Welcome to the realm of analog synthesizers, where electricity breathes life into sound waves, and the manipulation of voltages becomes an art form. Analog synthesizers stand as timeless instruments that have played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of music across genres. From the warmth of their rich, organic tones to the hands-on control they offer musicians, analog synths create a sonic tapestry that resonates with both nostalgia and innovation.
In this exploration, we embark on a journey through the intricacies of analog synthesis, unraveling the mysteries behind voltage-controlled oscillators, resonant filters, and the tactile interfaces that beckon musicians to sculpt their sonic landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned synth enthusiast or a newcomer eager to discover the magic of analog sound, to guide you through the fundamentals, possibilities, and nuances of analog synthesizers.
From live performances that pulse with energy to the depths of sound design for film and video games, analog synthesizers prove themselves as versatile companions, capable of weaving sonic narratives that captivate the imagination. Join us as we delve into the world of analog synthesis, where each turn of a knob, sweep of a filter, and modulation of a waveform opens up a universe of creative expression and sonic exploration.
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Moog One 8-voice Analog Synthesizer
The Moog One is the first polyphonic Moog synthesizer in almost three decades, ushering in a new era of analog synthesis. Moog One is a programmable, tri-timbral analog synth with an intuitive tactile interface that overcomes the border between instrument and artist, allowing you to realize your artistic goals unhindered. It was handcrafted at the Moog factory in Asheville, North Carolina. Then there’s the Moog sound, which is renowned. Moog analog circuits are known for their unmatched punch and rich harmonics, and Moog One is the ultimate progression of these legendary circuits. This analog dream synth was created after years of research, and it shows in every detail of its superb design. Moog One will exceed your expectations as it encourages your musical creativity and offers gateways to a wide audio realm under your fingers.
Moog One can concurrently articulate eight or 16 voices, depending on the setup of your instrument, and is available in 8- and 16-voice models. The polyphonic sound engine in the Moog One is based on the most advanced architecture ever devised for a Moog synthesizer. Three state-of-the-art analog voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) per voice, two independent analog filters (a Variable State filter and the famous Moog Ladder Filter) that can be run in series or parallel, a dual-source variable analog noise generator, an analog mixer with external audio input, four LFOs, and three envelope generators are all included in Moog One. With velocity and aftertouch, you may split or layer the three timbres — each with its own sequencer, arpeggiator, and inbuilt effects library — across the premium 61-note Fatar keyboard for desktop unit.
Chorus, delay, phase, bit reduction, vocoding, and a suite of premium Eventide reverbs like Blackhole, Shimmer, Plate, Room, and Hall are among the programmable per-synth and master bus effects available on the Moog One. Synth Effects and Master Bus Effects are two types of effects that can be used. Individual timbral layers are affected by Synth Effects, while Master Bus Effects can be accessible via sends from all three synthesizers. The Moog One audio path is totally analog when all the effects are true bypassed, despite the fact that its inbuilt effects are digital.
The Moog One aluminum front panel is housed in a handcrafted ash cabinet and features 73 knobs and 144 buttons, allowing for hands-on engagement with all of the sound-sculpting and performance settings. More buttons (one for each module) provide more settings in the center-panel LCD, allowing for the most straightforward and efficient synthesis experience conceivable. To an engineer, the Moog One is a sophisticated technological marvel; to a synthesist, it is an unrivaled facilitator of fluid musical expression that allows you to freely create, shape, and modify your sound. This is one of the Best Analog Synth in 2023.
Sequential Prophet-5 61-key Analog Synthesizer
- 61-key 5-voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer with Two VCOs
- Full-sized Semi-weighted Fatar Keyboard
- 4-pole Lowpass Filter
Dave Smith, the renowned synth designer, has returned with the most powerful Prophet-5 yet! The Prophet-5 Rev4, a reimagination of the legendary 5-voice polyphonic synth, is jam-packed with features from every Prophet-5 incarnation. It inherits the Rev3’s ultra-stable voltage-controlled oscillators and gives you the option of using the Rossum-designed filter from the Rev1 and Rev2 or the Curtis-designed filter from the Rev3. You can also select behavior features from previous editions thanks to a special vintage knob. The Prophet-5’s knob-per-function architecture never fails to inspire. The Prophet-5 comes with a fantastic collection of factory presets to get you started right away, as well as 200 user slots for storing your custom-made patches. The Prophet-5 not only sounds great, but it’s also housed in a collector-grade steel case with hand-oiled black walnut accents and end cheeks. The Prophet-5, a drool-worthy synth for analog fans, was created by Dave Smith and the Sequential team.
The Prophet-5’s dual Curtis analog CEM 3340 VCOs are its beating hearts. The CEM 3340 VCOs, which are found on Rev3 Prophet-5s, are rock stable, with virtually little tuning drift. Their inclusion in the Rev3 marked a watershed moment in the Prophet-5’s design, significantly improving the synth’s performance and aural quality. The Prophet-5 Rev4 features simultaneous selectable waveshapes — sawtooth and pulse on oscillator A, and sawtooth, pulse, and triangle on oscillator B — as well as pulse width modulation and hard sync for sculpting the oscillators’ timbres. You have the right building pieces for crafting harmonically rich analog patches with the CEM 3340 VCOs at this price tag.
For the Prophet-5’s filter portion, Dave and the Sequential team went above and beyond hardware synths. The Dave Rossum-designed 2140 (a modern update of the original 2040 found on the Rev1 and Rev2) and the Doug Curtis-designed CEM 3320 are two accurate re-creations of classic four-pole resonant lowpass filters. The 2140 excels at tuning in laser-sharp high end for cutting lead lines, while the 3320 thrives at grittier bass lines and rich, sweeping pads. Both filters may be driven into infuriating self-oscillation, and a dedicated 4-stage ADSR filter envelope allows you to fine-tune the filters’ behavior. This is one of the Best Analog Synths in 2023.
Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 6 Voice Analog Synthesizer
- 6-voice Analog Polysynth with 2 Oscillats a Sub Oscillat Per Voice
- Velocity- Aftertouch-enabled Keyboard
- 64-step Polyphonic Step Sequencer
The OB-6 Analog Synthesizer by Dave Smith Instruments, which also happens to be one of the best synthesizers. If you choose this synth over the editor’s recommendation, you will have to give up a few keys, but the synth offers a lot of advantages. The four-octave keyboard is one of the device’s attractions. You’ll also notice that the setup’s keys are semi-weighted. They are possibly sensitive to touch velocity and after-touch because of this.
Another thing to look into is how this piece of equipment chooses your voices of polyphony. With this purchase, you will receive six total voices, each with two voltage-controlled oscillators. You may not only play and modify the music you make with the synth, but you can also record it using the integrated sequencer.
Program selection could be an area of interest for you, and one where the tool shines. You get 500 pre-loaded programs in total, which will give you lots of practice as you learn how to use the gadget. Then, with the 500 extra program slots to fill with your inventions, you may start to get a little more imaginative. You might wish to use this tool in conjunction with some pedals you already possess or plan to purchase. As a result, the pedal inputs are likely to be useful.
Arturia PolyBrute 6-Voice Polyphonic Morphing Analog Synthesizer
- Analog Morphing Synthesizer with 6 voices of Polyphony, Mono/Unison/Poly voicing and Single/Split/Layer modes
- 61-keys with Velocity and Aftertouch
- Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel, Ribbon and Morphée touch and pressure sensitive 3D controllers
PolyBrute is a digitally controlled analogue synth with a powerful modulation matrix, sequencer, and arpeggiator that combines several VCOs and VCFs with a powerful modulation matrix, sequencer, and arpeggiator. It has the same button matrix as the MatrixBrute, which serves as a preset browser, multi-lane sequencer controller, and, most importantly, a digital patchbay for assigning and altering modulation routings.
PolyBrute only has six voices, therefore it’s not the most polyphonic synth in its price range. It is, however, multitimbral, with the potential to create two separate sounds at the same time. You can use a rotary to progressively morph between these sounds and all of their associated settings in regular Morph mode.
The PolyBrute’s personality comes from its modulation and morphing tools. While the synth is capable of unison leads, frequency-filling basses, FX, and basic analogue chords, it shines when it’s used to produce patches that can transition from creamy to metallic with a twist of the mod wheel.
Overall, this is a well-designed, distinctive synthesizer that deserves to be in the top rank of polysynths.
ASM Hydrasynth 49-key Polyphonic Wave Morphing Synthesizer
- 49-Key synthesizer with ASM Polytouch keybed
- Made from steel with aluminum side panels
- 5 banks of 128 patch memories
The ASM Hydrasynth is a next-generation virtual analog synthesizer for current music makers, including 8-voice polyphony, “Mutator” waveshaping, and a 32-slot modulation matrix. Each voice has three WaveScan oscillators with 219 distinct waveforms, as well as four Mutators for sophisticated waveshaping, rivaling the sonic capabilities of several popular software synthesizer plug-ins. The five ADSR envelope generators give delay and hold, as well as linear or exponential curves between stages, while the five LFOs offer a total of 11 waveshapes, as well as delay, fade in, and smoothing. The ASM Hydrasynth could be the master controller your synthesizer rig is looking for, thanks to its 49-note keybed, adjustable PolyTouch response, expressive ribbon controller, and CV/Gate interface.
Hydrasynth’s 32-slot modulation matrix allows you to make extremely intricate and expressive sounds. Its envelope generators (five per voice) are particularly impressive to synthesizers, as they provide delay and hold in addition to ADSR stages. Each level of the envelope can sweep between exponential and logarithmic curves, giving extended, evolving modulations a lot of creative potential.
Envelopes, like most Hydrasynth features, can be locked to bpm for tempo-synced modulation. The envelopes can be used as LFOs with fascinating waveshapes when combined with the looping function. When it comes to LFOs, Hydrasynth has five per voice, totaling 11 waveshapes. The 8-step LFO, for example, lets you to design your own bespoke waveshape.
Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Sythesizer
- Make Huge Sounds- Create deep, gritty bass, soaring leads, lush pads, and vintage sounds with up to 18 voices and powerful effects.
- Built By a Legend- MiniNova’s synth engine was conceived, shaped, and refined by British synth legend Chris Huggett and has his five decades of...
- Gently Tweak or Instantly Warp- Subtly tweak your sounds with the knobs, or totally warp them with the Animate buttons, pitch and modulation wheels.
You might be seeking for a little analog synth, and the Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer fits the bill. The keys are more limited in quantity, as you’d expect from a tiny version of the synthesizer, peaking at 37 in total. If you’re used to full-sized keys, you might find that the ones on this gadget are too little. However, if you want to get the most out of this piece of equipment, you’ll need to get used to the idea of smaller keys. One of the advantages of the 37 keys is that they are velocity-sensitive.
To say the least, the voice selection is remarkable, with 18 selections. You can also swap up and overlay up to five more effects for each voice. Despite being a miniature analog synth, this tool would be useful for a professional searching for a small, portable device.
Presets are another important factor to consider while evaluating this device. There will be a total of 256 presets to choose from when you receive it from Amazon. Because you can’t alter these settings, you’ll no certainly find this number restricting after a while. As a result, there’s room for 128 more presets, which you can develop and tweak from the ground up.
Another reason you would choose this device above others is because of the vocaltune feature. This function allows you to adjust your voice to the notes you’re playing on the small keyboard at the time. Another reason to purchase this equipment is the fact that it comes with editing software for your computer.
- JUPITER-X combines classic Roland design and premium build quality with a powerful new synth engine. It faithfully recreates sought-after instruments...
- With multiple layers, loads of polyphony, and deep hands-on control, you can craft huge, spacious sounds that have as much sparkle as they have warmth...
- The 61-key JUPITER-X is the peak of Roland sound quality and design. Its all-metal build uses premium materials throughout, and the all-new...
The Jupiter-X is Roland’s flagship synthesizer, and it owes a lot to the Jupiter-8’s lineage. It combines Roland’s futuristic realm of modelled synthesis with their legendary heritage synths’ hands-on retro touch. It’s a beautiful synthesizer.
The Jupiter-X is powered by Roland’s groundbreaking ZEN-Core synthesis engine, which can perfectly mimic all of Roland’s synthesizers down to the last component and provide them with massive amounts of polyphony, cutting-edge effects, and meticulous editing. The Jupiter-X is the instrument to have if you want every synthesizer in one instrument, and it’s growing all the time.
Combining historical tones with cutting-edge synthesis techniques creates an unusual sound-generating environment in which sounds that have never existed before emerge and expand into uncharted sonic terrain. You’ve got numerous levels with arpeggiators working on different things in different places, rhythms, and adventures at the same time.
The Jupiter-X is unquestionably a synthesizer for the adventurous, for those who enjoy experimenting and putting their creative ideas into sound expression. The hardware is well-made and would look fantastic in any studio. You may also fully integrate it into your DAW using the software editor. Jupiter-X is a synthesizer. If it all seems a little too much, the Jupiter-Xm, which uses the same ZEN-Core engine but in a smaller package, is available.
Arturia MiniBrute 2S Semi-modular Analog Sequencing Synthesizer
The Arturia MiniBrute 2 S semi-modular analog synthesizer replaces a keybed with a small row of velocity/pressure-sensitive pads, resulting in enormous sound that’s simple to add to your synth setup. Because MiniBrute 2S is semi-modular, you don’t need to patch anything to get a wide range of sounds — but once you start using its 48-point CV mod matrix, the possibilities are unlimited. Its 3-layer BeatStep-style sequencer is very excellent, allowing you to sequence notes on one layer while changing parameters on the others.
The MiniBrute 2S synthesizer improves on everything synthesists loved about the original with two Brute oscillators and the popular Steiner-Parker filter. You’ll be able to make deep basses, strong leads, evocative drones and pads, and much more even if you don’t use the patchbay. The MiniBrute 2S transforms into a sound design powerhouse thanks to its seamless interaction with Eurorack. The MiniBrute 2S is the ideal complement to a Eurorack modular synth rig, with 48 CV patch connections. Arturia’s RackBrute Eurorack enclosure is the ideal method to bring these two worlds together. MiniBrute 2S and RackBrute combine to provide different positioning choices for Eurorack modules, allowing you to put them exactly where you need them.
The MiniBrute 2S’s flexibility to interface with other music gear in a variety of ways. It all starts with the outstanding 48 CV patch points for usage with modular synthesizers. There’s also traditional 5-pin MIDI, as well as USB for MIDI to and from your computer. You can use your DrumBrute, Akai MPC Live, or Korg Volca modules to sync. The external audio input also allows you to use the MiniBrute 2S’s advanced sound-shaping capabilities to process noises. This is the best entry-level synthesizer.
Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth
- Create a huge variety of sounds- Two tuneable, analogue oscillators offer a selection of four waveforms, a sub-oscillator, plus noise and ring...
- Enormous bass and shrieking leads- Switch the Classic Filter between low-, high- and band-pass modes with 12 and 24dB/octave slopes to make the Bass...
- Improved analogue filter stage- Two distinct analogue filter types: the classic multi-mode filter and a new 24dB Acid Filter offer a massive variation...
This is most likely one of the best monophonic analog synths available. The hardware synthesizers just has one voice, yet even with that limitation, you may generate music in a variety of ways with the signal path. It can also be used as a starter analog synth for entry point before upgrading to polyphony.
The bass synth has 25 keys on the body, with the Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer – Creation Edition being the only other instrument with such a small number. Nonetheless, these keys are of exceptional quality and include aftertouch. The inclusion of 64 factory presets is mentioned in the features section above to make your work easier. What it neglects to disclose is the presence of 64 additional preset slots, which you can fill with your own inventions for synth sound.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an electronic music device that the Novation Bass Station II Analog Mono-Synth can’t connect to, thanks to the vast selection of connectivity ports.
Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth with Presets
- A unique, best-selling, true analog synthesizer from Korg
- Perfect for anyone looking to add warm, punchy analog sounds to your productions
- Explore 200 preset sounds, edit them quickly and easily, or create your own from scratch
The Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth uses surprisingly little power to operate, especially when compared to the other alternatives on the list. However, rather than a battery, it still requires an AC connection to give power. This is a 4-voice polyphonic device, as the name suggests, and a remarkable one at that, despite being a little synth.
The gadget has a total of 37 keys, all of which are thin and velocity-sensitive. As a result, more seasoned users will get the most out of their time with the product. A 16-step polyphonic sequencer is also included in this gadget. While this does not compare to the Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer – Creation Edition’s 64-step sequencer, it is still a fantastic feature.
For a tool of this size, the program selection is very impressive. With this device, you can access a total of 200 programs, divided in half. The first half is included with the purchase, while the remaining 100 spots must be filled in by you. This will surely be a time-consuming effort, but one that will pay dividends in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an analog synthesizer?
An analog synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that generates sound using analog circuitry and voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers. Unlike digital synthesizers, which use digital signal processing, analog synths manipulate electrical voltages to create and shape sound.
How does an analog synthesizer work?
Analog synthesizers generate sound by manipulating electrical voltages. Voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) produce basic waveforms, and filters modify the frequency content of the sound. Voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCAs) control the volume, while modulation sources like envelopes and LFOs shape the sound over time.
What are the benefits of analog synths?
Analog synthesizers are prized for their warm and rich sound, as well as their organic and unpredictable characteristics. They often provide hands-on control with knobs and sliders, fostering a tactile and immediate connection between the musician and the sound.
What is the difference between analog and digital synthesizers?
The main difference lies in the sound generation process. Analog synths use analog circuitry and voltage control, resulting in a warm and often unpredictable sound. Digital synths, on the other hand, utilize digital signal processing for precise control and a wider range of sound possibilities.
What is the difference between a monophonic and polyphonic analog synthesizer?
A monophonic synthesizer produces only one note at a time, while a polyphonic synthesizer can produce multiple notes simultaneously. Monophonic synthesizers are often preferred for lead lines and bass, while polyphonic synthesizers are suitable for chords and harmonies.