Bespoke Synth is a freeware (with optional donations) modular synthesizer and digital audio workstation for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Bespoke Synth is the brainchild of developer Ryan Challinor. Ryan describes it as a bit like smashing Ableton Live to bits with a baseball bat and then asking you to put it back together.
It’s worth noting that Bespoke Synth isn’t a typical DAW by any means. It’s basically a blank canvas that allows you to create your own bespoke workflow.
If I can steal another line from the developer, Bespoke Synth is a customizable playground for sound. I think that sums it up very well.
Typically, we work with DAWs that have very practical and methodical layouts. At a glance, it might look like another modular synth, which it is, and I’ve seen it compared to things like SunVox and Native Instruments Reaktor.
But, it’s more than a synthesizer; Bespoke Synth has 190 modules that cover the main elements (and more) of music production and allow you to patch/position in conventional or non-conventional ways.
It’s also a VST host, so you can bring in 3rd party plugins as you would in a regular DAW.
I think it’s easy to become overly concerned with structure in your DAW, and I’m sometimes guilty of focusing so much on the end goal that I restrict my creativity or experimentation. From what I see so far, I get the impression that Bespoke Synth is very much about experimentation and being in the moment.
The more organic approach of Bespoke Synth might be suitable for some users or even offer a break from the norm.
On top of being a synth and a DAW of sorts, it’s also a live looper, complex sequencer, sample slicer, MIDI controller performance platform, and pedalboard.
Not to mention it’s a python live coding environment, which is a form of improvisation that goes beyond my own music-geekiness.
The modules are categorized by type in multiple dropdown menus, making it easy to find, drag and drop whatever you need. We aren’t going to go through all of the modules here, but some areas have a slight quirkiness that doesn’t come from a traditional modular approach.
I think Bespoke Synth has a certain charm, and it’s clearly the result of hard work over a long time.
If you head over to the Bespoke Synth website, you’ll see there are three versions, Bespoke (free), Bespoke Plus ($5), and Bespoke Pro ($10).
You’ll also see that all three versions are identical apart from the paid ones leaving fewer dollars in your pocket, which I thought was an endearing approach from the developer.
When we are also discussing a significant update to VCV Rack, it’s a good time for all things modular.
Download: Bespoke Synth (standalone software for Windows, macOS, Linux)
I did a lot of weird stuff end of 90s to around 2008 with Buzz. Very unstable beast during development. Loved the modular approach tho and the tons of included synth and effects (i think 500+ in total, plus VST support later on).
Gonna check this one out. Thinking about a synth setup for the rehearsal room PC, with some FX percussion, guitar, flute, voice, etc. I also have some spare MIDI splitter and controller lying around. Just hope it runs stable enough for live gigs. Only one way to find out. :)
Thanks for the share!
Oh wow, Buzz! What a blast from the past. Thanks for the reminder! :)
Oh wow, Jeskola Buzz! This is exactly what I was thinking of when I read the article.
I did enjoy it, but it was incredibly unstable haha.
Definitely gonna check this out.
Buzz hasn’t been updated in five years or so but shook my goto-daw. 🙂
A big THANK YOU goes to BPB reader Di Basi for letting us know about Bespoke Synth.
HOLY F****** S*** DestroyFX Plugins just got updated to 64-bit http://destroyfx.org/, we got a big 2004ish FSU sound mangler suite back
If we could use it as a vst inside other daws it could be perfect .
Thank you dear Tomislav
This is a beautiful piece of software. It sucked me right in and I jammed and made noises with it for HOURS. It is so intuitive, so easy to learn and use, and yet so intricate. Like ModulAir, it is one of the cleanest and tidiest modular environments ever.