Synthesizers are considered to be one of the most modest musical instruments of modern times. They might look like a small version of electronic piano, but they are more than that. They have brought huge changes to the modern music industry. They started to become popular during the 1970s. In this article, we will provide you a complete guide regarding how to use a synthesizer and as well as how to buy the best synthesizers.
Synthesizers are popularly known as synthesizers. They have become popular because of their ability to mimic any kind of traditional instrument. It can help you in producing the melodious sound of the piano, violin, and many more. Not just that, it can also create the sound of footsteps on mars, the sound of blood cells when they pass through our veins, and many more. It can create a blend of different sounds to give you the best melody possible.
Synthesize means creating something new or unique. Hence, that’s exactly what this musical instrument does. In short, it blends the existing available sounds to create a new melody. To be a pro at synthesizer, you must understand how this musical instrument produces the sound and how different instruments create different sounds.
You must have noticed that even if you are playing the same note in two different musical instruments, it still produces a different sound. The reason behind this is that each instrument produces different waves. The volume and frequency of each instrument are different. You must be wondering then how synthesizers work since it produces the sound of different instruments.
Synthesizers copy the sound of different traditional musical instruments. So, it is a machine that produces the sound of a variety of instruments; hence, it has features that can create different shapes of waves. It also changes the sound volume over time, which produces different ADSR. This is what technically a synthesizer does in a nutshell. It combines the waves of different instruments to create a beautiful complex beat.
You can come with the weirdest combination to make a sound you require. For example, if you want to sound between an organ and piano, then you can use the square wave generator. It creates the sound of an organ. You can select the sound of a particular instrument with just a click. There are different modes, you can combine different sounds and create a unique melody, which no one has heard before.
There are two ways of creating sound with a synthesizer. One is addictive and the other is subtractive synthesizers. The additive synthesizer is the method, which I mentioned before. Taking the existing simple pieces and blending them, which is an additive method. However, with the subtracting method, you take a complex melody. Then you strip the complex melody by subtracting the melody and shape the sound according to it.
This might seem complex but with practice and experience, anyone can become a pro at synthesizer. Modern synthesizers are easy to handle as they do everything digitally. All you have to be pro at is manipulating numbers through computer chips. With technology, computers can even generate manipulated sound through a synchronizer. Even a normal computer can get the job done. The standard way to connect the synchronizer is through a computer. The modular synth also becoming popular.
Basics of Synthesizer
Every synthesizer comprises of four most basic parts. Let us discuss those parts in detail.
- ADSR envelope
Creating sound with the help of synths is like building a house. While constructing the house, you first have to construct the foundation. Then you have to build the frame, construct walls, and give the finishing touch to the house.
Similarly, with the synth, you have to create the base sound. This sound will act as a general outline. Then you add additional sound for the frames and it follows by the finishing touch.
Filters are exactly what they suggest; they filter out the sound. They are essential in setting the basic tone of the synth. There are two main types when it comes to synth filters.
- LPFs (low pass filters)
The basic function of LPFs is to cut the high frequency. They are used when the sound is too harsh. With the help of LPFS, you can filter out some of the harsh/high frequencies.
- HPPs (High pass filter)
The high pass filters do exactly the opposite of LPFs. They cut the low frequencies. When the sound is bass-heavy or low, you can cut out those frequencies with this filter.
There is also something called resonance when it comes to the filter. Resonance helps in adding new frequencies to the sound. With the advancement in the synths, there are multiple filters available. However, these are the most basic ones.
Oscillators are the most fundamental part of the synths. The oscillator is a fancy word but it has a very simple meaning. The oscillator is used to create a sound. Sound consist of wave and oscillators creates different waves. The most common wave created by the oscillators is the sine wave.
The sine wave consists of a single frequency and there are no harmonics at the top. The explanation of harmonics in the simpler words would be adding an extra frequency on your note, which you are playing. Hence, there is no added frequency; hence, the sin wave gives you the purest form of the sound.
When you change the shape of the wave, the sound also changes. Hence, the oscillator can come up with tons of different sounds.
LFOS are confusing for those who don’t have much experience in the synths. The LFOs stands for the low-frequency oscillator. They specialized in creating low sound. These sounds are created by LFOs at time times, you can’t even hear them. Hence, they are not used for creating new sounds but to enhance the existing sound you have.
- The ADSR envelope
ADSR stands for attack, decay, sustain, and release. The ADSR is responsible for the lifecycle of the volume of notes that synth produces. You can understand this easier with the example of a roller coaster. The attack means you are going high up on a hill.
The fast roller coaster will reach the peak quickly and slow will take time. Similarly, the attack is how much time the sound takes to get at full volume.
Once the roller coaster reaches the peak, it comes down. This what you call decay. Hence, decay is basically how long it takes the sound to fade away from the initial hit. The short decay will make the music quite immediately.
The sustain refers to the drop of the beat. Many people don’t understand this but sustain deals with the volume. If you want to give ring to your song then try to grab a high sustain.
Lastly comes the release. Just like a roller coaster to a halt, the songs comes to the halt as well. The slow-release will lead to the slow death of the song once you let go of the key.
The ADSR is essential to understand to get the sound you require. All of the basic elements you need to understand so that you get the specific sound that you want.
Best Synthesizers Buying Guide
Now you know how the best synthesizers work. Before suggesting to you the best available synthesizer available in the market, we would like to present factors to consider before buying the best budget synthesizer.
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Cheap Synthesizer
Electronic music is becoming popular and it has become an entirely different genre of music. It is a revolution in the music industry and one of its products is synthesizers. Because it boosts importance, the manufacturer is producing musical instruments in abundance. Hence, you must consider various factors so that you buy the best synthesizer without burning a hole in your pocket.
However, before you buy a synth, we would recommend you to try it first. You can borrow from your colleagues or your friends and try it on. You must know that it is your kind of instrument before you buy it. Try some best soft synths and try out the different styles of using the synthesizers. This will prevent you from spending a lot of money for nothing.
- If you are a beginner, opt for an affordable yet effective synthesizer.
When you are starting something new, you tend to become over-enthusiastic and want to spend more money. However, this might cause a leap on your money and it gets worse when the new synthesizer does not work for you.
Also, if the synthesizer is expensive, it will have more features. Since you are a beginner, most of the time will go in you learning the complex settings instead of making music. Hence, it is advisable to stick with a basic affordable synthesizer for beginners. You can keep the range of 50$ to 200$ while buying the best beginner synth.
Even if you have worked with software synths, then also we will advise you to stick with a synthesizer, not more than 500$. Don’t think that these will be of low quality. There are a lot of reputable musicians like Arturia, Roland, and Korg have used affordable gear for many years and still came up with good music. Those synchronizers will keep you happy for a few years. Once you become an expert, you can opt for the best portable synthesizer with advanced functions.
- Choose whether to buy a digital or best analog synthesizer.
Some people cannot tell the difference between the sound produce by the analog synthesizer and digital synthesizer. However, some people also think that analog synthesizers produce a warmer sound. Even though the sound is not that important as there is not much difference; however, considering the analog or digital synthesizer is still an essential decision.
This decision depends upon whether you want to use only pre-sets or you want to come up with your sound. As we explained to you before, there are two types of synthesizing method. One is subtractive and the other is an additive method. If you want to opt for the subtractive method, you must choose an analog synthesizer. They are easy to learn.
On the other hand, the best digital synthesizers are a little complicated and confusing. Even most experienced musicians get confused when it comes to the digital synthesizer. However, the best option is getting a blend of both of the technology.
You can opt for a digital synthesizer with analog technology. According to our experts, opting for subtracting synthesizer (analog) is always a better option. They are easy to control and if you are a beginner then it is easy to pick up with the basics of the synthesizer.
- Synthesizer with a sequencer
If you are a first type buyer of synthesizers, then you might not have the right keyboard. One option is to buy the best synthesizers keyboard for beginners. Another option is to buy a synthesizer with some kind of built-in sequencer. However, we will advise you to buy a best synthesizers with a built-in sequence no matter if you are buying a keyboard or not. Sequencer helps the musician to be hands-free and that way the musician can write bass-line or melody. Your free hand will help you in tweaking stuff, resonance if you are making an acidic sound, or add any kind of effects, you want in the music.
- Consider buying a portable synthesizer
Buying a portable synthesizer is especially essential if you are opting for the best synthesizers for fl studio. If you are a beginner, then you might have a small studio space. Gigantic synths will attract you because it makes you look cool. However, if it is not easily accessible to you then high chances of you forgetting all about it. Hence, it is advised that you opt for a small compact synthesizer will all features in it.
You can place the best synthesizers on the desk and you readily play it all the time. If you have to set it up every time you use it, then you might lose interest after a while. Also, it is small and easy to carry, then you are more likely to carry outside of your house and play music outdoor. You cannot do all of these with a gigantic synthesizer.
- Does your synthesizer have a speaker?
If you are just a beginner, then the high chance that you won’t have a mixer, monitors, or soundcard to synch through your audio. In this case, you can opt for a synthesizer with a built-in speaker. However, you must know that it won’t help you in enhancing the sound of your music; but it is a better option than using your headphones. Although you have to use headphones in the public, no one wants to hear the bass-line you listening in the ear.
Best Synthesizers are attracting young musicians to be affordable, small, and extremely useful in creating great music. If you are just starting, you might get unsure and confused about buying your first synthesizer.
However, stick to the above-given factors; it will help you in buying the best synthesizers. However, keep this one rule in mind, a cheap synthesizer does not mean an easy to use synthesizer. Practice a lot and gain experience; you will know what works for you and what does not only via experience.
Now you know all about best synthesizers and factors to consider before buying the best one. Now let us present you with some of the best cheap synthesizers available in the market.
Best Synthesizers Review
This best synthesizers deserves to be first on our list because it caters to the needs of almost all the musicians. This might sound unrealistic, but this synthesizer provides everything you need without burning a hole in your pocket. It is the best because it is a blend of all the positive features of digital as well as an analog synthesizer. Hence, with this musical instrument, you are getting the best of both.
This synthesizer features playing four notes simultaneously. It is the best polyphonic synth, which helps you in playing multiple melodies simultaneously. Because of its flexibility and ability to produce a variety of sounds, it stands out in the market. Let us discuss some of its best features.
- It features 13 types of oscillators, which gives you an array of options to shape the sound according to your preference.
- It also features two FM synth engines and an analog option (virtual).
- It has the best modulation matrix.
- With this synthesizer, you can control the sound up to seven different parameters.
- It comes with a 64-step sequencer, which can help you to add randomness and unpredictability to your sequence.
- It provides you more flexibility than any other synthesizer. We can confidently say that it is the best synth under 500.
- It has more than a dozen synth engines.
- You can sculpt hundreds of possibilities and create some deep sound.
- The rich sequencer features automation.
- It also has a multi-mode analog filter.
- If you want to start with something simple, then this is your best choice.
- Best synthesizers for techno.
This dual oscillator synthesizer can handle everything a musician requires. The funky bass-line with some best pre-sets will help you in creating the best aggressive sound possible. However, the highlight of this synthesizer is a 16-step sequencer. If you have patience, you can efficiently program a drumbeat. Now let us discuss some of its best features.
It is a monologue with 25-key, which is fully programmable and has its voice. It has a sleek layout with a unique style suitable for all musicians. With new voicing and sound sculpting abilities, you can create some unique music.
You get all of these features at an amazing price point. With a new drive, filter, LFO, and modulation, you can create a powerful lead and bass. You can flaunt a single-voice design with awesome mono sounds. It is the best portable synthesizer to match your personality.
- It is the best synthesizer if you are attracted to the mobile music-making setup.
- The synthesizer is monophonic, which means that you cannot play chords.
- It can create the best mono sounds with powerful bass.
- It allows you to get your hands on complex editing
- For higher rates and deeper modulation, it provides you with LFO capabilities.
- It is fully programmable with 100 pre-sets.
- It supports micro tuning and helps in creating scales freely.
- It is the best synth under 500.
This is an impressive synthesizer with multiple controls, filters, and sound. It is a polyphonic synthesizer, which provides you a wide section of effects. Moog One does everything it promises. It is a perfect synthesizer to achieve your all musician goals.
It has an amazing design, which provides you amazing control within your finger reach. The working of this synthesizer will exceed your expectations. It will inspire you to create music like never before. Let us discuss some of its best features.
- It has the advanced architecture of a sound engineer. It can articulate up to 16 separate voices simultaneously. This feature majorly depends on the instrument’s configuration.
- It features three VCOs, two analog filters, four LFOs, and dual-source analog.
- It also features onboard premium effects.
- You can be creative without any constraints. You can have the best hands-on experience with performance control and sound sculpting.
- It is made of sophisticated technology so that you can express your music to your best abilities. It lets you sculpt, create, and transform music without any constraints.
- With LCD panels, it helps in finding your sound quickly and helps in setting a quick recall.
- It also features thousands of pre-sets configurations, which is vital for live performance. It is one of the best synthesizers for live music.
- It is also one of the best synthesizers for ambient music.
This is an excellent Yamaha synthesizer for musicians who want to take their musical skills to the next level. It is the best polyphone synth with 128 notes and enhances the overall live performance. You can play live with the help of 16-track sequences.
With the best computer music software, you can enjoy the feature of a deep controller. Now let us discuss some of its best features.
– It is the best synthesizer, which features 88 notes. It is a lightweight synth with heavily weighted actions. The lighter keys can produce sound just like a piano.
– It also supports USB and it provides a true feature of plug and play. You can connect your synth with anything without installing drivers.
– Within a single voice, it can control up to eight elements.
– It helps in creating the sound of vintage single processors.
– It also has an LED display of three-digit.
– It ensures dropout-free performance and you can easily use it live.
– It is the best synthesizer for live performance.
This access virus range was started in the year 1997; the synthesizer was has seen several updated versions and other replacements. The modern version is not only the best of the previous version but is the best of all. The famous users of this series include Sasha, DJ Scooter, The crystal method, BT, Headhunterz, and many more.
With features like rounded basses, beautiful pre-sets, lush pads, and sleek design, it has won the heart of numerous fans in the dance community. However, it does not mean that it is limited to trance only, you can use for numerous occasions, but when it comes to trance, it does a tremendous job. Let us discuss some of its best features.
– It is one of the best affordable synthesizers for professionals.
– This is the latest version with newly added features like frequency shifter, tape delay, character, and new distortions.
– The synthesizer features a dual DSP system and there are more than 80 stereo voices available,
– The synthesizer has 25% more calculating capacity than others, and it features a completely redesigned housing.
– A remote is available, which will integrate the synthesizer into the sequencer. It will give the feeling of a plug-in.
– The synthesizer is made of premium quality and it is extremely light weighted. One can carry around easily.
– It is the best synthesizer keyboard for beginners, which has 61 keys.
– It also features aftertouch and velocity response.
Every hip-hop music producer must have a high-quality synth, which will help in emphasizing the performance of the producer. If you are a producer and you are looking for such synth, then you are in the right place.
You must know that without the right bass sound, hip-hop music production is incomplete. Without the right bass, it will fail to reach its highest potential.
As the name indicates, the novation bass station is best known for powerful bass production. It is possible with built-in two oscillators and one sub-oscillator. You can create magic in the hip-hop genre with this synthesizer. Now let us discuss more of its features.
– It is an analog synth, which is the new version of the classic version on novation.
– It also features a brand new acid filter.
– The sequencer is pattern-based and features an arpeggiator.
– It is easy to control; for all the parameters, there are dedicated controllers.
– It features full filter-modulation effects and distortion. It also has a separate filter for over-drive and this way you can produce crunchy and aggressive sound.
– It is the best synth under 1000.
– There are 64 sound pre-sets, which will never let you get bored with this synthesizer.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the modular synthesizers are quite expensive. They are the best in terms of usability and price. This synthesizer is semi-modular and it is fun to use. You can easily add this synthesizer with your existing set-up and enhance the overall performance. It also features voltage control. Let us discuss some of the best features of this synthesizer.
– It has a 32-step sequencer.
– It also features LP/HP ladder filter along with iconic Moog oscillators. With this, you can create the ultimate modular synth and perform the music of all time.
– You can easily connect this synthesizer with a modular desktop without facing any problems.
– For outside sources of sound, there is the availability of external audio output.
– There are 32 modular patch points.
– You can start straight away with the help of five patch cables.
– This is the best cheap modular synth
– It is a great way to add something new to the overall sound.
IK is the company you can always rely on. They know what they do with the help of 2 years of experience in hardware and software. They are the experts of synthesizer making and other sound machines.
This synthesizer has the power to produce powerful analog sound with advanced features and hands-on programmability. It consists of a powerful synth engine and comes with 100 pre-sets and much more to enhance your overall situation. Let us discuss some of its best features.
– The synthesizer is effective because of the all-analog audio path, multimode filter, and two powerful oscillators.
– You can work on this synthesizer without any additional equipment. However, you can even add a thebest keyboard or computer.
– There is a built-in keyboard with a step sequencer.
– There are 100 pre-sets, which makes it easy to program
These are some of the best synthesizers available in the market. They all are different from each other in some other way. However, you must opt for the synthesizer, which suits your preference best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best synthesizer to buy?
Arturia Microfreak is the best synthesizers to buy. It is not only affordable and high-quality but also, it is suitable for beginners as well as professionals. It has remained the choice of many renowned musicians.
Which synthesizer is best for beginners?
There are several options available for beginners o get their hands-on synthesizer. Some of the best options are Arturia Microfreak, Korg Minilogue, Moog mother-32, novation bass station, and many more. You must choose according to your taste and musical preference.
What is the best Yamaha synthesizer?
What is the best behringer synth?
Some of the best behringer synths includes behringer pro-1, behringer K-2, behringer odyssey, and Arturia Mircorfreak.
How costly the synthesizer are?
The cost of the synthesizer depends on the features it provides. The more features you want, the more price you have to pay. However, you will get a decent synthesizer below 500. The starting range of a good synthesizer is 300.
How many best synthesizers one should use?
It all depends on the skills of the musician. Whether you use one synth or for a different sound or 6-7 synth each for separate sound, you have to make sure that the sound is not overbearing or crowded.
Are all synthesizers are the same?
The answer is no. the best synthesizer can be digital or analog. It might have different features and sound qualities. Each is special in their way; it is crafted by keeping certain musicians in the mind.
For some examples, some synthesizers are good with bass and some with creating hip-hop music. Hence, the difference between each synthesizer is drastic. You can also use something like Talk Box to enhance and improvise your music.