The synthesizers are musical instruments used in generating musical sounds. These instruments are electrically controlled, and in most cases, they function with a digital computer. The synthesizers are used in the music production studio, and they may be paired with other musical instruments like keyboards.
9 Best Synthesizer for Beginners On the Market
How to Choose the Best Synthesizer for Beginners
Some people may recommend digital synthesizers, while others may recommend analog simply because of the sound production, and the available parts.
Note that both of the two types of synthesizers are quite reliable. Still, if you are a beginner learning the basics, it is highly recommendable that you consider getting the analog synthesizers. The analog models are quite more comfortable to learn since they don’t have many mechanical parts and are affordable as well.
You can start by learning the basics with the analog synth and maybe advance to digital model ones you can play the instrument fluently. Some of the analog synthesizers to consider buying are; Moog Werkstatt 01 and Kork Volca keys.
The price is a huge determinant when buying this instrument since the type highly determines it, and even the functions available. But as a beginner, you don’t need to blow your bank account to buy a synthesizer.
First off, you need to consider that you don’t have much knowledge or skills about the synthesizer and therefore, you need an easy to use and learn an instrument.
Also, the more expensive synthesizers, have multiple functions, which may confuse you more if you are a beginner. A learner synthesizer may cost you from 200 dollars and below. Just make sure it has the essential components and functions that you will require for your training.
Consider the Size
For a beginner, it is ideal that you get a compact and lightweight synthesizer. At this stage, you will need to keep on practicing and familiarizing yourself with the instrument, which can be challenging if it has a large size.
Choose a small computer size instrument that you can use from anywhere white at home or even at the studio. A small sized synthesizer is also comfortable to travel with.
One of the essential accessories to consider when buying a beginner synthesizer is the speaker. The speaker determines the audibility of the pitches played on the instruments and therefore, ensure to choose a synthesizer that has an inbuilt speaker.
Should I Get a Keyboard or a Synthesizer?
Although both instruments are almost similar, especially on the designs, they are quite different concerning the components and even the functionality. Therefore they are categorized as digital pianos that you may consider buying for your music journey.
The difference between the two is that the keyboard is an actual instrument, while the synthesizer is for music creating and editing.
The keyboard piano has keys labeled in black and white that you need to play to generate sound from different sources. On pressing the keys, they send an electric circuit that, in return, signals the production of the tone for the particular pressed keys and sounds.
The keyboard is quite comfortable to play since the keys are straightforward. It is also a universal instrument that is played by all ages, including kids. The keyboard comes in different styles, where some are portable while others are stationed in one place.
They come at different prices, which means that you can still get an affordable keyboard for practicing at home. The keyboards have inbuilt speakers and other accessories like Bluetooth, where you can connect with devices to play and even save music.
Although the synthesizer is used in the production of sound or pitches, they are not actual instruments as they function in the form of a controller.
They control the music produced in the form of curve waves to create the sounds.
Synthesizers are found in keyboards because they control the sounds being produced when the piano keys are played.
But, note that synthesizers are quite hard to learn and are mainly recommended for adults, especially those who want to start music production. The synthesizers come with multiple components such as oscillators, amplifiers, moderators, and filters to create the pitches of sounds. The synthesizers also come with speakers that transform the waves and vibrations of music.
So, which one should you choose?
Your needs highly determine the choice between the two, and what you would want to achieve from the two. If you are looking for musical instruments that you can comfortably learn how to play without much-complicated components and functions, the keyboard is the perfect option to use since it is quite easy to use.
On the other hand, if you are planning to start up a music studio, and you need a device that can add great sounds when recording, the synthesizer is the right choice. The synthesizer may feature complex parts and functions that are a bit hard to study, but it does a great job of producing great music.
A keyboard has actual musical keys which are played physically to send circuit to facilitate the production of sound on the device. But on the other hand, the synthesizer is the instrument that uses the electric voltages that, in return, produces steady music pitches in a given and constant frequency. Plus, the keyboards are cheaper as opposed to synthesizers.
9 Best Synthesizer for Beginners Reviews
- 37 mini-keys with velocity sensing
- It is portable and very easy to carry
- 128 completely editable presets
- Very straightforward and easy to use
- An affordable price
Watch out for
- Comes with 4 voices only
Topping this list of the best synthesizer for beginners is Korg 37 Key Analog Modeling Synthesizer. The Korg Synthesizer combines mini-keys battery power, phenomenal sound, and simple to use the interface at a reasonable price. It has no complex menu structure as the parameters are available on the panel which offers easy access to function.
Korg Analog Modeling Synthesizer comes with 6 types of arpeggio patterns that are built-in. Musicians can adjust the resolution and length of the arpeggiated notes as well as switch the steps on and off to produce cool patterns easily. Measuring 26 x 6 x 12 inches, the analog modeling synthesizer has a compact design which makes it easy to carry and store.
This synth has an AUDIO IN jack which allows you to connect a mic and use it as a powerful vocoder that applies tonal character of vocal input to oscillator sound. Thanks to dedicated knobs as well as editable parameters that are available on the front panel, the synth allows a musician to explore the joys of creating electronic sound.
- Decent fully weighted keys
- Great sound production
- Comes with hundreds of rhythms as well as arpeggio types
- Portable for carrying
- MIDI and USB audio
Watch out for
- The LCD screen is a bit small
Yamaha MX88 Beginner Synthesizer is one of the best-weighted action synths that come with everything you want for your performances and gigs. The 88 Graded Hammer Standard weighted action is lighter in the high keys and heavier in the low keys, which offers a realistic acoustic piano response and touch. It has 128 notes of polyphony which ensure a drop-out free performance while playing live.
The MX88 is MIDI class-compliant and USB audio, which lets you playback and record stereo audio to and from your iOS device or computer. This is wonderful if you want to record the MX88 into the DAW then listen to your mixes via headphones or speakers.
Yamaha MX88 Synthesizer might be big but it is very lightweight, which means you can move it from one place to another. Another feature of the MX88 which makes it stand out is the Damper Resonance which models the sound of a piano.
- Easy to use 16 step sequencer that has 7 tracks with 250 user patterns
- Engineered and made in Italy
- Poly chain up to 16 devices is possible
- USB and MIDI implementation
- The features 16-step sequencer that has 250 pattern memory locations
Watch out for
- The synth has no speakers
- Comes with poor instructions
Are you looking for the best budget synthesizers for beginners? Then look no further than Behringer TD-3-RD Synthesizer. This is a wonderful bass line synth that has true analog circuitry for groove and bass sounds. It features sawtooth and square waveform VCO together with transistor wave-shaping circuitry which is easy to use and offers your pulse waveforms or reverse-sawtooth for ultimate sound creation.
The onboard sequencer comes with 7 tracks which allow you to program 16 steps of notes as well as rests and save them as a pattern. This allows you to recall, save, and record up to 250 patterns, which can be stored in 4 groups.
Behringer TD-3-RD Synthesizer comes with an onboard Arpeggiator which has wide patterns that you can build to offer a wide array of sound effects. This synthesizer is 16-note poly chain ready which means that you can combine multiple synths for up to 16 voice polyphony.
- Traditional stylus-activated keyboard with a ribbon controller
- Much more flexible compared to original Stylophone
- The final signal is much cleaner compared to the original synth
- Portable and playable
- Built-in speaker
Watch out for
- It is a bit noisy
Stylophone Gen X-1 is a battery-powered analog mono synthesizer that uses a stylus to create sound. This pocket-sized synth comes with new features which include Envelopes (attack/ delay), Low pass filter, and LFO with triangle and square waves.
The Gen X-1 uses two ways that make sound with the stylus. It has a keyboard that makes distinct notes as well as a sound strip above the keyboard that slides between notes which is available on a scale. This analog synthesizer comes with audio in which can be used as an effects unit while the audio line out for external speakers and/ or headphones.
Additionally, the analog delay feature allows you to add space to your sound with feedback, level, and delay time. Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer comes with extra features such as sub octaves 1 and 2 switch that enriches your sound by adding a second of frequency below the source sound.
- Fully programmable
- Features oscilloscope display
- Good quality
- Comes with battery power
- An ideal starting point for beginners in music
Watch out for
- It has no modulation wheel
- Does not come with a power supply, you need to buy one separately
Korg MonologueBK Synthesizer is not only a cheap and cheerful synth for beginners but powerful with a wide array of flexibility. It comes with a 16 step sequencer which has been greatly enhanced to deliver complex rhythms that are easy to edit, see and capture. The monologue synthesizer comes with push-button plus turn knob for “parameter lock” style motion sequencing.
Also, the monologue has monophonic analog synthesizer circuitry which builds on the minilogue circuitry. The Korg Monologue features Korg’s Motion Sequencing technology that allows both parameters and notes to be played back and recorded.
It has a completely new filter, drive, modulation, and LFO which generates powerful basses as well as sharp leads, thus creating great mono sounds that showcase single voice design. Music has been restrained to equal temperament scales, and today there are very few machines that support micro tuning. Korg 25 Key Synthesizer for Beginners features micro tuning which lets you create scales.
- The synthesis and sounds of the Ultranova is available in a cheaper, and more portable form
- Features a Nova sound engine which makes it a powerful mini synthesizer
- It is supplied with plugin/ software editor
- Comes with a vocoder which allows for vocal effects
- It can be powered through USB
- Novation offers 3 years warranty on this product
Watch out for
- No battery power
Just like its big brother UltraNova, Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer is a powerful mini-keys that comes with incredible performance controls. It does not matter whether you are a sound producer, gigging musician, or creating music for fun, this analog synthesizer comes with everything you need.
The MiniNova can do things that other synthesizers cannot do. This analog modeling synthesizer has knobs that allow you to edit and tweak the sounds, but the 6 backlit buttons allow the synth to animate.
It features 256 awesome onboard sounds with additional free sound packs that are downloadable on registration. This hugely powerful mini synth comes with Nova sound engine. Additionally, the Novation Analog Modeling Synthesizer has MiniNova Editor which works as a plug-in within your music software or DAW.
- Features dual monophonic oscillators
- Voltage control oscillator for all sounds
- Comes with mini-jack patchbay and MIDI/ USB
- Has 37 slim keys
Watch out for
- Sideward play on small dials
Electronics are always getting smaller and that is the same case with Korg MS20 Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer. Compared to the original classic MS-20, Korg MS20 Synthesizer is much smaller and comes equipped with the latest technology. This synthesizer retains the wonderful attributes of the initial analog synthesizer, with similar components and near-identical path layout.
The keyboard has been restricted to 5 octaves rather than 4 and has up to 37 keys. The keys are quite slim which makes them suitable for synthesizing needs. Korg MS20 Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer comes with an output that has been changed from a quarter-inch output to a 3.5mm jack.
It features two oscillators synth with two VCAs and two VCFs. This synth has a self-oscillating low pass/ high pass filter that comes with distinctive distortion. Other features include a flexible patching system as well as an external signal processor. The Korg MS20 will amaze you thanks to the authentic, analog sound.
- The synth is well put together with plenty of connectivity
- Produces realistic sound
- This is a decent onboard sequencer
- Compact and portable which means that you can carry it from one place to another
Watch out for
- The controls are very close together
- Lacks battery power and pitch/ mod strips
Roland SE-02 Designer Series Analog Beginner Synth is a great sounding, versatile, and portable mono synth for stage and studio. This might be a small synthesizer but it features a modest outlay. It uses authentic discrete analog circuitry which creates a synth with a distinctly vintage sound as well as a vast programming option.
The SE-02 has 3 voltage-controlled oscillators that come with 6 waveforms. Additionally, this beginner synthesizer has 3 types of cross-modulation, noise generator, and feedback loop. Roland SE-02 Designer Series Analog Beginner Synth features convenient 1/8 inch stereo jacks which reduce cable clutter. It also has standard MIDI jacks that connect any type of keyboard you want.
Thanks to the wide variety of high-quality switches and knobs, and creative onboard sequencer, the Roland SE-02 delivers a massive texture and tone. Other features of the SE-02 include music as well as intuitive pattern sequencer that comes with song mode.
- Can handle pitched bass lines together with a range of percussion voices
- It has very neat performance features
- Analogue Drive circuit adds harmonic character and grit
- The function button allows you to add variation to your beat
- Create various kicks
- Fantastic motion sequencing
Watch out for
- The buttons are a bit small
- The adapter does not have a sampler
Finally on this list of the best synthesizers for beginners is Korg Bass Percussion Synthesizer. With Korg Bass Percussion Synthesizer you can create basslines with time, accent, and bend function. Over the years we have seen the bass synth, as well as kick drum, merge to support the ever-evolving modern electronic and Hip Hop music.
The Korg has created an intuitive instrument with many expressive functions as well as workflows. It benefits from a variety of sequencing tricks that are honed on the previous Volcas, which include Motion Sequencing that allows a wide variety of sound parameters that is automated, as well as Active Step which tweaks the length of the sequence.
The Volca Kick comes with single five-pin MIDI input together with Sync In and Out which is available on the mini-jack. Also, it has a tone control that applies a 12 dB/ octave low-pass filter which allows for rolling off high frequencies.
How to Play Synthesizer for Beginners
Synthesizers are just like other musical instruments, and you can quickly learn how to play them within a short period. This instrument involves learning how to manipulate a variety of sounds, which makes it fun and cool to learn. So, if you are a beginner and you need to master in playing this instrument, you need to learn the basics first.
The synthesizer is not all about learning how to manipulate sounds to create pitches; this instrument consists of a lot of terms that one needs to fully understand first before you even start to practice the instruments. This is the starting point when it comes to learning the synthesizer.
The oscillator is useful for generating the waves and changing the sound pitches, also referred to as frequency. The pitches are measured according to the speed that the waveform competes for a cycle in a particular pattern.
The spectra are measured in seconds. Therefore, the faster the frequencies appear, the higher the pitch you will achieve. So, if the frequency goes high, the pitch will also go high and vice versa.
A filter is essential for curving out particular frequencies in the wave so they can be transformed into timbre. After you have generated the frequencies, the next step is to learn how to use the filter.
The tone is formed when multiple pitches are created to form one sound, which is audible to the audience. The filter “filters” the right waves by blocking some pitches in the form of waves and letting others pass through. The synthesizers have the filter knob that you can utilize to manipulate and control the sounds.
The amplifier is the complement that used for controlling the volume signals. Technically, the amplifier is used to manage the volume by enlarging the signal resulting in louder music sounds.
But, with synthesizers, the trick is learning how to control and even maintain the tone at a high pitch. This is achieved by using a sound generator located at the amplifier referred to as ADSR. This part of the instruments helps to sustain the loud tone for long and ensure even production as well.
The modulation, on the other hand, helps to create effects applied to the music sounds. So you can use the modulator to raise or lower the produced sounds.
Is Synthesizer Easy to Learn?
Learning how to play a synthesizer is just like learning how to play other instruments. It takes time and dedication from the learner. There are multiple functions and components found on this instrument, and each function or component has its job when composing or playing.
Therefore, make sure to study the parts strictly. You can enroll in a class with an excellent trainer to teach you how to play or search for information online.
You can also read tutorials on youtube regarding how to play a synthesizer to gain skills and guide you on playing the instrument.
3 Top Recommended Synthesizer for Beginners On the Market
A synthesizer is a high music instrument that you can use to manipulate great music sounds in music production. They come in different styles, including analog and digital models.
For a beginner, you should find an excellent trainer to take you through the basics of this instrument so you can equip yourself with the necessary knowledge on how the components work. Also, make sure to buy a synthesizer that is easy to use.