good for a variety of things. With that being said, I 100 percent recommend checking it out.
Serum – All-Around Soft-Synth
Serum has taken the production world by storm. This is a wavetable soft synth that is being used on so many different styles of music. I personally think this is one of the most powerful plugins that allows for some of the best possible sound design.
Serum has built-in Suite effects including compression, distortion, EQ, Flanger, and Phaser.
The nice thing about this VST is that it comes with over 144 wavetables and 450 presets. This means that right off the bat you will be able to find some amazing sounding pads.
Note: I recently put together the most in-depth list of all of the best Serum presets for music in the world today. I highly recommend checking it out!
Serum is a powerful soft synth that I believe should be in every producer’s arsenal. You will surely get use out of it and it will most likely become one of your favorite VSTS.
Orchestral Companion – Best Budget Pad VST
Orchestral Companion is a string VST that has some great pads. This is an extremely affordable option and it can also be used for all styles of music.
This comes with over 90 plus patches that are also pretty realistic. The sounds are lush and extremely dramatic. Orchestral Companion is the type of sound that you would hear in a film score as it has some haunting patches.
If you’re looking for a budget pick, this is easily it. One thing to mention is that it does take up a lot of storage space on your computer or Macbook.
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when looking for pad VSTS. I hope this broke down some options that become part of your VST library.
What’s your go-to pad VST? Let me know in the comments below!
Chris, I just want to say thank you so much for this website. I stumbled upon it while searching for production tips and I think it’s amazing that this is created by the keyboardist of Vinyl Theatre! This is exactly the genre of music that I am going for as a producer, keyboardist, and guitar player. It’s so nice to see that content is published so frequently. Keep it up, man!
Hey Riley! Super glad to hear from you, I hope you keep visiting and finding what you need. If you ever have any questions, let me know!