These are exciting times for synth lovers, with the announcement and eventual release of some extremely coveted synthesizers from the likes of Yamaha, Korg and Arturia to name but a few. Here are some of our favourites up to press and why they should be on your list to try out in 2018.
Kicking off this list is the Yamaha MODX series of synths. Packed with AWM2 and FM-X technologies the MODX is not only another advancement for Yamaha synth technology but it also allows you to work some true FM magic giving a firm nod to the synths that were at the heart of synthwave back in the 80s. In addition to the incredible sound engine, the MODX comes with some impressive real-time controls including a super-knob capable of adjusting over 120 parameters in real time!
There is no limit as to what can be accomplished with the Yamaha MODX series workstations and we have them in 88 note, fully weighted and 61 note portable flavours, definitely a series you need in your life.
The Korg Minilogue has been one of the hottest items for 2016 and it’s easy to see why. It’s packed full of analogue circuitry and the ability to connect with any vintage or modern workflow providing the modern musician with a vintage style sound with up to date capabilities.
You have the ability to produce up to 4 voices of polyphony using 2VCO, 1VCF, 2EG, 1VCA, and 1LFO structure and this absolute beast also boasts 41 real-time dedicated controllers that allow you to really get to grips with your sound. The 16 step polyphonic sequencer offers a gorgeous array of different options and the 200 preset locations make sure you have enough sounds to play with. The onboard tape-style delay provides an even greater array of options whilst the arpeggiator is so much fun to play with. For professional musicians who favour an analogue sound – the Korg Minilogue is an absolute must-have. Watch the video below and see why everyone is shouting about this synth.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to synths today and the Elektron Digitone Eight Voice Polyphonic Digital Synthesizer is here to help you sculpt the soundtrack of planets unknown thanks to its staggeringly good sound engine, intuitive controls and masterful connectivity. If you’re wanting to take your music creation to another dimension the digitone is the ultimate creation station.
The Digitone you can sequence together 4 synth tracks. Each track can run an independent arpeggio and sounds can be altered on every step of the sequence so as to evolve as you create hypnotic sequences on the fly. For more complex use of sequencing the Digitone comes with legacy MIDI and USB connectivity so that it can play nice with everything from your old 80s hardware synth through to your PC or Mac. Overbridge compatibility also means that it can seamlessly integrate analog and digital synths into any DAW you wish!
Packed with FM technology but diving into the hand-held world, we have the Korg Volca FM synthesizer. Although small in stature, this is by no means a toy, but an extremely versatile and professional piece of kit that offers an array of sounds to help sculpt your music. This Portable true FM synthesis creation tool features a 3-voice polyphony, onboard chorus effects, arpeggiator and Volca-style 16-step sequencing to provide you with the ability to create music instantly. This awesome piece of equipment also comes with six operators as well as 32 algorithms, and a handy parameter list so you can really focus on creating your music rather than trying to figure out how to work it! It’s completely compatible with the rest of the Volca series and can be connected to your favourite DAW or MIDI controller for further sonic capabilities. For the musician who wants to create music on the go, or create metallic, 80s inspired EDM, this is a great option that is a budget-friendly, but entirely professional workhorse.
The second iteration of the Minibrute series, the Arturia MiniBrute 2 is a revolutionary new semi-modular analog synthesiser. Masses of features are all packed into this rugged aluminium-cased animal ready for you to unleash on stage or in the studio. Easy to understand and very quick to master, you’ll have total creative freedom. The Minibrute 2 also supports a wealth of both analogue and digital connectivity so it will play very nicely with your existing gear, no matter if it’s analogue or digital.
The Minibrute 2 is one of those synthesizers where you can’t make a wrong turn, its sole mission is to empower you to create anything from warm dreamscapes to offensive basslines and everything inbetween!
Take a look at a full range of synthesizers over at the Dawsons website.
Rob Mather is a multi-instrumentalist and DJ from Huddersfield, England. Rob enjoys an active career as a performer and writer of many styles of music. Rob is also heavily engaged in providing sound and lighting support for live music events and theatre productions.