GAK’s Top 5 synths under £500 in no particular order!
The hugely popular ROLAND BOUTIQUE line is back with three new models based on beloved classics and this time you can avoid the crush as these are not limited editions. Norman Cook AKA Fat Boy Slim said ‘Everyone loves a 303’ and for the most part that is true, however since the price of the original units continues to skyrocket, not everyone could afford a 303 until now! The signature sound of acid house and Goa trance, the unmistakable liquid warped buzzing blipping little synth never goes out of fashion. Now in this even more compact package, it retains all the original features and improves workflow with modern MIDI and USB connectivity as well as the CV outputs of yore.
Multiple choice question… Do you like synthesisers?
1. Yes >>> buy this synth it will make you creative and happy.
2. No >>> buy this synth it will make you like synthesisers, ergo sum, see answer number 1. The only real decision here is the colour you decide on, personally, I like the gaudy gold.
Classic Dr Robert Moog design based baritone and bass oscillators? Check,
(yes there are two of them). Classic Moog ladder filter, Check. Audio input for analogue processing of any audio source? Check. CV, MIDI, and USB connectivity? Check. Seamless integration with your DAW via extended operation, parameter laden VSTi? Check. Compact, studio-ready, and roadworthy? Check. Is it a Moog? Check. What are you waiting for? Click here.
This diminutive redux of the Korg classic sounds every bit as interesting and colourful as the original, but without the baggage that comes with owning a vintage piece of kit. With its saw blade edginess and ripping filter characteristics if you are looking for out and out sonic exploration set your sights on the MS-20 mini!<
Launched a few years back when a raft of sub £500 analogue synths arrived on our shelves, the Novation Bass Station 2 despite lacking connectivity was the most powerful and complete. A very long overdue sequel to their original Bass Station from the 90’s this improves and expands on the original concept in every way. 3 oscillators, intuitive interface, oodles of memories and superb build quality, the Bass Station 2 is well worth a look.
Honourable mentions in this category go to…
The Roland System 1, really impressive sounding base engine. It sounds like a big old synth, plus innovative ‘Plug-Out’ options. Any Korg Volca, if you can’t find something to love in this diverse range of bargain analogue hardware you simply have no heart. Moog Werkstatt. A Moog oscillator and filter in a build your own semi-modular package for under £200. Get it while you can. Simple.