In the earliest days of synthesis, instruments were monophonic. They could only create a single sound at once or, in some cases, simple duophonic chords by cleverly detuning oscillators. 

Musicaradar just published a guide for selecting a hardware polysynth, in the range from approximately € 1500 to € 10.000 . Please note that all (c) are with Musicradar and its authors…read the full article, written by Si Truss, here.

To create true polyphony, where multiple pitches can be played at once using individual notes on a keyboard, synths needed to expand. Full synth voices needed to be added for each potential pitch, involving additional oscillator, filter and amp circuits. 

As a result, early polysynths were considerably bigger than their monophonic counterparts, both physically, as a result of the extra components needed to make them work, and sonically, since they could generate rich, full-bodied chords created by the complex timbral interplay of multiple synth voices interacting.

Over the years, technology has allowed for the creation of polysynths far smaller and more affordable than these early analogue behemoths. On the analogue front, circuit mount components now allow for full multi-voice synth engines to sit in portable, desktop-friendly boxes, with even classic designs like Sequential Prophet-5 now getting the downsizing treatment.

When it comes to digital hardware, prices and sizes have taken an absolute nose-dive in the past few decades. You can, after all, download a full polysynth to your mobile device. Hardware like 1010’s Nanobox range show how you can fit a fully-featured, complex hardware polysynth into something you can fit in the palm of your hand.

The point is that there has never been so much diversity in the synth market, from cheap options to long-term investments, whether for left-of-centre sounds or classic analogue tones.

In this article, Si-truss examined the finest and most feature-packed instruments the modern synth market has to offer. Focussing on the upper-end of the market, with instruments that will appeal most to serious hobbyist, long-time players and pro producers, but the article rounded up some of the best budget options and alternatives.

The guide covers the following 10 polysynths:

  • Arturia Polybrute
  • ASM Hydrasynth deluxe
  • Moog One
  • Novation Summit
  • Oberheim OB-X8
  • Roland Juno-X
  • Sequential Prophet-5 (rev 4)
  • Sequential Trigon-6
  • Udo Super-6
  • Waldorf Quantum

Yes – actually only the Sequential Trigon-6 is a synth that is from 2023, the others existing a bit longer. So the musicradar polysynth ’23 selection is in fact a ‘best synth available in 2023’ guide…. but nevertheless: a nice overview of status of polysynths these days.

Go to the original article.