Top 10 Best Analog Synthesizer – 2019 Reviews & Guide

One of the best things about synthesizer music, is that each sound you hear was actually created from scratch. It all began about 50 years ago when someone by the name of Robert Moog devised a new way of creating sound through the utilization of an electrical signal.

With Moog’s creative and innovative mind, a machine was invented; it has the capacity to break down sound into its most fundamental and basic properties as well as control each and every aspect of it with voltage. Moreover, people came to know this process essentially as how sound was built from scratch.

In addition, if you want to understand how the best analog synthesizer works, you must be able to comprehend some of the basic acoustic theories. Understanding Moog’s creation is the first step. The second step entails going back to what you have learned in your physics class.

Think of it this way, sound is generally caused when objects vibrate. It also changes certain properties in air pressure. As a result, the vibration passes through our eardrums and is perceived by the receiver as sound.

In relation to a synthesizer, it mimics and copies this natural acoustic process. Rather than plucking a guitar string, the vibration – which is referred to as oscillation in synthesizer terms – usually comes from an electrical signal generated by the change in voltage in a circuit.

What is an Analog Synthesizer?

As we have already established, synthesizers are a kind of electronic instruments that produces a synthesized sound through the utilization of different modules. These modules typically include oscillators, modulation sources – also known as envelope generators, and filters; all of which perform the same task as traditional instruments.

Analog synthesizers are a type of synthesizer that uses analog signals or analog circuits to generate electronic sound. Some of the earliest recorded analog synthesizers were used in the 1920s up to the early 1930s. Some of the synthesizers used during these times include the Trautonium.

After the 1960s, these analog synthesizers were built through the use of operational amplifiers, used potentiometers, and integrated circuits. By the 1980s and 1990s, synthesizers have become a major part in the production of music. Musicians from all around the world have used the best analog synthesizer models produce excellent and unique tunes. Moreover, synthesizers also created a number of keyboard workstations which are not only multi-purpose but also very versatile.

How Does an Analog Synthesizer Work?

Synthesizers, whether analog or digital, has the ability to mimic the sounds produced by conventional instruments. This can be achieved by generating sound waves of specific shapes and producing at least two or more tones resulting in a particular frequency.

The Best Analog Synthesizer vs. Digital Synthesizers

Before we proceed with the actual product reviews on each of the best analog synthesizer models today, it is crucial that you are able to differentiate analog from digital synthesizers. One of the main differences between the two is that the different modules for an analog synthesizers work together to generate sounds. On the other hand, a digital synth generates sound through the processing of specific digital signals.

Factors To Take Into Account When Buying Analog Synthesizers

Now that we have gone through some of the basic concepts of synthesizers, let us proceed to identify some of the factors necessary to take into account when you’re on the lookout for good analog synthesizers.

Of course, the most important factor is sound. Do note that when it comes to synthesizers, these are capable of generating electronic sounds. Furthermore, it also has the capability to imitate the more conventional instruments that we typically use. With that in mind, you have to know what instrument dominants your music.

If you know which instrument is focused on in your music, you’ll be able to narrow down your search. In addition, you’ll be able to choose whether or not you need an analog or a digital synthesizer. Be sure that you study how your music is produced to know which one suits your technique and style best.

All of these are pretty basic. If you want to get in-depth with the factors to consider when shopping for analog synthesizers, keep on reading.

Price

The price is one of the most important aspects when shopping for a product – not just analog synthesizers. It is important to set a budget for yourself before even going through the list of the best analog synthesizers in 2019. Price can be affected by both the brand and the actual synthesizer. Thus, it is easy to be tempted to go beyond your set price range.

In order to not feel overwhelmed with all of the available analog synthesizers in today’s market, start by going through those under $300. Believe it or not, there are quality synthesizers below $300. Smaller analog synthesizers that possess fewer voices may even cost around $100 or less. In addition, synthesizers that have their own workstations cost way more; this can range up to $600 or more.

Polyphony

Pay attention to the polyphony of the analog synthesizer. Polyphony pertains to the number of voices you require from the synthesizer. Check whether or not the product is monophonic or polyphonic. Of course, polyphonic voices cost more than monophonic ones; yet, the quality will definitely not disappoint.

MIDI Implementation

Another important factor to consider when it comes to analog synthesizers is the need for computer connectivity. Now, this may depend on the user. You may or may not need memory and MIDI implementation; however, if you do, then consider soft synthesizers. Soft synthesizers are much more compatible with computers as they typically rely on software.

With all of these in mind, here are your top ten best analog synthesizer products in the market today. Be sure to consider all of these before saying “Yes” to a particular product.

Top 10 Best Analog Synthesizer Reviews

Korg MS20 Mini Monophonic Analog Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features an external signal processor (ESP)
  • Features USB MIDI and a five-pin MIDI
  • Amazing and flexible patching system
  • Excellent voltage control oscillators
  • Self-oscillating high-pass and low-pass filters, each with a distinctive distortion

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • Great compact size: 86% of the original’s size
  • VCA voltage’s controlled keyboard amplifier is less noisy
  • Very compact and highly portable

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Durability is questionable
  • Monophonic despite the price

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Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth with Presets

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features amazing power consumption at eight watts
  • Features a very powerful and flexible four-voice synthesizer
  • The Korg Minilogue is fully programmable
  • Features about 200 program memories
  • Features 100 sounds in its programmed memories
  • Features automatable 16-step polyphonic note with motion sequencer

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • High-quality materials used in construction
  • Amazing CV connectivity
  • Voice mode allows the user to configure all four voices
  • You can visually see the waveform through oscilloscope function

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Quite expensive
  • No high-pass or low-cut filter switch or even dial
  • There is only one filter pole option onboard

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Korg microKorg 37-Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features an Analog Modeling Synthesis System
  • Features six types of arpeggiator
  • Features output such as headphones, L/MONO, R
  • Compatible with Mac OS to OSX10.6.8 or later and Windows 98 Second Edition, XP, Me, 2000 SP2

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • An interface that is very easy to use
  • Amazing classic vocoding
  • Excellent and a full range of effects
  • It comes with a classic look and clear controls
  • Voice mode allows the user to configure all four voices

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • It may be too small for some users
  • This may not be the best choice if you are opting for a more mellow tone or sound

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Korg Volca Keys Analog Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • It is fully compatible with classic unit
  • Features automatable 16-step polyphonic note
  • Features a high level of playability

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • Great FM sound
  • An interface that is very easy to use
  • The Korg Volca Keys is more flexible than what it seems
  • Amazing quality at an affordable price

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Voice mode only allows the user to configure three voices
  • It would sometimes go out of tune in the middle of the set

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Behringer Neutron Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Amazing and flexible patching system
  • Features 3340 VCO; this is a clone of the CEM3340 which is a classic in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Features paraphonic synthesizer with dual 3340
  • Oscillator waveform control blends between five shapes – sine, triangle, sawtooth, pulse, mod, and tone

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • Amazing quality at an affordable price
  • Analog oscillators for great music and sound creation
  • Pure analog signal path that is actually based on the legendary VCO design
  • The individual pulse width and tone mod control generates ultimate sounds

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • It might be too easy to saturate its filter section
  • The default signal routing needs to be improved
  • Delay sections and overdrive seem noisy and muddy

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Gakken SX-150 MARK II Analog Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features a professional four-octave range
  • Features 10 parameters giving you the ability to tweak any desired sound easily
  • Features a headphone jack
  • Features a built-in speaker
  • The Gakken SX-150 MARK II is powered by a battery

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • Very compact and highly portable
  • Small and compact analog synthesizer producing huge sounds
  • Even though this is quite small, it has a number of functions

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Durability of the built-in speaker is questionable
  • There is no MIDI without mod

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Moog Werkstatt-01 – Analog Synthesizer Kit

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features a four-pole ladder filter
  • Features a single VCO
  • Features an oscillator pitch from 8Hz up to 16kHz
  • The Mood Werkstatt-01 is capable of providing you with classic Moog sounds
  • Square waveshapes with control for pulse width
  • Selectable Mod Source which can be assigned to Pitch with Amount Control (PWM)

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • DIY synthesizer that is easy to use and which anyone can build
  • Amazing and wide-ranged oscillator pitch
  • The ability of the user to PWM the square wave

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Keyboard buttons are small
  • No power supply or cable

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Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features an audio input specifically for external signal processing
  • Features a 25 mini-key keyboard
  • Features a 100% analog audio signal path
  • Features MIDI input for you to input all of your music gear

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • The design of this synthesizer is quite similar to MiniBrute, one of the best synthesizers in history
  • It has the ability to produce complex distortion synthesis easily
  • Steiner-Parker multimode filter at LP, BP, and HP

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • May not be the best quality for the price
  • Quality production of sounds but not the best

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Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features a high-quality mini-synth with Nova sound engine
  • Features a powerful Vocoder
  • Features unique VocalTune with pitch correcting effects
  • Possess 256 onboard sounds with free soundpacks
  • Features 30 Giorgio Moroder-inspired patches
  • Oscillator waveform control blends between five shapes – sine, triangle, sawtooth, pulse, mod, and tone

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • It allows you to easily warp and tweak your sounds in real time
  • The Novation MiniNova can layer up to about five effects per voice

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • Durability of the keys is questionable
  • May not be user-friendly or easy to use
  • Novation killed the touch-sensitive button control
  • Features a style of playing that may not be for everyone

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Novation Circuit Mono Station Paraphonic Analog Synthesizer

What you can expect from this analog synthesizer:

  • Features a patch flip; this allows you to turn Circuit Mono Station into unique sequences
  • Patch flip lets you create sequences with different presents
  • Features LFO Sync; this allows you to decouple synced LFOs from key sync
  • Features Envelope Trigger; this allows you to choose from legato or retriggered envelopes
  • Features Modular Gear; this lets you program notes into the Mod Seq page

What we love about this analog synthesizer:

  • Deceptively very deep sequencer
  • Excellent and solid analog sound engine
  • Possess a very good range of I/O
  • Patch flip lets you create sequences with different presents
  • Patch flip lets you create sequences with automation for each step

What this analog synthesizer should improve on:

  • It lacks a screen
  • Editing can be confusing due to the fact it does not have a screen

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Other brands to look out for that didn’t quite make it onto this list, are Roland (particularly old 808’s if you can get your hands on one), Yamaha, Oberheim and Elektron. These are all alternative but equally great brands that offer exceptional synthesizer options for a wide range of sounds.