Vital Synth: Free VST by Matt Tytel | Vital Basic vs Pro, Features, & More

The Vital Synth - A Free Spectral Morphing Wavetable VST By Matt Tytel

Vital is a free spectral warping wavetable synth created by Matt Tytel that has quickly established itself as a serious rival to Serum. Featuring both free and pro versions, this VST provides producers and sound designers all the tools needed to make powerful, modern sounds right inside of the synth.

What’s notable about Vital is the free version and the pro version are exactly the same. The only difference is some extra bonus content that we cover below. This means music producers can download and use the full VST without having to spend a dime on Vital.

However, don’t let the fact that Vital is free fool you. This VST is incredibly powerful, easy to use, and is comparable to synths worth hundreds of dollars. As such, Vital has gained support from artists such as Ace Aura, Mr. Bill, BVSSIC, Luca Lush, and Fractal.

In this article, we’re going to cover what each tier of Vital includes, what features make the Vital VST unique, the pros and cons of the synth, and more.

So, to get started, let’s go over the four different tiers that are available for purchase.

Download The Free Vital VST From The Official Vital Audio Website Here.

Table of Contents

Vital Free Vs Vital Pro

While Vital’s base version is free, you can upgrade to one of the premium tiers to get some added benefits. These benefits include things such as extra presets and wavetables, additional skins, and unlimited access to Vital’s unique text-to-wavetable feature.

There are a total of four tiers to choose from, ranging from Vital Basic to Vital Pro. So, to make things easy for you we’ve broken them down here.

All versions of the Vital VST are 64-bit and are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Now, let’s take a peek at all four tiers that Vital offers us!

Vital Basic – Free

This is the most basic version of Vital that gives you full access to the synth. It includes 75 factory presets, and 25 factory wavetables all for free. The only thing you don’t get with this tier is unlimited use of the text-to-wavetable feature.

Vital Plus – $25*

A mid-tier option for producers who want some extra presets and wavetables. This version includes 250 presets and 70 wavetables, but still lacks the unlimited text-to-wavetable feature.

Vital Pro – $80*

Vital Pro is the full version of Vital and includes unlimited use of the text-to-wavetable feature.  With Vital Pro you also get 400+ Vital presets, 150 wavetables, additional skins, an exclusive discord perk, and prioritized support.

Vital Subscription – $5 / Month*

Vital also offers a monthly subscription that includes full access to the VST and $5 per month of store credit. This credit can be saved and used to purchase Vital Pro or the preset packs found on the Vital store. You also get subscriber-only packs, additional skins, and first access to new features and plugins.

*Stated prices at the time of writing. Prices are subject to change.

Our Recommendation

For most producers, the basic tier will be the best choice. At this tier, you get full access to the Vital VST without having to spend a dime. The only thing missing is the text-to-wavetable feature, which many producers won’t even notice.

However, if you want some cool extras, we recommend purchasing Vital Pro. That’s because the price is extremely affordable compared to other popular digital synthesizers such as Serum or Phase Plant. At the time of writing, you can get Vital Pro for less than half the price of Serum, which is crazy considering that Vital has many features that Serum lacks.

Download All Of Our Free Vital Preset Packs Here

​​What Makes The Vital Synth So Special?

Now that you know about the different versions of Vital, it’s time to start looking at the synth itself.

Visually, Vital is actually very similar to Serum. But underneath the hood, there are some big differences that will really have a positive impact on your sound design.

That’s because Vital has many unique features that make it stand out from other VST’s. Some of these are pretty obvious, while others you may not even notice.

Regardless, we’re going to walk you through all of these features one by one.

Vital’s Unique Features

The Basic Version Is Completely Free

Vital The Free Synthesizer VST By Matt Tytel

As we mentioned above, the basic version of the Vital VST is completely free and gives music producers access to nearly all of the synth’s features. This means that you’re getting the world’s most powerful spectral warping wavetable synth without having to pay a dime.

Three Oscillators + One Sampler

Vital VST's Three Oscillator Setup

Vital features three fully functional wavetable oscillators, each with its own spectral warp and traditional warp controls. These provide nearly unlimited sound design possibilities, as you can bring out unique characteristics and harmonics from almost any source.

And believe us, the third oscillator is extremely useful when trying to make unique and complex sounds that stand out!

Two Main Panel Filters + One FX filter

The Front Panel Filters

In addition to the extra oscillator, Vital also features two fully-featured filter modules on its front panel. These filters can be routed independently, which makes for some really interesting sound design possibilities. You’ll also find an extra filter in the FX panel of Vital as well for good measure, of course.

The important thing to note is that these filters can be routed however you’d like inside of Vital. This means you can run them in either serial mode or in parallel on any oscillator of your choosing.

Unique Spectral Warp Modes

Spectral Synthesis With Vitals Unique Spectral Warping Modes

Each of Vital’s oscillators features 11 unique spectral warp modes that can manipulate a waveform’s harmonics and drastically change the texture of your sound. These warp modes are unique to Vital and can be used alongside traditional warp modes to create incredibly complex sounds.

If you’re new to the synth, we recommend starting with a basic waveform and morphing it with each of these modes. After a few quick experiments, you’ll hear just how useful these modes are.

Advanced Key Tracking

Activate key tracking using the top left modulation pad.

An often underrated feature, Vital’s key tracking features allow you to fine-tune your sounds based on what key is played. Notably, you can set up key tracking on individual filters and LFO’s as well as by using the “Note” pad.

This is especially useful when doing physical modeling so that you can keep everything in tune with each note played.

Mod remap

Mod Remapping In Vital VST

The mod remap feature is perhaps one of the most useful features for creating amazing sounds. That’s because Vital gives you the ability to completely customize the modulation curve of every individual modulation connection.

This means that you can control how and when your modulations occur, allowing you to optimize them to always sound their best.

As shown in the image above. instead of having our macro affect the LFO rate linearly, we changed the mod remap so that the LFO rate starts at 100%, stays there for a bit, and then decays and slows down as the knob approaches the fully open position.

The Ability To Modulate Your Modulators

With this synth, not only can you assign an LFO to control something like the volume of an oscillator, but you can assign a second LFO to control how much the first LFO affects the volume. While this can get complicated fast, it’s an incredibly useful tool once you get the hang of it.

To get started with this, simply drag an LFO or envelope onto one of the colored modulation dots. Once the connection is made, a light blue circle will appear in the middle, like the top two dots in LFO 2 here.

An example of LFOs modulating other LFOs

Transpose Snap

The Transpose Snap Feature In Vital VST

Vital has the ability to lock the pitch of the synth to a certain scale using its transpose snap feature. This unique feature allows you to create grand arpeggios by assigning a simple LFO to a transpose snapped oscillator.

To enable this effect, click on the circles in the UI (which are helpfully arranged in the piano-key configuration) to select which pitches you would like to restrict the oscillator to. Then, modulate the coarse pitch of that oscillator using an envelope or an LFO.

You will hear that instead of smoothly transitioning from one pitch to another, the oscillator will now “snap” to the intervals you’ve selected, as though autotuned.

By default, the intervals will be relative to whichever note you play on the keyboard. The played note will always take the “C” position on the display, and the pitch will be quantized to whichever intervals above that you’ve selected.

If you would like the pitches to be absolute (restricting them to a fixed scale), enable “Global” in the transpose snap popup. This will cause the “C” position to actually be “C”, regardless of which note you play on the keyboard.

This can be a lot to take in, so we strongly recommend playing around with it in both modes to get a feel for what it can do!

Random LFO’s

Vital Synth Random LFOs

Within the synth you’ll also find two additional random LFO’s that give you multiple ways to randomize a sound. These are great for adding an analog touch to your patches and keeping things interesting.

If you want to see how to use these random LFOs to add an organic or analog flair to your patches, check out our full blog post: How To Add Organic Character To Your Sound Design In Vital

Text-to-wavetable function

Vital VST Text To Wavetable

Vital gives users the ability to type out a few words and have them rendered into a wavetable, complete with localized accents! This feature is incredibly fun to play with and can generate some really interesting wavetables.

Note that unlimited access to this function is only available to users with Vital Pro or the monthly subscription.

Other Features Of The Vital Synth

In addition to these features, Vital also has everything else that you would expect from a modern wavetable synth, including:

Easily Create Custom LFO Shapes

Custom LFO Shapes

Thanks in part to the synth’s visual-based design, users can easily create, save, and use custom LFO shapes. To begin creating a custom LFO shape, you can simply double-click to create a new node within the LFO and drag it to your desired location. Repeat this a couple of times and you’ll have your very own LFO shape.

The Ability To Drag And Drop Your Own Samples Into The Sampler

Vital gives users the ability to import their own samples into the sample oscillator, which opens the doors for some really crazy sound design possibilities. Whether you’re using the sample as a layer in the sound or as a source for FM/RM, you’ll find this feature is incredibly useful.

Nine High-Quality Effects

Vital VST's Built-in Effects

Built-in effects are a standard feature among digital synthesizers – and Vital is no exception. Featuring nine high-quality and visual-oriented fx modules, you have all of the tools needed to create powerful sounds right inside the box.

Built-In Oscilliscope And Spectrum Viewers

While you should always use your ears while producing music, using your eyes can sometimes be just as helpful. Luckily, Vital makes this easier than ever with several built-in oscilloscopes and spectrum viewers that show you exactly what’s going on with your sound.

A Searchable, Sortable Preset Browser

Compared to other digital synths, Vital’s preset browser is in a class of its own. With the ability to search your entire library, easily tag and label your sounds, and a description box that allows creators to share useful, long-form instructions and tips, you can easily find the exact sound you’re looking for without leaving the synth.

MPE Support

Not only can you modulate your sounds with things like velocity, lift, pressure, and slide, but with Vital’s built-in MPE support you can actually use these modulations while playing. MPE allows users to play their digital instruments more like acoustic instruments by sending multiple control signals at one time, which allows for things like velocity, lift, and slide to be used at the same time.

Microtonal File Support

Do you compose or play microtonal music? Well then, you’ll be happy to know that you can import your own microtonal files including .sci, .kbm, and .tun files.

What Is The Vital Synth Missing?

While Vital is clearly a fully-featured synth, some users will notice a few things that are missing or aren’t as polished as they could have been. 

Though we love the synth and consider it to be the best software synthesizer available today, we would be lying if we said it didn’t have its shortcomings.

It Lacks A Tube Distortion Mode 

Vital Synth Is Lacking Tube Distortion

Long-time Serum users will notice that Vital lacks a tube distortion mode within its distortion module. And though we have discovered some ways to emulate tube distortion in Vital, we would have loved to see one included here.

The Wavetable Editor Is Complex And Hard To Use

While still incredibly powerful, Vital’s wavetable editor is less Intuitive than the ones found in Serum and Phase Plant. In this case, we feel the wavetable editor missed the mark a bit and could use some improvements.

There’s No Built-In Dimension Expander

Vital is also missing another feature that long-time Serum users might miss – a built-in dimension expander. And while this isn’t a huge problem thanks to the built-in stereo modulation capabilities, it would have been a nice addition.

Vital Can Be CPU Intensive

Vital Synth CPU Usage

When making sounds with a lot of voices or complex modulations, this synth can cause quite a bit of strain on your computer. While this can be remedied by turning the oversampling to 1x  in the Advanced tab, it’s still something to be aware of.

Vital Synth Review

Overall the Vital VST plugin is a powerful synth that is worth adding to your sound design tool kit. With a long list of unique features and benefits, Vital is undeniably one of the most useful and easy-to-use visual-based synthesizers available today.

Pros

  • The synth is completely free
  • Has three fully functional oscillators
  • Features two filter modules on the front panel +one FX filter
  • Has unique spectral warp modes
  • Features advanced key tracking capabilities
  • You can control the mod remap curve of any modulation
  • The transpose snap function can keep your sounds in key
  • Has a text-to-wavetable function that’s incredibly fun to use

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a true tube distortion mode 
  • The wavetable editor is hard to use
  • There’s no built-in dimension expander effect
  • Can sometimes be CPU intensive

Vital may be free, but don’t get it confused as being “just another free synth”.

In our experience, Vital is more capable of creating unique sounds than its biggest rival Serum. In addition to that, it’s much easier to use than something like Phase Plant or Massive X. 

And while all digital synths have their advantages, we view Vital as the future of sound design.

Sounds Made With The Vital Synth

All of the sounds below were made entirely within Vital with no additional layering or post-processing.

These sounds are included with our premium Future Riddim preset pack “Machina”:
Get Machina: Future Riddim For Vital Here

These sounds are included with our premium Melodic Dubstep preset pack “Odyssey”:
Get Odyssey – Melodic Dubstep For Vital Here

Our Final Thoughts On The Vital VST

While the Vital VST is famous for being a free alternative to Serum, it is really so much more than that.

Vital is an incredibly powerful synth that gives sound designers new tools for producing modern electronic music. 

With its new spectral warp modes, the ability to modulate almost everything, and extra oscillators and filters, Vital is undoubtedly the most useable and full-featured synthesizer VST available today.

Try Vital 100% Risk-Free – Get The Vital Synth From Vital Audio’s Website

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