See here the list of Top 10 best synthesizer under 400. Read the buying guide and other important factors before selecting a synthesizer for you.
The best synths up to 500 Euro – here are our favourites
A good synthesizer does not have to be expensive today! Who wants to save his wallet, also finds in the price segment up to 500 euros the right synth. The nice thing is, even in this price segment is not saved on the sound – on the contrary: In the meantime, even really fat-sounding analogue synthesizer for little money to have.
What the market has to offer to synthesizers under 500 €, we show you in our overview.
The last few years have been marked by a gratifying development: Whereas analogue synthesizers were until recently still expensive collector’s items that few could afford, “democratization” has taken place lately. Manufacturers such as Korg, Arturia, Behringer and Novation have launched new, low-cost analogue synthesizers that will allow you to get your official sound into the studio for little money.
Even in the digital field, a lot has happened: even in the lower price range, manufacturers are offering some attractive virtual analogue synthesizers, which score with a lot of flexibility and a high number of votes. Here comes our list of synthesizers, with and without keyboard, and drum synthesizers, which the market is currently offering under 500 euros new.
This list is not to be understood as a ranking but is sorted according to the current sales price in the following categories:
Synthesizer with keyboard
+ Synthesizer with keyboard +
IK Multimedia UNO Synth
The UNO Synth is a monophonic analogue desktop synthesizer with integrated step sequencer, playable via a capacitive 2-octave keyboard and complete MIDI implementation. Communication with the outside world takes place either via a DIN-MIDI socket (micro-jack to 5-pin DIN socket) or via USB-MIDI (mini-USB socket). Thanks to digital control, the UNO Synth not only offers over 100 memory locations, 80 of which can be overridden, but all parameters in the step sequencer can also be automated. The sound generation is complemented by five effects that directly affect the parameters of the synthesizer as well as a simple digital delay. The small synth can be operated either via USB bus voltage or batteries (4 x AA).
The UNO synth really is a really amazing little synthesizer that can do a lot and is not expensive on top of that.
The Korg Monologue is the little sibling of the Minilogue. The basic structure of analogue sound production is the same, but the minor differs in some important details from the big brother. So the Monologue has a newly developed 12dB filter, a revised modulation department and a built-in overdrive, through which the small synthesizer can also sound really aggressive. A flexible step sequencer is also part of the equipment. All this is available at a reasonable price, which makes the Monologue almost a “must-have”.
The Korg monologue offers analogue sound and many contemporary features at a great price.
Yamaha Sonogenic SHS-500
The Yamaha Sonogenic SHS-500 is a compact and polyphonic DSP synthesizer in the form of a three-octave keytar with touch-sensitive mini-keys, an integrated 48-voice tone generator plus effects unit. The keyboard can either send and receive via USB, Bluetooth or DIN MIDI data and acts as a full-fledged 2 In / Out sound card in the DAW network.
The 30 integrated sounds from many areas can be made audible via headphones, line-out and an integrated loudspeaker. In addition, Yamaha’s “Chord Tracker” is a free app (iOS / Android) that is able to rhythmically and tonally analyze audio songs for playback. All in all, the SHS-500 is an entertaining music package that lasts a long time in battery/battery operation. The keyboard is currently available in a red and black colourway.
The Yamaha Sonogenic SHS-500 is designed like a keytar. (Photo: Numinous)
Like the monologue, the Arturia MicroBrute is not just a slimmed-down version of the larger MiniBrute but has some features that set it apart from the big one. The MicroBrute has the same, unusual Steiner-Parker filter, the same oscillator structure and the same, called “Brute Factor” overdrive as the MiniBrute. Unlike the original Mini, it offers a sonically versatile Overtone circuit, a simple but effective step sequencer and not least a small patch panel for plugging in modulations and integration into a modular system. With its direct, rough analogue sound, the MicroBrute does not burn anything and enriches every setup.
The Arturia MicroBrute should not be underestimated: The little one can sound really brutal.
Arturia’s MicroFreak is a hybrid synthesizer with capacitive poly-aftertouch-capable membrane keyboard that combines wavetable and digital oscillators with analogue filters.
The small synthesizer features a versatile digital oscillator designed to produce rare and interesting sounds. Modes like Texture, KarplusStrong, Harmonic OSC and Superwave are supposed to offer unimaginable scope. MicroFreak is compact and offers 13 oscillators, five dedicated Arturia engines and eight modes from Mutable Instruments.
Inspired by the 12dB Oberheim SEM filter, you can drive the MicroFreak filter to self-oscillation by modulating it by pressing the keyboard or using the built-in sequencer. It can record up to four automation, edit the notes per step, or with the innovative spice and dice sequencer functions to give the whole thing a chance. Also, adding randomness allows you to create evolving patterns. The 5×7 modulation matrix helps to virtually rewire and configure the signal chain and controls.
The keyboard used is a capacitive foil keyboard, super flat with no moving parts that can control parameters in different ways, depending on how you touch them. The existing USB, MIDI and CV outputs can also be used to control instruments in their own DAW and for modular synths. This makes the MicroFreak a controller to experience polyphonic aftertouch with innovative software instruments.
Arturia’s MicroFreak is a hybrid synthesizer with capacitive poly-aftertouch-capable membrane keyboard. (Photo: Thomann)
The Behringer MS-101-RD Analog Synthesizer is the clone of the legendary Roland SH-101 synth, featuring 32 full-size keys, 3340 VCO with 4 mixable waveforms, low-pass, low-pass filter, ADSR, 32-step sequencer, arpeggiator and live performance Kit.
At the heart of the MS-101-RD is the highly flexible Voltage Control Filter (VCF) with faders for cutoff frequency (10 Hz to 20 kHz); Resonance (0 to natural vibration); Envelope and modulation depth and keyboard tracking (0 to 100%) to perfect the sound. The VCF of the MS-101-RD can be modulated via ADSR, Keyboard Tracking and Bender Controller. The Frequency Modulation (FM) Amount adjusts the modulation depth. An FM source selector switch allows the signal to be controlled by the following parameters, such as pulses; sawtooth; Sub oscillator 1 octave lower; 2 octaves lower; Narrow 2 octaves down and continue to modify noise.
The Behringer MS-101-RD Analog Synthesizer is the clone of the legendary Roland SH-101 synthesizer. (Photo: Thomann)
Yamaha Reface DX
The Yamaha Reface DX is an ultra-compact FM synthesizer, whose name refers to the legendary DX7, with the Yamaha wrote in the 1980s synthesizer history. However, the Yamaha Reface DX is more closely related to the DX100, which appeared in 1986 and already has a lot of parallels to the Reface DX with its slimmed-down functionality, mini-keys and battery operation. While analogue synthesizers are usually based on subtractive synthesis, the FM synthesis used in the Reface DX is additive. It is based on the simplest case on an oscillator with a sine wave whose frequency is influenced by another oscillator – the modulator. This results in harmonic spectrums depending on the frequency of the modulator in relation to the oscillator. The 4-operator Reface DX plays sound at a high level and even has effects onboard.
With the Reface DX Yamaha revives the sound of the legendary DX7. Technically, the Reface DX is more like the later and smaller DX100.
Yamaha Reface CS
The Reface series includes four small keyboards, each dedicated to a classic from Yamaha. The Reface CS is an eight-voice polyphonic, virtual-analogue synthesizer designed to revive the spirit of the venerable CS series around the CS-80. It provides direct access to all parameters, including the five-configuration oscillator and the resonant filter. The Reface CS focuses on spontaneous, easy operation and programmability. That the synthesizer, unfortunately, has no internal memory, you can get over in most cases.
The Korg Microkorg is one of the longest in series synthesizers and is still a bank today.
The Mininova is Novation’s answer to the long-running Microkorg. The concept is the same: a compact, polyphonic, virtual-analogue synthesizer with integrated vocoder. In the performance data, the Mininova beats the Microkorg but effortlessly: up to 18 voices polyphony, 512 patch memory locations and a potent arpeggiator are on the datasheet. The filter cutoff is always indirect access, the most important other parameters can be quickly adjusted via a matrix with four additional knobs. With the “Animate” function, you can define sound changes that can be called up at the press of a button.
The Novation Bass Station II is a modern, analogue mono-synth.
Korg Microkorg S.
The virtual-analogue Microkorg has been in production for over 15 years, longer than any other high-volume synthesizer currently available. The modern classic not only made mini-keys sociable but also convinces to this day with a very good, versatile sound and a simple, live-capable operation. The integrated vocoder caused a renaissance of this effect classic. Thus, the Microkorg could put the toy image soon and easily manage the setup of many professional keyboardists. With the Microkorg S, there is a revised edition in a smart white design with some new features. Thus, the success story should not stop so soon in the future.
The microKORG S is the latest chapter in the 15-year track record.
Yamaha MX49 V2
The revised version 2 of the Yamaha MX series brings a number of new features compared to the original MX series including the ability to easily connect via USB plug and play with PC, Mac and Apple iPad. With the FM Essential iOS app for the iPad, there are 256 FM sounds available, created by a four-operator FM engine (like DX100 and Yamaha Reface DX). Combined with the built-in AWM2 engine, which provides 1,000 preset sounds, the MX49 V2 has plenty of sound material reminiscent of the central sound characteristics of the Yamaha MOTIF series. Anyone working with the instrument in their own home recording studio can use the integrated bi-directional USB audio / MIDI interface to establish the required communication between the instrument and the recording medium through a simple connection to the computer used. In addition to integrated effects, the MX49 V2 offers a 128-voice polyphony and 16-times multi-timbral sound.
Yamaha MX 49 V2: 444 euros
Yamaha MX49 V2
The Yamaha MX49 V2 delivers lots of sounds for the stage and can be easily integrated into the home studio through the integrated USB audio / midi interface.
Also, a member of the Roland Boutique series has made it to this list: The SH-01A is the reincarnation of the analogue SH-101. Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology simulates the behaviour of analogue circuits at the device level to digitally and authentically model the sound of the original. This makes some functions possible that the analogue SH-101 did not have: In contrast to the original, the SH-01A is up to four-voices polyphonic playable and has a Unison mode. With its direct operation and built-in Step Sequencer, the small synth is an asset to any setup.
The monophonic Analogue Solutions Treadstone makes playing fun.
Dreadbox Erebus V3
Like the Erebus 2, the third generation Erebus is also a classic semi-modular analogue synthesizer. Compared to the Erebus 2, the novice has changed quite a bit within the functions as well as visually. Highlights include an additional oscillator, a triple ring modulator, high-pass filter, additional patch points and additional LFOs. The design has also been changed to make it smaller and more compact. But there are also things that have not changed in Erebus version V3. This includes the lack of display, as well as the ability to save sounds. Thus, the manufacturer remains true to the original Erebus concept. Even in the third generation, the Erebus has lost none of its charisma. Thanks to the third oscillator, an interesting triple ring modulator, more modulation options and an extended patch matrix, the Erebus has become even bigger and more versatile than ever.
IK Multimedia UNO Drum