Best synthesizer under 500 dollars with pros & cons
Purchasing a musical instrument isn’t easy at all. If you want to purchase an outfit, it gets difficult for you. The scenario seems to be even more critical when you are thinking of getting a synthesizer. This is probably because when you purchase a dress, you tend to keep a lot of other options in your wardrobe. However, that’s not the case when you fetch a musical instrument. It isn’t only about the cost of the device but at the same time, it comprises all your emotions associated with that particular product. Based on the kind of music you want to play, and your preference for the features in a synthesizer, you would be getting the order for you.
Things to look for while purchasing a synthesizer (Buyer Guide)
If you are getting into the musical industry for the very first time in your life, it is important to ensure that you have conducted your own part of the research. this is because it will not only because of the investment but at the same time, the product your picking should be able to serve your requirement as well. Despite looking at the market and seeing the options available to you out there, it’s really difficult to pin a choice. Therefore, here are a few considerations that we have outlined to make sure that it becomes easier for you to choose the deal.
Oscillator: This is also regarded as the voltage control oscillator and the oscillator of a synth is primarily known for its functionality of generating simple electrical waves, wherein it produces saw, sine, square or triangle. This production is converted into sound through the speakers. If you are talking about the voltage-controlled oscillators, it generates different kinds of sounds based on the frequency of the voltage that is passing through it. Pressing a key or simply triggering a MIDI note will feed a different voltage into the VCO, thus, affecting the overall pitch.
Voltage Controlled Filter: As the electrical signals make their path to the VCF, it tackles all the extra frequencies thereby making sure that only the required range of frequencies is left behind. As a result, the VCF will help in removing all the frequencies that are either above or below the specific frequency.
Monophonic or polyphonic: Monophonic synths are the ones that are capable of playing only one note at a time. On the contrary, the polyphonic synths are able to play multiple notes at a time. The variation changes according to the preference of the users. It is generally found that the monophonic synthesizers are less expensive than that of the polyphonic synthesizers due to their complicated circuitry. Another significant reason for these polyphonic synths to become a popular choice for the users is even more particular since you need them when you are planning to go digital. All you need to focus on your research so that you can find different affordable options as well when it comes to choosing a polyphonic synth at a competitive price range.
Voltage Controlled Amplifier: VCA is originally the mechanism that is responsible for the amplification of your sound. It magnifies the sound and makes sure that it functions just like a volume knob. This is yet another good aspect of this synth which makes it a popular choice among the audiences.
Low-frequency oscillator: When it comes to music and sound, you ought to deal with both low and high frequencies. Therefore, this LOF mechanism is particularly intended to ensure that the frequencies below 20 Hertz yet audible to the humans get a pathway.
ADSR envelope: If you want your synth to have greater flexibility in terms of controlling the VCA sound, then this ADSR envelope is one of the best deals to do so! It controls the VCA volume via 4 different parameters and they include attack, dissipate, sustain and release. It all depends on the cutting off of the note, the contrast volume of the note, the onset of the note and the duration since when the note sustains!
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface is primarily the language through which different musical instruments and hardware communicate. It is basically the language through which the synths, computers and the drum machines connect to each other. Not all the vintage synths are compatible to MIDI and there’s only a few that have this kind of functionality. Well, there’s no point in being sad about it since you can always opt for purchasing some after-market accessories.
Price: Last but not the least, you must be looking at the price of the synth before confirming the deal as it is yet an essential factor to decide your purchase. Based on whether you want to gift the gadget to your kids or you have got kids at your home, and thus, find operation to be a real hassle for you, prefer to go for something that’s within budget. Of course, you will get a plethora of options with several other additional features as you raise the budget, but decide it only if you need it. Do not break your bank, do it only if you find it to be a wise decision.
Various synths come with different other features and with the advances in the field of technology, these instruments, too, are getting diversified each and every single day. As a result, it is indeed very essential to make sure that you are at least acquainted with some of these basic terms before you step into the industry.
Which one to pick? – Analog or Digital?
Well, if you are planning to purchase a synthesizer recently, it is quite obvious that you must have been going through an internal debate of choosing the right synthesizer for yourself. Analog or digital is certainly one of the biggest questions you could ever come up with! Although it depends mostly on your preference and budget, you can always look at the features before investing upon one. If you go around asking people, you will be able to see that each and every person has got their own set of opinions on this. While some people say that analogue synthesizers are better and more authentic, you will see others saying that the digital synths are of course more amazing with an additional set of features. However, if you are still waiting for my piece of suggestion, I would better recommend you to go for an analog synth at first but eventually, when you start shifting to become a pro, you can also choose to also your synthesizer and upgrade it to a digital device.
List of the Best synthesizer under 500 $$$ dollars
|Korg littleBits synthesizer|
|Teenage Engineering PO-20 Arcade|
|Korg Monotron Delay Analog Ribbon Synthesizer|
|Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer|
|Novation mini Nova|
|Korg MS20 mini analog synthesizer|
|Roland, 37-Key Synthesizer, 37 Keys (JD-XI)|
|Korg Monologue 4 voice polyphonic analog synth|
|Korg Volca keys analog synthesizer|
1. Korg littleBits synthesizer
Must have heard about Korg, isn’t it? It is indeed a great name in the musical industry and has been doing really well out there over the years. Korg LittleBits is an amazing instrument if you are looking forward to learning playing a synthesizer. This is an ideal option for all those people who have been looking for a product that would help them learning to experiment with sounds. The best thing about this synthesizer is that it covers all the features of a basic synthesizer, from that of the oscillators to the keyboards, mixer, sequencer, envelope and speaker. Ifyou are searching for a synth that comes within a budget as well as will offer you with some astounding sound quality, this is the one that you should be looking for!
- It offers an extremely user-friendly interface for all the new synth enthusiasts
- It is an ideal product for all the users who want to know more about the knobs and the switches along with their functionalities
- It comes with a comprehensive instruction booklet so that you are able to get a guidance about how the instrument sounds like, and how you should be starting up with it.
- It comprises of a kit that includes 12 Bits like the speaker along with a keyboard and an oscillator. It snaps together with magnets instantly to create some sensory notes at ease.
- It comes with a synth guitar as well
- It features a box that transforms into a ready to use performance station. You can even connect it to your speaker or any other sound equipment without any hassle.
- There is no mounting board in the box
2. Teenage Engineering PO-20 Arcade
Are you looking forward to play music with the game boy, this is the one for you? It is an extremely handy synth that makes sound production fun and easy for you at the same time. If you are planning to learn playing a synth for the very first time, and you need a companion for yourself, this is gonna be a superb choice for you. It is a perfect chiptune for creating 8 bit beats. It is an amazing seven pocket sized instrument that makes your overall experience of playing a synth something that you would probably never want to forget! It also features you with a provision wherein you are able to record your favorite tracks by making use of some software such as Ableton Live or you may also opt to sync with other pocket operators that fall under the same price range.
- The sound of this device is pretty similar to that of a lo-fi which ensures that you can experiment with multiple characters at a time
- It features an LCD screen wherein you get a display of all the notes that you play on an arcade scene
- It is extremely cute and is perfect for mainly the teenagers
- The user friendly interface gives you an easy access to the playing module such as that you do not require to be a tech freak nor do you need to keep a teacher to guide you through the process
- It is certainly not meant for the ones who have been looking for a gadget meant for someone professional
3. Korg Monotron Delay Analog Ribbon Synthesizer
It comes with duo dual oscillator that makes it a perfect analog pocket synthesizer for someone who has been looking for an extremely amazing sound quality without any compromise. The best part about this synthesizer is that it gives you an easy to play platform, thereby ensuring that you aren’t compromising with your production by any chance. if you are learning to play a synthesizer and want to experiment in your own unique way, this could be the pick! It is absolutely easy and does not entail any sort of discrepancy so far. People using this gadget for quite some time now have given their reviews on the online platforms and it seem as if they have been greatly satisfied with the performance.
- It comes with two oscillators which make sure that the sound production will be up to the mark
- It comes with the Monotron Duo that adds an extra dimension to your synth as a whole
- It has such an easy accessibility that it allows you to tune you are oscillators in unison in order to fetch a thick and analog tune
- If you are finding something for your solo plays, this gadget will help you do so! You can tune you are oscillators in intervals to produce classic solo sounds
- It allows you to generate different kinds of new effects to your music, thereby making sure that you aren’t pulled back when it comes to creativity
- No such
4. Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer
This is another analogue synthesizer that comes under $500. Therefore, you will not need to break your bank as well as will be able to fetch an undeterred sound quality at a reasonable price. It is primarily a pure analogue sonic power house. the best thing about this device is that it is extremely compact and lightweight. Thus, you can carry it anywhere you feel like along with you without any additional stress. We have poured this into the list of the ‘best synthesizers’ after checking with the customer reviews when we have found that the users have got a really satisfactory experience which its sound production.
- It is small and compact yet loaded with multiple features
- It is packed with mixable waveforms so that you can create sounds according to your own preference and try out something that is innovative and unique in itself
- It features the famous Steiner-Parker multimode filter
- Arturia MicroBrute comes with a new sub-oscillator design
- It also has a syncable LFO
- The super fast envelope is yet another attribute of this model
- It does make no compromise in terms of sound quality
- May not have all the features that you may require as a pro
5. Novation mini Nova
If you are planning to set up a super cool studio, you are sure to have an investment plan along with yourself. Fetching the best of the gadgets at a reasonable price is indeed a headache. If you are worried about the same, you need not be anymore! This is absolutely lightweight and compact. You do not require to carry a bulk device in case you are planning to take it to a beach or while you are on a trip. The best thing about this miniNova model is that it offers a sound quality that is absolutely similar to that of its big brother, UltraNova. Yeah, the model is just a smaller version of the former one but there’s no compromise when it comes to production.
- It comes with 256 incredible onboard sounds so that you can tweak them with 5 knobs
- It comprises of 18 voices so that you can mix and match them as per your creative requirements
- It comes with 5 Synth effects that you can incorporate on each sound
- It also features an onboard vocaltune effect
- Not just this, there is also a classic vocoder so that you can recreate iconic sounds from electronic music to that of urban and hip-hop
- It is extremely easy to access and the sound production is something you would fall in love with!
- You can even warp them with 8 animate buttons
- Ultra Nova is definitely a better choice than this! However, this isn’t a bad deal either!
6. Korg MS20 mini analog synthesizer
If you would think about the synthesizer that was originally release into the market back in the year 1978, this is just a similar kind of model to that! Korg crated this MS20 model wherein the engineers put in the components one into the other in a meticulous way. The best thing about this particular model is that the engineers have tried to keep it as original as it had been possible. They just introduced some minor tweaks where required.
- It comes with a lot of features and thus, is one of the best products for the ones who are actually eager to learn more about playing a synth
- It comes with several easy-to-fetch features that are superb in themselves as well as ease the terms of usage
- You get a provision to settle for a compact and lightweight model
- It makes no compromise when it comes to sound quality
- The design or the look and feel of the device is simply worth the price you will be paying for it
- Just a mini version, not for the ones who want a proper old-school model
7. Roland, 37-Key Synthesizer, 37 Keys (JD-XI)
This analog digital crossover synthesizer is one of the best in the list. If you are searching for a synth under 500 dollars, this is something you must always see to at least! The best thing about this model is that it is extremely lightweight. It is small and compact; thus, it gets easier for you to function and you can even choose to carry it along with yourself wherever you feel like! It is equipped with some circuits that are meant for serving the requirements of today’s users by updating the former provisions with new technology. As a result, you get an updated version of the analog synth in it.
- It comes with a compact body
- It condenses to different sound engines together in its body so that you are able to fetch the best sounds
- It is equipped with the analog circuit along with an Integra-7 equivalent supernatural sound source
- It is simply perfect for all the beginners who are looking for an analog or a digital crossover synthesizer
- It features a minimalistic design that is indeed very appealing
It is absolutely worth the price that you will be paying for it
- No such
8. Korg Monologue 4 voice polyphonic analog synth
This 4-voice polyphonic analog synth is one of those best models available presently in the market. It comes with a real analog and features a motion sequencer for better sound production. It comes with amazing features including a polyphonic step so that you are able to work on multiple notes together without any trouble and it also has an on board tape-style delay so that you can fetch the best kinds of design at a competitive price. Not just this, it also features an oscilloscope display. If you are eager to purchase something that is out of the box, you should definitely give this a try!
- It is absolutely easy to use and you will have fun to work with it even if you are new to this industry
- It comes with multiple sound shaping options
- It even features several filter options
- It comes with a motion sequencer
- The sound quality is absolutely powerful
- It allows you to showcase your creativity by tweaking the notes and adding onto your creativity to make a production worth delivery
- It is worth the money you are paying for it
- It is primarily the next-generation analog synthesizer
- It works really great for almost all the musicians with separate kinds of requirements
- Nothing as such
9. Korg Volca keys analog synthesizer
If you are looking photo send when you will be able to get everything packed together in just one box, this Korg Volca keys analog synth is a must-try! The synth comes ready and it is absolutely handy for easy operation. It features a power supply so that you can easily plug it in and then play it right away whenever you want to play it. It features a simple structure with a minimalistic design. It is extremely user-friendly and once you start using this model, you are sure to fall in love with it.
- It comes with a 27 key analog synth that makes absolutely no compromise in terms of sound quality.
- The Volca Synth comes with a sequencer and a delay effect that makes it even simple for the users to operate
- It features a voicing function that will ease your task of creating sounds without any hassle
- It is basically a self-tuning function which will allow you for a more constant and stable pitch
- Not just this, the model is known for its power. It has a great battery that stays long without any botheration
- It comprises of built-in speaker so that you can get hold of it on a trip
- It is small and compact
- It comes with a loop sequencer that help you record phases just as you keep on playing them
- No such
If you are aspiring to be a great musician, having knowledge about playing a synth is definitely significant. Although there’s no such logic that you won’t be able to do without that! However, having enough understanding about a synth will help in improving your composition, as well as, you will be able to avail great sound quality and have a thorough understanding of the notes too! Hence, if you are passionate about creating new sounds or compose something that’s absolutely different and unique, make sure that you pour these 500 dollars wisely.
Synthesizers used to be pretty expensive in the early 70s but that’s not the case anymore. In today’s scenario, you get so many options available at a single place in just one go that you are sure to love the diversity of the gadgets available in the market. With the constant upgradation in the field of technology, adding new features every day is nothing out of the box. Things have become handy and the most prominent idea about owning a synth is that you get a companion to help you learn. From the LCD display to show you the notes to that of a recorder, you get all of the things at one place.
If you are still wondering about how much to invest on your first synth, I would recommend you to go for something worth around 500 dollars and that would be pretty decent. These were just a few models of synthesizers with the best of the features and sound provisions. Yeah, just put those 500 bucks aside and they would be enough to deal with your purchase. Start trying out your hand on this, and upgrade your gadget as you keep growing along the line. Remember that you will not be able to master the art of playing a synth overnight. All you need is to hold your patience!
I hope you got the Best synthesizer under 500
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