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TOP 2018 Synths

TOP 2018 Synths

2018 is the year of hybrid sound synthesis. Half of the synthesizers in the ranking is a delicious blend of analog + digital synthesis in different proportions. Sometimes even digital + digital, which is also interesting. Another half is an attempt to recreate the behavior of cult synthesizers of past years. This is our only chart for 3 years in which there are two MOOG synthesizers at once! This is an interesting and versatile chart, which you should familiarize yourself with and express your opinion, because otherwise you definitely risk missing something important!

1 Waldorf Quantum

Yes, it comes first. Yes, this synthesizer has no competitors in its class. Yes, it is not cheap ($ 4,300), but it is a super synthesizer, only John Bowen’s Solaris or Sequential Prophet X are capable of comparing with it. In any case, this is a bid for leadership for the next decade. In short, this is a full-featured 8-voice hybrid synthesizer which sound engine is based on wave tables, while the synthesizer filters are analog, and almost all control is carried out through controllers on the front panel. A tribute to Waldorf Wave, or a modern reading of it, if you wish. In Quantum there is everything that a super professional needs to create the highest quality and unique sound, and it can be expanded. This is one of the 3 synthesizers from today's chart that will never become cheaper, so “buying Quantum” is not a waste of money, it is an investment ©.


Since the release of Memorymoog, the cult American company did not take on polyphonic synthesizers, but the legacy assumed and the fans waited. And in the end, they received 8 or 16 voices for 6000 dollars, performed in the best traditions of the brand - a completely analog sound path (if you do not use the effects), a lot of wood, aluminum, and even a color screen and a touchpad. As usual, there are 3 oscillators per voice, extensive modulation capabilities and, if desired, three-part multi-timbrality.

3 Yamaha MODX

In order to finally knock competitors out of the niche of workstations and performing synthesizers in the middle price range, as well as for those consumers who dreamed of Montage, but could only afford the SY77, the Japanese company released MODX, a cheaper version of Montage, which, moreover, is cheaper than MOXF, but it has a large color screen and a sophisticated AWM2 + AFM sound engine! Fairly democratic 1300 dollars will allow you to plunge into the world of FM synthesis, successfully putting it on good old AWM2 samples.

4 Sequential Prophet X

Who would have thought that Uncle Dave would make another breakthrough and return to the roots, and not to the analog? And it happened, meet the hybrid stage synthesizer, in which there are more samples than you have on your computer, thanks to 8DIO. A "one knob-one function" interface, multiple screens, a huge number of patches. And for those who play themselves for the whole orchestra, there is also an XL version with an extra octave - for an additional $ 400. You ask how much is not the XL-version? 4000 USD. Probably, samples from 8DIO so pulled up the price ...

5 Roland AX-Edge

At that time as the crowd rushed to the "new analog", Roland once again confirmed their theory that the time of analog instruments ended in the 80s. And they disproved another theory that keytars also remained in the 80s. Look at this monumental machine! It is not for the flimsy metrosexuals, but at least for some spiritual heir to KISS, under two meters tall. Or at least, Jean-Michel Jarre. We also note that the possibilities of this new shoulder synthesizer match its size. We mention only a couple of facts: a new sound engine and 256 voices. But the price is not so high - $ 1,000. And interchangeable "blades", so as not to be bored on stage.

6 MOOG Grandmother

If you like the sound of Moog synthesizers, but for now you only have enough money to buy a piggy bank for money, you will appreciate the good impulse of a famous company. The company, whose shares are in the hands of its employees, gave the public for the price of some non-prestigious device from an enterprise mired in the wilds of cloning, moreover, assembled in China - a genuine semi-modular synthesizer Made in USA. It, at least, will not be ashamed to be put up for sale after realizing that it is necessary to save more on MOOG ONE. The price is $ 900.

7 Elektron Digitone

FM-synthesis version from a company that is accustomed to endowing compact devices with a rather big price. In this case, you will get convenient control of FM synthesis algorithms in combination with a multi-mode filter, an effect processor, and an excellent sequencer that can control external devices via MIDI. All this will be packaged in a high-quality case with wear-resistant controls and an OLED display and will weigh only one and a half kilograms! Price - 750 US dollars.

8 Polyend / Dreadbox Medusa

Absolutely all modern hippie musicians are waiting for this synthesizer. And this is why: by themselves, both small companies are idolized by their happy customers. And together they are a shock force, which was proven by the creation of a hybrid synthesizer with a very powerful built-in sequencer. 6 wave generators! 3 analog + 3 wave tables. LFOs, envelopes, filter with resonance! 64 pressure sensitive pads! One complication! The creators of Medusa believe that musicians hippies are not currently in trouble, since the price tag for the tool is set at $ 1,200. Although, Mark Doty approves, and it says something.

9 Arturia Drumbrute Impact

From the first version of Arturia Drumbrute people waited more than it could give, and the destiny played with, in general, a good drum machine, a cruel joke. Not as evil as with the Akai Rhythm Wolf or Tom Cat, but the haters also worked to the detriment. The French company listened to the criticism and rolled out a new version - easier, smaller, cheaper. So far so good, Impact on the crest of a wave. Haters have already realized that either 17 percussion instruments, a filter with resonance and separate outputs, or $ 150 cheaper, an FM drum generator, distortion instead of a filter, and keep quiet in a rag. The price is $ 300. Some have already run to sell their first Drumbrutes for a penny, so you know what to do.

10 Roland TR-8S

Everything was good with the Roland TR-8, but it was not enough for everyone. And Roland gave more. And they decided to take more. And you know what? This works like clockwork. Now we pay one and a half times more for supporting playback of our own samples, improved accuracy in the updated model of the ACB engine (all emulations of the cult TR-808, 909, and others began to sound even more similar) and, most importantly, for the new effects subsystem and improved sequencer. And that's not all - except for the sequencer, the entire workflow was reworked, and most of the complaints were eliminated compared to the original version. $ 750. Cash down!

11 IK Multimedia Uno Synth

How to shrink the size of the tablet [almost] full-featured analog synthesizer? Italians are in the know, and they also know that the public is eager to get it cheap. For the price of a used monophonic synthesizer of more famous companies, you can get a new Uno Synth, monophonic of course. It has almost everything that a decent analog synthesizer should have, namely, a pair of wave generators, a multi-mode filter, a LFO, envelopes, an arpeggiator and a sequencer. And there are effects and USB / MIDI control! Well, is it a century deal? $ 200, and when the sensor keyboard breaks down - an excellent pedestal for a textbook on analog sound synthesis.

12 Nord Electro 6

Year 2018. Clavia introduces the possibility of smooth transitions between sound programs in their stage synthesizers! High-quality  emulations of vintage (and not only) electromechanical and acoustic instruments remain invariably the best in their class. Polyphony was also expanded, filters appeared, 3-part "multitimbrality", layers and splits with crossfades of split-intersection points. You will have to pay at least $ 2,200 for joining the club of chic red Swedish electromusical boxes, but professional musicians stubbornly prove that "it's worth it."

13 Dexibell Classico L3

Classico L3 - is a highly specialized keyboard instrument, which now can not be found often. A deep bow to the Italians for deciding to do it at the very beginning of 2018 - they released a beautiful digital organ in the classical style. Some rockers instead of buttons are worth something! The sound engine is still the same - endless polyphony of advanced True2Life, which combines samples with virtual sound modeling, audio signal processing with the highest accuracy of 24 bits / 96 kHz, but this is not the point. You sit down and see the face of digital organ in front of you, not the faceless all-in-one tool. Organ-chameleon, to be precise, which still can be used to produce other sounds too. $ 2,500 for an outstanding tool is not that much, right? We deliberately did not include in the TOP another fresh tool from Dexibell - Combo J7, because it lacks the likes, although, frankly, it is more profitable to purchase because of its versatility.

Published: 15:54 13.11.2018
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