6 Best Jupiter 8 VST Plugins 2023
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The Roland JUPITER-8 is practically a poster child of the 80s. This polysynth originally exploded onto the market in 1981, and to this day, it remains one of the most sought-after synthesizers for pop, rock, electronic, scoring, cinematic, synthwave, and a great deal more.
Its iconic tones are a practical must-have for producers, songwriters, and composers in a variety of genres and disciplines. The original hardware synth, of course, is expensive and hard to find. Fortunately, we have capable plugins that capture the essence of this classic to a tee.
In this guide, we look at the best Jupiter 8 VST plugins.
TAL-J-8 by TAL – Best Overall
Emulating the original Jupiter-8, the TAL-J-8 utilizes no samples whatsoever in delivering the tone of the legendary synthesizer. Sounds are therefore generated in real time, but the soft synth still comes with limitless modulation capabilities and enhancements like the calibration section.
TAL is a well-known developer, both in the free and premium realm of plugins, and they certainly know what they’re doing in terms of interface design. This baby looks and feels incredible and is very reminiscent of the original hardware synth.
This synth comes with everything you see – master controls, LFO, VCO modulator, VCO-1, VCO-2, HPF, VCF, VCA, ENV-1, EVN-2, main, MPE, unison, calibration, delay, chorus, arpeggiator, and more.
TAL-J-8 also features microtuning support and over 300 factory presets.
I’m not a Jupiter-8 connoisseur, so I can’t necessarily tell you how authentic TAL-J-8 sounds compared to the original. What I can tell you is that, to my ears, it sounds amazing, and the reviewers also seem to agree.
At this price point, I don’t think you can go wrong with the TAL-J-8 but be sure to check it out for yourself and do your own research before rushing out and buying it. Find a solution that’s right for you!
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Jup-8 V by Arturia – Best Premium Option
It’s no surprise that Arturia would create their own rendition of the Jupiter-8, as they have VST plugins for just about every classic synth and keyboard you can name.
The mind-blowing Jup-8 V is a must-have for Jupiter-8 lovers. Built with Arturia’s proprietary analog modeling technology, Jup-8 V comes with all the classic features you know and love, as well as an array of dynamic modern features that will let you take your sounds to new dimensions.
In terms of new features, you’ll find two additional LFOs, a modulation mixer, a 2 x 32 step sequencer, an advanced panel (with velocity, aftertouch, keyboard tracking, modwheel), 11 new digital FX and three FX slots, and a new sound engine rebuilt using cutting-edge DSP technology.
Altogether, you’ll find four customizable dispersion modes, free-running phase oscillators with up to 16 voice polyphony, VCO cross modulation, assignable VCO sync, classic and mono unison modes, an arpeggiator, and extra modulation (two complex LFOs and a modulation mixer).
You can also expect double notes and a modulation sequencer, assignable velocity, aftertouch, modwheel, and keyboard tracking, three output effects slots, advanced macro controls (brightness, timbre, time, and movement), built-in tutorials, and 300+ factory presets.
Earlier versions of Jup-8 may not have quite lived up to expectation, but not so with Jup-8 V. This is a beautifully designed plugin with excellent sounds and amazing features. It’s not cheap, but you don’t generally expect Arturia products to be inexpensive.
This is our best premium selection.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Mercury-4 by Cherry Audio – Best Budget Option
Jupiter-8 emulations are in short supply. So, our best budget pick is an emulation of the Jupiter-4 rather than the Jupiter-8. That said, it’s an excellent product, and as you’re about to see for yourself, it does the “Jupiter thing” very well.
Cherry Audio’s excellent take on the Jupiter-4, Mercury-4, was meticulously designed. Plus, it sounds great, and it features MPE support.
Mercury-4 features an authentically modeled oscillator with sub-oscillator, modeled filters, up to 16-voice polyphony, 300+ presets, an arpeggio section, LFO modulation, tempo-syncable LFO, Drift control, stereo ensemble, tape echo, detunable unison mode, single-key chord memory mode, MPE support, MIDI control, and more.
Overall, Mercury-4 sounds incredible. The 16-voice polyphony is very usable, the effects sound great, the zoom mode is convenient, and the interface is very streamlined and easy to use. Mercury-4 is also relatively affordable, making it our best budget pick.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Sotto X by Sonokinetic
Sonokinetic’s Sotto X is the analog, synthesized reimagining of their popular Sotto collection featuring orchestral phrases. Whether for coming up with your own riffs and ideas or leveraging the existing orchestral phrases for creative inspiration, Sotto X represents an array of new possibilities in composing, scoring, sound design, and more.
Sotto X comes with a custom designed interface, score display, Time Machine pro capability, purging system, randomization, per-section and per-theme, one Kontakt Player patch, Komplete Control and NKS compatibility, three synth phrase categories (Analog Strings, Analog Woodwinds, Analog Brass), and more.
The gear list is made up of synths like the Roland JUPITER-8, ROLAND JUPITER-4, KORG prologue, Moog One, Oberheim OB-8, among others.
You’ll also find outboard FX like the Eventide H3000 and Alesis MIDIVerb, as well as preamps like the Telefunken V72 and Neve 1084.
If nothing else, Sotto X is a very fascinating entry. Part synth, part orchestral phrase library, this plugin is perfect for anyone who wants access to a large array of classic synth sounds with usable phrases out of the box.
Sotto X is compatible with the free and full versions of Kontakt 5.1 or higher.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Diva by u-he
u-he’s dinosaur soft synth, Diva, can produce monster analog synthesizer sounds spanning five decades. It’s not emulating one thing specifically; it’s emulating all the things! And wouldn’t you know it – it’s a killer sounding synth.
It’s not just hype, either. This thing is legitimately powerful and versatile. Along with over 1,200 presets, you’ll find all the tools necessary for crafting stunning patches – filters, envelopes, mix and matchable modules, effects, modifiers, trimmers, and scope.
Despite being at least a decade old, Diva is still considered one of the best VST plugins available and is a must-have for classic synth sound lovers. Can you find or create Jupiter like sounds? Of course! But if you’re looking strictly for a dedicated Jupiter-8 sound, you should probably find another plugin. This one’s for analog synth fiends.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
Go2 by Rob Papen
With Go2, Rop Papen set out to create a synth that was streamlined, easy to use even for the average user, and whose UI showed all available controls, parameters, and features in one place.
Taking inspiration from synths like the classic Roland Jupiter-8 as well as the Roland SH-101, the highly rated Go2 comes with just enough of the right stuff to expand upon the concept of synths in this category.
Go2 features an oscillator section, XY section, filter section, high pass filter, amplifier section, play mode section, free LFO section, free envelope section, modulation matrix section, FX section, bank manager section, and “back panel” with global controls.
Presets have been sorted in the bank folders, which come with quick browse, favorites, and a star system.
Go2 may not be a JUPITER replacement per se. But it does come with a ton of excellent sounds, and for the price, it’s an amazing synthesizer. If you’re curious, have a listen to it in the video below.
Learn more: Plugin Boutique
What Should I Look For In A Jupiter 8 VST Plugin?
Looking for the perfect Jupiter 8 VST plugin? I mostly have good news for you! That’s because there are essentially only two dedicated options, and they both sound stellar – TAL-J-8 and Jup-8.
So, what’s the downside? Well, while synths in this category aren’t especially expensive, there aren’t necessarily any super budget friendly options. There’s basically nothing in the $0 to $79 range, unless you want a Jupiter-4 emulation instead (see Mercury-4).
This certainly makes Jupiter 8 VST plugins less of a commodity and more of a rarity.
If you’ve already decided which plugin to buy, great, you may not need to read any further. If you’re still with me, though, it’s probably because you’re still not quite sure which plugin to go with.
Hey, we understand.
Fortunately, you’re in the right place at the right time because we’re about to look at several key factors that will help you narrow in on the right Jupiter 8 VST plugin for you. The main criteria are as follows:
- Sound quality
Now here’s an explanation of each:
The first thing that’s on just about anyone’s mind is, “well, how does this thing sound anyway?”
And we live in amazing times, because generally there are no shortage of audio clips to listen to, or video demos and reviews to watch. We encourage doing so because it will help you find the plugin that’s right for you. After all, you know your needs and workflow better than anyone!
But I will create a mental model you can use to determine the best option from above. You’re not obligated to follow my thought process, but you may find this helpful.
First and foremost, the two dedicated options are TAL-J-8 and Jup-8 V. These two plugins sound very close to the real thing. They aren’t messing around. They might have a few extra features (especially Jup-8 V), but they are meant to sound and behave like the original Jupiter-8, plain and simple.
If authenticity and realism are important to you, then there really aren’t any other options.
If you don’t mind settling for something “close,” then Cherry Audio’s Mercury-4 is worth a look. This is a Jupiter-4 emulation, not a Jupiter-8 emulation. Nevertheless, it has universally high ratings. Even synth and keyboard freaks have praised it for its sound quality, and it is one of the most affordable solutions in this guide.
Then we have some rather unique options. First is Sotto X. This plugin doesn’t just do Jupiter-8. It doesn’t just do classic synthesizers either. It comes with a complete classical phrase library. Now, there’s no denying it sounds great, and even if you just want to use it for its Jupiter sounds, you probably won’t be disappointed.
But it’s a tool with far more utility. It would be great for scoring and composing. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you would merit a look.
u-he’s Diva is universally loved by producers and keyboardists. It’s not a Jupiter-8 emulation specifically, but it is a monster, because you can tap into analog synth sounds spanning five decades. Yes, it can sound like a Jupiter too.
Finally, there’s Rob Papen’s Go2. Evidently, the developer’s objective was more so to create a single-page interface than to create a synth resembling the Jupiter-8. It is affordable, and highly rated, though, so as a swing vote, I wouldn’t necessarily take it out of the running.
And that’s my breakdown. Did you find it helpful?
Next up on the docket is features and let me tell you… producers don’t all think the same way about features. In this category of plugins, you will spend more for more, but that only matters to the extent that it matters to you.
So, what can we expect in terms of features? This depends a lot on the plugin, but you’re probably going to be looking at things like modulation, presets, FX, typical synth sections and parameters (like LFOs, filters, envelopes, VCOs, etc.), FX, and MPE support.
That list shouldn’t be considered comprehensive, but it’s a quick overview of the kinds of items you’ll be considering while shopping for the ideal product.
If you know what you need, great. If not, you might need to do a bit of your own research.
But my point from earlier was that there are many ways to get the results you want nowadays. Synth doesn’t come with FX? No problem! You can create your own FX chain. Synth doesn’t do lo-fi? Then take advantage of Excite Audio’s Lifeline Console or iZotope’s Vinyl.
There are creative solutions to most issues and challenges you might encounter, and they don’t necessarily need to cost a pretty penny.
But we would be skipping over something important if we didn’t cover features at all! It’s an important buying criterion. And so is…
Plugins in this category will run you from $50 all the way up to $200, depending on the quality of product you need, as well as its feature set. Knowing what premium auto-tune, synthesizer, and mastering suites can cost, you’re doing okay here!
Now, remember that you can use your budget as a filter for your purchase. If you don’t have the money for it now, then we don’t recommend buying it. Don’t go into debt for any VST plugin related purchases, please!
Of course, you always have the option of saving up for any plugin you’re coveting.
Top Jupiter 8 VST Plugins, Final Thoughts
Did you learn a thing or two about Jupiter 8 VST plugins? We sure hope so. While there aren’t a ton of options to choose from, the ones available are very good, so you can buy with the safety and comfort of knowing that you will end up with a quality product.
Now, go and play with your new Jupiter 8 plugin and don’t forget to have fun. Let us know how it goes.
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!