MeowSynth is a free synthesizer plugin by the Ukrainian developer knobster. Today is International Cat Day, so let’s explore this charming cat-inspired “meow synth.”
I’m not a cat person. Dogs are the best. Ok, I like some cats (shout out to Tony!), too.
But I most definitely am a synth person.
A cat synthesizer, though? A virtual instrument that meows in tune every time you press a note? What could go wrong?
Well, nothing, apparently!
MeowSynth is exactly what the name says on the tin. A synthesizer that meows. It doesn’t use samples, either.
There’s a real synthesis engine underneath the hood (or should I say fur?) that uses a single oscillator and modulated filter to, well, meow like a cat.
The controls are simple, the sound is undeniably cat-like, and the GUI features a photo of a friendly-looking cat. What’s not to like?
Let’s get serious about MeowSynth, though.
When I first saw this plugin in 2009, I expected it to be a complete joke. One quick look at the GUI made me think that Meowsynth’s developer mapped a single meow sample across the MIDI range and called it a day.
I was wrong, though.
Yes, MeowSynth is meant as a joke, but it’s also a proper musical instrument. It features a single oscillator, an ADSR envelope, and an auto-modulated filter that ties the simplistic synthesis engine together.
Press a MIDI note, the filter opens and closes, and MeowSynth meows. It’s simple, funny, and pitch-perfect (unlike me when taking a shower).
But cats are complex little creatures, and MeowSynth isn’t all that simple, either.
The instrument also features a built-in chorus, portamento, a noise generator (to give your virtual cat a more husky voice), and a vibrato. It’s a fun little musical contraption that will put a smile on your face, for sure.
It also had some serious meme potential right from the start.
One of my favorite MeowSynth videos is Don’t Stop Me Meow, with 230k views on YouTube.
Freddy Mercury famously said, “You can do whatever you want with my work, just never make me boring.”
The MeowSynth rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now is anything but boring. I love it, and the vocal harmonies in the second part put a huge smile on my face.
However, there’s no denying that Meow is the most popular MeowSynth clip, with almost four million views.
It’s a chill groove that purrs like a cat.
There are many other examples of MeowSynth in the wild. One quick YouTube search will give you hundreds of videos, some of which are really cool.
My MeowSynth verdict is simple.
People love cats. Cats love synthesizers. We all needed a cat synthesizer. And MeowSynth delivered.
MeowSynth is discontinued but is still available for free download online. Use the link below to download MeowSynth for free.
MeowSynth is available with 32-bit VST plugin hosts on Windows. macOS is not supported.
Download: MeowSynth (1.7 MB)