Synthesizers are efficient electronic musical instruments. They work along with pianos, and the result is a well-balanced and enhanced sound when playing. The best Moog synthesizers can produce several sounds by generating and merging signals of different frequencies.
As you may know, these electronic musical instruments gained profound popularity in the ’70s and ’80s. Music enthusiasts enjoyed (and still do enjoy) rocking out with Synthesizers, especially combined with a 61-note keyboard. However, advancements in technology came many changes, and right now, there exists a variety of Synths to choose from.
There are two types of synthesizers currently on the market, namely analog and digital. Going with your pick depends on several factors that we’ll look at shortly. In this article, we’ll go in-depth and look at 10 best Moog synthesizers to consider buying. It’s a well researched and detailed piece to inform you of what you need to know about this instrument.
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What Is a Moog Synthesizer?
As the name suggests, a Moog Synthesizer is an electronic instrument that produces synthesized sounds by combining different in-built modules. All the modules perform similar tasks as conventional instruments, and they include envelope generators, oscillators, modulation sources, and filters.
A Synthesizer is well-known for replicating sounds of other instruments or generating unique electrical sounds as inspired by these same musical instruments. On the interface, Synthesizers have multiple input devices that are specifically used to control them. These input devices include wind controllers, fingerboards, electronic drums, and sequencers, among others.
They also use several techniques whenever needed to produce sound waves such as subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, phase distortion synthesis, and wave-table synthesis.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Moog Synthesizer
Analog or Digital
Choosing the best Moog Synthesizer based on its type solely depends on your preference, you know, what you are looking for. While the name analog might sound ancient, analog Synthesizers remain the most preferred. They have analog signals and produce Synthesizer sounds with analog circuitry. With the analog ones, utilities available include the oscillators, modulation, envelope generators, and filters.
On the other hand, digital Synthesizers incorporate digital signals in their processing to accurately recreate the analog sound.
The number of voices in a Moog Synthesizer is another crucial aspect of selecting your instrument of choice. Here, you can choose between Synthesizers with monophonic or polyphonic sounds. The ones bearing monophonic voices can only play a single tone at a time, while those with the polyphonic voices have complex circuits. This means that they can play multiple sounds simultaneously, but they are also quite expensive.
Before you buy best Moog Synthesizers, it would be best to first analyze your budget before seeking this instrument. The type and brand of this instrument are some of the most influential when it comes to pricing. Because you can’t change anything about the Synths, you’ll have to assess your budget. Not to worry, though, a lot of good quality Synthesizers can be purchased at a fair price of around $300.
But if you are looking for something supreme, that approximation usually goes up beyond $600. You can also find some at or below the $100 mark, but these mostly lack adequate features. When it comes to budget as a consideration, ensure that you purchase what you need and not any additives. But if your budget isn’t too tight, don’t restrain yourself from getting something fancy, as long as it fulfills the purpose.
Since the dawn of Polyphony, Synthesizers went on to embrace the workstation, which is simply the amount interface that hosts onboard features of the Synths. Workstations have endless virtual possibilities, making the Synthesizers more versatile than ever. So, before taking any instrument home, you should first ascertain if its workstation capabilities match your liking.
Connectivity is another essential factor to consider before buying a Synthesizer. Synths with multiple connectivity options give you enough room for memory and MIDI implementation. This is an advantage because many musicians have warmed up to integrating their computers with musical instruments.
A Synthesizer that provides you with adequate connectivity features ensures that you simplify and enhance your work at the same time.
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10 Best Moog Synthesizers
The Korg company is well known for producing outstanding musical instruments. So, when it comes to the VOLCAKEYS, the narrative doesn’t change because it’s a worthy instrument.
The VOLCAKEYS is an analog Synthesizer. Therefore, it uses analog signals to replicate or reproduce Synth sounds. It’s one of the most potent Synthesizers from Korg, and also on the market. If you are a Synth enthusiast, you must know that rich and expressive sounds are the go-to factors when buying a Synthesizer.
You can undoubtedly find such features and many more, well-equipped in the Korg VOLCAKEYS. This instrument has the potential to reproduce, replicate, and enhance your playability in multiple ways. And thanks to its built-in speakers and optional battery power, you can play the VOLCAKEYS in any location you prefer.
This is a more next-gen Synth from Korg and offers impressive versatility in sound and control features.
- Optional battery power
- 16-step Sequencer with Flux Mode
- Can sync with Volca-series instruments
- Has 3-note true analog synthesis with one knob/function
- Lacks standard MIDI Out
- It doesn’t have a PSU.
The Moog Matriarch is one of the best Moog Synthesizers on the market and delivers on almost every front. This instrument features an elegantly built and captivating self-contained interface that attracts your attention immediately. The following are some of the key features of the Moog Matriarch:
- Fatar keyboard
- Intuitive sequencer
- Audio rate modulation
- And Killer analog delay section
Like the first option, the Matriarch is also an analog Synthesizer, but a semi-modular type. On the Polyphony, this instrument features a Monophonic, 4-note Paraphonic, and 2-note Paraphonic for enhanced playability.
The Fatar keyboard is a 49-note keyboard and features the patchable velocity or aftertouch. As for connectivity options, this Synth features MIDI IN and OUT, which opens up many possibilities for this instrument.
Because it’s a high-end Synthesizer, the Moog Matriarch has a well-detailed patch ability, making it a versatile Synthesizer.
- Beautiful design
- Complex and intuitive
- Lacks patch presets
Sequential, formerly known as Dave Smith, is a Synthesizer producing company known for releasing some of the best high-end Synths in the market. Therefore, the Sequential Prophet X Moog Synthesizer bears the company’s quality of production.
In collaboration with 8Dio – a company known for deep sampling, Sequential came up with the Prophet X, an analog-type synthesizer. This instrument has 61 semi-weighted keys with a polyphony Synth of 32-notes and two high-resolution digital oscillators. The Prophet X connects the two worlds and gives you digital controls and analog filters for authentic playability.
The instrument is also more flexible, and its synth engine features the pulse, sine, and saw waveforms. It also has the 4 loopable envelope generators (4 LFO’s) if you want to change the width of the waveforms manually.
Because this production is a partnership, the Prophet X hosts 150 GB of sample content from 8Dio and an additional 50 GB space to upload your compositions. As for the connection capabilities, this instrument features 3 OLED displays to give you the needed versatility in Synthesizers. Such capabilities are what make this one of the best Moog Synthesizers on the market.
- Comes from a partnership of two reputable companies
- Multiple connectivity options
- Massive amount of sample content
- Straightforward and aesthetic design
- Many modulation sources
The Arturia MicroFreak is an instant attraction and packs many synthesis features in a compact design. It comes with a 25-key capacitive keyboard, while its Polyphony type is the 4-voice paraphonic. And as an analog Synthesizer, this instrument features multiple oscillators, a smooth and versatile filter, and a wide variety of timbers.
Also, the Matrix onboard opens up endless exploration possibilities with advanced modulation. Moreover, this Synthesizer creates an enabling space to enhance your creativity with different performance and sequencing tools. And if the features mentioned above aren’t enough, the Arturia MicroFreak aces its usability by combining all the features.
- Multiple connectivity options
- Plenty of features and fun to use
- Lacks effects
- Doesn’t have the 24dB / oct filter
This is a 61-key analog modeling Synthesizer and delivers quality sounds affordably and supremely. The Korg KingKorg powerhouse features a built-in vocoder and an analog vacuum tube driver circuit. The sound engine incorporated here is Korg’s Xpanded modeling technology (XMT), and it delivers a wide variety of tones.
It also comes with 3 master effects sections and 3 oscillators, and the user interface is both intuitive and straightforward. Unlike most Synths on the market, the KingKorg comes with approximately 200 presets. And although not as pure, these preset sound amazing with the option of turning on the tube amp enhancing their marvel even further.
One thing to love about this machine is its all-round inclusivity. The KingKorg has enough features to cater to intricate music work, but it’s not too complex for beginners to use. Unlike other models with an overwhelming interface, this one manages to present its many features straightforwardly.
- Suitable for any user
- Includes the analog vacuum tube driver circuit
- Many high-quality presets
- Worth the price
- Plastic casing
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The Novation Summit Moog Synthesizer comes from Novation – the company that gave us the Peak, which has for a long time now remained to be a top-rated Synthesizer. As a highlight, the Summit features 2 Novation Synth engines, making it more potent than most competition.
It features a 61-key semi-weighted keyboard with a 2 part, 16-voice polyphonic Synth. Some more features to love about this instrument include a true stereo analog signal path, analog VCA’s and distortion, and dual multimode filters.
Any purist would love to get their hands on this piece, especially considering that it features 3 digital oscillators for each voice and a noise generator. Additionally, the Summit allows 2 LFO’s for each voice and has an amp envelop alongside 2 mod envelops. With this Synthesizer, you can pre-filter overdrive and post-filter distortion thanks to the state variable filter that allows you to do so.
You also get 16 modulation slots for every patch and multiple mod sources. The onboard effects in this instrument are per part and include:
- Analog distortion
- 16 types of delay
- And 3 types of chorus
And with 2 Peaks running in the engine, you can seamlessly play the Novation Summit daily for a whole year, and invent new sounds whenever you sit down.
- 2 powerful Peak Synths
- Customizable patches
- Many onboard effects
- True stereo-analog signal path
- Highly expensive
Moog is also profound in creating some of the best Moog Synthesizers. And although the Moog Sub Phatty doesn’t get close to their flagships, this Synthesizer can still produce impressive sounds. It’s a 25-key analog Synth and comes with a 31 knob panel, allowing you to customize some of the brand’s most classic tones fully.
The sound engine here consists of 2 variable oscillators that run through a high-gain mixer. And to add authentic depth and grit to the sound, this Synth further features a sub-oscillator and a pink noise generator. Moog officially launched their multi-drive circuit with this Synthesizer, making it stand out among the most versatile of Synths on the market.
- Straightforward and intuitive interface
- Compact but powerful
- Multiple customizable options
- Multi-drive circuit
- Limited connectivity
- Sacrificed complex modulation for ease of use
The Korg MS20 Mini is an upgrade or revival of the profound Korg MS20 analog synthesizer released in 1978. The latter was an instant success when it was released and maintained a top-rank for a substantial amount of time.
That and many more are why Korg decided it was necessary to create an instrument out of the MS20’s inspiration. The MS20 Mini is an upgrade of the original and comes with some additional features. Korg modified the Mini’s VCA voltage-controlled keyboard amp to be less noisy, like in the original.
Also, this Synthesizer comes with a variety of connectivity options like the USB and MIDI ports. Such options enable you to integrate this instrument with other musical gear to enhance functionality.
Besides that, the MS20 Mini still has the original impressive features, but in a compact and modern design.
- Has self-oscillating filters
- Compact and portable
- Great connectivity options
- Powerful sound engine
If unaware, Moog created this Synthesizer specifically for their Synth-building workshop. However, the piece gained massive appreciation and love from many users, which ended up hiking its demand with high numbers. As a result of its success and increased demand, Moog decided to release the Werkstatt-01 Analog Synthesizer Kit.
Generally, this kit allows you to create your monosynth thanks to its fully customizable nature. And for purists or musicians around the world, there’s nothing quite like building your instrument.
With this Synthesizer, you’ll be able to leverage your creativity thanks to the freedom of creation that it comes with.
- Fully customizable
- Has a 4-pole ladder filter
- Comes with a wide-ranged oscillator pitch
Last but certainly not least is the Roland JD-XA 49-key analog/digital Moog Synthesizer. It comes with a max Polyphony of 4 voices for the analog, while the digital has 64 voices.
The keys here are velocity-sensitive and also have the aftertouch feature. The Roland JD-XA Synthesizer comes with a 16-track sequencer, making it a viable starting point for creating your compositions.
The following are some of the onboard effects found on this Synth:
- Global and insert
And below are some of the connectivity options found on the Roland JD-XA 49-key analog/digital Synthesizer:
- Click output jack
- USB for MIDI functionality
- CV/gate outputs
- Analog dry output jack
- Main Output jacks
- And foot pedal jacks.
This instrument brings a new definition to versatility and does so by incorporating some of the most advanced and needed best Moog Synthesizers features on the market. With this instrument, your creativity surely has a special place to improve.
- It’s a hybrid, which produces unique, powerful sounds
- User-friendly interface
- Many connectivity options
- High-quality built-in effects
- Fewer keys for a studio setup
So, there you have it – our detailed list of 10 best Moog Synthesizers to consider buying. Also, the Synthesizer buying guide should aid you a lot is going for the instrument of your choice.
Purchasing a Synth requires some in-depth knowledge about this musical instrument. And if you don’t have enough time for research or you are new to Synthesizers’ world, this article has got you covered.