In 2022, synthesizers will be reviewed in-depth.
Those who work in the area of music are well aware of the synthesizer’s importance, an instrument that is becoming increasingly prevalent in nearly every style, both on stage and in recording studios. However, in order to pick the finest synthesizer for you among the plethora of options on the market, you will need to be familiar with a few key qualities, which is where this guide comes in handy. A portable model with a digital keyboard (37 tiny keys), such as the Novation MiniNova, may be an appropriate choice. It is reasonably priced and has useful features such as 256 presets and up to five effects that may be applied to the voice, including a microphone. If you are looking for a model without a keyboard, see Novation Peak.
Table of comparisons
Certainly, a super portable synthesizer may be of interest to you, and this digital model, with 37 tiny type keys, category-organized buttons, real-time sound modification, 256 presets and five voice effects, MIDI input – output, and a built-in microphone, may be of particular interest to you.
It is a single-timbre synthesizer type that does not support playing multiple sounds on distinct MIDI channels.
A competitive pricing in its category, portability but robustness, and useful functionality are just a few of the reasons we suggest this device.
It is a synthesizer with 40 buttons organized into several categories for simple administration, a screen displaying pertinent information, a library of 256 sounds and blank spaces for additional sounds, three oscilloscopes, filters, and interesting effects, and diversified connections.
Due to the fact that they are simply buttons that may be controlled through combinations, you must be more skilled in the music world to manage them efficiently.
Robust and small, and extremely well-equipped, this button-controlled synthesizer may be a suitable fit for you.
This synthesizer is standard, with 88 keyboards, USB and MIDI connectivity, a 7-inch touch screen display, 128-voice polyphony on each tone generator (FM-X, AWM2), presets and a wide variety of effects, memory, and network connectivity.
Due to the fact that this is a high-performance, branded product geared toward advanced users, it is more expensive than the other items provided.
It is a professional synthesizer that enables you to perform in concerts and simply develop your own playing style.
Analyses of the greatest synthesizers
To assist you in locating a suitable product, we have included a list of many models below that we have picked based on their popularity and quality-price ratio.
MiniNova by Novation
If you are looking for a synthesizer that is affordable, durable, and easy to manage, this model may be an option for you.
It is a digital model with 37 mini-type flaps for ease of usage. The buttons are situated on the top of the synthesizer and have been organized to make navigation simple and logical. It has no fewer than 256 presets that are conveniently accessible, as well as five voice effects.
It incorporates vocoder effects that may be used in conjunction with other instruments during performance. The sounds may be altered in real time, and the unit has a microphone. The polyphony is eight notes, the timbre is mono, and there is an LCD display. MIDI input and output ports make it simple to connect to other devices. It is extremely portable due to its light weight and small size.
Bass Station II by Novation
Certainly, a synthesizer at a reasonable price is appealing, and this analog model may be a good fit for you.
The maker strives to meet consumer expectations with this keyboard synthesizer, which features cutting-edge features to assist you in creating the music you enjoy. Thus, it has three analog oscilloscopes and a noise generator; various filters; analog effects such as heat, distortion, and so forth; and tools for interpretation and creation.
It features MIDI input – output as well as USB connectivity for easy connection to a computer. It features 25 keys in addition to an expanded area of buttons that may be manipulated by rotating or sliding.
International Korg PA4X 76
If you want to write music and record at the same time, you will need a professional range synthesizer, which you can get with this device.
It features 75 keyboards, over 1500 sounds, and over 500 styles, 128-note polyphony, effects, and a voice processor, as well as 400 MB of internal memory. Along with the instrument, you will receive a power cable, user manual, CD, and a score keeper with your order.
The connectivity choices are extensive, including MIDI input – output, USB, RCA video, balanced and unbalanced 6.35 mm jacks, balanced 3.5 mm jacks, and balanced XLRs.
You may be interested in an analog synthesizer without keyboards from a reputable company in the music industry, such as this device.
It is monophonic, has a vintage tone, and the ability to totally program it, which is quite useful during a concert. The buttons are organized logically to make them simple to handle, sturdy, and responsive. The sound quality is excellent, with a powerful bottom and crisp treble.
Other sound sources may be used via the synthesizer filter, which features a dedicated input, conventional MIDI, USB – MIDI and USB audio, three oscillators, 384 sound presets featuring classic and current tones, and 128 storage spaces for your own compositions.
Arcade Teenage Engineering PO-20
For people who produce music live performances or during recording sessions, this kind of synthesizer is also quite simple to use, particularly for swiftly generating rhythms.
It is a device without a keyboard, with just buttons for easy access, and an LCD screen for displaying pertinent information. Among the features included are 128 patterns, 16 synthetic sounds from arcade games, a 16-step sequencer, and two settings for each sound.
This synthesizer is compact in size, easily held in the hand, runs on batteries (2 AAA type), provides excellent mobility, includes a built-in speaker, and offers a 3.5 mm jack input and output.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced but high-quality synthesizer, you can not go wrong with this model, which comes without a keyboard and features an appealing design that is silver, electrostatically coated, and finished with a metallic finish.
It is an easy-to-use type with eight rotary knobs, and the changeable balance allows for a large variety of modular configurations. It features two modes (RMS and Peak) that are easily switched through a toggle button.
Due to the fact that this is an analog compression module, it requires a Eurorack power supply. Release and attack can be carried out manually or automatically, depending on which method is more convenient for you at any given time.
Synthesizer of human voice
Peak of Novation
If you are looking for a voice synthesizer, you may definitely choose this model, which is analog-hybrid in nature and without a keyboard.
The 40 control buttons are simple to operate and manipulate. They are really well-placed on parts that make manipulation simple and sensible. They are black and white, with white lettering beneath them to maximize visibility. It is provided with a screen that accurately shows the functionality of the accessible button. Although the synthesizer only has three digital oscillators, it produces a very realistic sound.
Additionally, there is a mixing section, filters, and effects, which allow you to quickly create your favorite sounds. The sound collection comprises not only 256 pre-programmed sounds, but also empty spaces for additional sounds that you will find on your own. The connectivity options are extensive, including USB, MIDI, headphone output, and pedal inputs. It is a sturdy and small synthesizer with an attractive appearance that will be quite useful.
Montage 8 Yamaha
If you are an expert musician in need of a tool that is customized to your needs, we propose this Yamaha synthesizer, which will undoubtedly provide you with all you need to play in the appropriate way.
It is a standard model with 88 keyboards, a sound and synthesis generator, as well as frequency modulators, 128-note polyphony, compression and playback with extremely realistic sounds, as well as simultaneous parameter control. distinct, with a 7-inch color display, touchscreen, and so on.
It enables you to apply a variety of effects to your music, including reverb that maintains a high level of clarity, vinyl effects, but also bitcrusher for current music, and various amplifier simulators. The synthesizer is connected through USB and MIDI, allowing it to be quickly transformed into a music factory. It is powered by the mains and comes with an integrated cord.
Without a doubt, a Yamaha synthesizer will prove its worth over time, and this model will provide you with several options for creating the sound you like.
It has a semi-heavy keyboard with 61 keys for an experience as near to that of the piano as feasible. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology and has 64-voice polyphony via the FM-X tone generator and 128 voices via AWM2. Parallel to the Super Knob, these settings can be adjusted.
The synthesizer features a 7-inch color touch screen, four adjustable potentiometers, and four slider buttons. With 2000 presets and 640 user presets, 5.67 GB of memory, two inputs, and ten USB and MIDI outputs, the synthesizer will function as a mini-industry that can be connected to a variety of different devices.
Yamaha Reface CS Mini Control Synth Yamaha Reface CS Mini Control Synth
Certainly, this analog synthesizer with a 37-key keyboard can assist you in creating your favorite music and performing in the desired style.
The flaps are tiny, and the remaining control buttons are positioned at the top for easy access. Additionally, you have the pedal to adjust the volume, which frees up your hands for other instructions. Works with a power supply or six rechargeable AA batteries, allowing you to move around as effortlessly as possible.
It features an eight-note polyphony.
Especially if you are purchasing your first synthesizer, it is a good idea to educate yourself in advance about your alternatives, especially given the importance of pricing. You may read reviews of other artists’ greatest synthesizers online, listen to how they sound on various recordings, and speak with professionals before placing a purchase. Several points to consider include the following:
Tip: A good place to start when determining the ideal synthesizer for you is to define what you want: an analog or digital model, each with its own set of desirable features.
Analog synthesizers: although they have become less popular in recent years, they still exist. They generate sound using analog impulses and circuitry. As a result, its acoustic beauty is unsurpassed; it is also warmer and more real. It is also excellent for novices, as it is more intuitive and easier to learn.
Digital synthesizers are becoming more prevalent in the music world; unlike analog synthesizers, they operate on presets and use digital signal processing to play acoustic or electronic recordings. It is capable of reproducing the sounds of a variety of familiar instruments, including the guitar, violin, and trumpet.
Additionally, hybrid versions exist, which are a mix of the two types.
With or without keyboard: Depending on your requirements, you may easily find reasonably priced and high-quality synthesizers with or without keyboard.
The ones without a keyboard rely solely on buttons, which are activated by rotating or sliding, and are often organized into categories for easier management. The great majority also have a screen that allows for easy viewing of the information required when a button is activated. Typically, complex menus are accessed through key combinations, making them more challenging for beginners.
They are more portable than those with keys, being smaller and lighter in size, with some models being the size of a smartphone, making them extremely useful for quickly acquiring beats.
While those with a keyboard are often bigger, you may choose between tiny variations with up to 40 keys and regular variants with between 40 and 88 keys. In terms of sound quality, those with between 61 and 88 keys are best. Certain manufacturers provide the same synthesizer in both variants, allowing you to pick the one that best matches your needs.
Soft vs hard: Soft synthesizers are an excellent choice for novices, owing to their lower price and ease of usage. Thus, you may test beforehand to determine whether you can become familiar with such a tool and whether it is what you require, including free online versions.
Hard synthesizers are present, both physically and conceptually, and allow for both diversification and professional employment. Here you can discover basic models that even novices can use, as well as complex models for experts.
Even if you are a beginner, you must consider the long term when purchasing a synthesizer, as the price can be substantial, and pick a model that allows for future development by adding other modules of interest.
Thus, connectivity becomes a defining element, and you will want it to be as complicated as possible to avoid future connectivity issues: USB connection is used to power the device or to connect it to a computer, tablet, or other device; MIDI connection is commonly used today: 3.5 mm jack for use with earlier versions or headphones; small stereo input, pedal input, and so forth.
Additional noteworthy characteristics include the following: There are more characteristics that distinguish synthesizers from one another, and we have the following:
The majority of devices come with a mains or USB power source, but you can also get models that run on batteries (2 or 3 batteries), which gives you a great deal of mobility.
Internal memory: those with internal memory let you to preserve your sounds and produced moments for later playback or use as models for future work.
Polyphony is a function of interest that enables you to play more than one note simultaneously, as opposed to a monophonic model that only allows for the playing of one note.
Built-in sequencer: it is responsible for organizing and preparing the musical notes for playback in an organized manner. It is particularly useful for monophonic models, and preferable for a novice.
Effects: the more the merrier, since they provide a safe and simple method to further personalize your music. This manner, you may have delay, reverberation, and distortion effects, among others, without having to use your hands for other instructions.
Although it may not appear significant, the element is of importance to certain individuals who may pick a design that is appropriate for the musical style they practice when the sound quality is comparable. Although the majority of models feature a black casing, they are also available in more elegant gray or metallic finishes. The screen might be small and unobtrusive or huge and bold, the lines can be rounded or more square in appearance, and so on.
Frequently asked questions
What is the operation of a synthesizer?
The synthesizer, as a controller-type musical instrument with keyboards and buttons, is extensively utilized both on stage and in music creation. It has a plethora of built-in features and a huge library of sounds, effects, and settings that enable you to create the most incredible inventions in this field.
While analog synthesizers generate sounds by altering electrical impulses and are mostly controlled by keyboards, sampling synthesizers work with pre-recorded samples or ones that are made and preserved.
How does the synthesizer sound?
Even if you do not have the greatest synthesizer on the market, it will provide you with an abundance of sounds that will enable you to create and make virtually whatever you like.
Thus, everything is feasible with a very large sample base, from classical instruments such as violin, piano, trumpet, and horn to noises such as steps, thunder, and trills.
When Did the Synthesizer Become Popular?
The synthesizer has a lengthy history, dating all the way back to 1876, when Elisha Gray, the inventor of the prototype telephone, created the first electric replica. It will not be known to the general public until 1969, when Robert Moog creates an electronic synthesizer that is used to record an album.
Musical genres that make use of the synthesizer
With an increasing number of models appearing as a result of technological advancements, both vocal and instrumental synthesizers, many musicians have embraced this great creation on stage, in concerts, and in recording facilities for music production.
It is frequently utilized in cinema music, but also in sound editing, since it may give a variety of sounds essential to designate or accent specific situations.
Even before the synthesizer, great artists were seeking for methods to create distinctive sounds that would enhance the music’s richness; this is why the synthesizer was so warmly accepted. Additionally, many in the pop world expressed a strong interest, demonstrating their ability to produce a variety of combinations, including classical instruments and fragments, which provide an added dimension of beauty.
Although more conservative, favoring classical instruments, jazz vocalists have incorporated this medium into the mix, allowing them to transcend certain boundaries and contribute to the bands’ sound variety.
Electronic music has benefitted enormously from this huge musical instrument, which enables the creation of a variety of sound effects that have added significantly to the genre while also simplifying the composers’ job.