24 Synth Supersaw Comparison

24 Synth Supersaw Comparison

**WARNING: THIS IS NOT A "BEST SUPER SAW" TEST. It's clinical, dry, and awful sounding. The extreme detune settings demonstrate capability, not pleasantness!**

There are many great sounding software synthesisers capable of producing the venerable supersaw. Some might say they all sound the same, we'd have to disagree with that. Have a listen to our supersaw comparison and judge for yourself.

We compare the supersaw from 24 of today's popular software synths. This doesn't included every synth out there, just want was to hand. We kept the sound dry and matched settings as best as possible.

Unison is set to maximum voices. We've used oversampling where available. All effects, filters, and processing is bypassed. The envelope attack and release is set to the fastest time. Oscillator phase is random. Width/stereo modes are set to maximum.

In the audio comparison each synth plays a midi file in turn. First you hear 4 single notes an octave apart, followed by a simple chord sequence. The chord is played three times: first with minimum detune, then with a typical medium detune (roughly matched for comparison), then finally the maximum detune amount (this chord sequence is shorter).

Unless otherwise stated in the list below, a default sawtooth was used.

Here is the list of synths used in order:

  1. Sonic Academy ANA 2
  2. U-he Hive
  3. Native Instruments Massive
  4. Native Instruments Massive X
  5. Arturia  Pigments (Analog Oscillator, Classic Detune)
  6. Synapse Audio DUNE 3
  7. Parawave Rapid
  8. Kilohearts Phase Plant
  9. Xfer Serum
  10. Matt Tytel Vital
  11. Reveal Sound Spire
  12. SST Surge (Modern Sawtooth)
  13. U-he Zebra 2
  14. KV331 Audio SynthMaster One
  15. KV331 Audio SynthMaster
  16. Unfiltered Audio LION
  17. ToneBoosters Flowtones
  18. Spectrasonics Omnisphere (JP-8000 Supersaw)
  19. HY-Plugins HY-POLY
  20. Reason Studios Europa
  21. VPS Avenger
  22. DS Thorn
  23. U-he Diva (no spread)
  24. Adam Szabo JP6K (no spread)

Download Individual Wavs

Download the 24 Synth Supersaw Comparison wav files to compare them in your DAW.

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Conclusions and observations:

It's no surprise that many of these top synths sound very good and very similar. However, there are some that sound quite a bit different. It's great that digital synths can have a unique character; whether that character is pleasing or not is up to you to decide.

There was no EQ or limiting of the audio so although normalised, there are some volume differences. Some synths produced more dynamic waveforms giving a slightly quieter level.

The last 2 on the list - Diva and JP6K - have no spread so are quite a lot different. I expect they emulate the original well. There are also a few synths with different detune settings which can produce different results.

It's also worth noting that there is more to the supersaw than this simple test demonstrates. Envelopes, filters, delay and reverb were all part of making the supersaw awesome. It's far more complex than a few detuned saws. :)

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