5 Best Synths For Hip Hop – 2021

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Best Synths For Hip Hop

The history of hip hop dates back in the early 1920s. A lot goes on in the creation of hip hop sounds. An instrument known as a synthesizer is popularly used in hip hop. Synths for hip hop have made the genre quite popular, especially among the youth.

Since the market is full of different synths for hip hop, we will help you understand the differences between each brand. You can distinguish them with ease as you search for the right synth that can help you fulfill your needs. If you don’t have the time to go through the entire article, here is a table that summarizes what the article entails. Enjoy!

Comparison table

Synth Keys Weight Call to action
Moog sub phatty 25 16 pounds Check price here
Yamaha Reface CP 37 6 pounds Check price here
Yamaha Montage 8 88 65 pounds Check price here
Korg monologue 25 5.5 pounds Check price here
Korg microkorg 37 8.5 pounds Check price here


Moog sub phatty

The manufacturer of this synthesizer is known to be a top producer of such tools around the world. They have been in existence since the arrival of hip hop music. Most of the instruments from this company are hand built, and Moog sub phatty is no exception. The engineers that craft this synthesizer ensure that it performs with great accuracy.

For you to start using it, you only need to power it up then adjust the settings and start working on the keys. It produces an articulate and vibrant sound that makes it among the best synths for hip hop. This model contains a multi-drive section that enables you to explore different analog tonalities. It also delivers modern and classic hip hop sounds.

It includes a sub-oscillator that adds depth to the sound and a noise generator which gives low-frequency content. If you want to sculpt different sound effects, this synth is an ideal choice. It is equipped with numerous parameters that allow you to conduct various functions from the front panel.

You will also like its streamlined interface and sound design flexibility. Feel free to create and store your sound from the panel. Moog sub phatty is equipped with semi-weighted keys which add a new dimension to playing. The numerous switches and knobs also give you immediate control of the synthesizer.


  • Most customers find it reasonably priced
  • It comes with high-quality parts
  • The synth produces fascinating rhythms and rich sound


  • The knobs do not seem to be long-lasting

Yamaha Reface CP

If you need a portable synthesizer for hip hop, you should choose Yamaha Reface CP. This works with 6AA batteries which can last for 5 hours. It also comes in a small size that makes it easy to transport from one region to the next.

It also includes different effects such as delay, phaser, chorus, and tremolo. Choosing this synth also helps you enjoy stompbox-style effects. You not only get direct control but also drop-out performance from this synth due to the incorporation of 128 note polyphony. Yamaha Reface CP delivers a premium feel to give you a natural performance. The stereo speaker system used also makes it easy for you to take sounds anywhere at any time.

This synth produces legendary sound since it contains built-in speakers. You can also share and connect voices with others due to the social sound sharing feature included. The analog modeling synth is easy to control, and it gives you endless possibilities. Its keyboard contains mini-keys which give you a fast and accurate response.

The manufacturer of this brand equips it with a bass reflex port mechanism which improves bass response for music creators to enjoy rich sound. You also get different inputs to connect to audio interfaces. Feel free to connect your tablet or any other mobile device through a USB. If you are new to synths for hip hop, you will enjoy the simplicity of the controls.


  • Provides excellent onboard effects
  • Responsive mini-keys
  • It comes with decent speakers


  • You may find it hard to play lower velocities
  • The price is not pocket-friendly

Yamaha Montage 8

The latest synth from Yamaha has more functionalities than most of the conventional modular and analog systems. What makes this synth stand out from the rest is that it comes with a super-knob that enhances one hand modifications. It allows you to control different parameters at the same time. It also contains motion control synthesis which regulates the sound.

This brand delivers sophisticated control and a streamlined workflow. It is a powerful synthesizer that enhances the creation of hip hop sound. Using this model inspires your creativity and gives you a chance to experiment with different effects. You can find a unique sound with the help of the control synthesis engine.

You can also adjust the sound from radical to sublime using the available super knob. This controls different parameters at the same time. It also features motion sequences which you can assign to any synth parameter. This gives you diverse ways of programming sound. Make use of the dedicated controls to change the motion sequences in real-time.

If you want to connect this synth to your computer, you only need a USB cable. The powerful USB driver of Yamaha Montage can transmit different channels of Stereo to your device effortlessly. It also comes with an impressive touch screen. The live set feature also allows you to organize your performance without changing order or copying.

It also contains rotary encoders which include LEDs indicate position. If you want to assign control, you only need to choose the parameter, then click on the control assignment button. Make use of the controller so that you can regulate the settings as desired.


  • You can create sound in different ways
  • It comes with a user-friendly touch screen
  • Solid-body and high-quality keys


  • It does not come with a sequencer

Korg monologue

Most customers notice the captivating five color line-up of this synthesizer first. Hip hop music producers chose this model since it is fully programmable. It has powerful features that enhance the creation of sound. Korg monologue comes in a single voice design and can generate sharp leads and sturdy bases due to the inclusion of the drive.

The manufacturer of this synth has also expanded the step sequencer to give you the freedom to conduct complex editing. It contains 16 step buttons that facilitate real-time step edits. The step sequencer can deliver complex rhythms that you can capture and edit with ease.

If you are not new to synths, you will notice that the price of this monologue synths is higher than most of the analog synths in the market. This is because Korg monologue is a better version that has advanced features which enhance your ability to create music. For instance, it comes with 100 preset locations, oscilloscope display, and filter options. Unlike most of the instrument, this model supports micro-tuning, allowing you to create scales freely.

Apart from the fantastic industrial design, this synthesizer delivers great voicing and is easy to use. The manufacturer expands the drive section and modulation to ensure that it delivers not only cutting leads and rich bases but also sophisticated rhythms. It is also equipped with LFO capabilities for deeper modulation. Make use of the turn knob and push button to control the parameters.


  • It is cost-effective
  • It comes with an intuitive 16 step sequencer


  • The synth lacks some of the features present in other models

Korg Microkorg

Most people consider this as one of the best synths for hip hop due to its user-friendly interface and phenomenal sound. It comes with a built-in vocoder that enhances its performance and makes it ideal for different musicians. You don’t have to learn new technologies for you to use this synth. Its filter can also process any external sound while the velocity sensing mini-keys respond well to every touch.

Enjoy the thrill of creating electronic sound with a powerful synth that puts you in control. It comes with dedicated knobs and editable parameters. The compact design of this synth makes it easy to move around and setup. You will also like the light-weight of this instrument. The problem with some of the synths is that they have a complex structure that intimidates beginners. Korg Microkorg is beginner-friendly since it has an easy to understand menu structure. You get access to all the parameters on the panel for you to make use of any function you want.

The manufacturer also includes six different types of arpeggio patterns. Feel free to modify the resolution and length of the notes. Experimenting on this can help you produce some cool and exciting patterns. Apart from its exceptional performance, the manufacturer also tries to impress customers by working on its visual appearance. It comes in beige body color and a retro-feeling design that makes it unique among most of the synths. Finding a synth that performs as good as this one in the same price range is not easy.


  • The compact size makes it portable
  • Has easy to play mini keys
  • Editing is a straightforward process


  • It is not solidly constructed


Even though most of the models are marketed as the best synths for hip hop, your choice may differ from any other persons. You have to compare each brand and decide which one is the best for you.

Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.