Sonicbits has released Exakt Lite, a freeware FM synthesizer in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats for digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.
Exakt Lite is a four-operator, twelve-voice FM synthesizer with eight classic FM algorithms. Each of the four aliasing-free operators features four waveforms (sinewave, saw, square, and triangle), along with the eight emulated waveforms from the vintage Yamaha TX81Z synthesizer module.See also: Best FREE Synthesizer VST Plugins
Each operator comes with a five-point TX envelope for amplitude modulation. The plugin also features a resonant multi-mode filter (low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass), and a syncable LFO module that can be routed to multiple modulation targets.
Exakt Lite was designed to be user-friendly. FM synthesizers are notorious for their steep learning curve, but Sonicbits have succeeded in making Exakt Lite relatively easy to comprehend. One of the helpful features is the waveform visualizer which shows the shape of the output wave in real-time. The interface is freely resizable and the control layout is well-organized.
Until now, Dexed by Digital Suburban was the undisputed champion of freeware FM synthesizer plugins. Exakt Lite finally introduces some much-needed FM synthesis competition in the virtual synthesizer market dominated by virtual analogs and subtractive synthesizers. Its well-designed UI and intuitive workflow are more than enough to make it an FM synthesizer worth trying. Have you tested Exakt Lite and do you prefer using it over Dexed?
Exakt Lite can be downloaded for free from the Sonicbits website. You don’t need to sign up for a user account in order to access the download link. The instrument is available in VST, VST3, and AU plugin formats. Only 64-bit host applications are supported.
More info: Exakt Lite (4.20 MB download size, EXE installer, 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)
Wow, that looks amazing!
Sure does! :)
Thanks for the very flattering review!
Thanks for releasing a great free VST!
Hi, I really like the plugin. A clear and tidy UI that doesn’t scare you. Even without much previous knowledge you can quickly create cool sounds that don’t put a lot of load on your CPU.
An envelope for pitch and a second LFO with random wave would complete the whole thing.
Really good work SONICBITS.
Great work on the design, indeed!
I have to say this – finally someone did his work and made something that should be as simple as it can get simple and handy. It looks to me like serum and sylenth but with much more edge. And it’s FM synth.
Kay if you read this – to me you should get Noble Prize for making dificult and confusing things as simple as kids toys . Trully amazing job – I would even pay for that kind of FM synth. Top notch :D
Yes, one of the rare FM synths that looks rather inviting to use.
Lovely FM synth. Nice to see the TX shapes. Clear resizable UI. Except maybe the hidden pitchbend range that you can only access right-clicking the pitchbend control (which btw doesn’t work, changing the range, v0.8 heh).
It’s obviously a Lite version of something else planned, so I won’t state the obvious in sound design failure… NO EFFECTS SECTION? Oh wait, I just did. Oops! No, I’ll just comment on a few ideas that would be nice to see before a final v1.0. The LFO section has few shapes, no S&H and no TX shapes, which are weird and well, fun. The Filter section has no fixed HPF when in LP mode. No keytracking (d’oh!). And only a 24db/oct mode, where’s my 6 and 12? A pet peeve of mine, no velocity on the attack. It’s a simple trick that would add a lot of expression.
I’ll leave you with a general note about software FM synths. Why keep up with the antiquated algorithm paradigm? Can’t we all have a matrix and peace in the w… Yeah, no apparently we can’t.
TL;DR: I really like this synth, it’ll get used.
I also like it. Still have to test it properly, but my initial impressions were very positive.
Lovely synth with a much, much appreciated UI layout, that actually makes programming FM patches enjoyable and not much of a chore. My only gripes with it are that it seems to have a certain “lo-fi” sound to it – not really in a pleasant “crunchy” way but it rather seems quite dull, as if it works in a lower sample rate than expected – and it tends to make clicking noises between notes, even with envelope stages properly adjusted. I’d also love to have at least one freely routable slot for the LFO mod, lots of creative potential in there. Given that this is not a full 1.0 release yet, I have high hopes that this might become one of my new go-to synths once these things are sorted out. Excellent job! :)
Some good insight there, thanks for your comment. I do like the GUI very much but I didn’t have the time to test the sound quality yet. Hopefully, this will only be improved in the final version.
Doesn’t load on macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) as advertised (VST or AU). (Live 9.6.2) : (
Now updated, but changed compatibility for OS X 10.11+
I Really love this one. IT’S looking good and easy to use.Not the most powerful one but enough to use .Definitely already good enough to sell.
although says win8 up, win7 Reaper loads up ok. :)
I have updated Exakt Lite to v1.0.
Many issues have been resolved. Thanks for all the feedback!
It would be nice if the voice stealing mechanism would prioritize unheld notes. Right now i’m having troubles holding a bass drone and playing some long-released notes in the higher octaves. Stop. Stealing. My. Bass! o_o; Will you consider keytracking on the filter, in both positive and negative ways? It would add a lot of expressivity for such a simple change. Or maybe do you consider Exakt Lite feature-locked at this point? Congrats on this synth, it’s already a nice little gem.
Thanks for the update!
Sir is there a 32 – bot version of this vst available ?
This is a very nice synth! <3
I’m still paying attention to Exakt, very promising synth. Giving their VA synth Silk a look and also got their free reverb Sphere just now to see if it fits in a project I’m working on. Cheers to Sonicbits!