Omnisphere is one of the most revered pieces of music software in the game today. Not only is the engine incredibly versatile, but it also happens to be one of the most powerful pieces of synthesis software on the market.
However, the price tag can be a bit much for many young producers to swallow, especially for those who are just starting out. That's why I put together this list of plugins like Omnisphere, but cheaper. And some - like Pigments and Serum - are just amazing synths, and doing things that Omnisphere can't).
The good thing is that there are plenty of high-quality Omnisphere alternatives on the market that can get you the sound you’re looking for without burning a hole in your wallet.
Best Omnisphere Alternative - Arturia Pigments 4
Pigments 4 is a unique piece of software from one of our favorite VST developers, Arturia. Just a few minutes into using this software and I knew that it needed a top spot on this alternatives list. If you’re looking for a powerful wavetable synth with a far more budget-friendly price tag, Arturia Pigments 4 is an excellent choice.
The thing that makes this synthesizer a great alternative to Omnisphere is the fact that it provides several engines. There is a full wavetable engine, a harmonics engine, a granular engine, a sampling engine (which has many similarities to Omnisphere), and a traditional analog synthesis engine.
Click here to check the price of Pigments on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
One of the things that makes Omnisphere so powerful and versatile for sound designers is the ability to combine samples with the synth engine. Yes, you won’t get more than 60GB of samples with Pigments 4, though having the ability to import your own samples is just as powerful.
Pigments vs. Omnisphere
The main difference between Pigments and Omnisphere is that with Pigments your are free to create your own incredible sounds, while Omnisphere is loaded with an amazing set of sounds. For example, you can import your own wavetables into Pigments 4, which you can’t do in Omnisphere. Pigments 4 also added tons of powerful onboard effects, like shimmer reverb and the MS-20 filter, plus new wavetables, samples, and noises.
Pigments is frequently on sale for less than $100, while Omnisphere 2 costs nearly $500.
To put it simply, the sampling engine in Omnisphere is far stronger than Pigments, though Pigments offers tons of unique features that you won’t find in Omnisphere. It’s also much more intuitive than Omnisphere, making it a better choice for beginners! And Pigments 4 introduces a host new features that provides comparable sound design flexibility than Omnisphere.
Given the price difference, my general recommendation for most folks is to start with Pigments 4, and if it work for you, save your money! If you ultimately find that you need Omnisphere as well, Pigments 4 is still and excellent synth with tons of unique features.
Warmest Omnisphere Alternative - Hybrid 3
If the warmth of analog sounds is what draws you in with Omnisphere, then we recommend checking out what Hybrid 3 has to offer. This next-generation synthesizer takes analog sounds and injects the flexibility of futuristic digital manipulation, giving you both quality and capability.
It is one of the most comprehensive VSTs on the market today, with more than 1,200 presets that will surely inspire you. From synth pads to wobbles to arpeggios to basses to leads to sequences and beyond, there’s nothing you can’t do with Hybrid 3.
Click here to check the price of Hybrid 3 on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
Of course, it’s typically the case that hardware synth enthusiasts love tweaking. Luckily, Hybrid 3 is also loaded with a set of comprehensive parameters that you can tweak and fine-tune to taste. This software allows for easy layering of deep and complex patches.
Compared to the Omnisphere engine, the patch browser is far easier to navigate. You can find the preset you’re looking for almost instantaneously so that you can dive in and start tweaking right away.
Beyond the long list of high-quality sounds, you get dual-filtering modes, saturation modes, high-definition oscillators, LFOs, and envelope editors for easy parameter sculpting. While it might not be as versatile as Omnisphere, it’s great for those who want an easy-to-use synth with the sweet sounds of analog and digital flexibility.
Best Omnisphere Alternative for EDM - Serum
There is a reason you find Xfer Serum on just about every “top synth list” on the Internet. This award-winning wavetable synthesizer was made to use digital sources to generate musical sounds.
Serum stands out from the competition thanks to its unique LFO tool and virtual rack that users can use to mix the various modules. The number of big artists that proudly rep Xfer Serum seems almost endless, including Aaron Spectre, Skye, Kranium, and Boards of Canada.
With Xfer Serum, you get a flexible noise generator, two main wavetable oscillators, a top-notch sub oscillator, and several quality effects and filters. There are five modules found within this software, each of which contains its own wavetable. No matter what kind of genre you produce in, you can find useful sounds in Serum.
Click here to check the price of Serum on ADSR.
To get you started, the software has plenty of presets available for drums, keyboards, leads, pads, and several other instruments. If you like, you can spend time designing your own presets and saving them on your computer for future use.
Though Serum has been around for quite some time, it consistently comes out on top as one of the best digital synthesizers on the market. For electronic music producers, it’s a must-have.
NI Massive has long been a staple for EDM producers, though in our eyes, it goes far beyond the EDM realm. The Native Instruments Massive software synth contains a number of unique modules that handle specific production roles. You can mix and match these unique modules to craft your own synth sounds or blend together multiple layers in a seamless manner.
The instrument comes equipped with a dual audio synthesis engine and a massive library of presets and sounds that you can arrange and process within the various modules. One super helpful thing we love about NI Massive is that the software comes with several instructional videos to help you navigate the synth with ease.
Click here to check the price of Massive on Plugin Boutique.
In terms of flexibility, NI Massive is outstanding. There are more than 100 waveshapes, each of which has its own unique functionality. The modulation system is very clever too, and the ability to use built-in filters and effects to alter the sound is unmatched.
The Native Instruments community is constantly coming out with new presets and sounds that are easy to load up in Massive, meaning you’ll truly never run out of new ways to express yourself with this instrument. Plus, from a budgeting standpoint, it’s much more affordable than Omnisphere.
Most CPU Friendly Omnisphere Alternative - Sektor
If you’re looking for a synthesizer that can provide as many customizable features as possible without destroying your CPU, then Initial Audio Sektor is a great choice. There are so many configurable options on this synthesizer, from tools like your sequencer and arpeggiator to style like your interface skin or background color.
We also love the fact that you can work with your own samples in this plugin, which makes it similar to Omnisphere.
The workflow is nicely illustrated and very fluid, allowing you to drag and drop. We also love the mouse hover feature, where you can hover your mouse atop a certain parameter, and the plugin will tell you exactly what that parameter does.
Click here to check the price of Sektor on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
There are plenty of unique modulation options within Sektor, as well asLFOs, and ADSRs, which you can route to various parameters using the drag-and-drop feature. The factory library features more than 750 presets to spark inspiration, perfect for a wide range of genres like Dubstep, EDM, RnB, and more!
With the built-in wavetable editor, you can manipulate each of the 200 factory wavetables or upload your own sample audio file to create a wavetable from scratch!
For a truly magical audio-shaping experience, this wavetable synth is one of the best around!
Most Intuitive Omnisphere Alternative - Hive 2
We’ve seen tons of hype surrounding u-He’s Hive 2 over the past couple of months. u-He recently supercharged their original synth VST with better audio quality, tons of flexibility, and several patches that are absolutely stunning.
The workflow and layout compared to Omnisphere are far more intuitive, allowing you to find or dial in the sounds you want to hear with ease. The same thing goes for the CPU usage, which is surprisingly low for how flexible the synth is. Plus, if you’re familiar with the original Hive VST, you’ll enjoy the additional controls.
Within Hive 2, you’ll find three different synth engines, two oscillators with standard waveforms, tunable sub-oscillators, and up to 16x unison.
Click here to check the price of Hive 2 on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
The drag-and-drop modulation assignment is very similar to that of Sektor, which helps speed up workflow.
In terms of initial flexibility, you get more than 2,400 presets to choose from, made by some of the best sound designers in the industry. Once you find a preset you like, you can manipulate several parameters, including seven rearrangeable effects and two function generators. There is also an onboard arpeggiator and step-sequencer with four independent outputs.
If you’re not a music theory buff, Hive 2 provides the addition of a scale quantizer that uses a defined list of scales!
Best Analog Alternative to Omnisphere - Arturia V Collection
There might be some debate as to whether or not this is a true Omnisphere alternative, though if you love Omnisphere for the sheer fact that it provides access to tons of great analog sounds, you’ll probably love Arturia’s V Collection even more!
The team at Arturia worked tirelessly to craft near-perfect emulation of classic analog hardware. Not only do these vintage synthesizers and instruments sound incredible, but the interface is wildly intuitive and easy to navigate, which can’t really be said for Omnisphere.
Click here to check the price of Arturia V Collection on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
Not only is finding the sound you’re looking for incredibly easy thanks to the functional search menu that comes with descriptors like “clean,” “distorted,” “airy,” etc. but the faithfully modeled analog technology deliverers unparalleled realism that holds its own side by side with the real instruments.
Looking for the irresistible spacey fatness of the Juno-60? How about the vintage flutter only found on the Mellotron V? Maybe you want to capture the sweet glassy sounds of the 80s with the DX7?
Whatever the case, the Arturia V Collection is an excellent choice, bringing many vintage hardware instruments into the modern realm with cutting-edge features that can help you push the boundaries of sound design.
Most Dramatic Omnisphere Alternative - Zebra 2
You may not have known this, but Hans Zimmer used Zebra 2 in the Dark Knight soundtrack! In fact, the synth was used throughout the soundtrack in this epic movie, which should already give you an idea of its quality.
While Zebra 2 has been around for quite a bit, it was recently given a facelift that makes it much more functional than before. The synth module layout is extremely accessible and allows you to see the signal flow from point A to point Z.
Click here to check the price of Zebra 2 on Plugin Boutique or here to check the price on ADSR.
We love the fact that the node editor is visible at the center of the user interface, allowing you to add, remove, and mute devices if necessary.
If you’re just getting into the world of synthesis, the muting function is extremely helpful. You can load up a preset that you like and mute the various devices one by one, reactivating them to see what they’re doing and how they alter the sound.
Zebra 2 came out with a unique update a little while back called Dark Zebra, which offers sounds inspired by the Dark Knight. This collection of sounds is great for those who are into film scoring!
Best Omnisphere Alternative for Sound Design - Reason 12
The Reason 12 rack is one of the most flexible and powerful sound tools in the industry today, great for sound designing, beat-making, and much more. For those who aren’t familiar with Reason 12, it is a virtual studio rack that is filled with various instruments, synthesizers, sound-shaping effects, drum machines, MIDI effects, and mixing tools to help bring your ideas to life.
Reason has been around for quite some time, though Reason 12 featured some awesome updates that took its functionality to the next level.
For starters, you get the Mimic Creative Sampler, which is a unique new sampler that is great for modern producers and beatmakers. From chopping to triggering to pure audio manipulation, it’s super effective for quick, painless sampling.
Click here to check the price of Reason 12 on Plugin Boutique.
The Combinator was recently updated with the ability to choose your panel size and combine different devices to build your dream synth. This multi-rack device has several self-contained presets, with new presets coming out each week!
Beyond that, Reason 12 includes dozens of effects, a number of high-end synthesizers, a grain sample manipulator, and several unique utilities for a versatile music-making experience!
Reaktor 6 is a serious creative toolkit for those who want to dive into deep sonic exploration. This cutting-edge VST features high-fidelity sounds and the ability to build custom synths, samples, and effects.
All-in-all, as a standalone VST, the power of NI Reaktor lies in its sound design capabilities, which are much more flexible than Omnisphere, in our opinion. NI Reaktor comes with more than 70 included instruments and thousands of user library sounds, though the true magic comes from the rack-style modular Blocks system.
Click here to check the price of Reaktor on Native Instruments' Website.
With Reaktor Blocks, you can build your own synth engine using an array of modular synthesizers, sequencers, and effects chains. There are consistent releases in the Blocks ecosystem, too, from developers like Toy Box, Unfiltered Audio, ACL, Holonic Systems, and Genki Instruments, meaning you’ll never run out of ways to inspire yourself.
NI Reaktor is great for those with an intermediate or expert knowledge of synthesis, though it may be a bit overwhelming for those who like using presets more than designing their own sounds.
Best Free Omnisphere Alternative - Surge 200
When it comes to free Omnisphere alternatives, nothing quite takes the cake like Surge 200. This full-featured free synthesizer comes with three oscillators, which give you access to 614 wavetables, octave variations, LFOs, modulation envelopes, and customizable dual-filter or FM routing.
The wide range of presets from third-party sound designers and developers is incredibly useful, too, so much so that we truly wonder why this unique hybrid VST is free.
Of course, looking deeper into Vember Audio and the company’s philosophy, you can see that the goal was to create a uniquely open-source synth. Note that while this synthesizer has some absolutely stunning sounds built-in, it will take a bit of time to explore it thoroughly.
However, it’s one of those virtual synths that can do just about anything you need, which is why we feel it’s a great alternative to Omnisphere.
Another Excellent Omnisphere Free Alternative - Ujam Synth Drive
I'd also highly recommended Ujam Usynth Drive as an incredible free Omnisphere alternative. It sounds huge for modern EDM sounds. It's only real shortcoming is the limited flexibility it provides coupled with a small soundest. But all of its sounds are incredible.
And if you're still jonesing for free Omnisphere alternatives, here are approximately 100 amazing free synth VSTs!
Before we dive into our list of Omnisphere alternatives, let’s look at what you can expect to have access to as an Omnisphere user. Though many think Omnisphere is just some kind of sampler or Rompler, it’s so much more.
To give you an idea, here are some important Omnisphere specs:
- 500+ DSP Waveforms
- 14,000+ sounds
- The ability to use your own audio files as sound sources
- Eight LFOs for each patch
- A powerful granular synthesis engine
The strengths lie in the engine’s flexibility. From gritty, ambient guitar textures to grandiose vox effects and beyond, the design possibilities with Omnisphere are pretty much endless. You can dive deeper into customization than just about any other synthesizer out there. No matter what genre you produce in, Omnisphere can be wildly useful.
Of course, as we said earlier, the $500 price tag might be a lot for some producers to swallow, which is totally understandable.
Plus, with so many sounds and design elements to choose from, it’s easy for Omnisphere to feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are many great alternatives you can check out!
From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!
My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.
While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.
My songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” They've also been streamed millions of times.
In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.
Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.