LANDR BLOG

Music Gear

The 50 Best Synthesizers: Find The Perfect Synth for You

The 50 Best Synthesizers: Find The Perfect Synth for You

Synthesizers are some of the most exciting tools in music production.

The explosion of free VST plugins means you can set up an entire arsenal of synths in your DAW without paying a cent.

But there will always be something special about the feel of physical gear under your fingers.

The hardware synth market is experiencing a renaissance with more amazing instruments available than ever before. There’s never been a better time to buy a real synthesizer for your home studio.

Unlimited mastering &amp; distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! <a href="https://join.landr.com/landr-studio/?utm_campaign=acquisition_platform_en_us_studio-generic-new-blog-ad&amp;utm_medium=organic_post&amp;utm_source=blog&amp;utm_content=left-hand-generic-ad&amp;utm_term=general">Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.</a>

Unlimited mastering & distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

In this article I’ll go through the coolest and best synthesizers on the market right now.

The sheer number of synths out there is daunting. There’s no way I can cover every single deserving unit in this guide.

Instead, I’ll be focusing on accessible synths from widely available brands with a handful of premium instruments included for the sake of completion.

Let’s get started.

How to use this guide

Any two synthesizers can be so different that comparing them head to head isn’t very helpful.

Any two synthesizers can be so different that comparing them head to head isn’t very helpful.

That’s why we’ve added a summary of the most important characteristics for each machine.

Along with the price, you’ll find the type of synthesis used as well as key details like the number of voices of polyphony.

If you need to check back on what these terms mean, head over to our synth glossary to jog your memory.

Hot tip: Plugins are the most affordable way to get the sounds of classic synthesizers in your music. Analog Lab Lite from Arturia offers thousands of presets from these and many more legendary vintage synthesizers. Best of all it comes bundled with yearly LANDR Studio subscriptions—opening access to a curated collection of top-tier plugins, LANDR’s game-changing AI mastering tool, digital distribution, royalty-free samples and much more!

1. Korg Minilogue

Street price: $499.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 4 voice

korg minilogue

Korg has been building excellent analog instruments since the 70s. Today, they’re creating some of the most inspiring synths out there.

The Minilogue is one of the best options for those new to synthesis looking for an all analog polyphonic machine to learn on.

It’s available in several different configurations starting at $499.

2. Behringer Model D

Street price: $298.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 2 voice paraphonic

behringer model d

There’s no more denying Behringer’s powerful influence on the synthesizer market. The Swiss company has been aggressively slashing price points for clones of analog classics in the last few market cycles.

One of the most exciting is the Model D. Based on the classic Minimoog D, the Model D delivers classic, fat old-school tones in an affordable package.

3. Korg Monologue

Street price: $344.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg monologue

The Monologue is Korg’s single voice synth based on the “—logue” architecture. If you need a flexible monosynth with simple architecture and compelling performance features at a competitive price, the monologue is a great choice.

4. Behringer Wasp Deluxe

Street price: $298.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

behringer wasp

Behringer’s Wasp synth comes from it’s recent run of reissues. The Wasp is based on a rare synth from the 70s.

The digitally controlled oscillators and analog signal path give Wasp a unique sound. Its compact design is meant to interface easily in a Euroack system.

5. Behringer TD-3

Street price: $149.00
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

behringer td-3

The Behringer TD-3 is a clone of the legendary Roland TB-303 bass line synth.

This simple analog synth is the basis for the gurgling bass of acid techno.

Its unique sequencer is well reproduced in the TD-3, allowing you to get all the bassline groove of the original.

6. Korg Volca FM

Street price: $149.99
Type: 6-Op FM
Polyphony: 3 voice

korg volca fm

Korg’s Volca series of synths has taken the synth world by storm.

These micro sized modules marry a simple interface and musical sequencing with great sound engines.

Each Volca is tailored to one specific style of synthesis. The digital Volca FM features a 3 voice, 6-operator FM synth engine.

 7. Korg Volca Keys

Street price: $149.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 3 voice

volca keys

Volca Keys is the analog polyphonic synth in the Volca series. It’s 3 analog voices let you create fat analog leads and chords.

8. Korg Volca Bass

Street price: $149.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg volca bass

 

Volca Bass is the compact monophonic analog synth for creating basslines. All the classic features of the Volca line are present on this beefy analog mini module, including the fun and musical sequencer.

9. Korg Volca Kick

Street price: $149.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg volca kick

 

Is a drum machine a synthesizer? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

The Volca Kick is a 100% analog kick synth based on the powerful sound of the Korg MS-20 filter.

This ultra-fat analog percussion module can synthesize a surprise amount of low-end thump for kicks—and bass too!

10. IK Multimedia Uno

Street price: $199.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

 

IK multimedia uno

The Uno is the first analog instrument offering from software and VST plugin powerhouse IK Multimedia.

This compact, easy to use monosynth combines IK Multimedia’s sonic expertise with the heavy sound of analog.

11. Korg Volca Modular

Street price: $199.99
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg volca modular

 

Unlimited mastering &amp; distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! <a href="https://join.landr.com/landr-studio/?utm_campaign=acquisition_platform_en_us_studio-generic-new-blog-ad&amp;utm_medium=organic_post&amp;utm_source=blog&amp;utm_content=left-hand-generic-ad&amp;utm_term=general">Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.</a>

Unlimited mastering & distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

Volca Modular is a patchable, semi-modular edition of the Volca series that’s designed to be the perfect entry into the world of modular synthesis.

This powerful mini-synth is one of the best ways to learn the fundamentals of synthesis—and go beyond the limits of fixed architecture synths.

12. Behringer Crave

Street price: $249.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

behringer crave

 

Behringer Crave is another patchable, semi-modular mono synth. This compact module is based on the oscillator design used in the classic Prophet 5 synth.

The Crave features an onboard step sequencer and arpeggiator to get you grooving right away.

13. Yamaha Reface CS

Street price: $286.65 USD
Type: Virtual analog
Polyphony: 8 voice

yamaha reface cs

The Yamaha Reface CS is a virtual analog synthesizer based on the legendary Yamaha CS series.

This super portable synth is capable of lush pads, fat basses and solo leads.

14. Yamaha Reface DX

Street price: $286.65 USD
Type: 4-Op FM
Polyphony: 8 voice

yamaha reface dx

The Yamaha Reface DX is a fresh, portable take on Yamaha’s legendary FM synthesis designs.

The Reface DX makes FM synthesis easier than ever, with a 4-operator engine capable of using waveforms other than sine.

This simplifies the process of building up complex timbres and keeps FM from getting overwhelming.

15. Behringer Neutron

Street price: $289.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 2 Voice paraphonic

behringer neutron

Neutron is another entry into Behringer Eurorack format synths.

This semi-modular, paraphonic design features extremely flexible patching options an onboard analog style delay.

16. Arturia Microbrute

Street price: $299 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

arturia microbrute

Arturia has made a strong name in the hardware market over the last few years. The flexible, affordable “Brute” series of synths can be found in many live and studio rigs.

MicroBrute is the most compact brute available, but it still packs pro features like a patchable mod matrix, syncable LFO and step sequencer.

17. Arturia Microfreak

Street price: $299 USD
Type: Wavetable, digital
Polyphony: Monophonic, up to 4 voice paraphonic.

arturia microfreak

The Microfreak is an intriguing hybrid synthesizer that combines digital oscillators with analog filters. Its powerful sound can cut through a mix easily and its sound design possibilities are highly impressive. The digital oscillator offers some unique synthesis styles like Karplus-Strong.

18. Waldorf Rocket

Street price: $329.99 USD
Type: Hybrid subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

waldorf rocket

Waldorf Rocket is a tabletop synth from the classic German synth builder with simple workflow and aggressive sound.

This straightforward monosynth is designed to get you creating powerful tones right away with its shapeable waveforms and analog filter.

19. Behringer MS-1

Street price: $328.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg ms-1

The MS-1 is Behringer’s take on the legendary Roland SH-101 monophonic synth.

The SH-101 is famous for it’s use in 1990’s house music. The MS-1 can deliver the tones that made the 101 a favourite at a highly affordable price.

20. Behringer PRO-1

Street price: $348 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

behringer pro-1

PRO-1 is Behringer’s take on the classic Sequential Circuits Pro-One monosynth.

This dual VCO synth features a modulation matrix and Eurorack compatibility along with the classic sonic style of the vintage Pro-One.

21. Roland SE-02

Street price: $399.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

roland se-02

The SE-02 is part of Roland’s unique reissue Boutique reissue series.

This edition is a collaboration with legendary manufacturer Studio Electronics and is the only Roland Boutique product with a fully analog signal path.

22. Novation Bass Station II

Street price: $439.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

novation bass station II

Bass Station II is a great option for adding a wide range of bass sounds to your arsenal.

It’s a purely analog, monophonic synth that focuses on doing one thing really well– giving you the bass sound you want. Its two tunable oscillators and sub-oscillator are editable with extensive filtering, noise, and ring modulation options.

23. Arturia MiniBrute 2

Street price: $449 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

arturia minibrute 2

The MiniBrute is a compact analog synthesizer that’s part of Arturia’s Brute series. The two octave synth comes with everything you’d expect from a small build synth– three oscillators, filters and filter envelopes, mixer, amp envelope, LFOs, effects controls, and an arpeggiator.

24. Korg MS-20 Mini

Street price: $529.99 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

korg ms-20 mini

The MS-20 Mini is Korg’s modern take on its iconic MS-20 synth that first launch in the 70s.

It’s a classic analog monophonic synthesizer build that includes the patchable architecture and unique filter of the original. The MS-20 Mini is a very respectable option for recreating and exploring vintage sounds.

25. Make Noise 0-COAST

Street price: $499 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

make noise 0-coast

The 0-COAST is single voice patchable synthesizer that makes use of both Moog and Buchla paradigms.

This synthesizer is designed based on modular synthesis and is patchable. Attach a MIDI keyboard and play it as a unique monosynth.

26. Moog Minitaur

Street price: $499 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

moog minitaur

The Minitaur is a compact synthesizer that is specifically designed to handle low-end bass frequencies.

The back-pack size box is meant to work in tandem with MIDI controls and its accompanying editing software that opens up an additional 20 voicing parameters. For powerful bass synthesis, Minitaur is an affordable yet versatile option.

27. Waldorf Blofeld

Street price: $519.99
Type: Wavetable
Polyphony: 25 voice

waldorf blofeld

Blofeld is Waldorf’s main synth offering building on a legacy of wavetable synthesis that goes all the way back to the original PPG Wave.

With 60 megabytes of processable sampling memory included, Blofeld can add unlimited textures to any wavetable pad. Blofeld is fully multitimbral with 25 voices of polyphony and unique comb filter and panning options.

28. Moog Sirin

Street price: $499
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

moog sirin

Sirin is inspired by Moog’s Minitaur sub bass module, but it specializes in creating lead voices.

With a similar interface to the Minitaur, the Sirin is open to DAW based editing and can be customized with additional parameters and voices. As one of Moog’s more affordable synths, the Sirin makes a great companion to the Minitaur.

29. Behringer DeepMind 6/12

Street price: $597.99 / $828 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 6 or 12 Voice

behringer deep mind

DeepMind is Behringer’s full featured programmable polysynth. It’s available in 6 or 12 voice configurations.

DeepMind is capable of serious sound design with two oscillators, two LFOs and three envelope generators per voice.

Four independent onboard effects engines, an eight slot modulation matrix and built-in step sequencer make DeepMind an incredibly powerful modern analog polysynth.

30. Behringer Odyssey

Street price: $588 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic/Duophonic

behringer odyssey

Odyssey is a powerful mono/duo-phonic synthesizer that authentically reproduces the legendary Arp Odyssey synth that rose to prominence in the 70s.

With a pure analog signal path based on two true analog oscillators, the Odyssey produces huge tones and offers vintage editing options. For exploring the genre defining synthesizer sounds of the 70s, the Odyssey is a great place to start.

31. Doepfer Dark Energy III

Street price: $590
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

doepfer dark energy III

Dark Energy is a purely analog monophonic synthesizer box from Doepfer.

The semi-modular inspired synth is patchable and works well with MIDI. The synth has a huge analog sound and the flexibility of a modular rig.

32. Dreadbox Erebus

Street price: $599
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic, 2 voice paraphonic

dreadbox erebus

Erebus is a great sounding and stylish synth from boutique builder Dreadbox.

This paraphonic synth is designed to semi-modular and includes plenty of patching options given its smaller size. Erebus comes with two oscillators and standard VCF, AMP, Envelope, LFO editing options, plus an echo effects module.

33. Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900

Street price: $629.00
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

pittsburgh modular microvolt 3900

Microvolt 3900 is inspired by vintage semi-modular synthesizers like the ARP 2600.

With a retro interface that clearly displays the synths initial patching, you can easily reconfigure the synth with a sizable patch bay. For an authentic synthesizer experience built with meticulous attention to detail this is a great option.

34. Modal Electronics Argon8

Street price: $749
Type: Wavetable
Polyphony: 8 voice

modal argon8

Argon8 is a powerful and affordable wavetable synth based on Modal’s flagship 002 synthesizer.

It offers impressive sound shaping abilities with its dual oscillator morphing wavetables, onboard sequencing and arpeggiator and effects.

35. Moog Mother-32

Street price: $649
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

moog mother 32

Mother-32 is a semi-modular analog synth built in the Eurorack format.

This monophonic synthesizer is built with unique patching capabilities and legendary Moog sound. Its comprehensive editing options and sizable patch bay give you limitless possibilities.

36. Waldorf Pulse 2

Street price: $799 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic or 4/8 voice paraphonic

waldorf pulse 2

Pulse 2 is based on the legendary sounds of the original Pulse that inspired trance music in the 90s.

The Pulse 2 remakes its predecessor’s sound with full and powerful monophonic analog synth tone. It’s a user friendly module, that’s built to bring modern advances and vintage sound together.

37. Korg Wavestate

Street price: $799 USD
Type: Wavetable
Polyphony: 64 voice

korg wavestate

The Wavestate is one of Korg’s newest entries into the synth market.

Based on the popular Wavestation, the Wavestate takes wavetable synthesis into modern times with a dizzying array sampling and effect options coupled with all the vector synthesis options that made the Wavestation so famous.

38. Moog Subsequent 25

Street price: $849 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic or 2 voice Paraphonic

moog subsequent 25

Subsequent 25 is two note paraphonic analog synthesizer, that’s designed to deliver classic Moog tones with modern tweakability.

With three oscillators (one of which is a sub) and a host of sound design capabilities, this vintage inspired synth is a great choice for creating hand-on tones.

39. Korg Prologue 8 / 16

Street price: $999 / $1499 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 8 / 16 voice

korg prologue

Prologue is the expanded edition of the Mono and Mini—logue series of synths.

It comes in 8 and 16 voice configurations and features many synthesis capabilities advanced users might be missing from its lightweight siblings.

40. Malekko Manther

Street price: $649 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

malekko manther

41. Sequential Prophet Rev 2 8 /16

Street price: $1499 / $1999 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 8 / 16

prophet rev 2

The Prophet Rev2 is the next evolution of Sequential’s long-running Prophet ‘08 synth.

One of the first widely available modern analog polysynths, the Prophet ‘08 has been a favourite in studio and touring rigs for a decade.

The Rev2 expands and improves on the ‘08 in many ways, providing a much-needed update to a classic.

42. Novation Peak

Street price: $1399 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 8 voice

novation peak

Peak is an innovative 8-voice hybrid synthesizer from Novation.

With analog filter, VCA and distortion sections and super high resolution digital FGPA-based oscillators, peak combines the strengths of both analog and digital in one powerful synth.

43. Elektron Analog Four MKII

Street price: $1349 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 4 voice

electron analog IV

Analog Four MKII is a four voice analog synth with Elektron’s well-loved sequencing capabilities built-in.

Four voices may seem limited, but 4 part multitimbrality gives you the ability to run 4 different patches at once.

44. Moog Subsequent 37

Street price: $1599 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic, 2 voice paraphonic

moog subsequent 37

Moog’s Subsequent 37 is the next generation of fully featured monophonic synths from Moog. This is the expanded edition of the Subsequent 25 and shows the best of what a modern analog monosynth can do.

45. Sequential Pro 3

Street price: $1599 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic or 3 voice paraphonic

sequential pro-3

Pro-3 is Sequential’s newest monosynth offering that debuted at NAMM 2020. It’s name is a nod to another classic Dave Smith design, but this is no mere reissue.

The Pro-3 is an exciting blend of the classic VCOs Sequential is known for with a versatile wavetable oscillator for completely new sounds.

Add a 32 slot modulation matrix and an advanced sequencer and the Pro-3 is a monophonic powerhouse of sound design.

46. Sequential OB-6

Street price: $2999 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 6 voice polyphonic

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/46.-Sequential-OB-6-1.jpg

The OB-6 is a special collaboration between Tom Oberheim and Dave Smith’s Sequential.

Unlimited mastering &amp; distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! <a href="https://join.landr.com/landr-studio/?utm_campaign=acquisition_platform_en_us_studio-generic-new-blog-ad&amp;utm_medium=organic_post&amp;utm_source=blog&amp;utm_content=left-hand-generic-ad&amp;utm_term=general">Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.</a>

Unlimited mastering & distribution, 1200 royalty-free samples, 30+ plugins and more! Get everything LANDR has to offer with LANDR Studio.

The OB-6 recreates the timeless sound of Oberheim polysynths with modern conveniences and stability. This is a truly amazing-sounding synth with an entirely analog architecture—impressive!

47. Sequential Prophet 6

Street price: $2799 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: 6 voice

prophet 6

Prophet 6 is Sequential’s heir to the legacy of the polysynth that changed it all—the Prophet 5.

This is a classic polyphonic synth with all analog architecture updated for the modern era.

48. Moog Matriarch

Street price: $1999 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

moog matriarch

Matriarch is the expanded edition of Grandmother with a handful of additional modules including a stereo analog delay.

It packs the same fat analog sound with extended modular patchability.

49. Moog Grandmother

Street price: $999 USD
Type: Analog subtractive
Polyphony: Monophonic

moog grandmother synth

 

Grandmother is a semi-modular synthesizer inspired by classic Moogs of the past. It features an onboard sequencer, arpeggiator and patchable modules for maximum flexibility.

Most of all, the Grandmother packs the thick, heavy analog Moog sound into a stylish and easily giggable package.

50. Roland D-05

Street price: $359 USD
Type: Samples/Wavetable
Polyphony: 4 voice

roland d-05

The Roland D-05 is another entry in Roland’s Boutique series of compact modules. This edition is a recreation of the influential Roland D-50 synth.

The D-50 was a unique digital synthesizer released in the late 80s that combined sampled waveforms used for the attack of a sound with wavetables.

The D-05 gives you the classic sound of D-50 in a much smaller and more user friendly package.

Michael Hahn

Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight.

@Michael Hahn

Gear guides, tips, tutorials, inspiration and more—delivered weekly.

Keep up with the LANDR Blog.

Latest posts