Surge XT Logo

A new update arrives for the popular Surge XT, this synth is constantly improving and recently the 'Surge Synth Team' has released version 1.2.0 of Surge XT (Surge Synth Team has been making fundamental architectural breaks since previous versions). First of all a bit of history about arise: This virtual synthesizer that is now Free and open source was initially developed by Claes Johanson and released in the year 2005, it was sold through the company Vember Audio at a price of €99. Because Claes is too busy with other projects like developing the DAW Bitwig Studio, he decided to give Surge a new lease of life as an open source project.

• Surge XT 1.2.0 (April 10, 2023) introduces several main new features in 'tuning, visualization & accessibility', plus this version brings several new developers who have contributed substantial changes to the project!. One of those changes is the incorporation of an Oscilloscope and a Spectrograph, these are based on the s(m)exoscope developed by Smartelectronix. If you want to see the entire list of changes and improvements take a look: here .


Talking about all the features in detail that Surge XT includes from its oscillators, effects, filters and more would make this article very long, so I will only name the highlights that Surge XT presents.



Surge XT by Surge Synthesizer Team

In general terms, Surge XT is a virtual synthesizer for music production and sound design lovers, it uses the Synthesis Method: Subtractive Hybrid. In its main features we have 3 Oscillators per scene along with 12 different oscillator algorithms (Classic, Modern, Wavetable, Window, Sine, FM2, FM3, String, Twist, Alias, S&H Noise and Audio Input). It also offers two filter units (Filter 1 & 2) with different filter models. In modulation we have 12 LFO units available, 6 are per voice and 6 are global for the whole scene. DAHDSR envelope generators on each LFO. And a variety of onboard effects and more, all within a robust modulation workflow.

In the effects we will find 16 effect units arranged as 4 inserts per scene, 4 sends (Send Fx) and 4 master effects (Global Fx). For these we can choose between 27 effect algorithms divided into the categories: Filtering, Distortion, Mangling, Modulation, Time & Space, and Multi-Effects. 

• Each patch (preset) contains two scenes (A/B) which are separate instances of the entire synthesis engine (except effects) that can be used to create layered or split patches.


A sound designer's dream. A friendly and open community. With many synthesis techniques, a huge selection of filters, a flexible modulation engine, a smorgasbord of effects, and modern features like MPE and micro-tuning. Surge XT is a wonderful tool


The Surge XT synth offers filters taken from other popular synths, such as the OB-Xd virtual synth filter (free)  Diode Ladder filter, and K-35 taken from the Odin 2 synth (free), along with other filter modules. We will also find a large number of FX (effects) from the developer Chris Johnson (Airwindows), the quality of plugin development and the Airwindows philosophy is unique, if you don't know Airwindows plugins I leave you a post about the "Starter Kit"  Kit Airwindows launcher plugins ). There are also effects made by Jatin Chowdhury: Neuron, CHOW, Exciter and Tape and more.

• As if that were not enough, if you are not skilled in sound design, Surge XT integrates more than 2000 presets so that you can test its sound quickly in your musical production. Lots of awesome content!

It is also worth noting that the Surge synthesizer has been chosen as the Favorite Free Virtual Instrument by the readers of the KVR website for 2020. Congratulations!