About 6 years ago, I was introduced to VSTS. It was honestly lifechanging. 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.
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
- My overall favorite option – Jupiter 8 By Arturia
- Best VST For Sound Design – Output Rev
- Incredible Wavetable Synth With Beautiful Pads – Serum
- Best VST for analog low end – U-HE Diva
- Best Budget Choice – Orchestral Companion
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.
- Best MIDI Controllers
- Best Free DAW
- FL Studio Plugins
- Piano VSTS
- Trumpet VSTS
- Sustain Pedals
- Keyboard Stands
What To Look For In A 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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
U-HE Diva – Amazing Low-End Sounds
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.
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.
For a quick recap, I recommend:
What’s your go-to pad VST? Let me know in the comments below!