The Best Synths Under $1000 Rated by Experts

The Synth is an excellent instrument to create one’s unique sound and can be of much help in crafting music for a brand. With the rise of plugin software synths, the analog synthesizer has become a luxury item for music producers. Though the software synths are capable of creating rich experiences with sounds, the analog synths are also capable of deriving originality with music. Music producers are much drawn towards analog synths, owing to the rich tactile experience they provide. So, here we are sharing the top 5 best synths under $1000 rated by experts.

Quick Summary: Best Synths Under $1000

Also check: Best Synthesizer Keyboards for Live Performance

Top 5 Best Synthesizers Under $1000

The analog modeling technology has advanced much better, thus it is virtually impossible to quote the difference between analog processors and digital processors. We have made our research in picking up the best synths from both worlds here to help you find the best instrument that complements your music journey. Here are the top 5 best synths under $1000. 

#1. Novation AMS-MiniNova Analog Synthesizer – Best Overall

Novation AMS-MiniNova Analog Synthesizer
Overall Editor Rating: 9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.1
Connectivity8.8
Build Quality9.1
Easy to Use8.7
Value for money9.3

This is an excellent mini-synth that is equipped with the nova sound engine. This is an eminent vocoder with a unique pitch correcting effect and Vocal Tune helping players to tweak and warp sounds in real-time. This analog synth has 256 awesome onboard sounds along with additional free sound packs that can be downloaded upon registration. It also comes with 30 Giorgio Moroder-inspired patches that help players to layer up to five effects per voice.

This is a compact and super cool studio and lives synth device that comes with three years warranty. The Mininova synth sounds just like its big brother ultraNova. The synth has about 18 voices and five synth effects on each sound. It also features an onboard VocalTune effect and a classic vocoder to help recreate iconic vocal sounds from urban, hip hop, and electronic music. Though it is small in size, it is a powerful sound engine that helps to create and edit massive bass sounds, lush pads, and vintage synth sounds.

It comes pre-loaded with editing software to create powerful synths. Its editor works as a plug-in within the music software, which can be learned through its visual access. There are around 14 conventional waveforms to choose from in this synth along with 36 wavetables and 20 digital waveforms. There are 3 oscillators per voice with detune and density for fattening up the sounds. 

What’s best in Novation AMS-MiniNova Analog Synthesizer?

  • This is a 37 mini-key synth with a USB and MIDI port.
  • Features 256 onboard sounds with space to save another 128 sounds.
  • It is possible to tweak and warp sounds in real-time
  • The synth allows for instant editing and performance control with access to 24 sound bending parameters.

What’s Lacking in Novation AMS-MiniNova Analog Synthesizer?

  • Being a mini keyboard, it doesn’t appeal to novice keyboard players
  • It doesn’t have a full-sized set of keys for general recording.

Also Check: Best Budget Synths Under $500

#2. Elektron Digitone EKT-DTN-1 Synthesizer – Best for Starters

Elektron Digitone EKT-DTN-1 Synthesizer
Overall Editor Rating: 8.9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.3
Connectivity8.7
Build Quality8.6
Easy to Use8.8
Value for money9.2

This is an excellent synth that is available for under $1000. It features excellent FM sound generation with classic subtractive synthesis signal flow. It features multiple FM algorithms that feature carefully selected parameters and are packed with grade A factory content. The best features of this synthesizer are its OLED screen and its sturdy steel casing. The synth features a panoramic chorus, supervoid reverb, and saturator delay with effects. 

The synthesizer combines a deep FM synthesis with a familiar synthesis signal flow. This is a powerful 8-voice synth with four independent tracks, each with a four operator synth engine, that features eight different FM algorithms. This sequencer features four synth tracks, 4 MIDI tracks, one arpeggiator per track, polyphonic sequencing, micro timing, parameter locks, etc. The synth also features 8 voice polyphony, multiple FM algorithms, and two assignable LFOs per voice.

The Elektron over bridge helps the players to integrate the digitone synth and sequencer right into the DAW, helping to route audio to and from the hardware, with the help of a single USB cable. The users will have a complete graphical user interface to control major aspects of the Digitone. The sequencer also supports micro-timing adjustments for creating excellent sequences. 

What’s best in Elektron Digitone EKT-DTN-1 Synthesizer?

  • The digitone is a unique box that creates excellent sounds in less than a second
  • Users are free to choose from multiple FM algorithms from carefully selected parameters.
  • We can shape the tones with powerful filters and arrange them with the help of a powerful Elektron sequencer.
  • There are four synth tracks, 4 MIDI tracks, and one arpeggiator per track along with polyphonic sequencing in this synth.

What’s Lacking in Elektron Digitone EKT-DTN-1 Synthesizer?

  • Its hardware is not impressive for advanced and professional players.

Also check: Best Synths for Hip Hop: Top 5 Picks

#3. Korg Minilogue XD 4-Voice Analog Synthesizer – Editor’s Choice

Korg Minilogue XD 4-Voice Analog Synthesizer
Overall Editor Rating: 8.9/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.1
Connectivity8.7
Build Quality8.9
Easy to Use8.6
Value for money9.1

This is an excellent four-voice analog and digital synthesizer module that features two VCO’s per voice. It features a digital multi-engine and sixteen-step polyphonic sequencer with four voice modes and tremendous effects. It has several new features, inspired by the prologue and the monologue, and includes the same circuitry and micro-tuning abilities with its new sequencer.

Though this synthesizer is similar to the original minilogue, but features a lot of new additions to its interface, such as an assignable joystick, 16- step sequencer, and a lot of additional switches and knobs. One best feature of the prologue is its digital oscillator that can be used to create next-level textures and sounds. The instrument also has improved the display and the waveforms and has made it much crisper and sharper than before. 

The synthesizer features a new multi-effect section that allows the players to stack three different effects together such as the delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, ensemble, etc., allowing players to create lush and wide sounds with ample movements. The korg minilogue XD is one of the easiest instruments to play and program and its results are also of very high quality. In short, this can be an excellent synth for those looking for a well-built, versatile, and easy-to-use synth with warm analog sounds and modern technology.

What’s best in Korg Minilogue XD 4-Voice Analog Synthesizer?

  • This analog synth is powerful, compact, and is an expert.
  • Comes with the best hardware and it also sounds great.
  • It is easy to program and is extremely fun to use
  • Excellent built to create seriously awesome music

What’s Lacking in Korg Minilogue XD 4-Voice Analog Synthesizer?

  • The synthesizer doesn’t ship with rack ears and the rack has to be bought separately and assembled.

#4. Novation Bass Station-II NOVSYNTH03 Mono Synth – Alternative Choice Under $1000

Novation Bass Station II NOVSYNTH03 Mono-Synth
Overall Editor Rating: 8.7/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds8.9
Connectivity8.8
Build Quality8.5
Easy to Use8.6
Value for money9

This is an excellent analog synth and is a new version of the classic Novation bass station. It features a brand new acid filter and ships with 64 factory patches and 64 user slots. This is indeed a pattern-based step sequencer that has two oscillators and an additional sub-oscillator. Being an expert analog synth, it comes with dedicated controls for all major music parameters.

The synth comes with full analog distortion and filter modulation effects and features a separate filter overdrive to add crunchy and aggressive sound quality. The product also comes with a three years’ warranty and is an expert mono synth with options for bass. Its sound engine is extremely versatile to generate sharp lead and crisp arpeggios. You can be sure to bring the best of the original base station with re-worked effects, modulation, filters, and a lot more. 

The signal path is completely analog, which includes the effects. Its hardware has special modules with dedicated pots, switches, sliders, and buttons for all major music parameters. This analog synth comes with around 64 factory presets, with enough space to record one’s sounds on the hardware. We can also shift the sounds to the computer. There are 25 full-sized velocity-sensitive keys assignable aftertouch. Being an excellent synth-action keyboard, each of its keys is individually sprung.

What’s best in Novation Bass Station-II NOVSYNTH03 Mono Synth?

  • All its 25 keys are full-sized and are velocity-sensitive with assignable aftertouch.
  • Its Bass station is compliant with MIDI devices and there are ports to connect with other USB and other MIDI devices.
  • The bass station II is built over three analog oscillators and a noise generator. 
  • There are two discrete filters, namely acid and classic, each with a built-in overdrive to filter tones.

What’s Lacking in Novation Bass Station-II NOVSYNTH03 Mono Synth?

  • It is a monophonic synth device that can play only one note at a time.

Also check: Best Synths for Ambient Music

#5. Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer – Ideal for Learners

Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer
Overall Editor Rating: 8.7/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds8.9
Connectivity8.7
Build Quality8.5
Easy to Use8.7
Value for money8.9

The Arturia MicroBrute features a 100% analog audio signal path that features a Steiner-Parker multimode filter. This is an excellent voltage-controlled oscillator with a new overtone. The Arturia is the next-generation synthesizer of the brute family and the successor of the miniBrute. Though this synthesizer is smaller in size, it is capable of retaining a pure analog sound and its oscillators help with tremendous waveshaping. 

Its sounds are better than any analog synth that is available in the market, and it features a new step sequencer for generating exceptional sound patterns. This is an easy-to-use sequencer with an upgraded sub-oscillator. Its new sub-oscillator helps in adding an octave down to the music, along with the ability to mix harmonic sounds. Its Mod Matrix patch bay allows players to route three modulation sources such as LFO, ENV, and Keyboard CV to any of the six modulation destinations. Its semi-modular capabilities help in creating many powerful sounds.

Though this is the smallest synth machine, it is also the most powerful that is available in the market and it sets new standards for the analog synth at an exceptional price. You can even plug the guitar into this synth and make it function like a harmonizer or a vocoder. Players can save patterns and control with midi. With the Arturia analog synthesizer at hand, the possibilities are endless and this is a highly recommended synth for novice players.

What’s best in Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer?

  • The instrument has so much power and thus creates beautiful sounds both at the low and high harmonic possibilities.
  • Its control panel is easy to understand and navigate
  • Its sequencer and rest button helps create interesting patterns with music.

What’s Lacking in Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer?

  • The Arturia MicroBrute is not a MIDI controller
  • Ideal synth for those who are trying to learn new synths and may not appeal to advanced players

Must Check: Yamaha MX61 Review 2021: Ideal Music Production Synthesizer?

How Should You Choose Your Best Synth When You Have Decided to Spend $1000?

The ability of the synths to produce nice warm music has become of the most desired qualities in modern electronic music. But before choosing your keyboard synths, here are the qualities you should check for, to do justice to the money spent on the device.

1. Monophonic or polyphonic?

The monophonic synthesizers are capable of producing only one note at a time, whereas the polyphonic synthesizers can produce multiple notes at a time. Multiple notes are always the preferred option though the monophonic instruments allow for specific and preferred sounds.

2. Oscillators:

It is the oscillator in the synthesizer that is capable of generating the sound that we hear. If the synth has more oscillators and options, then you will be able to clear a wide range of tones and sounds with the synthesizer. The oscillator also controls the shape of the sound wave generated.

3. Arpeggiator:

The arpeggiator in the synth instrument helps create a running music pattern. It takes either a single note or a series of notes and creates a music pattern by latching them together. This is one of the best-known effects of the synthesizer and is also open for customization.

4. Tone modulation:

The best feature of the synthesizer is the control it levies over the sound. We can adjust this modulation component to alter another aspect of the sound. It can be considered as a tool in a synthesizer that allows music creators to dial in a specific sound that they are trying to achieve.

5. Music filters:

These filter music and allows certain sound waves to pass through and block others. Different filters will create different sound shapes and also shape the music tones.

6. Envelopes:

They shape the sound that comes from the synth and makes it long, short, plucky, or even sustained. The envelope controls automation over one or more parameters and the most common type of envelope is its attack, sustain, decay, and release (ADSR) component that helps to control the shape and contour of the sound.

Final Words

All of the synths that we have listed here have their good aspects and generally possess all features that we could ask for in a synth. We hope our guide helps you in finding the best synth under $1000 in your music journey.

You may like to read: Yamaha MX49 Review 2021: The New MX Series Synthesizer

Hi, I'm Bethelina Googenhiemer. I am an expert in synthesizers. After starting my career in music production, I always wanted to do something else in my part-time, like sharing my knowledge with others who are still growing, which I will be doing on PianoOpedia. I will be writing guides & tips with the help of my team.

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