Free Virtual Instrument Recommendations
Synth1 - No beating around the bush. This is superior to anything else you can possibly find out there. It’s versatile, efficient, free, and - most importantly - sounds better than many commercial synths out there.
http://ann.sounds.free.fr/ <— Download these presets for it. They’re AMAZING. That should solve 90% of your synth problems.
VOPM - “FM Synthesizer, like OPM.” Perfect for creating your own Sega or PC98 FM sounds. Easy to use. Possible to download presets from Sega Genesis songs, thereby expanding preset instrument library to every Sega game ever made.
NesPulse/NesTri/NesNoise - Pretty good NES sound emulation. You won’t be able to make any fancy pulse-switching instruments though. The sound is a little “soft,” too, and not just because of the filter. But better than basically everything else out there short of using FamiTracker. (Note: No clue how to make the NOISE sound versatile, I use Magical8Bit for that.)
Doublesix XXL - I used this for Psych0ruins and Atomyk Ebonpyre. Powerful FM Synth. Slows down FL though, so I generally avoid using it now. :[
SGM V2.01 - Best free GM soundfont on the internet. Some weirdness between samples, but a GREAT place to start or to throw in something temporary where you don’t have something yet.
JD Rock Kit - Malcolm Brown (Rex Duodecim Angelus, Savior of the Dreaming Dead) uses this one a lot.
Ken Ardency Drums - The snare is kind of thin, but this soundfont sounds great. The only weakness is that the higher velocities are VERY loud.
Squidfont Orchestral - No clue what the origins of this soundfont are. Besides the noticeably low sampling quality (and some looping errors), the recordings of the sounds themselves are amazing. I’ve used it in many of my tracks. As far as I can tell no one’s been sued for using it in their music, so go Google it.
jRhodes3c - Awesome Rhodes soundfont. The higher velocities are loud but I’m pretty sure that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Ethan Winer Soundfonts - All of these are pretty good, especially the glockenspiel, tubular bells, wind chime, and sleigh bells. The guy is a badass, too, look at him.
SNES Soundfonts - Delicious… KDL3 is my favorite.
Glitch and Crusher - Great for messing up your music. Don’t use the default settings on Glitch and apply randomly, you’ll sound like a noob. Bitcrush is also cool, but make sure to use it sparingly as well.
Gsnap - Free autotune VST. I don’t need to say anything else.
DVS Saxophone - Don’t