10 of the best VST plugins of 2023

2023 has been a big year in the world of plugins, both for Splice users and for the industry at large.

Whether it’s a powerhouse synth that lets you express yourself in new ways or an effects plugin that helps you squeeze some extra sauce out of your sounds, a new tool can sometimes make all the difference.

With that in mind, here are some of the most popular plugins on Splice from the past year.


1. Serum by Xfer Records

The original Rent-to-Own plugin and one of the most beloved software synths of all time, Serum continues to hold the top position on many Splice users’ lists. From high-quality wavetables to streamlined modulation to powerful onboard effects, Serum is the perfect workhorse for any synthesis situation. Learn more and start a free trial here.

2. RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio

Just toss RC-20 on almost anything and you’re sure to find instant vibes. Featuring Noise, Wobble, Distort, Digital, Space, and Magnetic effects, this fan favorite from XLN Audio brings the vintage tones of old tape and vinyl to any production for an aesthetic that’s as much 2023 as it is 1983. Learn more and start a free trial here.

3. V Collection 9 or Analog Lab V by Arturia

The full synth room for those without the space, these must-haves from Arturia give the modern producer access to some of the most legendary synthesizers ever. Whether you need to tweak every single parameter of V Collection’s Juno, Moog, Jupiter, and more to be happy, or you’re a preset warrior who needs the speed of Analog Lab V above all else, Arturia has the synth solution for you. Learn more and start a free trial for V Collection 9 or Analog Lab V.

4. Ozone 10 Advanced + Neutron 4 by iZotope

A full mixing and mastering arsenal powered by AI-assisted tech, this bundle from iZotope has everything you need to give your next track the pro polish it needs. From innovative mixing tools and workflows in Neutron and industry-favorite mastering solutions in Ozone to AI-powered Assistants that help you quickly get from rough mix to final bounce, this iZotope bundle is one of the fastest ways to pro audio. Learn more and start a free trial here.

5. PORTAL by Output

Flip any drum, instrument, or effect sound into something totally new with Output’s granular effects plugin. Simply toss PORTAL onto any channel and use the intuitive XY pad or deep Advanced Page to break sounds down with the power of granular synthesis, stretching and pitching your audio in a variety of creative—and often unexpected—ways. Learn more and start a free trial here.

6. Pigments 4 by Arturia

Newly updated to version 4, Arturia’s modern software synth is better than ever. You can still access the same powerful synthesis that Pigments is known for, but version 4 now also features a Play Mode for straightforward sound design, drag-and-drop modulation workflows, feature additions to sound engines and effects, and tons more. Learn more and start a free trial here.

7. XO by XLN Audio

Get in the groove with XLN Audio’s beat-making playground. XO organizes your entire sample library in an innovative browsing workflow, allowing you to quickly find the right sounds for your kit, switch sounds out on the fly, and program human-esque grooves and patterns—all within a single plugin. Plus, get it through Splice and you’ll be automatically prompted to import your Splice library into XO. Learn more and start a free trial here.

8. Rift by Minimal Audio

Take a different approach to distortion with the innovative workflows in Minimal Audio’s Rift. Access 30 custom algorithms spanning both classic and never-before-heard processors, combine algorithms to separately distort the positive and negative parts of the waveform, and utilize physical modeling and feedback features for ultra-rich tones. Learn more and start a free trial here.

9. VocalSynth 2 by iZotope

Incredible on vocals and unbelievable on everything else, VocalSynth 2 gives you access to the vocoded, talk-boxed, formant-shifting goodness of classic vocal effects, and expands that sound palette into modern, irreplicable effects like Biovox and Compuvox. Learn more and start a free trial here.

10. RX 10 Standard by iZotope

Sometimes, recorded audio sounds perfect. For everything else, there’s RX. This powerful audio editor from iZotope has become the gold standard for the world’s top records, TV shows, and movies, and now you can bring some of this AI-assisted editing power to your own tracks. Remove audio problems like they never happened, or even rebalance stereo files to isolate instruments and vocals for remixes. 

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