Synthesizers are the most commonly used instrument in the music industry today. They took the world by storm during the 1970’s and 1980’s, and continue to be the driving force behind some of the biggest hits that are dominating the top charts right now. From Beyoncé to Nine Inch Nails, almost every single artist have used a synthesizer in order to create recognizable tunes that get stuck in our heads for weeks. Peruse our list of the best synthesizers to start producing your own music with this cool electronic instrument.
General Thoughts on Synthesizers
The most memorable songs were made with a help of this incredible machine, and if you have a keen interest in making and producing music, you simply have to own a synthesizer. It will bring your craft and productivity to a whole new level and learning how to use synthesizer properly won’t take you a whole lot of time if you already have previous experience in making music. Actually, synthesizers are quite simple and you will love playing with your new machine, learning new tricks and incorporating them into your music right away.
With so many different models of synthesizers available in the market today, you will have no trouble finding the right one that will fit your needs. The majority of them will offer you so many different options that will suit every genre of music out there and add depth to your signature style. So it doesn’t matter if you are interested in symphonic metal or bubblegum pop, synthesizers will elevate your sound and help you compose outstanding songs.
Making amazing music will become a whole lot quicker if you get yourself the best synthesizer, but you should know exactly what you want from this instrument.
If you are just starting out and have never used a synthesizer before, you should do your research properly, look closely at every available model that seems alright to you, and be aware of your budget. Spending a bit more money on a high quality synthesizer that will last you for years is an excellent way to go, so don’t go cheap and buy the one that has the lowest price. Low quality synthesizers are often accompanied by low quality sounds, which is not something you want to have to deal with- especially if you are recording in a home studio.
5 Best Synthesizers for Beginners and Pros Alike
So what ARE the best synthesizers on the market? Well as mentioned before, we’ve done the dirty work for you. Rolled up our sleeves, and jammed out some tunes on the best synthesizer models out there. We’ve compiled a list of them here, along with reviews that will help make your shopping a less complicated process.
Best Beginner Synthesizer
The Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer is very compact and it can be used both for studio recordings and on stage for live performances. It includes a large collection of sounds available right away that can be edited with the well place controls. The MiniNova also allows you to download different sound packages in order to create your own unique sound and mixing.
As an added bonus, this synthesizer is excellent for recording and storing vocals as well. Since it has an USB port, you will be able to easily connect it to your computer, and use it with a music software of your choosing. This powerful synthesizer comes in two sizes – so if you prefer a more traditional approach, be sure to check out their Full-Sized Keys model as well.
Best Compact Synthesizer for Beginners
MicroBrute is absolutely ideal for beginners. It is simple, easy to use, and very compact. This small synthesizer is equipped with all of the essential tools you need to get started. You’ll be creating awesome tunes as soon as you get it out of the box. It is also very sturdy even though the body is made from plastic, and MicroBrute will last you for years. As you might have gleaned from the title, MicroBrute is an analog synthesizer, but it still comes with an USB port and it is easily connectable.
What makes Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer stand out is the richness of the sound. It is very clear and strong and you will fall in love with this small instrument right away. It is affordable and you will get this excellent instrument for an acceptable price.
Best Synthesizer Keyboard
Yamaha is widely known for their excellent and high quality instruments, and their synthesizers are no exception to this rule. MX49 is an amazing instrument that will provide you with plenty of options and features that will benefit your music making and recording processes. It might look a bit overwhelming for beginners, but trust us – it really isn’t. It includes over one thousand different sounds that cover every genre of music you can imagine.
It is a versatile synthesizer that can be used by both novices and music industry professionals. Layering and splitting will be easy for you to handle. and these features will help you out if you are stuck in a rut and need to boost your inspiration. Even though Yamaha MX49 synthesizer is larger in size, it is very light weight and you will be able to transport it easily.
Best Synthesizer for the Money
Roland JD-Xi is both a digital and an analog synthesizer. It is slightly compact, and absolutely ideal for musicians of all levels. Beginners will be able to learn how to use it very quickly, and more experienced music producers will find it to be super useful for studio recordings. You will be pleasantly surprised at the power this small instrument can produce. The sounds are so rich, especially the bass. All of the available effects will add a fresh dimension to your songs.
While we recommend it for genres such as EDM and techno music, it does work well for the majority of genres out there. Roland JD-Xi can also be connected to other devices via USB port and it can be used with any music software of your preference. This synthesizer is very light and you will be able to carry it around with you without even noticing the weight. It is the most affordable and high quality crossover synthesizer out there and you will not regret the investment.
Synthesizers made by Moog are legendary and do to their complexity, they also tend to be a bit pricey. However, if you’re at a more advanced stage of music production, than this will be more than worth the investment. You’ll be getting an exquisite piece of music equipment that will provide you with amazingly rich sounds, otherworldly effects, and plenty of other features. This makes the Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition Analog Synthesizer simply essential if you want to start making timeless tunes that reflect your creative output.
It has an astonishing number of knobs and switches that would be overwhelming to a beginner, and is complete with a LCD screen. Everything is laid out in front of you like a map, and you will be able to navigate through all sounds and effects so easily that you will be amazed. Moog Sub 37 is a piece of art itself and it is a great long term investment. It will improve your music and inspire you to create even better tunes.
Bonus Review: Roland JUNO-DS88
Best 88 Key Synthesizer
This 88 Key Synthesizer Keyboard will take you recording game to the next level. Having a fully keyed electric keyboard to accompany your mixing brings a level of sophistication to music writing and producing. With a lightweight design and easy transport features, this will be an easy addition to your gig or recording studio. Create exceptional music anywhere you play with Juno.
The Benefits of Using a Quality Synthesizer
You might be wondering right now about the benefits of using a synthesizer when creating new music. The answer is simple – it will enrich your sound, make it fuller, and you will be able to use a variety of sounds that weren’t available to you without the purchase of multiple instruments. This can be extremely helpful if you are experiencing a creative block. A synthesizer will open up so many musical options that you can use to reinvent your sound and start making incredible tunes once again.
Professional musicians and music producers have been using synthesizers for decades, and they are a must if you want to create a modern and contemporary sound.
Don’t be intimidated if you have never used a synthesizer before. Yes, there are many knobs and switches, and all the effects will make your head spin when you read how many of them are available to you, but once you get your hands on the device, you will be able to figure out everything very quickly. Besides that, there is always a manual that will guide you through the process and you’ll start creating beautiful music right away. After all, if you already have musical knowledge, learning how to play and use a synthesizer will be a walk in a park.
How to Choose the Best Synthesizer for You
Spending a bit more money on a quality synthesizer will definitely pay off in the long run.
Huge brands such as Moog and Yamaha have a loyal following among artists and music producers, and it is for a good reason. Their products might be a bit expensive, but they are absolutely amazing and durable. They also pay close attention to the general look and the feel of their music instruments, providing you with well-placed components that are easy to use.
Ease of Use
Choosing one of the best synthesizers for you depends on a genre of music you usually play and your level of experience with synthesizers. If you have just started to experiment with this instrument and you are still a bit confused by all the buttons and knobs, going for a simpler keyboard might be the way to go. Look for smaller and more compact models that will not overwhelm you and allow you to figure them out easily and quickly. Sure, you might not get all the possible options some larger models might provide, but you will still end up with a great piece of equipment. If you get a well-designed synthesizer with well placed features that are easy to comprehend and use, the learning curve will be in your favor.
Strong and sturdy keys are also obligatory, so make sure they feel good under your fingers. A synthesizer should look well assembled and durable, especially if you plan on using it for your live performances as well. It needs to be compact and easily transportable.
Features and Benefits
If you are really enthusiastic about incorporating the sound of a synthesizer into your songs and you are sure that you will be using it all the time in the future, look for one with current features. Always make sure that your synthesizer has a USB port so that uploading sounds is a breeze. Music and technology are intertwined and the ability to connect your music instrument to a computer is very valuable. It will save you a lot of time and you will be able to record and share your ideas and music with just a couple of clicks.
As we have previously mentioned, absolutely everyone in the music industry are using synthesizers right now and they have become an important part of music making. If you are a musician, owning one is pretty much obligatory. However, there are some alternatives you can try out if you are unsure whether you want to start learning how to play a synthesizer or not.
If you want to go as simple as possible, download an application that recreates a synthesizer. Don’t expect that you will get the entire experience from a single mobile application since it is impossible. But you can get the general idea of how it feels and sounds. Of course, touchscreen cannot replace the actual keyboard and playing the actual synthesizer will feel amazing, trust us.
Another great alternative is actually using computer software for this purpose.
There are many programs that allow different effects to be placed in songs, so if you want to see (and hear) how your music sounds with the addition of a synthesizer, you can add it to your track with just a couple of clicks. These alternatives will help you out with figuring out whether you want to invest your money in the best synthesizer available or not, so make sure you use them before you buy the actual instrument.