There are a great many resources online where you can get a softsynth for less than something, but I usually find that you have to sort through a whole heap of bollocks before you get lucky and strike gold.
For that reason I’m calling on you to post one or a few of your own favourites, so that other users may try their luck with them. If one of these threads already exist I kindly ask that you point it out for me so I can leave my contribution.
Helix (2 rec.)
A very flexible synth. Comes with a fully loaded preset bank.
Oatmeal (1 rec.)
An easy-to-work synth. Skinnable too - visit kvraudio.com for some skins and patches.
Synth1 (3 rec.)
Great for basic sounds.
BeatBurner (1 rec.)
Sample Mangler. Comes with a library of sample loops [optionally.]
Foorius (1 rec.)
“Foorius is a VSTi which allows you to explore and combine multiple synthesis methods in a single patch.”
The free version has a nag screen.
Oxe FM Synth (1 rec.)
Multitimbral FM synth.
SQ8L (1 rec.)
Software emulation of Ensoniq’s SQ80 synth.
Rescue (1 rec.)
Bouncer (1 rec.)
Bouncing ball-delay. Has slight problems with panorated sound (the creator has been notified.)
Camel Crusher (1 rec.)
for phattening drums or basses
Blockfish (3 rec.)
An absolute must have (along with the other fishphones), my goto vstcomp for vocal - use in opto mode, and make use of the back panel settings too!
edit: I intend to give each plugin a quick looksie before adding it to the list in order to make sure the URL is correct and functioning, etc. For that reason this post might take some time to update (I try to have other things to do during my spare time as well )
Eventually, it’ll all be up here in one, hopefully, concise and organized list.