Best Synthesizer for 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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With the rise in popularity of electronic music, synthesizers are increasingly being demanded by musicians. You need not always invest a lot while choosing the best synthesizer for yourself. All you need to do is keep in mind the kind of music you make and look for a synth that’s easy to use.
We’ve analyzed the various synths available in the market and have chosen the top 5 best synthesizers for you. Read further to find out more.
|1. Korg Prologue 16 Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
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|2. Sequential Prophet X
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|3. Roland JD-XA Hybrid Synthesizer
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|4. Moog Sub 37
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|5. Korg Volca Keys Analog Synthesizer
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Our Best Synthesizer Reviews and Comparisons
1. Korg Prologue 16 Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
The Korg Prologue 16 is a stunning new master analog synth from a company that has given us the synths of Minilogue, Monologue, and Odyssey in recent years. The Korg Prologue 16 is the perfect choice for those who want the full power and capability of the latest Korg effects, a larger voice pallet, and a wider range of keys for the stage.
Korg Prologue 16 represents Korg’s new generation of analog programming – a fully user-customizable synth. This combines a full-size 61-note keyboard, DSP effects, and a new 16-voice polyphonic, multi-timbral synth. 4 voice modes, Noise Generator, FM Oscillator, and a built-in Arpeggiator give the unprecedented sonic capacity to the Prologue.
The prologue also features a low-pass two-pole filter with increased sharpness, a drive that adds powerful distortion, and low-cut (high pass) switch. From minilogue and monologue, every detail has been improved on. Its sound covers all kinds of sonic possibilities: fat basses, powerful leads, and the beautiful pads you’re expecting from a polyphonic synth.
The prologue also features a Noise Generator for adding depth and texture to your sounds. This exclusive new effect compresses and naturally, authentically boosts the Korg Prologue 16 signal.
What We Like About Korg Prologue 16 Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
You can intuitively dial in complex and lush sounds without spending hours learning the interface with 16 Oscillator types and the SHAPE Knob. The analog circuitry adds presence and depth to your sounds without over-processing, which you can’t get from a simple tweak of the EQ.
What We Don’t Like About Korg Prologue 16 Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
The only drawback is that it is quite expensive.
- Low-pass two-pole filter with increased sharpness
- Built-in Arpeggiator give unprecedented sonic capacity
- Noise Generator for adding depth and texture
2. Sequential Prophet X
- 16-voice Hybrid Synthesizer with 2 x 16-bit/48kHz Sample-based Instruments
- Semi-weighted Aftertouch-enabled Keyboard
- Stereo Analog Filters
- 150GB Sample Library
- 2 Digital Oscillats
In collaboration with 8Dio the Sequential Prophet X combines analog with sample-based synthesis.
You’ve got a 61-key, semi-weighted, 32-note polyphony synth at the heart of Prophet X, with two high-resolution digital oscillators. Everything runs through analog filters for a truly authentic experience even though it is digitally contIn collaboration with 8Dio the Sequential Prophet X combines analog with sample-based synthesis. rolled. The synth engine delivers the classic waveforms of sine, saw, or pulse that you expect from a Prophet, this time with even greater flexibility.
Moreover, you can manually change the width of any waveform or add texture using one of 4 LFO’s, 4 loopable envelope generators, or the 16-slot mod matrix.
Also, the Prophet X comes with a poly step sequencer that allows you to record 6 notes per step for up to 64 stages. A dual effect engine has two effects per layer and some amazing phase, flang, distortion effects, and much more. It comes along with 3 OLED displays that make it great for studio or stage work.
What We Like About Sequential Prophet X
8Dio’s collaboration is a success as they offer a perfect sampling. A direct result of this collaboration is that the Prophet X has some beautiful piano voices, something which is lacking in many synths.
What We Don’t Like About Sequential Prophet X
All the amazing features of this synth come at a very high price.
- Comes with a poly step sequencer
- Has beautiful piano voices
- 3 OLED displays
3. Roland JD-XA Hybrid Synthesizer
- Advanced synthesizer with independent analog and digital sound engines
- Discrete analog synth engine (four parts) with 2 x OSC, Filter, Amp, 4 x Env (2 x Pitch, Filter, Amp), and 2 x LFO per voice plus Analog Dry Out for raw signal output
- Analog filter section features 4-Pole, transistor-ladder, and multi-mode (LPF/HPF/BPF) filters with supremely smooth, natural response to knob movements
- OSC section includes Cross Mod, Ring Mod, and OSC Sync, all of which can be used simultaneously
- LFO rate covers a wide range from ultra-slow to ultra-fast
The new Roland JD-XA Hybrid promises to be one of the most groundbreaking hybrid synths you’ve ever tried. The JD-XA is not only a conventional analog but is also fully-fitted with a four-part digital 64-voice sound engine powered by Roland’s well-known synthesized SuperNATURAL technology.
It features warm analog synth sounds, oscillators, and an analog filter. The JD-XA delivers fat, warm analog bass and leads tones with ample hands-on tweaking controls, plus essential polyphonic PCMs such as pads, strings, brass, and more.
The JD-XA engines can be used independently or interactively, providing an incredibly flexible platform for sound design, studio work, and live performance. Each of the four analog parts of the JD-XA has two oscillators, along with filter and amp sections, and four envelopes— all with incredibly rapid response and attack times.
What We Like About [Product Name]
The JD-XA can handle any sound creation that you want to apply when it comes to effects. The powerful MFX-Processor in every analog and digital part offers 67 different types of effects including high-impact processing options such as Bit Crusher.
What We Don’t Like About [Product Name]
Switching to another program is not possible while the sequencer is running. This limits you to one pattern at a time.
- Fitted with a four-part digital 64-voice sound engine
- 67 different types of effects
- With the sequencer running, switching to another program is not possible
4. Moog Sub 37
- Sub 37 design - all the controls and features found on the sub 37 tribute Edition
- Sound engine Evolution - richer low end and greater sonic Dimension. Oscillator Calibration Range- 22Hz-6.8KHz. Note range at 8’ = 18 - 116
- MORE MULTIDRIVE - Wider range and dirtier than ever before
- Room for two - more headroom means Duo Mode sounds even better
- 37 note key bed - lightweight with swift action and after touch
The Sub 37 looks significantly different with more keys, knobs, and switches. Moog’s wood panels are used to place all the unit’s patch points on either side of the synthetic system (Power, Audio In/Out, MIDI, Pitch/Filter/Volume CV, KB Gate, and USB).
Sub 37 can be used for two independent pitches (Oscillator 1 and Oscillator 2) which are sent to the chassis through its popular ladder filter 20Hz-20kHz.
The Sub 37 is a steel/aluminum combo with 37 keys that give its name to the synthetic system. This differs from a polyphonic synth in the sense that a polyphonic can play ‘more’ than two notes at once. Switching from the duo mode to the monophonic side of the synth is done simply by masking the Duo Mode switches in the Oscillator section.
Besides, to the extreme left is a small LCD screen (1.5×1 in), which leads to the Synth Programming section. This can be used for the management of one of the 256 predefined units, 134 of which are crafted in the factory.
What We Like About Moog Sub 37
You can browse presets by type (basses, leads, etc.) and you can compare any tweaks to an existing preset with the Compare button.
A Hi range switch in one of the mod sections allows you to add frequencies to the LFO Sub 37 in the audio range, whereas a +/-5 Pitch Amount knob on one or both oscillators can be specified.
What We Don’t Like About Moog Sub 37
Some users had complaints regarding this model’s durability.
- Compare button lets you compare tweaks
- Hi range switch lets you add frequencies
- Steel / aluminum combo with 37 keys
- May not be highly durable
5. Korg Volca Keys Analog Synthesizer
- Three note true analogue synthesis with one knob per function for easy hands-on tweaking
- 16-step sequencer with Flux mode for non-quantized free flowing loops
- Sync In and Out allows clock sync of multiple instruments from the volca Series
- MIDI In for note entry, plus external sync and control from your DAW
- Play anywhere with the built-in speaker and optional battery power
The sequencer on Volca is only 16 steps, although you can create longer sequences using it as a sound module/sequencing on your DAW. For example, you can control the filter cut-offs (but not resonances) and the delays. Effect recording is possible (all steps, except the flow mode on the keys, are automatically queried). It can store 8 sequences and, while no sequence chaining exists, the memory sequence can be loaded quickly.
This is essentially a hybrid device. An analog digitally controlled sound engine, so that dial tweaks and note info can be recorded in the MIDI sequencer/access. Multiple parameters on the Volca front have a MIDI CC, which can be adjusted via a MIDI controller.
We advise you to connect to the external MIDI keyboard in order to get the best performance/sequence (and especially when playing key chords). The keys react to MIDI speed and all Volcas reliably react to MIDI note entries.
With the internal/MIDI tempo, the tempo flashes in time, and every key/sequence stage has its own LED. These let you know what happens in complex sequences at a glance.
What We Like About Korg Volca Keys Analog Synthesizer
The sequencer feels tight and is perfect for shows by one man. Along with this, live instrumentalist/vocalist looking for back-up machines/analog sound modules will find this model ideal. For producers that are tight in space but want high-quality keys without spending too much, Volca is a wise choice. The keys really pack a great deal and it is very versatile. Every unit can have its own MIDI channel. The modding options are a genuine bonus.
What We Don’t Like About Korg Volca Keys Analog Synthesizer
The biggest inconvenience is that the individual notes in the chord cannot be edited when the sequencer has a single path and no step edit.
- Effect recording is possible
- High quality keys
- Individual notes in the chord cannot be edited
Korg Prologue 16 is the best synthesizer according to us. It has a low-pass two-pole filter that makes the tone sharp, a built-in Arpeggiator as a bonus and Noise Generator for adding depth and texture. Besides, this synth is bound to give new dimensions to your music and use your creative potential to the fullest.
This being said, you can also choose from other options that we’ve mentioned. So buy one and introduce your audience to some new age music.