10 Best Analog Synthesizers: Our Top Picks for 2024

10 Best Analog Synthesizers: Our Top Picks for 2024 10 Best Analog Synthesizers: Our Top Picks for 2024

Digital synths can take you quite far, especially in 2024, but there is something special about the physical feedback and creative experimentation that comes from an analog synthesizer. Some audio enthusiasts prefer the character of analog circuits which can add plenty of warmth and color to your mix.

Fortunately, we've put together a comprehensive guide of some of the most popular and highly anticipated analog synths of 2024. Below, we'll showcase some of our favorite synthesizers currently available so that you can enjoy a hands-on sound design experience.

What is an analog synthesizer?

Generally speaking, a synthesizer is any instrument that generates audio signals - this is done through a process called synthesis. Synthesis is any type of software or hardware manipulation used to shape sound waves. Within synthesis, there are several categories including additive synthesis, subtractive synthesis, or a variety of more specialized methods like granular synthesis.

Analog synthesizers use hardware components to generate and manipulate sounds. By contrast, digital synthesizers act as virtual instruments, operating as specialized little computers, recreating sounds with code. There are also hybrid synthesizers, which combine hardware and software elements.

While you tend to have more flexibility and sonic possibility with a digital synth, an analog synth offers infinite resolution since the sound is being built within the device itself, rather than being recreated by a computer. Some musicians feel that it's challenging to recreate the character of an analog synth with a digital synth, especially in the upper register.

However, it's important to note that analog synthesizers tend to be significantly more costly than digital synthesizers, and also have a steep learning curve which may take some getting used to for those new to the world of synthesis.

Both digital and analog synthesizers have components like oscillators, filters, envelopes, amplifiers, and modulation parameters to help craft the nature of the sound.

10 Top Analog Synthesizers for 2024

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite analog synthesizer picks for 2024:

Behringer TD-3 Series

Are you a big fan of bass and want to try out an analog workflow without breaking the bank? The Behringer TD-3 series provides ultra-portable analog synths at an affordable price. This series is modeled after the original Roland TB-303, which was intended to replace the bass guitar during the dawn of electronic music. Experiment with some classic electronic soundscapes to curate your introduction to analog production:

MicroKorg 2

The MicroKorg has long reigned as one of the most popular synthesizers of all time. At a low-mid price tier (as far as synths go), this analog synthesizer packs a punch with a built-in keyboard, vocoder arpeggiator, and loads of built-in sounds to play with. The synth is portable by design making it an excellent studio or travel companion:

Moog Mavis

Moog is one of the most well-regarded synthesizer makers out there, and the semi modular Mavis continues the legacy of the classic synthesizer sound. This compact yet powerful unit allows for some patching and has a built-in expression pedal for real-time control. Enjoy learning the basis of synthesis on this entry-level unit:

Make Noise Strega

Those who are a bit more familiar with analog workflows will be fascinated with the ever-expanding capabilities of the Strega by Make Noise. This performance-focused instrument is fully patchable with 7 different sources and 13 destinations. You'll have to spend some time figuring out this analog synth's unique interface, but its complex soundscapes are certainly worth the effort:

Korg KingKong Neo

Korg's KingKong Neo combines analog workflows with intuitive, virtual editing capabilities. This synth has a massive sound library and makes it easy to program sound waves to your liking. Cruise between 300 programs in 8 different categories:

Moog Matriarch

Moog's analog Matriarch synthesizer is a semi-modular synth with a sequencer, arpeggiators, analog delay, and a powerful sound engine to create complex textures. The patchable synth provides endless sonic opportunities, all complete with that distinct Moog warmth.

Arturia Polybrute

If you're looking for a modern powerhouse of a synth that still incorporates some classic sounds, the Arturia Polybrute is a great choice. With an advanced modulation matrix, expert synth enthusiasts will delight in sculpting sounds to their liking. Move through numerous analog filters, split between two completely different sounds simultaneously, and creative innovative soundscapes with the Morphée controller:

Cre8audio West Pest

The Cre8audio West Pest is one of the most affordable semi modular analog synthesizers on the market, period. Have fun learning synthesis basics and working through a basic workflow with this simple yet powerful unit. It might be limited compared to larger synths on the market, but it's hard to beat the value for the price:

Elektron Syntakt

Elektron's Syntakt may be a hybrid synth, but it possesses four analog channels to create groovy drum patterns. This standalone unit operates as its own instrument and drum synthesizer all in one. With a built-in sequencer and no shortage of on-board effects, this unit is perfect for producing or performing live.

Sequential Take 5

If you're looking for a synthesizer that provides a wide-variety of included sounds, the Sequential Take 5 polyphonic synth is definitely worth considering. This synth is fairly easy to use, with its built-in keyboard and 128 loaded patches for play and experimentation. It's also pretty portable, making it a great choice for live performance or riffing at the studio:

Best Analog Synthesizers of 2024 FAQs

Are you still trying to track down the best new analog synthesizers of 2024? Use these commonly asked questions and answers to shorten your search:

Which is better analog or digital synthesizer?

Deciding between analog or digital synths is purely a matter of preference, and budget (analog synthesizers are known to be prohibitively expensive.) Every synthesizer has its own special characteristics within these two broad categories, though some musicians may appreciate the hi-fidelity and feedback offered by an analog piece.

What is an example of an analog synthesizer?

There are several examples of analog synthesizers mentioned above, but some of the most popular come from the manufacturer founded by Bob Moog. You can experience the legendary Moog sound through analog synthesizers like the Moog Mavis or Moog Matriarch.

What's the difference between digital and analog synthesizers?

Analog synthesizers use hardware components exclusively to produce and shape sound waves. By contrast, digital synthesizers recreate sounds with code within a DAW or virtual instrument.

What are the three types of synthesizers?

Synthesizers can be separated into three main broad categories of analog synthesizers, digital synthesizers, and hybrid synthesizers. There are also a large number of subgroups within this category, for instance, the difference between monophonic (single voicing) and polyphonic (many voicings) synths.

Do analog synths sound different?

Not all musicians or listeners will be able to tell the difference, but analog synthesizers have infinite resolution whereas digital synths are relegated to digital recreation. Both analog and digital synths are constantly in development though, so it's fair to say that no synthesizer, of any variety, sounds exactly the same.

There is something undeniably magical about the resolution and character that comes with creating and shaping sound in real time. Hopefully, this guide helps you take your first dip into analog synthesis or reignite your interest in synthesizers. Enjoy playing with these standout synths!

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