9 Best Synthesizer For Ambient – 2019

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Best Synthesizer For Ambient

When looking for the best synthesizer for ambient, you will have to look into the details of a large number of options without any guarantee of success. Finding the right synth for ambient soundscapes will attract an information overload that can be overwhelming. In this guide, we will look at some of the best synths available for ambient music, helping make your search much shorter and your information pool more precise.

ProductPolyphonicTypePrice
Korg Microkorg 37-Key synth

 

YesAnalogCheck Price .
Yamaha Music Production Workstation MOXF8

 

YesAnalogCheck Price .
Moog Minimoog Model DYesAnalogCheck Price .
Novation MiniNova Synthesizer

 

YesAnalogCheck Price .
Roland GAIA SH-01 SynthYesAnalogCheck Price .
Korg Minilogue 4-Voice SynthYesAnalogCheck Price .
Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900NoAnalogCheck Price .
Moog GrandmotherNoAnalogCheck Price .
Korg MS-20 MiniNoAnalogCheck Price .

 

Korg Microkorg 37-Key synth

Korg is a leading brand for outstanding instruments, and the MicroKorg 37-key synth is testament to the brand’s values.  This analog polyphonic synth will allow you to play up to 7 tones at once, with additional layering options for the perfect ambient soundscape. It includes a vocoder for vocal manipulation and a large set of pre-installed tones to diversify your options. The tried and tested synth is a next generation analog keyboard that offers intuitive controls, versatile sound and customization options in a well designed build.

Pros

Pros
  • Value for money performance
  • High quality sound

Cons

Cons
  • Case might be prone to damage with poor maintenance

Yamaha Music Production Workstation MOXF8

While it weighs 33 pounds, which is a lot more than your average synth keyboard, the Yamaha Music Production Workstation MOXF8 is still a convenient option that you can use in multiple workstations. It does not feature an in built speaker, which means that you have to connect it to other equipment for the full service. However, it will deliver the best acoustic sound of any synth featured. It can also be used as a piano, since it carries a full arrangement of keys.

 

Pros

Pros
  • Largest number of pre-set voices and tone
  • Multiple use as a piano and synth
  • Full 88-key support
  • High quality acoustics and ambient

Cons

Cons
  • Higher end in terms of pricing
  • Does not feature an in built speaker
  • Larger and heavier than other options available

Moog Minimoog Model D

The Model D is a re-issue of some of the classic Moog models of the 60s ad early 70s. This analog synth delivers a truly awesome variety of chords and notes, which should allow you sufficient variety of vintage sound options for your ambient needs. The Minimoog is small and compact. It also does not require any software or computer connection to manipulate tones. It is ideal for people with some experience.

 

Pros

Pros
  • Compact and space friendly design
  • Vintage tone is suited for ambient
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

Cons
  • Higher price point
  • No built in pre-sets

Novation MiniNova Synthesizer

While it is made by a relatively new brand in the synthesizer market, the Novation MiniNova Synthesizer is a  classy option with a variety of perks. It features a vocoder for added value, and includes up to 256 built in sounds for full variety. The compact 37-key arrangement works to streamline its use, allowing both seasoned and  new musicians to enjoy its use. The model is also well priced, and is a great budget option.

 

 

 

 

Pros

Pros
  • Portable and compact
  • In built vocal recorder and processor
  • Value for money purchase

Cons

Cons
  • No in built speakers
  • Software might be problematic on some operating systems

Roland GAIA SH-01 Synth

Many of the built in tones of the Roland GAIA SH-01 Synth will bring you 80s nostalgia, as this classic  option offers some authentic classic sounds. It is an analog option with 64-voice polyphony, which is somewhat limited compared to other options on this list. While it lacks a vocoder, it is a very sturdy option that delivers  high quality performance. It packs many of the features of an ideal synthesizer and is only available at a fraction of the cost of a  standard option.

Pros

Pros
  • Full sized key synth for easier use
  • Facilitates effect layering
  • Vintage tones

Cons

Cons
  • Limited voice polyphony when compared to other options listed

Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Synth

With 4-voice polyphony, the Korg Minilogue synthesizer is a great analog option to help you create ambient soundscapes. It delivers great sounds, and is made with the high standards of a top brand. This synth is compact and easy to use. It also features  USB and MIDI connectivity for added value. It offers smaller keys, but they are easy to grasp over time.

Pros

Pros
  • Great quality build
  • Blends digital and analog features into one
  • Compact package

Cons

Cons
  • Smaller keys may need some getting used to

Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900

The Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900 is a complete package. It combines traditional subtractive and modern synth tools for a full musical experience. When making ambient music, you will be spoilt for choice at the range and variety on offer. The model’s dual mode VCA offers even more variety, with an adjustable binary filter for full range. It features 32 well sized keys, and is very easy to learn. If you are committed to experimentation for ideal ambient music, this model will be right for your needs.

 

Pros

Pros
  • Customizable binary filter for added variety
  • Great quality sound options

Cons

Cons
  • Binary filter needs some getting used to

Moog Grandmother

The Moog Grandmother delivers a cutting edge and modern take on the classic synth experience, which makes it ideal for ambient. It is a monophonic analog synth, but is a high quality option that is very well designed.  The spring reverb adds a classic touch, and is a very rate inclusion for modern synth. It is a versatile performer which will deliver great sound even without any connections. With the right use, it will be the best vintage  synth for your ambient needs.

 

 

 

 

Pros

Pros
  • Flexible design for convenient patching
  • Classic sound
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

Cons
  • Some functions are not easy to access

Korg MS-20 Mini

The Korg MS-20 Mini is a remake of the 1978 original MS-20 analog synth. It delivers a high quality performance like the original issue, and has all the same components. It also features a modified VCA amp, allowing for less noise. The mini is a great option  for people looking to create ambient music with authentic and classic sounds. It also includes a MIDI and USB port for easier connectivity with all your gear. Its mini design means that it features smaller keys, which can be challenging at first. However, that should not deter you from a great product.

Pros

Pros
  • High quality build and finish
  • Vintage sound
  • Easy to use

Cons

Cons
  • Smaller keys may take some getting used to

What is the most essential gear for ambient music?

If you are looking to make ambient music, these are the top elements you should consider for the perfect studio set up.

Synths

The best synths will play a big part in enhancing your ability to make ambient soundscapes. Whether your music  features more electronic ambience or it is based on environmental sound, there are a variety of options that will come in handy. Digital synths such as the Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 offer a rich variety of sonic material, and allow for audio import for maximum value. You can customize your sound when producing music with this synth. Analogue synths such as the Arturia V collection offer a unique and unbeatable tone, and will boost your ability to make quality ambient music.

Effects

Effects are a major component of modern music, and even so for ambient music. There are many effects available that will enhance the quality of your sound when making ambient music. Reverb plug-ins and multi effects will add character to your music, allowing for even higher quality output.

Other gear

The right synth will help you get started when making ambient music. But it does not always have to be completely electronic. You can create great ambient music by capturing different ideas and blending them into one, or even playing an instrument.  Analog strings and a pocket recorder, such as the Olympus LS Pocket LS-P2 will help you create or capture clear and high quality sound for great output. You may also need a DAW to combine your ambience for the final product. A great DAW , such as the Propellerhead Reason 10.1, should enable you to add fresher beats, acoustic sounds and other options for a fully rounded ambient sound.

Final word

These models all offer great value, with each being suited for ambient. The ability to layer effects and play multiple tones at once makes the Korg Microkorg 37-Key synth stand out as  the go to option for ambient music. The tried and tested synth by a trustworthy brand will offer sustained service, and will help you make a great blend of ambient sound. New producers who are looking for a beginner synth may consider the Akai MPK MKII, a portable mini-synthesizer that offers a learning experience on a budget. The lightweight MIDI controller will help you understand how to operate larger and more complex synths easily, which could help you make better ambient music.

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