With the analog synthesizer comeback movement now in full swing, it is no secret that it is currently a buyer’s market within the analog synth world. Over the past year, analog-heads have gotten their pick of the litter with regard to fantastic synthesizers available at low price points. Whether you’re interested in products from legendary companies or are simply keen to try out the sterling products of newcomers on the scene, now might be the perfect time to expand your synthesizer collection.
1. Behringer RD-8
For an inexpensive clone of the legendary TR-808 drum machine, the RD-8 really packs a punch. The affordability of the RD-8 certainly has brought the machine wider attention over the last several months, but it’s the love and care that Behringer engineers have put into the RD-8 that really sets it apart from the competition. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own TR-808 but don’t have thousands of dollars at the ready, this might just become your favorite music machine of 2019.
2. Moog Matriarch
A semi-modular synth featuring legendary craftsmanship from one of the best companies in the business, the new Moog Matriarch has to be heard to be believed. The sounds of Moog-style synthesizers have always held a special place in the hearts of synthesizer fans, but the Matriarch really is a unique piece of equipment even by the company’s high standards.
3. Arturia MicroFreak
Arturia has made waves in the music industry in recent years for providing consumers with inexpensive analog synthesizers. Without a doubt, the MicroFreak offers the best of Arturia’s unique engineering capabilities, and the synth also comes with an incredibly affordable price-tag. Fans of music history will no doubt appreciate the fact that the MicroFreak’s stylish interface is a throwback to the quirky appearance of historical synths like the Buchla Music Easel.
4. Korg Minilogue XD
In recent years, Korg has made a real comeback on the analog synthesizer scene. Their recent Monologue synth rollout was a big hit with fans, and the company’s collaborations with dedicated analog synthesizer enthusiast Aphex Twin in recent years has definitely put them back on the map in the synth world. The Minogue XD will appeal to players who are looking for an affordable poly-synth with huge programming possibilities. This is definitely a synth to watch out for.
5. Korg Volca Modular
Another winner from the newly-resurgent Korg company, the Volca Modular is a pocket-sized wonder with analogue glory to spare. This is definitely a great synth for anyone who wants to start a modular or semi-modular synthesizer collection in earnest; just don’t let the Volca’s pint-sized appearance fool you: This tiny synth produces some very big sounds.
6. Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Modular
As the new kid on the synthesizer market, Teenage Engineering has already built up a sizable and dedicated fan-base. And with the company’s new Pocket Operator Modular now on the market, it is easy to see why that is the case. This is a full-blown modular synth that can fit on a dinner tray; its options are also truly limitless: The “PO” is a major modular system in all but name.
7. Behringer TD-3
With its TD-3, Behringer has successfully cloned the legendary Roland TB-303. Original 303s are now worth thousands of dollars on auction sites like eBay, but synth aficionados can now pick up a TD-3 for around $150. That’s an astonishingly good deal however you look at it. Fortunately, this great synth produces sounds that are worth far more than its slim price-tag: Whether you’re looking to make some classic acid house squelches or are interested in producing some Squarepusher-esque IDM in 2020, the TD-3 might just be the synth for you