Best Synthesizers Under $1000 Complete Guide In 2022

Best synthesizers under $1000

If you want to create your own unique sound, then a synth can be an excellent tool. Whether you’re in a band or just want to learn how to play, you need to pick the right instrument. Thus, choosing the right type of synth can make or break your future in music. Nevertheless, finding one, especially under budget constraints, is never easy. Thus, to save you the trouble, we have brought you a list of the best synthesizers under $1000.

However, before starting your shopping, look through our extensively prepared buyer’s guide.

Criteria For Buying  A Synthesizer/ Buyer’s Guide:

Analog Or Digital?

The first decision you’ll have to make when you decide to buy your first hardware synthesizer is whether you want a digital or an analog one. This choice largely depends on the type of sound you want. An analog sound can be produced with the clever programming of a digital model. In contrast, a synth with a 100% pure analog signal path will sound impressive, but it will be more limited in sound design.

Keyboard:

Those who want to play synthesizers like pianos want an instrument with a full keyboard. If you want to spend less than $1000 on these instruments, you’ll probably have to compromise in some areas. Secondly, consider the size of the keys. Some models in the 1k price range use slimmer, mini keys that take a while to become comfortable with. The compact size and portability of this type of keybed help reduce the cost of the instrument.

Polyphony:

This is a term that refers to the number of notes that can be played simultaneously, which is what is needed to play chords. There is only one note that can be played at a time on a monophonic keyboard. On the other hand, more engineering is involved in analog polyphonic synths, so that an 8-voice instrument could cost more than $1000. In order to get a polyphonic analog synth under $1000, you’ll have to compromise with less polyphony.

Effects:

A built-in effect is excellent. It can drastically alter the sound of a synthesizer, but generally, they do not perform as well as a dedicated unit. In most cases, current synthesizers come with useful effects, but if you want a more polished sound, you will use plugins, guitar pedals, or rack effects units. Built-in effects are significant for ideas and practice, but if effects are essential to the sound of your work, you probably will need other equipment.

Filters:

One of the last stages before the output is a synthesizer’s filters, which can profoundly affect the sound. A well-designed, digitally modeled filter can be just as good as an analog filter in adding warmth. Multiple filters are available on some synthesizers, and each can drastically change the tone. For a broader sound palette, you need a filter with multiple options.

Size And Weight:

Do you want a portable synth that you can take anywhere with you? Or do you want one solely for use in your studio? Although most of the mentioned products in this list of best synthesizers under $1000 are lightweight, you can opt for heavier ones if that’s what you want.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s move on to the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

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Top Picks:

Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer:

A rich-sounding synthesizer with an interface that makes it an easy-to-use instrument.

Korg Opsix Altered FM Synthesizer:

One of the best digital synthesizers you are going to get your hands on.

Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM):

An affordable option for many budding musicians.

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Best Synthesizers Under $1000:

Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer:

Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer

Starting off our list of best synthesizers under $1000, we have the Subsequent 25, an instrument that allows the user to express their creative self to the fullest extent. A streamlined interface and dynamic sonic flexibility make this synthesizer an indispensable addition to the expansion of creative collaboration between humans and machines, creating channels for distinctive new forms of musical expression.

This 2-note paraphonic synthesizer combines the intuitive simplicity of functional analog synthesizers from the past with the ease and convenience of a modern sound design tool, thereby delivering the ultimate mix of hands-on analog and modern sound design. With the Subsequent 25, Moog’s most compact keyboard synthesizer, users will find that it provides all of the rich sonic density associated with the Moog name.

Specs:

  • Brand: Moog Music Inc.
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 26 x 5 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 12 Pounds
  • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Number of Keys: 25
  • Type of Keys: Semi-weighted
  • Other Controllers: Pitchbend Wheel, Mod Wheel
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, 2 Note Paraphonic
  • Presets: 16 Presets (4 Banks of 4)

Key Features:

  • Mono/Duo Mode
  • Duo Osc 2 Priority
  • Filter & Volume Velocity Sensitivity

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • A lot of features

Cons:

  • No built-in hold/drone control

Korg Opsix Altered FM Synthesizer:

Korg Opsix Altered FM Synthesizer

Next up on this list of best synthesizers under $1000, we have the famous Ospix from Korg. It comes with a unique character, packed with characteristics that make it appealing and fun in a way that isn’t common to FM instruments.

As a whole, opsix doesn’t reasonably appear to have the depth and complexity of Wavestate, but that is no reflection that this is still one of the finest digital synthesizers available right now. Opsix has been the most enjoyable and intuitive instrument to date in terms of programming a hardware FM instrument. The ability to mix and match operator modes gives it a genuinely unique sonic character.” This is another impressive achievement for Korg.

Specs:

  • Brand: Korg
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 22.24 x 13.31 x 3.54 inches
  • Weight: 6.39 pounds
  • Type: Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer
  • Sound Engine: 6-operator Altered FM Sound Generator
  • Analog/Digital: Digital
  • Number of Keys: 37
  • Type of Keys: Synth Action
  • Other Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod wheel
  • Polyphony: 32 voices
  • Number of Presets: 250 factories, 250 user
  • Power Source: 12V DC power supply (included)

Key Features:

  • Velocity Sensitive
  • FM Synthesizer with 6-operat FM Synthesis
  • 6 Data Entry Rotary Encoder

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Straightforward and accessible design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • LCD is tiny.

Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM):

Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM)

The Volca FM is an addition to the Volca range of synthesizers from Korg. This is a small FM synthesizer with 3 notes polyphony, MIDI in, a sequencer, and an onboard chorus. This is compatible with Yamaha DX7, and it can be programmed with the Dexed plugin on a computer with a few simple steps. All in all, it is a great little synthesizer with a great price—a worthy addition to the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

It is a great deal at a dirt-cheap price with quite a few great features. You will be pleasantly surprised by all the features at such a low price. It is inexpensive and sequences great with MIDI (especially when using the unofficial firmware), and it sounds great.

Specs:

  • Brand: Korg
  • Color: MultiColored
  • Style: Korg Volca FM
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 4.53 x 7.6 x 1.57 inches
  • Type: Desktop Synthesizer and Sequencer
  • Polyphony: 3
  • Presets: 32 Programs, 16 Sequence Patterns
  • Effects Types: Chorus
  • Arpeggiator: 9 types
  • Sequencer: 16-step, 16 recording patterns
  • Power Supply: 6 x AA Alkaline or KA-350 AC Adapter

Key Features:

  • 16-step sequencer automates each parameter
  • Onboard CHORUS effect
  • 3-voice polyphonic FM synthesizer

Pros:

  • Sound editing is straightforward
  • High playability factor
  • It comes with a lot of features

Cons:

  • Speaker is not very powerful.

IK Multimedia UNO Synth portable monophonic analog synthesizer:

IK Multimedia UNO Synth portable monophonic analog synthesizer

IK Multimedia provides a strong hardware-synthesis entry with this one. With the two oscillators and 100 presets, the Uno produces a beautiful array of sounds that make me wonder how something that looks so compact can produce sounds like that. Even if the analog synth sounds great, the step sequencer and arpeggiator can make it an even better tool. In most cases, it’s difficult to import a sequence into a synth (or remarkably easy, after studying the instruction manual for a while), But this one makes that easy right off the bat.

In conclusion, IK Multimedia’s Uno synth is highly affordable and is an impressive entry into the synth-hardware world for the brand. New musicians will love how easy it is to use, how it sounds great, and how many features it has. This has made it eligible to be on the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

Specs:

  • Brand: IK Multimedia
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Plastic
  • Model Name: UNO Synth
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 10.7 x 1.97 x 5.7 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Type: Analog
  • Polyphony: 1 voice
  • Presets: 100 Presets (20 factory non-writable, 80 user)
  • 16-step sequencer
  • Number of Keyboard Keys: 49
  • Power Source: Battery Powered (Alkaline)

Key Features:

  • 10 Mode Arpeggiator
  • 13 Selectable scales (Chromatic, Major, Minor, Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic, Major Blues, Minor Blues, Harmonic Minor, Mixolydian, Dorian, Klezmer, Hungarian Gypsy, Spanish Gypsy, Japanese, South-East Asian)
  • Real-time and step recording with parameter recording

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Battery-powered
  • A lot of digital features like LCD etc.
  • Made for traveling

Cons:

  • No actual power, only a connector, which can be troublesome if the battery runs out of power with no spares at hand.

Behringer POLY D Analog 4-Voice Polyphonic Synthesizer:

Behringer POLY D Analog 4-Voice Polyphonic Synthesizer

The next entry on the list of best synthesizers under $1000 is from Behringer, the POLY D synthesizer.

It should be noted that Behringer calls the Model D a ‘Legendary Analog Synthesizer”. Obviously, it isn’t the exact thing. Still, it’s an excellent copy of a legendary analog synthesizer that imitates the Minimoog Model D with remarkable accuracy in terms of appearance and sound. There might be some problems with the product, but overall, it’s powerful and well worth the price tag.

Specs:

  • Brand: Behringer
  • Color: Black
  • Type: Analog
  • Dimensions: (L x W x H): 3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Number of Keyboard Keys: 37
  • Type: Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer
  • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Type of Keys: Full-size, Synth Action
  • Polyphony: 4-voice (paraphonic), Monophonic mode, Unison mode
  • Sequencer: 32-step
  • Power Source: 12V DC power supply

Key Features:

  • Oscillators: 4 x VCO
  • Waveforms: Triangle, Sawtooth, Square, Wide Pulse, Narrow Pulse, Reverse Saw (OSC 4)
  • Classic Ladder Filter

Pros:

  • Ultra-high precision
  • Produces the “big fat tunes” of the 80s and 90s
  • Easy switching between monophonic, polyphonic, or unison modes.
  • Loud sounds

Cons:

  • There might be some quality control issues with some of the products, but the customer service can help you in that regard.

Korg Wavestate Wave Sequencing 37-Key Digital Synthesizer Bundle:

Korg Wavestate Wave Sequencing 37-Key Digital Synthesizer

The Wavestation was the first instrument to introduce the world to Wave Sequencing, transforming samples into sounds nobody had ever heard. Its unique palette of lush, evolving pads and driving rhythms was extended even further through Wave Sequencing’s flagship OASYS and KRONOS keyboards. The wave state is a step forward in digital synthesis by Korg. Providing ever-changing sounds with extensive control, the wave state boasts radically redesigned Wave Sequencing 2.0.

All in all, it has a lot of features that qualify it to be on the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

Specs:

  • Brand: Korg
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Weight: 6.93 Pounds
  • Type: Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer
  • Sound Engine: Wave Sequencing 2.0
  • Analog/Digital: Digital
  • Number of Keys: 37
  • Type of Keys: Full Size
  • Polyphony: 64 Stereo Notes
  • Presets: 2GB PCM Sounds: 740 Programs, 240 Performances, 1000 Wave Sequences
  • Filter: Polysix, MS-20 Filters, 2-pole, 4-pole, Highpass, Lowpass, Bandpass, Multi Filter
  • Envelope Generator: 3 x Envelopes
  • Arpeggiator: 4 x Arpeggiators
  • Sequencer: Step Sequencer Lane, Step Pulse
  • Power Source: 12V DC power supply (included)

Comes With:

  • On-Stage KSP100 Keyboard Piano Style Sustain Pedal (Black), Knox Gear 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub, and Hosa HSS-005 Pro Balanced Interconnect REAN 1/4″ to 1/4″ TRS Cable (5-Feet)

Key Features:

  • It’s a bundle, not just a synthesizer.
  • Other Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod wheel, Vector X/Y Joystick
  • Effects Types: 14 x Simultaneous FX: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Wah, Delay, Tape Echo, Reverb, Ring Modulator, Guitar Amp, Compressor

Pros:

  • It comes with everything you might need
  • Lots of effects
  • It comes with multiple filters
  • Amazing presets
  • Riveting sounds

Cons:

  • The keys feel a bit cheap as they have no hammer action feel.

Roland JD-XI 37-Key Interactive Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer:

Roland JD-XI 37-Key Interactive Analog Digital Crossover Synthesizer

It’s described as an ‘interactive analog/digital crossover synthesizer’ by the manufacturer and represents a new direction for the brand. Despite that long utterance, it is immediately apparent that there isn’t much cross-pollination happening at this stage. But even with that, it is an impressive piece of instrument, qualified enough to be on the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

The JDXi is a convenient and affordable way to combine synths, drums, and sequencers. Although it’s not the most durable instrument out there, it’s a highly portable groove box full of sounds that will make you feel comfortable performing or recording with it.

Specs:

  • Brand: Roland
  • Color: Black
  • Style: hybrid
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 28 x 13 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 4.14 Pounds
  • Number of Keyboard Keys: 37
  • Type: Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer
  • Sound Engine: Analog/Digital Crossover
  • Number of Keys: 37
  • Other Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
  • Polyphony: 128 Notes
  • Number of Effects: 19
  • Sequencer: 4-track

Key Features:

  • Two digital synth sections with SuperNATURAL synth tones
  • Effects Types: Distortion, Fuzz, Compressor, Bit Crusher, Flanger, Phaser, Ring Mod, Slicer, Delay, Reverb, Vocoder, Auto Pitch, Auto Note
  • Hybrid synthesizer

Pros:

  • Warm and rich sounds
  • Crystal clear output
  • Accessible to program and use
  • Parameters are elementary to change

Cons:

  • It does not come with a lot of sounds

Erica Synths LXR-02 Desktop Digital Drum Synthesizer:

Erica Synths LXR-02 Desktop Digital Drum Synthesizer

A collaboration between Erica Synths and Julian Schmidt, who is also known as Sonic Potions, the creator of the original LXR, has resulted in the LXR-02. Despite the many similarities it shares with this new LXR, the original LXR never quite achieved the mainstream drum machine status it aspired to, regardless of its do-it-yourself nature. Even so, the machine had a lot of love and was a fine machine for the more practical-minded musician.

Even with just one insert slot, the modulation options and effect possibilities are just exceptional. Almost as fast to program as a drum machine, it feels like someone hid a modular system inside. Creating some presets will solve the effect instantiation problem.

It’s one of a kind, worthy of being on the list of best synthesizers under $1000. In fact, it ranks right up there with the greats from MFB and JoMoX in terms of new-age boutique boxes. It’s another reminder that independent underground designers have new ideas to offer. And it’s an instrument you’ll want to own just for the sake of creativity.

Specs:

  • Brand: Erica
  • Weight: 78 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.75 x 9.05 x 5.70 inches
  • Type: Drum Synth
  • Pads: 16 x Sequencer Buttons
  • Sounds: 6 x Drum Voices, 30 adjustable parameters per voice
  • Patterns: 64 patterns per project
  • Sequencer: 64-step Sequencer
  • Power Source: 12V DC power supply (included)

Key Features:

  • Effects: Drive, Ringmodulator, Compressor, Delay, Filter, Modulation
  • Storage: SD Card (included)
  • Kits: 64 kits per project

Pros:

  • A lot of drum options
  • Impressive features
  • Incredible sound

Cons:

  • It does not have a randomizer

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Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer:

Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer

It is evident from Arturia’s new algorithmic synthesizer that the company, traditionally known for its analog hardware synthesizers and software emulation of classic instruments, has taken a significant step towards a more digital soundscape. This cost-effective little’ Freak’ is well worth taking a closer look at, featuring a 12-mode digital oscillator, a multimode analog filter, and myriad sequencing options housed in a graffitied chassis.

From the moment you open the box, MicroFreak’s unique style immediately grabs your attention. It’s a bold design, but we like to be adventurous. The plastic chassis and keybed of the synth feel a bit flimsy when it comes to building quality. For a synth of this price, some design compromises are to be expected, and MicroFreak’s small size and weight certainly add to its portability.

Specs:

  • Brand: ARTURIA
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 12.24 x 9.17 x 0.22 inches
  • Weight: 2.42 pounds
  • Type: Keytouch Synthesizer
  • Sound Engine: Wavetable Synthesis, Digital Oscillators
  • Analog/Digital: Digital with Analog Filter
  • Number of Keys: 25
  • Aftertouch: Polyphonic Aftertouch
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, Paraphonic mode (up to 4 voices)
  • Other Controllers: Capacitive Touch Strip
  • Presets: 320 Factory, 64 User
  • Arpeggiator: Up, Order, Spice/Dice Gate randomizer, Random, Pattern modes
  • Power Source: 12V DC 1A power supply (included)
  • Sequencer: 64-step, 2 patterns per preset

Key Features:

  • Filter: 12dB/octave, Analog State Variable Filter, Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass
  • Type of Keys: Touch-sensitive Capacitive Keybed
  • Features: 5 x 7 Modulation Matrix, Unison Mode

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Excellent keys with touch-sensitive keybed
  • Distinctive design

Cons:

  • The keyboard is tiny.

Behringer TD-3-AM Analog Bass Line Synthesizer:

Behringer TD-3-AM Analog Bass Line Synthesizer

In the fall of 2019, Behringer released the TD-3, a Roland TB-303 Bassline clone based on the earlier TB-303. About three years later, Roland announced the TB-03 Boutique, which was a 303 reboot. However, the TD-3 was a true clone, with a few new features, and did not use Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior technology.

The TD-3 has proven helpful for purposes other than being a synth. This synth can also serve as a drum machine. You can create some distinctive beats by adding pulsating sounds without decay to your samples or drum machines. Dynamic grooves and unexpected polyrhythms can also be achieved using the sequencer and dotted 8th note delay. You can also layer the TD-3 under your central bass part to punch up your bass lines. Even if you aren’t into acid music, the TD-3 can provide an excellent and unexpected compliment to your electronic music. With all these features, it would be unbelievable if this was not on the list of best synthesizers under $1000.

Specs:

  • Brand: Behringer
  • Model Name: TD-3-AM
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches
  • Weight: 2.79 pounds
  • Color: Acid Yellow, Black
  • Type: Bass Synthesizer with Sequencer
  • Style: Analog
  • Pads: 13 x Key buttons
  • Presets: 250 x User Patterns
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, 16-voice Poly Chain
  • Sequencer: 16-step, 7-track
  • OS Requirements – Mac: OS X 10.6.8 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 or later
  • Power Source: 9V DC power supply (included)

Key Features:

  • Effects: Filter, Overdrive
  • Sounds: Sawtooth/Pulse Waveforms with Cutoff and Resonance Controls
  • Software: Synthtribe app

Pros:

  • Robust build
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The plastic case gives it a cheap feel.

Comparison Table:

Title

 Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer

Korg Opsix Altered FM Synthesizer

Korg Digital FM Synthesizer (VOLCAFM)

IK Multimedia UNO Synth portable monophonic analog synthesizer

Behringer POLY D Analog 4-Voice Polyphonic Synthesizer

Korg Wavestate Wave Sequencing 37-Key Digital Synthesizer Bundle

Roland JD-XI 37-Key Interactive Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer

Erica Synths LXR-02 Desktop Digital Drum Synthesizer

Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer

Behringer TD-3-AM Analog Bass Line Synthesizer

Products


Brand

 Moog Music Inc.

Korg

Korg

IK Multimedia

Behringer

Korg

Roland

Erica

Arturia

Behringer

Item Weight

12 Pounds

6.39 Pounds

Not specifies

1 Pound

1 Pound

6.93 pounds

4.14 Pounds

1.78 Pounds

2.42 pounds

2.79 pounds

Dimension

26 x 5 x 17 inches

22.24 x 13.31 x 3.54 inches

4.53 x 7.6 x 1.57 inches

10.7 x 1.97 x 5.7 inches

3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches

9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches

28 x 13 x 5 inches

2.75 x 9.05 x 5.70 inches

12.24 x 9.17 x 0.22 inches

3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches

Type

Analog

Digital

Digital FM

 Analog

 Analog

Digital

Hybrid

Digital

 Digital with Analog Filter (Hybrid)

Analog

Style

Keyboard Synthesizer 

Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer

Desktop Synthesizer and Sequencer

Desktop Synthesizer and Sequencer

Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer

Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer

Keyboard Synthesizer with Sequencer

Drum Synth

Digital Polysynth with Analog filters

Bass Synthesizer with Sequencer

Color

Black

Dark Blue (near Black)

MultiColored

Black

Black

Black

Black

Black

Black

Acid Yellow, Black

Prices

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can a synthesizer sound like a piano?

Ans: The sound they make is not the same as the sound made by an acoustic piano. Synthesizers are very different from pianos, even though they are controlled by keyboards that look like piano keys.

Q: Is it easy to learn a synthesizer?

Ans: As with any musical instrument, learning to play a synthesizer is much easier if you are having a lot of fun while playing it. On the other hand, when trying to compose or play music but having difficulty with the computer hardware or software, it can be highly frustrating to a person.

Q: Do I need to learn piano to play synth?

Ans: Using synthesizers is not necessary to be proficient on the piano. For instance, every synthesizer does not have a keyboard. Programming synths is arguably an even more critical skill than playing keyboards. It is essential to understand the basics of keyboards if the synth is keyboard-controlled, but it does not make any difference if it isn’t.

Q: What genres use synths?

Ans: Their reach extends well beyond the traditional Top 40 markets, and their music is popular in various genres, including techno, house, and electronic dance music. As a matter of fact, even rock bands are using synthesizers to supplement some aspects of their songs when they are recording in the studio as well as to fill out their sound.

Conclusion:

And there you have it, our list of best synthesizers under $1000. You may think it is hard to buy a sound synthesizer within this budget limit, but cheap does not mean poor. You can find a lot of good products in this range, including those mentioned in our list. We hope that this list will make the decision easier for you.

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