The string synth developers were motivated to design a specialized synthesizer that could mimic and make sounds similar to the string orchestra. The best string synthesizer brand allows a keyboard player to step away from the conventional way of enjoying music using preset voices.
With a string synthesizer, you can enjoy an endless creative possibility that makes you produce your desired sounds. String synthesizer started the journey of defining music sound in the late 70s.
With the help of an oscillator, they become easy to create electrical signals, and through its amplifier, the sound is quickly transmitted to your speakers. If you are looking for a string synth, this guide will help you understand the best types and brands of string synth.
6 Best String Synths On The Market
What is String Synth?
A string synth is a music-making instrument made to produce music sound that is similar and identical to a string orchestra. In the late 70s and 80s, string synths were the best in providing defining sounds like in the movie “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
Later with its advancement and the use of frequency divider architecture, a technology that made string synth production inexpensive. Furthermore, the production of non-voltage and controlled oscillators was a game-changer in the production of string synth.
This technology made the production of this equipment cheap, and the imitations and mimics of strings sound unique and excellent, something that displaced many polyphonic synth performers. Later with extensive research that led to the development of chorusing circuits, they produced better sounds that could be played in a chord and harmony.
The famous musicians who did not have enough budgets to accommodate additional human experts to ensemble the strings, string synth, was their answer because it produced similar and better sounds more than the real string ensemble.
Many music performers have recently discovered the best subtle properties that cannot be found in any other synth. As a result, there has been a lot of demand for synthesizers, and the market is experiencing their resurgence.
Tips for Choosing a String Synth
There are many types of string synthesizers in the market, making it a bit tricky when selecting the best. The following are some of the tips to consider when choosing a string synth.
1. Analog or Digital – When buying the best string synth, it is advisable to note if you want to buy the analog synth or digital synth. Going digital or buying modified synth enables you to experience real mimics of original instruments.
Also, with modified synth, you can create a band and play a variety of equipment. Although buying an analog or changed synth depends entirely on your needs and what you are looking for in a string synth.
2. Software or hardware – The most significant decision that a buyer of the best string synthesizer can make is whether to go soft or go hard.
Going soft makes you enjoy cheap cost sounds that integrate well with your Productions (digital audio workstation). Go hard is known for its beauty. Though it is a bit expensive, using this synth gives you the ability to twist and control your music.
Therefore, it is advisable always to go hard when buying the best string synthesizer.
3. Budget – Buying the best string synthesis can cost you more than your fortune. String synthesizers are available in different price tags. There are many cheap brands of string synth in the market that you can consider buying if you are working with a tight budget. It would be best to choose a string synth that meets your budget and has features that will best suit your needs.
4. Brand type – Before buying the best string synthesizer, ensures that you are aware of the best string synth brands. Korg, Roland, Waldorf, and Mellotron are among the best brands of string synth you can consider.
Most classic synths have been modified either by upgrading their software or by recreating their hardware by the original companies or companies that rename them to avoid litigation. If authentic brands are expensive in the market, always be ready for genericity in the market.
Top 6 Best String Synth Reviews
1. Waldorf Streichfett
- Variety of timbres available
- 70s sound character
- Compact and easy to use
- Internal memory with USB and MIDI ports
Watch out for
- The ensemble effect is not available in the solo section
- It lacks a panel mode that reflects the position of the controls
It is one of the best string synthesizers that recapture the sounds of classic string synthesizers of the 70s and 80s.
The Waldorf Streichfett string synthesizer has dual sound engines that feature 128 polyphonic string synthesizer & eight voice solo sections that enable it to create the sound.
The following are some of the unique features of this compact and affordable string synthesizer.
- USB and MIDI connectivity – Waldorf Streichfett features both USB and MIDI connectivity that provides multiple integration options.
- 12-memory slots – the memory section of this string synthesizer offers twelve patches where you can access and store sound settings.
- Three onboard effects – the synth features three cool built-in effects that can be combined simultaneously to add new life to the overall sound result.
- Dual sound engines – the synth features two sound engines that enable you to create anything from solo voices to rich-ensembles.
- Easy to use – this string synthesizer has an interface that is simple and easy to comprehend. It is a compact device with a total of ten knobs.
2. Roland VR-09
- It has controls that are very intuitive and easy to navigate
- Comes with loads of high-quality sounds
- Compact, lightweight and portable string synthesizer
- Runs on batteries
Watch out for
- Its custom programs are not quick to access
When you are looking for the best string synthesizer, the Roland VR-09 V-Combo would be ideal. It is a 61 keys keyboard with about 223 programs organized into three major groups; piano, synth, and the organ. Each category has its control of leveling that allows you to control the keyboard entirely. it has the following unique features:
- Three sound engines – it has three sound-engines that provide all the essential sound you may need under your fingerprints.
- Super portable – this string synthesizer has a compact and lightweight design, making it highly portable. It weighs only 18 pounds and occupies minimal space.
- IPad Editor App – it is synced to this app that allows you to get intuitive control of the keyboard sound engines automatically. With your touch screen, you can conveniently alter whatever you want on the keyboard.
- Battery operated – this string synthesizer operates on a power adapter and can also run on batteries. A six AA battery can run the keyboard even without connecting to a power outlet.
3. Korg Kross String Synth
- Great for live performance
- Quality sound with 128-note polyphony
- It has a sequencer
- Integrated audio recorder
Watch out for
- The keys are not weighted
- The screen is a bit small
Korg Kross 2-61 is a powerful string synth with 61 keys. It has more than 1000 preset sounds that cover your needs from live performance to studio production.
Korg Kross string synth also has a 128 inbuilt PCM and several optional libraries that you can download and expand the synthesizer’s internal storage. The following are the features of Korg Kross 2 string synth:
- 4 Compact and lightweight – Kross 2 string synth features a compact and lightweight body design. It weighs only 8.36 pounds making it amazingly portable.
- More than 1000 presets – Korg Kross string synth has 1075x different sounds that include electric pianos, multi-layer pianos, drum kits, and tight strings perfect for any band.
- Integrated Audio player – it has an inbuilt stereo audio recorder that allows you to record your performance or over-dub it to an external source. It also has a pad audio play function that enables the recorded sounds or imported audio files to be assigned to each of the 16x pads for playback.
- Step sequencer – it includes more than 64x steps that can be recorded. This feature allows you to use the 16 pads to quickly and intuitively compose original rhythm patterns.
4. Arturia MatrixBrute
- Built-in arpeggio and sequencer
- High build quality
- Very flexible internal routing
- Versatile matrix modulation
- It has an assignable polyphonic VCO
Watch out for
- It needs a computer to set up global
Matrix Brute is a powerful string synthesizer. It has an immensely powerful 256 modulation matrix that enables you to create your routine. Also, you can use this matrix to recall your presets.
This synthesizer has an excellent build quality and best keys and aftertouch. The following are some of the outstanding features of the ArturiaMatrix MatrixBrute:
- Dual filters – this synthesizer features two-filters; ladder and striker that contribute to its tone and magic. The two-filters are multimode having their level controls, drive, and feedback.
- 256-presets – it has 256 presets that enable you to recall your own presets automatically with ease. You do not have to wander through menus or other selection screens.
- 256 -memory locations – you can store and recall your favorite sounds while using this string synthesizer. It has a MIDIcontrol Center editor application that allows you to arrange, save, and load new sounds.
- Mod matrix – this synth features a Mod matrix that helps you layout with ease even to the most complex patches.
- Paraphonic voice modes – Matrix Brute features a paraphonic mode that enables you to play three notes and voice general codes.
5. Waldorf STVC String Synth and Vocoder
- The powerful 16-voice polyphonic sound engine
- The keys are touch-sensitive
- Great user interface
- High-quality sounds
- Vocoder function
Watch out for
- The output of both sections is not separated
STVC is one of the best string synths for the modern world. This Supreme instrument is a combination of a string synthesizer and a power vocoder enabling it to produce coveted sounds. It has an elegantly designed interface and high-quality knobs and pots. It has the following unique features:
- 49 velocity-sensitive key- this string synth and vocoder feature 49 – note key bed with afterthought and velocity.
- Oled display- this string synth features an amazing Oled display that enables the user to access the 126programmable patches with just three banks.
- Vocoder function –the synthesizer features a vocoder that features persuasive speech intelligibility, gender modification, and a freeze mode.
- 16-voice polyphonic sound engine – its sound engine features a fully-polyphonic string section that can continuously morph the string registration, including several effects.
6. Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synth
- Wide variety of digital oscillators
- Super compact for travel
- Works perfectly with other devices
- Value for money
Watch out for
- The keys are small
This portable hybrid synth is one of the best string synths. It integrates wavetable and digital oscillators with analog filters. Arturia MicroFreak features an outstanding poly-after flat touch keyboard with 25 keys. Below are some of its unique features
- Size and weight – MicroFreak has mini size and light weight of 2.79 pounds making it highly portable.
- Analog filter – this string synth features12dB/oct filters that pairs with the digital oscillator to enable you to create a unique and rare sound. The analog filter is digitally controlled and can easily switch between low mode, high mode, and band bass.
- 12-mode digital oscillator – the synth has a 12-mode digital oscillator that emulates a variety of classical or digital oscillators with plenty of range to play.
Best Brand of String Synth
For string synth lovers, Roland, Waldorf, Korg, and Mellotron are among the best string synthesizer brands in the music outlet. Their brands have been in the market from the 70s and have stood out in string synth production.
Roland Corporation was founded in 1972 in Japan by Kakehashi. With branches and factories in Japan, Taiwan, and the USA, this company manufactured and introduced its first-string synth in 1975.
Their first-string synth was Roland RS-101, modified to Roland RS-202, and was introduced in 1976. Some of the features that are associated with Roland string synthesizers are as follows.
- Polyphony: Polyphony is the number of voice notes that your string note can produce continuously. Roland string synthesis has monophonic, duophonic, and polyphonic string synth.
- Control: Roland string synths have both external and internal interfacing instruments. The modern string synth can use MIDI and USB, but analog could use CV and Gate signals.
- The VR-09-B offers a streamlined appearance and rugged design that will stand up to years of gigging in town and on the road.
- The control panel’s matte finish hides fingerprints for a clean and tidy look, and also eliminates harsh reflections from stage lighting that can reduce visibility.
- The VR-09-B is packed with a ton of ready-to-play synths, from Roland analog classics like JUNO strings and JUPITER pads to textured, modern-era digital tones and beyond.
- The VR-09-B’s easy-access compressor effect works great with the piano sounds, ensuring that your playing always cuts through when performing with loud bands and big ensembles.
Waldorf is a German company that was formed in the late 80s. This synth company is among the best makers of best string synthesizer’s brands in the market.
Their string synth gives an astonishing result when it comes to solo and tremolo sounds. This synth produces an iconic sound. Some of the features associated with Waldorf string synthesizers are as follows.
- Waldorf Synths come with modernized integrations options that allow you to use a USB and MIDI. This integration makes it easy for you to connect your synth to other electronic gadgets.
- The Waldorf string synthesizers give the 12 memory slots that you can use to save your favorite sounds.
- The string synths have two sound engines that enable the user to combine both the ensembles and the vibrant solo voices.
- To enhance its sounds, it comes with three powerful onboard sound effects, which is an additional advantage to solo and tremolo voices.
- Polyphonic Synth String Module with 2 Sound Engines Onboard Effects
When looking for the best string synth that comes with unique sounds, then Korg synthesizer should be your choice.
Korg Synths give the user a superb retro and strong bass synth tones, making it worth every cent of its budget. Korg string synths are split into two sections: audio output and string and synth, with every single part having its controls. Some of the features that make Korg string synth outstanding are as follows:
- Korg Synths have a keyboard that uses 49 keys in an ascending order making it possible to play the string synth with your hands.
- The synth uses two voltage amplifiers controllers; one controls the string section while the other the synth section. With this control, it becomes possible for the music device to respond when a change in the voltage is done quickly.
- This string synth is a full polyphony and has the capability of playing up to 49 notes.
- 61-key Synth Workstation with Synth-action Keybed
- Step and MIDI Sequencers
- Mic/Line Inputs - Black
- EDS-i Sound Engine
- Audio Recder
Mellotron has been in the market since 1963. This company has one of the best string synthesizers, and it began in Birmingham, England. Though the brand was geared towards home use, it gained and grew in popularity.
The original string synth evolved from instruments such as Chamberlin, and through its mass production, it made a significant impact on the market. With the help of its keyboard, this string synth could sample sound within its unit trigger. Some of the features that are associated with Mellotron synths are:
- Mellotron Synths have two sound banks that enable the user to blend two of the selected sounds. One side focuses on the violins while the other gives the users the ability to adjust their audio.
- The frame is made from two metallic pieces; one piece protects the synth while the other allows the back-lit LED to laminate in the key bed.
- Mellotron Synths comes with both in and out MIDI ports; thus, there is no need to relay the synth repeatedly.
A string synth is an instrument used in creating and producing music sound identical to a string orchestra. Korg, Roland, Waldorf, and Mellotron are the best brands of string synth. These brands are well known for their high quality and powerful instruments.
For you to choose the best type, you must consider several factors, including your budget, the brand, and either you want a digital or analog string synth.
In the above guide, we have provided a guide on the best six-string synth in the market. They all have different features hence consider the one that you think will best suit your needs.