Top 10 Synths On Your Andertons Christmas Wishlist!
Christmas & the New Year is the perfect time to get your hands on the latest gear...whether it's a gift for a loved one or a treat to yourself! Here are our top 10 synths you should have on your list for Santa this year.
Great for: guitarists or other musicians looking to explore new sounds.
Let’s kick off with one of the most affordable bits of kit in our entire synth range: Pocket Operators. Danish manufacturer Teenage Engineering have a knack for making super fun gear, and these are no exception.
These pocket-sized synths are affordable, portable and noisy as anything. Each one has a different sound, ranging from thumping bass to punchy percussion and everything in between. They take two AAA batteries and can be synchronised with eachother for seamless music-making, with a little on-screen animation for each sound. And yes, there's a limited edition Rick and Morty one - full of voice samples and weird sounds. Schwifty.
Great for: the synth junkie/sound designer looking for versatility on a budget.
Modal electronics know a thing or two about pushing the boat out when it comes to synthesizers. The past couple of years have been pretty good for Modal; they've released some of the hottest desktop synths on the market. From entry-level funboxes to all-out sound design workstations, you'd be hard pushed to not get excited about these!
Great for: musicians wanting to explore analogue electronic music on a budget.
When you consider what they can actually do, Behringer’s desktop synths are pinch-yourself affordable. Modelled on classic synths (think Moog, Dave Smith and the guys above), these compact units offer in-depth controls and jaw-dropping sounds aplenty.
Undoubtedly the most requested release, the Odyssey models the legendary ‘70s ARP synth, offering a combination of classic dual-oscillator tones.
The Model D is their classic Moog-style synth. 3 oscillators, tons of filtering options and simple patching unlock an enormous range of sounds. The Neutron takes the patching a step further, allowing you to essentially rebuild the entire signal chain and find your own sound – to no end. Finally, the RD-8 pays faithful homage to the Roland 808. The best bit? They’re all less than £300!
Great for: changing the way you think about approaching sound design from a sequencer.
We couldn’t resist having Teenage Engineering on the list twice – their OP-Z synth is as big news as it was one year ago. Ask any electronic music enthusiast about them - chances are you’ll hear nothing but glowing praise.
The OP-Z behaves like a sequencer/sampler, with 16-steps and 10 patterns to play with. Built-in effects, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in tape heads – all no bigger than a paperback book!
Great for: synth beginners, producers and musicians on the move.
Don’t be fooled by the slick modern interfaces of IK Multimedia’s UNO 22 and UNO drum machine: there's plenty of classic analog warmth on offer! Both deliver a range of sound from classic to modern, allowing you to feel out your particular style as one of your first pieces of synth kit.
They come loaded with plenty of presets and an easy keyboard with scales and arpeggiation, making it easy to navigate for beginners or first-time electronic music makers. Pros will love the rich, fat sounds and easy portability of the UNO, making it ideal for travelling and creating music on the go. The same goes for the drum machine – it’s mature tech in a portable body.
Great for: fearless producers and players who don’t mind pushing the boundaries of creativity.
The Erebus and Nyx are Dreadbox's ‘indie alternative’ desktop synthesizers. With the V3, they've stepped it up a notch in just about every aspect of its design. This kickass analogue range now has more features, a more advanced interfaces, and a more compact enclosures - how do they do it?
With an extra oscillator, ring modulation, noise generator and a whopping 35 patch connections onboard, the V3 is among the most capable yet intuitive desktop synths on the market. It also makes a powerful addition to any Eurorack setup. New for the V2 Nyx is a super flexible dual filter, expanded reverb options and drone mode to keep the amp envelope open for all those ambient passages.
Great for: producers and electronic musicians looking for some gnarly hardware.
French manufacturer Arturia’s Brute range features some of the most versatile, hard-hitting synths on the market. The DrumBrute is an all-analogue drum machine, combining punchy old-school sounds with heaps of modern features and a hands-on interface.
Set up a drum sequence and tweak on the fly; breaks, polyrhythms, filters – the works. Other key features include built-in distortion and effects, CV/Gate compatibility and a compact design. Don’t be fooled that they’re floating either side of £300. The DrumBrute packs a studio-quality punch that’s bound to put a smile on your face.
Great for: the synth enthusiast looking for some light, noisy relief.
The Moog Grandmother combines Moog’s expertise on analogue synthesizers with a fresh, playful approach to design. The result is a box of fun that’s colourful in every way.
The Grandmother was one of the biggest synth releases of 2018, but that's not stopping her from stomping to the top here. Its chunky colour-coded interface makes it thoroughly playable, with a built-in 32-key Fatar keyboard. Add a sequencer, LFO, spring reverb and patch connections and you’ve got an absolute belter of a synth that’s enjoyable through-and-through.
Great for: creating classic ‘80s and ‘90s tones!
Roland are synth trailblazers. In decades past, they helped to define synths as we know them. From classic analogue drums to mind-bending modular setups. Their Boutique range pays homage to their gold standard reputation, faithfully reimagining their most timeless synths with modern, compact design.
Whether you’re after the iconic 808 drum sound, silky smooth ‘Stranger Things’ style synths or anything in between, the Roland Boutique range ticks all the boxes – plus their sleek retro designs make them great collectibles.