In a world where machines can be programmed to create music, nothing can beat the old-world charm of creating music the old-fashioned way on an analog synthesizer.
Of course, searching for the best analog synths is a smart musical decision as well. Nothing can match the versatility or the sonic depth of the notes created on an analog synth.
If you’re interested in learning more about synthesizers, check out our guide: Intro to Synthesizers: How to Choose Which Synth to Buy
Best Analog Synths Ranked by Actual Musicians
Check out details of some of the best analog synths for beginners as well as experienced composers below.
An extremely compact and extremely versatile analog synth, the Arturia MicroBrute is probably the best option if you are thinking about buying your first synthesizer.
MicroBrute packs a powerful punch in terms of the notes and tones it can generate and the customization features and options crammed into this synth.
The step sequencer and mod matrix allow you to go beyond merely playing music notes and enable you to create, innovate and experiment with your composition ideas.
- This synth has a completely analog signal path, which means the music it creates is completely natural with no digital or hybrid mechanisms involved.
- A dynamic single-oscillator mechanism that combines the Saw, Triangle, and Square waves with three additional waveshapers to modify and animate your notes. Added to this powerful mix is the Overtone generator for an amazing sound experience.
- Arturia MicroBrute comes with the classic Steiner-Parker filter that gives this instrument its musical dynamism and versatility.
- A very compact design with just 25 mini-keys that makes this synth an ideal choice for somebody just starting out on synthesizers.
- 25 mini-keys velocity-sensitive synth.
- Additional pitch bend and mod wheel controllers.
- 3 Oscillator presets—Sawtooth, Triangle, and Square.
- 8 sequences with 64-steps per sequence.
- 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
- Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP)
- Voltage Controlled Oscillator with new Overtone Sub-Osc, Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square,...
Korg Minilogue XD
The Korg Minilogue XD combines the natural and real sound of an analog synth with the control and versatility offered by technology to give enthusiasts the best of both worlds.
This synth is a full-blown sound design system that has a digital multi-engine boosting the four-voice analog setup. This allows you to play your preferred genre of music ranging from soft and warm notes to crisp tones.
Joystick controls, four different voice modes, micro tuning feature and motion view display are some features that will allow you to explore your musical talent to the fullest.
- Unleash your musical creativity by exploring the 200 pre-loaded sets combined with the option to save a total of 500 programs in this instrument.
- Three different sound generators create a hybrid engine that boosts the capacity of the analog oscillators to create superlative music.
- Choice of variations like chorus, ensemble, reverbs and warm tape delays that can be used simultaneously for truly versatile compositions.
- 16 oscillator and user effects slots to create original programs or customize the presets and share the same with the online user community.
- 37-keys velocity-sensitive synth.
- 500 programs including 200 preset programs.
- 16-step polyphonic sequencer.
- Real-time OLED oscilloscope display.
- The Korg Minilogue XD Gen Minilogue Synthesizer
- Analog synthesizer circuit that shatters expectations for its class Four-voice polyphonic analog...
Forget plug and play, the Moog Grandmother is an open-and-play synth that allows you to start creating music with no patching or any other setup required.
This synth is a treat to look at with its vibrant and colorful interface. Further, it’s equally functional with a clutter-free layout offering easy access to all its features ranging from the dual analog oscillators and four-pole ladder filter to the bipolar attenuator.
- In-built spring reverb allows you to create notes of varying depth and vibrance unmatched by this analog synth’s digital counterparts.
- 41 patch points covering 21 inputs, 16 outputs, and a four-jack passive multiple allows you to either integrate this instrument with digital musical instruments and accessories or use it independently.
- Easier control by combining the keys with other controllers including one mod wheel, one pitch bend wheel, and a variable glide.
- Completely analog sound engine and modulation engine that allows you to explore the entire spectrum of music incapable of being matched by digital engines.
- 32-keys velocity-sensitive synth.
- 4-pole octave ladder filter and variable high pass filter.
- 1/4″ audio input port for external signals.
- Compatible with Mother-32, DFAM, and Eurorack modular systems.
- Hardware Spring Reverb can be used to process external sounds
- ¼” External audio input for guitars, drum machines, and more
- Semi-modular - no patching is required
Arturia MiniBrute 2
The Arturia MiniBrute 2 analog synth builds on the appeal of the extremely-popular MiniBrute synthesizer to create even more powerful and dynamic choice for lovers of analog synthesizers.
This semi-modular synth faithfully relies on the combination of two Brute oscillators and Stiener-Parker filter to create sonorous notes devoid of any digital tinkering.
This synth may be analog but that doesn’t mean it cannot work well with other digital instruments. Five-pin MIDI and the USB for MIDI ports along with the external audio input port mean you can integrate this instrument with your computer without any hassles.
- 48-point CV patch bay allows you to start playing this synth without having to waste time on patches.
- Unique KeyStep-style sequencer that allows you to improvise on your compositions without interrupting your flow.
- Set your own rules with virtually unlimited customizations to the various features and settings of this analog synth.
- Two analog VCOs with 2 LFO’s with sync and one ADSR and one AD envelope come together to create a powerful musical instrument.
- 25-key velocity-sensitive synth.
- 2 x VCO oscillators and 2 x LFO with sync
- Brute Factor and Sweep effects
- 1/8″ audio input port for external signals.
- Additional controllers include pitch bend and mod wheel.
- 25-key Semi-modular Monophonic Analog Synthesizer
- 48-point CV Mod Matrix
- Sync Connectivity
Behringer DeepMind 12
The Behringer DeepMind 12 can best be described as an analog polysynth that’s capable of creating and delivering any and every note or tune designed to be played on a synthesizer.
This synth is overloaded with features. Analog VCFs, 12-voice architecture, four effects engine, two oscillators and LFOs per voice, an onboard 32-step sequencer and an LCD display are just some of the cool features crammed into this amazing instrument.
- 49 keys with velocity and aftertouch features enabled help even beginners enjoy a superior playing experience.
- Every sound and note generated by this synth is pure analog, which is the closest you can get to real music in today’s world dominated by digital creations.
- Write and save complex chords and even polychords with up to 12 notes each in the memory locations of this synth. This means you can play huge chords with just a press of a key.
- Play around with digital effects or choose to bypass it completely by selecting the appropriate mode in the detailed FX menu of DeepMind 12
- 49-key velocity-sensitive and aftertouch enabled synth.
- 12-voice analog sound engine with digital effects.
- 1024 program memories spread over eight banks with 128 programs each.
- Numerous effects including reverb, delay, phaser, EQ and Compression.
- Additional controllers include pitch bend and mod wheel.
A mini synth may be a small machine but selecting there’s nothing small or minor about the decision to choose a good analog synth.
- Classic polyphonic synthesizer with 12 true analog voices for insanely fat and authentic sounds
- 4 simultaneous world-class TC ELECTRONIC and KLARK TEKNIK FX with over 30 algorithms including...
- 12 voices with 2 analog OSCs per voice with oscillator sync mode
The Final Word on the Best Synths of 2020
The right choice can make a tremendous impact on your musical aspirations while an imperfect choice may leave you struggling to do justice to your immense talent.